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Look to the NBA for renewal

Veteran players, like Quentin Lynch, would likely see more money from the West Coast Eagles (assuming West Coast did want to re-sign him) under the NBA free agency system. In the "NBA" the "Bird Rule" would apply allowing players to resign veterans above the soft salary cap. This system would help teams not only retain their players, but would make these players more easily available to struggling teams who are more likely to have room beneath the soft salary cap. This was the case in the NBA where Miami had enough money in their salary cap to sign both Lebron James and Chris Bosh, while no dominant team like the Lakers or Boston would have had a chance at signing either of these players. In this instance both James and Bosh had a choice with remaining at their original team, who could spend above the "soft" cap in re-signing their star players, or join another team who has to have all the space in the "soft" cap in order to be able to make a competitive contract offer to that player.

A criticism of the NBA Salary cap system is that it makes it too easy to hold onto players and previous NBA results show an uncompetitive competition where only a few franchises can actually win the competition. This is partially true, but the NBA system would be more ideally suited to the AFL where there are significantly larger rosters than the NBA. Teams dominate continually in the NBA because you only need one or two top class players to dominate the competition for years. A mixed salary cap system would be ideal for the AFL, allowing teams to better promote player loyalty, while allowing enough flexibility for signings by struggling teams promoting competitiveness throughout the league.

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