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pakowitz 05-03-2006 11:33 PM

Plenty of Questions still left to be answered
Futures of Law, Harrington, McNair to be determinedBy John Clayton

In an offseason that has featured a new collective bargaining agreement, Paul Tagliabue's retirement announcement, 10 head coaching changes and an overly active free-agency period, the NFL would appear to be hitting a quiet time.

Not so. Minicamps start this weekend. Coaches still have to complete their organized training activities. Rookies have to be signed. Though head coaches may target parts of June and July for vacation, the work never stops in the NFL.

Here are the burning questions still to be extinguished.

• Will teams reach the salary-cap limit?

This might be the hardest challenge of all. Thanks to the $16.5 million increase in the cap, to $102 million, teams have to spend like they haven't had to before. More than $280 million of cap room still remains. Fourteen teams still have $10 million of remaining cap room. That leaves plenty of room for signing draft choices and negotiating extensions. For those extensions, teams will put more money in roster bonuses, eating up 2006 cap room and saving room for future years. Teams aren't burdened by the cap if they want to trade or release players. However, one new aspect of the CBA is that it will be harder for teams to use bogus incentives at the end of the year that create credits in future years. The NFLPA is forcing teams to reach the maximum on their caps now.

• Can the Saints sign Reggie Bush?

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