during a side conversation, I realized there was one thing that I think has been unclear here, particularly to those who are arguing the current situation does not need changing. ottoneu is, in large part, a game of market economics. When players are added via auction or waiver claims, the way that their salaries are constrained to fit the market economics of the game is two-fold:
1) They are kept low by the $400 salary cap and the need to find loans, cuts, etc., if you want to create cap space
2) They are kept high by the scarcity of roster spots and the open competition to pay players via auction
These two factors combine to set the market for players and to create the constraints in which the game is played.
In the off-season, those constraints are removed, but only temporarily and only because auctions do not exist - the inability for a player to have his salary set in December means that there is no need for any constraints on the market economics. If I could start an auction, like we do in-season, during the off-season, we would need to keep a cap in place.This effectively divides the year into two periods:
1) The period during which a player's salary can be set, either via pre-season auction, in-season 48 hour auctions, or waiver claims, which we basically refer to as in-season and runs from 2/1 through the end of the regular season.
2) The period during which a player's salary can NOT be set - it can be erased (via cut) or maintained (via keep or trade) but it cannot be set, which we basically refer to ass the off-season and which runs from the end of the regular season through 1/31.
During that first period, the caps and limits (and therefore the underlying market economics) are enforced by blocking non-compliant teams from participating in the league - you cannot set lineups, bid in auctions, offer or accept trades, make waiver claims, etc. This is a pretty solid enforcement because no matter where you are in the standings, the inability to improve your lineup/roster (either for this year or next) is a big penalty. As a result, we rarely see situations where owners flaunt the rules for extended periods of time. It happens, of course, but it is rarely beneficial to the owner to do so.
During the second period, there is no enforcement, as there are no caps/limits.
The problem is that there is a grey area - and it is not grey in the rules but it is in the ENFORCEMENT of the rules. The period of time starting roughly the last week of the regular season through whenever the league makes it's last cuts before the off-season starts, player salaries can be set via auction or waiver claim, and therefore the salary cap and roster limits need to (and do) exist in order to protect the market economics of ottoneu, HOWEVER, there is no enforcement. Because by this time, you can set your bids, lineup, and waiver claims and there is little lost if you cannot change those.
This loophole in the enforcement of the rules is what needs to be closed up. We need to avoid a situation in which the market economics of ottoneu cease to exist because there is no enforcement of caps/roster limits, but owners have the ability to set player salaries.
I am not going to get into how I recommend we do that here (I have stated it repeatedly above, I believe) but I thought this might help shed some light on what (at least for me) the issue is. I hope it helps and was not just a waste of (digital) hot air.