NFL and the NFLPA Lockout Countdown: Lockout Day+34, or the Nelson Imposition

With the NFL lockout still in progress, U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson imposed mediation between the players and the team owners starting yesterday with U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan at his quarters in the Minneapolis federal courtroom.  The attorneys on both sides should not come to an agreement easily, if the mediation in Washington, D.C. showed anything at all.  If a federal mediator couldn’t get either side to reach common ground, I don’t see how a federal judge will.

Additionally, this week, the NFL proposed to adjust the rookie compensation system and hinder hold outs from veteran players by eliminating renegotiations of contracts if the player holds out prior to the pre-season.  This will limit some of the drama from players, similar to the drama of Washington Redskins Albert Haynesworth last season. The adjustments to the rookie compensation system should help those veterans already playing in the NFL system by allowing much more money available for their contracts.  There will no longer be a rookie wage scale and all rookie contracts will be made individually.  These contracts would last four years initially for players chosen between the second through seventh rounds, and these contracts would not directly affect the salaries for those specific rounds.

Pending a Friday Night Miracle, this second round of federal mediation should go on for some time.  In the meantime, it’s best to lean on other sports — baseball, hockey or NASCAR for those interested.  With the Philadelphia Phillies bursting in the opening of the season and the Philadelphia Flyers into the playoffs with the Buffalo Sabres, these two sports will be enjoyed by most Philadelphia sports fans, including myself.

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