With the NFL-NFLPA lockout appearing to coming to a close, after Tuesday’s discussion in Boston, Massachusetts between the NFL team owners, Commissioner Roger Goodell, and the players trade association have finally negotiated a potential collective bargaining agreement. This collective bargaining agreement has some stipulations like before. Some of them are:
- Players will get 48 percent of “all revenue” without the extra billion that was initially requested by the team owners.
- The players’ share of the profits will never dip below 46.5 percent.
- The NFL teams are required to spend a minimum of 90 to 93 percent of their respective salary caps.
- New 16-game Thursday night television package beginning in 2012.
- The owners will still get some expense credits for funding new stadiums.
- NFL retirees will benefit from improved health care and pension benefits.
- Lastly, the rookie wage scale is still pending.
Of course, no negotiation, particularly in the NFL, could be complete without resistance of some kind, and in this case, from a few owners. These owners appear to be from the AFC teams, and they apparently are unsatisfied with the original issues not covered from 2006.
But what does this mean for the NFL, the players and their fanbase? To start off, the NFL gets a deeper cut of the profits from the players, but the expected revenue is expected to increase to $18 billion by 2016. So both sides will get about $9 billion with this new contract potentially. That’s a lot of cash, more than most of us will ever see in a lifetime, and NFLPA executive DeMaurice Smith was complaining about the 53 percent earlier. For the team owners, now they are expected to spend 90 to 93 percent of their salary cap. This could potentially mean more employment of players, but it could be at the expense of profits for the owners, particularly if there is a collapse in the locker room like last season. Remember the Titans…and in the worst case scenario, the implosion of the Washington Redskins last season. On the other hand, the NFL players receive more of the revenue, and the NFL retirees now have some degree of optimism that their injuries during the season will at least be assuaged. An increased pension should help most retirees but not the spendthrifts. Lastly, for the fans, with a collective bargaining agreement perhaps coming to a close, it could mean a full season within a month or so. With the new Thursday television package being implemented in the future, it could mean more packed games within the season. It could also mean more of the NFL Network, which could be an added value for those who have it. Intriguingly, it could mean that the NFL players will play with lesser rest between games. This could mean more significant injuries than ever before which the players originally and ironically wanted to stop.
In NFL news around Philadelphia, former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb practiced with his former teammates in an informal workout. Interestingly, McNabb hasn’t practiced with the Washington Redskins squad, but perhaps he has been shunned by the Redskins. Then again, he is expected to be traded or released once this lockout has ended. Where will he end up? Anywhere Redskins coach Mike Shanahan is not. The Arizona Cardinals seem like one of the more logical teams with him practicing there during previous off-seasons without this business melodrama. However, even I am skeptical whether the Cardinals want Donovan McNabb to leave his legacy there with a younger and more easily groomed Kevin Kolb on the table.
We have heard some potentially good news already, but it should be tempered as the process will still be lengthy. The National Labor Relations Board has yet to make their crucial decision that will cause a cascade of legal decisions down the road.
In the meantime, are you ready for even more NFL Network?