NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement Thread

… AKA The NFL Lockout Thread.

The Super Bowl is over and the NFL Draft is a solid 80 days away. Free Agency might get stopped before it starts. Which means that all we’ll have to discuss for the indefinite future is the new CBA battle in the media and behind closed doors. We’re all hoping that the NFL doesn’t kill the golden goose, but I’m sure this will be a tough battle on both sides.

ThisPFT article from Florio about Goddell’s comments during the State of the NFL presser pretty much highlights the fact that a Lockout will be coming should the negotiations extend past March 4th.

This is a little technical and requires a little lawyering but the following quote sums up the point:

The Packers financial data is available and they earned just $5.2M in 2009, a paltry amount considering their gross earnings were $258 million. This pretty clearly illustrates that the NFL has a argument when it says that it needs to change where the line is drawn on profit sharing with players. I’m no fan of billionaires but I don’t think these owners should be earning less than most of their best players.

Granted the Packers are a bit of a odd duck in the NFL, still I think it’s safe to say that the shared national revenues and player salary increases are pretty standard across all the teams. Big city teams obviously earn far more from their locally generated income (not shared) and probably have a healthy net profit assuming their debt load and ticket sales are under control. It’s going to be an interesting situation, I think it’s safe to say that the owners won’t be budging too much in the long run.

Anyways, this probably won’t be fun but I figure we can all commiserate together here and share relevant new stories as they develop.

So the owners want two more games (work load increases by 12.5%) and to pay players around 12% less?

I’m a dangerous radical lefty, but I think that’s a situation that would intensely piss most of us off at work. Count me in on the barricades with the players.

It’s negotiation.

Increasing the number of games would increase the network TV revenues by the same amount. Since players earn a percentage of those revenues they’d be paid proportionally more. If the players continue to resist the extra games they’ll have to take less money. It’s most likely an either or proposition.

And yeah, if you think players are entitled the same pay even if franchises are breaking even or losing money then you are a dangerous radical lefty. Your gross oversimplification of the argument reflects that bias.

I’m with the owners, but only if they chuck the 18 games thing. 16 is quite adequate. If they push for 18 games they have no right to ask the players to give up anything at all.

Can anyone link to a good, basic article on this? I’m a newbie when it comes to the Players’ Union/NFL, and I need some background.

I will say that someone in the Pre-Game show yesterday (Long?) made an excellent point regarding the Players’ Union president - that he spoke of it as a war, while the Owner’s rep talked about a business deal. I don’t know that a presumably non-financial savvy football player needs someone who will play to emotion instead of logic.

Well, I simply don’t believe franchises are breaking even or losing money. The owners want me to believe that? Open the books up to the union. But oddly enough, they won’t.

And how come every time a team gets sold, the price of franchises seems to go up? Is that a sign of a failing business model?

Fuck 'em. Spoiled brat billionaires who come begging for my tax money to fund their stadia, then try to cut the pay of the people who place their bodies on the line, and who already have what has to be the shortest average careers of any professional sportsmen.

Why? If they want to make more, they can cut costs or improve marketing, like any other business.

No, it’s not. Not at all. The Packers are unique, based on their small market size (even if you include Milwaukee) and ownership structure (unique in all of pro sports).

There won’t be a long run. The players will cave before September.

Not anymore.

Well, that article doesn’t say anything about the value of NFL franchises dropping, unless I missed it. And saying that businesses have a tough time in the recession is hardly contradictory to the overall path of NFL franchise prices being upwards rather than downwards.

Does any fan want an 18 game season? I tend to agree that the players will cave, but they will (and should) put up a ferocious fight against the 18 game schedule.

Oh, sure, the overall path. But it’s no longer true, as it was for years, that the value of teams only goes one way.

Forbes on Team valuations:

Absolutely fair. Market conditions etc can lead to an individual drop, but I will stand by the overall increase being pretty indicative that the owners aren’t doing too badly at all.

Also, living in the DC Metro area, it is almost impossible not to hate, loathe and despise NFL owners, even if one is not a fan of the Redskins. I moved to this area hating the team; I now simply feel sorry for the fans.

True dat.

As an Eagles fan, I count my blessings.

SI’s Peter King (who is, himself, not a fan of the 18-game idea) did an informal poll of his Twitter followers, giving them three options (you need to scroll most of the way down this page to see the poll results). From over 1200 responses:

  • 52% want 16 games, plus only 2 preseason games (cutting the other two preseason games)
  • 30% want 16 games, plus 4 preseason games (status quo)
  • 18% want 18 games, plus 2 preseason games (replacing two preseason games with regular season games)

So, if those numbers bear any relation to reality, the answer seems to be, “most don’t”.

Having seen the Packers put 15 guys on injured reserve this season (and lose three more guys to injury during the Super Bowl), I’m leaning away from interest in 18 games (though I do think that 4 preseason games is excessive in this era).

If you are truly an Eagles fan, I dispute whether you can count anything.

Yeah, the rumors and some of the comments coming from DeMaurice Smith are really troubling. He seems to be something of a publicity whore using the NFLPA to bolster his Q rating and get elected to public office. That someone would aspire to get elected to Washington in and of itself deserves some scrutiny frankly. He doesn’t have any background in labor negotiations that I’m aware of and has no experience with the NFL or sports in general. He’s a lawyer who apparently sees this being about winning and losing and cares just as much about public perception as actual results.

Either the players are going to get screwed under him or the fans will.

Um, did you miss the part where the Packers financials are public domain? No private business opens their books to the public and the NFL claims to have shown the books to the NFLPA. DeMaurice Smith is claiming otherwise, but the media seems to believe the facts are in the league favor in that point.

Very nuanced analysis. :rolleyes:

Improve marketing? Really? That’s your solution? The NFL just had the highest rated TV broadcast in the history of TV, even in the era of audience fragmentation and ad revenues are at an all time high. The vast majority of stadiums sell out every game and each week NFL games are at the top of the Neilson ratings. The NFL markets better than anyone in the world.

The only way the NFL can increase their revenue stream is to increase ticket prices, beer prices, Direct TV prices etc. Basically you are arguing that the fans should pay the players more. When was the last time you ponied up for a ticket. Prices are already out of control.

And guess what, they are trying to cut costs. Player costs. Player costs account for 62% of their overall costs. Do you really think they should pay their $50K/year sales and marketing staffs salaries? Their $12/hour ushers and vendors wages? Their coaches salaries? Maybe they should cut their greenskeeper services to every other week. Maybe they should buy fewer commercials and billboards…oh, wait that would cut into marketing, can’t do that.

Neither of which is relevant. The league has a salary cap. Every team spends about the same. Costs are relatively equal across the board, at $161M in 2009. NFL teams share the TV revenues equally. What the Packers earn every other team earns. Local revenues are similar as well, since the Packers ticket prices aren’t notably less than the rest of the teams in the NFL. The only point of differentiation is the value of local radio rights, parking fees and other incidental local revenue streams.

I do. People seem to be forgetting that the season is already 20 games long. They aren’t adding games, simply transitioning 2 preseason games to regular season games. There is a greater injury risk to starters this way because starters will play more, but on the whole it’s a wash. Fans are already buying those tickets, this way they get more value for their dollar. Players will get 2 extra game checks since they don’t get paid for preseason games. This is win-win all the way around.

If the NFL is worried about player safety they should (and will I think) expand rosters and allow them to dress everyone as opposed to just 45. NFL teams will use more players every game and starters will rest more during games. Players and teams will adjust to keep people healthy, there’s a competitive advantage in doing so.

Read the Forbes article Furt linked to. It shows you the Packers are far from typical. And no, not all the media is saying that - everyone I have heard on ESPN radio is saying the exact opposite, that the owners are refusing to show their books.

The owners are playing a PR game - if they were showing their books, you would be absolutely damn sure everyone would know about it in an indisputable way.

Which part offended your sensibilities? The owners are billionaires (generally speaking). They do come begging for my tax money to build their stadia. The are trying to cut the pay of players. Players are the ones who put their bodies on the line for the game, with the owners having shamefully ignored their health plight afterwards. And I certainly do believe that NFL players have the shortest average careers - circa 4 years if I recall correctly.

The owners want more work for less money, and they intend to shut out the players for not saying “Thank you Sir, may I have another.” Fuck 'em. And, to be honest, the same for anyone who falls for their lies. I’ve been a union man all my life, and I am proud to stay a union man. Just because these people earn more, doesn’t mean the owners aren’t the same as other owners, looking for the same thing.

This a bad idea. The whole point of the preseason games is to evaluate who can and who cannot play at a level where they can protect themselves or their teammates. The reason why practice squad players and/or undrafted free agent signings who become successful is so rare is precisely because they are rarities. They have the opportunity to play themselves onto the team in the preseason, and if they can’t, why would you want to see them playing in the regular season? The dilution of talent will get people hurt or killed. The rosters by and large have every player able to play at that level in any given season already on them. The first time some erstwhile offensive lineman washout for the Bears gets the quarterback hurt because he’s simply not good enough you’ll be calling for management’s head on a platter.

This is nonsense. the Players’ Union has been quite good at doing this all by itself. Look at what Gene Upshaw said about Joe Delamielleure a few years back:



And this is the owners’ fault?

We’re strange bedfellows on this, but I agree. More injured starters (and there will be under an 18 game schedule) means poorer quality football. The season is perfect the way it is. Penciled-in starters hate preseason games because of the risk of injury, but let’s be real: the hardly play in them and these game situations are valuable from every standpoint: for the coaches and staff to properly evaluate talent/depth to help round out their rosters by putting (generally speaking) younger players into a game situation, for the players themselves seeking employment with a team to showcase their abilities, and for the owners as well, so they can put the best possible product out on the field (and they get to charge full price for fans to watch future insurance salesmen play against future door to door meat salesmen).

I don’t really like preseason much either, but whether they admit it or not, the players and coaches need those games to evaluate and get ready for the regular season in every way.

If there’s no 18 game schedule, then there’s no way the owners cave on less than the four preseason games. Too much money.

So I vote keep it the same as it is…and quit trying to ship it overseas while you’re at it.