Whoa, it’s the second appearance of Ron Burgundy and Brian Fantana in one day. Something big must be happening.
There was no movement as far as a CBA resolution is concerned, but that wasn’t a realistic expectation for today’s owners meetings in Chicago anyway, where no news continued to be good news. With the meeting beginning to wrap up now, the main goal from a fan’s standpoint was to reach the conclusion of the day without any major disagreements on the proposed new CBA between owners. As Sports Illustrated’s Don Banks reported, it appears as though the owners accomplished that goal, meaning we can all resume office streaking.
Most notably, the players will now receive a 48 percent share of the league’s $9 billion revenue, a share that will never dip below 46.5 percent. That’s a departure from the previous proposal which put an up-front credit of $1 billion in the league’s pocket. That money off the top was designed as an expense credit for the owners, and it didn’t exist in the previous CBA.
The 46.5 percent minimum offers some middle ground for the two sides, while the relinquishing of the $1 billion credit represents a clear concession by the owners and a willingness to reach a compromise. In the 2006 CBA the players received a 60 percent share, although NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith has said the actual figure is closer to 53 percent.
The players’ rationale for conceding and accepting a lower share lies in the expected revenue growth. Players believe they can justify a 48 percent take because of the projected revenue growth, as well as built-in mechanisms that require teams to spend close to 100 percent of the salary cap, a source told ESPN.com’s John Clayton.
Other notable points emerging from Mortensen’s report:
- A rookie wage scale will be included in the new CBA, but it’s still being “tweaked.”
- The 18-game regular season proposal that has sometimes been included in this labor mess will not be featured in the new deal, and is only a “negotiable item” at this time.
- Starting in 2012 there will be 16 Thursday night games, a steep increase from the eight we saw in 2010.
- When the new CBA is finalized, all players whose contracts have expired and have four or more years of service will become free agents.
- Teams will be required to spend nearly 100 percent of the salary cap.
The date of an agreement is likely and mercifully only a few weeks away. We previously projected July 9, and then moved that up to July 2 as the optimism mounted. Negotiations will resume likely Wednesday or Thursday in Boston, according to ESPN.
It’s almost here. Now all we need is a Brett Favre comeback, and this offseason can begin to feel normal again.