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 Uncapped Year or New CBA for next season? 
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m2karateman wrote:
njroar wrote:
But who's saying they're losing money? The owners? As ludicrous as it sounds for the players to want the same or better deal they got in 2006, its more ludicrous for the owners to demand an 18% paycut yet refuse to open their books to validate WHY they should take a paycut. If you can't justify the reason other than saying "because we said so", what union employee would agree to that?


First of all, let's get something straight. The players are NOT union employees. They work for the teams, not the NFLPA. And that is part of the problem, the mindset of these players is that they have a RIGHT to know, but in truth they possess no such right, legally or otherwise. Do you think you could access all the detailed financial statements of your employer simply by asking? Try it and see how you fare.

njroar wrote:
Would the auto unions agree to a substantial paycut by taking the word of the car manufacturers without proof?


Here's the problem...the auto unions HAVE known the car companies were losing money, and STILL refused pay cuts until the car companies were on the brink of extinction. Unions don't exist to benefit the companies even if they are losing money. The auto unions blamed the management teams, and the NFLPA would do exactly the same thing, blame the owners.

njroar wrote:
i think both sides need to come together, but the players are in a much better situation if there's a lockout. They have this season to put away money, and they don't have the rents and mortgages that the owners do. They don't need to play to stay afloat like the owners do.


I think you're dead wrong. I am pretty certain that both parties will suffer, with the players suffering more. Why? The owners are Billionaires. They have more money than any single player could make in 10 lifetimes, or you and I could make in 1000. Also, and I'm pretty sure about this, the fans in general would blame the PLAYERS, not the owners. Why? The players play a game and get well paid to do so. The owners made their money elsewhere. Fans in general feel that the players make too much anyways. Look what happened to baseball...fans generally felt disdain towards the players because of their salaries and demands. The same will happen in the NFL. The players are getting greedy at a time when most folks are just trying to hang on for dear life. People who struggle don't feel sympathy towards those who are making demands for more despite the fact that they make more than they should. In the past couple years, all sorts of folks have sacrificed and taken pay cuts. You think the fans are going to support the players for asking for a better deal, and thus cause ticket prices to rise? Believe me, ain't happening.


Actually collective bargaining laws state that IF an employer gives a representation of their financial status (we're too broke to pay you that much... if we pay you that much we'll lose money...) then that employer has a duty to disclose their records and provide their financial information.... That said, if the employer does not make that representation, then they have no duty to disclose anything.


February 8th, 2010, 7:46 pm
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The nfl Launched a new web site dedicated to just labor news.http://nfllabor.com/


February 12th, 2010, 6:31 pm
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This article actually gives me some hope:
PFT wrote:
Steve Tisch throws a bouquet to De Smith
Posted by Mike Florio on February 15, 2010 11:24 PM ET
In many lines of work, good cop/bad cop approach often gets things done.

In the NFL's current labor battle with the players union, the fraternity of owners apparently has a good cop and a bad cop residing within the same franchise.

Last month, Giants co-owner John Mara teed off on the lack of progress in negotiations toward a new labor deal, calling the union out for failing to make a "meaningful counterproposal" to an offer made by the NFL in November.

Now, Giants co-owner Steve Tisch is heaping praise on NFLPA Executive Director De Smith.

One day after Smith gave a performance at the union's annual press conference that made us think more of Johnnie Cochran than Gene Upshaw, Tisch spoke glowingly of the new union boss.

"He is sort of the new face of the players association," Tisch told SportsBusiness Journal, "he is being publicly very strong and passionate, which I totally understand and there is no reason why he shouldn't be. He does understand the issues . . . he is a very bright guy and he is not at all naive about what is going on which I think will compel him to sit down with us and get a deal done. No one wants a lockout."

In other words, Tisch believes Smith behaves differently when communicating with the owners than he does when talking to the public or to the union membership. In the latter context, Smith resorted at the annual union press event to rhetoric based on facts taken out of context at best, fabricated at worst. If he acts that way when behind closed doors, a deal will never get done.

So if Smith truly "gets it" (and some in ownership don't believe he does), maybe he's making the situation sound worse than it is in order to soften up the rank and file to the possibility of a lockout, in the hopes of ultimately getting them to be willing to accept the best deal the league eventually will make.

If so, it's no different than the things a lawyer says to his client with trial approaching and a final settlement or plea offer on the horizon. The client needs to fully comprehend the possibility of losing in order to best appreciate the best offer that eventually will be put on the table.

For the sake of all football fans and everyone who would suffer a negative economic impact in the event of a work stoppage (and, contrary to what many of you think, we'd likely make a ton of money during a lockout that lasts a month or less), we hope that Tisch is right.

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February 16th, 2010, 11:57 am
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Johnnie Cochran? Great

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February 16th, 2010, 4:55 pm
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NFLPA wants revenue pool reassessed
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By Chris Mortensen
ESPN
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The NFL Players Assoication is charging the NFL Management Council with short-changing low-revenue clubs on the amount of money that has been distributed from the supplemental revenue pool, according to the union's filing Tuesday with the Special Master.

Specifically, the NFLPA states that the Management Council recently informed the union that it distributed just $68.3 million in 2006, $90.2 million in 2007 and $94.7 million in 2008 to those low revenue clubs that were deemed qualified for supplemental invoke. The scheduled amounts of money per the labor agreement, the union claims, should have been $100 million in 2006, $105 million in 2007 and $120 million in 2008.

The Management Council argued that it was granted discretion on a formula to determine which clubs qualified for the supplemental income and, apparently, the amounts distributed to each club.

A league spokesman said, "Qualifiers have been part of the supplemental revenue sharing system since its inception. The union approved the use of qualifiers in the CBA. The operation of the qualifiers has been consistent with the resolution adopted when the extension was approved and has not disadvantaged any low revenue club. We are confident that the operation of the system will be upheld by the Special Master."

The union countered in its complaint to Special Master Stephen Burbank: "The qualifier provisions only concern the standards for determining which teams qualify for a distribution; they have nothing to do with determining the total amount of money in the RSM pool to be distributed among those teams that qualify."

Burbank ruled recently that the league could not disband the supplemental revenue pool as it had planned for the uncapped 2010 season. The projected monies for that pool were $220 million.

The union wants low revenue clubs to have enough cash flow as incentive to spend money on free agents and re-signing their own players to new contracts.


Thoughts??

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February 16th, 2010, 5:11 pm
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Wayne Fontes, I looked into the revenue sharing thing a couple of years ago and it was extremely vague. I couldn't quite figure it out because there were so many different conditions and nothing seemed to be completely spelled out. As a result, I don't know how anyone could say it was supposed to be $100M this year or $120M that year. I guess that's what lawyers are for because very little of it made any sense.

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February 17th, 2010, 10:43 am
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I just find it strange that this comes out after the deal to stop revenue sharing. Seems like a bit of shadiness to me.

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February 17th, 2010, 2:40 pm
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I thought this was interesting:
PFT wrote:
Some think Vincent was hired by NFL as a union "wedge"
Posted by Mike Florio on February 20, 2010 8:29 AM ET
When the National Football League announced that former NFLPA president Troy Vincent had taken a job with the league office, heads jerked throughout the football-following world.

The man who long coveted the chance to run the union -- and who was rejected by the rank and file a year ago after a multiple-month smear campaign -- had joined forces with management. Of all the former players whom the league could have hired, the league chose Vincent.

Predictably, some believe that the NFL will use Vincent as a "wedge" to divide players, per Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal. Even more predictably, the league denies any such motivation, explaining that Vincent say the job posted online and applied for it.

In our view, however, everything the league does until a new CBA is finalized must first be scrutinized from the perspective of the labor situation. Though the NFL hasn't said it, the cumulative impact of its actions of late send a clear message -- getting a new labor deal on terms favorable to the owners occupies the top spot on the league's to-do list.

And the league surely wants to drive a wedge between the players and the union, for the same reasons the union would love to drive a wedge between the owners. As one source recently pointed out, this labor fight will be a war of attrition, with the side that realizes the most internal harm the most likely to cry "uncle."

The risk, of course, is that efforts to divide the players could in reality unite them. For example, to the extent that some players are experiencing buyer's remorse regarding the decision to choose De Smith and not Vincent, Vincent's perceived defection could erase those doubts.

So, basically, this thing continues to get more and more interesting.

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February 20th, 2010, 10:02 am
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PFT wrote:
Union wants to avoid uncapped year
Posted by Mike Florio on February 23, 2010 1:04 PM ET
My, how times have changed.

Four years ago, the threat of an uncapped year -- which was still a year into the future -- helped compel the NFL to agree to a labor deal that, little more than two years later, the owners wanted to scuttle. At the time, NFLPA Executive Director Gene Upshaw vowed that, once the salary cap went away, it would never come back.

Today, with the first uncapped year since 1993 only 10 days away, the NFLPA wants to press pause for a full year. Executive Director De Smith discloses in a memo sent to all players and agents today that the unions most recent proposal to the NFL "contains an offer to continue the current capped system for an additional year which would allow the parties ample time to complete work on a long-term CBA."

It's a meaningless gesture. The league wants an uncapped year, in large part because the league knows the union doesn't. And if the players and agents place enough pressure on the union between now and March 5, there's a chance that the union will accept whatever the final offer is as of March 4.

We think the chances are slim. But, still, there's a chance.

The memo is being rapidly and widely circulated; Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram has posted the entire document.

Meanwhile, we'll milk the thing for a few more posts.

When I began this topic nearly four months ago, this is exactly what I thought would happen. Unfortunately, I expected it to begin months ago and not 10 days prior to the start of the new league year. Is that enough time to get something done? Also, I think the owners have already developed their strategies for the uncapped year and there may be no turning back for some of them now. I guess we'll see, but I think it's a little too late.

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February 23rd, 2010, 2:47 pm
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This is becoming soap opera-esque if Vincent is being used as a pawn in this negotiation.

Sly, its obvious that the owners have the upper hand here. If you could recap whats at stake for both sides in an uncapped year that would be great. All this back and forth has got my head spinning a little bit about who wants what and how it can all turnout etc.

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February 24th, 2010, 3:52 pm
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In Laymans terms.. the Uncapped year is better for the Owners.

Those that want to spend more, Can. More importantly, those who want to spend Less CAN. The NFLPA is now realizing that overall Player Salaries will probably go down in an uncapped system, as more teams are likely to spend less than last year (some even below the old Salary Minimum) than those few teams who might spend a lot more trying to buy playoff access.

The Players really gain no benefit from this, and it seems like it was a misstep for them to play hardball and get us to this point.

If it really came down to a Full Work Stoppage next year, youll have players not getting paid anything, but the NFL will still have its TV Copntracts paying them (they would have to work for free int he future to offset it, but it is still income nonetheless) , meaning even playing the waiting game doesnt help the players.

We had a dumb Grocery strike years ago in CA, Orchestrated by the Union because the grocery stores were losing money paying employees so much + full paid benefits. Theyw anted employees to pay 50% of the benefits cost, without a raise. The Union decided to strike. The Grocery chains lost a decent amount of money, but in the End the damage just further reduced what the grocery chains could pay the employees. The employee ended up with reduced Wages AND having to pay for their benefits. I see the same type of situation here.


February 24th, 2010, 4:01 pm
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DJ-B is pretty much correct here. The only advantage of an uncapped year for the players is that a handful of them (Peppers? Dansby?) will get huge contracts from a few owners willing to spend extra money without a cap. Every other aspect of it benefits the owners. That's why I suspected that the NFLPA would cave in, but they obviously didn't.

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February 26th, 2010, 9:41 am
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Some of you may not want to read this mumbo jumbo, but it better explains the 18% pay cut thing:
PFT wrote:
The full, unabridged story on the "18 percent pay cut" claim
Posted by Mike Florio on February 24, 2010 11:16 PM ET
We recently pointed out one of the three areas in which the NFLPA is taking liberties with the facts of the current labor dispute, regarding the ongoing payments the league would receive under the television contracts even if there's a work stoppage in 2011.

Another factual inaccuracy articulated during the NFLPA pre-Super Bowl press conference on February 4 relates to the extent to which the league has proposed reducing the money currently devoted to labor costs. On that day, Executive Director De Smith harped on the allegation that the league wants the players to take an "18 percent pay cut." At one point, Smith characterized the reduction as $340,000 per player, calculated based on the literal notion of an 18 percent pay cut.

In a conference call that convened after the Smith press conference, NFL general counsel Jeff Pash said that "[t]hese kinds of figures are misrepresentations of what our proposal is." Pash then explained that the league has requested an 18 percent credit against the revenue base. In other words, the league wants to shrink the total pie by 18 percent before applying the 59.6-cents-on-the-dollar formula for determining the players' total compensation.

As Pash pointed out at the time, the actual reduction is closer to nine percent. But 18 percent sounds a lot better for the players than nine.

On Wednesday, the league posted a evasive and overly simplistic response to the allegation that the league wants the players to take an 18 percent pay cut at NFLLabor.com: "Those numbers that Mr. Smith used at his Super Bowl press conference are inaccurate. No current player needs to take a pay-cut as a result of our proposal. Our goal is to generate a pool of resources in order to have continued investment and continued growth. This will lead to higher salaries and higher benefits for players."

Also on Wednesday, Patriots owner Robert Kraft provided a more meaningful reiteration of Pash's point.

"We're asking for cost recognition because we want to be able to go out and take risks and build the business," Kraft said, per Tom Curran of Comcast Sports Net New England. "That 60 percent, some people interpreted it going from 60 percent to 42. But it's 18 off 100 percent. I think there's a misunderstanding there."

Kraft is being kind; it's not a misunderstanding but a deliberate misrepresentation. No one is asking the players to cut their pay by 18 percent. In fact, there might ultimately be no reduction at all, if the pie continues to grow as it has over the past 15 years.

Kraft also recognizes that things are going well. "We have the greatest sport going in America," he said. "Both sides have to be smart enough to continue to build a partnership."

Actually, that's one of the best things we've heard in weeks.

Meanwhile, and in fairness to the union, the current system already provides for an off-the-top reduction. So the union isn't currently getting 59.6 cents on the dollar. As two union sources explained it to me recently, the $8 billion in total revenue is subject to an initial $1 billion reduction for cost credits. Once 59.6 percent is taken from the remaining $7 billion, the players' share is $4.2 billion -- roughly 52 percent of the total revenue. (As we understand it, the pre-2006 salary-cap formula based on designated gross revenues resulted in roughly 51.7 percent of all revenue being paid to the players. If that's accurate, the players are only getting 0.3 percent more under a CBA with which the owners claim they can't live.)

Under the league's current proposal, the $7 billion would be cut by 18 percent, or $1.26 billion, before application of the 59.6-cent formula. This would result in the players getting $3.42 billion, which equates to 42.7 percent of the total revenue.

So under the current proposal it would be a nine-percent drop, from 51.7 percent to 42.7 percent. But that's based on an 18-percent cut in the revenue pool, and it's widely believed that the 18-percent number is negotiable. If the league ultimately would agree to a 10 percent reduction of the revenue pool, the players' total take would be 46.9 percent of the total revenue.

Though that's roughly five percent lower than the amount the players currently get, the pie will continue to grow. Since 1994, the per-team salary maximum has expanded from $34.6 million to $123 million. So that 46.9 percent cut will continue to yield bigger and bigger numbers as the league uses the 18 percent credit against the revenue pool to help position the sport to generate more and more revenue in the future.

To summarize, the union's assertion that the league wants the players to take an 18 percent pay cut is blatantly false. Still, the league wants the players to take a smaller piece of the pie. The league glosses over that fact by pointing to the reality that the pie will continue to inflate.

Got it? The test will be on Tuesday.

UPDATE: As several of you have pointed out, the drop from $4.2 billion to $3.42 billion represents a pay cut in excess of 18 percent. But these numbers are an example of how the adjustments in the revenue percentages would apply under 2009 numbers. The revenues are constantly increasing; if the players got $4.2 billion under the current system in one year, the players would get much more than $3.42 billion under the proposed adjustment in the next year, because the NFL would undoubtedly earn much more money in the next year.

To be honest, this article isn't even completely accurate, but it does give a better picture of what is going on. It states that the owners take $1B off the top of total revenue, but that is adjustable. There is a formula that determines this amount which goes on and on for pages and pages in the CBA. This is mostly based upon the amount of stadium debt and will fluctuate from year to year. Basically, the more new stadiums, the more money the owners keep and the less new stadiums, the more money the players get.

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February 26th, 2010, 10:11 am
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I haven't taken the time to read up on everything recently but one thing I do know is the players will cave before the owners. If there is a lockout year it will be a year the players don't get paid while the owners will still collect their TV contract money and not a cent will have to be paid out to cover salaries. Do the owners want a lockout year? No. But they sure won't be hurt as much as the players.


February 26th, 2010, 5:43 pm
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Since the average career of an NFL player is 3.5 years, how many of them do you think are going to want to sit out an entire season? If they try to play hardball, they will lose out on an entire year of making big bucks that they will never get back. That will weigh heavily on their decision, but I'm afraid that the NFLPA is gearing up for a court fight instead. If that happens, you may want to kiss football goodbye for even longer than a year. Hopefully, both sides won't be that stupid.

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March 1st, 2010, 10:19 am
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