Sports That Matters
July 29, 2019
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The NFL 10-year labor agreement is due to expire in March 2021. Owners and players union members have been working throughout the summer to renew the agreement.
Negotiators on both sides have said they are encouraged by the tone of the meetings, particularly compared with eight years ago, when the owners essentially demanded roughly $1 billion in givebacks and locked out the players for four and a half months, delaying the start of training camps.
The League and the Union have committed to meet regularly in the coming months, which will involve staff, NFL leadership, members of the NFLPA Executive Committee and Player Representatives.”
The NFL is on the verge of surpassing $15 billion in revenue, with the league’s television deals due to be extended within the next year. Each team received $255 million of shared revenue last year, with most of it coming from television.
In the current collective bargaining agreement, players get roughly 47 percent of the league’s revenue. If the NFL players want to get closer to the NBA players CBA they must go up to 50 percent of the leagues revenue.
A rookie wage scale was introduced in the 2011 CBA to end increasingly gigantic contracts for early draft picks. Sam Bradford received a six-year, $78 million deal after he was the No. 1 pick of the 2010 NFL Draft. In the most recent draft, Baker Mayfield received a four-year, $32.68 million contract for being the No. 1 pick. The wage scale is probably here to stay, but the NFLPA could aim for higher amounts for rookies or shorter contracts for first-year players that lets them cash in on second deals sooner.
The franchise tag could be in the crosshairs too with players now threatening to sit out seasons and Le’Veon Bell even following through to avoid it. The tag originally served to give teams more time to extend stars, but now it’s become a way to artificially avoid allowing the best players in the game to set the market higher at their respective positions.
Some owners would like to see rosters grow to 57 players from the current 53 man rosters. Health concern are on the minds of the owners and it would increase the number of dues-paying union members.
The players on the other hand would like to see expanded medical benefits for retired players and even lifetime health care. “I know a big concern for guys is medical care for lifetime,” Malcolm Jenkins, a union representative for the Philadelphia Eagles, said on “The Rich Eisen Show.” “We put our bodies on the line. Guys are dealing with some serious medical issues once they leave the game.”
Players receive five years of medical insurance immediately after they retire, but only if they have spent at least three seasons in the league.
Another issue being debated is the move from 16 to 18 regular season games. Fans and players are not excited about the four pre-season games they have now, so dropping two pre-season games and adding the two to the regular season makes sense. This would make a second bye week for teams and the Super Bowl pushed back to later in February.
“I don’t see an 18-game schedule under any circumstance being in the best interest of our players,” DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the N.F.L. Players Association, told ESPN this month. “If somebody wants to make an 18-game proposal, we’ll look at it. I haven’t seen anything that makes me think it would be good for the players.”
DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the N.F.L. Players Association, told ESPN this month. “I don’t see an 18-game schedule under any circumstance being in the best interest of our players,” . “If somebody wants to make an 18-game proposal, we’ll look at it. I haven’t seen anything that makes me think it would be good for the players.”