The NFL and NFLPA must keep negotiations out of the press.
By Bill Smith
The NFLPA issued a statement that it has built a 118 million dollar strike fund.
On Jan. 29th at the NFLPA annual press conference, it released to the media a report that NFL teams were making an average of 24.7 million a year and owners had no reason to opt out of the current agreement.
Then NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell went before the media at the Super Bowl and said the following:
“That report is not accurate. We are very clear. We understand our numbers. The ownership spent a tremendous amount of time evaluating the Collective Bargaining Agreement. I think they came to the conclusion that it was better to terminate that agreement and go into a negotiation where we could work to try to come up with something that would work for all clubs and our players rather than continue on with that system.”
I have no idea if that report commissioned by the players association is accurate or not. I do know one thing. IT DOESN’T MATTER! The fact is that the owners took advantage of a clause in the agreement that they wanted out. Who did what to whom doesn’t matter at all. The old deal is dead and buried. Forget it and move on.
What does matter is that even before the players vote to select the person that will lead their negotiating team, the public cat fight has started. The union and the league know better than that. The next deal between the two is far too important to far too many fans to let the sides begin a public spitting contest that can only end up reducing the chances of a reasonable agreement and increasing the odds of a strike.
My suggestion to both sides is shut the devil up, sit down as soon as possible and work out a deal. The current estimate for the 2010 season is that total revenues will be around 8 billion dollars. There has to be a way to cut up that big a pie so that everyone can afford groceries. Cut the preseason to 2 games and add 2 to the regular season. Season ticket holders are sick to death of paying full price to watch guys play that will be bagging groceries at the end of training camp. Put in a rookie salary cap and allocate more to the veterans. Find a way to give retired players the health care that they have earned. To steal a line from Nike—Just do it.
The fans deserve better from the league commissioner. They deserve better from the owners and the players association. SHUT UP AND FIND A FORMULA THAT WORKS FOR BOTH. Don’t allow an uncapped season that will screw up the balance of power for years. Don’t allow guaranteed contracts that will further degrade the performance of the players. Other than that, we don’t care. We want our football and have paid dearly for that privilege.
The powers that be screwed up the economy and have destroyed our 401Ks. Mine is now a 195K. Don’t screw up NFL football as well.
That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.
Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for NFLDraftDog.com and edits fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .The NFL and NFLPA must keep negotiations out of the press. by Bill Smith