I have had a mad-on about the NFL CBA meetings. It has gone on for about a month now. And I am surprised at myself. I am not upset about the owners and the decisions that they have made. I am plenty PO'ed at the NFLPA. These people have decided that they are going to hold their employers over a barrel and not try to be true partners with the NFL, but they have decided to try and beat the owners and the League itself to enrich themselves.
The pie for revenues are estimated at $9.3 Billion this past year. The owners took $1 Billion off the top for expenses. So that leaves $8.3 Billion to be divided by the owners and the players. And here is where the players are just being too greedy. They get 59.6% of that $8.3 Billion. That is over $4.9 Billion that is going to the NFLPA. That leaves $3.4 Billion for the League and Teams. So the players are actually taking in more revenue than the league and it's teams. Holy crap. A business that says that the only some of the employees get this percentage of revenue. And they have no risk in the profitability of any team or the league. Add all the other employees of the teams and the League and the revenue that the owners get would probably be down between 25-30%. Now add all the expenses and other things that the teams and the league have to pay for. And now tell me that the owners are making unreasonable demands. They aren't and most everybody knows it.
And in looking at the League's proposal that they gave to the NFLPA, it is more than fair. For the Salary Cap, the NFL went up to what the union wanted but only after 3 more years in increasing the Cap incrementally. They worked on a Rookie compensation package that would keep the money down for Picks 1-16, but the rest of the players drafted wouldn't get any less and the money that would have been paid to untested rookies would go to veteran players and retired players. Hmmm. It seems to me that the NFLPA is supposed to be working for the players of today and the retired players. That looks like a good proposal to that end. The owners also agreed to pay up to $1 Million in salary for a player that was hurt a year ago and couldn't return because of the injury. Damn. Looks like the NFL is willing to help those that might have problems with injuries.
Another thing that the owners cave on is the 18 game schedule. They were willing to work with the union and see if they could negotiate about an 18 game schedule. That was a non-starter for the NFLPA. $82 Million from the owners going to retired players. The opportunity for current players to stay in the medical plan for life. Where else do you get that opportunity? And more rules and implementation of safety standards and player health. That should have satisfied cheapshot artists Hines Ward and Rodney Harrison. And yet, that wasn't good enough.
Why wasn't it good enough? Because the players got bad advice from DeMaurice Smith. This wasn't about trying to find agreement to prevent problems, this is a bold money grab by the union. No private corporation should have to open their financial statements to the employees. Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Ben Leber and every other player only should have financial information to one team, and that is Green Bay since the team is publicly owned. They are employees, not stockholders or partial owners, they are employees strictly. And the players aren't thinking about this past season when there were more blackouts than there have been in the past 15 years. Ticket prices are priced sky high and in case they haven't been out in the real world, there is a tough economy out there. People are feeling the crunch, but yet the players listened to their union head and are trying to grab more and more money for themselves. It isn't about the players before or after them. This is about the current players wanting more money, pure and simple.
If you look at my fandom, I primarily root for my team, not individual players. When Warren Sapp played for the Buccaneers, I rooted for him each and every week. When he went to the Raiders, I wanted him to fail to prove that he wasn't that good. The NFL is more about the true Superstars and the Teams rather than the players. Tell me that Buffalo Bills fans are cheering Chad Greenway and the way he plays each and every week. They aren't. Why? Because he doesn't play for their team. The name on the front of the jersey means much more than the name on the back. And I am tired of the names on the back of the jersey trying to make themselves more important than they are. And until the players can figure that out, we are going to have bad blood between the owners and players when it comes to financial negotiations.
It is the union's gambit that their favorite judge, Judge Doty, from Minnesota will find in their favor for almost every ruling. And you will see after there is a new agreement, that the NFLPA will reconstitute with the same people on top showing the world that this decertification was not serious. It is the ploy of the money hungry players to get their employers to pay them more than the employer wants. And that is the bottom line for this problem. And that means that the problems come from the players and the former NFLPA.