A giant step in the right directions unfolded yesterday when all the NFL club owners voted nearly unanimously to ratify a labor proposal to end the lockout.
At least the perception is progress has been made, according to the players though the so called “progress” is a farce, and the owners jumped the gun in approving the CBA.
Allot of reports are floating around — more of the same old finger pointing — but here is what we know so far regarding the lockout and the progress being made to finalize and complete the new CBA.
Around 7 pm eastern time yesterday the owners announced they had approved a labor proposal, for ten years, and had worked out a new revenue-sharing system to award more revenue to retired players among others.
The primary elements of the proposed deal include (Subject to NFLPA approval):
- New rookie wage scale (All drafted players signed to 4-year contracts)
- 120.4 Million salary cap in 2011
- Salary floor of 99% of the cap through 2011-2012
- Salary floor of 95% of the cap through 2013-2020
- Four preseason games at least through 2013
- $1 Billion additional allocation to retiree benefits
During the press conference Commissioner Roger Goodell stated that team facilities would open as soon as Saturday and that free agency, along woth the start of the league year, would open Wednesday barring players ratification of the labor proposal and recertification as a union.
It was also announced that the Hall of Fame game between the St. Louis Rams and Chicago Bears had been officially cancelled because of the lockout timeline.
Roughly an hour later NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith sent out an email to the 32 player reps for their respective teams with a statement regarding the owners proposal.
As you know the Owners have ratified their proposal to settle our differences. It is my understanding that they are forwarding it to us.
As you may have heard, they apparently approved a supplemental revenue sharing proposal. Obviously, we have not been a part of those discussions.
As you know from yesterday, issues that need to be collectively bargained remain open, other issues such as workers compensation, economic issues and end of deal terms remain unresolved.
There is no agreement between the NFL and the Players at this time. I look forward to our call tonight.
Smith, others, and the player representatives all attended a conference call to discuss the labor proposal. Reports indicated that the players had not been given the full proposal and would not vote until they had all the details.
Also of major concern was the owners perceived strong arming of the players to re-certify, and the deadline extended to them to agree in a “or else” move by the owners.