- Today in Rosemont, Ill. all 32 NFL owners are meeting to hear details of a potential new collective bargaining agreement with the NFL Players. ESPN is reporting that some details of this potential deal are emerging. They include:
- Players will get 48 percent of all revenue. (Currently, players get 60% of revenue after owners take $1 billion off the top.)
- Teams will have a rigid salary “floor,” requiring teams to spend over 90% of the salary cap on player salaries.
- There will be a rookie wage scale.
- A new 16-game Thursday night package will be introduced to boost revenue.
- Owners will get credits for stadium construction.
This all sounds pretty reasonable to me. Apparently a lot of other people think so too, as there’s optimism a deal could be struck within a few weeks. That’d be amazing.
Unfortunately, there is (at least) one man who could screw all this up: Bills owner Ralph Wilson.
Mr. Wilson was one of only two owners to vote against the 2006 CBA arrangment. He is well known for taking a hard-line stance in negotiations with players, and for refusing to along with the other owners if he feels small-market teams like Buffalo aren’t getting a fair shake. If there isn’t going to be more revenue sharing amongst the owners, Wilson will want his money from somewhere.
However, there are several other owners with the opposite approach. They simply want a deal done, and they want it done now.
The battle between these two sides could decide the ultimate fate of football in 2011. If Mr. Wilson convinces some other owners to take a harder-line stance and ask for more from the players, this lockout could continue for a while. If not, hopefully a deal will be done soon. And the vote will probably be 30-2 again, with Buffalo and Cincinnatti dissenting again.