I wrote on Friday that the NFL Players Association submitted paperwork to decertify their union and take the negotiations from the board room to the court room where they would attempt to sue the NFL for restraint-of-trade antitrust violations. Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees have already agreed to represent the NFL players in court.
In that article, I also wrote that, earlier on Friday, the NFL proposed a deal to the NFLPA but the union turned it down. Here are the particular points of that deal:
1. The NFL proposed that the two sides split the economic differences between them, increasing their proposed cap for 2011 "significantly" and accepting the NFLPA's proposed cap number for 2014, which was $161 million per team.
2. The NFL proposed an entry level compensation system that was based on the union's "rookie cap" instead of a wage scale that the clubs originally proposed. In this proposal, the players drafted from rounds 2-7 would be paid the same amount of money, or even more money, than they are paid now. The savings that would come from the first-round picks would be reallocated to help veteran players and benefits.
3. After a player is injured, the NFL would guarantee that they would pay up to $1 milllion of that player's salary for the contract year. This is the first time that the owners have offered a standard multi-year injury guarantee.
4. The following changes would be made immediately to promote player safety:
- Reduce the off-season program by five weeks, reducing OTAs from 14 weeks to 10 and limiting on-field practice time and contact.
- They would limit full-contact practices in the preseason and regular season
- They would increase the number of off days for players
5. The NFL proposed that any change from a 16-game season to an 18-game season would only be made if the two sides agreed on the change. The 2011 and 2012 seasons would be 16-game seasons.
6. The NFL team owners would boost retirement benefits for more than 2,000 former players by nearly 60 percent by funding retirees benefits $82 million in 2011 and 2012.
7. The owners offered current players the opportunity to stay in their current medical plans for the rest of their lives.
8. The owners would allow third-party arbitrators in the NFL's drug and steroid programs.
9. The owners would improve the Mackey plan (designed for players suffering from dementia and other brain-related problems), disability plan and their degree completion bonus program.
10. The owners proposed a per-club cash minimum spend of 90 percent of the salary cap over three seasons.
Now that you know the particulars of the deal, do you still agree with the NFLPA's decision to decertify and go to court with the NFL?