As Jason wrote on Wednesday, the league and NFLPA met in Washington DC to restart talks on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement and, hopefully, preventing next month's NFL lockout. Is the NFL trying to tease us now?
Yes. At least the sides are reaching out. Talking. Maybe we won't lose any regular season games this year. Yes! Hah, the devil laughs. No, his voice booms. According to ESPN's Chris Mortensen, talks broke down as soon as the players demanded 50% of "all revenue generated by the league." Players currently receive 59.6 cents to the dollar of total football revenue.
At the current revenue levels, "total revenue" has been defined as an estimated $9 billion gross, minus a $1 billion credit in the owners' favor. In the current CBA deal about to expire, the union's share has been estimated around 60 percent of $8 billion, once the $1 billion credit was subtracted.
According to Mort, if the league capitulates to that demand, they'll "forgo its request to examine the league's financial books", which the NFLPA has been demanding since the start, something the league and owners have no intention on providing.
A union source said that if the NFLPA accepted the owners' current proposal, it would receive a little more than 40 percent all revenue.
Smith said in an interview with ESPN last week that a 40-to-42 percent share of all revenue would represent the smallest percentage of players' share by any professional sports union.
Because of the player's demands, Thursday's negotiations were canceled and no further meetings "have been proposed".
We tend to agree with Mike Florio's point of view that it was "unreasonable for the league [to storm] out" because by all intentions, the players were merely making an opening offer with "room to move" for a counter offer. "If the NFL truly wanted to do a deal," asserts PFT, "the NFL would have countered."
It makes us think that the NFL actually wants to lock out the players, or to push the negotiations to the brink of a lockout in the hopes of getting the players to drop their proposal without a counter.
That said, if the union made its proposal as a take-it-or-leave it gesture, then it makes us think that the NFLPA wants to force a lockout in the hopes of getting a better deal via the application of litigation and/or political pressure, a strategy that to date has failed miserably.