NFL Owners on the Right Side in Negotiations

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There have recently been countless reports of the NFL negotiations coming to a conclusion. Then days on end seem to pass without resolving the situation. It has come to the point when fans have started to take sides. Conventional wisdom dictates that an agreement takes place no matter which side wins. Both parties are much richer than the average person, so there will be no sympathy for either if or when it comes to a conclusion.

I, however, am going to make the case for the owners. There is no doubt that the NFL is the biggest of the major sports in the United States right now and that the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, and Washington Redskins are among the most valuable franchises in the world. There is another less fortunate end to the spectrum. The Jacksonville Jaguars compete in an undersized market in front of a disinterested public. The Minnesota Vikings are lagging in revenue due to a less than ideal stadium situation. In most circumstances, readers would think that a blogger is engaging in hyperbole when he talks about the roof falling down on a team…

The first tragedy of the prolonged negotiations has been the cancellation of the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio that was supposed to take place in early August. The residents who work in the hospitality industry in that area are inevitably going to take that decision on the chin. It also takes some of the steam away from the inductions because there is not the hoopla surrounding the entire weekend.

The primary reason that the owners are in the right on this collective bargaining agreement is that they not only opened their books for the sake of transparency, but they also are willing to share at least forty seven percent of total revenue with the players over the next decade. To ensure the competitiveness of the teams, they have also agreed to virtually reach the total allowable cap for all of the clubs combined.

One of the components to negotiations when they first began was the discussion of an eighteen game schedule by the owners. That hasn’t even been brought up in recent weeks, so that is another victory for the players. Management has put its foot down in terms of rookie salaries. Sam Bradford, of the Saint Louis Rams, will likely have a lengthy and productive career, but he did receive a boatload of money upfront before he produced anything as a professional.

Nobody can discuss any part of society without bringing up health care. The plan recently signed by ownership allows players to remain covered for life. It also improves their working conditions by allowing fewer opportunities for contact during workouts. It gives them more days off than previously offered to nurse aches and pains. The increase in pensions for those who played eighteen plus years ago provides them more security. This demonstrates that the current crop of athletes is not ungrateful or unappreciative of those who paved the way for them.

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