Not sure if this has been put up already. I found this article nice as it breaks down the issues. I still can't believe it is taking this long to resolve these issues.
Posted by Will Brinson
Because you need reminding, there's a lockout going on. Just kidding -- we did think it'd be helpful to break down all the lockout-related issues for you.
Revenue Sharing: Surprise, surprise, but money is the biggest issue between the NFL and the NFLPA. Imagine you and your business partner have a really large pie that’s worth $9 billion. Would you have trouble figuring out who got how much pie? Probably.
Size of the ‘Pie’: The owners have proposed taking $2 billion off the top of revenue -- as opposed to their current $1 billion -- thus shrinking the pie. The smaller the pie, the more contentious the debate to divide it, unless the players are satisfied with a chunk being taken out before anyone starts slicing it.
Financial Information from Owners: The players want to know what the owners are spending all their money on, since they say that the NFL’s profits are declining. The owners don’t want to offer them. This isn’t a dealbreaker ... if the owners are willing to take less pie.
Rookie Wage Scale: Remember when JaMarcus Russell got $60 million in guaranteed contract money? Well, no one on the owners' side wants that to happen again. Repeat: NO ONE. The problem is, the players don’t want to hamstring themselves too much in terms of earning potential and don’t want this to affect veterans either.
18-Game Schedule: Well, it’s an “issue” in that the NFL wants it. But the NFLPA says it won’t even consider the addition of games without boosts to player safety, and maybe not even then. The NFL appears willing to concede 18 games for the immediate future. Players do NOT like the idea unless it means increased paychecks.
Salary Cap: The NFL proposed an 18-percent rollback of the cap during pre-lockout negotiations. You won’t believe this, but the players didn’t really like that idea. Naturally, this is a pretty big point of contention, because the less teams are allowed to spend on players, the less the players can actually get paid.
Player Safety: A sticking point for DeMaurice Smith, player safety is naturally pretty important. The NFLPA doesn’t want players’ careers shortened any more than they already are, and while the NFL does often talk about keeping players safe, there’s a certain hypocrisy with trying to tack on two more games at the same time.
State of the Union: This is actually the lynchpin for both sides in terms of their legal argument. If the courts believe the NFLPA has truly dissolved as a union, they have to lift the lockout. If they don’t, they will not be very likely to lift the lockout.
Semantics: You will hear NFL/owner-folk use the phrases “negotiate” and “collectively bargain” a lot as we continue down this path. You will not hear NFLPA people saying stuff like that. This goes back to whether or not the union actually exists (it does not, technically). The players will take special care not to say anything that could make them appear to really be a union that is collectively bargining.
Longevity: This isn’t mentioned as much, but it might be the most important point, because no one wants a “band-aid deal” that gets the NFL, the NFLPA and the fans back into this position in another five years. A fair deal that spans a decade would be stupendous.
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Thanks for taking the time to find and post this go4. It hit on most of the points that we've all been discussing around here. I'll highlight a few that a of major concern as far as I see it.
Originally Posted by go4bears
Size of the "Pie": The owners have reduced their intial demand of an additional $1 bil give back on top of the $1 bil that they already get through prior agreement. The last we heard they were asking something in the nature of $300k to $400k. So they are reducing that $9 bil "pie" even more claiming financial distress. Problem is that they don't want to back this claim up with the financial data requested. This a major source of the distrust the players have with them but they may overcome this if they get what they feel is the owners best offer. I'd say that they haven't received it yet.
Rookie Wage Scale: The players recognize the need for this but want a part of what's saved by this to be added to vet compensation. I think both parties have agreed to this in principle and all that remains is for the numbers to work.
Salary Cap: In addition to the increase in "off the top money" the owners are asking for an additional rollback in the salary cap and this really sticks in the players craws. I'm certain the players believe the owners are experiencing some financial difficulties due to the economy and are willing to concede something now but no where near as much as the owners have asked for an certainly not without some documentation as to the specifics of those financial difficulties.
Basically the players are being asked to give up a significant portion of what the have already achieved in the prior CBA all because the owners didn't like the deal and are taking drastic steps to take back what they gave away. The players won't accept that unless they are guaranteed a substantial piece of the revenue as league economics improve. The owners are not offering that in the new CBA although the players aleady had bargained for and gotten it in the last CBA. The players see this as "bargaining backwards" or "negotiating against themselves and won't do it. Frankly I wouldn't do it or allow one of my clients to do it either.
Longevity: This goes hand in hand with what I posted above. Both parties would benefit from a long term deal but if they agree to give up an already negotiated position and $$$ now the players will want significant financial interest in the rising fortunes of the league as the economics and therefore the revenue stream increases. They aren't getting much concession from the owners on this and they won't reduce their current demands and do a long term deal without this.
Other issues like an 18 game schedule and player safety are in the mix but right now they're secondary to the monetary issues that have to dealt with a the disagreements bridged before they can get anywhere close to resolving this. I'll just say this, as long as it remains in the courts little or no progress will be made unless it's under a court mandate