Pro Football Talk wrote:
NFLPA PREPARING FOR WORK STOPPAGE
Liz Mullen of Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal reports that the NFL Players Association's board of player representatives voted earlier this month to place all annual player dues into a war chest, which will be used by the union in the event of labor strife that could arise as the current CBA inches toward expiration after the 2007 season.
Normally, player dues of $10,000 per person are refunded at the end of each year.Â â€œThe reps voted not to refund the dues in 2005,â€ said NFLPA General Counsel Richard Berthelsen told Mullen.Â â€œItâ€™s for the need to be prepared for any uncertainties of the future.â€
The NFL and the union have placed an uncapped year into the final season of each version of the CBA since the landmark agreement creating true free agency was reached in 1992.Â Since the uncapped year places additional restrictions upon eligibility for free agency, it creates an incentive for both the league and the union to extend the agreement before the final year of the deal, which in theory will help to prevent a work stoppage, either through strike or lockout.Â Still, the perception is that the uncapped year will be of greater benefit to the players than to the league -- which should create an even greater incentive for the NFL to extend the deal well before the players can get a whiff of life without a salary cap.
And, for the first time, the possibility of an uncapped year seems greater than ever.Â Berthelsen says that the chances of it happening are "at least 50-50, if not more."
The bigger issue, as widely reported last week, is whether the NFL owners can reach agreement as to the sharing of local revenues, which the union is trying to get its hooks into as part of the total salary cap calculations.
Pro Football Talk has been mentioning the Labor Agreements for months now. And although I'm not ready to say its a 50-50 situation, I do think the potential for "labor strife" is stronger than probably what most people think.
I do not wish my beloved NFL to strike, but I think considering the issues that have come up in recent years with the NBA, NHL, and especially MLB, the NFL definitely needs to work out a CBA that can be good for the next 30 years, while this latest one seems to be running out of steam around Year 15.
This CBA is fine, but there are definite issues that need to be addressed. None of them are huge. The big issue is always the salary cap, and I personally believe that the NFL should be a bit more lax in the salary cap. Every year, despite people saying teams are doing better jobs negotiating the salary cap, it is a growing list of veterans that are released at the end of the year, not because of performance but price tag. If it were me, the league should add at least $5 million more to whichever planned cap figures they have down the road. So this year's cap would be around $90 million, which I believe at the start would have only meant 2 or 3 would have ended 2004 over the cap, and thus the Titans (as one example) "rebuilding" would not be so dire.
One thing I'm confused about is that I believed that 2010 is the first/only uncapped year, although repeatedly PFT has indicated 2007 is.