Is There Hope For Football This Year?

Here at Merlin’s Magic, I tend to shy away from the labor talks. However, there have been some reports that haven’t received much attention that warrant discussion and hope. This article was posted a couple of days ago on Pro Football Talk. The money shot is this quote:

it’s important to keep in mind the fact that, as Peter King of pointed out in today’s Monday Morning Quarterback, the two sides aren’t really all that far apart.

The crux of the dispute relates to money, especially since the non-economic terms offered by the NFL on March 11 contain many very player-favorable provisions,

Take a moment to digest that statement. The two sides are not that far apart. Currently, attention is focused on the court and forthcoming legal rulings. However, it appears that behind the scenes, the two sides are close to hammering out an agreement.

Addicts, this is good news. Sides that negotiate in public have a hard time reaching agreement. Often, ego and pride get in the way once the cameras are rolling. Out of view, people can compromise and reach agreements much easier. So, what is the change? It’s a fairly radical one. Instead of a salary cap determined year by year, the agreement will establish a salary cap each year (called a pegged cap) based on projected revenues. This change will allow teams to manage their cap into the future easier. However, the focus is on what happens if revenues exceed projections. This is where the crux of negotiations are now. How will that slice of the pie be divided? Once that is agreed upon, the hope is that the deal will finalized shortly thereafter and we can get back to football.

What would a potential deal look like and how could it affect the Chiefs roster?

  1. The owners get close to a 50/50 split of revenue with the players taking a smaller slice of the overall pie. This is the owners biggest concern and they will get pretty much what they want.
  2. I expect rosters to increase, both in active roster (players dressed for the game) as well as overall roster. Although there is talk of a temporary increase due to the lack of minicamps and OTA’s, I expect a more permanent increase to be a part of the final agreement.
  3. An 18 game season will not be a part of the agreement at first. However, the owners are not going to give up on this one. The best way to grow the revenue pie is to increase television revenue. The way to do it to add two more games per team and increase the season by three weeks. Yes, I expect an additional bye week per team.
  4. Increased player safety rules. While not part of a CBA, every time I hear about increased player safety rules, I think of the 18 game season. Call me cynical, but I think the safety rules have everything to do with prepping the waters for an 18 game season. The argument I expect to see advanced goes like this. “We made the game safer, so you can play additional games.”

That pretty much covers the big items. The owners care about one thing, more money. Every move they make I view through the lens of money. How does this move get the owners closer to more money? They are fairly predictable once you look at it that way. Other chips like an increased roster (read, more jobs) are chips they are willing to play if it increases the money in their pocket. Right now, I am fairly optimistic that a deal will be struck sooner rather than later and we can get on with more important items. I would much rather talk about the new AA writers (welcome guys!), how many posts Paddy can make before he goes postal?, and just what is Big Matt wearing under those shorts? Scratch that last question, no one really wants that answer and the thought of it could keep you up at night.

OK Addicts, that’s my take, what is yours? Do you expect an agreement sooner or later? What are the major terms you expect in an agreement?


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Tags: Kansas City Chiefs NFL Lockout

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