FanPost

How do we get a new CBA?

My first fan post...kinda nervous about it...

I had too much time on my hands this weekend so I was musing about the NFL CBA....My first draft was pretty lengthy and tangented off covering too many facets of the issue at hand, so I decided to abbreviate my thoughts to create a more easy discussion...

The main issue preventing the creation a new CBA is money. Both sides want more money and can't decide on a middle ground that each can live with...

Players want more financial security, while the owners want to reduce their risk. Both sides can agree that they want the best players receiving the highest salaries.

Neither side wants to kill/harm the "Golden Goose" which is the NFL...a lockout may do that...so both sides would prefer not to go down that route.

There are certain aspects of the NFL that prevent a true free market model...some of the more prominent ones are the draft, restricted free agency (franchise tags), and barrier to entry of new teams. Drastically changing any of these effects overall competitiveness and or dilute the NFL brand.

Some form of salary cap should be maintained to keep smaller market teams viable. Players will agree to that because fewer teams mean fewer available jobs. But players want some visibility to maintain a "fair" cap.

In my opinion, the fastest way to get a new CBA is to tweak the existing one and not start anew. It's not like the current system is broken, since both sides are making obscene amounts of money. Make the following tweaks and concessions...

1) Set a  fair cap. Have all teams provide financial figures on their operation that include revenues and expenses from home games stadium sales, television rights, league sponsorship agreements, league licensing profits...with exceptions to stadium income outside of direct football related operation and individual team ancillary sales. In other words, Jerry Jones shouldn't have to share profits from Boxing matches he stages in Cowboys stadium and mugs and t-shirts he sells of the team. Players should share in the profits of the league, not exclusive team profits...do the players assume the risk of an inventory overstock of pink Romo jerseys, or take a pay cut if ticket sales fall short? Penalties should be imposed for teams that do not reach a cap "floor" or exceed a "ceiling".

2) Owner profit sharing should be set against league revenues, not respective/exclusive team revenues. That is, if Jerry Jones sells more Romo jerseys than Yorks sell of Alex Smith jerseys, the Yorks shouldn't get a piece of that Cowboys pie. Conversely, if Jerry is able to sell naming rights of his stadium for 20 times what other owners are able to do, he shouldn’t have to share those profits because he did a better job of promoting his brand. As with better players getting paid more, better owners should make more money.

3) Change the rookie contract model. Impose a cap on the guarantees for the first half of the 1st round. There's no way Sam Bradford should get 50 million guaranteed before he even plays a single snap in the NFL, while Peyton Manning and Tom Brady need to wait on their money. Teams should be able to limit their exposure to "bust" rookies. No guarantee cap on veteran signings. If a team makes a mistake on that signing, they only have themselves to blame. In order to get this from players, owners should concede restricted free agency (franchise tag). A player should not have to deal with this unfair loophole when he has fulfilled his contract agreement. If you want the player, pay him...

4) Finally, I feel sympathy for the some of the retired early NFL players. But why is this even a viable bargaining chip for the NFLPA? Those players were not forced to play in the NFL, why should the NFL now assume financial responsibility? I personally, would like to see the NFL do something to help these players that paved the way for its current success, but this should be handled as a separate matter. I don't see the current players lining up to offset this cost with a percentage of their salary.

We all know a CBA will eventually get done, I just don't see the benefit of the current posturing.

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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