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Labor issues and the NFL


I think the media will be at the OTA today so I’m waiting for a report out of them.

In the meantime, the opting-out of the CBA by the owners is the big story. The owners have a few issues that are rankling them, including the cost of labor and the rising costs of real-estate/stadiums etc. They want some help from the players in that regard, but Gene Upsahw is sounding an early antagonistic tone.

"The only thing that they have said about what is fair for the players is that we're getting too much," Gene Upshaw, the executive director of the NFL Players Association, said in a teleconference. "They are saying that we have not addressed the cost of stadiums, and we don't recognize those costs. I don't know how they can come to those conclusions after what we've done all these years with helping to finance stadiums. We're the only union to ever do that.

"You get a club like the Dallas Cowboys, who will be getting somewhere between $150,000 for a premium seat [in their new stadium] that used to sell in Carolina for like $12,000. That's a big change in revenue. They want us to pay for some [of] the improvements in stadiums, but they don't want to give us any assets for doing that. They want us to just pay for it; we're not going to do that."

Ha! You just knew Jerry World would come up in this conversation. It’s early, they'll launch many more shots across the bow before they get serious about negotiating this thing. Another issue the owners will attack is the rising cost of rookie contracts.

Gene Upshaw said Roger Goodell told him owners have problems with rookie salaries. Miami Dolphins tackle Jake Long, the first pick in the April draft, is the highest-paid offensive lineman in the league despite having not played a down.

 Hallelujah! This is something they have to get under control, its bad enough if you pick a bust with an early first round pick, but to compound the problem with the weight of a huge contract is bad business. They need to find some sanity in this area.

Here’s another story from the L.A. Times that lays out more of the issues. 

If a new CBA can’t be reached by the 2010 season, it becomes an uncapped year. Speculation is already going on about what Jerry Jones and Daniel Snyder might do under those circumstances. 

But 2010 would be an uncapped year, in which the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins could turn into the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox of the National Football League. Without a new collective bargaining agreement, teams such as the Cowboys and Redskins would be allowed to spend without any limits -– and likely would.

 Wheee! Labor turmoil is fun. Not really. They need to get it together before things get really crazy. I’ve always believed that revenue-sharing and a salary cap are two of the things that help the NFL stay at the top in sports leagues. Adding a rookie structure would be a great benefit, too. But please, at all costs, avoid a lockout in 2011.


Look ahead to our first regular season game with this article on the Cleveland Browns. 

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