Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Money, length of season are key issues in NFL talks

Here are some of the main issues… Players' cut of revenue

Under terms of the 2006 labor deal, players currently receive approximately 59.6 percent of most of the revenue — a pot that was roughly $9 billion this season — minus $1 billion set aside to the owners off the top for costs. The owners are asking for another $1 billion ($1.5 billion according to some reports) in credits off the top and then give the players close to 60 percent of what's left. It would essentially be a pay cut of 15-18 percent for the players. The owners argue that the extra 1-1.5 billion would be used to grow the game and make the revenue pot larger in the long run.

Expanding the season to 18 games

The owners want to expand the regular season from 16 to 18 games with the elimination of two preseason games. Their argument is that the extra TV money the two games would generate would expand the overall revenue pot available to the players — to as much as $12 billion in 2011, according to league estimates. The union is opposed because of the greater risk of injury from two extra games and playing a longer season for less money.

"Any change in the season that increases the risk of injury, increases the risk of concussion, increases the risk of a long-term consequence from playing football has the potential to shorten careers and jeopardize the 3.4 average that players have right now without a guaranteed contract, anything that does that is something that is not in the interest or best interest of the players of the National Football League," Smith said. "And that is going to be our position."


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