I was sitting at work Thursday morning preparing for my workday at my computer and I had Tweetdeck open. One of the feeds I follow is the Arizona Cardinals list you can find on the right sidebar of the front page here on ROTB. I caught a conversation that Cardinals kicker Jay Feely was having via Twitter with Pro Football Talk.
Feely was responding to an article discussing the possibility of the NFL without free agency or the draft and the potential effect it would have on the game and, in particular, how it could viably push out all mid-tier players. The article discusses how if there were no salary cap rules, the superstars would be paid exorbitant amounts and young players would come in and get paid small amounts. The four to six year veterans would be pushed out because there just would not be any money. Likewise, the competitive balance that exists in the NFL would disappear.
Feely (who is/would be the player union rep for the Cardinals if there were a certified union) apparently read it and it started a brief debate.
Feely responded to the article, saying:
This article is so blatantly pro NFL, look at make up of reps RT @ProFootballTalk Goodell fears NFL w/o the draft, http://bit.ly/fUgYKP
Pro football Talk responded to Feely:
@jayfeely . . . Reps don't matter any more. You guys decertified and handed the keys to Kessler, who wants wild-west approach.
Then Feely states:
@ProFootballTalk every NFL player from undrafted free agent to franchise QB is fairly represented & argued for in our internal meetings
PFT to Feely:
@jayfeely . . . Jay, the NFLPA doesn't "represent" the players anymore. Unless you're saying decertification wasn't real.
@ProFootballTalk parse words all you want the player reps, now player advocates still communicate w/ lawyers and advocate for our players
@jayfeely . . . Do you agree with Kessler's position that there should be no draft and no limits on free agency?
@ProFootballTalk let's be honest the draft and free agency drive YOUR business and page views, unless your sight crashes,
@jayfeely . . . And there wouldn't be interest in free agency with NO limits? Or a college-style recruiting season? Traffic would go up.
@jayfeely . . . But if the NFL loses its competitive balance with no limits on FA and no draft, everyone loses.
@ProFootballTalk if NFL would agree to true up system that would split revenue 50/50 if revenue exceeds projected growth, we'd be practicing
@jayfeely . . . I agree with you on the true-up, and I wish more of the folks on both sides of the table would realize that.
@jayfeely . . . The heart of the issue is that, as the dollars surpass $10B per year, the owners think 50/50 is too much.
And that's where it ended. I got a little more insight. Personally, I have been more on the side of the league, but I have Feely's back on the issue of revenues that exceed expectations.
The league has been claiming that the amount of money they are actually making is decreasing and this is why the owners need a better deal. But if you exceed expectations, it would make sense to split evenly with the players that bonus.
At least for me, I really wish we could have a Twitter feed of the mediation talks. We all could get a better picture about what exactly is going on and we might all just see them for a bunch of greedy rich people.