After the NFL owners met for about five hours in Chicago, some information came out that tells us about how the CBA will look more or less once it is agreed upon and the NFL lockout has ended. As previously noted in a FanShot, ESPN's Chris Mortenson explains what the agreement will have as key points.
With the previous CBA, the basic revenue split was 60 percent to the players after the owners took $1 billion off the top. With miscellaneous credits, the actual percentage was more like 53 percent, though. The owners have wanted to reduce that number substantially. At the beginning of the lockout and before, it was reported that the owners wanted to take $2 billion off the top and then split the money less than 50 percent.
The latest sources indicate that the owners will share all revenues without a credit to the owners to start and the percentage for the players would be 48 percent minus credits for things such as building stadiums, but the percentage would not ever go below 46.5 percent.
As part of that, player salaries would have to be pretty even around the league because teams would be required to stay near the cap. One thing mentioned in the past was a salary floor that is 90 percent of the cap. That would eliminate some of the "cheap" moves teams do to make more money.
Players would be restricted free agents after three seasons and after their fourth they could become unrestricted free agents. The Cardinals have four players that will become UFAs as a result.
There will be a rookie wage scale, but the details have not been hammered out.
The players apparently seem to be willing to accept a smaller percentage because of the projected increases in revenues. Projections have revenues doubling in eight years. The increase of actual money offsets the decreased percentage.
Additionally, starting in 2012 there is a plan to have a 16-week TV plan for Thursday night games. That will increase TV moneys. This results in the owners backing off of the 18-game schedule and makes it a negotiable piece rather than one the owners can mandate.
While optimism seems to be running high, commissioner Roger Goodell and league counsel Jeff Pash temper such feelings. Goodell said in his press conference that "there's still much to do and Pash said that it will take "a significant amount of time with the players" to get a deal done.
At this point, that's all we want. The Cardinals have much to do once the offseason begins. But it looks like that the proposal that the owners may be offering in the near future should be one that the players accept. Both sides know that this is at a critical stage.
This, of course, is the information we know that the owners are unified on. Hopefully the players see it as doable. I think they will. If this were to drag out, the offer they could get likely would be much worse for the players.
Whatever "significant amount of time it takes," it's time to get this done now. We want football and would like training camp to start on time.