“NFL-Union…Everything is a Bargaining Chip”
They are all out there…all these retired players I knew in the NFL.
Some have good jobs, like John Lynch, Junior, now the GM of the rebuilding San Francisco 49ers.
Some have good coaching jobs, like Dennis McKnight, now OL coach of the CFL Hamilton Ti-Cats.
Some are retired, like ex-Chargers Donnie Mack, Pat Curran, Jim Laslavic, Charley Joiner, John Carney, Darren Bennett, Gil Byrd, and in good health.
Some are not, with a full menu of problems. The worst with head trauma, possible Alzheimers, dementia, early stages of Parkinson’s. Brain damage that will never go away. Concern for guys like Billy Ray Smith, Vencie Glenn, Gary Plummer, Joe Phillips and more.
Some in need of hip-knee-shoulder replacement surgeries.
Some scared about neck injuries, or believing they are headed towards serious problems from concussions.
They all made money, some are successful in their post football careers. Some are hurting badly. They are suffering, and their families are suffering.
The NFL has already committed 965M-towards the concussion settlement.
Some players have been paid, others are upset the process drags on and on.
But now there’s a new problem on the horizon.
The NFL is now a 15B a year industry. It’s about the game, and about the profits for owners. I don’t see any of these owners suffering the maladies their players are afflicted with.
And now we are headed towards a possible work stoppage after the 2020 season. Collective Bargaining talks are underway between the NFL and the Union.
They will argue about how to further split up the pie of profits the NFL sweeps in annually. That is typical.
But this negotiation is different.
The owners are proposing the regular season schedule go to 18-games a year. They would swap out 2-preseason games to get to 18.
They are proposing the NFL playoffs add 2-more wildcard teams…taking the post season tourney to 14-teams.
It means more revenue for the most profitable sports league in America. It means more profits for the owners, and of course more money for the Union to distribute to players.
But there will be tradeoffs.
The NFL Union wants approval for Medical Marijuana to be used as an offset to pain killers. Medical research has shown it helps manage pain. Some one third of the state’s allow marijuana to be sold. The NFL still has it on its banned list despite it’s social use around the country.
The Union also wants things like an increased active roster to 60-players, because of the injury factor in the game.
They want the end to ‘franchise tags’, which can inhibit the movement of star players from one team to another.
They want the discipline powers of the Commissioner either reduced again, or deleted, whereby an arbitrator would decide all suspensions, regardless of whether it’s on (personal fouls) or off (domestic abuse-arrests) the field.
Much of this is typical negotiations, trade this for that.
But in an era where concussions and serious injuries are so much part of the game, how absurd is it to take the regular season schedule to 18-games, and add an extra layer of playoff games?
And more importantly, with the increased risk of injuries, why is the NFL so against ‘Medical Marijuana’ by prescription for players to help them deal with pain?
Here’s the biggest question I have. Why does treatment of injuries, pain relief, even have to be a negotiating chip?
Shouldn’t players suicides and the opioid crisis in the US, be enough for owners to understand taking care of their product, the players, is more important than anything else?
Fans don’t buy tickets to see the Commissioner, nor any owners, not Robert Kraft-Jerry Jones or Dean Spanos, do they?
They come to see their star players, spread across the league. It would be nice to know the employer was doing everything possible to protect the product on the field, that makes them so much profit.
It shouldn’t be about profits and money, every minute of everyday, should it Roger Goodell?