They all had an opinion, the people I spoke to on Friday and Saturday, the ones who returned Emails, and texts.
I canvassed a select group of NFL people, an agent, a just retired player, a longtime retired player, and a current member of the Chargers, to get a cross section of opinions on what is going on in the NFL…’off the field’.
It is a busy time in the NFL. The combine in Indianapolis wrapping up as teams got a closeup look at the Crown Jewels of draft talent.
A busy time too, with impending free agency, and a veteran laced group of quarterbacks out on the market for the first time ever.
A busy time too with an upcoming vote of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, where owners carve up the ever-growing revenue pie, and whee the Union and the owners flex their muscles to get the best deal.
Here’s what the cross section of those around the NFL volunteered ‘anonymously’ about where things stand in the NFL.
“You’re going to trust the owners to do right by you on a 10-year contract extension? Not me. I would only vote yes on a much shorter CBA extension or one with a Union re-opener if the economics change. This deal has to be better thought out about how things could-might change. It is not just about current money-but future money too. Wish we had a second bye week. People don’t know how much value there is in getting players rest-healthy-prepared. That from a CURRENT Chargers player.
From an AGENT. “This is a good deal, considering the massive pay bump every category of players gets, especially the entry level players and the mid-level veterans. I am surprised no one addressed any change in the Franchise Tag rule. The owners backed away from the extended health plan (8-years) for retired players but there are upgrades in lots of areas”. My question would be why should Union stay stuck at 48.5% of the total revenue pie in an industry that will continue explosive growth to 25M in a couple of years? It is a partnership yes, but it becomes a one-sided deal after the third year or so of a 10-year pact, with the players shares frozen. The Union needs to have a shorter contract, or a re-opener clause halfway thru this partnership”
The JUST RETIRED player: “17-games and the additional playoff teams puts more money into the pot for everyone. They should have pushed harder for the 2nd bye week. The reduction in padded practices and the limited OTA workouts might sound good for players health, but not good for coaches. Less teaching time. Less time to practice at full speed. Less quality in games early in season. More international games-makes it tougher on players.”
From a LONGTIME RETIRED player: Every new CBA-we have gained things, but the owners have gained things too. Our biggest concern, post-career health care, and that did not improve. The current guy only thinks in today’s dollars, rather than long-range dollars. I am doing okay. I have retired Chargers players who are not doing well at all. I cannot forgive past leadership, the Tagliabue era, for the concussion situations that were allowed to exist. I credit Goodell for needing to change the culture of the game, the hitting, the injury factor. There are 22-retired players who committed suicide. There are 202 of 211 brains that had serious CTE that Boston University researched. Adding more games-does that prevent these things from happening in the future? 17-games is wonderful for fans of Thursday, Sunday and Monday night football. Not so wonderful for the wear and tear on guys on the roster.”
It is interesting to see the battle lines being drawn now.
Union Chief DeMaurice Smith spoke out Friday, saying this was the best deal they could get after 300-days of negotiations, and they got a lot.
The window to vote will likely open next week for the 1,900-active NFL players and there has been a vocal element against the deal by names you know. Aaron Rodgers, Richard Sherman, JJ Watt, Russell Wilson have all sounded off, and they are influential people. Can the ‘militants’ influence the masses?
There are so many younger players, minimum dollar players, probably half the roster of each team, who will jump at the pay raises.
The veteran players know this game, its history, how the owners and the league office operate. That is why they speak out.
Listed below are the fine print points the players will have to read before they say yes or no.
..2-new wildcard teams for 2020 playoffs
..Salary cap go from 188M-to-200M-to-300M in 3-years.
..Teams can use either Franchise Tag-or-Transition Tag-once year
..All players get 17th game-check equal to regular game checks
..Teams will play 9-home games-7 road one year…then flip next year
..Drop idea of 16-neutral sight or international games
..Limit NFL to 10-international games a year
..Allow teams to recall 3-players from Injured Reserve each year
..Stay at 1-bye week in season
..Preseason schedule will drop to 3-games for 2021
..Teams will have 2-full weeks to prepare for NFL opener
..Reduce days in pads in training camp from 28-to-16
..8-full off days in each training camp
..Limited days in pads in regular season
..5-days non contact to start preseason camp
..Reduced OTA workout schedule in spring
..Players allowed to be in facility for max of 12-hours a day
..Players who have contract-refused to report to camp-lose 1-year service-free agency
..Players fines for holdouts in camp increase to 50,000 a day-cannot be rescinded
..55-man roster..48-active game day
..12-man practice squad…expand to 14-players in following years
..Ban on teams signing practice squad players from other teams
..Continue plan-retired players get 5-years medical health coverage
..Add Vision coverage to health coverage
..Upgrade stipend for retired players
..Revenue split goes from 47% to 48.5% immediately-but frozen then
..100,000 pay raise for all rookies-1st-2nd year players minimums
..Eliminate discipline for positive marijuana test
..Players put into clinical counseling program for marijuana test
..Continued research on use medical marijuana
..Increase suspension for steroid use from 4G-to-6G…Repeat offender 10G suspension
..Increase penalty for tampering with samples drug tests from 6G-to-8G
..Increase suspension for DUI from 2G-to-3G..2nd time offender 6G.
..Retain ‘Stadium Credit’ fees-owners used for NFL-G3-Funds
You like the NFL, you like more games.
You play in the NFL, you like to make more money
You survive in the NFL, you need rest-health-luck not go get hurt
You own an NFL team, the profits get bigger and bigger.
Read it…React to it.
Would you sign the deal?
Email me: via my *website .. www.leehacksawhamilton.com