New York Giants Co-owner John Mara, risking a significant fine from the league for talking about the negotiations, has come out to voice his concern over the lack of progress between the league and the NFLPA. In his mind the league made the players union a proposal in November, and has yet to hear a valid counter proposal. While the two sides fight this one out, we head towards an uncapped 2010 season, and some form of work stoppage in 2011. Both of those things are bad for both sides, so it is a little troubling that these tow sides cannot see that for themselves.
Of course this is all about money, the players want a bigger chunk of the profits, and the owners want everything to remain as is. The players currently get about 59% of all football related revenue, but when we consider that the national TV contract covers the salary cap for al 32 teams maybe the players have a point. On the other hand the owners assume all the risk, risk that stadiums will go unfilled, and financial risk in an uncertain economy. Let us not forget that many of these owners have invested millions of dollars into building stadiums and what not.
If I were the players union I would immediately file a motion in Federal Court to get the 32 NFL teams, and the league itself to open up their books and let everyone have a peek inside. The NFL is the most popular form of sport in this country, and most of the teams are surely making hefty profits.
In the end the owners are going to have to give up more money to the players, and give up more money to help the player’s union take care of retired players. In return the player’s union is going to have to give in on a hard salary cap, and a rookie salary cap that will limit the risk for team owner’s somewhat.