The NFL Owners Proposal to the NFLPA
Trying to figure out who is at fault in the now closed labor negotiations between the NFL and the players association is maddening. On the surface it appears to be a conflict between two entities who have more couch cushion money than I have to my name.
While the dollars at stake may not be relatable to you and I, dollars are the root of the conflict. I'd say that up until Friday, the majority of people were on the side of the players, but after a carefully, and well crafted response to the cease in negotiations by the owners, I've sensed a shift in thinking.
The smartest thing the owners have done in reducing their blame is make public their offer to the players. I have listed the bullet points in the offer below. What I can't comment on is the level of truth in the whole mess...all we need are television and radio commercials slamming each other and the situation will resemble a Presidential election.
Here's what the owners supposedly offered the players. I'll let you decide who is most to blame:
1. To more than split the economic difference between us, increasing our proposed cap for 2011 significantly and accepting the union’s proposed cap number for 2014 ($161 million per club).
2. An entry-level compensation system based on the union’s “rookie cap” proposal, rather than the wage scale proposed by the clubs. Under the NFL proposal, players drafted in rounds 2-7 would be paid the same or more than they are paid today. Savings from the first round would be reallocated to veteran players and benefits.
3. A guarantee of up to $1 million of a player’s salary for the contract year after his injury, the first time that the clubs have offered a standard multiyear injury guarantee.
4. Immediate implementation of changes to promote player health and safety by: reducing the off season program by five weeks, reducing OTAs (organized team activities) from 14 to 10 and limiting on-field practice time and contact; limiting full-contact practices in the preseason and regular season; and increasing number of days off for players.
5. Commit that any change to an 18-game season will be made only by agreement and that the 2011 and 2012 seasons will be played under the current 16-game format.
6. Owner funding of $82 million in 2011-12 to support additional benefits to former players, which would increase retirement benefits for more than 2,000 former players by nearly 60 percent.
7. Offer current players the opportunity to remain in the player medical plan for life.
8. Third-party arbitration for appeals in the drug and steroid programs.
9. Improvements in the Mackey plan (designed for players suffering from dementia and other brain-related problems), disability plan and degree-completion bonus program.
10. A per-club cash minimum spend of 90 percent of the salary cap over three seasons.