On Wednesday, the Green Bay Packers unveiled some of the more important aspects of their annual financial report. The numbers suggest on the surface that player costs are rising at an unacceptable rate; at a deeper level, the information fairly should put the issue of unshared revenues back on the table for scrutiny, discussion, and debate.
Since the Packers are the only team legally required to open the books, the team’s numbers have been and will be carefully studied and dissected. But, from the NFLPA’s perspective, Green Bay’s financial performance represents only one piece of a larger puzzle.
Said NFLPA president Kevin Mawae: “It’s 1/32nd of the financial information we’ve requested in response to their demand that we give back $1 billion and increase our injury risk by playing two additional games.”
Mawae is right. If the league won’t open the books as to all teams, it’s unfair for the league to make any broader arguments or claims based on Green Bay’s numbers, especially since the ongoing drop in the Packers’ operating profits result not from increased player costs, but from decreased revenues due to the ongoing refusal of owners to fully and completely share all revenues.