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Making sense of the financial divide between the two sides

GoldBarsAP AP

For most of the past two years, the financial divide between the NFL and the players association consisted of the NFL wanting to double its current off-the-top expense credit from $1 billion per year to $2 billion annually, with the players continuing to get 59.6 percent of everything beyond the first $2 billion.

At one point earlier this year, the players offered to take 50 cents of every dollar earned, without regard to expense credits or anything else that would be deducted before getting out the carving knife.  The proposal represented a lower percentage of total dollars than the players have received in each year since 2002.

We’re told that the discussions eventually began to focus on the team-per-team salary cap numbers, via a process that the parties referred to as “pegging the cap.”  A twist on the proposal based on taking a percentage of all dollars, negotiating a specific per-year cap figure sidesteps the issue of removing certain types of expenses before cutting up the remaining money, which in turn gives the players one less reason to be suspicious regarding the league’s accounting of credited expenses under the off-the-top formula.

The summary of the league’s proposal contains scant details regarding the financial proposal, pointing out only that the owners agreed to the union’s proposed cap number of $161 million for 2014. (Which, of course, implies that there are details about the financial proposal that the league decided didn’t fit within the whole “players bad/owners good” P.R. spin.)

The stumbling block came much earlier than 2014.  We’re told that, for 2011, the NFL had offered a per-team cap of $131 million and the players had asked for $151 million.  The $20 million cap represented the $640 million difference that existed before Friday.

But there was more.  Under a mechanism known as a “true-up,” the two sides were negotiating any additional payments made based on financial performance of the league in comparison to a league projection of four-percent revenue growth in 2011, four-percent growth in 2012, 2.5-percent growth in 2013 (a seemingly low amount given that new TV deals will kick in that year), and 2.5-percent growth in 2013.

Bear with us here because this gets complicated.  (OK, it gets more complicated.)  The players reasonably wanted more money, if the actual performance exceeds the league’s projection that gave rise to the proposed cap numbers.  As we understand it, the owners would have retained the next 1.5 percent above the annual projection, and the two sides were negotiating the amount of the split over and above that amount.

For example, if the league were to have revenue growth of 10 percent in a year during which the projection was four percent, the next 1.5 percent would have gone to the owners and the remaining 4.5 percent would have been shared between the two parties.

On Friday, the league offered to “split the difference” between $131 million and $151 million, with a figure of $141 million.  We’re told, however, that the Friday offer omitted any additional money based on whether the league exceeds its projected revenue growth.

So the league didn’t really offer to “split the difference.”  The league went to the midpoint of the $20 million gap, cutting the total difference from $640 million per year to $320 million.  But with no offer to provide the players with any portion of the revenue that exceeds the projected growth, the offer was something closer to the league’s prior position than the players’ prior proposal.

The players’ characterization of the issues that prevented a deal address this point, explaining that the “NFL demanded 100% of all revenues which went above unrealistically low projections for the first four years.”

As of right now, then, the parties have a gap of $320 million ($10 million per team per year) plus whatever the league earns over and above its projections.  And it’s not an insignificant amount.  If the league earned $9 billion in 2010, revenue growth of four percent pushes that number to $9.36 billion.  Revenue growth of 10 percent would move the number to $9.9 billion.

That’s a difference of $540 million above the league’s projection, which under the players’ interpretation of the league’s offer would make the actual gap between the two sides $860 million for 2011.

We’ll ask NFL general counsel Jeff Pash about this and other issues during his Monday visit to PFT Live.  Though we’d prefer 10 hours instead of 10 minutes, we’ll take whatever we can get.

UPDATE:  The $141 million cap number offered by the league includes salary and benefits.  As Howard Balzer of 101espn.com and The Sports Xchange points out, this is less than the $149.3 million salary-and-benefits number from 2009, but more than the $138.3 million number from 2008.

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60 Responses to “Making sense of the financial divide between the two sides”
  1. str82dvd says: Mar 13, 2011 10:56 PM

    Why is this site shilling for the damn players? The way I see it, they choose to play football over driving a truck or working in an office for a living. How many would choose to do either if the nfl cut their salaries??

  2. arm57romg says: Mar 13, 2011 10:57 PM

    Yada Yada….lots of money I’ll never see in real life…yada yada. Where’s my football?

  3. hedleykow says: Mar 13, 2011 10:57 PM

    Somewhere in the mix there should be a provision that would pay the players extra for really good endzone dances.

  4. jc1958cool says: Mar 13, 2011 10:58 PM

    once all the court rulings are done then you’ll know who will win! goodell(a.k.a.) pinnochio missed played this one, he is not the brightest bulb in the room! IDIOT

  5. drgreenstreak says: Mar 13, 2011 11:00 PM

    Ask Pash how they can come to a fair agreement when one side refuses to provide the data to give weight to their need for more.
    I mean, the NFLPA has shown exactly what they want money for, haven’t they? Silly things like retirement funds, medical care, injury prevention research and other such superfluous stuff that’s fun.

    Maybe the owners can just muster up the cajones to either show their data or simply say, We want more money and we’re going to take it one way or another!”

    No. They are not.

  6. hail2tharedskins says: Mar 13, 2011 11:07 PM

    So, the players are asking for more than they are currently getting…

    Those salary cap numbers are all higher than the last salary cap in 2009.

    I notice how the players said they weren’t asking for any more, so the owners devised a plan that wouldn’t take back anything from the players but restrict the outrageous growth on salaries moving forward. Shrewd move on the part of the owners.

  7. iknowfootballandyoudont says: Mar 13, 2011 11:09 PM

    iIwill say it again and again.
    The players want the whole pie for themselves, so they should tally up all their monies and buy out all 32 current owners. Then they will have their own teams.
    Of course they can’t or won’t do that.
    But they DO want all the money without taking any of the risks involved in buying, owning, and running a business.
    G R E E D
    I can’t wait till the players end up with less than the previous offer the owners prepared.

    Free health insurance for each player and family
    Giving the players 59.6% of ALL the earnings
    SHAME ON THOSE MEAN OWNERS.
    If the team loses money the players still get their cha ching. The team may have to lay off front office personnel, or stadium vendors, but as long as the players get their money is all that matters. I promise you NONE of the players will help out those laid off.
    Millions of dollars with no financial risk or funds put out? That’s a good deal.
    Oh and spare me the ” the players risk permanent injury” and they “make the owners money”.
    If they don’t want the risk, go get a blue collar job!
    Soldiers risk life and limb every day and get paid SQUAT!
    Players don’t make the owners money, the owners make the players money!
    Did those players earn money in college? NO!
    Direct your anger at the NCAA , they are the profiteers and exploiters of your precious players.
    Not the GENEROUS owners of the league

  8. Deb says: Mar 13, 2011 11:09 PM

    Thanks, Mike!

    @Those who keep insisting players offered nothing, pay attention:

    “[E]arlier this year, the players offered to take 50 cents of every dollar earned, without regard to expense credits or anything else that would be deducted before getting out the carving knife. The proposal represented a lower percentage of total dollars than the players have received in each year since 2002.

    The owners demanded an additional $1 billion from players. The owners spent two years stockpiling lockout funds to finance them while they shut down the league. The owners hired a lockout specialist to head their “negotiating” team. The owners kept walking away from the negotiating table before making a ninth-hour offer that didn’t address the disputed revenues. The owners have waged a propaganda war to convince naive fans that labor is trying to hit them up for more money when it’s the other way around. The owners shut down the league–as they obviously intended to do from the start. The players are going to court in hopes of resuming business.

    The percentage of the NFL revenues earmarked for players is comparable to the percentage of budget earmarked for human resources in any labor intensive industry. NFL owners are not suffering and players are paid commensurate with the revenue they generate for the owners.

  9. msclemons67 says: Mar 13, 2011 11:10 PM

    No wonder the players are upset. All these crazy numbers are confusing.

    Perhaps the NFL should have offered strippers, guns and drugs. The players would have understood that.

  10. flacco4life says: Mar 13, 2011 11:13 PM

    Share your thoughts videos and comments on the facebook page by the fans for the fans. Our voice will be heard. Tell NFL owners and players to get a deal done and get it done now! http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fans-Against-the-NFL-Lockout/187050904670512

  11. toe4 says: Mar 13, 2011 11:20 PM

    Okay. I still don’t understand one thing. I have read everything on this website and the following question has never been answered by any party:

    What is the argument against opening your books to prove the financial strain claim?

    And note that “what company would ever do that” is not an argument. I’m looking for something substantive.

  12. mick730 says: Mar 13, 2011 11:24 PM

    Any guesses as to which union “Deb” works? Strange, but I don’t ever remember her posts prior to this labor dispute. Maybe they just weren’t notable, but she can’t seem to stop posting her stuff nowadays.

    My money says she works for a union or a certain political party.

  13. philwauke says: Mar 13, 2011 11:26 PM

    The owners got money and the players want more of it. I just broke your story down in a lot less time.

  14. monkeesfan says: Mar 13, 2011 11:30 PM

    The bottom line remains the DeMaurice Smith group has nowhere made a credible case for its side in this. They have not made a case that somehow the players are getting anything close to the shaft here; if anything it seems the league has made some genuine concessions to them. Either DeMaurice Smith is in over his head here or lawyers are calling the shots – as it is it may be both. Regardless, they need to accept a deal and stop the lockout.

  15. profootballwalk says: Mar 13, 2011 11:31 PM

    “str82dvd says: Mar 13, 2011 10:56 PM

    Why is this site shilling for the damn players?”

    If you think they’re ‘damn players,’ don’t watch football – that’ll teach ‘em.

  16. stoutfiles says: Mar 13, 2011 11:35 PM

    I’m not sure why people here bother trying to take sides. The real losers are us, the fans, the ones who take their hard-earned money and give it to a bunch of greedy owners/players.

    I wish all the fans could show they have some dignity and boycott the league for one season. Just think how much prices would drop on everything NFL related and how we wouldn’t be taken for granted, since WE’RE the ones paying their salaries, buying their merchandise, and financing their stadiums.

  17. thetooloftools says: Mar 13, 2011 11:46 PM

    Until the owners open their books, i don’t trust them one bit.
    “He who has nothing to hide, hides nothing”.

  18. dccowboy says: Mar 13, 2011 11:47 PM

    So there aren’t ‘two sides’ anymore are there? There are the ‘owners’ and 1500 players, each acting as indiviuals. Now that the NFLPA has decertfied and proclaimed that they have no ability or desire to represent the players in a labor negotiation, with whom exactly does the league negotiate a new CBA, Tom Brady?

  19. tiredofthestupid says: Mar 13, 2011 11:47 PM

    But Deb, those durn greedee playurs R gittin more monee than me in my minimum wage job! They Suk…those owners R rich like muh boss. Boss pay muh money! I luv them…

    Too bad somehow, someway, doing “business” for the owners is OK, but if the NFLPA does “business” like other rich people in this country, they are “bad, greedy guys”.

    Especially when the 32 owners who have made their money off of typical big business methods (i.e. shipping jobs overseas and putting average working families out of work) Then, on top of it all, they get taxpayers to fund their stadiums.

    I don’t have the right to tell ANYONE they can’t get what they can. NFLPA get what you can, Owners, get what you can. Then we can watch some football.

  20. dccowboy says: Mar 13, 2011 11:56 PM

    @deb,

    I have a question for you.

    Why is it that the players think they’re entitled to 50% of the revenue (the current deal) or more yet don’t think they should share any of the costs associated with raising that revenue?

    I think this is what the owners are saying. The owners get 50% of the revenue, yet they bear the costs of generating that revenue like building stadiums, team facilities, travel costs, etc etc while the players get the 50% as income without bearing any cost.

    Maybe the players should start forking over the cost of equipment, contributing to stadium costs, new facilities, training camp costs, etc. or back off on how much revenue they get.

  21. east96st says: Mar 14, 2011 12:14 AM

    “The players want the whole pie for themselves, so they should tally up all their monies and buy out all 32 current owners.”

    Something has to be actually available for sale in order to purchase it. NO NFL teams are. Why? Because it’s an extraordinarily profitable business.

    “But they DO want all the money without taking any of the risks involved in buying, owning, and running a business.”

    1) They don’t come close to getting all the money 2) quite a few owners inherited their teams, so their only risk was dying during their childhood 3) It’s a $9 billion dollar business with increasing TV revenues and the vast majority of the stadiums were built with taxpayer money. What risks are the owners taking? 4) risking permanent injury as a player IS taking a risk.

    “Giving the players 59.6% of ALL the earnings”

    You keep repeating this and it’s blatantly false. The owners take $1 billion off the top before the players see a dime. I thought you teabaggers were all about personal responsibility and standing by your actions? So why are blaming the players for a contract that was signed by the owners? They didn’t think it was a bad deal when they agreed to it. Aren’t they supposed to take responsibility for their actions? Or does the teabagger ethic of personal responsibility not apply to white billionaires?

    “If the team loses money the players still get their cha ching.”

    No team is losing money. NONE. If they were, they would sell or move.

    “I promise you NONE of the players will help out those laid off.”

    Ummm, genius, who do think it was that laid those people off in the first place? Hint: the owner!

    “Oh and spare me the ” the players risk permanent injury” and they “make the owners money”.”

    Yeah, facts have a way of ruining your rants, don’t they? 1) they do risk permanent injury and 2) how else do the owners make money off their football teams?

    You really want to keep doing this? At first, you were irritating but now it’s become rather sad.

  22. Lockout2011 says: Mar 14, 2011 12:19 AM

    Insightful article as per the norm here at pft. Also another ice cream headache as per the norm when reading ANYTHING about the CBA.

  23. FinFan68 says: Mar 14, 2011 12:23 AM

    Some of that money the owners are taking off the top is actually going to the players anyway. All the training camp money (per diem) room/board at the nice hotels, travel expenses, etc. are above and beyond any bonus or salary money. Those are general operating costs for most businesses but these guys are not exactly staying at the local Motel-6 and when you add up the cash for the 80 or so players as they whittle down to 53 it winds up being very costly. The operating costs also go to stadium costs, team facilities, groundskeepers, trainers, medical expenses (MRI for every tweak of a muscle) etc. Honestly, it seems to me that the league’s last offer was not as bad as this article tries to make it seem

  24. scytherius says: Mar 14, 2011 12:27 AM

    Fortunately, the Players aren’t going to let the owners screw ‘em. I don’t care if the Season is cancelled … the Owners are doing no more than trying to “bust” the Union.

  25. redgreen3b1 says: Mar 14, 2011 12:33 AM

    I don’t get it if u r against the players n this. The owner gets the owners slice of the pie. The players take the slice they get, and split with 52 other guys. So I know the owner has expenses, but come on! If I was a player. I’m effing fighting!

  26. bigmikeyreturns says: Mar 14, 2011 12:35 AM

    I’m going on strike. I no longer care about any of it until September.

  27. andrejohnsonforpresident says: Mar 14, 2011 1:02 AM

    When are the fans gonna get a union?? Can we organize and boycott both sides??

  28. radrntn says: Mar 14, 2011 1:18 AM

    Like I said before ,

    What we should all do is really tell the players and the owners , and the tv cable company, and the advertiser all to shove it. The players should make a couple hundred grand per season and tickets should only be 10 bucks, cokes, and beers should only be a buck fifty at the game , parking should only be 2 bucks, and tv should be free (really how many years are we away from the super bowl being on pay per view)…greed, plain and simple, and I am suppose to feel sorry that these guys who make millions would have to “swallow” their pride so instead of making 6.5 million per season, they would only make 6.3 million as they did in 2009….get real….enjoy unemployment like 15% of this country already does, and while you are at it buy some kleenex.

    I really don’t care if they can find a bunch of new felons to play the game…i am a fan of the game, and palyers come and go anyhow….trust me if John Doe runs for 2000 yards next year, or whoever catches 30 TD’s we , and another QB passes for 5,000 yards, we will all cheer them on, and buy there jerseys.

  29. bigsuede says: Mar 14, 2011 1:19 AM

    Ilovefootball- please tell me how jed york has risked anything as an owner- please enlighten me????

    And please tell me how professional football players don’t expose themselves to risk? Haven’t there been football players who have been paralyzed on the field? Is having concussions that can bring on early dementia not a risk??? How about the risk to a football players knees? Some running backs need to start using canes in their 40-50′s- is that not a risk????

    And what about just pursuing football to begin with. These players sacrifice their college education to give football their top priority. Most have no shot at getting better than a 3.5. (I had the luxury of having no work, or other priorities so I could get a 3.8- no way i could do that if i were spending 40+ hours a week on football)

    And you are telling me that isnt a sacrifice? that’s not a risk? wow-

  30. richm2256 says: Mar 14, 2011 1:28 AM

    Mike, buddy, I really don’t want to hear all the hoo-hah about dollars and who wants who to do what.

    These clowns on both sides just need to get to the middle ground that they’re going to get to sooner or later, SOONER.

    The fans don’t want to hear the BS from EITHER side.

  31. oldhamletman says: Mar 14, 2011 1:51 AM

    so at the end of the day, the Players want a guaranteed % of the gross revenue of the NFL business without having to take on the risks and investments of said businesses and without having to buy an appropriate equity stake?

    that’s grossly unfair to the owners.

  32. kanatablues says: Mar 14, 2011 2:57 AM

    Yeah, the league proposal wasn’t a complete concession but the fact is this was still a part of the negotiations process. There was a dialogue, the owners made an offer, however late and affronted the NFLPA negotiators egos might have been. Boo hoo, that’s what they are paid for, deal with it.

    Fans don’t want to side with the owners, however, it certainly appears that they were willing to deal but the players had given up on the process. And taking matters to the courts was not a good decision for either side, regardless of the egos involved. The owners moved off their original positions, several times. The negotiations could have continued.

    Ultimately, fans are nothing more than observers and have little effect on this battle so the PR aspect is realistically meaningless. Just who and why are they playing to? But it was the players who decided to take this to the next level – ok. I still love the game and my team, however, I certainly am not feeling the love back. I feel used, keep it up just a bit longer, both sides my not be happy about how I react.

  33. goawayeverybody says: Mar 14, 2011 3:23 AM

    Typical mindless comments like “why is this site shilling for the players” won’t get you anywhere. Actually, I found this article to be the most articulate so far as to what exactly the two sides are squabbling over.

  34. jlswisc says: Mar 14, 2011 3:51 AM

    @ Deb:

    You said

    “The percentage of the NFL revenues earmarked for players is comparable to the percentage of budget earmarked for human resources in any labor intensive industry. NFL owners are not suffering and players are paid commensurate with the revenue they generate for the owners.”

    The difference between the NFL players and other labor intensive jobs, is that in other jobs the skills the workers have, are applicable in other industries, thus if the industry wants to maintain top talent, they must give them the percentage you stated. If they give less, the workers can take their talents and apply them in a comparable industry.

    The same is not true for NFL players. There talents cannot be used in any other industry that will pay them anywhere close to what they get now. The players should be more than willing to take a much small % than what most labor intensive industries pay, because the alternatives for the players is much worse.

  35. dickv says: Mar 14, 2011 4:06 AM

    Not sure why people are down on the players in the fan poll…. from what i have gathered the players did the most sensible thing by decertifying the union to ensure that they could not get locked out and that this settlment will be settled in court because it is too complicated for the owners to even figure out amongst themselves…. while the league presses on business as usual under the current system that the owners unanimously opted out of.

    What did I miss?

  36. chapnastier says: Mar 14, 2011 4:39 AM

    @ Deb

    All of that is just nice and dandy but you are forgetting the main principled point by those of us who rightly support the owners, they are the OWNERS. They OWN the teams. It is THEIRS. They have no legal obligation to show the players a damn thing. No financial statements, nothing. The fact that they were willing to show them anything shows that they were already going above and beyond what they are required to do.

    Call us naive? You honestly think the players didn’t have that law suit all drawn up the entire time? I mean they filed it pretty quickly did they not? The players offered not one concession in this entire process. The detailed offer by the owners was above and beyond fair and the fact that the players just walked away from the negotiating table showed that they had no interest in reaching an agreement. They understand their arguments hold no merit and hoped that they could get judge Doty in a case.

    All of your points are right on but you are forgetting that for everything you said the owners did to prepare for the lockout the players did just as much. For the one millionth time, both sides are equally at fault for this entire situation. The poll on here “proves” that the majority of people know who is to blame for this mess. Hopefully, you will understand it too.

  37. tompapp1 says: Mar 14, 2011 4:59 AM

    Thank you Mike for this very helpful clarification. Its obvious to any objective person that the more you dig into the details that the owners are trying to mislead an easy to mislead public and just as the players have said the owners have been quite condescending in their negotiations. I am confident that if the owners are blinded enough by their greed to let this go to court, a judge perhaps Doty will add up the players transgressions (using decertification as a means to an end) and compare them to the owners transgressions (bargaining in very bad faith, not really putting their cards on the table, attempting to mislead anybody who takes them seriously, shooting for a lockout etc etc) these judges will very likely IMHO conclude the owners are basically full of it and and the owners leverage will be drastically reduced probably disallowing the lockout. History shows when owners go to court against a players union they lose and lose big. If they union did not decertify the owners probably would have played their big trump card of using replacement players. If the fans follow suit as they did in 1987 and attend the games in big numbers the owners would win and win big. The courts that represent the law and fair bargaining is the only entity stopping the owners from riding herd and basically busting the union.

  38. jlswisc says: Mar 14, 2011 5:01 AM

    This post claims revenue was 9 Billion in 2010. If the number is anywhere close to that, someone is lying or your are totally wrong. 9 Billion would be a 44% increase from revenue in 2009 based on the numbers the players and owners are giving us.

    Proof:

    1. Lets call total revenue: T

    2. Owners take 1 billion off the top to start, lets call 1 billion: 1

    3. Revenue after the first billion, aka”Football Revenue” is then:
    (T-1)

    4. Players get 59.6 of “Football revenue”:
    (.596)*(T-1)

    5. In 2009 players got 50.06% of Total Revenue
    (.5006)*T

    6. Thus, in 2009, 59.6% of “Football Revenue” was equal to 50.06% of Total Revenue:
    (.596) * (T-1) = (.5006)*T

  39. jlswisc says: Mar 14, 2011 5:02 AM

    7. Solve for Total revenue (T)
    (.596) * (T-1) = (.5006)*T
    .596T – .596 = .5006T
    .596T = .5006T + .596
    .596T – .0556T = .596
    .0954T = .596
    T = 6.247…..Total Revenue = 6.247 Billion

  40. jlswisc says: Mar 14, 2011 5:03 AM

    Check (and see players take):
    6.247 -1 = 5.247 = “Football Revenue”
    5.247 * .596 = 3.127 = Players Take
    3.127/6.247 = 50.06% = Players share of Total revenue.

    So Mike claims revenue was 9B in 2010:
    (9-6.247)/(6.247) = 44% increase.

    Whats the deal? Who isnt telling the truth

  41. anthonyfromstatenisland says: Mar 14, 2011 5:18 AM

    There is only one way to save the NFL as we know it – and that is to grant it an antitrust exemption.

    You can help by joining the cause:

    http://www.causes.com/causes/591188-grant-the-nfl-an-antitrust-exemption/about

  42. mmickute says: Mar 14, 2011 5:56 AM

    The way I see it is: The owners made an offer! Not only did they make an offer, they *Modified* Their offer to better fit the players. No they didn’t go all the way, and maybe they didn’t even go 50 percent, but at least they did something.

    The fact that the players walked out after the owners finally gave in a bit, is the absurd part and that would be the reason I have decided to ‘side’ w/ the owners on this case.

  43. bonniebengal says: Mar 14, 2011 6:11 AM

    As soon as I saw your title “Making sense of the financial divide between the two sides,” I was able to read between the lines and see the real title which was “Not Enough People Are Siding With the Players, so We Need to Spin This.”

    This is America. We are allowed to make a profit on our businesses here. Why would anyone want to go through all the trouble of owning a business if they were going to make the same amount of money as all of their workers? They wouldn’t.

    The players enjoyed a really favorable deal last time and that deal has expired. The owners realized they couldn’t make a decent profit with that deal, so they are not willing to sign a similar deal again. Meanwhile, the salaries are escalating, with some of the guaranteed money these players are getting being higher than the profits of an entire team.

    Somewhere along the line people starting demonizing business owners and the right to make a profit if you own a business, and that is scary.

  44. fin72 says: Mar 14, 2011 6:16 AM

    Simply put, the greedy, lying owners backed the union into a corner with their phony commissioner and heavy-handed tactics and just got a dose of their own medicine.

  45. idontevenwannaknow says: Mar 14, 2011 6:56 AM

    Trying so hard not to take sides on this, but right now, not really understanding how the owners and players are really “partners”. They are only partners because, on the players side, they can play the game, that is their only “in” on the partner issue.

    I’m not really a anti-union guy when it comes to unions advocating for better working conditions, better hours, on the job insurance, etc., but I;m failing to realize that only the players are taking a risk, and given that, they are entitled, yes, I said it, to a bigger cut of the revenue “pie”. So the players risk injury correct? Don’t the owner (employers) risk a lot of money on their players (employees) hoping that they meet or exceed their potential? Hope for an injury free contract? Check and check.

    I still do not find anything wrong with testing the waters in regards to the possibility of getting more money, but for a person who gets paid very well to workout, eat right, study game film, and play a game, I find their decertification and subsequent lawsuits to be over the line.

    Another thing with the decertification, I think that this decertification is in no way different than the owners setting up a “lockout fund”. Don’t you need some kind of contingency plan in place? Both sides obviously did, I just feel that the owners weren’t allowed theirs.

    With all that said, I find both parties in this to be in the wrong as well as in the right, both parties risk something, the players, their physical and mental well being, which they get paid extremely well for considering how much police, firefighters, soldiers, etc. get paid. The owners risk a lot of money to make a lot of money, someone told me once that is may be investing.

    We will know soon enough if this is a classic case of “biting the hand that feeds”. I just hope that we (fans) don’t have to miss any games while they figure that out.

  46. gbfanforever says: Mar 14, 2011 6:58 AM

    “Why is this site shilling for the damn players? The way I see it, they choose to play football over driving a truck or working in an office for a living. How many would choose to do either if the nfl cut their salaries??”

    What on earth have you been smoking? Did you even read the post? The reason people show up to games on Sundays is the players, not the owners. If the league is making more money, the players feel they should also make more. That’s not rocket science. It’s fundamental market economics. If you manufacture a part for a certain industry and you learn that that industry is taking off and doubling its profits, you charge more for your part.

  47. chapnastier says: Mar 14, 2011 7:36 AM

    @ tom

    No one is being misled, the owners put their last offer on the table that was full of concessions. Was it perfect? No, of course not, but that is the point of negotiations. What kills me is that people still don’t see that the players offered no concessions, not a single one. They just sat there while the owners did everything just waiting to decertify and file suit against them. There is not one piece of evidence that points light in favor of the players. Not one.

    @gbfanforever

    If you show up for the players name me every player on the Packers team. Now maybe you can do that, I know that I can at least name the starters on my team but I certainly can’t name them all from two years ago. Three years ago? I can maybe give you the well known guys. I could probably name a few back ups as well. The average fan can’t even name their offensive lineman! Fans watch the NFL because its football. Notice how the Bills still have so many fans. Their talent has been garbage for the last few years but their fans are still there watching. What about the Raiders? Rams? What about every other team that hasn’t been so great recently? Do they still have fans? Players come and go, the game stays. The NFL is successful because of genius business strategies including marketing and exposure.

    You all need to realize that if the Manning’s and Brady’s of the world were gone, then next guy up would just replace them and we would all go nuts cheering for them.

  48. joepags says: Mar 14, 2011 8:25 AM

    owners should 45% players 55%, cause without the players, the owners would just own empty parking lots!!! the 18 game schedule, in my opinion, stinks!!

  49. paul82461 says: Mar 14, 2011 9:14 AM

    Get rid of the Union, now is the time. Each player negotiates their own contract. Shut Up , Play Football. The End

  50. johnny1979 says: Mar 14, 2011 9:25 AM

    After reading through as much of this garbage as I can possibly take, I side with the owners. I believe the players never wanted to negotiate fully, because they have Judge Doty in their back pocket. Smith is more worried about his own personal agenda, and the quicker he’s out the better. The players walked away from a pretty good deal on Friday, and to decertify at 4 or 4:30 pm Friday WHILE negotiating with the owners is awful. SHAME ON YOU NFLPA!!

    I would trust Pash and Goodell before even considering trusting Smith and Mawae

  51. locutus says: Mar 14, 2011 9:47 AM

    It saddens me to see so many loser, pro-union, anti-business shills reading this site and clicking the up and down responses. Unless it is done by only a few or, gasp, the site owners.

    I guess that is the reason Obama got elected. This “new generation” wants something for nothing. I mean, why not? Look how good it worked out for all those communist countries.

  52. toe4 says: Mar 14, 2011 9:49 AM

    Okay, so two years ago the owners told the players that the time for their sweetheart deal is over the owners could no longer afford it.

    The players said “fine, but you have to prove the harship you are claiming”

    The owners said “no.”

    The players responded with “This is going to get ugly if you don’t, you know that right?”

    Two years later the owners still said no, the players decertified and sued and now the NFL says “WTH they did exactly what they told us they would do, those greedy players!”

    And in all this nobody has answered one simple question:

    What is the argument for not opening up the books? Why is it okay for the owners to not prove their claim of financial hardship?

    People are mad at the players for asking the owners to prove it (is seems sensible to me) and the owners refuse to prove it. The only way the players can get the owners to prove it is to sue them, so they did. The owners left them with no other option, but someone the players are at fault.

    Apparently the fans believe the owners can be trusted.

    As if they haven’t been watching football their entire lives. When was the last time an NFL team was honest about something?

    We love our coach… you’re fired.
    This guy is our starter… you’re traded.
    We want to draft X… we draft Y.
    We wont’ pay that much money to a rookie… here is your money.

    Clearly the owners are a trustworthy bunch.

  53. FinFan68 says: Mar 14, 2011 9:53 AM

    One number in this mess will undoubtedly be true. The cost of litigation will be transferred to the fans eventually.

  54. vallone1 says: Mar 14, 2011 10:02 AM

    For all you people defending the owners remember that these same wonderfull people are extorting huge amounts of money from your cities. They threaten to move their teams if we don’t build mega stadiums (without opening their books to them).

    I hope you guys never have to go through the pain of loosing your teams for no aparent reason than you must build us a new stadium.

    Thirty of these wonderful people voted to move my team to another city because we were in much worse finacial shape than them and could not do it on their timetable. The stadium was full every week and they still moved.

    They could all burn in hell for all I care.

  55. myeaglescantwin says: Mar 14, 2011 10:12 AM

    Let me just say,, this clears nothing up. i get the points made because i have a finance degree. You never state what the money is for or how it can be used.

    The entire second paragraph is one huge run on scentence. all you do is throw out useless numbers and “what if’s” throughout the rest. & to think you guys went to college for journalism. laughable.

  56. Deb says: Mar 14, 2011 1:48 PM

    @mick730 …

    ROFL … that post made my day!!! I have posted on this site every day for the last two years and on CFT every week for the last two years. A lot of these commenters have been spitting tacks at me for a loooong time, baby. I’m self-employed and have never belonged to a union in my life. But if you think I sound like a labor rep, I’m flattered :lol:

  57. Deb says: Mar 14, 2011 1:59 PM

    @chap …

    Did you miss the part about how the players were willing to take a cut that put them back to pre-2002 levels? But that was when the owners were walking away from the negotiating table. They only came back in the ninth hour when it would look good for the cameras.

    Since the owners had been stockpiling funds for two years to get them through a lockout, yeah, I think the players had to put a strategy in place. But they don’t have any funds in place. So I don’t see the two situations as comparable. Any way you look at it, the players are reacting, not instigating.

    chap, you should know by now that I’m not swayed by the crowd. These polls aren’t scientific, and even if they were, popular opinion isn’t necessarily right. Popular opinion in this country was against breaking ties with England and for continuing the institution of slavery. Popular opinion is usually for doing what’s easiest–which for most people is going along with the status quo and backing the folks who put money in their pockets.

  58. Deb says: Mar 14, 2011 2:20 PM

    @dccowboy and jlswisc …

    That 59+ percent of revenue going to the players includes health care costs and benefits for retirees. It’s not simply salary for current players. It’s the same for any business that’s revenue is generated primarily by human resources. The bulk of the budget is devoted to personnel costs. And the money paid to workers is commensurate with the revenue they generate. The owners are the ones who set the salary cap and bid up the players’ salaries–especially those owners like Jerry Jones and Paul Allen who used their personal wealth to skirt the salary cap by handing out large signing bonuses.

    This isn’t a typical employer/employee relationship. It’s more a partnership as with an actor/producer. The producer puts up the money for the writers, director, props, sets, locations, meals, accommodations, publicity, etc. The actors make millions for their unique talents and name recognition. But the producer owns the property and will continue reaping profits after the actors has been paid. The same is true of an NFL club owner. He continues profiting from the increasing market value of the club long after individual players have retired.

  59. toe4 says: Mar 14, 2011 10:53 PM

    I just realized why so many want to side with the players or with the owners. If we can blame one party than we don’t have to hate football, we just have to hate half of it.

    I’m officially disgusted.

  60. sdw2001 says: Mar 18, 2011 2:19 PM

    iknowfootballandyoudont writes:

    “Giving the players 59.6% of ALL the earnings”

    That is patently FALSE. Its 59.6% of the monies over $2billion. If it was all revenues, it would be tens of millions more for the players than was actually offered.

    9 billion total (current) minus 2 billion deduction=7 billion. They get 59.6% of THAT, not the full 9. You’re talking about over a billion dollar difference there.

    Disclaimer: I blame the NFLPA* far more than the owners.

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