Not long after word broke on Saturday afternoon of the NFLPA* Executive Committee’s decision to vote on the proposed labor agreement on Monday, we heard that the open issue regarding the duration of the deal had been resolved, and that the contract would cover a full 10 years, with no opt out.
Multiple sources now tell PFT that the issue remains open.
As we explained Saturday, it shouldn’t. The players receive a guaranteed percentage of revenue over the life of the contract. Long-term stability maximizes revenues not only from the TV networks but also from sponsors and anyone else who would prefer to see long-term labor peace before coughing up long-term megabucks.
Also, let’s not underestimate the value of a 10-year deal to the important process of mending fences with the fans.
We’ve yet to hear a compelling argument in favor of the ability to pull the plug, which reinforces our belief that the players want it simply because the owners don’t — and/or because the owners had it and used it in the last labor deal.
Then there’s the fact that the players loudly have complained whenever the league has allegedly (or actually) reneged on a term that was supposedly settled. In this case, we’re told that this point was settled, and that at the 11th (or as the case may be 12th) hour the players raised the possibility of an early out clause.
Under the proposed deal, the players will 48 percent of the gross, with no limit. And the bar will only go higher and higher, especially once true long-term labor peace has been restored. If there’s any legitimate reason to have the ability to pull the plug after 10 years, we’d love to hear it.