Skip to content

“Worst deal in the history of sports” suddenly looks pretty good

ZDPI Getty Images

The past three weeks have entailed plenty of talk about the salary cap as calculated in the new CBA, and whether and to what extent those numbers will spike when the new TV contracts kick in.

The NFLPA reportedly has told players it will.  Patriots owner Robert Kraft has said that it won’t.

Now, Texans owner Bob McNair, who chairs the league’s finance committee, agrees with Kraft.

“It is staying pretty flat for several years,” McNair told Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal while departing last week’s league meetings.  McNair added that, after 2014, the cap will “gradually” increase.

Kaplan’s report also confirms that the union borrowed against future years in order to pump the cap in 2012 from as low as $113 million per team to $120.6 million per team, not much more than the $120.375 million per team in 2011.  The same thing will happen in 2013, which means that gains to be realized in 2014 and beyond will have already been, to a certain extent, consumed by the players in order to drive up the numbers in 2012 and 2013.

The end result, per Kaplan, will be a total of $142.4 million per team in salary and benefits for each of the first three years of the new CBA, with modest annual increases thereafter.

Kaplan points out that, last March, the players walked away from a proposal that would have guaranteed $146 million per team in 2012, $150 million per team in 2013, and $161 million per team in 2014.  (Actually, the document created by the owners in March 2011, a copy of which PFT has obtained, showed a minimum of $148 million in 2012 and $155 million in 2013.)  NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith called that offer the “worst deal in the history of sports,” in part because of the gross reduction in the players’ take and in part because the formula included no portion of the league’s financial upside.

So, instead, the players eventually traded a proposal with a high floor and a low ceiling for a deal with a low floor and a high ceiling.  And for now the numbers are congregating at the floor.

Permalink 86 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Houston Texans, Rumor Mill, Top Stories
86 Responses to ““Worst deal in the history of sports” suddenly looks pretty good”
  1. skoobyfl says: Apr 2, 2012 1:41 PM

    TV ratings go up every year, they’ll fleece the stations for more soon enough.

  2. dolphindad says: Apr 2, 2012 1:42 PM

    wait? players are borrowing money from future caps to pay players in the current cap? isn’t that basically screwing future players? sounds like they are stealing money from future players to me.

  3. dreamofkristen says: Apr 2, 2012 1:43 PM

    So happy the owners got the better deal over those greedy players like Drew Brees.

    Dummy Demo Smith got schooled and the players are paying the price for being dumb enough to elect him as leader.

    Love it when a plan comes together…………just like the owners planned it.

  4. matthewcarlson1 says: Apr 2, 2012 1:45 PM

    So boooring

  5. jordan1177 says: Apr 2, 2012 1:47 PM

    This should go over really well with the players. Good thing they voted D. Smith to lead the NFLPA for more years!

  6. erod22 says: Apr 2, 2012 1:47 PM

    Demaurice Smith is in so far over his head on this. Owners were laughing in the backroom at him, and the player reps that went along and acted like they had a clue what was going on. The owners didn’t get wear they are getting outdone by amateurs like Smith and company.

  7. maryannwiththeshakyhands says: Apr 2, 2012 1:47 PM

    There goes a few minutes of my life I’ll never get back.

  8. rculross7 says: Apr 2, 2012 1:50 PM

    “Oops guys, my bad”

    -DeMaurice Smith

  9. mjkelly77 says: Apr 2, 2012 1:50 PM

    NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith called that offer the “worst deal in the history of sports” …
    __________________

    Maurice the p!mp has a flair for the dramatic as is evidenced by his hats. The players were foolish firstly for trusting his judgement and secondlty for re-electing him.

  10. thetwilightsown says: Apr 2, 2012 1:51 PM

    Serves them right.

  11. ramitbaby says: Apr 2, 2012 1:51 PM

    Who gives a bleep?

  12. phearfactor says: Apr 2, 2012 1:52 PM

    Plus the players union gives up all collusion claims.

  13. boswivel says: Apr 2, 2012 1:52 PM

    Everybody got that?

  14. underrated49ers says: Apr 2, 2012 1:53 PM

    Lotsa numbers in this article.

  15. captatl says: Apr 2, 2012 1:53 PM

    No one ever accused DeMaurice Smith of being smart.

  16. Soulman45 says: Apr 2, 2012 1:54 PM

    To Soulman45 the deal is not very good for the players but still it a will paying job that come with some ricks.

  17. CKL says: Apr 2, 2012 1:54 PM

    So the players weren’t tricked by the owners. By the NFLPA, maybe either on purpose or because they didn’t understand the ramifications of what they signed. This is why Smith was a bad choice. Litigators aren’t necessarily good negotiators.

  18. sportsmeccabi says: Apr 2, 2012 1:58 PM

    DeMaurice Smith is going to have a hard time holding onto his job.

  19. contract says: Apr 2, 2012 2:00 PM

    The players should disband the union and walk.

  20. chrisritch93 says: Apr 2, 2012 2:00 PM

    You gotta believe the NFL loves dealing with concussion damaged players…maybe brain scans should be a prerequisite before the next labor deal.

  21. bizono says: Apr 2, 2012 2:02 PM

    It looks more and more like DeMaurice Smith and the NFLPA got rolled by the owners last summer. The NFLPA should consider replacing Smith with Donald Fehr (former MLBPA director and current NHLPA executive director).

  22. Kaz says: Apr 2, 2012 2:03 PM

    Is it too late to cancel that $50million dollar payment De just received?

  23. gweez76 says: Apr 2, 2012 2:03 PM

    Never trust a man in a fedora.

  24. purpwalk says: Apr 2, 2012 2:05 PM

    yeah, right, it’s a bad deal when you make millions and billions of dollars

    i don’t buy their hats, jerseys, or any other over-priced worthless junk. i would like to see them lower the ticket prices, though

  25. vikescry1 says: Apr 2, 2012 2:05 PM

    maybe the players and owners need to get a salary from the players and owners from 1950, for just a year. then the millions and billions they make each year wouldn’t seem so bad. greed

  26. Patriot42 says: Apr 2, 2012 2:09 PM

    Greed Greed Greed!!!

  27. hwentworth says: Apr 2, 2012 2:12 PM

    That’s the union intellect for you.

  28. j0esixpack says: Apr 2, 2012 2:13 PM

    This is why Goodell still has a job

    (well, we already knew it wasn’t for his good handling of BoutyGate, Spygate, Tampering-gate, Farve-gate, Tebow-gate and every other controversial NFL matter which he’s inflamed rather than defused.)

  29. biggerballz says: Apr 2, 2012 2:16 PM

    yes because the players don’t understand economics.

  30. ovskinsfan says: Apr 2, 2012 2:16 PM

    I thought the cap number went to 120 million from the money taken from the Redskins and Cowboys not the union borrowing against further cap years. Just more lies from NFLPA and NFL to their fans.

  31. theytukrjobs says: Apr 2, 2012 2:17 PM

    This is a classic negotiating system where one party is in way over his head. The owners knew that DeSmith’s only real strategy was to assume the owners are trying to screw his party over. So anything the owners put on the table, they know DeSmith will reject.

    So what they did was open by offering DeSmith the style of deal that results in the most money to the players. This way DeSmith rejects it and pushes everything in a new direction, the owners’ direction.

    Based on these numbers, the players are out approximately $640 million per year for the first 4 seasons compared with what the NFL opened with, despite these players “borrowing” from the money pool of future players.

    Perhaps the numbers will change later and DeSmith will eventually have the last laugh. But at least initially it appears that the owners worked DeSmith real hard, to the tune of billions of dollars.

  32. grogansneck says: Apr 2, 2012 2:17 PM

    “Our gains realized in 2014 and beyond will have already been, to a certain extent, consumed by the players in order to drive up the numbers in 2012 and 2013….now let’s go get a god&$#@ snack.”

  33. KIR says: Apr 2, 2012 2:20 PM

    How is it that TV revenues along increased from 20.4 billion to 39.6 billion and the players salary cap doesn’t change? That’s BILLION!!! Why are you fans happy about the owners making more billions? It’s not like tickets prices or the price of a beer at the game is going to be reduced

  34. jedicurt says: Apr 2, 2012 2:21 PM

    ummm… Mr Smith… wasn’t it your job to make sure that the deal wasn’t the “Worst offer in sports” for the players??? i seem to remember that being part of the reason why they hired you…..

    I wonder if any of the players who bad mouthed Gene Upshaw posthumously about how he didn’t get things done for the players are taking those statements back…

  35. brownsalwaysrebuilding says: Apr 2, 2012 2:23 PM

    Based on the headline I clicked on I thought this article was about Albert Haynesworth.

  36. KIR says: Apr 2, 2012 2:24 PM

    Didn’t the players have the same negotiators they had in the previous agreement minus Gene Upshaw?

  37. dudicle says: Apr 2, 2012 2:24 PM

    So the Saints have been banking on the Salary Cap being increased with all these contract restructurings that they’ve been doing, paying the league minimum this year while promising big increases down the road with big guarantees. It’s going to cost them down the road, which is awesome.

  38. csszrr says: Apr 2, 2012 2:26 PM

    DMS: See what had happened was, you know i mean, i figured if i insulted these owners long enough they would come around go my way of thinking. I guess Marxist principles can only be achieved through the barrel of a gun. Oops. I guess next time i got to pull out the race card and say that these millionaire players are simply fieldhands. Yea, that’s it…that’s the kind of hyperbole that gets things done.

  39. motorcitykitties says: Apr 2, 2012 2:26 PM

    You mean the dumb jocks got swindled by the billionaire business men? No way.

  40. razic3k says: Apr 2, 2012 2:26 PM

    Hahahaha, this is what happens when dumb players are apart of the contract negotiation process.

    They got manhandled by the brightest and greatest businessmen this country has to offer.

  41. themage78 says: Apr 2, 2012 2:30 PM

    So if the costs associated with paying players and for stadiums should remained fixed for the next couples years, does this means they won’t jack the prices up every year? Since their costs are only going to be modestly increasing, how about doing the same for the ticket prices?

    Unfortunately this won’t happen and they’ll still try and be greedy as ever.

  42. 1fit4life says: Apr 2, 2012 2:31 PM

    Umm….does it REALLY matter what the CBA says? Apparently Roger Goodell and the owners can change what is says anytime they want. The Last CBA had an agreement for an uncapped year in 2010, but we all know the story there. I’d like to see the part with the asterisk that references behind closed door “agreements”.

  43. ninefingers9 says: Apr 2, 2012 2:33 PM

    “worst deal in the history of sports,”
    —-
    Um, The Vikings and Herschel Walker says, ‘Say what?’

  44. kenny328usa says: Apr 2, 2012 2:34 PM

    The players didn’t get swindled De Smith got swindled. They hired him to do a job and he failed miserably.

  45. gavriloprincip33 says: Apr 2, 2012 2:35 PM

    ROTFLMFAO….

    Yes, those players are some smart business men…

  46. jakek2 says: Apr 2, 2012 2:36 PM

    The NFL gives teams a license to print money. With a financial forecast all but guaranteed to climb, any deal that limits the ceiling is a bad deal. Smith recognized this and shot down the deal with a high floor / low ceiling. The players are taking their lumps now but as soon as the TV contracts kick in and the revenue streams keep growing, the players will benefit big time in the next few years. You Goodell lovers are too dumb to recognize Smith’s brilliance.

  47. sullijo1 says: Apr 2, 2012 2:37 PM

    Nice job Union – way to protect your workers!

    Somehow, I got to believe these fantastic Union negotiations are happening all over the country, not just the NFLPA.

  48. kevpft says: Apr 2, 2012 2:37 PM

    So, am I reading this wrong, or did the league do precisely what it is now penalizing the Cowboys and Redskins for doing. And the players have gone along with it to protect the league from any collusion claims.

    Hate to say it, but I like the NFL – the owners, the players, the sport, its fans – less every year. It keeps finding new ways to let down the childhood fan in me.

  49. sullijo1 says: Apr 2, 2012 2:38 PM

    I guess their only option is to go on strike again……

  50. yojoemama says: Apr 2, 2012 2:40 PM

    What did they expect? The blind (aka D Smith) leading the blind.

  51. damcghee says: Apr 2, 2012 2:41 PM

    Bob McNair wouldn’t know what time is was if he had a digital watch…last year he was crying “the NFL took my money but didn’t send anyone down here to help me set my team up” now he is the voice of knowledge after 10 years and a 65-95 won loss record and one trip to the playoffs in a down year for the AFC South…..hahaha dumbest of the trio on Kirby of Dumb, Dumber and Dumbest

  52. mikeyhigs says: Apr 2, 2012 2:43 PM

    dolphindad says:

    wait? players are borrowing money from future caps to pay players in the current cap? isn’t that basically screwing future players? sounds like they are stealing money from future players to me.

    And it’s not only screwing future players, but players whose rookie deals will be expiring in 2013, 2014, and 2015 at least

  53. electionconfidential says: Apr 2, 2012 2:46 PM

    The NFL is going down the road the NBA once went down. They’re going to saturate the market by showing games all week and they’re going to desensitize the fans with the in-fighting and criminal / insensitive behavior of the players…

  54. cowboyhater says: Apr 2, 2012 2:47 PM

    NFL is just a business. We are just fans (fanatics, for those who did not know what fan was short for) that will continue to pour in our hard earned money to fund this business. They know it, and there is nothing we can do about it.

  55. hendawg21 says: Apr 2, 2012 2:52 PM

    So who will they fleece the next several years to make the cap go up? I mean they BS’s the Skins and Cowboys to the tune of $46 million which they still haven’t justified…will there be more out of the blue new rules to penalize some other teams??? Oh that’s right this is to paid over the next two years when the cap is expected to be flat then it’s 2014 and all is or should be well right??? Now what if the Skins and Boys win and get that money back what does Roger “Hitler” Goodell do then???

  56. nbcwantsitsmoneyback says: Apr 2, 2012 2:53 PM

    I thought the worst deal in the history of sports was a bunch of clowns buying a bankrupt baseball team for 2.15 billion dollars?

  57. idriveamoped says: Apr 2, 2012 3:00 PM

    In this economy, I dont exactly see a huge increase in revenue. The players got gotten.

  58. ghostofgilchrist says: Apr 2, 2012 3:04 PM

    8 out of 5 people have trouble with math…

  59. pooflingingmonkey says: Apr 2, 2012 3:04 PM

    I thought this article was going to be about the “Palmer to the Raiders” trade.

  60. brownicus says: Apr 2, 2012 3:07 PM

    The CBA deal is a 10 year deal I think. I’m more interested to see what kind of money is made in years 4-10 before I automatically assume D Smith is an idiot. Making less money for 3 years might be offset if they are making more money for 7 years.

  61. awhartstl says: Apr 2, 2012 3:14 PM

    I thought the worst deal in the history of sports was that Carson Palmer deal the Raiders just made.

  62. packerfan1000 says: Apr 2, 2012 3:18 PM

    Everyone who is saying that they don’t care about this and that the article was a waste of time are missing the fact that these salary cap numbers have a HUGE impact on what their team’s roster will look like in future years.

  63. idriveamoped says: Apr 2, 2012 3:21 PM

    brownicus says: Apr 2, 2012 3:07 PM

    The CBA deal is a 10 year deal I think. I’m more interested to see what kind of money is made in years 4-10 before I automatically assume D Smith is an idiot. Making less money for 3 years might be offset if they are making more money for 7 years.
    …………………………………………………………………

    Aren’t they borrowing against the cap of future years, just to get increases in this one? They are completely gambling on their future, and hoping for the big payoff. Unless the market explodes there won’t be much of an increase. De.Smith and Obama must be school mates, since they both are sacrificing future generations of money. They are giving the middle finger to the future.

  64. skins1313 says: Apr 2, 2012 3:34 PM

    So the NFL executive committee and GODell told the NFLPA to agree to the Cowboys and Skins sanctions or the cap would be 113,000 mil (which would’ve only hurt the executive committees own teams) and the cap was going to be 120,000 plus anyway? Lol….Nice going Smith. Really don’t know how the players don’t fire you after this!

  65. ownbay says: Apr 2, 2012 3:37 PM

    Millionaires making millions, yawn.

  66. tombrookshire says: Apr 2, 2012 3:49 PM

    The worst deal in the history of sports was when the Cowboys got a multi-Super Bowl-winning football team from the Vikings in exchange for Herschel Walker. Second worst was when the Chargers drafted Ryan Leaf over Peyton Manning. Third worst was when Mike Ditka exchanged his entire draft for Ricky Williams.

  67. blackqbwhiterb says: Apr 2, 2012 3:58 PM

    What I love that doesn’t seem to be mentioned is the timing of the news release-AFTER De Smith’s re-election. Just like the Redskins and Cowboys salary cap debacle got announced THE DAY BEFORE Free Agency opened. There’s MUCH that’s fishy in all this……

  68. stavreafavre says: Apr 2, 2012 4:07 PM

    Both sides had lawyers up the wazoo. Not like there were a bunch of guys with concussions sitting down opposite J.R. Ewing. I guess the owners maybe had better lawyers.

  69. 86chawk says: Apr 2, 2012 4:07 PM

    The only people that are idiots are us fans. Buying $200 jerseys, $30 hats, $300 Sunday Ticket, ect. ect. ect. While all the fat cats get fatter! I am done buying all this crap so all these greedy bastards get richer & richer!!

  70. darthsaint says: Apr 2, 2012 4:17 PM

    The players wanted the higher ceiling…that is what they wouldn’t settle on. If PFT knew how to write they would have pointed this out a bit more clearly.

    The players union has seen major growth within the NFL over the past few years. With the new TV contracts, they expect even more. With that growth, and a guaranteed amount of the pie…they believe they got a better LONG TERM deal.

    Which for us fans…is a good thing. Because guess what. If they didn’t feel that way…we’d be dealing with a future lockout in a few years instead of many more.

    It is WAY too early to make any kind of judgment on who got the better end of this deal. Both parties made compromises. This like 80% of the stories on this site is a non-story. Please football…come back to us soon!!!

  71. baddegg says: Apr 2, 2012 4:20 PM

    So, who is making out better…the millionaires or the billionaires?

  72. daysend564 says: Apr 2, 2012 4:23 PM

    Worst union leader in the history of sports!

  73. omegalh says: Apr 2, 2012 4:24 PM

    The NFL revenues won’t increase because it has saturated its ONLY market. The USA. It will never be a world game. Cap goes up with inflation from this point forward.

  74. steelpalace302 says: Apr 2, 2012 4:29 PM

    It doesnt matter what the cap is the players are still going to make alot of money and still be able to buy the bling and bentleys.

  75. cowherpower says: Apr 2, 2012 5:00 PM

    what would these players do without football .90% of them couldnt pass 3rd grade . GO OWNERS players change every year so of corse im gonna side with my team over dumb whiney players .

  76. jade amor says: Apr 2, 2012 5:04 PM

    tombrookshire says:Apr 2, 2012 3:49 PM

    The worst deal in the history of sports was when the Cowboys got a multi-Super Bowl-winning football team from the Vikings in exchange for Herschel Walker. Second worst was when the Chargers drafted Ryan Leaf over Peyton Manning. Third worst was when Mike Ditka exchanged his entire draft for Ricky Williams.
    _____________________________

    I agree with 1 and 3, but the Colts had the #1 pick and drafted Manning, the Chargers just settled for whomever the Colts didnt want, which ended up being Leaf

  77. gonzo29 says: Apr 2, 2012 5:15 PM

    NFLPA should call themselves NFLPPA for present players association. They don’t care about future or past players. darftzombie.com

  78. stats5 says: Apr 2, 2012 5:20 PM

    As more and more facts come to light, the more D. Smith looks to be overmatched. I’m sure the NFL will be able to get D. Smith to sellout the NFLPA again for a few more million $$$ increase to the cap in two years. D. Smith has set his price, a few million $$$ and the NFLPA will look the other way while 30 of the 32 owners collude to artificially keep salaries down. I wonder which teams will have to suck up a cap penalty to be re-distributed among the other teams in 2014?

  79. r8rsfan says: Apr 2, 2012 5:38 PM

    Funny thing is, most of these bonehead players are probably learning about this for the first time after reading this article. But hey, that guy sure wore a cool hat.

  80. steeler59 says: Apr 2, 2012 5:38 PM

    The owners are stock piling money because there is a big storm brewing in a major law suit coming for past head injuries

  81. gadgetdawg says: Apr 2, 2012 6:17 PM

    You Goodell lovers are too dumb to recognize Smith’s brilliance.
    ———————————————-

    It may end up working out for the players but minimum 4 years out of 10 is way too long a period for a ‘brilliant’ man to allow. Especially since hundreds of players Smith represents will not be in the league 5 years from now.

  82. bucfandango says: Apr 2, 2012 6:25 PM

    A security guard spotted De Smith walking in Sanford, FL. wearing a hoodie last night.

  83. pastabelly says: Apr 2, 2012 7:29 PM

    When Jeff Saturday hugged Robert Kraft, Kraft stuck a knife in his back.

  84. pastabelly says: Apr 2, 2012 7:32 PM

    The NFLPA wants a level playing field for D Smith next time around and has demanded that Jim Irsay replace Robert Kraft and Bob McNair at the table. The NFL has some very smart men owning their franchises and they also have a small collection of idiots who inherited teams from their dads. D Smith was not dealing with the group that Irsay is with.

  85. kodakinvegas says: Apr 2, 2012 11:19 PM

    Man DeMaurice, I’ve seen trees that smarter than you. You’re screwing these guys over big time dude. With you running the show they’ll be making 1970 wages in 5 more years. You must’ve watched congress operate DEFICIT SPENDING TECHNIQUES they’ll be putting bounties on you pretty soon.

  86. bigjdve says: Apr 3, 2012 10:45 AM

    I wonder how much the NFL paid De Smith for being complicit in fleecing the players.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!