Mediation breaks until Tuesday morning

So much for burning the post-dinner oil.

Amid reports that the NFL and the players’ union would break for dinner and then reconvene with the mediator, the mediated bargaining sessions have ended for the day after starting at 3:00 p.m. ET.  Albert Breer of NFL Network reports that the two sides will reconvene with the mediator on Tuesday morning at 9:00 a.m. ET.

That said, meetings without the mediator will continue Monday night, with the possibility that the mediator will call the two sides together again.

Much work still remains.  Mark Maske of the Washington Post reported earlier in the day that the two sides remain $750 million to $800 million apart in the annual revenue split.  It’s a huge gap but it suggests progress in the range of $200 million to $250 million, since the league wanted to take another $1 billion off the top each year, and the union wanted to give nothing.  On Sunday, Barry Wilner of the Associated Press reported that a deal on the revenue split may not be enough to get a deal done, given disagreements on the expansion of the season and the rookie wage scale.

In our view, it’s always been and always will be about the money.  If they reach a deal regarding the dollars, they’ll reach a deal about everything else.

Either way, it’s a good thing it’s not about maintaining the vow of silence, which has flown out the window in recent days.

11 responses to “Mediation breaks until Tuesday morning

  1. I view the rookie scale as a back pocket throwaway for the players at this point.

    I’d love to hear how that is being negotiated because the fact is, it’s in the players interest to have the rookie scale.

  2. Do what every reasonable person would do and split the difference (and not like Rick Harrison).

  3. Unless today’s shortened session means they are putting together the final touches on an agreement, it would appear neither side wants to do a deal. Both think they can win in court.

  4. How about keeping each team’s season at the same length it is now: 2,000 plays!

    There are 125 plays in a typical game, and 125 X 16 = 2000.

    Those same 2,000 plays can be spread out over 18 games.

    Each quarter could be shortened, say to 12 minutes, but that would be far too heavy-handed. So instead, simply adopt a few rules changes to keep the clock running more constantly. If they don’t stop the clock after incomplete passes, and keep the clock running during extra-point attempts, except in the last two minutes of the second quarter and the last five minutes of the fourth quarter, that ought to do it.

  5. anthony … good job, you have shown that there is more than one way to solve every problem (even though they likely won’t be negotiating rule changes, your idea is solid). Let’s get you in the mediation room! Also, don’t forget that the money from the extra two games (fairly big impact on TV revenues) and the money saved on a rookie pay scale IS NOT separate from the $750 million they are apart. These two issues create real money that can be used to benefit both sides and help bridge the gap.

  6. So far as the money goes, a 12.5% across-the-board base-salary increase for all players under contract when the 18-game schedule takes effect (since 18 is 12.5% more than 16) goes without saying – or should go without saying anyway; and not for nothing, but won’t the owners get a 17.6% “pay increase” from the networks if a second bye week is added along with the two more games, increasing the number of televised regular-season weeks from 17 to 20? Therefore the owners come out ahead by giving the players only a 12.5% raise.

    A “side benefit” from speeding up the game as in my previous post is that the late-time-slot games can start at 4:00 (ET) instead of the awkward 4:15 we have now; and since the second game will almost always be over by 7:00, no more joining “60 Minutes” in progress for markets getting a late game on CBS – which I’m sure will please that network no end.

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