NFL offered to defer 18-game debate

The statement issued by the NFL upon conclusion of mediation indicates several things about the offer that was made Friday by the league at noon ET, and to which the union responded four hours later.

Among other things, the NFL offered to keep the current scheduling format (16 regular-season games and four preseason games) for at least two years, with any subsequent changes subject to the approval of the league and the union.

The first part isn’t a surprise, since the length of the regular-season wasn’t going to change before 2013.  (The league would have had no way to cram two extra games into the current schedule, since the dates of the next two Super Bowls are set in stone.)  But the league’s proposal also contained an offer to push the entire length-of-season debate back by two years, necessarily forcing the NFL to make a fairly major concession when the time comes to try to grow from 16 to 18 games.

The offer also included a reduction in the offseason workout program from 14 weeks to nine and a reduction in the OTA workouts from fourteen weeks to 10.  Moreover, the league offered “significant reductions in the amount of contact in practices.”

Whether the offer can be put back together remains to be seen.  Though the league will huff and puff that it was a one-time only proposal (indeed, the league undoubtedly prefaced the offer by saying it applies today only), the league will quickly put those terms back together again whenever progress again is made.

25 responses to “NFL offered to defer 18-game debate

  1. Protest update! Vuvuzelas at the draft! Not joking.

    Fans sign of solidarity against this ridiculousness.

    Spread the word, if you go to the draft, blow that horn the whole time! I don’t get my season, then the NFL can’t have it’s draft!

    Fans unite!!!

  2. They might want shelve 18 game schedule talk for a few years because that’s how long it will take to grow the game’s popularity back to where it was before pure greed took over.

  3. To counter the league’s proposed 18 game schedule the union offered a 14 game schedule, but said they might be willing to meet in the middle if there were other concessions involved.

  4. Makes me wonder why the NFLPA didn’t take the offer.

    F*ck the players – fire every one of them and see if they find a job that pays even half of what they received while playing in the NFL.

  5. The League tried to get a deal done, they changed their stance on the 18 game season, gave more financial data and were willing to negotiate a rookie wage scale that didn’t cut out money from the players. The players didn’t negotiate in good faith or look at this offer seriously, they resorted to semantics when they claimed the owners were asking for a “5 Billion dollar gift” by adding the accumulated differences between the two sides over the next five years and presenting it like it was a yearly concession. The players made the decision to not continue to talk or bargain.

    The players claimed to want a deal, to not go to court, to just play football. Then they stopped talking, went to court and threw the NFL universe into extraneous, lengthy, legal hell.

  6. So, can we now have the league operate like the MLB?

    Because if it does, salaries will rise and we can drop about 8 teams that can’t compete.

    NFL owners are to scared to live life that way. They want protections and an equal playing field.

  7. nashvilletrojan says: Mar 11, 2011 6:13 PM

    “Less work, More pay…..Yup, sounds like a union.”

    Only problem with that is, the players weren’t asking for one additional penny.
    Yup, sounds like an uneducated southern redneck.

  8. Looks like the NFLPA had a case of roid rage there at the end. If the NFL is telling the truth the next two years would have essentially been status quo.

  9. In a room full of cut throat mercenary lawyers representing the elite rich, what exactly does the term “offer” mean, anyway?

    C’mon, it’s the blame game. Owners want to act like they were stood up at the prom. This is what they wanted all along.

    Heck, it’s what the players wanted too.

  10. These players don’t realize how good they have it. Fact is that majority of them would be robbing neighborhood 7-11s if they were not playing professional football.

    What kind of health insurance you get with that?

  11. Ok so correct me if I’m wrong but the owners are people that have worked hard in their lives and were smart enough to acquire wealth to buy the NFL teams. They are the ones who have made this league this profitable. Now due to the economy and all the expenses that they have their profits have taken a hit and they want a piece of the pie back. Now the players mostly have not even graduated from college yet get a minimum pay of 400K a year, while players with larger roles on teams usually make millions. How much would these players be making in the outside world with no NFL that the owners created. The players are the greedy ones, not even listening to the owners offers.

  12. The owners asked the players to play two more games a season, and in return, take a $1 billion dollar paycut.

    Taking the two extra games off the table, you’re still left with the huge pay cut.

    At no point did the owners ever come close to offering anything resembling the status quo. What’s more, they could have extended the deadline indefinitely at ZERO cost, just by giving the NFLPA the financial information necessary to back up the owners cries of poverty. They said no.

    The amount of effort being exerted by commenters to find ways to rationalize taking the owners’ side is just pathetic.

  13. cowboyaggie,

    Are you just going to run, hide, and repost your idiotic statement in every single thread?


    1) The effect of the “economy” on the NFL

    2) These “expenses”

    And tell me how that equals an ADDITIONAL $1B league-wide.

    Or are we just rehashing NFL talking points? Are you just raging wildly because you don’t like unions.

    Facts, please.

    And maybe you’d make more if you came with a coherent argument with facts instead of shrill whining.

  14. Can the players fire Duh Smith? I think if the owners offered 70% to the players that retard would have said no deal all he is worried about is seeing the books.

    The players dont pay for sh!! to run a NFL team so why should they feel they should make more than the owners.

  15. @crackills …

    Give it a freakin’ rest, already! You do not know these men or what their lives would be without football. The fact is that most of the men who rail about people robbing 7-11s if they didn’t play football are nothing more than jealous racists who can’t stand the idea that so many men of color make big money for their athletic skill.

    Well, face it … you don’t have the goods. We all have our little crosses to bear. It’s not the fault of people who are more talented, more athletic, or prettier than you. 🙄

    The pathetic jealousies of little twerps has nothing to do with the issues in this labor negotiation.

  16. The players and owners could care less that the people who REALLY pay their salary (the fans) are forced to work overtime just to pay for two meaningless pre season games as part of a required season ticket package. And if you reply, “you are required to buy the package,” (technically correct), but just see how far the NFL gets without ANY season ticker holders.

  17. @moochzilla,
    First off if you would have been paying closer attention you would know that the $1Billion dollar off the top was reduced to $325 Million by the owners themselves as part of the negotiations. Second off as the owners of a business I believe the NFL owners have the right to expect a certain profitability from their business. The owners must be prepared for tougher economic times and for such a time that the NFL bubble bursts similar to the bubble burst seen in the real estate market or even the stock market to a certain extent. The player salaries have been increasing steadily over time while the piece of the pie for the owners remains the same. Look at contracts a five years back and tell me if you see any 100 million dollar contracts? What about inflation, where the rent of facilities, maintenance , salaries of employees, etc. keep going up? Look at the salary cap numbers, five years back the majority of teams had plenty of salary cap space while today it is the complete opposite and owners need to clear cap space every season. The owners offered better compensation for past players, less contact in practices, reduction in OTAs and training camps yet the NFLPA did not budge one single inch.

  18. Oh and by the way the $325 million comes out to approximately 10 million dollar for every team, which is less than half of what Tom Brady or Peyton Manning will be making next season.

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