But one of the points he might have reasonably objected to might not be as firm as previously believed.
One of the sticking points for some high-salaried players was the checks for a potential 17th game (whenever that’s implemented) would be capped at $250,000. That’s a pay cut for any player making more than $4.25 million per year.
But a source told Peter King of NBC’s Football Morning in America that individual players would be able to negotiate for a higher rate than that.
Of course, they wouldn’t enter that negotiation with much leverage, as they’re already under contract. But that rule applies to a relatively small percentage of the league anyway, and teams might be willing to play ball with a player of Watt’s caliber (or, hypothetically, if there was a star quarterback heading into free agency that they wanted to create some future goodwill with).
Only 179 players last year made enough money for that rule to apply to them anyway, or roughly 10 percent of a league of nearly 1,700 players on active rosters at any given time. And the deal offers raises to the lower-level and middle-class earners, so the complaints of a few stars might not matter to the union as a whole.
It’s a small detail in a much larger negotiation which would cover many more players for a much longer time — and one which would provide 10 years of labor peace and a platform for more lucrative broadcast deals.