It is very interesting that the commissioner would imply that the fans are all for the 18 game season. The reality is that there is something to be said for continuity within a league. The fact that any business would close their doors to customers over these issues says that the league “doesn’t get it”. The fans don’t want a lockout. Period. What isn’t talked about is that this CBA was signed and set to extend beyond 2011. The owners opt’d out because the have become greedy. The issues in this CBA are actually pretty straightforward and should be straighten out with binding arbitration with a minimum 10 year, no opt out option.
Issue 1: 18 Game season. Sorry Roger fans in general do not want an 18 game regular season. That is clear. Doubt me? Put a poll on NFL.com for the month of Feb and see the results. Here is a solution, eliminate 2 preseason games and reduce the average ticket price by 50% for those 2 games. Make them fan friendly! You don’t get an addict to get hooked at full price dude. You’re saying how can we recoup that lost revenue. Increase all tickets for regular season games by 14.00 dollars, across the board! Yup $14. At 16 games times 75k fans that $16.8million per team per season. Not too bad.
Issue 2: Revenue split. Currently the players were awarded a, at the high 52.74% of revenue in the current CBA. Guys let’s be fair and just split the difference 50/50. Done deal. I don’t know too many employees who get 50% of their company’s revenue. That’s a very nice deal.
Issue 3: Rookie Salary Cap. This is needed, everyone knows it and it is the quickest way to protect from bad investments, ie. flop QB’s. Vets are getting butt hurt that a rookie can come in making a boat load of money without earning it on the field. Reggie Bush anyone. The 3 year Cap at $340,000 then 2 year restricted FA at $1,340,000, 2 straight or year to year, rookie Franchise tag up though year 4. Restricted FA years 5 – 7. Unrestricted FA year 8. Losing that player would require a 1st round pick in next draft from new team. Make them earn it. The first 3 year deal should be heavy incentive laden with a matrix of getting paid for certain accomplishments. obviously cut players don’t count.
Issue 4: Healthcare. Give 5 years of post NFL coverage to any player that completes 2 full seasons. Increase the deductible for the player, so that to limit ongoing costs, do what other companies do and option health savings account. Complete 5 years get 10 years. Complete 8 years, 15 years. Complete 15 years get 25 years. They players would have earned it.
Issue 5: Veteran player assistance. This is an issue very close to many veteran players hearts. Before all the money rolled in. There should be a salary pay out by each team of 1% of their payroll. and the league should pay 1% of All revenue to a veterans package. To the tune of about $75,000,000 annually that can be a league post player Social Security? Or even a league rainy day fund.
Stop whining and get it together. You need the fans a lot more than we need you. especially in these economic times.