Labor Crisis Ahead For NFL

Hard though it may be to believe, a lot of NFL owners are actually strapped for cash — and are looking at their current deal with the players as the cause:

Sometimes financial well-being simply doesn’t compute. In a resort hotel where coffee costs over $6, many an NFL owner was kind of crying last week about money. Basically, they don’t like the current disbursement of league revenue, which amounts to around 60 percent of everything to the players.

To a seasoned listener of this league, it is a foregone conclusion that this November these owners will opt out of the current collective bargaining agreement, one they approved 30-2 just before former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue retired. The vote to disapprove the current deal may be the same! …

[T]here seems to be some concerns among many owners, especially those who own and control their own stadiums, that the individual club profit margin has slipped precipitously…. Some of these owners are earning less than their best player….

Markets like Jacksonville, Buffalo, Carolina, New Orleans, San Diego and San Francisco are being squeezed…. Right now, the current CBA doesn’t make any sense to the owners and they sound ready for a serious fight.

Gene Upshaw apparently thinks a year with no salary cap in 2010 would be a boon for players. Would the owners go back to the 80’s with lockouts and/or scabs in 2011? Could be. Or it could just be posturing for negotiating purposes.

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Dodd Harris
About Dodd Harris
Dodd, who used to run a blog named ipse dixit, is an attorney, a veteran of the United States Navy, and a fairly good poker player. He contributed over 650 pieces to OTB between May 2007 and September 2013. Follow him on Twitter @Amuk3.


  1. ftroop says:

    Why should the owner make more or less than any single player?

    Market logic, as always.

    If there should be caps on player salaries, why not also on owner salaries?

  2. Dodd says:

    That’s just a silly question. The players accepted team salary caps in return for free agency. The only cap on individual players’ salaries is the practical maximum that comes into play when management has to decide portion of the team’s total cap they’re willing to devote to a single player.

    That aggregate salary cap is in place to ensure competitive balance – to make it so that no one team can just go out and buy Super Bowls every year. With ownership there’s no such rationale.