NFL, Players Agree On New CBA
With the Draft only 27 days away, multiple lawsuits pending, and the lockout only in force for a few weeks, the NFL announced that an agreement on a new CBA had been reached with players.
“It was a real surprise,” said Jason Babin, player representative for the Tennessee Titans. “We were pretty much settled in for a months-long fight, but Commissioner [Roger] Goodell came to the table late yesterday with a very reasonable compromise. We really felt like it was best for the game and the fans to put this behind us before offseason workout time, so we scrambled to get it done.”
Goodell also stressed the interests of the fans. “We have an agreement in principle and expect to finalize and sign it before the middle of next week. The League decided to make significant movement toward the players because the fans want to know not only that there will be football next year, but that it will be a quality product. We need the full offseason program to make that happen.”
Details of the new collective bargaining agreement have not been released, but a source close to the negotiations said that they included both an expansion of the season to 18 games and a boost in the share of revenue earmarked for the players above the league’s previous offer. The longer season was expected to begin with the 2014 season, while the percentage of revenue devoted to player salaries was believed to be slightly lower than the amount in the previous agreement. The agreement is also said to include a small increase in roster sizes, somewhat reduced offseason workouts, and a rookie wage scale.
All I can say at this point is that I’ll believe it when I see actual ink on paper, rather than more talk. But the fact that both sides recognized that the fans are the real reason they even have that Golden Goose they looked so intent on killing mere days ago is very encouraging.