UPDATE: Peyton Manning and Drew Brees have officially asked the owners to have their names added to the “Non-Franchise Tag” list as a condition of settlement in the “Brady” case.
The NFL and the NFLPA still are haggling over minor issues within the current proposed deal. The NFLPA wants to present the deal to the players tomorrow. The 1800 plus players would need a 50% plus one vote to accept a new deal. On Thursday, the owners will meet in Atlanta to vote. 8 votes of no could throw a wrench into their side although it’s not expected.
So while of this is great news for the fans, there are still issues that need to be dealt with. First, the players request for 320 million in lost benefits will need to be taken care of. That sum comes from the 10 million per team savings during the 2010 season that were not required to be paid as part of the final year of the previous CBA.
In addition, two players are holding up progress by demanding special treatment. Logan Mankins of New England and Vincent Jackson of San Diego both are seeking either 10 million dollars from last year or an agreement that they will not be tendered with a “franchise tag” for the duration of their NFL playing days. It should be noted that aside from Jackson making one appearance over the last 4 months of negotiations, neither has been involved in the negotiations at all.
In addition, today, it’s being reported that the attorneys that represent former NLF’ers led by Carl Eller will be present on this critical day of negotiations. Eller and company do not believe that the current members of the defunct NFLPA have a right to negotiate on their behalf with the NFL without them having representation. However, it should be noted that the NFL is under no legal obligation to pay retired players anything outside of what has been agreed upon in the past through current players CBA agreements.
So far the players have pretty much received everything they have asked for while giving up some to the owners, specifically in the area of a rookie wage scale. Money not spent on rookies however will go to veteran players and retired players and not into the owners pockets. It was reported over the last few days that number 1 overall pick Cam Newton could make up to 40 percent less than last years number one overall pick Sam Bradford.
No word on how the sides will keep the annual salary increases from getting to the massive levels they are today.
The CBA when finalized is expected to be a 10 year deal but will have opt out language that both sides can use to get out of the deal at a designated time in the future. That time has not been announced. With both sides wanting to present the current proposal to their people, the fine line of close and closure is on the line today. A snag now could throw the start of the league year off by another week. So the deadline to ratify a new CBA is, well, now.