Here Is What Is Holding Up The CBA


Update: Vincent Jackson has pulled his demand for special treatment as a plaintiff. This should help get the Brady lawsuit settled quicker.

So the talk is that the players feel they got the raw end of the deal when they owners voted on the parameters of the new CBA while they huddled together to talk about it for three days.  Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith both continued speaking up until the vote took place.  Once the ballots were cast and the hands raised the NFL proceeded to declare that a deal had been struck and that the lockout would be lifted as soon as today provided the players signed off on it.

The players not only have not signed off on it but have stated that the league tried to “slip” stuff into the deal and never addressed the “open” items that were still on the table.  Now, it appears that Howard Balzer of the Sports Xchange and a member of 101Espn.com according to Profootballtalk.com, has got the information that was left off the deal or was changed by the owners in the deal.  This information was culled from PFT.  Nice work over there!

1:  There is some discussion still going on regarding the team expenditures towards payout to the players in regards to salary cap and floor.  It’s a bit confusing so I will leave it at this, if 50% of the teams spend 100% of the cap 50% of the teams can spend 90%.  This would be contrary to the belief that teams could freely spend as much or as little of the cap as they wanted.  In essence it appears the players want this number to be more guaranteed towards 95% of the cap.  If I read it correctly.

2:  This is much less confusing.  The players are seeking all off-season workout bonuses to be paid if a player reports to training camp and does his job.  Regardless of whether he worked out or not.  I am assuming that this is for this year because of the lockout restrictions that prevented players from gaining those bonuses.  I have no real issue here as it is part of a negotiation.

3:  Rookie contracts will take a hit and the two sides agreed to 4 year deals for all rookie with a 5th year option on first rounders.  The 5th year option would in essence pay that player in the top 10 to 15 % of the highest paid at his position.  The players are still seeking that the 4th year of the rookie contract will pay the rookie a 4th year salary commensurate with the lowest level restricted free agency tender.  This year that number would be 1.2 million.  So regardless of what a rookie ends up signing on the four years the two sides agreed to, the players want the rookie deals for that 4th year to escalate to a restricted tender amount.

4:  Here is where I get a bit concerned in what the owners apparently did or did not.  The players have on the table, up to 3 million dollars to be paid to a player who suffers what I have to imagine is a career ending injury.  They term it “catastrophic”.  That would be 3 million for the second and third year after the injury.  Apparently this was left on the table.  When the owners voted they reduced that number from 3 million to 1 million in the second year and $500,000.00 in the third.

5:  The players still want the California loop-hole for unemployment.  As it stands, due to a loophole in Cali, a very unemployment friendly state, a player can file for unemployment in Cali if they have played at least one game in the state.  Regardless of whether they are a home team of that state or not.  I’m surprised the players are not seeking to have no state tax collected on their salaries if they play a game in the states of Texas and Florida.

6:  The opt out.  The players want an opt out clause in year 7, yesterday Takeo Spikes said that there will be inflation and they want to be able to opt out.  The players were apparently still negotiating that.  When the owners voted, they voted on a 10 year flat deal with no opt out on either side.

7:  The players still want 320 million dollars paid to them from the last years uncapped season.  They feel that each team saved approximately 10 million in player benefits and they want it back.  They are saying that the 320 would be linked to the “lockout insurance” case directly.   The lockout insurance case is still in front of Judge Doty for consideration and this would be their settlement of that case.

8:  The Brady case needs to be settled.  As it goes, the CBA in reality would become that settlement so this is really nothing to be asking for unless, UNLESS, this has direct verbage attached to the 11 plaintiffs…or possibly just Vincent Jackson and his 10 million dollar settlement asking price.

9:  Here I agree completely.  The players want the franchise tag to be used once on a player in his entire career.  I think that is very fair.  It will allow teams to secure a player for one season and force them to negotiate with that player in good faith to get a longer deal done.  I don’t think the owners should be fighting this.  It’s a very fair proposal.

10:  Lastly, the players want a short term IR that would not keep players off the team all season.  They also want a 47 man game-day roster.  The owners, when the voted yes on the deal, voted with a 46 man roster.

It’s obvious there is still work to be done, but there is no reason that the above ten items can’t be figured out with a phone call and none of those issues should change the voting of the owners.  In reality, the owners will need to give up a little here and the players need to drop some of their stupid demands as well.  In terms of changing some of the numbers and voting on that as a deal, not smart, but over the last two days we have seen the owners and the league make some not-so-smart-decisions with opening their mouths.

So that’s where we stand for today anyways.

Tags: CBA DeMaurice Smith NFL NFL Lockout NFLPA Roger Goodell