Wednesday, March 2, 2011

NFL Labor Update

Barring a major change of events the collective bargaining agreement between the NFL owners and players is set to expire at 11:59 EST on Thursday, March 3, 2011. If that happens, all NFL activity besides the 2011 NFL Draft would stop until a new agreement is reached.

Many NFL fans wonder how we got here. In the simplest terms, the NFL owners and players are fighting about how to split revenue. The NFL reportedly took in $9 billion in revenue in 2010. Under the current agreement, the NFL owners take roughly $1 billion of that revenue off the top and then spend 60% of the remaining revenue on the players. As employers are normally prone to think, the NFL owners think they are paying the players too much.

Besides how to split revenue here are the other main issues that the NFL owners and players are fighting about:
- Expanding the NFL regular season by two games to 18 regular season games
- Implementing a rookie wage scale
- Extending health care benefits for retired players

The owners will argue that since 2006 players costs have grown by 11% a year while revenues have only grown by 5.5%. The owners will point to the financial disclosures by the Green Bay Packers (only publicly owned team in the NFL so they are required to release certain financial information) that shows that the Packers' profits have decreased from $34 million to $10 million in four years.

The NFL players will counter that it is not really millionaires fighting with billionaires because the average NFL career only lasts 3.4 years. Furthermore, players like Aaron Rodgers have already earned tons of money but it is the borderline NFL players that can't afford to lose money and benefits. The players will further assert that it is ironic that the NFL is focusing on player safety but also trying to increase the number of regular season games thus subjecting the players to more injuries.

I have a million thoughts about how this should play out v. how this will actually play out. Check back for more coverage on this issue as things unfold.

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