We’re at Day 105 of the NFL lockout, and although things are beginning to look fruitful, some worries are looming as to whether a deal will get done in time for the preseason. A few key areas of a new CBA, the Collective Bargaining Agreement between players and owners, need to be finalized and some details ironed out, but meetings seem to be progressing.
The main points being negotiated right now are: total revenue cuts, rookie wages, retiree benefits, and free agent rights. Last year the NFL revenue totaled roughly $9 billion. Under the current agreement the players received about 50 percent of that, but the owners want to cut that pay to 48%. This issue and the amount of money paid to rookies are the two biggest priorities the owners would like to change. While those are important to current players, free agency and retirement benefits mean just as much.
At first glance, two percent does not seem like it would make that big of a difference. In reality, that’s $180 million. If you look deeper into the effect this could have on NFL players, it makes sense why they are fighting this. This could potentially bring their livelihood a dramatic change.
And it’s not only for the current players. this deal could last for ten years. Consider that the average career length for most running backs is five years. This deal will be affecting the next two generations of NFL players.
Players are not taking this lockout just lying around.
Brandon Lloyd is a perfect example. He was the fantasy football breakout star and the league’s leading wide receiver. His season was beyond great and he was paid well. But he isn’t just sitting around and “living the life” like many believe most NFL stars do.
Lloyd is working a regular job just like you and me, as (get this) a sales rep for a steel company in Denver. He plans to continue that work until an agreement is made.
Most people believe that a deal will be worked out by around July 7th or 8th, And many believe the league will not enter crisis mode until then. The first weekend of August is when the first scheduled preseason game is, and training camps should be starting in the next few weeks. Several are optimistic the deal will be reached and the season will start as scheduled.
Keep an eye out for the Lockout Lookout in future editions for updates! Jake Thomas is a student at UVU and has blogged on the NFL for the last 3 years.