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Is a 2011 lockout a possibility? YES!

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Concudan, Jan 5, 2010.

  1. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    The National Football League (NFL) franchise owners and the players have played nicely with one another since 1987, which was the last time that the NFL players went on strike. That strike was to ensure that the players would have free agency. In September of 1987, after the NFL owners refused the players demands for free agency, the NFL players went on strike in September. While the strike did not achieve their goals, it did send a clear message, and plan B free agency went into effect in 1989, followed by plan A free agency in 1993.

    Now it appears that battle lines are being drawn in the sand box yet again, and from a high level view, that line appears to spell out the word ‘GREED’.

    The ‘Total Football Revenue’ (TFR) Pool is part of the problem. All income the individual franchises make, be it through advertising, marketing deals are currently not included in the ‘Designated Gross Revenue’ (DGR), of which the players draw their percentage from. More accurately, teams are making their own licensed products, those moneys, concession profits and the monies collected from corporate seating are not shared. The NFLPA, and some owners want that changed. You can understand how owners like Jerry Jones of the Cowboys, Daniel Snyder of the Redskins and Bob Kraft of the Patriots might not like that deal. Up until now those monies have been the individual owners alone. Now the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) and smaller area owners want a cut and the battle lines are drawn.

    This is a large sticking point in the negotiations for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, (CBA) because how can you bargain, when you are not agreeing on the amount you have to bargain with?

    There is not true solidarity amongst the NFL owners on the topic TFR either. Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys does what ever he can to make money, nothing wrong with that. We are after all a capitalist society, are we not?

    He opens training camp to the public and sells advertisements for the event, sells merchandise etc. In his new stadium he sells tickets to fans in a section that is standing room only, where the fans will have very little opportunity to see much, if any of the game on the field.

    Then you have owners that do not do everything for the all mighty dollar; case in point, Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown, who refuses to sell the naming rights to the team’s current stadium, which opened in 2000. Brown gets all of the money generated by the stadium. However, he passes on the millions of dollars he could make for naming rights, by choosing to keep the stadium named after his father, Hall of Fame coach Paul Brown.

    “That’s where you start to get the big fight among the owners,” said one person who is informed in what is occurring with the CBA negotiations. “Jerry Jones will tell you that he really likes Mike Brown. But when it comes to sharing revenue, Jerry gets upset and basically says, ‘Why should I share with Mike Brown if he’s not going to work as hard as me to make money?’ ”

    That is the fly in the ointment amongst the owners. In the NFL, the main source of revenue is television money and that is shared among the 32 teams. However, there has been a growing gap in the other money made by teams, from corporate sponsorship to local television and radio rights fees. When those are included, teams such as Dallas, New England and Washington make much more than the likes of the Indianapolis, San Diego, Pittsburgh and Minnesota when it comes to earning power.

    There are currently three sides to this fight; the ‘Haves’ (big market owners), the ‘Haves to a lesser degree’ (small market owners) and the ‘Players’ (Which are also Haves). It is all about the green, not about ideological position as the fight for Free agency in 1987 could be called. This is stricktly about getting more money for one side. There are no knights in shining armor fighting off bandits here, just a group of people who have money who want more.

    It is easy to understand why the players would want to get a piece of any external deals a franchise would make. But do they have a right to that money? I understand the argument that a team is made up of its players, but what are the players without a team to play on? It is a double edge sword, the proverbial ‘Chicken or Egg’ discussion.

    Still, there are plenty of indications that the owners are getting ready for a fight and the NFLPA is gearing up as well. From complaints by owners to legal proceedings to letters by league personnel instructing owners to control debt, the NFL is proceeding in what appears to be a very carefully constructed fashion.

    The NFL currently has agreements in place that will continue to pay the league regardless of whether or not a game is even played in 2011. Can you imagine that? The owners will make money even if there is not a single snap, tackle or pop…

    The NFL recently negotiated two-year extensions with CBS and Fox through 2013. If there is a lockout in 2011, the networks would still pay the league with the money made up later. Also, DirecTV pays the NFL $ 1 billion a year through 2014 regardless of if the NFL plays a game or not. That’s approximately $31 million per team to tide them over through a lockout.

    There is a war coming, and the owners have been preparing for it since 2007. The NFLPA has also been advising the players to put away 25% of their salary, and to eliminate debt. But to me, it looks like the owners have the logistics to win the war.

    The owners will challenge the new executive director of the NFLPA DeMaurice Smith, possibly sensing a weakness from the man who has never been involved with the NFL or its players before. This will be Mr. Smiths moment, his tenure as the head of the NFLPA will be defined by what happens in the coming months.

    What does the NFLPA have to battle the owners with? Decertification. That is a fancy way to say that the players union would consider closing its doors than see an uncontested lockout. The union has done it once before, allowing the players to represent themselves and bring private court cases against the NFL claiming the league has violated the antitrust laws.

    How Michael Vick brought down the NFL

    The NFL took a bold step when in February of 2008 they filed a motion with U.S. District Court Judge David Doty asking Doty to disqualify himself from handling the class-action lawsuit that led to the CBA in 1992. Doty has overseen the case since it was assigned to him in 1992. Doty rejected the motion.

    The basis for the motion revolves around Doty’s decision on Feb. 4, 2008 that allowed jailed and suspended Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick to keep nearly $20 million in bonus money paid by the Falcons. The decision reversed an arbitrator’s ruling in November of 07 that gave the money back to the Falcons after Vick pleaded guilty to federal charges related dog fighting.

    The NFL also made allegations in its motion that Doty has shown bias toward the union by holding private meetings with the union staff and attorneys in his chambers before several hearings.

    What the NFL really wants is to have the courts removed from the labor process all together. In the February, 08 motion, the league stated that “the time has long since passed to put an end to this Court’s supervision of labor relations in the NFL.” The league argued that the current strength of the union meant that oversight was unnecessary. Both Commissioner Roger Goodell and league counsel Jeff Pash admit that getting Doty and the federal courts off the case is the goal.

    The Players feel that the ownership is trying to make them responsible for fixing the revenue sharing issues, while the players understandably feel that is a problem internal to the owners, and that it is the owners who must be sort it out in some manner other than taking away from the player.

    I think the problem is quite simply put, greed. Everyone wants more money, who doesn’t? I do. But when the NFL and the NFLPA talk about lockouts, strikes, stoppages etc, there is one victim. You and me.

    Can you imagine the winter Sundays with no NFL on TV. Will fans choose to watch the Canadian football league, or the new United Football League? I am not overly thrilled with the thought of a 2011 season with no NFL football. Do the owners get hurt? Some but they have been building a contingency plan for the last 3-4 years. The players stand to lose more than the owners, of that you can be certain.

    Both owners and players admit the real victims are the fans, perhaps they are counting on a forgiving fan base should a lengthy lockout occur. “Everybody is doing well right now, the players and the owners,” NFLPA player representative Jeff Saturday said. “For us to not be able to work this out … I don’t think the fans would be very understanding of that.”

    “Both sides have a duty to work together in these talks because we are doing very well,” Bob Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots said. “Hopefully both are smart enough to make that happen.”

    You have to shake your head at what is going on. Both sides have valid issues, that is a given, but neither side seems willing to look at what is best for both sides. I mean look at it this way: The minimum salary for the NFL player puts you in the top one percentile of salary and wages in the United States. Am I to feel sympathy that the owners will not give them more? I don’t.

    The owners are making a mint. The average value of NFL teams has grown from $288 million to $1.04 billion over 10 years, an increase of about 14 percent a year. The average gain in the last year alone was $82.6 million. That is a lot of bibles my friends! Should I feel sympathy that the players want the owners to give more? I don’t.

    With numbers like those, the NFLPA and the fan have to question why the owners would be dissatisfied with the CBA, or even consider the elimination of a salary cap.

    Few NFL players if any have guaranteed contracts. Most players get their money upfront in signing bonuses and even that is subject to being paid back if the player doesn’t fulfill most of his contract. A player could be released by a team at anytime, regardless of the contract.

    The owners claim that the Current CBA has decreased NFL profits roughly 10% each year to the current value of approximately 4%. While the players take of NFL profits have risen from 55.5% of the NFL revenues to 60%. (Thought during the last uncapped season the players share was 69%).

    Currently the owners want Rookie wage cap, blood testing, benefit cuts, and a nearly 20 percent salary "giveback" by the players. Some I can not see an issue with. How many fans have sat through s situation like the Ryan Leaf debacle and said that rookies should not make so much when they are unproven?

    The NFPLA feels that this would allow teams to replace expensive veteran players with cheaper young players. Isn’t that what happens now? I mean if a player is not performing as well as a team feels a younger player would, they are replaced.

    There is time to avoid a lock out. However, once the salary cap is gone, I believe that it will be difficult to bring it back. Difficult to the point we will never see it again, the NFL could become like the MLB; a few rich teams buying championships. Not a promising outlook to me.
     
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  2. Workplay

    Workplay scompl

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    NFL needs a higher minimum as well as a salary cap to insure parity. A rookie cap would prevent disasters like JaMarcus Russell, and players should have the right to free agency at the end of their contracts.

    Personally, I would love to see promotion and relegation in the NFL. I know the owners would never go for it, but the threat of relegation would give everyone from the owners to the players in poor preforming clubs reason to win. This year, it would be the Rams relegated to the B-league. The promise of promotion into the NFL would make B-league football playoffs extremely popular. :yes:
    In a promotion/relegation scenario, the NFL could stay at 32 teams, but could add 12 or 16 minor league teams in places where there's no NFL; like San Antonio, Portland, San Jose, Oklahoma City, etc.
    The promise of the top B-league team becoming an NFL team if they win the playoffs would make a great scenario for those cities, and attendence would hold up in those places.

    But again, the owners would never let that happen. :tdown:
     
  3. BOLTS4LIFE

    BOLTS4LIFE Banned Banned

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    Doesn't matter to me. If the entire league becomes uncapped, I'm not watching!!!

    CFL (Cowboys Football League) or GFL (Giants Football League) won't get any support from me.
     
  4. Workplay

    Workplay scompl

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    If there were no NFL in 2011, the USA would do like Los Angeles and college football's popularity would blow up even more. :yes:
     
  5. Kwak

    Kwak ....

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    Where's the link?








    :icon_tease:


    Nice writeup Conc. The lockout is looming and it will be a disaster for the NFL. There many peeps struggling to feed their kids and these guys are fighting over a billion dollar pie?

    As they say on NFLNet, "It's an NFL World and were living in it", but the common man is not.
     
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  6. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    I cant find symapthy for either side. IMO the league needs revenue sharing, does it have to be everything, no. But just enough that teams can meet the salary expectations. They need a CBA.

    Like I said, the league minimum slaray puts the players in the top 1% of US salaries. I wish I was there, and I have a good job.

    They need to stop being greedy and look to their product, because America can find another sport to folow!
     
  7. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    I hope the owners kill their golden goose. Maybe then some sensible solution can be reached.
     
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  8. Kwak

    Kwak ....

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    That would be FOX/CBS/ESPN/NBC.

    Even with a lockout the Owners will be sitting just fine. They can wait out the players as they will still be collecting the TV cash, but won't have to pay any player salaries.
     
  9. IFiredCHart

    IFiredCHart Well-Known Member

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    I love my Bolts, but I am a hockey fan first and foremost, and even someone who was as devoted as me found it very difficult to go back to the NHL after the lockout given the sentiments surrounding both side as well as the very alienation from the sport for a single year.

    However, in the NHL's case, I felt that the owners had a good case and that the players were the unreasonable party, and the lockout had justification and "legs".

    In the NFL's case, the owners do not realize the cash cow they have on their hands, and if they kill the cow to reap the quick meat, they will fail to use the livestock to fertilize their sport for years to come. Locking out the players would be a fool's move, for certain.

    Excellent job, Conc. :yes:
     
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  10. foober

    foober BoltTalker

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    The real problem is.

    Direct TV's contract with the nfl stipulates that the owners will still make many millions even if there isn't a season. Which means the nfl owners can just sit back and laugh at all the unemployed players.
     
  11. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Yes, that is something the owners have going for them. It is more than just the DirecTV contract, it is all the media contracts.
     
  12. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    I'll just care more about basketball and hockey while I wait impatiently for the baseball season to start.

    Then I'll watch the Padres struggle to field a winning team because baseball has the same type of financial system we'd see in the NFL without a cap.
     
  13. Boltzlover

    Boltzlover BoltTalker

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    For me it comes down to no cap, no NFL. No 2011 season, no NFL. I can't stand baseball anymore, they greedy players and owners killed it with no real salary cap or parity.
     
  14. HollywoodLeo

    HollywoodLeo Well-Known Member

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    You think the NFL owners and players aren't greedy?

    I'll be the first in line to argue about how screwed up MLB's financial system is, but don't fool yourself into believing the NFL players and owners aren't just as greedy just because it hasn't resulted in a season effectively being lost. (yet)
     
  15. IFiredCHart

    IFiredCHart Well-Known Member

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    And the NHL made the same mistake, and it brought them from the realm of the USA's 4th sport to an outsider struggling to regain its footing, even 4+ years removed from the lockout.

    It pains me as a hockey fan to come to terms with this, and it allowed me to have a greater appreciation of football and its ingenius financial structure (in comparison--rookie salaries must be mitigated).
     
  16. foober

    foober BoltTalker

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    I'm wondering how the players union didn't have a say in this. Its basically a killer for the players union with a set up like this for the owners.

    My guess is the players union had no say in the contracts with the media. I wonder if collusion might be a factor here. That the owners have part interest in the media and thats how these media contacts wound up like they are.
     
  17. ghost_

    ghost_ BoltTalker

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    this would be the perfect time to bring back USFL:tup:
    and stick it to the NFL:tdown:
    BTW IMHO this is why the Bolts need to m ove to L.A
    so they can compete with the cowpies ,cheats ,skins ect
     
  18. Daddy_O

    Daddy_O Well-Known Member

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    Football has become a part of who we are as a nation. The unfortunate part is the greed factor.

    I think this whole system needs to be reworked to accomodate the owners so they can keep building new stadiums and fielding a great product. This also needs to be adjusted so the players are getting paid fairly and thier medical needs are being taken care of even after they retire. The money is there. Just need to figure out how to preserve the quality of the game.
     
  19. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

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    My guess is the players union had no say in the contracts with the media because they simply had no standing. They would have been smart to negotiate a salary cap based not just on total revenue, but one based on a percentage of the revenue from all sources that would add up to the same grand total. If the NFLPA is smart they will decertify and go back into the courts. With the NFL owners at each others throats, there is room for the emergence of a competing pro league with a large talent base. The owners can't afford to twist in the wind if there is another league.

    There are college and univesity stadiums that could serve as venues, providing revenues to financially strapped institutions. Qualcomm could find themselves with another tenant. As much as I have lived the Chargers since childhood, I wouldn't mind seeing the owners taken down a notch. You can bet there has been collusion, considering the concentration of corporate ownership.
     
  20. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    You can bet your *** that if NFL fans stop watching the games, whether it be via cable, airwaves, or NFL Ticket, the media outlets are going to feel a squeeze & they'll start crying & applying some sort of pressure on the owners.

    Sure - owners can sit back & wait for awhile. And what will that do to their fan bases? Baseball still hasn't completely recovered from their strike. The only thing that saved MLB from going straight down the tubes was the home run record race between Big Mac & Sammy.

    Part of the pressure to get a reasonable solution worked out may well be fans voting with their pocketbooks. Stop watching the NFL on TV, stop buying tickets, stop buying merchandise, stop traveling to see games, etc. Support your college teams & tell the NFL to shove it. Support a college playoff system instead of the BS BCS & we'll see more competition for NFL viewers.

    If governments can be changed by economic pressure, you can rest assured that the almighty NFL can be changed as well. It's well past time that the monopoly question get opened up as it was before the AFL swooped in & changed the landscape.
     
  21. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Good takes Mini Me! I want to focus on the last sentance. That is the only true weapon the players have in my opinion. That is, if a lockout occurs, their union dercertifies (no longer serves as a functioning represetive body) and the players open a court case directly against the NFL for violation of anittrust laws. It is how they got free agency, it may in fact be their only real weapon with the NFL setting it up so they will be paid, even if no games are played.


    To the owners, no snap, tackle or pop still means green. Threaten their ability to be the only pony in the show and the owners will pucker up and come to the table.

    But in my humble opinion, as an outsider... Both sides need a bit of humility in this whole deal.
     
  22. Concudan

    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    The four team UFL opened last year. Each team played 6 games. It definately would not be a replacement for the NFL. But perhaps fans should get out on Sundays with the family...
     
  23. NORV4LIFE

    NORV4LIFE NO MORE NORV!!!!!

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    It will be a 3 way battle between the 2 new york teams, the LA jags and LA vikings and the cowboys.... 3 cities.... every championship....
     
  24. NORV4LIFE

    NORV4LIFE NO MORE NORV!!!!!

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    Myabe ill start watching rugby. THe aussie rugby leage wants to branch into the usa like the nfl had nfl europe...
     
  25. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    I hear that they have a great forum .....
     
  26. Retired Catholic

    Retired Catholic BoltTalker

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    You start watching rugby, you'll get hooked.
     

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