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NFL owners approve six-year CBA extension

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Mar 8, 2006.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

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    Source: <a target="_blank" href="http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2360258">ESPN</a>

    <img width="270" height="137" alt="Paul Tagliabue" id="image2020" src="http://bolttalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/03/343_commish.jpg" />

    GRAPEVINE, Texas -- Labor peace was restored to the NFL when the owners agreed to the players' union proposal Wednesday, extending the collective bargaining agreement for six years.

    There were no further details on the agreement, including whether it includes expanded revenue sharing.

    The vote was 30-2, with Buffalo and Cincinnati, two low-revenue teams, voting against it.

    "On behalf of the players, the NFLPA staff and the negotiating team, we are pleased that this process has finally concluded with an agreement," Gene Upshaw, executive director of the NFL Players' Association, said in a statement. "This agreement is not about one side winning or losing. Ultimately, it is about what is best for the players, the owners and the fans of the National Football League.

    "Moving forward, this new agreement gives us the opportunity to continue our unprecedented success and growth."

    Free agency, put off twice by the protracted negotiations between the owners and players, now will start at 12:01 a.m. Friday. NFL owners, however, are trying to get in touch with Upshaw in order to ask for a 24-hour delay to the start of free agency, ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports. If Upshaw grants the extension, free agency would then begin at 12:01 a.m. ET Saturday.

    "It was a good compromise," said Jim Irsay, owner of low-revenue Indianapolis. "We're happy with it -- 30-2 is a good vote."

    The agreement concludes weeks of contentious negotiations between the league and the NFL Players' Association. The new extension will add nearly $8 million to the 2006 salary cap, pushing it to $102 million, Mortensen reports. Without a CBA extension, the 2006 cap would have been $94.5 million. The 2007 cap will be $109 million, according to Mortensen.

    "The union is delighted," NFLPA attorney Jeffrey Kessler said. "The new CBA is a big leap forward for the players and means a fairer system for all. It also means seven more years of labor peace. Fans can now forget about the lawyers and owners and enjoy football."

    Earlier Wednesday, the NFL moved back the waiver deadline for teams to get below the salary cap from 9 p.m. ET Wednesday to 11 p.m. ET.

    Had the owners been unable to reach an agreement, it would have put a number of veterans on the street and would have limited the amount of money available for teams to spend in free agency. By reaching a compromise, the league managed to avoid an uncapped year in 2007, which would have allowed some teams to spend almost at will and keep others from spending at all.

    Some veterans have already been let go, such as <a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=2786">Brentson Buckner</a>, a 13-year veteran who was cut by the <a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/clubhouse?team=car">Carolina Panthers</a> last week to clear about $1.5 million of cap space.

    "It was eventually going to happen, they had to get it done," he said. "But it's good because now it gives guys who put in the time to become a big-time free agent, the guys like <a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?statsId=4652">Edgerrin James</a>, the chance to go out and get what they've earned."

    The crux of the debate over the last few days has centered on revenue sharing and the disparity between high- and low-income teams. Low-income teams such as Buffalo, Cincinnati and Indianapolis say that high-revenue teams -- Dallas, Washington and Philadelphia, for instance -- should contribute proportionately to the player pool because they can earn far more in non-football income such as advertising and local radio rights.

    Those high-revenue teams might contribute only 10 percent of their outside money compared with 50 percent or more for low-revenue teams.

    "Some teams are contributing a little more than others," Redskins owner Dan Synder said. "This is really a win-win."

    Upshaw has insisted throughout more than a year of negotiations that the division between owners must be resolved before agreement could be reached on a contract extension.
     

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