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ESPN: NFL's labor issues remain unresolved


TheKeyBlue

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Before they head to Detroit for the Super Bowl festivities, league owners will stop at Disney this week for the latest briefing on a matter of more than just Mickey Mouse significance.

At a Thursday session in Orlando, commissioner Paul Tagliabue is scheduled to update owners on the progress, or perhaps more accurately, the lack of progress, on the proposed extension to the collective bargaining agreement. The message to be delivered in Orlando might be nearly as chilling as the frigid forecasts for Detroit next week.

"Sometimes it seems we're taking two steps forward and one step back," Tagliabue told a small contingent of reporters just before the AFC championship game Sunday.

The issues, of course, remain the same. While the focus on the field prepares to turn to Motown, where Super Bowl XL will be contested on Feb. 5, the problems away from it remain of the mo'-money variety.

The players, who recently rebuffed a new proposal from the league, want a bigger share of NFL revenues. And internally, owners have yet to reach a middle ground on how to more equitably distribute the total income in a league in which the disparity between the high revenue teams and the smaller-market franchises has dramatically increased in the last five years or so.

We all need to get this done. Like me with the Cowboys, I bet we wouldnt know how to act without our teams for a year or two because of a lockout, much less one offseason.

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Before they head to Detroit for the Super Bowl festivities, league owners will stop at Disney this week for the latest briefing on a matter of more than just Mickey Mouse significance.

At a Thursday session in Orlando, commissioner Paul Tagliabue is scheduled to update owners on the progress, or perhaps more accurately, the lack of progress, on the proposed extension to the collective bargaining agreement. The message to be delivered in Orlando might be nearly as chilling as the frigid forecasts for Detroit next week.

"Sometimes it seems we're taking two steps forward and one step back," Tagliabue told a small contingent of reporters just before the AFC championship game Sunday.

The issues, of course, remain the same. While the focus on the field prepares to turn to Motown, where Super Bowl XL will be contested on Feb. 5, the problems away from it remain of the mo'-money variety.

The players, who recently rebuffed a new proposal from the league, want a bigger share of NFL revenues. And internally, owners have yet to reach a middle ground on how to more equitably distribute the total income in a league in which the disparity between the high revenue teams and the smaller-market franchises has dramatically increased in the last five years or so.

We all need to get this done. Like me with the Cowboys, I bet we wouldnt know how to act without our teams for a year or two because of a lockout, much less one offseason.

Unlike MLB, NBA, and the NHL the NFL has shown that they are not opposed to using scab players so if it becomes a stare down match between the players and owners it ought to get interesting.

:dallasuck :gaintsuck :eaglesuck

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There won't be a lockout or a strike. Virtually no chance of either. The NFL is extremely popular and neither side is going to kill the golden goose. The current CBA actually runs for 2 more years, including an uncapped 2007.

It is possible but unlikely that 2007 will be played under the currrent CBA and thus will be uncapped. However, if 2007 is uncapped there is also no minimum amount that owners need to spend on player salary, and eligibility for free agency goes up to six years. So there is incentive for the players to get an agreement in place as well. Upshaw will sign a deal with a salary cap provided the players get a higher share of league revenue.

In many ways the biggest impediment to a new deal is the squabbling between the owners on revenue sharing, and there is merit on both sides. There is no way that Green Bay can generate anywhere near the revenue of the 'skins, 'boys, or giants, and they need to be able to compete. On the other hand, there are owners like Bidwell in Arizona who would happily cut costs to an absolute minimum and rake in dollars from more active owners. The problem is not easily solved, and until teams agree on shared revenue, there is nothing to base a salary cap on.

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Who wants another example of a lacking of journalistic integrity from our man Pasquarelli?

"I do! I do!"

Alrighty then. In the article, Pasquarelli quotes Gene Upshaw:

"There's not going to be a deal," said Upshaw, "just for the sake of doing a deal. We know what the [financial] numbers are, and we know how much the unshared revenues have [escalated], and it's a matter that has to be addressed."

However, Pasquarelli breaks the first sentence with a comma in a place where it cannot be broken - there was not a break in Upshaw's sentence, yet Pasquarelli forced a break, so as to add to the shock value when initially reading, "There's not going to be a deal."

There's a pretty big difference between "There's not going to be a deal" and "There's not going to be a deal just for the sake of doing a deal," Len.

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I don't think Upshaw wants a league without a Salary Cap. That would just be the first step towards an inevitable lockout. And a league that looks a lot like MLB, w/ many teams being perpetual bottom dwellers for draining profits into their owners pockets.

At the same time it's hard to imagine a lockout in 2007, but you be sure that if there is no deal after that, there will eventually be a lockout with players demanding so much money. Especially, because it would be more lucrative to sign a one-year deal for multi millions than a long term deal with the fear of being cut later and losing out.

BTW, nice call Skinstilllidie. You pegged the man.

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