|07-25-2011, 04:38 PM||#1|
Join Date: Aug 2005
The CBA in a nutshell
Posted by Gregg Rosenthal on July 25, 2011, 2:03 PM EDT
We have an agreement. Finally. So what’s in it?
We know a lot about the new collective bargaining agreement and how it will shape the NFL for the next decade. We’ll learn even more in the coming hours as we get a chance to read the fine print.
In the meantime, PFT wanted to give folks just joining the party a broad outline of the agreement.
(And by broad outline, we mean that we’ll mostly link to all the other posts we’ve been cranking out. What, you thought we were going re-write everything?)
Length of agreement: We’ve got ten years of labor peace on the way. There is no opt out clause in the deal.
Revenue split: This is what it was all about. The players were on defense the whole time, knowing that owners would get a larger share of the overall pie.
The two sides agreed on a new “all revenue” model. It’s a little complicated, but overall the players must average at least 47 percent of all revenue for the 10-year term of the agreement.
The money was counted differently in the past, but the split was essentially closer to 50-50 before.
Drafted Rookies: A new rookie wage scale will dramatically curb spending on rookies. High first-round draft picks are taking a huge hit. No. 1 overall pick Cam Newton, for instance, is expected to see less than half the guaranteed money of 2010 No. 1 pick Sam Bradford. Those top-shelf contracts will be four years, with a pricey fifth year option.
Measures to prevent rookie holdouts were also put into the deal, in part by making the rookie contracts simpler. Players taken rounds two-through-seven aren’t overly impacted.
Undrafted rookies: They will be among the first players to sign with teams. A new signing bonus cap for undrafted players is expected to be put in place.
18-game season: The possibility of an 18-game season died a lot sooner than anyone expected. The players wanted no part of it and the issue was put off until 2013. Owners can try to negotiate more games in 2013, but the players would have to agree to it. A stare down could ensue over the fate of the preseason.
Revenue sharing: The owners separately agreed to a new ten-year plan for revenue sharing. This negotiation didn’t directly involve the players, yet it remains as vital to the sport as anything accomplished over the last few weeks. The plan will tax the highest-earning teams.
Salary cap: The salary cap is set for $120.375 million in 2011. That’s actually about $6 million less than the salary cap was back in 2009, the last year the cap was in place. It’s important to note the cap will rise with revenues. (Future television deals.)
2011 salary cap flexibility: Even though the salary cap was ostensibly scaled back, teams were given two avenues to make it easier to retain high priced veterans this year. Teams can “borrow” $3 million against future salary caps to pay for veterans. They can also use another $3.5 million in what would otherwise be performance-based pay to use for veterans.
So the cap really isn’t $120.375 million. It’s basically $126.88 if teams want it to be. An extra $6.5 million won’t save guys that truly deserve to get cut, but it will make life easier for teams near the cap limit.
Salary floors: Players accepted a relatively low salary cap in exchange for the raising the minimum teams have to spend. This can’t be underestimated. 99% of the salary cap must be spent in cash in aggregate between 2011-2012. The league-wide number falls to 95% after that. Teams must spend at least 89% of the cap from 2013-2016 and 2017-2020.
This helps ensure teams that were way under the cap in recent years like the Bengals and Bucs spend more.
Player safety: The amount of padded practices in the regular season is now heavily regulated by the league. Two padded practices per day in training camp (two-a-days) has also been banned. (This doesn’t sit well with all players.) Teams can do a padded practice and a non-padded practice in the same day in training camp.
Teams will also reportedly have more days off during their bye week.
Offseason work: Offseason Organized Team Activities (OTAs) have been reduced from 14 days to 10. The offseason program was reduced five weeks overall.
Retired players: The new deal reportedly adds $1 billion in new funds for retired players. $620 million will be used for a new “Legacy Fund,” which will be devoted to increasing pensions for pre-1993 retirees.
Tampering: There will be no need for teams to illegally contact free agents in the coming week. Almost as soon as teams are back Tuesday, they can begin speaking to all unrestricted free agents. Check out the timeline of the next week right here .
And just in case we missed anything: Seven more odds and ends you may have missed.
|07-25-2011, 04:38 PM||#2|
Join Date: Aug 2005
Re: The CBA in a nutshell
Winners, losers from the NFL lockout
Posted by Gregg Rosenthal on July 25, 2011, 3:15 PM EDT
Fans wait outside the NFL Players Association headquarters in Washington AP
We have broken down the deal. Now let’s look at who escaped this lockout slog looking good, and who didn’t.
Veteran NFL players: They missed an offseason of minicamps and practices, which should make it easier to fend off young players in camp this year. More importantly, they will get a bigger slice of the salary cap pie.
Top rookies will make far less in this new CBA, and that money will go to veterans. Getting NFL teams to agree to a very aggressive “salary cap floor” also guarantees NFL revenue will be spent back on the players.
For example, teams have to spend to 99% of the salary cap as a league this year. The lowest any team can spend is 89% of the cap. These are huge increases from previous floors that will guarantee small market teams spend aggressively.
Players you’ve never heard of: Minimum salaries of players will go up $50,000, which is a substantial increase. Almost half the league has minimum salary contracts. The players did right by their right by the rank and file.
Bank accounts of NFL owners: The NFLPA* was playing defense all along. We essentially knew ahead of time the owners would leave this lockout with a larger share of total revenue, and that is the case.
The players made advances in other issues like safety and a salary cap floor, but ultimately the owners will now get a greater share of a rapidly growing revenue pool. This can be a “win-win” deal, but there’s no debate the owners will get more money in this CBA than the one that came before it.
That was the entire idea behind the lockout.
Small market teams: Yes, they have to spend more to get to the salary cap floor. They also will get more revenue sharing help from the top-earning teams in the league.
Jeff Saturday and Domonique Foxworth: These two leaders from the NFLPA* earned a lot of respect.
Mediator Arthur Boylan: Sure, the biggest breakthrough happened when he was on vacation. Boylan still kept the union and NFL moving forward during choppy waters. He helped to finish the job mediator George Cohen could not.
A special thanks to …
Patriots owner Robert Kraft: No owner did more to bring the two sides together and compromise than Patriots owner Robert Kraft. That he did it against the backdrop of his wife’s battle with cancer makes his contributions all the more remarkable.
Colts center Jeff Saturday’s remarks after the agreement said it all.
Gets his own category
DeMaurice Smith: Fans may disagree, but we suspect history will show Smith did well by his players. Let’s face it: The NFLPA* is always going to be an underdog in labor talks. They have fewer resources and they were playing defense.
Smith took over a difficult situation and slowly earned the respect of his players and adversaries in ownership. He didn’t give up that much and got plenty in return for financial concessions. Most importantly, he helped get to the finish line without missing significant time in training camp or the preseason.
The lockout was caused by owner unhappiness at a time of unprecedented prosperity. They locked the players out, which has to count for something. Both sides were at fault for taking fans for granted throughout the process, and dragging this out longer than necessary. That’s why Smith isn’t a “winner” but someone that earned respect.
The 18-game concept: It will eventually be a matter of debate again, but not for at least two years. This was a big issue for the players, and they didn’t budge.
Roger Goodell: We think Goodell is a very good commissioner with the best interests of the game at heart. But there’s no denying he’s been beaten up over the last few months. Player anger towards him became significant. A perception grew that he couldn’t control his owners. (We’re not sure anyone could.)
Goodell’s efforts to end the lockout cannot be underestimated. But this is a results business: Goodell presided over the longest work stoppage in league history. In the long run, people will view the 2011 lockout as a speed bump for a wildly successful league. In the short run, the NFL can’t have it both ways.
They have sold the concept to fans on NFL Network that the “season never ends.” It ended for five months this year, running the league’s biggest fans through an emotional ringer.
This lockout came primarily as a money grab at a time of unprecedented success for the league. Considering the economic climate the lockout took place in, Goodell takes a short-term hit.
Hardcore coaches: Practice contact will be reduced dramatically in the regular season. Offseason practices will also be cut down, with big fines for coaches who break the rules.
“The only thing the players didn’t get is someone else to play for them,” one source told PFT.
Highly-drafted rookies: This especially applies to top ten picks. No. 1 overall pick Cam Newton is slated to get roughly $22 million over the next four years. For comparison’s sake, last year’s top pick Sam Bradford got $50 million guaranteed and $72 million over his first six years.
First-round picks outside the top-16 picks will take a hit, but it’s not as dramatic. Players taken in rounds two-through-seven may actually benefit because of the minimum salary increase.
All 2011 rookies: It will be harder for quarterbacks like Newton or Minnesota’s Christian Ponder to win starting gigs and succeed in camp after missing the entire offseason. This will especially hurt late-round picks and undrafted players that now seem more likely to be cut.
Undrafted players: With the per-team signing bonus expenditure limited to $75,000 per team for undrafted players, these rookies will no longer be able to tell prospective teams to put their money where their mouths are.
Agents: They are taking a hair cut on fees for rookie contracts, which are already headed South. Anti-holdout measures for rookies will also be taken, which takes away a leverage point for agents.
Carson Palmer and Donovan McNabb: Perhaps the Bengals could have traded Palmer before the 2011 draft. Now it appears he may spend the 2011 season at home because he refuses to play for Cincinnati. The Bengals probably won’t entertain trading him until 2012.
McNabb would not still be a member of the Redskins if not for the lockout. With five highly drafted rookies getting taken, the market for him has been significantly diminished. His exorbitant bonus isn’t due until September, which means the Redskins may fruitlessly try to trade him for a while. More jobs will be filled in the meantime.
Vincent Jackson: Fans won’t forget that Jackson was the last Brady antitrust plaintiff to give up on squeezing the NFL for more cash in exchange for his signature. We don’t think it’s fair to call the players “greedy” throughout much of the process, but Jackson, Logan Mankins, Drew Brees, and Peyton Manning took a P.R. hit by seeking extra benefits for attaching their name to the antitrust case.
NFL fans: The players and owners take us for granted because they can. We just want football, and we support the league completely. It was an insane act of hubris for the NFL to threaten to take the game away when it was at its very peak. The league isn’t likely to pay for it.
Rich Eisen from NFL Network put it well: “Love all these fans saying now we missed nothing when my twitter feed has been filled for 4 months MFing everyone involved in this process.”
The more you love the game, the more these last five months have been difficult to swallow.
The lucky part: We won’t have to go through this again for at least another decade