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ct
03-05-2006, 08:23 AM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/05/AR2006030500255.html

NFL Labor Negotiations Back On, Deal Close

By Mark Maske
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, March 5, 2006; 9:09 AM

The NFL's labor negotiations took a dramatic turn overnight. After the talks faltered yesterday, representatives of the team owners and the players' union agreed to resume negotiations, and participants said the two sides were close to completing a deal.

Gene Upshaw, the executive director of the NFL Players Association, said via e-mail early this morning that the parties had scheduled another meeting in New York and were "now in the area where we will get a deal. I think it may be there. It comes down to a few final points."

The negotiations broke off yesterday with Upshaw saying the owners were unable to compromise, and he left New York and returned to Washington. But the owners were meeting via conference call when Upshaw departed, and league spokesman Greg Aiello said the owners expected negotiations to resume today.

The talks ended yesterday with the owners offering 56.6 percent of an expanded pool of league revenues to the players as compensation under a salary-cap system. Upshaw had dropped his demand that the players receive at least 60 percent, but he would not specify exactly what percentage his latest proposal called for.

Upshaw has maintained that any labor deal between the players and owners would have to be accompanied by an agreement among the owners to increase the degree to which the 32 NFL teams share locally generated revenues. Otherwise, Upshaw has said, lower-revenue clubs could not afford the salary commitment they'd be making to the players. Owners have said they could complete a labor deal with the players without finishing a revenue-sharing agreement immediately.

The compromise might be a provision in the labor deal to limit the amount of money that teams can spend above the flexible salary cap. That would address the concerns of lower-revenue teams that the high-revenue clubs could gain a competitive advantage by using their wealth to consistently outspend the salary cap and get better players. The sides had been negotiating about such "cash over cap" before talks broke off Saturday.

The league's free-agent market is scheduled to open at midnight. Unless there is a new contract, teams must be under next season's $94.5 million salary cap by then. If they need to release players to get under the cap, they must do so by 6 p.m.

But Upshaw and NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue facing a similar deadline Thursday agreed to push back those deadlines by 72 hours, and they could agree to another postponement if more time is needed to complete the deal. Tagliabue has told the owners to leave Tuesday free for a possible meeting in Dallas to ratify a labor deal.

The current labor deal keeps the salary-cap system in place through the 2006 season, then there would be a season without a salary cap in 2007 before the deal expires. Tagliabue said Thursday, just after the owners had a 57-minute meeting in New York to officially reject a players' proposal, that the owners had proposed an extension that would run through the 2011 season.

A labor settlement would push next season's salary cap as high as $108 million per team and would alleviate the salary-cap crunches being experienced by many teams.

*****
Finally, perhaps some good news!

Mile High Mania
03-05-2006, 08:25 AM
I'll believe it when I see it...

ROYC75
03-05-2006, 08:30 AM
Yeah , right .

Sign the deal, get-r-done.

Chief Roundup
03-05-2006, 08:51 AM
I am sure we as fans are hoping that the deal gets done soon. I know that I am. It is what is best for the NFL as a whole.

BigMeatballDave
03-05-2006, 08:56 AM
We'll see...monkeys may also fly out of my ass...

JBucc
03-05-2006, 08:56 AM
Apparently "dead as a doorknob" and "may be close" aren't as far apart as I thought.

the Talking Can
03-05-2006, 09:08 AM
it's the ****ing owners screwing this up....Snyder, Jones...

I bet Hunt wishes he were 40 years younger so he could whoop some ass...

HemiEd
03-05-2006, 09:16 AM
Apparently "dead as a doorknob" and "may be close" aren't as far apart as I thought.

Posturing through the media, they would not dare!


it's the ****ing owners screwing this up....Snyder, Jones...

Interesting thought.

milkman
03-05-2006, 09:23 AM
Interesting thought.

He's right.

If Snyder and Jones hadn't been greedy, and been more willing to discuss revenue sharing that included local revenues, then the owners would have been able to focus on these negotiations sooner.

C-Mac
03-05-2006, 09:25 AM
Hearing Upshaw back down is what appears to be the most encouraging comment.

Bowser
03-05-2006, 09:31 AM
I'll believe it when I see it...

No way either side ****s this up. It'd be like throwing away the winning Powerball ticket.

the Talking Can
03-05-2006, 09:32 AM
Posturing through the media, they would not dare!




Interesting thought.

the owners and players can split the difference between 56 and 60 percent, that's easy....the problem is the divide between high revenue and "low" revenue franchises...I think the low revenue franchises are trying to leverage the negotiations, they see it as their best chance to force compromise from assholes like Snyder/Jones....very risky, imho, because Snyder/Jones don't give a shit if the league falls apart...they only care about their local revenues...

wouldn't surprise me at all if they refuse to give and watch the CBA go down in flames....

Adept Havelock
03-05-2006, 09:43 AM
Down in flames we go.

Greed is going to overrule common sense. The players appear ready to compromise, but some of the big-market owners are going to kill the Goose that lays the Golden Eggs.

MLB economics, here we come.

58-4ever
03-05-2006, 09:49 AM
Upshaw must have finally read my death-threat emails

HemiEd
03-05-2006, 09:49 AM
the owners and players can split the difference between 56 and 60 percent, that's easy....the problem is the divide between high revenue and "low" revenue franchises...I think the low revenue franchises are trying to leverage the negotiations, they see it as their best chance to force compromise from assholes like Snyder/Jones....very risky, imho, because Snyder/Jones don't give a shit if the league falls apart...they only care about their local revenues...

wouldn't surprise me at all if they refuse to give and watch the CBA go down in flames....


I read recently that 1 vote was needed for the small market/low revenue guys to win this battle. I hope they get it, **** Jones and Snyder! Like you said, they do not care about the future and overall health of the NFL.

Sure-Oz
03-05-2006, 10:22 AM
they better get on it damnit!

StcChief
03-05-2006, 11:52 AM
Just get it done.

Tagliabue has told the owners to leave Tuesday free for a possible meeting in Dallas to ratify a labor deal.

So leave NY to fly to Dallas Why????