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Lockout in 2011? NFL, union talk tough
Posted Feb. 04 at 08:42 PM
What better time than the eve of the NFL's biggest game to bring everyone down by talking about its biggest problem? That was the scene in Florida yesterday, with the player's union claiming vast profits for the league and the luxury of $5 billion from the TV networks even if no football is played in 2011. The NFL, in return, said the league is seeing a decline in profits, with player salaries the biggest issue.
NFL fans, to say nothing of those who rely on the league for their livelihood, have reason to be concerned. With both sides feeling the other is getting too large a share of a considerable economic pie, this is not a minor dispute. An uncapped 2010 appears certain, which will make the return of a salary cap in any new collective bargaining agreement a tougher sell. And without a new CBA, the owners will lock the players out in March 2011 -- an eventuality the players themselves seem resigned to.
Details on yesterday's posturing can be seen at this link.
With an actual lockout more than a year away, of course, it's also a little early to get too worried about it. Many observers, including NFL.com's Jason La Canfora, think something will get done eventually, and probably at the last minute, as has been the case in the past. Then again, the people involved in the negotiations are new, without the history of the people who negotiated the last CBA. It might be optimistic to believe they'll be mindful of the consequences of a work stoppage.
This story hasn't generated much attention thus far, in part because the 2010 season is in no jeopardy. But get ready to hear a lot more about it in the months to come. OK, now go enjoy the Super Bowl.
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