If you’re looking for a tour-de-force on what’s going on in the NFL labor negotiations right now, look no further than this article by Yahoo! Sports’ Michael Silver. He breaks down all the key issues and the reason for the recent optimism.
Unfortunately, he also points out why that optimism may have been misguided, since the key issue to everything (the revenue) is still being debated. Let me break down Silver’s issues, though you really need to go read all of his breakdown:
Basically, the proposed deal would center around an “all-revenue” concept, which would include all the money that owners currently get, but would lower the player’s percentage. Both sides like the concept, but are now arguing over what “all-revenue” means. The players want it to include concert revenue from the stadiums and sales tax on tickets, while the owners want the “expense credits” which came off the top of the other revenue deal, to go through intact.
It’s worse than that, I’m afraid. For all the positivity at seeing Goodell and De Smith together, there is a lack of confidence in those two men. For Goodell, the players don’t see him being enough of a deal-maker to get all the owners on the same page. For Smith, the owners don’t think he can assert enough control over the NFLPA’s lead council to get a deal done.
What it boils down to is both sides think the other guy is too inexperienced to lead this thing. That may not be true, but that changes the tone of those Smith-Goodell photo ops earlier this week a bit, I think.
So, we’re no closer to a deal than we were in March. But, it sounds like if they can reach an agreement on this revenue issue, the rest will fall into place more quickly. I just hope it’s quick enough so we don’t miss any games.