ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 3: Executive Director of the National Football League Players' Association (NFLPA) DeMaurice Smith leaves the Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Federal Courthouse after the NFL lockout hearing on June 3, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. NFL players and the league met in court today for a federal appeals hearing on the legality of the three-month-old lockout. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
NFL players and owners have been meeting over the past two weeks and optimism has been growing over the prospect of a new deal. This week, NFL owners Have begun meeting in Chicago and the latest reports are that they are being filled in on some of the parameters that could end up being part of the final collective bargaining agreement that eventually gets done.
ESPN is reporting that a few of the items that the sides in the negotiations have agreed on have leaked out. Here are a few specific points.
Players will get 48 percent of all revenue. Previously, the owners were asking for 1-2 billion dollars off the top before revenue was shared. This is a big win for the players if true. The players' share will not be allowed dip below 46.5 percent, per the formula that is used to share revenue. Teams will have a salary floor that requires them to spend at least 90-93 percent of the salary cap.
A rookie wage scale seems to be part of deal but is still being hammered out. The 18 game season is not part of the deal, but it will remain an option that can be discussed in the coming years. There will however be a new 16-game Thursday night TV package starting in 2012 that will help grow league-wide revenue and "pay" for part of this new deal.
This means, that there will be a game on Thursday in basically every week of the season just like Monday night football.
In addition, owners will get some "expense credits" for funding new stadiums and retired players will see a significant bump in benefits.
Sources are saying that a deal could be done by mid-July, which would allow for a full preseason. Of course, there is still more negotiating to be done and the owners as a group still have to approve this deal.