Adam Schefter is reporting that a "handful" of owners are resisting the parameters of the deal currently being discussed with the players that would end the lockout and restore football for the foreseeable future.
A handful of NFL owners -- at least two of which are from AFC teams -- believe the parameters of the deal being discussed don't adequately address the original issues the league wanted corrected from the 2006 collective bargaining agreement, according to sources.
As Schefter points out, the owners voted back in March to give Roger Goodell power to offer and negotiate on their behalf. So, while some owners have been involved, Goodell has had the authority to get a deal done on behalf of the all the owners. Apparently some of the owners don't like the deal he's been doing.
So who are they? I think we could probably rule out those that have been involved in the negotiations directly. Like Bob Kraft and Jerry Jones. If they've been in the room, you'd have to think they wouldn't be moving the negotiations forward if they didn't like the deal. I think we can probably rule out our own Jeff Lurie as well, because I get the impression that he would follow the lead of guys like Kraft and Jones specifically.
I think we have to look at the owners that really objected to the last deal and don't run particularly high revenue teams. Mike Brown of the Bengals and Ralph Wilson of the Bills. Those were the only two that voted against the last CBA and have been outspoken in their opposition to it.Wilson was outspoken in his opposition to the last labor agreement and implied earlier this year that he wasn't even able to break even.
I came into this game 50 years ago because I enjoyed the game of pro football. Not to make money," Wilson told the New York Daily News. "In those days, everybody was hoping to break even. We lost money for a number of years. I am really not into the game to make money, but I would like to break even or make a little. ..
"It's very difficult. We've had a tough time. We've hung in there. Buffalo has lost population and it's a tough go. When I came in the league, it was the 14th largest city in the league. All the corporations moved out of Buffalo. We're doing alright. We will make it, but it's not easy."
Brown also said that the last CBA was a mistake.
It is a very good deal for players. It's good for high-revenue teams," he said. "It's a challenge for low-revenue teams. We didn't feel it was in the best interest of our team financially."
"We don't want other teams' revenues," Brown said. "We merely want them to pay the cost that they export down to us. The league as a whole is further imbalanced (economically.)"
Brown specifically said that the deal was bad for low revenue teams.
Brown said low-revenue teams, such as the Bengals, pay 70% of their revenue toward player costs. High-revenue teams, such as Washington, Dallas, New England and Philadelphia, pay about 40%.
Of course, since then, a few owners have since agreed with Brown's take. Namely Jerry Richardson of the Panthers and John Mara of the Giants.
Now I don't claim to have any inside info here, but I'd be willing to bet serious money that one of, if not both of these guys are the unnamed AFC owners that Schefter cites in this report.