22 June 2011

Fantasy Exhale: NFL Lockout Coming To An End


The league meetings wrapped up on Tuesday and all signs point toward a new CBA deal on the horizon.

It would seem that for the most part the majority of owners liked what they heard. There still seems to be a handful of owners opposed to whats going on but not enough to stop the new CBA from happening. It would be fair to say that the owners pushing back either had no luck getting more on board with them or didn’t even bother trying. Roger Goodell deserves a ton of credit for pushing forward and getting this thing done. Points of the new CBA were also leaked to the media and it seems like something both sides can agree on. Lets have a look at those main points below.


In the new CBA the players would get 48% of all revenue coming in. Under the new agreement never will players share go below 46.5 %. In the old agreement it was 60% or as DeMaurice Smith claims around 53%. At first glance it looks like the players are taking a big hit but the owners have decided not to take a billion off the top and this makes it easier to swallow. Before the lock out started the owners were trying to get two billion off the top and then start talking about how to split the rest. The owners would still get expense credits to help with building of new stadiums. With the way money will be split up now, the players might actually make more year to year. Retired players will benefit as well getting improved pension benefits and better health care.

Salary Cap:

Looks like the salary cap is back. After one season of an uncapped year it will be put back in place. The one good thing about having the salary cap for the players is owners will now be required to spend almost 100% of the cap each year. This is another good thing for the players. It will make sure money throughout the league is distributed evenly no matter who you play for.

Rookie Wage Scale:

This was long overdue. Getting a rookie wage scale in place was something that will benefit both sides right away. Owners and players alike were getting sick of first round picks getting paid a ton of money before even playing a down of football. JaMarcus Russell is the poster boy for what was wrong with the old system, as Russell got more money then most players in the league. Both sides can agree that this needed to be fixed.

Free Agency:

The rules of free agency will go back to the way it was at the end of the 2008 season. All the four and five year restricted free agents will now become unrestricted as soon as the league year begins. Their seems to be some questions about tender tags though and I guess this is still being discussed. GM’s better have their game faces on though because once free agency begins it is going to get crazy. Anyone caught sleeping at the wheel is going to be left behind.

18 Game Schedule:

When the lock out first started i thought that the 18 game schedule was a deal breaker. I had come to the conclusion that this point would be key in negotiations. As it turns out in the end it will be left on the table for negation purposes only. If I was a players I would totally go for it. Yes I know that it will lead to shortened careers, but in the mean time you will make more money. Two more games a year would be a ton more revenue and lead to higher salaries for everyone. The 18 game schedule will not end up as a mandatory point when the CBA is complete.

16 Game Thursday Football:

No more having to wait until the Thanksgiving game for Thursday Night Football. When I first heard this it seemed like it would be put in place in 2012 but that has been corrected and it will be put in place for the 2014 season. Either way this is a huge revenue stream for the league. A full season of games that have their own night will be nothing but money. As a football fan I love this but as a fantasy football geek this kinda scares me. Having to tweak rosters so soon after Monday Nights Game sucks. The football fan in me just beat the snot out of the geek. One more night dedicated just to football is going to be great.

The owners and players have made great strides over the last few weeks and sources say that the hard part is done. The hard part being the money and now that it is out of the way their just seems to be some loose ends to tie up. I have heard anywhere from one to three weeks before the new CBA is complete.

I must say that the last three plus months have not been easy. Having football at my finger tips 365 days a year was something I have grown accustomed to. Nothing can stop this thing now, with all the momentum they have going it is either get on board or be run over. In the end we missed some mini camps, off season training and free agency (coming to a town near you soon). Veterans got some much needed rest on their bodies and all will be forgiven by NFL fans. This lock out is as good as over and Sundays in the fall never looked so good.