There needs to be less talk, more action in the NFL CBA discussions

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sent a letter to the league’s fans on Monday, assuring them that the owners and players will be able to come to an agreement on a new CBA deal by next season.

This is what he said in his letter (via ESPN.com):

“I know we can and will reach an agreement,” Goodell wrote. “My goal as commissioner now is to help our teams and players find a solution that is fair to everyone and ensures that football becomes more popular, accessible, and fun. We want the next decade to be the best yet for our fans, and I’m ready to work day and night to make that happen.”

What Goodell wrote is all well and good but fans don’t need a letter, they need a football season next year. There seems to be a lot of talk coming from Goodell about how a deal can be worked out, yet it’s January and a new CBA contract is still not in place.

As the situation currently stands, there will be a lockout later this year. That’s the only thing that matters right now. And until the owners and the NFLPA can come to an agreement, the only football that fans will be able to enjoy is the 11 games that remain in the current season.

I’m still of the mindset that the two sides will agree to a new deal and there will be football again next year. But it would be nice to see a little less talk out of guys like Goodell and more action.

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New CBA deal to be wrapped up by the Super Bowl? Seems unlikely.

Call me pessimistic but Roger Goodell’s belief that a new labor agreement could be in place by the Super Bowl seems overly optimistic. Especially when he says things like, “if we all commit to [working on the deal] and work hard at it.”

Nothing has changed over the past couple of months when it comes to settling differences between the owners and players. The owners still want the players to take a pay cut and add games to the regular season, but the NFLPA is in favor of neither. The players want to know why the owners aren’t making any money while the popularity of the league continues to grow, which is certainty understandable.

While appearing on Wednesday’s edition of The Herd with Colin Cowherd, NFLPA president Kevin Mawae echoed those feelings.

“Every week and every year we hear that the ratings are up, more tickets are sold this year than ever before, more advertising is being sold now than ever before, all that does is generate revenue and we have to listen to the owners tell us that we’re not making money. That’s a hard thing to understand when you won’t show us where you’re losing money because you’re afraid to show us your books.”

While fans would love to see Goodell’s projection that a new deal could be wrapped up by the Super Bowl, even he is being realistic about the situation.

“It takes productive dialogue, which means we’ve got to get to that place where we’re making significant progress in getting an agreement,” he said. “It’s not just about meetings and dialogues. It’s about getting real, significant progress on the key issues.”

I’ve held the belief that the NFLPA and owners won’t leave millions of dollars on the table by not getting a new deal worked out. While I still believe that, it would also be naïve to think that greed doesn’t exists. Both sides want to make as much money as possible and a 2011 lockout is still a real possibility.

So instead of talking about it, let’s hope both sides will actually get something done after the holidays so we can have football next fall.

Is a NFL lockout coming in 2011?

The NFL is heading for an uncapped 2010 season, but according to Yahoo! Sports (via Profootballtalk.com), the popular league might be dangerously close to a lockout in 2011.

So it’s no shocker to hear, via ProFootballTalk, that the conversations that the two sides are having about the collective-bargaining agreement are reportedly going “poorly.” There are once-optimistic players who are now thinking that a lockout is coming in 2011.

The supposed deadline for a new CBA to be worked out is March of next year. The old CBA got chucked aside when the owners decided to opt out of it in the spring of 2008.

The people most affected by a 2011 lockout would the fans. The NFL is wildly popular, but people are already turned off by how much athlete’s are making in a poor economy. If they wind up holding out because the NFLPA and the league can’t strike a new CBA deal, then the NFL will lose fans just like the MLB did when baseball held a strike in the mid 90s.

I couldn’t imagine a year without football and I don’t want to. Hopefully the NFLPA is realistic with its demands and we will see a cap in place in 2010. If that can’t happen, then let’s hope a deal is struck in March of next year so we’ll have football in the fall of 2011.


Photo from fOTOGLIF

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