Deal reached on NFL rookie wage scale

DeMaurice Smith, NFL Players Association Executive Director arrives for labor negotiation meetings between the National Football League and the National Football League Players Association in New York, July 14, 2011. The National Football League and some of the game’s top quarterbacks agreed on Wednesday it is time to reach an agreement to end a four-month-old lockout rather than risk disrupting the start of the 2011 season. REUTERS/Jamie Fine (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

The NFL and the players are heading towards a settlement now that the rookie wage scale has been agreed to.

You can start studying to get a leg up on your fantasy football draft, and you can book that trip to Vegas for a weekend in the sports book!

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Owners renege on revenue sharing

I’m sure Mr. Stalter will go into more detail later on today, but I wanted to throw out this tidbit from CBS’ Mike Freeman about the regression in the NFL’s labor negotiations:

Based on interviews with several people familiar with the discussions this is what happened. The players thought they had an agreement on the important split of overall revenue. In fact, despite the protestations to players in a conference call, the NFLPA believed a deal was indeed near. Then, the sources stated, owners suddenly reversed course, and offered models that had been previously rejected by the players.

Come on, owners. Now’s not the time to be moving backwards on comprimises to which you’ve already agreed.

NFLPA is ready to decertify on Friday

National Football League Players’ Association’s (NFLPA) Executive Director DeMaurice Smith speaks to the media as he arrives to continue negotiations between the National Football League (NFL) and NFLPA in Washington March 11, 2011. The parties were still negotiating a range of sticking points, including how to divide more than $9 billion in annual revenues, but the players’ union insist one issue, the NFL’s proposal to add two more games to the regular season, was off the table. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts (UNITED STATES – Tags: EMPLOYMENT BUSINESS SPORT FOOTBALL)

The current CBA deadline may be set for 11:59PM ET on Friday but for the NFL and NFLPA to avoid a lockout, the two sides will have to come to an agreement much sooner than that.

That’s because the deadline for the players to decertify is approximately 5:00PM ET, or seven hours before the CBA deadline is set. And the NFLPA has already filed the paperwork to take the necessary actions once that deadline hits. In essence, the two sides will either have to agree on a new CBA (or at the very least, another extension), or prepare for a lockout/decertification.

The hiccup in talks still appears to be the owners’ unwillingness to show the players audited financial statements for every team. The owners did open up their books earlier this week, but the players want more intricate details. In the eyes of the union, it’s not enough for the owners to ask the players to take a paycut and only provide overall yearly numbers. The NFLPA want more.

The players have already won a couple of battles but the war is far from over. U.S. Eighth District Court Judge David S. Doty’s ruling that the owners can’t use the annual TV revenue to financially support a lockout was a big win for the players. And if they decertify, they would be heading back to court with Doty, who has sided more with the them than the owners when it’s come to past labor transgressions.

But while the players would have an alley in Doty, avoiding him is still the goal. Coming to an agreement with the owners so that there’s a season next year is what everyone (from the NFLPA to the fans) wants in the end. If they decertify, then the divide between them and the owners because much bigger than it already is, which is only fueling the problem.

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