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  1. #1
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    Arrow Union problem on the horizon.

    Jarrett Bell, USA TODAY 2 hours, 42 minutes ago
    Gene Upshaw began his annual fall tour of NFL teams this week, and the players' union chief is under no illusions as to what the No. 1 topic on the minds of his constituents is: extending the collective bargaining agreement.

    The CBA between the league and players doesn't expire until after the 2007 season, but sluggish talks have Upshaw pondering worst-case scenarios.

    "I can't have a mixed message," Upshaw said, alluding to team-by-team meetings. "If we don't have a deal by the end of '05, the players want to get to the uncapped year."

    The impact of an uncapped year in 2007 after 14 years of a salary cap is debatable, given that teams already have several marquee players signed to long-term contracts.

    More critical to negotiations - so sensitive that Commissioner Paul Tagliabue recently instituted a gag order for owners and club officials - is the bottom line of splitting an enormous pie. A sticking point is how players will share in local revenues.

    Owners contend that large stadium debt loads and expenses that help generate local revenues must be better accounted for in percentages paid to players.

    Under the current CBA, players are paid 65.5% of football revenues. Discussions for an extension have been based on "total revenues," which includes local revenues. Upshaw has said players want 69% of total revenues.

    "What we've got to do is educate the union," Houston Texans owner Robert McNair told USA TODAY recently, before Tagliabue's edict. "Right now, what they're asking is just totally unrealistic. They need to get realistic about debt revenue and not gross revenue. That's where the big disconnect is."

    There's also a difference of opinion as to whether the owners must agree to their own new revenue and cost-sharing model that would perhaps reduce disparities between highest- and lowest-revenue teams before agreeing to a new CBA.

    "We don't want to leave it with them," said Upshaw. "They've taken the position that revenue sharing is none of our business. The hell it isn't."

    Upshaw said players factor into the owners' internal revenue-sharing because they are the "most expensive item on their books" and franchise values have soared.

    Said McNair: "The union is not going to resolve any internal problems we have. If we get a CBA that works, the owners can come together to deal with our internal issues. But to go out and try to deal with internal issues without knowing what your labor costs are going to be, a lot of people think that's an impossibility."

    McNair and Upshaw agree that a recent shake-up of the NFL Management Council's Executive Committee will aid negotiations. Owners Jim Irsay (Indianapolis), Bob Harlan (Green Bay), Bill Bidwill (Arizona), Mike Brown (Cincinnati) and John York (San Francisco) were dumped, replaced by Robert Kraft (New England), Jerry Richardson (Carolina), Pat Bowlen (Denver), and Dan Rooney (Pittsburgh). Jerry Jones (Dallas), John Shaw (St. Louis) and Wellington Mara ( New York Giants) remained on the committee chaired by Harold Henderson, the league's executive VP for labor relations.

    The revised committee met with union leaders earlier this month, with another session scheduled for October 6.

    Said Upshaw, "One thing that Pat Bowlen said sticks with me: 'If all of us can't work out a labor deal, we all need to be shot.'"

    Rooney said he's optimistic that progress will be accelerated and that the purpose of shaking up the committee was to "show the union we're serious."

    "They recognize the real world and have been successful," McNair said of the committee's new members. "Upshaw knows they're successful and reasonable to work with. I think it will be productive."

    Quick slants
    Last edited by HUbison; -09-29-2005 at 10:46 AM.

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  2. #2
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    Re: Union problem on the horizon.

    I know there's a business side to football that is necessary, but I always get a knot in my stomach when 32 billionaires and 1700 millionaires start arguing over who needs more money.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Union problem on the horizon.

    I can't live without football season if they strike. Offseason's long enough as it is.

    I'd move to Bhutan.

  4. #4
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Union problem on the horizon.

    I would really be shocked if there was a strike.
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    Re: Union problem on the horizon.

    Quote Originally Posted by NickSeiler
    I would really be shocked if there was a strike.
    So would I Nick,BUT they've done it before so I cant put it passed them.

    :sad:
    My heart beats crazy and my blood runs wild

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