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2011 NFL Lockout Potential: NFL Owners, NFLPA Cancel Labor Meeting Amidst Revenue, Rookie Scale Disagreements

Word came out today that the NFL owners and NFL Players Association have cancelled a planned five hour bargaining session. Reasons were not given, but Chris Mortensen indicated some serious disagreements on the revenue issue and Andrew Brandt is tweeting about rejected rookie scale proposals. There was some sort of issue about “total revenue” versus “all revenue” and Joel Thorman defined total revenue as follows:

Currently, “total revenue” is defined as the $9 billion gross, minus $1 billion in credits the league takes off the top. The “players get 60 percent of the pie” argument you hear means 60 percent of the $8 billion remaining. Without the stadium credit — or $9 billion — the players currently get about 50 percent, according to the union.

According to Chris Mortensen, it sounds like the two sides are upwards of a billion dollars apart based on the current proposals up for discussion. Owners are apparently asking for a billion dollar credit towards the total revenues on top of an existing billion dollar credit. Union sources indicate that would cut the players’ percentage of the pie to 40%, which they state would be the lowest among athletes in any of the major sports.

Andrew Brandt of National Football Post has been tweeting about disparities as well in the potential rookie salary scale. Brandt tweeted the following this morning:

- NFLPA proposal on rookies limited length to 4 yrs for rounds 1-3; 3 yrs for rounds 4-7, cap on incentives, savings to vets. Rejected by NFL.

- Proposal on rookies from union formally rejected this week. NFL wants wage scale, no negotiations, 5 yrs for 1st rd, 4 yrs for rest.

- Under NFLPA proposal, 9th pick in Draft would make 18M over 4 yrs; under NFL proposal, 9th pick in Draft would make 8.6M over 5 yrs.

As Brandt later said, this would seem to show a serious fundamental difference between the two sides. Three weeks of negotiating can in fact be an eternity, but until progress is made on at least one of these issues, it’s hard to get excited about avoiding a lockout.