Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Problems Ahead for NFL????

Yesterday the NFL Owners Unanimously voted to opt out of their CBA with the NFLPA in 2010, setting up the possibility of a lockout in 2011.

What more could they want? They own teams worth upwards of a billion dollars. Their sport is the most popular sport in America. Perhaps most perplexing, they have the most control over players' salaries. The NFL is the only league where contracts essentially mean nothing.

Whenever a player signs for "7 years and $70 million," its likely a 3 year, $25 million dollar contract, which has a ridiculous bonus going into the fourth year that will either force the team and player to renegotiate or the player will be cut.

This has the potential to be very bad. Baseball's strike helped the NFL become America's past time. NHL's lockout in 1994 prevented them from surpassing the NBA in popularity, and their lockout in 2004-05 has the sport on life support. And of course, the NBA's lockout hurt their popularity severely and was the birthplace of Pat Ewing's famous quote: "We make a lot but we spend a lot."

I know this is a slippery slope and there is a good chance the NFL will avoid a labor stoppage, but they better hope they can get it together with the players.

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