I still have other things I want to get to, but when NFL news hits, I have no choice but to let you know. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent out a letter to all NFL players on Thursday informing them of the deal owners put on the table to the NFLPA before negotiations were silenced. According to the letter, here were the main points outlined in the owners’ deal to the players:
- A salary cap for 2011 that would avoid a negative financial impact for veterans.
- Extensive changes in off-season work requirements that would promote player health and safety while also encouraging players to continue their education and promote post-football career opportunities.
- Reduction in preseason and regular-season practices with pads and with contact and increased days off.
- Expanded injury guarantees – including a guarantee of up to $1 million of a second year of a contract for players injured who can’t return to play.
- Lifetime access to medical coverage for players and their families after a player’s retirement.
- Enhanced retirement benefits for pre-1993 players. More than 2,000 former players would have received an immediate increase in pensions averaging nearly 60 percent, funded entirely by owners.
I’m not going to take sides on this deal, and if I had to I would probably side with the players, but that deal seems pretty good. I guess the main issue, the division of the $9 billion, is still the main sticking point, but it sounds like the owners are at least willing to budge on some of the points. The players have already spoken out in anger against the letter, and they maintain that, while it sounds good on paper, that it is deceptive and a “joke”. That’s a bad sign for all of us who just want this thing to be over.