The National Football League owners are meeting in Chicago today, and ESPN has gotten a hold of some of the particulars that the owners are discussing for a new CBA proposal. . .it sounds like some progress is being made.
- The players' share of the pie would be 48% of the revenue, without the initial $1 billion being taken off the top by the owners. This is a huge change from the way things had been working previously, as the owners had taken the first billion off of the top, and then split the rest with the players. In addition, the players' share would never go below 46.5% according to the formula being tossed around now.
- Teams would be required to spend between 90 and 93% of the salary cap, meaning more money for veteran players as teams wouldn't be able to spend less on player salaries.
- There will be a rookie wage scale, but the specifics of that are still being tweaked.
- Any player with four, five, or six years of service that would have been eligible for free agency will be a free agent. That means Sidney Rice and Ray Edwards will both be unrestricted. Teams will still have use of the franchise and transition tags, but the Vikings have used their franchise tag on Chad Greenway already.
- Owners would get expense credits to help pay for new stadiums (and there was much rejoicing).
- An 18-game schedule will not be mandated, but will be out there as a "negotiable" item in the future.
- Retired players will also see a significant increase in their pensions as the league's revenue increases. . .and it is projected to reach as much as $16 billion by 2016.
Hopefully these are signs that everyone is done screwing around and we're going to get this done in time to have a full training camp and a full 2011 season.
EDIT: It's important to note, as Stampede Blue points out, that any restricted free agent tenders that had been offered to guys like Rice and Edwards would become meaningless, as they technically never would have been restricted free agents in the first place.