NFL owners staged Wednesday walkout at CBA talks

Just in case you were enjoying your weekend, here's a little something to crush your warm weather optimism. Talks between the NFLPA and the NFL broke down on Wednesday. Nobody quite knew why, but it was just assumed that some proposal on the table, like maybe the rookie wage scale, proved to be a deal breaker. Nope.

According to ESPN's John Clayton, the owners' walkout was a stunt, planned from the start, no reasonable offer could have changed that...and the NFLPA made a very reasonable offer. They offered a 50-50 split of all revenues taken in by the league.

The "all revenue" removes the current $1 billion credit given to owners from the take, which owners claim allows them to offset stadium costs. Under the old CBA, the union gets 60 percent of the revenue after the credit is given. Owners want an additional billion dollars in credits under a new CBA. The union's 50-50 proposal comes as the league is experiencing record ratings...and profits. Not negotiating around that deal will make the owners look ridiculous in the PR war, maybe. 

Some more CBA reading.

Krieger: Lockout is a lock, sadly
Another less-than-positive spin on the breakdown of labor negotiations. Unfortunately, I'm starting to feel that way myself. This column isn't anything new, but it does cast the "TciketGate" incident at the Super Bowl in the same context as what the league is willing to do to fans with the lockout.

Once CBA is complete, attention will turn to Los Angeles

Dueling stadium projects in LA. Remember, that AEG's Phil Anschutz, the group working on the downtown stadium, has worked closely with Rams' owner Stan Kroenke for sports properties in Denver.

NFLPA reaction to owners' rookie wage scale proposal

The union took major umbrage with the league's proposal on the rookie wage scale, understandably so. Not only would the proposal, they claim, severely limit rookies, it would essentially become a veteran wage scale by putting de facto restrictions on veteran players with 3-5 experience, the bulk of the league. It could also put a lot of the middle tier veteran type players, the unheralded yet important guys who play roles on teams, out of work. 

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