Jim Trotter from Sports Illustrated relays some very disturbing comments from two NFL owners. Two owners told Trotter that if the CBA situation doesn't get worked out by March 4, then there will be "nothing" until Labor Day. That comes on the heels of news that talks between the NFL and the NFLPA broke down yesterday and were canceled today.
The NFLPA is expected to have a conference call with players very soon to update them on the situation. Ditto for the owners. The league year begins on March 4. Without a CBA nothing happens, nothing but more CBA negotiations, and those might not be happening either. Besides taking away the annual free agent derby, no agreement also means no practice, no trades, no player salaries or benefits, no pay for all the other people it takes to run a football team and league...nothing until something happens.
Details about a rookie wage scale proposed in the negotiations are starting to emerge today. According to Andrew Brandt, the NFLPA offered something that would limit rookie contract lengths to 4 years for players selected in round 1-3 and 3 years for players in round 4-7. Brandt offers a glimpse of what a rookie deal would look like under that proposal. The 9th overall pick in the draft would get $18 million for a 4-year contract. The NFL rejected that proposal. According to Brandt the league's proposal would pay the 9th pick in the draft $8.6 million over 5 years. The 9th pick in last year's draft, RB C.J. Spiller, received a 5-year, $28 million contract with $20.8 million guaranteed.
Doug Farrar at Shutdown Corner has an update on the breakdown in talks that offers a chilling reminder of when this thing might finally get settled. If it's like the last lockout, it will come down the bitter end, the Labor Day date Trotter referenced.