I said earlier today that I'm not hopeful for any kind of quick resolution in the NFL lockout. News trickling out about the continued process of mediation, which resumed yesterday, only looks to confirm that pessimism. It's being reported that the NFL made another offer in mediation yesterday, one that looked a lot like the one they made in March.
"The worst deal in the history of professional sports." That's what DeMaurice Smith called the owners' last offer on March 11. Extracting the hyperbole, what made the deal such a non-starter for players?
The problem with owners' last offer was that it amounted to a huge pay cut, just as league revenues were poised to make record jumps. The owners' proposal takes almost a billion dollars out of the cap (where profit is shared with players) over the first two years. According to DeSmith, those reduced cap numbers do not include the owners' request for stadium credits. Here's our expanded recap of that offer from March. Throw in the rookie wage scale proposal that would jeopardize mid-career, mid-tier players and it's a long way from any sort of acceptable deal for the players.
If this is what the league and players have to negotiate over, forget it. With a strengthened legal position, the courts don't look like such a hostile place for owners, who now seemingly have all the leverage they need. Holding out may be the only thing players can do to try and get a more favorable deal.