FanPost

Making Sense of Vrabel, et al v. NFL

Yes, the case title is correct. Mike Vrabel is one of the named plaintiffs in the class-action suit filed on behalf of players against the NFL. The lawsuit requests the 8th Circuit Court to deem certain practices by the NFL, namely the Lockout, College Draft, rookie wage scale, Franchise Tag, and Transition Tag as restraints of trade/anticompetitive agreements (illegal in a free competitive market).

In short, the players argue that these practices restrict players from being able to market their services to whatever team they want for whatever price a free market will pay.

This is scary, because while these practices are illegal in a true free market, they are precisely what keep competition equal among the 32 franchises. The effect of this suit would make NFL football more like MLB baseball. I can only hope the intent of this suit is to get the parties back to the table, because the suit requests an injunction on the lockout and for money damages, not a new agreement.

The media has been reporting that the players and league are fighting over how to split $9B. That is actually not true. $9B was the league's revenue last year. The argument is over $1B, which is the additional amount the league wants to set aside before profits are shared through the salary cap. The salary cap is actually the method by which revenue is shared between owners and players. Currently the players receive roughly 57.5% of the revenues, after the $1B is set aside for costs, etc. Similar to a personal injury settlement/verdict where case expenses are deducted before the lawyers get their continegency fee and the plaintiff receives his or her percentage of the award.

The league wants an additional $1B set aside before the revenues are split. Whats true is professional football is not a pure competitive market. Unlike other jobs where an employee might not like their salary, an NFL player does not have another job he can go to. There is no other professional league (save Canada). There are other issues too (workers comp., etc.) but they are not alleged in the suit.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Arrowhead Pride's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Arrowhead Pride writers or editors.

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