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King: NFL Work Stoppage in 2011 Looking Like a Real Possibility

Peter King of Sports Illustrated wrote about the ongoing collective bargaining agreement negotiations between the NFL owners and the NFL Player's Association. I know some of the nuts and bolts of this can be boring so I'll get right down to it.

It ain't lookin' good.

King writes, "it'll be an upset if there isn't a work stoppage that either delays or cancels the 2011 season." Per King, the two sides aren't making any progress on a new CBA in the 11 sessions they've conducted so far.

The "core of the problem", as King writes, "is that the owners want the players cut of the money to be reduced (by about 18%) in order to offset the costs of financing stadiums and other debt upkeep."

That 18% is about $1 billion.

"There's obviously been an enormous shift from public financing of stadiums to private funding,'' one management source told King. "Those costs are not recognized in the current CBA, and we feel that has to change.'

The players aren't interested in reducing this amount and feel the stadium construction isn't their problem.

"But from the players' perspective," King writes, "it's got to be a tough sell to union leaders. Imagine Smith going into a union meeting at a team and telling the players that the average compensation to the men in this room is about $1.8 million this year in salary and bonus payments, and explaining to them in a time of bountiful success for the NFL, each of the players is going to have to take, on average, a $324,000 pay cut. The players will never go for that, absent the owners being able to prove they're losing money in a time of unparalleled wealth in the league."

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