One of the reasons for Tuesday's NFL owners meeting in Chicago was to brief teams on the status of the labor discussions. ESPN's Chris Mortensen is reporting that commissioner Roger Goodell has presented to the owners at least nine proposals that could be a part of a new collective bargaining agreement.
The details, per Mortensen:
- Players get 48 percent of "all revenue" without extra $1-billion-plus off top that previously had been requested by owners.
- Players' share will never dip below 46.5 percent, under new formula being negotiated.
- Teams required to spend close to 100 percent of the salary cap.
- Rookie wage scale part of deal but still being "tweaked."
- Four years needed for unrestricted free-agent status. Certain tags will be retained, but still being discussed.
- 18-game regular season designated only as negotiable item and at no point is mandated in deal. (Editor's note: thank god)
- New 16-game Thursday night TV package beginning in 2012.
- Owners still will get some expense credits that will allow funding for new stadiums.
- Retirees to benefit from improved health care, pension benefits as revenue projected to double to $18 million by 2016.
As for when we'll actually have a 2011 season? Mortensen knows as much as the rest of us. Best guess is mid-July, which is what we've been hearing for a few weeks now. But, hey, it's something.
It gets better: Sports Illustrated's Don Banks tweets that it's "Still relatively early, but we're hearing there is so far no significant dissent being voiced today regarding direction of CBA talks."
Given that we're more than three months into the lockout, we'll happily call this progress.
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