An interesting story here by Fanhouse’s Dan Graziano as he explains why this Tuesday could be a big turning point in determining how long the NFL’s labor issue will continue.
As Graziano explains, a special master will review the NFLPA’s complaint that the $4.5 billion in guaranteed contracts from the TV networks to the owners – money the owners will receive whether or not there are games played next season – constitute lockout insurance.
Basically, the players say the owners would have no great desire to compromise with the NFLPA, because games or not, they’d get paid anyway. The NFLPA also would like to prove the owners took less upfront money from the networks as long as it was guaranteed.
If the special master agrees, the NFLPA is asking that the $4.5 billion be held in escrow until a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is signed.
Or there’s this from the story:
It's also possible that, if the union can prove that the owners violated the current CBA by failing to seek and obtain the maximum possible value of the TV contracts, they could seek to have some or even all of that money awarded to the players as damages. The chances of employing that tactic depend on the strength of the union's evidence and how aggressive executive director DeMaurice Smith (whose background is as a Washington attorney) decides to be.
But if the owners think there's a chance that a decent chunk of their TV money could end up in the players' pockets as part of a damages award, that's the kind of thing that would really get them to the bargaining table in a hurry.
Who knew labor fights could be so much fun?
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