Saturday was a "great day" as far as the NFL labor situation was concerned; there weren't serious issues to bridge, because, after all, the "legal and financial teams" could handle everything that remained.
Right? Well, maybe. Now it appears there might be a little more ground to cover than initially thought.
CBSSports.com's own Mike Freeman reported on Saturday that "there are still points to be resolved" with respect to a new CBA. Freeman noted two in particular: workman's comp and rollback benefits (those that were lost last season). Turns out there might be more.
There are also issues relating to whether the NFLPA will actually become a union -- it's currently a trade association -- and there are issues on how the named plaintiffs in the Brady v. NFL case will be compensated when it comes to free agency.
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As you'll likely recall, when Reggie White and other named plaintiffs fought for free agency, they were compensated by avoiding any franchise tag issues. Now, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and the rest of the plaintiffs named in the antitrust lawsuit against the NFL want the same thing to happen.
Presumably, one of the issues that needs to be resolved involves whether these named plaintiffs, which includes rookie linebacker Von Miller, will be given special consideration. They'll likely need to be given something, or else it might be difficult for them to file a Voluntary Dismissal and end the lawsuit against the NFL.
There is also a report from ESPN that the franchise-tagging system as a whole is problematic in negotiations.
According to this report, the players don't want to allow teams to continue to use franchise tags over-and-over again on a player. Obviously, teams prefer the lack of liability involved in a long-term deal to a franchise tag.
These issues aren't dealbreakers, per se, but they are problematic. Can teams live with a one-time shot at franchise tagging a player? Can the named plaintiffs deal with only having to be tagged once if it settles the lawsuit? Or will they demand perpetual freedom from such contract issues?
Making things more complicated is that while those questions are being sorted out, the NFL and players must figure out a way in which to handle the reimbursement of $320 million (lost benefits) and determine the locale for workers' compensation.
These complex issues are solvable, but they're why it's necessary to keep the champagne on ice for at least a few days and let the negotiations play out.
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