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NFL AND PLAYERS UNION REPORTEDLY HIT SNAG ON CBA EXTENSION
Published January 6, 1998
While negotiators for the NFL and NFLPA have been working to extend the current CBA which expires in 2002, "several key differences have slowed negotiations dramatically in recent days," according to Mike Freeman of the N.Y. TIMES. Several officials estimated that the chances of reaching a deal in the next few weeks were 50-50. The league "would like" a CBA extension before agreeing to a new TV deal. According to officials, there are "two major sticking points" between the league and its players. The union is looking to "get rid" of the "franchise player" designation which "is typically used by teams on their best player." That player is then guaranteed the average salary of the top five at his position. If a team loses its "franchise player," it receives two No. 1 draft picks as compensation. Freeman: "Some agents and players despise the rule, feeling it limits a player's freedom and salary." But an "even bigger problem" that has come up during negotiations is that the union "wants teams to guarantee the first year of player salaries, which would be unprecedented" in the NFL. Freeman: "There is little chance that ownership will approve either proposal, which has led to the stalemate." Freeman adds that negotiations between the two sides will continue in the coming days (N.Y. TIMES, 1/6).