SBD/Issue 31/Leagues & Governing Bodies

Bears Chair McCaskey Says New CBA Not Imminent, But "Possible"

McCaskey Feels Agreement That Maintains
League's Prosperity, Appeal Can Be Reached

Bears Chair Michael McCaskey said it is "possible" that a new CBA will be reached before the start of the '11 season, adding "surely there is a way to divide the economic pie and decide on work rules in a way that continues the prosperity and appeal of the game," according to Philip Hersh of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. McCaskey: "All of us -- players, coaches, fans, sponsors, TV networks -- get so much out of it and benefit so handsomely from it, and that stands to continue." He noted a new CBA "will not be reached soon," but added, "It is entirely possible to do it, and if both sides will come to the table with a will to continue what has made the NFL so special, we can get an agreement" (CHICAGOTRIBUNE.com, 10/23). NFL Network's Steve Wyche reported everyone is “guardedly optimistic” about reaching a new CBA before next season. Wyche: “There are subcommittees trying to broker things such as health issues, sponsorships, player safety, and I was told that there is slow progress in that regard. Even though we've seen players vote to decertify in case there is a lockout, it seems that things are moving slowly in a positive direction" ("NFL Total Access," NFL Network, 10/23). Meanwhile, in Denver, Mike Klis reported the Broncos met with NFLPA Exec Dir DeMaurice Smith last Wednesday afternoon. Broncos QB and player rep Kyle Orton: "We talked over all the scenarios and why we feel the way we do. And we showed what [the owners'] actions have been in the last year-and-a-half. And to us, all signs are pointing toward a lockout" (DENVER POST, 10/23).

DELAYED, BUT STILL INEVITABLE? An NFL exec said "nothing is going to happen" in regard to the NFL in L.A. "until the CBA gets taken care of." But in L.A., Vincent Bonsignore reported "despite the league's labor problems, there is momentum for the NFL to return to L.A." Majestic Realty and AEG "carry the necessary clout to make good on their promises" for stadiums in City of Industry and downtown L.A., respectively, though it "would seem the NFL is more favorable to the downtown location and might eventually focus all its attention on that project." Bonsignore: "The questions are, which team -- and potentially teams -- will eventually move here and when will it happen?" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 10/24).

FAVRE LATEST: Fox’ Jay Glazer cited a source as saying that Vikings QB Brett Favre admitted “to leaving voice messages” on Jenn Sterger's voicemail when they were both employees of the Jets in ’08, but he “denied sending pictures that were not appropriate to her.” The NFL “was hoping to have the entire thing wrapped up this past week,” and the league is now trying to get the issue “wrapped up by this coming ... week.” Glazer: “Right now it all depends on whether or not Jenn Sterger talks or not, and her manager saying her silence cannot be bought" (“Fox NFL Sunday,” Fox, 10/24). Meanwhile, in Minneapolis, Judd Zulgad reported the NFL "will begin educating its players more" on workplace conduct following the Favre situation. The NFL in a statement said, "We are making progress on the development of our workplace conduct training program for all teams that will be rolled out as soon as possible but no later than the end of the season" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 10/23).

DON'T MESS WITH PERFECTION: In N.Y., Mike Vaccaro wrote the current NFL schedule is "perfect." Vaccaro: "It is an immaculate blend of numbers and logic, a product of 32 teams broken up into eight four-team divisions and two 16-team conferences. Every team plays a schedule that can therefore be as close to symmetrical as possible. ... It is by far, the fairest and most logical schedule in any sport." Playing 18 regular-season games "would have an obvious effect on the owners' bottom lines," but changing the current format makes "little sense." Vaccaro: "The men who operate sports forever are searching for reasons to upgrade and improve their games. So why would you even think about changing something that already makes this much sense?" (N.Y. POST, 10/24).

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