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SBD/February 17, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies
NFL Says Union's Call For 50-50 Split Not A New Proposal
Published February 17, 2011
|Bucs' Faine says decertification|
is a "last resort"
IMPACT ON TEAMS: The Raiders yesterday signed DT Richard Seymour to a two-year deal worth $30M, but National Football Post President Andrew Brandt said more teams are not signing players to extensions because they are "sort of taking shelter in the fact that it's so uncertain." Brandt: "We don't know if there's going to be a cap. We don't know what the cap's going to be. We don't know what the rules are going to be. We don't know how many years towards free agency. That seems to be holding it up. Also, the rules of the uncapped year are still in place" ("NFL Live," ESPN, 2/16). Meanwhile, Eagles President Joe Banner said of the ramifications of a potential lockout, "There's opportunities in all challenges, so whether that's personnel opportunities, because there's a shorter window, so maybe a team that has better preparation in terms of evaluating the players, maybe a team that has multiple people capable of negotiating difficult contracts at the same time, when most teams only have one, maybe the fact that we will have more flexibility probably than most teams from a cap perspective (will be a plus) -- so we're trying to look at it as an opportunity." In Philadelphia, Les Bowen notes there is a "possibility of organizational layoffs during the anticipated lockout." But Banner said, "There will be an extended period where everybody here will be paid" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 2/17).
SLOWED GROWTH: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Matthew Futterman writes the "larger question behind this entire labor fight is a notion that's familiar to investors, but that represents a radical notion in professional sports: the idea that a sports league, like a giant company, must show steady growth over time." Futterman: "And more radically, a slowdown in the rate of growth, even without actual losses, is sufficient grounds to ask labor to make concessions." The NFL "earned a record $9 billion in revenues this season," and it "bears no resemblance to other major U.S. sports leagues that have faced labor Armageddon." Every NFL franchise is, "by most accounts, profitable and competitive." But owners are "about $1 billion short of the growth in real dollars they were projecting the last time labor negotiations came down to the wire" in '06, and "newer forms of business, like digital media, don't show the obvious potential for huge returns." NFL Exec VP/Business Operations Eric Grubman acknowledged that the "loss of public funding for stadiums has forced owners to put up more money for 'capital costs.'" Grubman added that it is "going to be 'difficult' to push ticket prices higher, though he is optimistic that broadcast fees will rise" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/17).