NFL, PLAYERS AGREE TO ONE-YEAR EXTENSION OF CURRENT CBA
The NFL Management Council and NFLPA agreed yesterday on
terms for extending the current collective bargaining agreement
for one year through 2000, with options for two additional
seasons after that, according to this morning's ATLANTA
CONSTITUTION. Len Pasquarelli reports the "tentative agreement"
came less than a day after reps from both sides said the
negotiations were "close to collapse." The extension must still
be ratified by a three-quarters vote of NFL clubs and a majority
vote of union members. While the "increased stability" will aid
owners in network TV negotiations when current broadcast rights
deals expire after the '97 season, Pasquarelli writes, "It is the
players who seem to benefit more" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 12/20).
DETAILS: Either side can cancel the extension through 2000
by December 1, 1997 -- though that is flexible depending on TV
talks. The 2001 extension can be killed by Dec. 1, 1998 (USA
TODAY, AP/Mult., 12/20). More:
-- For '96, the players' share of "defined gross revenue"
(gate receipts, local and national radio and TV contracts, etc.)
will increase from 62% to 63% -- a salary cap increase of about
$700,000 per team.
-- The status of '99 changes from an uncapped year to
remaining under the cap. In exchange, the players get the years
required for free agency for that year reduced from six to four.
2000 will also be capped. The final option year, 2002, will be
uncapped with six-year free agency.
REAX: NFLPA Exec Dir Gene Upshaw: "It makes sense to
extend the agreement. The fans, the players and the clubs want
to see the games on the field, not in the courtroom or on the
picket line. This extension should create more stability for the
franchises, something everyone wants" (AP/Minneapolis STAR
TRIBUNE, 12/20). 49ers President Carmen Policy, on the "uncapped
spendfest" that was to be '99: "This is an opportunity to
salvage 1999, which was unsalvageable under the present system"
(USA TODAY, 12/20).