NFLPA Still Wants More Financial Transparency As Deadline Nears
As the NFL and NFLPA today enter the next to last day of federally mediated negotiations for a new CBA, there is rising concern in the industry that there will be no deal and that the union will decertify Friday and the league will lock out after the deal expires Friday night. The two sides are not close on any of the three major economic issues – the share of revenues, the rookie pay issue or the 18-game schedule, according to sources and reports. The NFL and the union also appear to be at a stalemate over the players’ demand for financial transparency and the league's refusal to release fully detailed audited financial statements.
Although the NFL and NFLPA can agree to extend the CBA, which is set to expire at the end of the day Friday, financial and other sources said that if there was an agreement by the NFL to show the NFLPA its books, it would take weeks for auditors to go through them. NFLPA Exec Dir DeMaurice Smith, leaving the mediation yesterday, reiterated the need for full financial disclosure and told reporters what the NFL offered the players was "utterly meaningless."
NFL Exec VP & General Counsel Jeff Pash following yesterday’s session acknowledged that what the NFL offered was evidently not what the union wanted. He added the league was still willing to discuss the issue. But with time running out, sources say it is not likely the sides will reach agreement on that issue.