The National Football League and the NFL Players' Association have extended the deadline another day to try to reach a collective bargaining agreement. The two sides met Thursday, and sources say more ground was covered on that day than on any other in several months of negotiations.
Several key points the NFL and the players' association are sorting out:
- Should there be 18-game seasons?
- Should there be a rookie wage scale, reducing rookie signing contracts in the NFL draft?
- How will the roughly $9 billion in revenue be split between the NFL and the players' association?
If the two sides do not reach an agreement, there could be no professional football next season. Sponsors might abandon their contracts, causing both sides to lose revenue that cannot be regained. But according to a column by ESPN writer Rick Reilly, the owners will not face financial hardships, as their combined net worths exceed $40 billion.
According the the NFL, 74 players earn more than $140 million in bonuses and other compensations in March. If a lockout ensues, they will not see that revenue. Assistant coaches stand to receive reduced contracts, and they can only earn back the money if there is a labor agreement set by the start of the season.
Friday could be the last day of negotiations , with federal mediator George Cohen in the middle. Although Cohen got the union to agree to a seven to 10 day extension of labor negotiations, the NFL has not yet accepted this latest extension.
Do you think there will be an NFL season this fall?