With a likely NFL Lockout looming in the presence of an already exciting off season. My previous posts were mainly aimed at what we, The Raider Nation could look forward to as we continued to build our team. With the lavish collection of talent coming up in the draft, I've heard a lot of talk about who would fit us best and other countless great ideas that supported my take on the Raiders; and though I am anticipating this next year with a frenzy and belief that so many others have recently lost in the Silver & Black, I'm afraid that all of that hope comes to a halt when I think about the CBA negotiations, the NFL, and the NFLPA.
As I write this, I think about the FA's that we NEED to re-sign, as well as our potential prospects in the 2011 draft, but after reading up on the matter, I've found this entire lockout to be nothing but a complete ploy on the part of the players' union (NFLPA) and also a tactic from the NFL to show who can piss further. Granted there are costs' involved with running any sort of business but for these two entities that are raking it in during an otherwise economic downfall. They should be grateful we're still around around to watch the episode bomb.
What we've learned from the whole Ja-Bustus experience, rookies can typically make over $300k year with some prominent (er, prospected prominent players) making well over $8 million a year. Seems plenty enough money to structure and pay for an adequate healthcare plan. However, with the NFL announcing that it wants to propose 2 more additional league games and cancel 2 preseason games; making up a season with an unchanged total of 20 games. It's a disappointment that the NFLPA finds this notion ridiculous. Mentioning that it's unfair to have added games in the regular season and not upgrade the players current health coverage. Think about the endorsements that some of these players have received along with the multi-millions of dollars they get paid to play football. I don't know what Vicks' or any other brand pays to have their product marketed by NFL players but I can guarantee you that it's at least 5 times my annual salary. Take that adding in the 50% revenue generated by NFL.com, and the NFL Network, it's hard to see the point NFLPA is trying to make. Unfortunately, the NFL is doing no better by keeping the books closed to indicate whether teams that have made enough profit or not.
I understand the implications involving injury and career longevity are amplified during an enhanced season, as they call it. However, working harder for less is what most Americans' HAVE TO do these days and though I'll refrain from anymore political rants in this post it's important to know what side of the ball you're on. If an agreement is not made it's possible that a majority of our FA's would possibly be required to play another year or not play at all. However, teams' wouldn't be able to test or monitor players so I'm sure you can expect a multitude of league policies to be abused along with some sloppy play.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy says in support of the policy ""We expect, as does the insurer, that 80 percent or more of retired players in this group would qualify... This means that 2,500 retired players would qualify for hundreds of thousands of dollars in long-term care benefits that they do not receive today." It's clear to me that the NFLPA is clearly bargaining for former players aged 50-75 that wouldn't normally pass a healthscreen and in doing so have made the entire 2011 season one big question mark. The most recently proposed plan the NFL has made to the NFLPA "would cover institutional care and home health care for up to 4 years at $150 day( thats $54,000 per year,) the premium being split by the league and the union." This being said by NFLPA's senior director, Miki Yaras-Davis, but what Yaras-Davis failed to mention is that's what retired players would get. During their career NFL players are entitled to the best of the best healthcare plans that are available.
I don't know how you feel about all this, but here are some posts I came across that may help you and I, in understanding the whole thing. Granted the first two were posted by a Broncos' and 49ers' fan so I can't vouch for the validity of them but they are well written and nonetheless informative posts. It's unclear to me if the governments stall on healthcare has anything to do with this hiccup but I hope that there if no agreement can be made that the regular season remains the same.
Why Al Davis is a genius...