For the first time in 2011 NFL lockout news we have terms that both sides seemed to have reach some sort of consensus on coming to light. According to an ESPN report Roger Goodell will be presenting the items listed below to team officials at today's owners' meetings. ESPN also reported hearing from a source that: "This is strictly informational. There is nothing to vote on."
If the reported points are accurate than it certainly appears both sides have made concessions. Jump over for the details....
- Players get 48 percent of "all revenue," without extra $1-billion-plus off top that previously had been requested by owners.
- Players' share will never dip below 46.5 percent, under new formula being negotiated.
- Teams required to spend minimum 90-93 percent of the salary cap.
- Rookie wage scale part of deal but still being "tweaked."
- 18-game regular season designated only as negotiable item and at no point is mandated in deal.
- New 16-game Thursday night TV package beginning in 2012.
- Owners still will get some expense credits that will allow funding for new stadiums.
- Retirees to benefit from improved health care, pension benefits as revenue projected to double to $18 million by 2016.
I went across the bay to Niners Nation to steal Fooch's wonderful bullet point breakdown.
The good news for the Raiders here is the expense credits for the new stadiums.
The key issue, and one that could really hang up this process, is the floor on the salary cap. The fact that every team would have to spend 90-93 percent of the salary cap has helped ease the sting for the players dropping their percentage of the share. They are not going to be flexible on the salary cap floor without raising their share percentage.
The owners of small market teams are going to be leery of this floor without enhanced revenue sharing. This, of course, is something they will have to agree to amongst themselves. But the salary cap is going to be driven up by big market teams like the Cowboys and Patriots, and with the current revenue sharing teams it could force the smaller teams to operate with a budget they can't afford.
Owners like Jerry Jones will point to the expense credits as a reason why they should not increase the revenue sharing. The reasoning is that the onus should be on teams to enhance their product to increase their revenue, but the reality is that small market teams, no matter how good, or how well run, will not be able to bring in as much local revenue as the big markets. And just like the income disparity in all walks of American life the divide is getting bigger by the day.
Read more on the owners inner fight over revenue sharing:
Another big item to come out of this report is this:
If and when an agreement is reached, all players whose contracts have expired and have four or more years of experience are expected to be unrestricted free agents, sources familiar with the talks told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. Certain tags will be retained but that still is being discussed.
This is going to radically change the free agent landscape, and I think it will likely cost the Raiders Michael Bush.
Read more on the unlikeliness of the Raiders being able to retain Bush: