|Mike Florio on D&C: ‘I think the owners thought they would do better’||07.15.11 at 9:02 am ET|
ProFootballTalk.com editor Mike Florio checked in with the Dennis & Callahan show with guest hosts Steve Buckley and Bob Halloran Friday morning to discuss the NFL labor negotiations. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
There have been widespread reports that the owners and players are closing in on a deal that will end the lockout in the coming days.
Said Florio: “I think it’s time to really just sit back and wait for that puff of white smoke to come out of that chimney, and it’s going to either today, tomorrow, Sunday, Monday — some point before they go meet with Judge [Arthur] Boylan, the mediator, who was instrumental in getting this thing done.”
However, Florio cautioned that the owners might make one more push to get some additional concessions from the players before signing off on a deal.
“What happens is, once there’s a sense that it’s inevitable a deal’s going to get done, that’s when the owners start being a little more hard-headed, because they think the players are going to agree to anything,” he said. “So, we could see another bump today, where the owners decide [to be tough on] all the remaining stuff. And there still are some issues left — not major issues, not issues as challenging as the ones they’ve already worked out — but there’s still issues.
“So, maybe the owners decide to take a harder line and capture the reality that the players are ready to get this thing completely done. And the players may have to put their backs up a little bit and get the owners to stand down. So, that could still happen. I think that happened with the rookie wage scale. I think it was happening a couple of weeks ago when things almost fell apart on June 30 and then finally got back on track.
“I think the owners have a habit, when there’s a sense it’s going to get done, of drawing a line in the sand and hoping that the players blink. I think that could still happen on these remaining issues.”
Florio said with the preseason fast approaching and both sides realizing how much money would be lost, it sparked people into action. “Once both sides recognized that there’s 200 million reasons every week that you lose in the preseason to get this thing done, that’s when it lit the fire under their rear ends,” he said.
There are owners who won’t be pleased with this new agreement, Florio said, and the league will have to address that eventually.
“I think the owners thought they would do better than what they’ve done,” he said. “I think they thought they were going to dial back the players’ cut of every dollar that passes through the cash register to 45 cents or less. It’s coming in at around 47 or 48 cents. So, the players have given back some, but not as much as the owners were going to try to get. And I still think there are going to be real issues between the owners themselves on the issue of revenue sharing.”
Added Florio: “For the low-revenue teams, I don’t think the deal’s nearly close to what they had envisioned. They envisioned a solution to their problems. There’s still going to be problems out there between the low-revenue and the big-revenue teams, and I think that’s something that the league is going to try to address separate, apart from the CBA.”
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