The NFL and the NFL Players Association are getting along. At least for now.
Kevin Draper and Ken Belson of the New York Timestake an extended look at the nascent negotiations on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Talks have begun, even though the current labor deal covers two more seasons.
The league seems to be inclined to turn the page on the 301-page document signed eight years ago in August, securing long-term labor peace before embarking on the next round of TV deals. The thinking is that the league will be in better position to maximize the sale of broadcasting rights if the league comes to the table with the fruitful efforts of a trip to the bargaining table with players.
Talks between the NFL and NFLPA thus have begun. Per the Times, a pair of bargaining sessions have had “little of the rancor evidence in the last labor dispute,” which led to a management lockout in order to secure a better deal for ownership, which had been complaining about the prior CBA from not long after the ink had dried on it.
This time around, no owner has complained publicly or privately about the CBA. And all that that implies. They’ll say that the current deal works for both sides, which could be code for, “It works really really well for us, and it’s important for them to think the same.”
Indeed, the report from the Times indicates that unnamed people involved in the discussions expect the players to receive a “modest increase” in their share of overall revenue (it must be working really well for the owners, then), and that the agreement to otherwise contain “few major changes.”
“I do hope it is sooner rather than later,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said last week regarding a possible CBA extension, during his press conference at the conclusion of the May ownership meeting. “I think there is great value to all parties, and most importantly our fans, that we get this issue resolved and move forward.”