As reported on www.nfl.com, the NFL owners voted 31-0 to ratify the new CBA, with the Raiders voting to abstain from the vote.
We are not there yet fans, but this is a big step. Now we wait to hear from the players side. Jay Glazer is reporting that there will not be a vote tonight from the players, although a conference call was held at approximately 8 PM tonight.
Unfortunately, the work stoppage did yield one casualty. An announcement was made today that the Hall of Fame game between the Bears and Rams has been cancelled. Commissioner Goodell had this to say:
“The time was just too tight,” Goodell said. “Unfortunately, we’re not going to
be able to play the game this year.”
If the agreement is ratified by the players in due speed, team facilities are slated to open on Saturday, with the new league year beginning on Wednesday.
Key aspects of the proposal
» An agreement that covers the 2011 through 2020 seasons, including the 2021
» Reducing the offseason program by five weeks and reducing organized team
activities from 14 to 10; limiting full-contact practices in the preseason and
regular season, and increasing number of days off for players.
» Rookie wage scale to include four-year contracts for all drafted players
(option for five years on first-rounders), three-year contracts for undrafted
free agents, and strong anti-holdout rules.
» Creation of a new fund to redistribute,
beginning in 2012, savings from new rookie pay system to current and retired
player benefits and a veteran player performance pool.
The big issue is the recertifying of the union. In order to have a full blown CBA, there needs to be a players union in place. The National Labor Relations Board may accelerate the process, or the the parties may agree to a compromise, in which an interim agreement can be reached, and the players are allowed to report while the final T’s are crossed and I’s are dotted.
Wednesday, the players did take a vote, but not the one we hoped for. Instead of voting on the agreement in principle, they voted to conditionally pass the contract to the plantiffs in the Brady lawsuit. Basically the proposal goes to the lawyers, only if the league meets certain conditions on that litigation, as well as the TV rights case.
So basically, we are headed in the right direction, but we are not quite there yet. Stay tuned football fans there is light at the end of the tunnel.