The NFLPA turns down the proffered deal:
Unfortunately, the players’ union has notified our office that at 4pm ET it had “decertified” and is walking away from mediation and collective bargaining, presumably to initiate the antitrust litigation it has been threatening to file. In an effort to get a fair agreement now, the clubs offered a deal that would have had no adverse financial impact upon veteran players in the early years and would meet the players’ financial demands in the latter years.
The union left a very good deal on the table. It included an offer to narrow the player compensation gap that existed in the negotiations by splitting the difference; guarantee reallocation of savings from first-round rookies to veterans and retirees without negatively affecting compensation for rounds 2-7; ensure no compensation reduction for veterans; implement new year-round health and safety rules; retain the current 16-4 season format for at least two years with any subsequent changes subject to the approval of the league and union; and establish a new legacy fund for retired players ($82 million contributed by the owners over the next two years).
I’m mostly with the owners on this one, for all that I hate their greedy, parasitical dependence on public stadiums. About the only shareholders with a worse deal than NFL owners are the banks, who pay out more in salaries and bonuses than they make in profits. While I don’t think that going to an 18-game season makes any sense at all, I am completely against the NFLPA’s attempt to turn the NFL into Premier League Football where Manchester United, Chelsea, and Arsenal are able to spend 3x more on players than their opponents.
UPDATE: As expected, the NFL has responded by locking out the players.