Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Division Among NFL Players?

According to various Twitter reports, mid-tier NFL players are not pleased with the progress of negotiations, and want a seat at the mediation table.

The Sports Business Journal is reporting that a group of about 70 mid-tier NFL players as soon as this week may intervene in the Brady v. NFL antitrust case to ensure they get a seat at the mediation table.

A few comments:

1) Goodell's strategy of divide and conquer is beginnig to take shape as tweeted by @dkaplanSBJ. Not all players make the same money, and many players understand all too well that their careers may be short and earning potential limited. So now is their time.

2) In keeping with point 1, the NFL has staying power here, which can only help its position.

Overall, and as I've said before, there are obvious points of compromise. This is not the NHL pre-2005 where fundamental changes to the business model were required.

In the case of the NFL, it's about how to share the billion dollar pie. So ultimately, my expectation is that we will see settlement sometime in the summer, and further, I expect there to be football. If there is no settlement, but the lockout is lifted by way of the injunction, there will be football in the fall.

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