ESPN’s Dan Graziano looks at the issues that could come up during CBA negotiations, including:
- Revenue split – The players currently receive 47 percent of the NFL’s gross revenue and would like that number to increase.
- Stadium credits – This is money the owners are allowed to take from the NFL’s gross revenue before splitting with the players in order to fund stadium construction or renovation. Per Graziano, it’s seen as a major reason the owners are interested in reaching a new CBA quickly, as they’ve run out of money allotted by the last agreement in 2011 with new stadium projects coming up in places like Buffalo, Cleveland, Jacksonville, Carolina, Washington and Los Angeles.
- Franchise tag, fifth-year option and fully funded rule – The players would like to eliminate all of these, but the most likely concession they’ll get from the owners is the removal of the fully funded rule, which states a team has to set aside in an escrow account any guaranteed money in a player’s contract. Graziano says the owners could also concede and tweak the franchise tag to become harder to use.
- Expanding to 18 games – According to Graziano, some owners are still in favor of expanding the NFL regular season to 18 games and cutting out two preseason games, while the players are still virulently opposed because their research shows it would shorten the average career to 2.8 years.
- Lifetime healthcare for players – Although it sounds nice, Graziano says there’s a number of logistical issues that make it unlikely to be something the NFLPA will push for during CBA negotiations.
- Drug policy – Graziano mentions that while the NFLPA is unlikely to accept a financial concession, both sides are interested in making major changes to the NFL’s marijuana policy, including potentially eliminating penalties.
- Commissioner discipline power – NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s unilateral power in player discipline cases has been a sore spot for the players. Graziano believes Goodell and the owners would be willing to move on this issue towards more of a neutral arbitration model.
- Player health and safety – Graziano writes the owners, pushed by coaches and fans, would like to tweak the offseason work requirements, while the players want more specific punishments for teams that violate the concussion protocol and offseason workout rules.
- Former player benefits – Graziano notes the NFLPA plans to push for an expansion to the “Legacy Fund” which team owners make contributions toward to benefit players who were vested in the league’s pension program prior to 1993.
- CBS’ Chris Trapasso says Washington State S Jalen Thompson could go as high as the second round in the supplemental draft.
- Trapasso adds West Virginia WR Marcus Simms could also be drafted as high as the third or fourth round.
Jets LB C.J. Mosley says he thinks the Jets will shock some people this year. The Jets haven’t made the playoffs since 2010 when they were in back-to-back AFC championship games.
“Now that we’ve got a new little mix-up, got some new people around and some new faces, we’re all eager and we’re all ready,” Mosley said via Eric Allen of the team’s official website. “We know the whole NFL is sleeping on the Jets, so we’re ready to prove them wrong.”
“They always have been (doubters),” Mosley added. “Even I was when I wasn’t here. You’ve got to be honest. That’s another reason I came here, I’m always about great tradition and what better city and what better state to come in and turn a great organization around and be champions.”