After months of deliberation, and a National Football League shutdown, a 10-year labor agreement was approved by NFL representatives and its players on Monday.
The issues began in March when the players dissolved their unions and sued the league. The players filed the lawsuit against the NFL in federal court accusing the NFL of wage fixing and antitrust violations. It had been 24 years since there was a labor dispute between the NFL and employees.
According to Bloomberg, contract negotiations ended Monday after the NFL Players Association union came to an agreement which caps team payrolls at $120 million, provides about $22 million in benefits, limits how much teams can spend on first-year players, and provides between $900 million and $1 billion in benefits for retired players.
The agreement also will guarantee players will receive at least 47 percent of the revenue gained by the league, which could be about $93 billion in just 2011. The new contract also allows additional days off for players, and allows current players to stay in the NFL’s medical plan for life.
According to Bloomberg, the deliberations attracted national attention and doubled publicity since March, which would have totaled about $40 million in NFL advertising through television, print and Internet mediums.
The NFL Commissioner said he apologizes for the frustration the issue caused football fans over the past six months, and he hopes they see the commitment to bring a better sport to the forefront.
One challenge concerning team owners is compressed signings, which will happen about two weeks before preseason games. Decisions on who to hire and sign will have to be smart and quickly made, one owner said.
Source: Bloomberg, “NFL Players Unanimously Back 10-Year Contract With Owners to End Lockout,” Aaron Kuriloff and Curtis Eichelberger, 25 July 2011