NFL Needs To Get It Together and Make the Agreement Like This...

Carl CockerhamSenior Analyst IMarch 15, 2011

NFL Needs To Get It Together and Make the Agreement Like This...

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    DALLAS, TX - FEBRUARY 02:  Jeff Pash, NFL Executive Vice-President and General Counsel, discusses the collective bargaining agreement negotiations with members of the press at the Super Bowl XLV media center on February 2, 2011 in Dallas, Texas. The Green
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    The C.B.A. was not reached this evening to my chagrin.

    The owners negotiated in bad faith in the beginning with the $4 billion they had guaranteed from the networks. Then the players may have countered knowing that they can de-certify the union and litigate.

    I really don't care whose fault it is.

    I, just like you all, just want to see the game played.

    Since they have all these problems haggling over money, I'm going to help them out (in my own mind) and map out what the agreement should be like.

    Turn the page to see what it should be like.

16 Games

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    SAN DIEGO - OCTOBER 31:  Wide receiver Kenny Britt #18 of the Tennessee Titans sits on the bench after injuring his leg in the first quarter against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on October 31, 2010 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Jeff G
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    I love football and never get tired of it but 16 games is enough.

    What these men put their bodies through for our entertainment is too much to add two more games to the schedule. Jim Otto can barely get out of bed and get dressed because his knees and back are so bad.

    Then you have Dave Duerson taking his own life due to the damage football did to his brain. Everyone would love to make more money but my dad once told me, "All money aint good money." 

    These men pay the price already.

    Plus the quality of the game could suffer.

    Player will start getting days off as the Cots have consistently rested their starters at the end of the season over the years. Or we can have games were both teams just aren't playing that well because they are tired or hurting.

    Plus teams will get up more knowing that one game means so much.

Rookie Salary Cap

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    OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 03:  JaMarcus Russell #2 of the Oakland Raiders walks off the field against the Baltimore Ravens during an NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on January 3, 2010 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    A rookie salary cap should definitely be in place as this is one of the things that Both sides like. From now on, first round draft picks should have to earn their big contracts with the way they play in their firs few years.

    Franchises will no longer be set back for five years because they invested too much money into a bust. A lot of the play will be taken away from the agents of these kids fresh out of college and rookies can get to camp on time.

    Neither players, owners, or fans want to see a Jamarcus Russell making as much as a Tom Brady.

Position Max Contracts

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    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - JANUARY 08:  Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts looks to pass against the New York Jets during their 2011 AFC wild card playoff game at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 8, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Jets won 17
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Every position has a certain importance to it.

    The elite players in each position should all be making the same amount of money. This will keep the Peyton Mannings of the world from holding out because the Tom Bradys of the world make more money.

    Then one bad year or good year isn't going too suddenly make a player deserve more or less money. This again will take some the play from the agents that hold their veterans out to make themselves more money.

    Imagine football with no holdouts!

Mid Level Exemption

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    SAN DIEGO, CA - DECEMBER 12:  Thomas Jones #20 of the Kansas City Chiefs carries the ball against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on December 12, 2010 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
    Harry How/Getty Images

    The mid level exemption is a good way to compensate those individuals that are solid but not Superstar players. Now agents can't negotiate one solid player against another because the price is set.

    No longer will an owner have to overpay a solid player out of fear of losing him to a team willing to pay him more. There are too many players in the league now that are solid at best but make Superstar money.

    Another step towards pay for production.

Veteran's Minimum

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    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - JANUARY 08:  LaDainian Tomlinson #21 of the New York Jets runs the ball against the Indianapolis Colts during their 2011 AFC wild card playoff game at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 8, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Jets won 17-16. (P
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Veteran's minimum should also be in place because rewards players that continue to make teams. Every job in the world gives employees raises to reward them for the professionalism they've shown over the years.

    Average players would then have more to work hard for to keep making those ball clubs.

    The veteran's minimum to go along with the pension for is reward enough.

League Minimum

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    The league minimum is already in place.

    Every league has it and always will to ensure that the players that make the least amount of money make a living. League minimum players are important to the NFL as there are more of them than there are Superstars.

    This completes the category each player falls under.

    Therefore, there is no confusion as to what a player is worth.

    I know agents hate this.

More Pay to Stay

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    There is so much player movement, it's hard for fans to get too attached to a player as he may play for the division rival the next year. In order for any team to be any good, they have to stay together and work at it together.

    Therefore, when a player reaches free agency, the team he played for last should be able to offer him the most money under the cap. That way, if a player decides to walk, you know he really wants out because he left money on the table.

    And if the owner of he plays for wants him, he is in the best position to keep him. This also protects the last franchise the player played for as the sign-trade comes into play so the franchise can get something for him.

    It also keeps players from leaving just for money. 

No Hard Cap

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    There shouldn't be 31 other men telling one man what he he can do with his business. He should be able to spend whatever amount of money he wants to spend on his players.

    It guarantees nothing to spend the most money.

    The Oakland Raiders have spent all kinds of money and haven't won Jack since 1983. The New England Patriots haven't spent a whole lot of money and look at what they done in the cap era.

    Maybe a luxury tax is in order here.

Benefits for Retired Players

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    The owners need to do something about this because this is wrong.

    A lot of the owners in the league today either saw an opportunity to make money and bought a team or just inherited one. There are many former players out there that are broke and can't afford the medical care needed to take care of all their old football wounds.

    And these are the very players that made these owner able to make the money they make now.

    Give them more!


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    WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 11:  New York Giants owner John Mara addresses the media at a news conference outside the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service building March 11, 2011 in Washington, DC. The NFLPA has filed for decertification and will no long
    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    Does this agreement sound too much like basketball?

    That's probably because it makes sense.

    You don't hear Kobe Bryant talking about how he should make more than LeBron James or Dwayne Wade. These players are making all the money they can get and can focus on playing the game.

    When a franchise gets a good team together, they shouldn't have to dismantle it right away because of a salary cap. The Super Bowl winning team should lose because the other teams improved instead.

    Then you have players becoming pillars in community and suddenly having to pack their bags. When a player decides to leave, they should have something they are sacrificing to go where they want to go and franchises should get something in return.

    No more overpaid players that are just solid because the team is desperate to keep solid players. And more provisions should be made to ensure the retired players quality of life.

    They gave their bodies to the game.