The sports book experts know that the current collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the Player’s Association expires on March 4, 2010. That means that all contracts are temporarily suspended and betting on NFL games will not be happening until there is a new CBA in place.
It can be easy to jump on the NFL players and say that the average fan has no time for millionaires that are whining about wanting millions more. But, according to the NFLPA, the money is not what is causing the impasse. At least, it is not money on the part of the players.
The NFL wants to eliminate two preseason games and make them regular season games. So instead of four preseason games, every team would only have two. Instead of 16 regular season games, each team would play 18.
The motivation for the owners is more money. The owners say that it is because the fans are demanding it, but the fans just hold up their hands and tell the owners to not project their issues on the fans.
What the fans are tired of is having to pay regular season prices for preseason games. Many teams will not allow fans to buy season ticket packages without purchasing the preseason games as well.
The NFL has a poor record of taking care of players once the players have retired. Now, with no additional health care in the proposed new CBA from the league, the NFL is asking players to subject their bodies to two more regular season games without the safety net of quality medical care when their careers are over.
The NFL will trot out some token examples of players who have been well-cared for after their careers were over, but the fact is that the NFL fails miserably at caring for players after their NFL careers are over. Now the owners want to charge even more for regular season games, ask the players to play in those extra two regular season games and essentially give the players nothing more for their extra effort.
It does not seem fair, and if the owners are going to stick to an 18-game season without better post-career health care then there will not be a season in 2011.
A very good example of what could happen to some players as a result of the CBA expiring without a new one being in place is the tale of Tennessee quarterback Vince Young.
Young looks like he is on his way out in Tennessee, but no other team wants to take on his huge contract. Young is due a $4.5 million bonus in March, but he will not get his bonus until there is a new CBA. Once the new CBA is in place, the Titans have 10 days to pay Young.
So Vince Young is part of the fight to make the game safer for himself and other players, but he is also a victim of his own contract and the expiring CBA. Many other players in the league are in the same boat as Young, and it will be interesting to see if those players start to insist that the Player’s Association come to some kind of agreement with the league soon so all March bonuses can be paid.