As anticipated, the NFL Players Association has signed off on a deal ending the 4 1/2-month football lockout. The deal was approved by owners last week. Teams will be begin reporting to training camps on Wednesday.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith held a joint press conference in Washington earlier today, announcing the new 10-year agreement. “It’s been a long time coming,” Goodell said. “Football is back and that’s the good news.”
Players and owners both benefit from the new agreement, as ESPN.com points out:
Call it a tie. Each got a little something they wanted, and most important, each will get a lot of money. The owners now will keep 52 percent of the revenues, not the 47 percent from the previous collective bargaining agreement that so rankled them, but they also will have to operate with a $120 million salary cap, with an additional approximately $20 million for benefits, and have a guaranteed spend. That guaranteed spend was important to the players, and they got it.
In the end, the owners and players are splitting more than $9 billion. No one is losing.
Do fans win? ESPN.com isn’t quite sure: “Yes, there will be football in the fall, but the fans had to listen to all of this nonsense for more than four months.”