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Haves vs. Have-Mores Debate Endangers CBA

Haves vs. Have-Mores Debate Endangers CBA

You can reach Rich Tandler by email at WarpathInsiders@comcast.net
There are rumors out there that there has been progress, perhaps even a breakthrough, in negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the NFL and the NFL Players Association. However, before the players and owners can agree how to split up the billions of dollars the league will take in, the owners must decide how to split it up among themselves, and that could prove to be a considerably trickier task.

The issue is what some teams call local revenue and others call unshared revenue. Some teams, like the Redskins, Cowboys, and Patriots take in a lot of it. Others like the Bills and Jaguars do not. You can guess which group calls it local and which calls it unshared.

The battle lines are drawn. The higher-revenue owners want to be able to keep what they have in terms of income from luxury seating, stadium naming rights, concessions and parking, the less-wealthy owners want their cut and the players don’t really care how the owners split the money up as long as they get their share of it.

NFL teams currently share ticket revenue with the home team keeping 60% of the gate and the other 40% going into a pool that the 32 teams split up equally. They also divide up the massive pool of TV rights fees; that income alone will bring each team in the neighborhood of $100 million in 2006.

That means that the “little guys” still aren’t doing too badly. With the salary cap at around $95 million, their player salaries are paid for before they sell a single ticket. Most business owners would love to have their payroll covered before opening up business for the year.

Still, the “little guys” are complaining that the high-revenue teams have a competitive advantage over them. This is difficult to understand since the reigning champion Pittsburgh Steelers are among the teams complaining that the big bullies are going after them. Their owner Dan Rooney said last spring (following a 15-1 season):
There's about eight or 10 of the high-revenue clubs that seem to be united in a bloc. They want to keep the disparity. They want to knock us down and have us get up at the count of nine, so they can have another fight and knock us down again.
If what Rooney’s team has been through the last couple of years is getting beaten down for the count, Dan Snyder would sure like to get into the ring and get knocked silly a few times himself.

Even if you buy the argument that higher revenues create a competitive imbalance that in and of itself does not make a case for local revenue sharing. How much is enough to field a competitive team? Are all teams entitled to equal profits? Along those lines, should this money be shared is there any guarantee that the owners who would be net takers from the pool would spend it on their teams rather than sticking it into their pockets?

Snyder, who would be a net giver into such a pool, is among many owners who are paying off debt on their teams. Snyder alone is also paying debt on the stadium his team plays in and improvements to that structure. Those loans were made by financiers on the premise that there would be a certain amount of money generated through the local revenue streams. If those streams are slowed to a trickle by mandated sharing, the bankers will not be happy. A financial crisis could well ensue.

It boils down to this: Ralph Wilson’s team, the Buffalo Bills, play in Ralph Wilson Stadium. Should Snyder, who felt that selling the naming rights to what was Jack Kent Cooke Stadium was the fiscally responsible thing to do, have to write out a check that goes to Wilson, who chooses to forgo that revenue?

It would appear that the higher-revenue teams have the advantage over the mere high revenue teams when it comes to determining what, if anything, will be done. It would take a ¾ majority to enact any new proposal to split revenues. That means it takes only nine votes to prevent a change to the status quo. Reports are that seven teams are adamantly opposed to any changes in the current setup—the Redskins, Cowboys, Eagles, Giants, Jets, Patriots, and Texans. That means that they have to recruit just two more votes from a group that may include teams like the Bears, Seahawks, Bucs, and Chiefs to block any money grab by the Bengals and Jaguars of the NFL world.

Indications are that the higher-revenue teams are willing to share some of the local income, just not in the form of direct payments to the other owners. One possible plan is for the cut of the money to go into a fund that would pay for expenses such as player benefits. The teams like the Bills could then put the money they’re spending on that into other areas such as scouting or coaches if they chose to do so.

The “have-nots” had best take the best deal they can get and soon. If there is not a CBA by the start of the free agency period, the NFLPA could well decide to go ahead and enter 2007 as an uncapped year. That’s a decision that the union could make unilaterally since the current CBA calls for it. If the Rooneys and Wilsons think that they have trouble staying even now, wait until they have to compete for talent in such an environment.

Rich Tandler is the author of The Redskins From A to Z, Volume 1: The Games. This unique book chronicles every game the Redskins played from 1937 through 2001. It is available at www.RedskinsGames.com

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Redskins and Morgan Moses agree to five-year extension

Redskins and Morgan Moses agree to five-year extension

The Redskins have signed one of their own to a contract extension.

According to multiple reports, the team has reached agreement with right tackle Morgan Moses on a five-year contract extension. The deal will make him the second-highest paid right tackle in the NFL.

RELATED: Final NFL Mock Draft

Moses was entering the final year of his rookie contract. Absent an extension he was slated to become a free agent in 2018.

Moses, who just turned 26, was a third-round pick of the Redskins in 2014. He played sparingly as a rookie, appearing in eight games and starting one. In training camp in 2015 he was installed as the starter at right tackle and he has started all 32 games since then.

The highest-paid right tackle in the game is Lane Johnson of the Eagles. His contract averages $11.25 million per year. Second on the list is Ricky Wagner of the Lions whose deal has an average annual value of $9.5 million per year. So look for Moses’ deal to come in somewhere in the $10 million per year range.

MORE REDSKINS: Final Redskins mock: Defense goes 1-2, surprise in the third 

Of course, the details and fully guaranteed money are the most important aspects. Those will be reported in the coming days.

Moses’ extension means that the Redskins now have both of their offensive tackles under contract through at least the 2020 season. Left tackle Trent Williams signed a five-year, $66 million contract extension in 2015.

The extension was first reported by ESPN.

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Will McCloughan advising other teams hurt the Redskins in the draft?

Will McCloughan advising other teams hurt the Redskins in the draft?

Redskins’ college scouting director Scott Campbell acknowledged earlier this week that the team’s draft board will have Scot McCloughan’s influence on it. The Redskins may not be alone in having a McCloughan imprint on their draft tonight.

According to Mike Garofolo of NFL Media, the former Redskins GM has resumed the scouting service that he ran prior to being hired by the Redskins in January of 2015. He supplied his evaluation of various draft prospects to teams who paid for his service.

RELATED: Final NFL Mock Draft

Team president Bruce Allen has let it be known since they fired McCloughan in early March he was free to do work for other teams. And apparently, McCloughan is doing just that, providing his evaluations to teams that the Redskins are trying to outsmart in the draft.

The report did not specify to which teams McCloughan has been providing reports. However, Garafolo did say that McCloughan is “not giving up” information about the Redskins’ strategy. Of course, that’s a very gray area. If McCloughan tells a team that he gives Player X a third-round grade that team can reasonably guess that the Redskins have a similar grade on him. Teams are hungry for any tidbits about what other teams are thinking and they can put such nuggets to good use, especially if they are considering a trade.

MORE REDSKINS: Final Redskins mock: Defense goes 1-2, surprise in the third 

However, it’s possible that the Redskins’ board has changed enough to make whatever information McCloughan might be leaking out so outdated as to be of very limited use. Had the Redskins really been highly concerned about what McCloughan might say to other teams they either would have kept him on the job or they could have continued to pay him through the end of the draft and prohibit him from working anywhere else until after the final pick is made on Saturday evening.

If it’s not anything else it’s a reminder that the guy the Redskins let go a month and a half before the draft is so good at evaluating draft talent that other teams are willing to pay for him to provide them with those evaluations even this late in the process. This may not be an issue for them in this draft but it could be a problem as they try to grow a winning program through the draft in the coming years.

Stay up to date on the Redskins! Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.