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Haves vs. Nots?

Haves vs. Nots?

Is the NFL headed towards a multi-lateral war?

At least one team owner thinks it may be. From David Elfin in the Washington Times: After 45 years as a pro football owner, Buffalo's 86-year-old Ralph Wilson has earned the right to be heard. So when Wilson says the NFL's ongoing collective bargaining agreement discussion is more of a club vs. club than league vs. union problem, it requires some attention.

As an owner in one of the NFL's smallest markets, Wilson doesn't like the growing disparity in revenue between the big-money clubs and the rest of the league, nor what he perceives as the richer group's disdain for the less wealthy majority.
We've visited this before, but it's worth another look as each passing day seems to have the three sides--the so-called "rich" owners, the "low-revenue" owners and the players--hunkering down a little bit more into their respective positions. 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 want a bigger slice of the pie.

Wilson's remarks had the same whiny tone as have those of Pittsburgh's Dan Rooney:
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.
That doesn't mean he and his fellow have-not owners don't have a case, at least a partial one. Nobody would buy a $250 club seat and a $7 beer to watch the Redskins play the Redskins, or at least they wouldn't do it eight times a year. As Marvin Gaye sang with Kim Weston, "It Takes Two." There needs to be a reasonably competitive contest on the field for people to shell out that kind of money. If the Bills visit FedEx Field, they are entitled to a reasonable share of the revenue that such an event generates and the definition of reasonable could include a cut of the luxury seat revenue, concessions, and parking.

Where the case of the owners like Wilson is at it weakest, however, is when he frets about competitive balance being affected.
We just want to have enough revenue under the new collective bargaining agreement that gives us a chance to field a competitive team. If we don't get that, then along the line the league is going to be totally unbalanced. It's not going to be the league it used to be.
Let's see here, Wilson's team was eliminated from the playoffs on the last weeked of the season. The Colts, who, according to this article, take in about half the revenue that the Redskins do, have gone deep into the playoff for the last few years. Rooney's Steelers went 15-1 and lost in the AFC title game. Meanwhile, two of the primary teams in the gang of ten bullies, the Redskins and Cowboys, both went 6-10. It's hard to make a case that this "imbalance" in revenue is having any effect on the field.

And hey, Ralph, if you want to play in Ralph Wilson Stadium, fine. I'm sure that the NFL owners who have sold the naming rights for their stadiums would probably rather have the buildings named after them, too. But it's a luxury that, in their view, they can't afford. Wilson has made a choice here and the other owners shouldn't, in essence, pay him for the luxury of having his own name on the stadium.

Along those lines, what assurances are there that any revenue that Snyder, Jerry Jones and the others might share with Wilson, Rooney and company would get put towards making their football teams more competitive (assuming that that is a necessity)? Will they put the money into more scouting, better video or workout equipment, more quality coaches, or will they just pocket the cash? This is what has happened in baseball as the Yankees, Red Sox, and others pay into a fund that's supposed to help competitive balance. Some of the receipients of the so-called luxury tax have spent to try to improve their teams; others have simply put it on to the bottom line. There is little reason to believe that the NFL owners would not fall into the same line.

And changing the revenue-sharing formula is not just a matter of fairness, it's one of cold, hard fiscal reality. Ralph Wilson didn't put a dime into the stadium that's named after him and he paid off any debt he may have incurred in buying the team long, long ago. Daniel Snyder is making mortgage payments on FedEx Field and on the Redskins and when the financing was set up, it was presumed that he would have all of the luxury seating revenue in order to make the payments. Bob McNair, owner of the Houston Texans:
If you come back in and change the model and take too much away from them, then they don't have enough money to service the debut. You've got people, just like ourselves, who paid big money for the franchise based on the existing model. If you change that model, all of sudden you're taking away the value you've paid for. Those factors have to be addressed.
Most of the money we're talking about here is also exempt from being calculated into the formula that determines what the salary cap is and that, naturally, has the interest of Gene Upshaw and the player's union. Just like one could make a reasonable arguement that the visiting team deserves a share of the "untouchable" revenue, the players do, too. In fact, you could make a much stronger case for the players getting a bigger cut.

But this leads to sticky problems in that you can't share luxury revenue with the players without sharing it with the "poor" owners because they will scream that they can't afford a higher salary cap without higher revenues. So a deal with the players can't be achieved without one among the owners.

The NFL has a great way of coming up with creative solutions to issues such as this. Paul Taglibue and the rest of the league will have their imaginations taxed to the max as they try to come up with a solution to this one.

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NFL Draft 2017 Redskins live blog: First round draft updates, analysis

NFL Draft 2017 Redskins live blog: First round draft updates, analysis

The first round of the 2017 NFL Draft is finally upon us. Finally.

For the Washington Redskins, the 2017 NFL Draft represents a chance to find impact players, a search that begins with the 17th pick overall in the first round. All those discussions about whom the Redskins will select with their first pick will be answered Thursday night during the NFL's biggest offseason event.

To keep up with the NFL Draft, you'll need two things: A screen to watch it on and this live blog. Redskins fans and NFL fans who want to stay up to date with surprise picks, trades, analysis and anything else draft-related will want to keep this page open all night.

RELATED: FINAL 2017 NFL MOCK DRAFT

What: 2017 NFL Draft, Round 1
When: Thursday, April 27, 2016 at 8:00 p.m. ET
Where: Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Penn.
TV Channel: ESPN, NFL Network
Live Stream: WatchESPN App

Here's what's happened so far. Let's head to the live blog:

REDSKINS 2017 NFL DRAFT TRACKER

 

10:18 PM - 17TH PICK: THE REDSKINS SELECT JONATHAN ALLEN.

It looks like a home run for the Redskins. Snagging Allen at No. 17, when so many thought he'd go in the top five or even top three, could be a coup. Defensive line was their biggest need entering the draft, and now, they not only addressed that need but did so while also finding the best player available.

For a scouting report on Jonathan Allen, click here.

10:10 PM - 16TH PICK: THE RAVENS SELECT MARLON HUMPHREY.

Ozzie Newsome passed on Alabama tight end OJ Howard.

10:01 PM - 15TH PICK: THE COLTS SELECT MALIK HOOKER.

The centerfielder will be tracking down passes in Indianapolis' secondary for at least the next few seasons.

9:55 PM - 14TH PICK: THE CARDINALS SELECT DEREK BARNETT.

The Tennessee pass rusher was given a applause and a few boos by the Eagles fans who were in attendance, because that's how Philly does things. 

9:50 PM - 13TH PICK: THE CARDINALS SELECT HAASON REDDICK

The Temple linebacker was one of the draft's fastest-risers, and will now go from being a Temple Owl to an Arizona Cardinal.

9:40 PM - 12TH PICK: THE TEXAS SELECT DESHAUN WATSON (HOUSTON TRADED WITH CLEVELAND TO GET TO NO. 12).

The big three quarterbacks have all been nabbed in the first half of the draft. 

9:34 PM - 11TH PICK: THE SAINTS SELECT MARSHON LATTIMORE.

If Lattimore's hamstring problems don't resurface, New Orleans may have just found the next great lockdown corner.

9:23 PM - 10TH PICK: THE CHIEFS SELECT PATRICK MAHOMES (TRADED UP FROM NO. 27 TO NO. 10 AFTER TRADING WITH BILLS. BILLS RECEIVE NO. 27, A 3RD ROUNDER AND A 2018 PICK, TOO).

Mahomes goes before Deshaun Watson. No one should ever do another mock draft.

9:15 PM - 9TH PICK: THE BENALS SELECT JOHN ROSS.

Ross AND AJ Green? That's a scary pair.

9:09 PM - 8TH PICK: THE PANTHERS SELECT CHRISTIAN MCCAFFREY.

Current Panthers LB Thomas Davis announced the pick and called McCaffrey a wide receiver. That's wrong, but considering how versatile the Stanford running back is, it's understandable.

9:04 PM - 7TH PICK: THE CHARGERS SELECT MIKE WILLIAMS.

Two skilled wideouts are off the board through seven picks.

8:59 PM - 6TH PICK: THE JETS SELECT JAMAL ADAMS.

The do-it-all safety fell further than most expected.

8:51 PM - WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!????????!!!!!!!!

8:47 PM - 5TH PICK: THE TITANS SELECT COREY DAVIS.

Marcus Mariota has a new option on the outside to throw to.

8:40 PM - 4TH PICK: JAGUARS SELECT LEONARD FOURNETTE.

Now Blake Bortles won't throw for as many interceptions this year, because he'll be too busy sticking the pigskin into Leonard Fournette's gut every down.

8:37 PM - Mitch Trubisky will want to delete this old tweet before he arrives in Chicago:

8:36 PM - 3RD PICK: 49ERS SELECT SOLOMAN THOMAS. 

So the 49ers got three extra picks from the Bears, moved back one slot and ended up drafting the defender they wanted all along? Well played, John Lynch.

8:26 - 2ND PICK: BEARS SELECT MITCH TRUBISKY (SWITCHED SPOTS WITH THE 49ERS AND GAVE UP THREE MORE PICKS TO DO SO).

And it's the night's first surprise. The Bears and the 49ers swapped spots, and after doing so, Chicago took Mitch Trubisky. Mike Glennon is probably a bit confused right now.

8:14 PM - 1ST PICK: BROWNS SELECT MYLES GARRETT. 

After recent whispers that they were maybe going to go elsewhere, the Browns did indeed draft the Texas A&M pass rusher. Have fun dealing with him, other QBs in the AFC North.

8:12 PM - Look, it's NFL commissioner Roger Booooooooooooooooodell:

8:01 PM - According to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo, the Redskins "love" one defensive prospect. Problem is, a lot of other teams ahead of them likely do as well:

7:56 PM - THE PLAYERS AT THE DRAFT HAVE WALK-UP MUSIC. The NFL and MLB are two very different leagues, but the fact that the former is borrowing this concept from the latter is a tremendous idea. Some players, like Corey Davis and John Ross, chose songs that have draft-related themes, while others, such as Deshaun Watson and Ryan Ramczyk, apparently are trying to be as cliché as possible:

7:45 PM - At some point on Thursday or during the weekend, Roger Goodell will have to say the words Taco and Butt. Check out more of the NFL Draft's best names here.

5:05 PM - NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has arrived. Surprisingly enough, fans aren't booing him. We'll have to wait until 8:00 p.m. for that.

4:45 PM - We're three hours away from the start of the 2017 NFL Draft, but it looks like the Cleveland Browns are close to finalizing their choice for the No. 1 overall pick.

4:30 PM - JP Finlay is on the scene in Philadelphia for the 2017 NFL Draft. Several Redskins fans are out and about early.

4:15 PM - Oh, this is going to be fun. Former Redskins GM Scot McCloughan is reportedly advising other teams on their picks at the draft. 

4:00 PM - And with that No. 17 pick, the Redskins could go in several different directions. There will be plenty of defensive lineman and pass rushers to choose from, as well as several high-end cornerbacks. JP Finlay identified the 22 players considered in-play for the Redskins at No. 17.

3:45 PM - The Redskins have the No. 17 pick. With the 2017 NFL Draft starting at 8:00 p.m., we are expecting the Redskins to make their pick at rough 10:15 p.m. ET.

3:30 PM - Want to get to know the NFL Draft prospects? Want to go inside the war room with a former GM? Ever wondered what a player evaluation looks like? Former NFL GM Charley Casserly and CSN's Julie Donaldson have you covered in our CSN Draft Room. It's your go-to source for 2017 NFL Draft material.

3:15 PM - The CSN team is all over the place today. Be sure to follow them on Twitter. Redskins Insider JP Finlay is at the Draft in Philadelphia. Redskins writer Rich Tandler and CSN anchor Chick Hernandez are at Redskins Park in Ashburn, Va. and NFL analyst Trevor Matich is in the CSN Draft Room. Be sure to follow @CSNRedskins for all your draft night coverage. 

3:00 PM - Welcome to CSN's live draft tracker for the 2017 NFL Draft on Thursday night.

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Why you shouldn't overreact to the Kirk Cousins-Browns rumors

Why you shouldn't overreact to the Kirk Cousins-Browns rumors

Redskins fans went for a roller coaster ride early on in Thursday night's NFL Draft.

However, Redskins brass has made clear for months that Kirk Cousins will be the team's starter in 2017 and the franchise will continue to work towards a long-term deal with the quarterback.

That doesn't mean teams won't call to talk to Washington, and perhaps even make offers.

Remember, Bruce Allen and Jay Gruden were adamant Cousins would not be moved. Crazy things happen at the draft, but trading Cousins remains a long, long shot.

RELATED: 2017 NFL FIRST ROUND LIVE BLOG