With news of a deal in the NFL lockout appearing much more likely than a deal on the debt crisis in Washington, D.C., it appears fans of the San Diego Chargers may see their boys on the field sooner than later.
According to a KTLA report, NFL players and league owners have reportedly come to an agreement on key points in a contentious 10-year collective bargaining agreement. While the owners backed the deal late last week, it still needs approval from the players.
An ESPN report notes the players association is expected to hold a news conference Monday, with a player’s representative executive committee expected to fly to Washington for a vote.
Even if the committee approves the agreement, which was ratified by owners last week (31-0 vote), it will still have to be passed by player reps from the 32 teams on Wednesday.
According to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, training camps, including that of the Chargers, could open up in less than a week.
NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith indicated following the owners’ vote that there was no joint agreement. SI.com said it received an e-mail Smith wrote to player representatives, indicating workers’ compensation and other issues remain unresolved.
The proposed collective-bargaining agreement with 1,900 players would be valid through the 2020 season.
The tentative agreement includes a new rookie compensation system, a salary cap of $142.4 million per club in 2011 and more retirement benefits, according to the NFL.
The first preseason game — the annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Game, between the Chicago Bears and St. Louis Rams — has been canceled due to the delay in opening camps, according to Goodell. It had been scheduled for August 7.
The regular season is set to open on Thursday, Sept. 8, with the Chargers slated to host the Minnesota Vikings on Sept. 11.
At the heart of the issue involving the players and the owners was how to divide the league’s $9 billion in revenue.
Under the old agreement, NFL owners received $1 billion off the top of that revenue stream. Following that, the players got about 60%.
While most fans just want to see football this September, who are we kidding?
Both the players and owners are at fault for letting this get to the point it did. Greed runs deep on both sides of the table when all is said and done.