It's safe to say that the reports of a proposed deal between the NFL Players and owners being ratified Thursday have been somewhat overblown since here we are Friday, and football still isn't on the horizon. What did take place Thursday was that the owners voted 31-0-1 to accept the proposed collective bargaining agreement, with the Oakland Raiders opting not to vote.
While that is progress in itself, it's being said that the players are balking at some parts of the proposed new agreement.
Apparently, depending on which side you listen to, the owners are trying to slip in a few changes that weren't discussed with the players and they are taking fault with them. The two key issues that still remain unresolved are that the players want an opt out clause put into the agreement for the 7th year and that they want players to be able to report to their team facilities to be able to vote in person on the possible recertification of the players union and the acceptance of the new CBA.
The owners, however, believe the NFLPA could recertify as a union by allowing the estimated 1,900 players to use electronic signatures.
It may sound like a small thing to argue over, having solved about 97% of this new deal, but it is inspiring some negative reactions from players.
Here are a few tweets from players concerning the possible new deal:
Saints Fullback Heath Evans wrote: "Here is what the 'Real' fans need 2 know: The owners tried 2 slip many things n2 the CBA 'they' voted on that were NEVER agreed 2! #PRPlay"
Bengals receiver Chad Ochocinco wrote: "Smart move by the owners to gain positive public perception and pressure the players into a bad deal shifting the negativity on us #kudos"
Redskins defensive end Vonnie Holliday wrote: "Look guys I have no reason to lie! The truth of the matter is we got tricked, duped, led astray, hoodwinked, bamboozled!"
For their part, the owners are playing the innocent act to all the complaints.
"That's baffling to me," Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson told ESPN's Sal Paolantonio. "We believe we have handshake agreement with the players."
With the Hall of Fame game already canceled, the next big date looming is next Wednesday. If a deal isn't agreed to by then, then the first week of preseason will be lost.
Here's some points that have been agreed upon in the new proposed CBA:
*The proposed deal would make significant changes in offseason workout schedules, reducing team programs by five weeks and cutting organized team activities (OTAs) from 14 to 10 sessions. There would be limited on-field practice time and contact, and more days off for players.
*Current players would be able to stay in the medical plan for life. They also would have an injury protection benefit of up to $1 million of a player's salary for the year after his injury and up to $500,000 in the second year after his injury.
*A total of $50 million per year would go into a joint fund for medical research, health-care programs and charities.
* Minimum player salaries would increase by $55,000 over 2010 numbers, a league source told ESPN's Andrew Brandt. The source said first-year players will make a minimum $375,000 and second-year players a minimum $450,000. Approximately 900 of the league's players earn minimum salaries.
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