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NFL Labor Mess: Roger Goodell Sends Letter To NFL Players

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a letter to NFL players yesterday outlining the NFL's proposal that was rejected at the end of the Federal mediation sessions late last week.  I was also a part of a conference call with Goodell and NFL lead negotiator Jeff Pash yesterday afternoon that you have likely seen all over SBNation.  Much of the information was the same that Joe Ellis provided MHR Readers last week.

Here is a copy of the letter:

We want you to understand the offer that we made to the NFLPA," Commissioner Goodell wrote. "The proposal was made to avoid a work stoppage. Each passing day puts our game and our shared economics further at risk. We believe the offer presented a strong and fair basis for continuing negotiations, allowing the new league year and free agency to begin, and growing our game in the years to come."

Among the details of the proposal detailed by the Commissioner:

  • A salary cap for 2011 that would avoid a negative financial impact for veterans.

  • Extensive changes in off-season work requirements that would promote player health and safety while also encouraging players to continue their education and promote post-football career opportunities.
  • Reduction in preseason and regular-season practices with pads and with contact and increased days off.
  • Expanded injury guarantees - including a guarantee of up to $1 million of a second year of a contract for players injured who can't return to play.
  • Lifetime access to medical coverage for players and their families after a player's retirement.
  • Enhanced retirement benefits for pre-1993 players. More than 2,000 former players would have received an immediate increase in pensions averaging nearly 60 percent, funded entirely by owners.

"In that spirit, we are prepared to negotiate a full agreement that would incorporate these features and other progressive changes that would benefit players, clubs, and fans," Commissioner Goodell concluded. "Only through collective bargaining will we reach that kind of agreement. Our goal is to make our league even better than it is today, with the benefits shared by all of us.

"I hope you will encourage your Union to return to the bargaining table and conclude a new collective bargaining agreement."

This morning, I was part of another conference call, this time with NFLPA...NFL Players Trade Group leader DeMaurice Smith.  I will have the transcript of that call in a bit.  Needless to say, these two groups can't seem to agree that the sky is blue, let alone how to divide $9 billion.