The hottest topic in the NFL, obviously, is the NFL lockout and there are almost daily updates to this captivating drama surrounding America’s game. The latest to hit the airwaves is that Commissioner Roger Goodell composed and sent a letter to players outlining the owners latest offer and imploring them to return to the bargaining table to hash this out.
Whether a public relations move or an honest attempt to reach out to players, Goodell expresses great concern for the future of the sport if this lockout were to continue.
“We want you to understand the offer that we made to the NFLPA. The Propposal was made to avoid a work stoppage.” Goodell wrote. "each passing day puts our game and our shared economics further at risk."
The talks between the two sides ended last Friday with no agreement made. Afterwords, the NFLPA dissolved so that players could file an anti-trust suit against the NFL and the owners took the final step to lockout players.
The letter Goodell sent was not met with enthusiasm.
"I’ve told my guys to take the letter and set it on fire. We’re not that stupid," said Seattle Seahawks guard Chester Pitts, whose reaction was relayed by NFLPA assistant executive director George Atallah.
The next reported step in the process of getting football back on track comes on April 6th, which was the court date set by the judge who will be presiding over the players attempt to stop the lockout. Though both sides have expressed a willingness to talk before that date, it isn’t considered something that will actually occur.
Here is a recap of the owners latest proposal.
• Salary and benefits would be $141 million per club in 2011, and rise to $161 million by 2014;
• Free agency after four seasons;
• Less offseason work and fewer padded practices in the preseason and regular season;
• Keeping a 16-game regular season for at least the next two seasons and not changing to 18 games without the union’s agreement;
• Guaranteeing up to $1 million of a second year of a player’s contract if he is injured and can’t return to play;
• A new rookie compensation system;
• A jointly appointed neutral arbitrator for all drug and steroid appeals.