League releases details of proposal that union didn’t accept

Here are the basic details of the NFL owners last proposal to the Union.

As a retired NFL player, what do you think about the proposal?  Please post your comments here at the Jeff Nixon Report by clicking on “leave comment” at the top of the article.   

1. We more than split the economic difference between us, increasing our proposed cap for 2011 significantly and accepting the union’s proposed cap number for 2014 ($161 million per club).

2. An entry-level compensation system based on the union’s “rookie cap” proposal, rather than the wage scale proposed by the clubs. Under the NFL proposal, players drafted in rounds 2-7 would be paid the same or more than they are paid today. Savings from the first round would be reallocated to veteran players and benefits.

3. A guarantee of up to $1 million of a player’s salary for the contract year after his injury, the first time that the clubs have offered a standard multiyear injury guarantee.

4. Immediate implementation of changes to promote player health and safety by: reducing the offseason program by five weeks, reducing OTAs (organized team activities) from 14 to 10 and limiting on-field practice time and contact; limiting full-contact practices in the preseason and regular season; and increasing number of days off for players.

5. Commit that any change to an 18-game season will be made only by agreement and that the 2011 and 2012 seasons will be played under the current 16-game format.

6. Owner funding of $82 million in 2011-12 to support additional benefits to former players, which would increase retirement benefits for more than 2,000 former players by nearly 60 percent.

7. Offer current players the opportunity to remain in the player medical plan for life.

8. Third-party arbitration for appeals in the drug and steroid programs.

9. Improvements in the Mackey plan (designed for players suffering from dementia and other brain-related problems), disability plan and degree-completion bonus program.

10. A per-club cash minimum spend of 90 percent of the salary cap over three seasons.


About Jeff Nixon

Jeff was a first team consensus All-American from the University of Richmond in 1978. He is 7th in NCAA history with 23 career interceptions. Played for the Buffalo Bills 1979-1984. Led the team with 6 interceptions in Rookie Year. Holds Bills record for 4 takeaways in a single game - 3 interceptions and a fumble recovery. Tied Bills record with four consecutive games with an interception. After 5 knee surgeries Jeff retired from pro football in 1985. He worked for 13 years (1988-2000) as the Youth Bureau Director for Buffalo and Erie County. He has worked for the past 11 years as the Youth Employment Director for Buffalo. Plays guitar and was voted best R&B guitar player by Buffalo Nightlife Magazine in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

Posted on March 15, 2011, in NFL Alumni News. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. One one hand, you want to ask, “Can you believe the union walked away?” On the other hand, you simply remind yourself, “They planned this all along.”

    Collective Bargaining appears to be the only place where the old adage, “He who writes the checks, writes the rules” doesn’t apply; at least not in the minds of union officials. Unions have long maintained that if they hold the collective breath of labor long enough, management will be the ones who turn blue.

    The NFLPA is still holding its breath over a most curious issue, given how the NFL appears to have bent on almost every issue imaginable. The union is demanding the League provide audited financial statements to support their contention that additional earnings need to remain exempt from the shared revenue pool in order to remain viable and make their business grow. Let’s just say for the sake of discussion say the NFL were to break the most sacrosanct of private industry rights; something no private industry has ever been compelled to do in the collective bargaining process, and provide what DeMaurice Smith and his cronies are insisting upon. Then what?

    No one on this or any other planet believes the NFLPA negotiators will then say, “Oh, okay… that makes sense” and sign a new CBA. No, they’re going to go through General Ledger line item by line item looking to nit-pick, nickel and dime, and question not only each expenditure, but to whom the expenditures are made. They will question the owner’s right to hire family members; they will dispute their salaries. “Alice and Donna do the same jobs. Alice earns $67,000 a year, but you pay Donna – your niece – $69,000. You’re wasting two thousand dollars a year of our money on nepotism!” They will argue that contracting for every day services with a company owned by a minority shareholder is somehow unscrupulous; even though its been contracted for at the best price in the team’s location. I can see it now. And so can you.

    As a former business owner myself, I’ve hired family and I’ve paid them well. So what? It’s why you sacrifice nearly everything and put yourself through the rigors of entrepreneurialism to begin with. He who writes the checks, remember? Just for laughs, on the subject of opening the books, I’d love to see Roger Goodell, commissioner of the NFL, look Smith in the eye and say, “You go first.” Smith would start stuttering like Porky Pig. “Ya-de-ba-duh-ba-de…” You see, here’s the difference.

    The League’s primary source of revenue is earned right up front the old-fashioned way; by providing a product that millions of fans clamor for. Their secondary source of revenue comes through the licensing of hundreds more purchasable products through NFL Properties. The union, on the other hand, ostensibly makes its money in reverse. The NFLPA’s dominant source of operating capital comes through the licensing of their member’s images on a handful of the same products NFL Properties licenses. The EA/Madden video game is probably its greatest source of such income, licensed officially through Players, Inc. Their secondary source of revenue comes from the coerced union dues required be paid right off the top by each Player the union claims to represent, whether that Player wants to belong to the union or not. And many do not.

    The very same thing that keeps the owner’s warm at night is what keeps Smith and his minions awake. While the League could resort to hiring replacement players, as they did in 1987, even if it cancels the 2011 season altogether, the NFL can continue to make a fortune through it’s licensing of logo emblazoned products. And as long as they aren’t wearing team apparel, individual players can keep raking in the big personal endorsement dollars that have nothing to do with the union.

    But unless the League gives its blessing on products like EA/Madden games, the union is screwed. The NFL can easily say to EA (and others), you can make the product; you can use the team names, logos, uniforms and colors. The League can then also say, “But you have to do with the ‘current’ Players what the union and Players, Inc. made you do with the former (so-called “retired”) Players for your retro version. Blur or change the names. Alter the likenesses. Put your game out with Tim Brody quarterbacking the New England Patriots. Name the running back for the Tennessee Titans Chris Jameson.” After all, it was good enough for the union and Players, Inc. when they intentionally kept the NFL Alumni and their own former members from profiting from the retro version. Goodell should look the NFLPA in the eye and say, “Try arguing the legality when we merely followed your lead.”

    Reluctantly, EA Sports would likely do it. So would others. Why? Because half a product is more profitable than no product. It would also come down to the most obvious reason of all. There is no “game” without the NFL at the forefront. What; you say, “Put Manning and Brees and Brady in uniforms of similar colors but make their fictitious teams part of the “EA Football League?” Just how many “EAFL” video games do you think John Madden’s going to endorse, or the number of units Wal Mart and Best Buy will pre-purchase in anticipation of the dozens of ambivalent fans waiting for its release.

    The NFL makes the money, not the Players. They lay out their money to cover every cost imaginable – including hundreds upon hundreds of millions of dollars in Player salaries – to put the product on the field. Their game – their teams – their rules. Players come and go with every passing season. Every passing season. Today’s NFLPA-represented Players are tomorrow’s NFL Alumni members; left scratching their heads and wondering what the hell they’d done to themselves and those who had come before them. The union’s current membership needs to do what they have been taught since their days of playing Pop Warner: keep their eye on the ball; keep their eye on the goal line. And learn the lesson the rest of the free-market world has come to live with and prosper by for centuries: “He who rights the checks…”

    Read my new novel about the NFL, THE ULTIMATE GAME, set in the near future. A donation is made from the sale of each book to the NFL Player Care Foundation. THE ULTIMATE GAME is available at barnesandnoble.com, amazon.com, borders.com and through the publisher at a discount at authorhouse.com Keyword Search: BAKKO

  2. Not much detail regarding disability plan improvement!

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