Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Source: No vote on CBA Tuesday
ESPN.com news services
ROSEMONT, Ill. -- League lawyer Bob Batterman is confident Tuesday's owners meeting will not stretch until Wednesday and a league source told ESPN's Sal Paolantonio that there will not be a vote on a new collective bargaining agreement.
"This is strictly informational. There is nothing to vote on," the source told ESPN.
Commissioner Roger Goodell will update the owners on the parameters of a new CBA and give them a chance to respond and offer input.
"We want the clubs to get a good feel of where this agreement is headed," the source told ESPN.
Representatives on the players' side need to be able to sell a deal that at the very least accounts for 48 percent of all revenue, sources told ESPN.com's John Clayton. The players had asked for 50 percent. In recent talks, players valued the owners' proposal at 44 percent but the next meeting could bridge the difference if the owners at this meeting give Goodell the go-ahead to advance the numbers.
Another round of negotiations is scheduled for Thursday or Friday of this week, the source said. The source would not reveal where those talks would take place.
This is the first meeting called by the league strictly for labor matters. The 32 team owners and representatives who are on hand were advised last week to prepare to stay an extra day, but Batterman said Tuesday he didn't think that would be necessary.
"I'm confident we're going to get out of here today," Batterman said.
In the last three weeks, groups led by Goodell and NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith have made enough progress toward a CBA that it sparked optimism training camps could open on time late next month.
"This is the season to get a deal," Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay said before entering the conference room where representatives from all 32 teams were being updated by Goodell and his negotiating committee. "I think the logic that you're pushing on both sides is saying why get a deal Oct. 1, or whenever, when you could have had July 7, or whatever."
But no one is saying a deal is imminent, and several owners are known to have strong questions about proposals being discussed with the players.
A handful of NFL owners -- at least two of whom are from AFC teams -- believes the parameters of the deal being discussed don't adequately address the original issues the league wanted corrected from the 2006 CBA, sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter last Friday.
This subplot comes at a time when the NFL and NFLPA have made considerable progress, much of it on broad-picture items. The two sides, according to a source, have agreed to an unofficial timeline as to how events such as training camp and free agency would play out if there is an agreement on the more significant elements of the deal.
Each side is eager to get something done before the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis rules on the league's request to permanently block an injunction that originally lifted the lockout. That injunction had been on hold while the three-man appeals panel considers the case, but one of the judges warned the owners and players they both wouldn't like the decision.
The first preseason game, at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, is scheduled for Aug. 7. That makes these meetings critical in the NFL's first work stoppage since 1987.
Tuesday marks Day 98 of the lockout, which is the longest work stoppage in NFL history.
Information from ESPN reporter Sal Paolantonio, ESPN.com senior NFL writer John Clayton, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter and The Associated Press was used in this report.