Imagine a world without the NFL….
No, seriously, close your eyes and picture it. Horrifying isn’t it?? I don’t know about you, but I saw husbands, all across the country, holding bags at Bed Bath And Beyond. It made my skin crawl. A sport that used to dominate your Sunday, 5 months of the year, now dominates your everyday, 12 months of the year. From Free Agency, to the Draft Combine, to the Draft, to the Actual Season, to the Postseason, to the never ending world of Fantasy Football, the NFL is easily the most popular sport known to man..or woMan. But there’s a chance the NFL could face a work stoppage in 2021. How you say?! Well, keep reading, and I’ll tell you….
The NFL and the NFLPA (NFL Players Association) have a CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement). This is an agreement, much like the other major sports have, that outlines the rules, and salary cap guidelines, and many other details about the league. The last CBA was negotiated in 2011, and carries a 10-year expiration date, thus bringing us 4 years into the future; to 2021.
To see the 2011 CBA, click here.
The Executive Director of the NFLPA, DeMaurice Smith, expressed the possibility of such a work stoppage in an interview with Sports Illustrated. He said, “I think that the likelihood of either a strike or a lockout is almost a virtual certainty.” Smith didn’t get into specific details of what the players would be looking for in a new CBA, but he felt the owners didn’t hold up their end of the bargain last time, “Owners colluded with each other, and we found out they colluded with each other. And all of the bad things that went to the players happened, and none of the bad things that went to the owners happened.”
I’ve always felt NFL players should go on strike. Of course I’d cry myself to sleep without the NFL, but at least I’d know the players would be fighting for fair pay and treatment. NFL players have actually gone on strike before (as you can see from the above picture), multiple times, but it’s never brought about fair results.
Click here to see the list of NFL lockouts.
Don’t get me wrong. NFL players have a nice life, making exorbitant amounts of money, but compared to the other major sports, NFL players get treated like doggy-doo:
- Their salaries are not guaranteed
- It is the most physically demanding of the major sports
- Veteran contracts have been minimalized
- Rookie contracts have been cut-down (players are locked in for 4 years)
Let’s talk about that last one. The average career of an NFL player is 4.8 years. And the owners have those players locked into their rookie contracts for 4 of those years. That doesn’t sound fair to me. Now, rookies who outperform their contracts, cough..Odell Beckham Jr…cough cough, turn into disgruntled employees. I’m not a big fan of Beckham Jr., but the nuisance deserves to be paid more. The guy is a top-3 wide receiver in this league. And while there was some noise prior to training camp of Beckham Jr. holding out, he ultimately showed up. Because the owners have all the power.
It would suck for all the rookies and minimum salary players, but an NFL strike would be the best thing for the long-term health of the players. The question is, do they have the cojones to follow through with it??
We’ll find out in 4 short years….
Do you think the NFL players will go on strike in 2021?? Should they?? Post your opinion in the comment section below.
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