NFL players need a stronger spine in CBA talks

OK, we understand the players seem destined to take the money and give the owners a 17-game season.

But are they selling themselves short when they are putting player safety on the back burner to get more money?

The real question is: Are they getting enough to take the risks of playing that extra game?

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the owners will increase the players’ percentage of the designated gross revenue from 47 to 48 percent if the schedule stays at 16 games. But they get 48.5 percent for a 17th game.

That apparently means the players are getting a half of one percent of revenue for the 17th game. Since the owners really want that 17th game, shouldn’t they at least get a one percent increase to 49 percent?

According to Schefter, the players will get $5 billion more over 10 years if they go from 47 to 48.5 percent.

Sounds like a lot of money and both sides will put the spin on it about how much the players are getting.

But remember, $5 billion for 10 years is $500 million a year and remember, the players have to split it 1,500 ways.

Also, most players will pay about 40 percent in taxes – maybe more – depending on the state they live in. Now we are down to $300 million or less than $10 million per team.

And it is split 53 ways per team with the quarterbacks and star players getting a lot of it.

The players are going to get an increase in the minimum wage but it won’t be a windfall.

Maybe my math is wrong and we only have what Schefter has reported to go by.

And as revenue increases, they will get more over the life of the contract. And it will go up more if they play the 17th game than it will if they stay at 16.

Still, it seems like players should get more than a one half of one per cent increase to give the owners a 17th game. They take the risk of suffering injury, including CTE. The owners take no risk and the fans don’t play to see them.

The player reps – or the players themselves – should vote no. But if they take the deal, they can stop complaining the next 10 years about how players in other sports get paid a lot more money than they do.

It is easy for the players to take the money and run. But this is a time to stand up to the owners if they are going to take the risks to give the owners something, that they really, really want.

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