They’re calling it the comeback story of the summer! How the NFL was almost down for the count. How the NFL almost couldn’t bear to play anymore games. How the… well, maybe it wasn’t quite like that. But however you saw the gradual drawdown of owners and players toward the end of a record heat wave, two things are for sure: the lockout is over and everyone is ready for some football.
Before the season gets underway, it’s important to answer just a few questions about the results of a lockout that lasted longer than any other in professional history. Who gets what? And what was the agreement? Will we have to sit through this next summer as well?
Players walk away with higher salaries (ugh!), better benefits, and a safer working environment. For instance, they’ll have shorter offseason workouts in order to minimize future injuries across the board. And regarding benefits, there is more than $1 billion being thrown into a pot for post-career injuries that result from on-field accidents. No doubt every fan can get behind this one.
Owners, on the other hand, get a larger share of the $9 billion plus in revenues that the league brings in every year. The objective isn’t that they would pocket that extra money (we hope!), but rather, that they would invest it in new stadiums, better working conditions, redirecting payouts to veterans more than rookies, etc.
You can be sure that this will not be a topic of dinner table discussion next year because the deal reaches ten years out. No more arguing about what to do on Sunday afternoon and Monday night if the NFL decides not to have a season.
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