The NFL and its players seem entrenched in their current labor negotiations, and earlier this week, the players stated the obvious: the owners locking out the players before the 2011 season is a near-certainty, so be ready for it. The focal issue (for the media, at least) has been the NFL’s wish to extend the regular season from 16 games to 18, and at least one report indicates that the league won’t even be making a standard salary adjustment for those two extra games.
The proposed schedule increase (in case you were curious) does not include an extra two games pay but rather stretches the player’s salary out over said two games. This means more checks but no increase in the player’s individual salary. In other words, no raise. The schedule adds the extra two regular season games by cutting two from the 4-game preseason slate for each team. It makes the league’s stance on safety and the need to protect its players seem somewhat hypocritical since it doesn’t want to shell out the money for salaries/ additional healthcare that the extra games would almost certainly require.
That’s insane; for an 18-game plan that nobody wants, the obviously obvious thing to do would be to keep the players’ game checks the same. If the owners’ plans to move more regular-season games to Europe, any idiot could see that this would be Item One to take care of. Who the hell wants to do more work for the same pay. And yes, I consider playing pro football to be work. Especially if you have to share a space with Peyton Manning.