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CBA: A Complete Series of Articles

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By Andrew Brandt of the National Football Post. One of the best collections of articles I've read. Easy to follow and understand, they each are dedicated to a specific subject.

http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/NFL-labor-pains-Part-One.html

Going inside the CBA dispute, 100 days to go

http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/CBA-Primer-Part-Two.html

Retired players, player safety

http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/NFL-labor-pains-Part-Three.html

CBA primer continues: Bonus recovery, Drug testing

http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/NFL-Labor-pains-Part-Four.html

The 18 game season

http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/NFL-Labor-pains-Part-Five.html

Owners gather, Players go to Congress

Enjoy the reading- some very interesting thoughts and facts included.

Maybe this could get a sticky?

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As I look back on my college daze (or days) I seem to recall that people behave and make decisions that maximize their income. This, of course, assumes the people are "rational" which may or may not be the case here. All that said, there will most likely be an agreement but it will probably drag out a while. This is probably due to DeMaurice Smith's ego rather than anything substantial.

I think players deserve every dollar they can negotiate, however, Smith's actions put his own idealogy and politics above the teams, the players and the game.

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Here's a re-quote from the first article

Both Goodell and Smith are negotiating a CBA for the first time, and their relationship will be paramount. To this point, there has been little to none of the chemistry that Tagliabue and Upshaw had, but the relationship is still in its early stages with more communication through the media thus far than to each other. The lack of meaningful interaction between the two, however, is a reason for the limited progress at this point.

This is what I've been saying all along. I'm not a huge fan of Goodell, but at least he's been saying repeatedly that both sides of this issue need to come to the negotiation table to make progress. That's where the problem falls squarely at Smith's feet. He's using the media and courts as his negotiation table.

Unfortunately, that's what you get when you hire a politically active lawyer, instead of a leader, and spells some potentially disastrous fortunes for the NFL.

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So what are the top 10 issues the Owners and Union are fussing over ?

I know one is the 18 game season and how and to who the $$$ will be split

And several players saying they don't want 18 games

So what are the other issues ?

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I don't believe there are 10 issues. I would be more inclined to think these are the top, in order of priority (but the owners' and players' also differ):

1. 18-game season

2. Salary cap, including a rookie cap

3. Revenue sharing

4. Bonus structure

5. Health care and retired players

Let me be clear about this. The owners are putting the 18-game season on top of everything else and will not even begin to discuss anything else until the players come to an agreement on this. Safe to say the longer season will happen at some point (probably 2012) but the details such as increased roster sizes, both active and practice and a revised schedule to include a second bye-week all need to be hashed out as well.

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