The National Football League has continued to be one of the strongest and most profitable professional sports leagues in the world. While the league has continued to make a lot of money, there has been some debate over how much of this should be provided to the players. While the league is very profitable, some people have been quick to point out that NFL players are earning far less than professional basketball and baseball players.
While the NFL players have continued to work without a strike, there is a chance that this streak could end in the near future . DeMaurice Smith is currently the executive director of the NFLPA, which oversees all labor relations between the players and the NFL. He believes that there is a lot of potential and risk for a work stoppage to come in the next few years. The current collective bargaining agreement in place ends after the 2020 season. While all parties are working towards coming to a resolution, there is a good chance that it will not be met and there could be a strike.
The NFL has done a good job of avoiding work stoppages. The league was close to missing some games in 2011 when the last CBA was negotiated. While there was a lot of anxiety about the work stoppage with fans, the league was able to come back and play a full season that year. This is unlike the MLB, NBA, and NHL that have all had to have work stoppages in recent memory. The last time the NFL missed any games at all was in 1987.
According to Smith, the NFL owners have continued to collude against the players in an attempt to get the best deal possible. The owners are considered by many to be the winners in the current CBA. Once the new negotiations start, there are a lot of focal points. One of the top focal points for players will be to negotiate a new level of compensation. The players will likely aim to have a larger part of the current TV deals spread out to player salaries. A move similar to this had an enormous impact on NBA salaries over the past few seasons.
Another area of focus for players will be on player safety. Over the past decade there has been a lot of focus on long-term impacts that players face after playing football. Because of this, there will likely be less requirements on playing long seasons and practices. Players will also likely require the NFL to continue to invest in research and find new ways to make the game safer for all football players at all levels.
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