NFL Lockout News: Isn't Rookie Wage Scale Win-Win?

The big news from yesterday was that the players and owners came to a tentative agreement in principal as to a rookie wage scale. It was considered the final major sticking point, thus leaving the sides to hammer out mostly details. Whether the deal gets done today or next week, there's some measure of optimism at this point.

In reading about the possible deal, some folks have been trumpeting it as a victory for the owners. They cut the costs on top ten picks something like 40-50% and really save themselves from...well themselves. While that counts as a victory for the owners, wouldn't the existing base of the NFLPA view it as a victory for veterans as well? Whatever the salary cap and salary floor ends up at, a rookie wage scale means more money for veterans.

If that's the case, this becomes a true win-win scenario, which can be rare in labor negotiations. In a perfect world a new CBA would make both sides equally happy. Both sides will likely have some grumblings about aspects of the eventual deal, but over the past month things have taken a rather surprising turn. Not that I didn't think a deal would get done, but it appears to have turned into a solid working relationship that could mean good things moving forward in future labor negotiations. Losing money from the preseason probably helped get things moving, but the nature of the relationship at this point seems to go beyond the lost revenue into a strong working relationship.

If you're wondering why the owners made certain concessions on the rookie scale in terms of year five pay, this Jim Trotter article at SI points to an unknown lockout insurance fund that could pay the players up to $200,000 apiece during the 2011 season. It's not exactly the millions some of them expected but reportedly Domonique Foxworth threw this on the table yesterday and it apparently got their attention.

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