Everything we’ve heard so far indicates that discussions between the league and the NFLPA on a new CBA have been positive. Things seem so be going surprisingly smoothly, and earlier this week we heard the two sides hope to have a deal done before the 2019 season starts. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of issues to be resolved. As we track the negotiations this summer, Dan Graziano of ESPN.com is out with a great piece detailing the fight ahead.
Graziano broke down the nine biggest issues in the talks, and the whole article is well-worth a read. Graziano cautions that while everything seems positive for now, it’s “a complex negotiation with pitfalls.” Graziano writes that the owners have run out of money for stadiums that they were allotted in the previous CBA, and that’s “seen by many connected with the talks as the main reason the owners are interested in doing a new deal as soon as possible.” He writes that “they need money to help with stadium projects in places such as Buffalo, Cleveland, Jacksonville, Carolina, Washington and even Los Angeles, where Rams owner Stan Kroenke would likely enjoy a bit of league-sponsored help with his project.” If the players are going to allow the owners to take more money off the top for ‘stadium credits’ as they’re called, Graziano writes that they’ll demand a greater share of the net revenue in return.
Among many other interesting nuggets, Graziano notes that the players have a good shot of getting the ‘fully funded rule’ erased, which “requires teams to hold in escrow any portion of a player’s contract that is fully guaranteed.” It currently dissuades owners who might not want to tie up all the cash from giving out longterm guaranteed contracts, and doesn’t exist in any of the other major leagues.
Here’s more from around the league:
- This year’s Supplemental Draft will be more intriguing than most. Washington State safety Jalen Thompson‘s entry into the draft ensured that there would be at least one player selected. We heard last week that Thompson had a 3-4th round grade on him before last season, but there’s another player with good shot of getting picked. Former West Virginia Marcus Simms is “likely to be chosen” as well, per Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com. Simms held a workout on Monday which was attended by half the league’s teams, including by Raiders GM Mike Mayock. The draft is scheduled for July 10th, so we should know pretty soon.
- Saints defensive tackle David Onyemata was recently suspended for the first game of the 2019 season, but at least he won’t be facing any further legal trouble. Onyemata completed a diversion program and won’t be prosecuted in his marijuana case, per Ramon Antonio Vargas of NOLA.com. Unfortunately for Onyemata this didn’t all happen before the new CBA took effect, as the league is reportedly likely to stop punishing players for marijuana use. Onyemata, a 2016 fourth-round pick, has blossomed into a key contributor for the Saints, and New Orleans’ defensive line will be a bit thin in Week 1 with him and Sheldon Rankins both sidelined. Last year Onyemata played around 60 percent of the team’s defensive snaps as a run-stuffer, and received very strong marks from Pro Football Focus.