Monday, July 25, 2011

The interesting parts of the new deal

Peter King's MMQB talks about the new deal. Below are the two parts that I think are most interesting, and my thoughts on them...

Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio reported Sunday that the league could unilaterally cut the preseason schedule from four games to two in '13 or any subsequent year of the agreement. The players would have the option to either play 16 regular-season games and two preseason games, or increase the regular season to 18 games per team. The upshot: Players would lose money if they stayed at 16 plus two.

King and Florio both agree this is an owner-player stare down, and it certainly sounds like it. I don't think there's any chance the owners don't cut the two preseason games in '13, unless somehow finanically the money the players lose is less than the money the owners get from those games. Since I doubt that's the case, it's a matter of whether the money on the table is enough to get the players to agree to 18 games.

The players hate the idea of 18 games, so I'm actually a bit surprised this is in there. If there's one thing that could derail this deal from happening, I would think this is it. But maybe the players think the money they lose here isn't enough to make them care about the 18 games, or that they're getting enough else that they'd be okay going to 18 games. The latter would shock me, the former wouldn't.

If they DON'T go to 18, this seems like a big win for fans, specifically season ticket holders. I'm thrilled not having to pay for an extra game that means nothing to me.

Men who play in a game in any season of this deal will be eligible to stay in the NFL medical plan for life. Currently, retired players have five years of post-career health care.

Don't be surprised if Brett Favre comes back, specifically for this. And in kind, don't be surprised if a lot of guys that were going to retire, and a lot of guys that have retired in the past few years but still may have SOME gas left in the tank, come back very specifically for this.

Say you're Kurt Warner. Or even better, a guy like Deuce McAllister or Derrick Brooks, playing a position which beats your body to submission for years on end. Why on earth would you NOT want to jump back onto a roster somewhere for vet minimum as a backup to ensure you get benefits from this deal? I think I'd be more surprised NOT seeing come-back attempts from a bunch of retired guys than I would be to see guys coming back, potentially in droves.


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