NFL Lockout Approaches: How Much Would You Pay To Keep Your Financial Secrets?

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 10: Pat Bowlen (L), owner of the Denver Broncos, and Green Bay Packers CEO Mark Murphy leave meetings at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service building March 10, 2011 in Washington, DC. Representatives from the National Football League (NFL) and National Football League Players' Association (NFLPA) continue to negotiate a labor dispute during a 7 day extension of talks. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Friday is the final day under last week's extension. I'm expecting another extension, there are still some key issues to be worked out in more detail. The bad news is that both sides are taking petty shots at each other, with lead NFL negotiator Jeff Pash seeming to go out of his way to publicly slime the players' union. 

The major impasse is that the owners want the players to take a pay cut (even under an 18 game schedule), and the owners won't open their books to prove to the players that they have to take one. From Michael Silver

"It’s really the same argument we’ve been making for the better part of two years," one player active in union affairs told Y! Sports. "We’ve conceded a lot already, and we can’t go any further just because they’re asking us to ‘trust’ them. We saw how trustworthy they are with the TV case."

Near the opening of his article, Silver says, "It’s time for the owners to open their books, or to acknowledge that doing so is not an option and lower their financial demands accordingly." The NFL says the players have financial information available to them, but they really aren't opening their books. It might cost the league billions to keep their financial information secret, but even at that price it might be worth it. However, they can't keep their secrets and all the revenues they want.  

There's a lot of pressure on the players to make a deal, but it's the owners that are contemplating an awful scenario. No one wins (because no one gets paid) if the lawyers and the courts get involved, but as Jason Cole points out, all of the owners' dirty laundry is going to come out in a court battle. 

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