On Thursday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell began to ramp up his P.R. battle against the NFL players. In addition to speaking exclusively with SB Nation, his biggest move was to send off a well publicized letter to players:
A salary cap for 2011 that would avoid a negative financial impact on veteran players. We offered to meet the union at the mid-point between our previous offer and the union's demand. Under our offer, 2011 salary and benefits would have been set at $141 million per club, and projected cash spending would have been as high or higher than in either 2009 or 2010. By 2014, salary and benefits would have been set at $161 million per club. In other words, player compensation would increase by as much as $20 million per club by 2014.
In response, several players involved in the negotiations drafted their own letter:
The cap system for the past twenty years has always been one in which the players were guaranteed to share in revenue growth as partners. Your proposal would have shifted to a system in which players are told how much they will get, instead of knowing their share will grow with revenues, and end the partnership.
I'm not surprised that the biggest battle is over money. The way Green Bay Packers president Mark Murphy spun it earlier this week, it sounded to me like the owners were offering to maintain the status quo (plus some additional benefits). But I was wrong. Instead of having an annual cap adjustment as league revenues grew, as Goodell put it, "salary and benefits would have been set."
There really isn't anything to say about it, other than that both sides remain far apart.