Sports Illustrated's Peter King joined the Mut & Merloni show Friday to discuss the latest developments in the NFL labor negotiations. On Thursday night, NFL owners voted to accept a deal, but players have yet to sign off on it.
"The night was just filled with curveballs," King said, adding, "It's very much a moving target."
One of the holdups is said to be the players' concerns about supplemental revenue sharing, but King questions why that would be an issue.
"Supplemental revenue sharing was basically put in this deal so that the lower-revenue teams — Cincinnati, Minnesota, Kansas City — so that those teams basically share some of the revenue from the larger teams," he said. "It doesn't matter to the players. It has no meaning, no significance whatsoever to the players.
"The players are going to make 47 1/2 percent of the gross revenue. It doesn't matter whether the Kansas City Chiefs pull in 195 or 165 million. It doesn't matter at all. If you're a player, what do you care if Jerry Jones gives 20 million for signage in his stadium to the lower-revenue teams. You're still going to get a percentage of that 20 million. That's what was so baffling last night, was to hear them make an issue of that. It's totally meaningless."
Added King: "Maybe the union is going to make it a big deal, but if they do, they're going to have to explain to me why. It just doesn't matter."
King also questioned why players who were not in the meetings and clearly have not had time to read the approximately 250-page document would voice such strong opinions Thursday night and imply that the owners were trying to sneak something into the deal at the last minute.
"The union's executive board, the 10-player executive board, has basically been working for the last four months, just about every day, to sculpt this agreement," King said. "Now, maybe there was a point or two points that there's some tentacle of those points that surprised the executive board. But just because the player representatives wouldn't know every point does not mean that the players' executive board which negotiated this didn't know it. … There can't be many big surprises to Domonique Foxworth, to Drew Brees, to Kevin Mawae, to Jeff Saturday, to the guys who actually have been in the room every day.
"Now, to the player rep — Vonnie Holliday of the Washington Redskins tweeted last night, 'We were bamboozled.' Well, how would Vonnie Holliday know if they were bamboozled? Unless [DeMaurice] Smith got on the phone and said, 'We're totally getting jobbed here,' which I really don't think he did. Some of these guys who were the player reps, I believe … when they were talking last night, they didn't know the whole deal."
The Hall of Fame Game already has been canceled, and King said preseason games are in jeopardy if a deal is not consummated soon.
"I think if the players are not in training camp as a whole by about next Friday, I would anticipate you'd lose Week 1 of the preseason," he said. "And then they would just then lose each week as it goes."
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