NFL owners' proposal: Project low, pocket overflow

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NFL owners' proposal: Project low, pocket overflow

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com

Still head-scratching over why the players wouldn't take the NFL's final offer on Friday? Blame the NFLPA for that. The owners have painted themselves as the most magnanimous set of billionaires a person could ever encounter in the past few days and the players haven't ably shown why, in actuality, they aren't. On Saturday, I asked former player Pete Kendall - who was in the three weeks of negotiations - what the biggest problem was with the owners' offer. He said, to boil it down, the owners wanted to pocket 100 percent of the money any time they exceeded the league's projected revenue. And the owners were trying to project the revenue at artificially low levels. We're going to get into some complex stuff here, but before doing so I'll illustrate what Kendall explained to me as simply as I can. If the owners "pegged" revenue for 10 billion in a season and then exceeded that projection, they wanted all the money to go into their pockets. The players were willing to give them the first 1.5 percent free and clear (in the 10 billion case, 150 million). After that, they wanted a 50-50 split. Some more damning details? The NFL has grown in revenue at an average rate of 7.5 percent over the past five years. Yet the projected growth numbers the NFL wanted to work off of between now and 2014 were 4 percent, 4 percent, 2.5 percent and 2.5 percent. The NFL made about 9.3 billion in revenue in 2009. A4 percent gain over that is an additional 320 million. A 7.5 percent gain? That's 700 million. The owners proposal would have them pocketing all of the 380 million difference. Again, that 7.5 percent growth is the average. The owners were proposing to make it a 4 percent growth target and - later in the deal when TV contracts were being renewed and huge sums were flowing in as a result and revenue shot up, the owners were going to cut the projected revenue growth to 2.5 percent. And that was in addition to the salary cap rollbacks the owners wanted to impose. Their 2011 proposed cap was 114 million per team. The last time there was a cap in was nearly 129 million per team. That's a 330 million savings league-wide on salaries in 2011 alone. Our friend Mike Florio goes into greater detail and complexity over at Profootballtalk.com on this and you'll find words like "peg" and "true up" that you can wow your friends with (or put them to sleep). But this plan for keeping the projected revenues artificially low and pegging the salary-cap numbers so that they were linked to the projected revenues and not the real revenue was a real killer for the players.

Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

How does Derek Carr's new deal impact Jimmy Garoppolo?

How does Derek Carr's new deal impact Jimmy Garoppolo?

Ever since Derek Carr signed a five-year, $125 million extension with the Raiders to give him the highest average annual contract value in league history, some version of the same question has been posed over and over again. 

What does this mean for other quarterbacks looking for new deals? 

Despite the fact that Carr's average annual value surpasses the previous high set by Andrew Luck ($24.6 million), and despite the fact that Carr's contract provides him the security that alluded him while he was on his rookie contract, his recent haul may not mean much for the likes of Matthew Stafford, Kirk Cousins and other top-end quarterbacks.

They were already expecting monster paydays down the road that would hit (or eclipse) the $25 million range, and Carr's record-setting contract may not even serve as a suitable baseline for them, as ESPN's Dan Graziano lays out.

So if Carr's contract did little more for upper-echelon quarterbacks than confirm for them where the market was already headed, then does it mean anything for someone like Jimmy Garoppolo? 

Carr and Garoppolo were both second-round picks in 2014, but from that point, they've obviously taken very different roads as pros. Carr started 47 consecutive games in his first three years and by last season he had established himself as one of the most valuable players in the league. Garoppolo, by comparison, has started two games. 

Both players still hold loads of promise, but unless Garoppolo sees substantial playing time in 2017 and then hits the open market, he won't approach Carr's deal when his rookie contract is up.  

ESPN's Mike Reiss projected that a fair deal for Garoppolo on the open market might fall between the $19 million that was guaranteed to Chicago's Mike Glennon and Carr's contract, which includes $40 million fully guaranteed and $70 million in total guarantees, per NFL Media.

Perhaps something in the range of what Brock Osweiler received from the Texans after Osweiler started seven games for the Broncos in 2015 would be considered fair: four years, with $37 million guaranteed. Because Osweiler (before his deal or since) never seemed as polished as Garoppolo was in his two games as a starter in 2016, and because the salary cap continues to soar, the argument could be made that Garoppolo deserves something even richer. 

Though Garoppolo is scheduled to hit unrestricted free agency following the 2017 season, there is a chance he doesn't get there quite that quickly. The Patriots could try to come to some kind of agreement with their backup quarterback on an extension that would keep him in New England, or they could place the franchise tag on him following the season. 

Either way, Garoppolo will get paid. But until he sees more time on the field, a deal that would pay him in the same range as his draft classmate will probably be out of reach.

Patriots release camp dates; open practices begin July 27

Patriots release camp dates; open practices begin July 27

Football is coming.

The Patriots announced on Thursday that veterans will report to training camp on Wednesday, July 26 and that the first public practice will take place the following day.

Each of the team's first four practices -- from July 27-30 -- are scheduled to take place on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium "in the nine o'clock hour," according to the Patriots. Updates to the training camp schedule, including more specific start times for practices, can be found at patriots.com/trainingcamp.

The Patriots Hall of Fame will hold its induction ceremony for former corner Raymond Clayborn on Saturday, July 29 around midday following that morning's training camp practice. Held on the plaza outside the Hall at Patriot Place, the ceremony will be free and open to the public.

The Patriots will host the Jaguars for two days of joint practices open to the public on Monday, Aug. 7 and Tuesday, Aug. 8. The preseason opener for both clubs will take place at Gillette Stadium on Aug. 10.