By Tom E. Curran
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 email@example.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran
When the topic of Deflategate was broached on HBO's Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons, which debuted this week, Ben Affleck became all kinds of fired up.
"What they did was suspend Tom Brady for four days for not giving them his [expletive] cellphone," Affleck said. "I would never give an organization as leak-prone as the NFL my [expletive] cellphone . . . so you can just look through my emails and listen to my voicemails?"
Affleck grew up in Cambridge, Mass. and is a passionate Patriots fan. He made no attempts to hide his fandom, and his appreciation for Brady, as he and Simmons (also a Patriots fan) discussed the football-deflation controversy that has now lasted well over a year.
Affleck, who said he would want to cast himself as Brady if ever a Deflategate movie was made, harped on the fact that the league wanted Brady to turn over his phone.
"Maybe Tom Brady is so [expletive] classy and such a [expletive] gentleman," Affleck said, "that he doesn’t want people to know that he may have reflected on his real opinion on some of his co-workers."
Brady is waiting for the Second Circuit to make a decision as to whether or not it will rehear his case against the NFL. Earlier this offseason, the Second Circuit reinstated Brady's four-game suspension issued by the league when a three-judge panel ruled in favor of the NFL, 2-1.
Pro Football Talk wrote on Thursday that a decision from the Second Circuit could come at any time. If the rehearding request is denied, Brady could then take the case to the Supreme Court. Should the Second Circuit grant Brady a rehearing, his suspension would be delaed until the court reached a decision. In that case, Brady could potentially play the entire 2016 season before a decision came to pass.
Tom Brady wasn't always the most famous person in his family. Growing up, his sisters were the accomplished athletes in the household.
For his latest Throwback Thursday style Facebook post, Brady published a pair of photos of an old high school essay that he wrote in the fall of his senior year in 1994. It was titled "The way my sisters influenced me."
I found an essay I wrote in 1994... I love my big sisters! #tbt. Thanks for the good grade Mr Stark!Posted by Tom Brady on Thursday, June 23, 2016
In it, he discusses some of the difficulties of growing up with three older sisters and no brothers. Because Maureen, Julie and Nancy Brady had achieved so much in softball, basketball and soccer, Brady -- or "Tommy," as he signed his paper -- had trouble getting noticed.
Of course, it wouldn't be long before Brady was headed from San Mateo, California to Ann Arbor, Michigan in order to play football for the Wolverines. He probably had no trouble garnering attention by then. Still, it's funny to read about how he felt overlooked in his youth.
He closed the essay explaining that he knew his sisters would always provide him support throughout his life, adding, "hopefully, just maybe, one day people will walk up to them and say, 'Aren't you Tommy's sister?' or 'Hey where is your brother?' Maybe . . . "
If the Brady sisters didn't get those kinds of comments by the time the baby of the family was given an 'A' for his English assignment, it probably didn't take long before they did. About seven years later, he took over as the starting quarterback of the Patriots.