Union fires back at owners

Yesterday, during our talk with Patriots owner Robert Kraft, the labor situation came up, and Kraft advocated change.

“Look, we’re gonna have a labor deal eventually,” Kraft said. “It’s a question of when. There’ll be a lot of noise. Since the last labor deal, we generated $3.6 billion in new revenue, and $2.6 billion went to the players, plus another $200 million. Ownership collectively had $200 million greater expenses on this last revenue drawn. We can’t continue that and continue to invest in the business.”

Union spokesman George Attalah just reached out to pass along the NFLPA’s numbers, which are different than Kraft’s. He also sent this statement, from NFLPA outside counsel James Quinn: “We saw his comments and checked with our joint auditors. That could only be true if they don’t count the approximately $1 billion the NFL gets off the top.”

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Obviously, there’s some dispute over the figures here. The $1 billion the union’s bringing up? The PA explains it at its official Web site.

The union claims that, “The league is doing its calculation AFTER deducting over $1 billion of increased revenues it and the teams received since 2006. It argues that the CBA allows technical exclusions of revenue for purposes of calculating the salary cap.”

The union’s claim is that the revenue number should be $4.8 billion, and not $3.6 billion. Of course, there’s posturing on both sides going on right now … But those are the stances here that each side has taken.