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Key issues

By Greg Bedard
Globe Staff / March 3, 2011

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Share of revenue
The NFL generates $8.9 billion in revenue. The league is given $1 billion off the top for operating expenses and to help the game grow. Of the rest, the players receive 59.5 percent ($4.7 billion). The owners believe this is an unsustainable model. They want another $1 billion credit to help fund stadiums and other investments, and for the players to take their same cut ($4.1 billion).

Expanded regular season
The league last expanded the regular season from 14 to 16 games in 1978. It has made no secret of its desire to expand the season to 18 games, with a drop in exhibition games from four to two. The NFL Players Association opposes this because of monetary and injury-related reasons.

Rookie wage scale
Owners and players both agree that the salaries paid to rookies in the top half are out of control and can cripple a franchise when an unproven player fails. They disagree on just about everything else on this topic. The players want any of the savings to go to fund better post-career health care, veteran players, and performance-based pay. The owners will do some of that, but in return want rookies to be bound to their contract for at least three years (currently two) and to increase the amount of time it takes players to reach free agency.

Other topics
Drug testing, player safety, retired benefits, bonus money recovery, conduct policy.

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