After completing talks last week in Hull, Massachusetts, the NFL owners and the NFL Players Association began their fifth round of labor talks on Monday in Minneapolis, Minnesota in hopes of finally striking a deal.
According to reports, the only two that were present for the talks were NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith, as the two engaged in one-on-one talks without any owners or players in the room.
In the past few weeks, the talks have been deemed "complex" and "complicated" by Goodell, however both sides are aware that a deal needs to come together in the near future, in order to preserve team training camps and the preseason.
Some internal deadlines have July 15 as the date a labor deal needs to be done to save the preseason in its natural form. (via NFL.com)
One topic that has been of great discussion lately has been the rookie wage scale. The NFL owners have been adamant in reducing the value of a first-round pick's rookie contract.
However, the players continue to protest that the rookies entering the league need to get the big money.
The parties broached the rookie pay system last week for the first time during these clandestine sessions, and it proved to be a difficult area to navigate. Last year's No. 1 overall draft pick, Rams quarterback Sam Bradford, received about $50 million guaranteed in his rookie deal, and the owners have long looked to drastically mark down those type of price tags. (via NFL.com)
While attention has been focused on revenue sharing, there are other objectives that need to be taken care of in order to come to an agreement soon.
The sides have largely spent the last four weeks discussing the revenue split, an issue that dwarfs all others. And it's not just the revenue now, but also how to account for the league's future growth, particularly when the 2014 television deals are done. (via NFL.com)