From the very beginning of the CBA talks between the owners and NFLPA, the opening of the league’s books has been a bone of contention. Once the league came around and offered five years worth of numbers, the players demanded ten. The statements from the owners offer costs, but not details, something that is causing more trouble. Former Kansas City Chiefs GM Carl Peterson says “it’s a personal thing” for the teams.
“I remember when I was with the Chiefs. Forbes Magazine would call every so often and want to verify some numbers. I’d say, ‘Listen, they’re not a public company. They’re a private company and they don’t want their finances disclosed.’
“I think a number of owners have intertwined some of their football business with some of their other businesses. They’re not interested in getting into that. They feel they’ve opened their books for years to their partners (other teams and the NFLPA). They’ve showed them all of their revenue and many of their costs. They don’t know why they should have to open them more than that.”
This is one of the biggest examples of the players moving the goalposts. All we heard about was the need for five years of financial records and then at the last minute that becomes 10? I am the last person that will debate finance with you — my degree is in communications for a reason — but I don’t understand how numbers from the 2000 season will impact the players cut in 2020.
I do, however, understand the players demanding a percentage of the profits instead of a locked in number. The owners know that the money in the NFL is only going to keep increasing, so they want to make sure over the years they get a bigger piece of the pie. Anything short of a very high percentage of revenue is unacceptable.
Not to simplify things too much (though it seems to sound good) but the players should get seven years of books without the details they want while the owners agree to a significant percentage of profits (40?). Done deal and we can start planning our trips to St. Joe for training camp.