NFLPA Telling Players to Expect Lockout in 2011, Save a Quarter of Their Salary in 2010

DeMaurice SmithAt a conference that began with the announcement of a partnership between the National Football League Players Association and the AARP that promises increased volunteerism among current and former players in the communities of league markets, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith and president Kevin Mawae warned that league owners are taking steps, including signing a television contract that pays them whether or not games take place, to prepare to lockout players during the 2011 season.
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↵In front of a panel of current and former players that included Barry Sanders, Ricky Watters, Ki-Jana Carter and Pete Kendall, Smith asked each franchise to commit two percent of its profits to retired players. Smith then railed against the league's request that, in a time of record popularity and revenue, players take in a smaller percentage of NFL revenue, minus the $1 billion that the ownership before considering the players' share.
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↵Chad Ochocinco, on behalf of the ever-present OCNN, asked Smith what the status is of current negotiations, as well as the chances of having a lockout in 2011.
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↵Said Smith: "On a scale of one to 10, it's a 14."
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↵Smith and Mawae endeavored to strike a dire tone throughout the proceedings, frequently citing the television rights deal that extends through 2013 as "lockout insurance". Moreover, Smith responded to a reported claim from Ravens owner Steve Biscotti that teams are "bleeding" money, by demanding that the NFLPA be privy to league revenue and expenses so that they can be more cooperative with owners in order to strike a workable deal going forward.
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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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