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Labor deal in NFL Set to Expire Soon, 2011 May See Lock Out

NFL News - August 19th, 2009 - Written by Glen

The Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NFL and the Player's Union is set to expire, leaving the 2011 season in a potential state of metaphorical purgatory. Should an agreement not be reached, 2011 may see no professional football - something that has not occurred since 1987.

Disagreements between team owners and the players have caused strife in major sporting leagues before, such as the NHL lockout that shut down the entire '04-'05 season. Ironically, the lawyer hired by the NFL is the man who orchestrated the NHL lockout in the middle of the decade.

The $8 billion dollar football industry could be seriously damaged by a lock out, forcing players and owners alike to a negotiation table. As the economy crumbles, the NFL continues to expand - at least, for the major franchises. Many of the team's owners have been accumulating funds to keep the business afloat during a potential lock out, as stadiums are not cheap. Still, all of the parties involved realize that is is in their best interests to keep the games going.

The small-market teams are set to be hurt the most, and players are fearful that in order for the teams to continue to show profits, players salaries may be cut. Benefits packages, like 401(k) and health insurance, are also on the table.

The deal was to continue to 2013, but team owners decided to go back on the agreement in 2008, citing the inordinate amount of revenue that was going to the players. The salary cap in place may go out the window entirely, though as of now 2010 is the only year that will definitively be without a cap.

Members from both sides of the issue will need to reach an agreement prior to the 2011 season, otherwise the possibility of a lock out is one that looms dangerously on the horizon.

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