Cleveland Browns J.C. Tretter got things moving
National Football League President J.C. Tretterof the Cleveland Browns moves very fast for a big man, both on the football field and at the negotiating table, as the NFLPA and owners appear to have successfully negotiated the necessary changes to start summer camps on time while creating the necessary procedures for handling the COVID-19 situations as they arise.
Multiple reports on Twitter from the major networks as well as the usual sporting intelligence sources are pretty much in agreement about the broad essentials.
Great credit is due Tretter for his role in patiently negotiating a reasonable settlement in the most unusual time in sports business history.
Unless something totally crazy happens, it appears that the necessary changes to the Collective Bargaining Agreement have already been agreed to by both the player reps as well as ownership.
Summer camp is going to start on time. 2020 Exhibition games will be canceled, which will make Tretter a hero among his fellow players.
Adam Schefter of ESPN indicates that the floor for the salary cap next year is $175 million, according to provisions in the new CBA. Everything that we know suggests that this year will be a disaster financially because of the difficulty of allowing fans to attend games in person.
However, the dip in revenue is spread over four years. In other words, the salary cap next year may or may not be near the floor of $175 million, because the previous three years were good ones. Still, attaching a number to the worst possible case is important, because preliminary uninformed guesses were even lower.
Certainly, sports fans are tired about hearing about Covid-19, but there has to be a business response to handle this wretched crock, and it has to be written down so that 32 crabby team owners can agree to it along with the team representatives of the most competitive sport in the history of humanity. And if a mistake is made, it is going to cost millions of dollars.
So let us not underestimate how impressive it is that Tretter and the NFLPA have apparently succeeded in negotiating with an ownership group that originally seemed openly hostile. Some were initially saying that players with Covid-19 were going on the Non-Football-Injury (NFI) list and would not get paid. Hey, no problem with ownership being a little greedy, because if they were not the business would not grow. But when greed threatens to plow the business into the ground, there is a problem.
Now, however, owners and players are working together well, realizing that they have a common goal to defeat this virus and to continue to play professional football as normally as possible, virus or no virus. No doubt they were helped by watching Major League Baseball go through some bumps and bruises before finally determining that there could be a season, and that helped everyone to realize that the goal could be accomplished.
J.C., there is just a funny feeling we might be having some jobs open up in the State House in Ohio soon, and maybe we could use a man with your talents. Hopefully, you will be playing football for many years, all with the Cleveland Browns, but when your football career comes to an end, there might be a job for you in public service. Lord knows they could use some help.