Former Packer Vice President Andrew Brandt, who now teaches sports business at Wharton and directs the Moorad Center for Sports Law at Villanova had a very interesting piece in this week's Sports Illustrated. It's called "Boxed In, Squeezed Out", and it has to do with how the collective bargaining agreement that was negotiated two years ago is having wide ranging effects on NFL. specifically rookies and veteran players nearing the end of their careers. NFL owners had been embarrassed by the huge contract given to players who never produced so fixing that end of the pay scale was going to happen. In 2010 Sam Bradford of the Rams signed for $50 million...the next two top picks, Cam Newton & Andrew Luck got half of that. There is now little or no negotiation for rookies...there is a pay scale. A union official told Brandt that "a trained monkey could negotiate rookie contracts now".
That money was supposed to be transferred to veteran players...and guys like Joe Flacco & Aaron Rodgers have benefited. But the guys who havent have been guys like Brian Urlacher. it's a combination of the teams finally deciding to go younger and cheaper...and the market then being glutted by guys like Urlacher (who decided to retire this week).
Brandt said that when he was in Green Bay they had a second "war room" that focused on financial and analytical data rather than numbers from the player workouts at the combine. It very often showed that what they called a "maturing" player (younger and cheaper) provided a similar return to a "mature" player (older and more expensive).
So...the new CBA is saving the owners money on both ends when it comes to labor costs...the next question is ...are those savings being transferred to the fans in the form of reduced ticket & concession prices?...Anyone??? Bueller??? Anyone???
The UW-Stevens Point baseball team is in action today in the NCAA D-3 World Series at Fox Cities Stadium near Appleton. They play Manchester Indiana this afternoon. You can hear my extended conversation with Pointer Coach Pat Bloom in the podcast section of the WSAU website.
Have a great weekend and remember our fallen heroes