Weaver Believes He Got a 'Fair Deal'

Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver speaks candidly about the new CBA and what his expectations are for his team.

When the NFL owners stamped the previous collective bargaining agreement with players in 2006, owner Wayne Weaver of the Jaguars voted in favor of that deal, but was critical of it in hindsight.

He said it was not "sustainable" in the long term and he was vindicated when the owners opted out of the deal two years ago and locked the players out in March in an attempt to get a better deal.

Monday, Weaver said he thinks they got just that when the two sides came to terms on the new 10-year pact.

Weaver called it a "fair deal" that works for both sides and will enable small-market teams like the Jaguars to compete with the high-budget, high-profit teams like Dallas, Washington and the Patriots.

One of the things he likes was the revenue sharing plan in which the high revenue teams will pay 10 percent of their local revenues into a pool to be used for small-market teams.

"I know it has been a long and arduous process that's been at times frustrating but at the end of the days, what matters is that we got a good agreement. We've got an agreement that works for the players, it works for all 32 of our clubs and more importantly, it works for the fans," he said.

He added, "Neither side got everything they wanted. There are a lot of things that if you read through the agreement, I can say, 'I don't like this or I don't like that,' and the other side would say the same thing, but it is a fair deal."

He said the deal would help keep all teams competitive.

"It gives our clubs, all 32 clubs, a chance to compete, make sure they can spend to the salary cap. And every year when we got to camp, our fans can know that we have the opportunity to be in the positions, and so I think that is a good thing," he said.

Weaver also said the coaches and front office executives put the lockout time to good use.

"We used that time to really study and review how we can make our football team better and be more competitive. And so I think the time was fruitful, even though we didn't like the time being in a lockout period. It was a time that gave us a chance to review and study a lot of the things I do believe will show up in the way this team competes in 2011 and forward," he said. And he is not lowering expectations because of the lockout.

"I don't think so. We're in a better position than most teams. Both of these men to my right and left (coach Jack Del Rio and general manager Gene Smith) have done an outstanding job of being prepared with all kinds of plans to make sure that going into the 2011 season, we're in a great position. We're in a position to get off to a fast start so, no, I don't think it should adjust our expectations. We have a chance in free agency to bring in some players that can strength our roster. We're excited to get started," he said.

Weaver has indicated that Del Rio, who won only one playoff games in his first eight seasons, will be fired if the team doesn't make the playoffs. Weaver is so confident that he says their season finale against Indianapolis could be moved to Sunday night in prime time if the division title is at stake.

"With Indianapolis on January 1, we will have a chance for a Sunday night primetime game for that game, and so it is an exciting time," he said. Weaver thinks the new deal has put the team in a good position off the field.

The question is whether the Jaguars will be good as he thinks they will be on the field.

Jags Illustrated Top Stories