That will be one of the main topics of discussion. The current arrangement that splits revenues from TV and ticket sales has been one of the main reasons that the NFL has been the most successful league in pro sports. Such a split has allowed the Green Bay Packers to compete on equal footing with the New York Giants.
What some want changed is the definition of what revenue should be shared. Currently, revenues from sources that are relatively new, such as luxury suites and stadium naming rights, are not shared with other teams. They are also not part of the revenue pool that is used to calculate player salaries.
That has the attention of the players' union, which, of course, has an interest in having the salary cap be as high as possible. The revenue that teams like the Redskins, Dallas Cowboys, and New England Patriots can generate through their stadiums and other deals also rankles some of the teams not so fortunate such as the Vikings and Cardinals. Such teams claim that, while player salaries are capped, they can't afford to lay out some of the big signing bonuses that the higher-revenue teams can nor can they pay for large scouting organizations or for big contracts for coaches.
One major issue, perhaps even one that could be pursued in court, is the fact that Daniel Snyder paid some $800 million for the Redskins and for what is now FedEx Field on the premise that he would be able to keep certain revenues in order to pay down the debt he incurred in making the deal. Pulling a good chunk of that money out from under him might effect not only his ability to pay Joe Gibbs the $5 million a year he's committed to paying him, but his ability to make payments on his debt when they are due.
If this matter is not resolved and the players' union doesn't get what it considers to be a fair piece of the pie, there is the possibility that the collective bargaining agreement will be allowed to lapse following the 2006 season. There would then be no salary cap until a new agreement is reached. That would, of course, give the large-revenue teams an even bigger advantage.
It would take 24 votes to change the current revenue-sharing arrangement meaning that nine teams can block any particular motion and it appears that there are enough "haves" to prevent anything too radical from passing. Commissioner Paul Tagliabue has earned his pay over the years by forging compromises in touchy matters such as this one. His skills for reaching an consensus will be sorely tested in this very sticky situation.
Snyder in Owners' Crosshairs at NFL Meetings?
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