NFL Management Presents New Offer
NFL management, facing the imminent prospect of a strike deadline, unveiled Monday a contract offer featuring a roster increase of two players and what it called liberalized free agency.
The offer by management comes a day before the players’ union is to announce a strike date. The 11-page proposal, delivered at noon EDT to union headquarters, would:
--Increase NFL team rosters from 45 to 47 players.
--Establish a three-member review board to handle harassment complaints of union representatives.
--Improve player pension benefits and health and life insurance plans.
--Upgrade severance benefits for veterans.
Gene Upshaw, the executive director of the players’ association, termed the document “garbage.” However, he did say the two sides would meet again, perhaps Thursday.
The owners’ offer also retains mandatory random drug-testing of all players--a proposal the union vehemently opposes--and details management’s restrictive salary scale for rookies, which is designed to curb escalating contracts given incoming players.
The latest offer also decreases the draft-choice compensation required of a team signing a free agent. But it denies the players’ demand for unrestricted free agency without compensation or a team’s right or first refusal.