On Thursday, NFL owners voted 31-0 to approve a plan for the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. While the players haven't yet voted on it, the deal includes something that has meant little to the NFLPA all along, but has been instrumental for a team like the Buffalo Bills. The new agreement includes a plan for supplemental revenue sharing.
The supplemental revenue sharing allotment was a pool of $100 million in the previous CBA - relatively small in the grand scheme of things. Low-revenue teams such as the Bills could pull money from that account in order to support their bottom line. Chris Mortensen of ESPN reported that 8-12 teams qualified annually for the pool in the previous CBA.
DeMaurice Smith of the NFLPA, taking any chance to address anything that owners did, mentioned in his email to the players that this was never discussed in the bargaining sessions.
"As you may have heard," Smith wrote, "they apparently approved a supplemental revenue sharing proposal. Obviously, we have not been a part of those discussions."
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk had this to say about Smith's email:
"The NFLPA* hasn’t been part of those discussions regarding that issue because the NFLPA* showed no interest in that issue. All along, the elephant in the room was the league’s effort to fix revenue disparities by taking money back from the players. For reasons still unknown, the NFLPA* never pushed that issue."
The NFL can decide to begin revenue sharing, and players want to make sure that teams have to commit shared revenue to player salaries -- a point of contention for the NFLPA.
Mark Gaughan of The Buffalo News said it was Bills owner Ralph Wilson who ultimately pushed the measure through.
"A supplemental revenue system, aimed at helping lower-revenue teams, was added to the previous deal only after intense lobbying by Bills owner Ralph C. Wilson Jr.," reported Gaughan.
We should be all for additional money coming the Bills' way. Stay tuned as we continue to break down the potential collective bargaining agreement from a Bills perspective.