ESPN is reporting some of the proposed details of a collective bargaining agreement that the league shared with the NFL Owners.
Details of a proposed collective bargaining agreement being pitched to NFL owners Tuesday, according to sources:
• Players get 48 percent of “all revenue.”
• Players’ share will never dip below 46.5 percent, under new formula being negotiated.
• Teams required to spend close to 100 percent of the salary cap.
• Rookie wage scale part of deal but still being “tweaked.”
• Four years needed for unrestricted free-agent status. Certain tags will be retained, but still being discussed.
• 18-game regular season designated only as negotiable item and at no point is mandated in deal.
• New 16-game Thursday night TV package beginning in 2012.
• Owners still will get some expense credits that will allow funding for new stadiums.
• Retirees to benefit from improved health care, pension benefits as revenue projected to double to $18 million by 2016.
– ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, John Clayton and Adam Schefter
I highlighted the key proposal for the Falcons, which deals with free agency. If this proposal is ratified by both sides, here is what the Falcons free agency list would look like. The offensive line is the key area.
Justin Blalock, LG, 4 years
Matt Bryant, PK, 9 years
Tyson Clabo, RT, 6 years
Harvey Dahl, RG, 4 years
Brian Finneran, WR, 10 years
*Brent Grimes, CB, 3 years – 1st round tender
Michael Koenen, P, 6 years
Stephen Nicholas, LB, 4 years
Jerious Norwood, RB, 5 years
Michael Peterson, LB, 12 years
*Jason Snelling, RB, 4 years – 2nd round tender
Eric Weems, WR, 3 years (possibly restricted)
Clabo has started 69 games since the 2006 season, including all 48 regular-season games under head coach Mike Smith. He went to the Pro Bowl as an alternate last season.
Blalock, a second-round draft pick (39th overall) in 2007, has made 39 starts.
Dahl has made 43 starts over the last three seasons.
If all three leave, center Todd McClure and left tackle Sam Baker would be the lone remaining starters.
Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff has repeatedly stated that the team has planned for restructuring the offensive line.
In 2009, the Falcons drafted Garrett Reynolds in the fifth round. He’s played both guard and tackle. He will likely get a shot to replace Clabo.
In 2010, they drafted guard Mike Johnson in the third round and guard/center Joe Hawley in the fourth round. The Falcons have also trained tackle Jose Valdez on the practice squad for the last two seasons and re-signed Will Svitek, a tackle by trade who played some tight end in running formations last season.
“We are very mindful of what we are doing along our offensive line,” Dimitroff after the season.
While the offensive line may take a couple of hits, the Falcons could have a clear shot to sign defensive end Ray Edwards.
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog