There is a report this afternoon that a new 16-game Thursday night schedule is part of the new collective bargaining agreement that is being negotiated between the league and the players' union. Chris Mortensen of ESPN is reporting this nugget as well as other details.
The NFL currently has an eight-game Thursday night schedule on the NFL Network, so the league can probably more than double what they are generating now with eight more games.
Here are some of the highlights of his report:
Players get 48 percent of "all revenue," without extra $1-billion-plus off top that previously had been requested by owners.
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.
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.
Other reports from national media covering the owners' meetings in Chicago are projecting optimism and that the owners are not fighting amongst themselves. We'll see how this plays out the rest of the day, but there seems to be some positive momentum going forward.
Courtesy of Ed Bouchette