The issue of the big market/small market teams continuing to battle over revenue sharing once again is on the front burner at the owners' meeting.
This Trib-Review article says the Steelers, who are at the low end of the top 15 teams that will contribute to revenue sharing for smaller revenue teams, reluctantly voted for the latest plan (Bills & Bengals voted against) but did not like it.
The 15 teams that contribute money to a pool will be divided into three categories based on their gross revenues. What category those teams fall into will correlate into how much they give to the revenue sharing pool, but their contributions won't be based on a percentage of gross revenue....
"We had talked about a system where we would contribute somewhere around 34 percent of each team's revenue into this pool," Rooney II said Sunday. "Our view is something like that, a percentage applied to all of the teams across the board. Then you go back and look after you do that who would be entitled to revenue sharing."
One concern the Steelers may have is that under the current system there could develop a gap between the top and bottom teams in the 15 organizations that have to pay into the revenue-sharing pool.
In another article on the subject in the P-G, AJR II criticizes the big market teams for not conceding more on revenue sharing and states the NFL will be drifting to a major leaague baseball have/have not system if something is not worked out soon.
"There's no question we have a problem in the league that I'm very concerned about on a going-forth basis," Rooney said during the annual NFL spring meetings. "I think the biggest problem with it really is the attitude of some of the high-revenue teams. I think the only way to say it is that they have a different attitude than some of the big-market people from the old days."
Rooney said if owners do not agree to fix the system, ultimately the Steelers will get dragged down with it.
"We're in a market that's not growing," Rooney said. "When you look at spendable income statistics in our market, the last time I looked we rank somewhere in the 50s in terms of household spending.
"We're in a market where we have to be concerned about things like this. We look at it as a very serious situation, both in terms of the standpoint of looking at it from a Pittsburgh situation but also a league-wide standpoint."
Rooney estimated that 20 NFL teams, including the Steelers, "are in markets where we're really challenged to continue on an ongoing basis to generate that kind of revenue" to stay competitive.
"Then you have another 10-12 teams -- some of them are doing fine, some are doing big money. That's where the revenue-sharing situation has to kick in to equalize things out."
It looks like last year's collective bargaining agreement simply kicked the can down the road on this issue. Don't be surprised if either the small or big market ownership groups exercise the opt out clause in the CBA after 2008 and all hell breaks loose then.