After scanning the details of the NFL owners' proposal for a new labor deal, I have some advice for DeMaurice Smith.
Race to get that thing approved.
Both sides will claim victory when the CBA is finally completed -- and it will get done since there are only some small issues left, according to a handful of players -- but that's not the way I see it.
The players scored a TKO.
With the exception of opening up the books, which was never going to happen, this deal would include almost everything the players wanted to get.
Smith, for all the criticism he has taken for being as defiant as he's come off, deserves plenty of praise for getting his players this deal.
The owners will spin it their way, but the issues all went the way of the players.
Just look at them:
----The players wanted half the revenue without anything coming off the top while the owners wanted $2 billion off the top, and then would give up half. The owners will take nothing off the top and the players would get 48-percent of all revenues.
---The players wanted more time off. They would get a lot more. There will be off-season workout limits. They will limit OTAs. They will get more days off.
---The players wanted teams to spend close to the cap, and they now would have to do so, spending cash to the cap floor. They wanted free agency after four years, while the owners didn't. Free agency would be after four years.
---The players would get an enhanced injury protection benefit of up to $1 million of a player’s salary for the contract year after his injury and up to $500,000 in the second year after his injury.
The owners wanted the rookie wage scale, and that would be in play. But they also wanted rookie deals for drafted players to be six years, not four. They would be four with an option for a fifth for some rookies.
So what exactly did the owners get? A new CBA. They didn't like the last one, so getting a new one is a win of sorts. They also get labor peace in a league that is the unquestioned sports leader for 10 years.
The NFL is an estimated $9-billion-a-year business. But projections are that it can become a $20-billion-a-year business. If that isn't reason to get labor peace, I don't know what could be the reason.
"Yeah, when you look at all the stuff, this is a good deal for us," one player told me. "There are just a few things that have to be tweaked."
Here's a guess that tweaking gets done over the weekend. And this deal will get done.
When it does, Smith should put on the championship belt. He knocked the snot out of the owners with a nasty right hook to the head.
This judge has a decision if this is the deal: Victory, players.