* Based upon the September 1st discussion, if both sides agree to put $1 million each per year on the table for overall compensation (let’s leave out the retirement benefit for now), then we are only $250,000 apart for the 2012 season. We are also asking for yearly increase in overall compensation of about $1 million per year (just like the 2006 CBA) over the next five years. The NFL wants yearly increases to average less than $500,000 per year over the next seven years.

* The retirement benefits issue is a lot more complicated. Here are the FACTS about the League’s proposal:

* The NFL paid into our pension plan $5 million per year from 2001 to 2005, and $5.3 million every year between 2006 and 2011, with the exception of 2010, when they paid $6.3 million.

* By the League’s own calculations, ending our current DB benefit today would cost them $5 million per year for several years but declines to $0 by 2016.


* The NFL’s modified 401(k) DC plan proposal cuts their contribution from over $40,000 per year per official under our existing DB plan to only $12,750 in 2012 ($1.6 million in total) and rises to only $18,250 by 2018 ($2.3 million in total).


* Here are the FACTS about the NFLRA’s current retirement benefits proposal:

* Keep the current DB plan for those officials now on staff, and raise the monthly benefits by $55 per month (less than the 2006 CBA amount)

* All new hires would come on board under the League’s proposed DC plan, which would involve an NFL contribution amount of $38,500 per year for each new official.

* When you do the math, the total cost of the NFLRA split system retirement proposal is estimated at around $7 million in 2012 (about the same cost as the NFL’s proposal), and the annual cost to the NFL would decline over time to around $5 million per year (almost the same amount the League has spent every year on our current DB plan over the past 10 years).

SUMMARY: All of this comes within the context of a reported 50% increase in NFL revenues from 2006 to 2012 and another huge increase beginning in 2014 with the new TV contracts. How can what we are asking for seem unfair in the world of NFL economics? If we got EVERYTHING we are asking for (that would cost each team less than $100,000 per year), we would still be getting less than we got in the 2006 CBA.

The NFLRA Negotiating Committee remains willing to meet with the League to discuss and reach a middle ground on a new CBA so we can get back on the field. Our goal is to reach a fair agreement for both sides, like it was done in 2006.

awilson@baltsun.com