National Football League revenues come to about $9 billion a year. The league says about 60 percent of that goes to player salaries, and owners say that is too much. They want to shave 18 percent off the pool of money that is used to calculate the overall league salary cap.
The owners argue that, while the league is immensely successful as a whole, many owners have gone deep into debt to finance new stadiums in the past decade – anticipating revenues that never materialized because of the recent recession.
Before agreeing to a pay cut, NFL Players Association (NFLPA) executive director DeMaurice Smith is demanding line-by-line audits of teams to prove expenses are, in fact, rising faster than revenue. The NFL has so far refused, saying that it has never offered the figures to the union before.