Football is back -- NFL players approve CBA


Football is back -- NFL players approve CBA

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The longest work stoppage in National Football League history is, well, history.The NFL's owners and players agreed Monday to a new collective bargaining agreement that guarantees no regular-season games will be missed and could create labor peace for at least 10 years.The owners announced an agreement to a proposal on Thursday by a 31-0 vote, with Raiders owner Al Davis abstaining. The players initially reacted with disbelief that the proposal contained a "supplemental revenue sharing" system for the owners that was never discussed in negotiations with the players.EXCLUSIVE: NFL lockout transition rules
But after two days of continued negotiations to settle on the final elements of the day, the players' executive committee re-convened in Washington on Monday to vote to ratify the CBA.""I know it has been a very long process since the day we stood here that night in March," NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith said. "But our guys stood together when nobody thought we would. And football is back because of it."
Both Bay Area football teams were originally scheduled to open training camp this week. The Raiders, scheduled to open the exhibition season Thursday, Aug. 11, at home against the Arizona Cardinals, were originally scheduled set to open training camp Wednesday in Napa.Meanwhile, the 49ers were scheduled to open training camp Thursday in Santa Clara. The 49ers' first exhibition game is set for Friday, Aug. 12, at the New Orleans Saints.Thus concludes the NFL's first work stoppage since 1987. The labor dispute had been brewing since the owners informed the players in May 2008 they would exercise their contractual right to opt out of the deal they signed two years earlier.As a result the final two years of the CBA were voided. The only official NFL activity since last season was the annual draft, as the owners imposed a lockout on March 12.RELATED: Letter to fans from 49ers president Jed York
After CBA talks were initially extended beyond March 3, the scheduled end of the 2010 league year, negotiations stalled. The NFL Players Association, led by executive director Smith, decertified as a union.The owners' side, represented by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, imposed a lockout, which prohibited team employees from any contact with players.Ten plaintiffs, headlined by Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning, countered with an anti-trust lawsuit against the NFL. Both sides agreed on one thing, though: The dispute would ultimately be settled at the negotiating table.And that is exactly what happened.The new CBA brings back many of the rules that were in place through the 2009 season. (The rules were altered for 2010, which was an uncapped year after the owners' opted out.)The salary cap returns to the NFL. The sides have agreed on a 120.375 million cap for 2011 per team. All teams will have approximately 3.5 million in what would otherwise be performance-based pay available to fund veteran player salaries. And for the first two years of the agreement, clubs may "borrow" up to 3 million in cap room from a future year, which may be used to support veteran player costs.The players accepted 142.4 million per team in player costs, as owners will contribute an additional 22 million per team in benefits.There will be unrestricted free agency for unsigned players after four accrued seasons. Clubs will still have the ability to use the franchise and transition tags to limit key veterans.The biggest issue that the owners and players resolved was the split of the revenue pie. The league grosses approximately 9 billion annually. But with the NFL's television contracts expiring after the 2013 season, the money is expected to sky-rocket in the coming years.In the previous CBA, the owners received 1 billion off the top and then the players got 59.6 percent of the rest of the money generated by the NFL.The owners initially sought an additional 1 billion, while the players offered to take 50 percent of the league's earnings without the owners receiving the 1 billion credit.Ultimately, the players agreed to a split of at least 47-percent of all revenue for the 10-year agreement.One aspect of the salary cap is that there is also a salary floor. Teams are prohibited from investing too much or too little on player compensation. For the 2013-2016 seasons and again for the 2017-2020 seasons, the clubs collectively will commit to cash spending of at least 95 percent of the cap.Other key elements of the deal include:--Offseason programs were reduced by five weeks, and the number of organized team activities -- or offseason practices -- has been reduced from 14 to 10. The league has also limited the on-field practice time and contact allowed during those practices. Teams will no longer be allowed to conduct two padded practices per day in training camp. There are an increased number of days off for the players. Also, a 50 million per year joint fund has been established for medical research, health care programs and NFL Charities, including NFLPA-related charities.--The NFL and its players agreed to additional funding for retiree benefits of between 900 million and 1 billion. the largest amount, 620 million, will be used for the new "Legacy Fund," which will be devoted increasing pensions for pre-1993 retirees.--The sides agreed on a new rookie wage system to reduce the size of contracts for the top picks. Last year, quarterback Sam Bradford, the top overall pick, received a six-year, 78 million contract with 50 million guaranteed from the St. Louis Rams before playing a down. The size of top rookie contracts this year will be approximately half. All drafted players will sign four-year contracts. Clubs will have the option of extending the contract of a first-round pick for a fifth year, based on agreed-up tender amounts. The compensation levels of the drafted rookies will be largely fix, thus there will not be much negotiations involved.--The regular season will remain at 16 games, with four exhibition games, until at least 2013. Any subsequent increase in the number of regular season-games must be made by agreement with the players' approval. However, the league can unilaterally reduce the number of exhibition games.

Report: 49ers TE Vance McDonald available for trade

Report: 49ers TE Vance McDonald available for trade

Vance McDonald is reportedly on the trade block.

The 49ers tight end is available, according to The Ringer's Michael Lombardi.

In December, McDonald inked a five-year extension, with the final two years being club options at base salaries of $5.5 million annually.

As NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco reported:

"McDonald receives a $7 million signing bonus, according to the figures obtained Tuesday by His base salary of $2.1 million for 2017 is fully guaranteed for skill and cap.

McDonald is scheduled to earn $3.7 million in base salary in 2018 and $4.2 million in 2019. In addition, McDonald has 46-man roster bonuses of $46,875 per game, which total $750,000 annually if he suits up for all 16 games. McDonald also has a scheduled $150,000              in annual workout bonuses for participating in 90 percent or more of the team’s offseason program.

The deal would make McDonald the 16th highest-paid tight end in the NFL if he collects all of his per-game roster bonuses.

If McDonald remains on the 49ers’ 90-man roster on April 1, 2018, all $3.7 million of his 2018 salary becomes fully guaranteed. If he’s on the roster on April 1, 2019, $3.2 million of his $4.2 base salary is fully guaranteed.

There are also incentives in the deal for receptions and receiving yards that begin with 55 receptions ($75,000) and 700 yards ($75,000)."

The 49ers took McDonald in the second round (55th overall) of the 2013 draft.

In 11 games last year, he caught 24 passes for 391 yards and four touchdowns.

After making two selections in the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday, the 49ers enter Day 2 of the draft with two third-round picks -- No. 66 and No. 67 overall.

The 49ers also currently have two picks in the fourth round, two picks in the fifth round, two picks in the 6th round and one seventh round pick.

First round complete: Re-ranking 49ers' top 2017 draft needs

First round complete: Re-ranking 49ers' top 2017 draft needs

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers begin Day 2 of the NFL Draft without a second-round draft pick.

The team’s second-round selection turned into a first-rounder late Thursday evening.

General manager John Lynch packaged the 49ers’ second-round pick at No. 34 and a fourth-round pick acquired earlier in the day to move up to No. 31 for Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster.

The 49ers are scheduled to have back-to-back picks early in the third round at Nos. 66 and 67 on Friday.

Here’s a look at the 49ers remaining top needs:

Defensive back
During the 49ers’ voluntary minicamp, Jimmie Ward was at free safety with Eric Reid at strong safety. Jaquiski Tartt is next in line.

The 49ers parted ways with a projected starting conerback Tramaine Brock after his arrest for an alleged domestic incident. The 49ers’ first-team cornerbacks are currently Rashard Robinson and Dontae Johnson. Will Redmond and K’Waun Williams worked in at nickel back.

Ward’s versatility makes it possible the 49ers could go with either a cornerback or safety. There is some young talent already on the roster at cornerback, but most of it is completely unproven at this level. All things being equal, it would seem the 49ers’ next pick would be a defensive back.

Write it in ink: Brian Hoyer will be the 49ers’ starting quarterback in 2017.

The 49ers have two quarterbacks under contract – Hoyer and Matt Barkley – and they are certain to add a quarterback at some point. But regardless of whom they add at this point, Hoyer will be the starter. The top quarterbacks still available are Davis Webb (Cal) and DeShone Kizer (Notre Dame).

Two players to watch are Nathan Peterman (Pittsburgh) and Brad Kaaya (Miami), who come from pro-style offenses. Both could still be available when the 49ers go on the clock in the third round.

Running back
Oft-injured Carlos Hyde is entering the final year of his contract, and he has something to prove to the new coaching staff. Veteran Tim Hightower is the only other proven NFL back on the roster.

There will be plenty of solid options at running back in the final two days of the draft.

Coach Kyle Shanahan has a knack for identifying unique traits in running backs and scheming his offense to put those players in advantageous spots to make plays on third downs.

Supply is greater than demand at running back in the draft, so Shanahan is certain to identify someone capable of making an impact in a specific role.

Wide receiver
The 49ers parted ways with Torrey Smith and Quinton Patton, while adding Pierre Garçon, Marquise Goodwin and Aldrick Robinson. Big-bodied receiver Eric Rogers, who dominated in the CFL, is still rehabbing from a torn ACL sustained last summer.

The 49ers have room on their roster to develop a young receiver who can learn the ins and outs of the professional game from Garçon. It’s part of the reason the 49ers made him their most-lucrative free-agent acquisition.

Edge rusher
Sure, the 49ers already selected a defensive lineman. And while the 49ers believe Solomon Thomas can play the pass-rusher spot in the team’s new defense, his best attribute is his versatility.

Teams can never have too many pure pass-rushers, and the 49ers still have a shortage in that area. They can still use an edge rusher to compete with and push Arik Armstead, Aaron Lynch and Ahmad Brooks to fight in order to hold onto their jobs.

The 49ers signed veteran Robbie Gould in the offseason and awarded him a $500,000 signing bonus. Gould, 35, was targeted to replace ultra-reliable Phil Dawson. Gould signed with the Giants in October of last year. He made all 10 field-goal attempts but missed three of his 23 extra-point tries.

It’s not a huge priority, of course, but it remains possible the 49ers add a kicker on Day 3. They could draft someone, such as Arizona State’s Zane Gonzalez, or bring Stanford’s Conrad Ukropina to camp to compete as an undrafted rookie.

1. First round, No. 2: DL Solomon Thomas, Stanford
2. First round, No. 31: LB Reuben Foster, Alabama

3. Third round: No. 66 overall
4. Third round: No. 67 overall (from Chicago for No. 2 pick)
5. Fourth round: No. 109 overall
6. Fourth round: No. 143 overall (compensatory)
7. Fifth round: No. 146 overall
8. Fifth round: No. 161 (from Washington in 2015 trade for TE Derek Carrier)
9. Sixth round: No. 198 overall (from Baltimore in trade with C Jeremy Zuttah for No. 186)
10. Sixth round: No. 202 overall (pick acquired from Denver in 2015 trade for TE Vernon Davis)
11. Seventh round: No. 219 overall (pick acquired from Cleveland in 2015 trade for Andy Lee)