NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith said Tuesday that the union has done "the majority share of the heavy lifting" in labor negotiations and reiterated his belief there will be a lockout in 2011.
Speaking with Shan Shariff on KCSP-AM in Kansas City, Mo., Smith used the rookie wage scale issue to demonstrate his points.
"We went to the owners, and they raised the issue about the rookie wage scale," Smith said. "We said, 'Fine, let's cut every rookie's contract to three years, instead of six years.' That would pull $200 million out of the draft. We proposed giving $100 million to retired players to improve their pensions, and we said, 'Use the other $100 million and guarantee it to veteran players in the locker room.' The owners said no, that they weren't willing to guarantee that money to proven veterans in the locker room."
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