New England Patriots Links 3/09/11 - Matt Light: Salary Cap Is The Biggest Battle

Matt Light tells players he's "hopeful" a deal can get done.

Ian Rapoport reports Patriots player rep Matt Light is hopeful a deal can get done.

In an interview with WAAF [website]-FM’s the Hill-Man Morning Show, Light revealed that he tells players, "I’m hopeful we can get a deal done." But he also said he couldn’t guess whether there will be a deal.

"We have gotten a little closer on some of these things that we’ve had a huge gap on earlier," Light said. "That’s hopeful. I really do want to get a deal. There is so much uncertainty from guys who are in my position — let alone if you have a contract, but if you’re a free agent, you have nothing set in stone. The fans deserve it, and the game is at a great point. We have a lot riding on this."

Light said teammates are scrambling to find health insurance and to be ready in case of a lockout. As for the biggest issue holding the two sides back, it is how to split up roughly $9.3 billion in revenue. "

At the end of the day, the biggest battle is what the (salary cap) should be," Light said. "Obviously they wanted to cut about $1 billion off the overall pie. That number obviously would have been drastically reduced from where it is today. It’s hard to substantiate that when you sign record deals and teams become more profitable. That’s where the big fight is going to be. We don’t have all the information."

Howard Fendrich, AP, reports while progress has been made in labor talks, both sides have stuck to their stance when it comes to two central issues:

The NFLPA has not agreed to any major economic concessions; the NFL has not agreed to the union's long-held demand that the league completely open its books, repeatedly saying the players have enough data.

One key question is what cut team owners should get up front to help cover costs such as stadium construction and improvement. Under the old deal, owners received more than $1 billion off the top. They entered these negotiations seeking to add another $1 billion to that amount, before other revenues are divided with players.

Although there might have been some movement in that area, the union says it is not enough.

"We're being asked to give back almost a billion dollars, so it's important for us to adequately analyze and interpret the little bit of information that's been provided," said Fujita, who attended negotiations last month but not this week. "And ultimately, if they're unwilling to provide full audited statements, then we need to know what other information we need to make a sound decision."

TEAM TALK

LOCAL LINKS

  • Greg A. Bedard explains what is meant by the CBA sticking point of "$1 billion off the top goes to the owners", and whether or not opening their books would help.
  • Tom E. Curran sizes up the roster at the running back position and evaluates the free agents available around the league.
  • Mike Reiss looks at the Patriots need for speed at the WR position.
  • D.J. Bean discusses the possibility of DE J.J. Watt being available for the Patriots at number 17 and whether they should take him.
  • Jeff Howe reports the Patriots will still be in good shape in the event of a lockout, and other NFL thoughts.
  • Ian Rapoport Patriots Notebook: Mike Wright will be good to go in 2011 after a concussion forced him to miss the end of last season; Matt Light is hopeful a deal will get done; Brandon Meriweather hit several incentives and will see his 2011 salary triple from a base of $550K to $1.65 M this year.
  • Mike Reiss notes Brandon Meriweather's pay increases by $1M and Mike Wright has a $125K pay bump in 2011.
  • Mike Reiss reports Bill Belichick attended today's spring training game between the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals.
  • Ian Rapoport belatedly posts a quote from Stephen Neal where he offers high praise to Patriots O-line coach Dante Scarnecchia.
  • Christopher Price reports the Patriots will visit and workout DL Allen Bailey (Miami) and DB Cortez Allen (Citadel) this week.
  • Mike Reiss answers his weekly reader mailbag: Narrowing down the draft scenarios.
  • Matt Pepin posts a [somewhat painful to watch] video of Tom Brady celebrating Carnival in Brazil with Gisele.
  • Jeff Howe notes the Patriots, Colts and Steelers are near the top of the list among top 10 Super Bowl losers of the past decade.

NATIONAL NEWS

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