Packers Veteran Calls out NFL Owners With Stern Message

David Bakhtiari Calls Out Owners

Getty David Bakhtiari #69 of the Green Bay Packers walks off the field after being defeated by the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship Game at the Georgia Dome on January 22, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. The Falcons defeated the Packers 44-21.

NFL owners are pushing a CBA proposal that could see players earn a greater share of the league’s total revenue as soon as the 2020 season, but David Bakhtiari seems convinced he and his fellow players are still being undervalued.

The Green Bay Packers star left tackle called out owners Thursday on Twitter over the proposed shares each side — players and owners — would stand to make in the next collective bargaining agreement, a 10-year deal that could go into effect as soon as the 2020 season if ratified before the start of the new league year on March 18.

As ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported, players would see their share of the total revenue increase from 47 percent to 48 percent with an uptick to 48.5 percent if the league expands to a 17-game season, “shifting $5 billion in revenue to the players’ side.” But Bakhtiari argued the proposal doesn’t make much sense if NFL owners are claiming a bigger share and dividing it over a smaller group of people that helm the league’s 32 franchises.

“Yet this equation is supposed to make sense,” Bakhtiari wrote in a retweet of Schefter’s initial report about the current CBA proposal, taking issue with the conditional increase of 0.5 percent that comes with agreeing to a longer regular season.

Some were quick to add to the conversation, including Packers insider Aaron Nagler, who deemed the advertised “$5 billion shift of revenue” to the players a distraction from “the fact that it should be a 50/50 split and lifetime healthcare from the jump.” Bakhtiari seemed to agree and replied saying the NFL is a business and should be treated as such.

According to one of the unnamed league sources Schefter quoted in his piece: “The new CBA’s not done, there’s no term sheet yet, there still are issues being negotiated, but I’d be very surprised if there’s not a new CBA for the new league year.”

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Expanded Playoff Picture Also on Table

One of the more eye-catching details in the owners’ CBA proposal is the interest in expanding the league’s current playoff structure, adding two additional teams to the postseason field — seven from each the AFC and NFC — while also limiting each conference to a single bye.

The revised playoff proposal would set up six games during wild-card weekend as opposed to the current four-game slate, which means only the top team from each conference will receive the coveted postseason bye used to rest and heal from the regular season. Had such a format existed during the most recent postseason, the Packers might have been forced to play without a few of their on-the-mend starters  — including offensive lineman Bryan Bulaga.

Under the proposed changes, the late-season incentive to play starters also stands to be diminished depending on how the playoff picture is looking in the final weeks of the regular season. While seeding is still important, teams could be tempted to rest starters sooner if there is less out there for them to earn with strong performances down the stretch. It isn’t entirely clear how the proposed changes would impact home-field advantage for qualifying teams.

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