Jon Saraceno has written a profile of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in USAToday. The article is both interesting and timely, given Goodell's role in the upcoming collective bargaining negotiations. My sense from reading it is that the Player's Union has a formidable adversary. Saraceno notes that Goodell studied economics at Washington and Jefferson College, and subsequently went to work in the steel industry. That bears a canny resemblance to the trailblazer and grand master of collective bargaining negotiation in sports, Marvin Miller.
Vis a vis the CBA, this quote from Goodell near the end of the story seems revealing: "In any negotiation, you have economics, clearly. You have the rookie pool system, which we think needs to be addressed. We need to shift some of that money to proven veterans and retired players." My hunch is that an agreement could be forged around this objective. After all, rookies won't be present at the negotiating table. A more difficult topic will be the NFL's primary goal in the negotiations, that of "shifting some of" player salaries into owner profits. Oddly, Saraceno doesn't raise this issue -- the term salary cap is not mentioned once -- in what is otherwise a very informative piece.