NFL Owners Say No To Replacement Players
At least one piece of good news is coming out of the lockout process and that is that NFL teams are making it pretty clear they are not planning on using replacement players. While I would have been shocked if it was ever a serious option for the NFL teams, one thing has been clear this offseason, ‘expect the unexpected’ so for them to clearly say that this isn’t an option is a good sign.
In today’s day and age you simply can’t get away with replacement players, as season ticket holders and especially those who hold those Personal Seat Licences would be incensed to be paying for an ‘NFL’ season of Division III, CFL and UFL players. Can you imagine corporate suites getting excited about entertaining clients by watching Josh McNown throw to Tab Perry? Not only would ticket sales and all the game day purchases dry up, but so would all the other additional revenue streams. How many corporate sponsors will be willing to shell up the tens of millions they pay every year, for scab players? The T.V. revenue may be there, but the NFL will have to basically have a ‘free season’ in the future to appease the media giants. Online and in store merchandise sales would dry up to non-existent levels, and video game manufactures would have a wasted year. Using replacement players would cost more (and not even including goodwill), than the league would make back. While these players might not make millions, all the training, travel, food and medical would cost more than it is worth.
Also, the ‘goodwill’ factor would be probably the biggest reason why the NFL shouldn’t even consider the replacement player route. As it stands now, the Players are taking a higher level of blame for the lockout and leaving the negotiating table. If the NFL tried to go over the Players heads most of that goodwill would go over to the Players side, giving them a much stronger position.
Some might read the league’s lack of interest in using replacement players as a sign that an agreement is close, I don’t think it would be wise to look that much into it. Although I still believe that the NFL and the Players are closing to a deal than most give them credit for, I don’t think this lack of consideration for using replacement players has any impact on those negotiations. I think it has a lot more to do with the lawsuit boondoggle that would face them if they went ahead with replacement players. Right now they are facing one lawsuit, why go from one lawsuit to hundred’s, as fans and businesses alike will line up to get their money back from the NFL.
What do you think, are you happy that replacement players are off the table? Or would you have liked to seen it as a fall back option?