Russell Wilson is the latest star player to voice his opposition to agreeing to the NFL's new proposed collective bargaining agreement. The Seahawks QB tweeted:
Even if Wilson is completely right that this isn't the best deal for the long-term NFL players brotherhood, he can afford to be. He could miss multiple seasons in a work stoppage and be fine, just based on what he's made -- and that's before we also get into the large income Ciara brings in. JJ Watt and Richard Sherman are two other stars who at varying points have not been satisfied with the NFL's offers.
As former NFLPA president Domonique Foxworth explained last week, those making league minimum -- which is a little over half the league's players -- largely can't afford any work stoppage. Factors include not just missing the immediate paychecks, but also the increased competition from a new crop of rookies next season.
The owners know that a majority of players are unable and/or unwilling to miss an entire season, and wield that as leverage against the players. The players do have a lot of leverage here, as the NFL wants labor peace before extending their television contracts at a time where they dominate the live TV landscape, but the future of the industry carries risks and uncertainty for all involved.
While the league is offering a slight uptick in the percentage of the pie to players if they will agree to a deal now that includes a 17-game season, they would still lag behind the NBA, MLB, and NHL in percentage of revenue that goes to players. Wilson didn't come out and say whether he's opposed to a 17-game season, or if he thinks the revenue split isn't equitable enough.
UPDATE: NFLPA President Eric Winston responded to Wilson on Twitter Wednesday afternoon.