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McNair on CBA, revenue sharing

** Texans owner Bob McNair

(opening comments)** "We have a plan put together on the basis of whether we have a collective bargaining agreement—plan A—and if we don't have a collective bargaining agreement—plan B. I guess the bottom line is if we don't have a new collective bargaining agreement, we will not be as active in the free agent market, certainly. There will not be as much money available for free agents. I think in terms of signing bonuses, whether they're for free agents or for draft picks, without a collective bargaining agreement those would have to be amortized over four years. So that would reduce the amount of bonus money that is available.

"So I guess on one hand, if you don't have a collective bargaining agreement, you have some uncertainty. On the other hand, actually from a cash standpoint, it would benefit us. We would be putting out less cash in the next year or two. We would prefer to have a collective bargaining agreement, so long as it was a reasonable agreement. But no agreement is better than a bad agreement.

"On revenue sharing, the comment that I would make there is that I think there has been a mischaracterization that large-market teams are not in favor or supportive of revenue sharing…In conversations I've had with other large-market clubs, there's really not any opposition to revenue sharing, as such. Nor is there any opposition to helping small-market clubs that might need help. I think the issue, and where the separation comes, is when you start talking about revenue sharing that goes beyond that. So that's sort of where we are at this point in time."

(on what "goes beyond" the normal revenue sharing) "We have a revenue sharing program in place that tries to address the needs of small-market clubs that might need help on a temporary basis. I think everyone in the league wants all of the clubs to be competitive. And so to the extent that clubs need help to be competitive, I think that there has been a willingness on the part of large-market teams to be supportive of that effort. When it goes beyond any requirement to be competitive, and it's just a redistribution of profits, that's a different issue."

(on if he's meeting with other teams and if there's a threat of lawsuits) "I think all of the focus on the part of the large-market clubs is: How do we make this league a vibrant league going forward in the future? That's our interest. I think that we're in favor of any action that allows us to have that. I think we would be opposed to any action that would infringe on the ability of the league to prosper in the future. Anything beyond that, I'm not aware of any threats that anyone has made. Everyone has their own particular financial interest. I'm sure that everyone has a fiduciary responsibility to protect their own financial interests. But I don't see that sort of thing happening. I would hope that we'll come to a good resolution."

(on Pittsburgh Steelers chairman Dan Rooney's comment that there's a greater division between some groups of owners than there is between all of the owners combined and the NFLPA) "I wouldn't agree with that. I think that the big problem is between the Players Association and the owners. We have a very healthy league and we want it to remain healthy. There's been a big difference between what the Player's Association wants and what the owners can do. In reference to differences between the owners, I'm confident we'll resolve those differences when we're ready to do it."

(on how concerned he is that negotiations will result in a labor stoppage) "I see it as two different issues: the collective bargaining agreement and revenue sharing. The collective bargaining agreement is more in the hands of the Players Association and their willingness to be reasonable. And I hope that happens. In terms of revenue sharing, it's a very, very complicated issue. It's not something that can be resolved overnight. But I think that reasonable people can reach agreements."

(on dealing with an uncapped year) "I think we would be in good shape. I think that small-market clubs would be hurt more than large-market clubs. I think we would be prepared to weather that storm."

(on if an uncapped year would be bad for the league) "I think that it would bring about some changes. I think it's something we can all deal with."

(on if there is a chance that a new CBA will get done by the end of this weekend) "I think there's always a chance. I know that we have a number of our owners talking with (Gene Upshaw) even today. With any labor negotiation, it seems that nothing happens until right up to the very end. You don't know when that moment in time might occur, but when it does it can occur very quickly. I'm not optimistic about it, because I haven't seen that much movement on the part of the union. But on the other hand, I've been through these things before, and I know that the parties can come together very quickly when they want to."

(on if there is one key issue that will solve the CBA stalemate) "I hope that the players come to the realization that probably without a collective bargaining agreement there's going to be less money out there for the players. I think the agents realize that. That certainly should be motivation for them to enter into a new collective bargaining agreement."

(on if he knows that Dan Rooney has been meeting with other small-market teams on the side)"I think everybody has been meeting and discussing this. I personally have been working on it for over two years. I don't know how many different parties I've met with and I'll continue to meet with. They continue to call me and ask questions. We continue to do analytical work trying to study this. It's a very complex issue. Only those that study it and understand it thoroughly are going to be able to make a rational decision as to what's beneficial to the league."

(on if it's possible to solve the CBA issue before solving the revenue sharing issue) "I don't know any reason why we couldn't. That very well could be the case."

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