Upshaw tells agents that CBA talks are in standstill

Updated: February 22, 2006, 7:15 PM ET
By John Clayton | ESPN.com

At an NFLPA advisory board meeting of 16 handpicked agents, NFLPA executive director Gene Upshaw told them to hold off on signing new contracts or restructuring deals until March 2, the evening before the start of 2006 free agency.

Upshaw told the agents there isn't any progress on a new collective bargaining agreement and he will not move back the start of free agency under any circumstance. Upshaw said Wednesday he would like to know by Friday when he holds an agents seminar whether there is a chance for a CBA extension.

One of the holdups in extension talks is revenue sharing among the owners. The high revenue teams have yet to cut a deal with the low revenue teams. Once that deal is arranged, Upshaw and the owners can cut a deal for what percentage of total gross revenues will be given to the players.

The players want a percentage of total gross revenues in the 60 percent or above range. Upshaw said he wants a number in the sixties.

"I won't do it, though, without revenue sharing," Upshaw said.

If it comes to Friday and there is no deal, Upshaw plans to tell agents to prepare for an uncapped year in 2007 and no collective bargaining agreement in 2008.

"I'm going to tell the agents to do deals as if there is no salary cap in 2007 if we don't have a deal by Friday," Upshaw said. "But under no circumstance will I move back the start of free agency."

Upshaw had a Wednesday afternoon negotiating session with several owners, including Jerry Jones of the Cowboys and Rams president John Shaw.

John Clayton is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.

John Clayton

NFL senior writer