The NFL season has concluded and the Packers Super Bowl victory is almost a distant memory. Overshadowing another great regular and post season is the pending NFL Labor dispute and a potential lockout. One of the main points of contention is the owner’s insistence on an 18 game season and the player’s resistance to this move.
With the exception of Antonio Cromartie’s rant the player’s association has largely shown a united front in pursuing a new fair and balanced labor contract. However, there is potential trouble brewing within the NFLPA.
Sports-glutton.com has learned from an unnamed source working for a publication similar to The Onion that NFL kickers and punters are threatening to break ranks if the NFLPA doesn’t agree to an 18 game season and/or there is a lockout. The principle bone of contention here being that kickers and punters want the additional two games added to the regular season with the hope of increasing their salaries. Their demand seems reasonable, especially since kickers and punters are usually on the lower end of the pay scale. Additionally, their bodies aren’t usually subject to the brutal punishment experienced by other NFL players and most injuries are self-inflicted (Bill Gramatica).
At this time the player’s association doesn’t seem overly concerned since kickers and punters are an easily replaceable group of players (the sole exception being Adam Vinatieri). However, our source also tells us that “Kicters” (the formal name given to the kickers and punters alliance) are a united group and are actively lobbying for the league’s long-snappers to join them. “There is currently a shortage of long-snappers in the country and the NFLPA is concerned that if the Kicters are able to woo these important position players into their group, the Kicters might gain a previously unheard amount of leverage within the player’s association,” says our unnamed source.
It would be understandable if the long-snappers side with the Kicters since they too have limited playing time and would financially benefit from an 18 game schedule.
Although it is unclear how the NFLPA plans to keep the long-snappers from joining the Kicters ranks, the fractioning of the player’s association can only enhance the owner’s leverage going forward.
We’ll keep you informed of any additional news on this matter as it never becomes available.