ESPN.com’s Mike Sando writes today about the immediate implications of a work stoppage without a new Collective Bargaining Agreement before the March 4 expiration of the current agreement.
Among the points raised by Sando:
“Players stand to lose millions quickly. According to the league, 74 players stand to earn more than $140 million in bonuses and other compensation this March. They wouldn’t collect that money during a lockout. These players will feel the effects of a lockout long before fans feel the effects.
“Players have other immediate concerns. Players accustomed to seeing team doctors and visiting team facilities for treatments would suddenly become responsible for their own health care during a lockout. Securing benefits for family members with special health needs could create challenges. This is an immediate concern among players behind the scenes, but one that doesn’t draw much attention from the outside.
“No agreement means no free agency. The CBA determines qualifications for reaching free agency. In the past, players with at least four accrued seasons could become unrestricted free agents. Nearly 500 players would qualify under those guidelines this offseason, but only if there is an agreement. Those players could have no prospects without a new CBA. Teams hoping to upgrade their rosters could be stuck.”
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