The NFL reportedly could lose $1 billion if there is a lockout after the March 3 expiration of the collective bargaining agreement - even if the entire 2011 season is played.
The Wall Street Journal reported the figure Wednesday, citing unidentified senior NFL officials familiar with information presented to the 32 team owners at the league’s meeting in Chicago.
The paper said the NFL could lose $400 million in March alone, when many season tickets are renewed, and another $500 million if exhibition games are canceled next summer because of labor unrest.
Though the story said all teams were profitable, a league official told The Associated Press the NFL has never made that claim.
The Journal also said each team could expect to lose about $8 million for every canceled home game.
NFL revenues are expected to approach $9 billion this year, but owners claim too much (nearly 60 percent) goes to players.
HOLMES DENIES CLAIM
Santonio Holmes denied that he told former sports agent Josh Luchs during a recruiting visit to Ohio State five years ago that he was already taking money from another agent during his college career.
Luchs told Sports Illustrated for its Oct. 18 edition that he gave money to more than 30 players from 1990-96, including former Washington State quarterback Ryan Leaf. The New York Jets wide receiver, another prominent player named in the story, insisted he and Luchs never had a meeting.
“I don’t know him,” Holmes said. “I’ve never met him. Don’t care to know him.”
Whitman County prosecutor Denis Tracy said New Orleans Saints rookie running back Chris Ivory, from Washington State , has been charged with second-degree assault stemming from an alleged altercation in July 2009.
Ivory is accused of hitting another man in the head with a bottle.
Ivory denies that he committed the alleged crime.
San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman, once one of the most-feared players in the NFL, was placed on the injured reserve list with a calf injury and a “minor-injury designation.” Merriman must be released once he’s healthy, the team said.
Merriman had 391/2 sacks in his first three seasons but only four in the three seasons since then because of a variety of injuries.
After sitting out most offseason workouts and part of training camp to protest his contract status, he was slowed by an Achilles’ tendon injury and then a calf injury. He has five tackles and no sacks in limited action this season.
Former Washington State running back Jerome Harrison, who was disappointed in his role in Cleveland’s offense this season, was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles for Mike Bell. Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch has been ordered to pay $689,000 and interest in a real estate deal that turned sour in Detroit. Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley and linebacker Nick Barnett had surgery this week and will need more time than originally was expected to recover – meaning both might end up on injured reserve.