If the players union was worth a damn they’d fight to get those per-game/active roster bonuses eliminated or highly limited (to players coming off IR or 6+ round picks) especially if teams are allowed to count those bonuses towards the cap (which this article doesn’t fully explain). That’s a clear violation of the revenue split. There is no reason players should be assuming financial risk along with the physical risk that comes with injuries that are largely unavoidable.
The other thing they should be fighting is getting rid of the franchise tag. It’s insanely weighted against the players. Yes, only top guys get franchised, but it would force more guys to get long term deals sooner. Then they’re younger when their deal ends and more valuable when they hit the market.
The NFL media would also do well to stop reporting contracts with the inflated figure that makes the league look better. Say what it actually is. Dont’a Hightower’s new contract isn’t 4 years/$35.5 million. It’s 2 years/$19 million guaranteed with 2 team option years at $8million each. I’d love to know the percentage of players who play the entire length of their contracts (other than rookie deals).