Former Jets running back Freeman McNeil spoke with USA Today about the current labor situation. McNeil was the lead plantiff in a law suit against the league that was a landmark case in making free agency what it has become in 1992.
"I look at both sides and say, 'You guys are in partnership. That's the way this game is going to be from here to eternity. You have to have reconciliation,' " he says. "As owners, you have a guaranteed product that will make you money. But these players make the league. The owners have to recognize that."
It is obvious that McNeil's perspective is developed from his own experience, but he makes a very good point. The players do have a lot of leverage here. In basic economics classes, you learn theory that if a product is not available, consumers in many cases will accept a similar substitute. That is not the case with professional football. Fans would not like games with lesser players. They watch the NFL because it is the top of the line.