Steve Bisciotti’s comments on Deshaun Watson’s contract peel back the collusion curtain, a little

Mar 30, 2022

The NFL consists of 32 independent businesses. The antitrust laws prohibit certain types of concerted effort by those 32 businesses, with notable exceptions (e.g., the broadcast antitrust exemption, which allows the league to sell TV rights collectively, not individually). Within the confines of the NFL’s labor deal, certain negotiated policies that otherwise would amount to antitrust violations (salary cap, franchise tag, the draft) are permitted. However, teams aren’t allowed to collude regarding devices that the Collective Bargaining Agreement permits.

With the NFL’s Management Council often serving as the conduit, the league’s teams definitely collude. They allegedly colluded to keep Colin Kaepernick out of the game. (They eventually paid a significant settlement of his collusion grievance.) When it comes to fully guaranteed contracts for veteran players, there’s reason to believe that they have colluded in the past — and that they would like to collude in the future.

Source: Yahoo Sports (Photo by: The Baltimore Sun)