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Owner says labor deal bad for Bengals

CINCINNATI (March 9, 2006) -- Bengals president Mike Brown, one of two NFL owners to vote against the new labor agreement, thinks the deal is bad for his small-market team.

The Bengals and Buffalo Bills were the only teams to oppose the deal approved March 8. Buffalo's Ralph Wilson said owners weren't given enough time to understand the deal.

Brown agreed, but said he voted against it for another reason.

"Economically, this is a very good deal for the players, it's a good deal for the high-revenue clubs, (but) it's a challenging deal for the low-revenue clubs," Brown said. "We didn't feel it was in the best interest of our team financially. That's why I voted against it.

"That is not to say that this is a bad deal for the NFL overall or for the fans."

The agreement will add close to a billion dollars to the players' revenue pool, and guarantee labor peace for six years. If the sides failed to come to an agreement, the 2007 season would have been played without a salary cap, and there was a possibility of a work stoppage in 2008.

Brown wanted to negotiate more.

"I would have preferred at this time no deal," Brown said. "That doesn't mean we wouldn't have continued on. We have a contract for two more years when we made this deal. I would have wanted to bargain for a better deal in the future."

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2006, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved

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