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Mike Brown Tones Down Opposition Of CBA

For years, Cincinnati owner Mike Brown has been a whipping boy for critics of the Bengals, and those who skewer the franchise for a perception of years of penurious spending habits.

Brown, who was one of only two owners to vote against the expired collective bargaining agreement in 2006 (Buffalo’s Ralph Wilson was the other), looked a lot smarter when, just two years after approving the labor deal, league owners voted unanimously to opt out of it, and he might be slowly changing his perceived stance on the NFL’s latest supposed proposal, unveiled on Tuesday to owners.

The widely held assumption has been that Brown, because he is a small-market owner, might oppose many of the financial tenets presented to owner Tuesday in Chicago as the possible foundation for an agreement, but word from the meeting, where there was little leakage about the sentiments of some individual owners, is that Brown is actually on the fence about several of the elements of a possible accord.

According to the presumptive details first reported by ESPN’s Chris Mortensen and subsequently confirmed by several owners, one of the proposed stipulations is that clubs spend close to 100 percent of a year’s salary cap “FLOOR” number in terms of real payroll, and the spending floor would be about 90-93 percent of the total cap limit.

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