First off, the players agreed to the previous CBA which allowed for the owners to receive money from the TV contracts regardless if there was any football played or not. Fair? No. But it was agreed upon. It is the players who also agreed to give the owners an opt out clause in the previous CBA that the owners chose to use and has led to this mess. Again. Fair? No. But it was agreed upon. Now the players say the owners never intended to negotiate fairly and because the union was planning to de-certify and go to litigation, the owners say the players never intended to negotiate fairly...and now the pooh hit the fan and there's pooh all over the players and owners and the local economies, and if there's no football, it'll be all over the fans.
Who said anything about fairness? Removing the exemption would give the league a huge incentive to stop the lockout. The antitrust exemption is designed to help business (i.e. the league, which in legal terms includes both the owners and players). As it stands, it is hurting business, so it only makes sense to remove it. In effect, the league abused the antitrust exemption to have its lockout subsidized by the TV networks. The exemption is not a right. It's a privilege that can be revised and has been revised (see baseball) at the government's whim.
Secondly, eliminating the salary cap is a HORRIBLE idea. Look at baseball, which has no cap. It's always the same teams year after year going to the playoffs because they're the ones who can afford the big name players. The smaller market teams with less revenue lose year after year. The cap is what keeps the NFL competitive. We never know who's going to go the playoffs one year and then miss it the next. We never know who will make it to the Superbowl because there's no one team stockpiling the talent by throwing money at the players (think Yankees). Teams have to be smart about where they spread the money around. Sure players want to receive more money, but getting rid of the cap will, in the long run, hurt the league.
For the record, the Yankees have won the World Series once in the past ten years. Nine different teams have won the World Series over that same span. Of the past ten Super Bowls, the New England Patriots have won three times, and the Steelers have won twice. In other words, the same two teams have been NFL champions once every two years.
So is your statement accurate? Both leagues have had 14 different teams in the Super Bowl / World Series over the past ten seasons. Sounds like MLB is equal to if not better than the NFL in terms of competitive balance. Also, the league's current structure means teams don't have to be smart about where they spread the money around. If I'm Jerry Richardson, I can blow up my team, tank it for a season, and still make money.
Third, I don't understand the comment the best thing would be to negotiate a new CBA. That's what they've been trying to do. They weren't re-negotiating the old one. They were negotiating a new one. Any CBA to come out of this mess will be new because the old one lapsed, and even before it lapsed, it was rendered void when the owners opted out.
Right now, it's either we 1) Have a lockout, 2) Force the NFL to end the lockout under another CBA-less year, or 3) Negotiate a new CBA. I was clarifying my statement by saying by no means do I think these emergency measures replace a permanent solution. Actually what you are saying is false because they are not negotiating a new CBA right now; they are having a lockout.