NFL is the most successful league in NA because of a huge TV contract and gambling. Nothing to do with their CBA
The NFL is so successful #1 because they don't market individual players to sell the game they market TEAMS as the BRAND, that's what fans are paying to see, not to mention that the players don't eat up the lion share of the revenue with the owners protected with the none guaranteed contracts on top of the cap. IF the NFLPA had the same type of CBA the NHLPA play under there will be a few teams in the NFL that will be in trouble as the top players would be close to the right of earning 30 million a year which would sink starting with maybe the most historic NFL team the Green Bay Packers as a small market team couldn't compete under such a landscape. Even with the huge TV contracts if the stadium isn't filled to a set mark the game is blacked out locally which comes at a loss of revenue for the NFL.
The NFL owners are protected on each avenue where growth can occur without Inflation taking over hurting the health of the league. With the CBA they have both small market and large market teams could survive + compete to win a championship on an even playing field all the while the players still end up very wealthy. Give such a CBA to the NHL owners there wouldn't be a peep from the owners side for a lockout cause that's what they want.
All pro sports should have no guaranteed contracts, earn your contract so there are no more Scott Gomez.
Non-guaranteed contracts leads to very very selfish athletes. I don't care what you might see on TV, football players are very selfish, and are often as concerned about personal stats as winning. They are interested in making as much money as possible because they can get cut tomorrow.