The NFL Management Council yesterday said it will compromise on all issues except the players union's demand for a revised system of free agency, and warned that players who strike Tuesday will get no "lump-sum bonuses" when they return.

After a 57-day strike in 1982, players were given one-time lump sum payments of $10,000-$60,000, depending on length of service. For many, it made up for wages lost in the eight-week strike.

The warning from the owners' negotiating arm was contained in an eight-paragraph statement issued in New York yesterday on behalf of the Management Council's six-member executive committee.

According to the statement, owners are willing to increase rosters from 45 to 49 players, improve their Sept. 7 offer in player pensions (including retroactive increases for veteran players), protect player representatives and increase insurance. The statement said Jack Donlan, the owners' chief negotiator, had offered these concessions during a 2 1/2-hour meeting Friday with NFL Players Associationn Executive Director Gene Upshaw at National Airport. But Upshaw termed that offer "vague."

"I keep asking, 'Where's the meat?' " said Upshaw, who Friday rejected Donlan's request to defer the union's strike date 30 days. "They keep talking in vague terms. Donlan had no numbers {Friday}. There's no numbers associated with that {yesterday's management council statement}, either. It's another attempt to stall the players because they'll do anything to get to that TV payment."

The networks, at the start of a three-year, $1.42 billion contract, make four payments to the 28 owners per year -- at the start of September, October, November and December. Each one is worth about $98 million, or $3.9 million per team. "If they get the second TV payment, they don't care if we strike the whole season," Upshaw said.

Even the offer of a 49-player roster limit was vague, he said. He said Donlan told him he wasn't sure if the 49-man limit would go into effect this season, in 1988 or 1989. The union wants 52-player rosters.

Donlan was unavailable for comment, and John Jones, a Management Council spokesman, said he would not comment beyond what the statement said. No additional talks are scheduled and each side says it is waiting for the other to initiate contact.

The Management Council also said games played by replacement players during a strike would count toward the Super Bowl. That and the warning about no lump-sum payments did not surprise Upshaw, who has contended that the owners' strategy has been to stall and try to divide the union.

"Everything they've done from April 20 to today is to divide the union," he said. "Now they're saying games will count toward the Super Bowl. Get your championship teams excited about this -- 'Will scab teams screw up our season?' "

Although talks remain stalemated and there has appeared to be little progress in five months, the executive committee's statement said: "We are satisfied that we have made every effort to negotiate a settlement with the union. Free agency stands in the way."

The issue of free agency, according to Upshaw, gives the union its leverage in these negotiations. He said the players lost their leverage in 1982 when they agreed in principle to a deal and went back to playing while the lawyers worked out the final contract language. It cost the players $18 million in pension money, according to Upshaw.

When the players tried to retrieve it, "they laughed in our faces," he said.

The $18 million is one of the union's demands in asking for more than a 100 percent increase in pension benefits. "They still owe us $18 million," Upshaw said.

The other big issue clearly is free agency. The owners are willing to liberalize the numbers but want to keep the framework of compensation and right of first refusal, a system through which only one player changed clubs in 10 years. The union's latest offer proposes unrestricted free agency for all fifth-year players, with clubs retaining right of first refusal on players with less experience.

"What they're saying in regard to free agency is: 'Tell your members to take one of their bargaining priorities off the table.' " Upshaw said. "The players aren't going for that. I've talked to too many of them. We want some movement for players. I have proposed several ways that could be possible . . . "