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Texans_Chick
02-01-2011, 02:12 PM
I think blog posts can be time capsules. The illustrate a particular feeling at a particular time. This is what my latest blog post is:

Roger Goodell goes Orwell: Why fans should be pessimistic about the NFL labor deal (http://blogs.chron.com/texanschick/2011/02/roger_goodell_goes_orwell_why.html)

This is my attempt to explain everything. Lots of good links and maybe information that even people following things closely may not have known.

And I get a little mad even though I rarely do in person or in print.

/Super Bowl buzz kill.
//Sorry, here's a beer :barman:

Thorn
02-01-2011, 02:58 PM
What a great article, Texans_Chick. It was something all of us should read. I totally agree with you about your misgivings for the 18 game season, I've been against that from the first I heard about it. You put up some excellent reasons against it, some I've not thought of.

+ rep to you.

GlassHalfFull
02-01-2011, 03:49 PM
Steph, thanks for posting that.

Great article and sums up my thoughts as well. When I first heard about the 18 game season, as a season ticket holder, I liked the idea of not paying full price for 1 preseason game, instead replacing it with a real game. (Home, away should mean a diff of 1 home game)

But as I thought about the wear and tear of an 18 game season on the players, that didn't seem so important.

I just wish Goodell would read it also.

Double Barrel
02-01-2011, 04:02 PM
Fantastic article, TC. You really brought this issue down to the bare essence, which is all about money. All the rhetoric about player safety by the NFL is just setting the stage for their agenda.

Goodell and these owners are going to kill the golden goose in increments. Watering down the product with more games, exporting games to place that have no business hosting real NFL games, and paying nothing but lip service to retired players all serve one purpose: making more money for the owners.

This line really nailed it: "The NFL is not re-doing its deal with the union because they aren't making money. They are re-doing it because they claim they aren't making enough money."

I am firmly on the side of players after reading your article. It's their bodies and ultimately lives that are at stake putting this product on the field. Just look at the health of Houston legend Earl Campbell. The players pay for it for the rest of their lives.

All the nonsense about financial risk is bogus when owners don't even fund their own stadium deals ("$6,378,800,000 of direct taxpayer money (not including indirect subsidies) has gone to building stadiums"). And with guaranteed money from tv revenue, the "risk" is negligible.

Very articulate, and thanks for writing it.

disaacks3
02-01-2011, 04:39 PM
While I understand and respect the arguments AGAINST an 18-game Regular Season, it all seems quite overblown to me on several counts.

1. When the NFL went from a 14 game schedule to a 16-game one, these same issues surfaced. Guess what? The world DIDN'T end and both the NFL and the players prospered.
2. The total # of game remains the same. Yes, I'm aware of how much "rest" the starters normally get in Pre-season, but who says you don't simply give them one quarter to one half in the Two pre-season games?

3. The Steelers (who got a playoff bye) are playing their 19th game this weekend. the Packers are playing their 20th. I guess they'll be too exhausted, injured, etc to actually play the game come Sunday....right?

4. Less time to evaluate in Pre-Season. This simply means that you've got to evaluate your personnel better. Maybe certain coaches can stop playing favorites and actually play their best players, not the guy who looked good LAST year.

5. Expand the rosters. Yes, you heard right. That would actually INcrease the number of players that the NFLPA makes $ with. It would also help to offset those nagging injuries that the new "extended season" might bring.

6. This is a team sport, right? So what if your star RB, WR, QB, etc gets injured? Great teams not only overcome injuries, they learn to adjust their Offense / Defense to compensate. In many cases, they're a BETTER team because of it. (See Kurt Warner / Trent Green)

In short, the GAME can adjust just fine. You're simply adding another dimension to the roster choices coaches already have to make. Imagine a coach being able to take a 'longer view' and rest his star player another week or two to have them ready for games 15-18. These are all things that already occur within the existing framework.

Texans_Chick
02-01-2011, 04:49 PM
While I understand and respect the arguments AGAINST an 18-game Regular Season, it all seems quite overblown to me on several counts.

1. When the NFL went from a 14 game schedule to a 16-game one, these same issues surfaced. Guess what? The world DIDN'T end and both the NFL and the players prospered.
2. The total # of game remains the same. Yes, I'm aware of how much "rest" the starters normally get in Pre-season, but who says you don't simply give them one quarter to one half in the Two pre-season games?

3. The Steelers (who got a playoff bye) are playing their 19th game this weekend. the Packers are playing their 20th. I guess they'll be too exhausted, injured, etc to actually play the game come Sunday....right?

4. Less time to evaluate in Pre-Season. This simply means that you've got to evaluate your personnel better. Maybe certain coaches can stop playing favorites and actually play their best players, not the guy who looked good LAST year.

5. Expand the rosters. Yes, you heard right. That would actually INcrease the number of players that the NFLPA makes $ with. It would also help to offset those nagging injuries that the new "extended season" might bring.

6. This is a team sport, right? So what if your star RB, WR, QB, etc gets injured? Great teams not only overcome injuries, they learn to adjust their Offense / Defense to compensate. In many cases, they're a BETTER team because of it. (See Kurt Warner / Trent Green)

In short, the GAME can adjust just fine. You're simply adding another dimension to the roster choices coaches already have to make. Imagine a coach being able to take a 'longer view' and rest his star player another week or two to have them ready for games 15-18. These are all things that already occur within the existing framework.

Some thoughts:

1. Using your logic, why stop at 18 regular games a season. Why not 20 games? 25 games.

2. The preseason does serve a purpose. It allows you to prepare starters and backups with live fire in game conditions (but usually more vanilla). The preseason is known as the backup quarterback's season. There have been many times where players like Kurt Warner and Terrell Davis (many many more) did stand out play in the preseason that led to them doing amazing things. Two games doesn't allow that. That needs to be used for game prep.

And don't pretend like those preseason games are exactly the intensity of the regular season games.

3. You would want the Steelers to have to play two more regular season games of regular season intensity before the Super Bowl? It is not the same. We are fortunate that Aaron Rodgers is going to be playing in this Super Bowl.

4. Yeah, the rosters will be expanded. So when Andre Johnson or Arian Foster or any of the players that you want to see have two more full games to risk to injury, we can see their backups play. Wooohoo.

5. The NFL is already an endurance test. 16 regular season games seem plenty long, and this year waaaaay to long. Why are you advocating for New Coke when regular Coke is so popular?

texanmojo
02-01-2011, 05:17 PM
1. Using your logic, why stop at 18 regular games a season. Why not 20 games? 25 games.

Hell yeah...bring it on. I love this line of thinking.

I am all for the increased season. I pay for 10 home games...give me 10 real home games.

keyser
02-01-2011, 05:19 PM
First, I liked the article, even if I don't totally agree...

On a couple of your points:


1. Using your logic, why stop at 18 regular games a season. Why not 20 games? 25 games.

But, using your logic, why do we have 16? Why not 14? or 12? Given the level of parity in the teams, I'm not so certain that we couldn't have just as good of a playoff set after 12 games. It would be interesting to figure out - what if you dropped X games from this past year - how would the standings have come out (e.g. say you dropped the inter-conference ones)?


2. The preseason does serve a purpose. It allows you to prepare starters and backups with live fire in game conditions (but usually more vanilla). The preseason is known as the backup quarterback's season. There have been many times where players like Kurt Warner and Terrell Davis (many many more) did stand out play in the preseason that led to them doing amazing things. Two games doesn't allow that. That needs to be used for game prep.

You know, this same argument could be used to argue why injuries that take out starters is not such a bad thing - it will give the Tom Brady's of the world a chance to play, when they otherwise would be stuck as backups.


And don't pretend like those preseason games are exactly the intensity of the regular season games.

For starters, they're certainly not the same intensity, but for backups, I think they are maybe even more intense. I get the impression that a lot of those guys fighting for a roster spot are going at it a lot harder than they otherwise would (and in fact, I think you sometimes see examples of guys who star in the preseason by going all out, then getting more conservative once they've made the team)...

I assume someone has done actual injury analysis of injuries/game as the season goes on. Those would be good facts to look at (and I haven't seen anyone, on either side, pulling them out, yet). There would be a few things to look at:

does the total number of players out with injury increase during the season (almost certainly the answer is yes),
does the liklihood of injuries in any one game increase during the season (I don't know, and honestly, this is the thing I think you most need to consider when saying that additional games are much more risky),
and does the number of injuries in preseason games follow the same trend as the rest of the season (i.e. do we really go from a few-injury preseason to a sudden jump into higher injury rates during the season). I think if the answer here is no, then there's little room to claim that converting preseason games to regular season would have a significant impact on injuries, overall.


5. The NFL is already an endurance test. 16 regular season games seem plenty long, and this year waaaaay to long. Why are you advocating for New Coke when regular Coke is so popular?
It's not at all unreasonable that a longer season could make for a better product, overall. Just because what we have now is good, doesn't mean something else is better (not all changes are bad ones...).

Texans_Chick
02-01-2011, 05:25 PM
It's not at all unreasonable that a longer season could make for a better product, overall. Just because what we have now is good, doesn't mean something else is better (not all changes are bad ones...).

The beginning of regular seasons are already raggedy with a four game preseason, likely more raggedy with a shorter one. And the end of seasons already have too many games where one team is just coasting to the playoffs, leading to odd competitive situations that the Jets faced when they were able to play two playoff teams that rested their starters.

I think if coaches don't like a longer regular season, and most players don't like it, and an owner like Dan Rooney doesn't like it, then perhaps that should give us pause.

I'm all for change if something is done broke, but this I'm not a fan of. I want 16 games, with hopefully all the star players of my team making it through the season and into the playoffs, and having that happen while I still have all my teeth.

Texans_Chick
02-01-2011, 05:29 PM
Hell yeah...bring it on. I love this line of thinking.

I am all for the increased season. I pay for 10 home games...give me 10 real home games.

Are they going to be 10 real home games?

Or are they going to be two early games that look raggedity like preseason games sometimes do.

And games where starters sit in the 4th quarter.

And games where by the end of the season, you end up having more guys you have no idea who they are starting games, either due to stars sitting or being injured.

Oh, and you will likely pay for 9 home games, with the 10th one sent to Japan or Germany or San Antonio or some other place.

texanmojo
02-01-2011, 05:36 PM
Are they going to be 10 real home games?

Or are they going to be two early games that look raggedity like preseason games sometimes do.

And games where starters sit in the 4th quarter.

Maybe a bit raggedy in the beginning...but the players will play all 4 quarters. These athletes don't want off the field. They love the spotlight.

And games where by the end of the season, you end up having more guys you have no idea who they are starting games, either due to stars sitting or being injured.

And the difference with this and the preseason is...

Oh, and you will likely pay for 9 home games, with the 10th one sent to Japan or Germany or San Antonio or some other place.

True...but at least the games that I do pay for will likely be legit games.

Thorn
02-01-2011, 05:49 PM
True...but at least the games that I do pay for will likely be legit games.

Maybe, maybe not. The starters going full tilt for 16 games leaves some with nagging injuries going into post season. With 18 games that will likely increase the number of your starters either having to rest the last few games (taking away some of that ligit status) or them going into the post season with their nagging injuries even worse.

The teams most hurt by this are the ones still fighting for a playoff spot late in the season. They have to play their starters if they want a shot, increasing the likelyhood if they make the playoffs they will do so with damaged players. Those already with a play off spot can rest players, and those that aren't making it anyway don't need to do anything other than show up.

Texans_Chick
02-01-2011, 05:53 PM
The starters aren't fresh going into the playoffs, but I don't see how two more full contact regular season games make the players look better going into the playoffs.

It's not.

I know it is hard to remember this as Texans fans, but the NFL is supposed to be about the playoffs. That every regular season game matters way more than the MLB/NBA, and then the playoffs are where players are supposed to shine.

They already limp in after 16 regular season games. Do you think the quality of the playoffs improves after 18 regular season games. I can't buy that argument.

disaacks3
02-01-2011, 06:10 PM
Some thoughts:

1. Using your logic, why stop at 18 regular games a season. Why not 20 games? 25 games.

2. The preseason does serve a purpose. It allows you to prepare starters and backups with live fire in game conditions (but usually more vanilla). The preseason is known as the backup quarterback's season. There have been many times where players like Kurt Warner and Terrell Davis (many many more) did stand out play in the preseason that led to them doing amazing things. Two games doesn't allow that. That needs to be used for game prep.

And don't pretend like those preseason games are exactly the intensity of the regular season games.

3. You would want the Steelers to have to play two more regular season games of regular season intensity before the Super Bowl? It is not the same. We are fortunate that Aaron Rodgers is going to be playing in this Super Bowl.

4. Yeah, the rosters will be expanded. So when Andre Johnson or Arian Foster or any of the players that you want to see have two more full games to risk to injury, we can see their backups play. Wooohoo.

5. The NFL is already an endurance test. 16 regular season games seem plenty long, and this year waaaaay to long. Why are you advocating for New Coke when regular Coke is so popular?

1. Why not revert or 14 then, 12, or even 10? What makes 16 (and 4 pre-season) the sweet spot? If you're basing your worries off of injury stats, then it's obvious we need to play LESS than a 16-game schedule.

2. It's either LIVE FIRE or it isn't. Playing in a stadium with 100 guys on the sideline, a limited playbook and 20K in the stands isn't much more realistic than scrimmaging these same guys on the practice field. If every team gets the same two "prep games", then what's the argument for inequality?

3. Aaron Rodgers got injured well BEFORE game 16. With an 18-game schedule he might be healthier than he is now, as his coach might not be in as big a rush to bring him back.

4. Newsflash - Andre missed several games this year and years previous. Once again, with an 18-game schedule, you might risk resting him for more games.

5. Then why did they go to 16 games (from 14)? They needed Pepsi instead? :) As long as every team faces the same hurdles, it's not unrealistic.

Sorry, but I'm not buying into the whole woe-is-me mantra that the NFLPA is using to dismiss a potential 18-game schedule. For many years, the NFLPA didn't do enough for their players and they blamed the league for their "broke" brethren. When they finally got their act together, they finally started forcing their members to fund retirement options. These men CHOOSE to play a violent, physical sport. Most got free college educations in the process. If they don't think they're getting a fair shake, then take up another vocation like the rest of us.

You can get hurt in pre-season just as easily as regular-season, why not have your play count for something?

Double Barrel
02-01-2011, 06:52 PM
Maybe, maybe not. The starters going full tilt for 16 games leaves some with nagging injuries going into post season. With 18 games that will likely increase the number of your starters either having to rest the last few games (taking away some of that ligit status) or them going into the post season with their nagging injuries even worse.

The teams most hurt by this are the ones still fighting for a playoff spot late in the season. They have to play their starters if they want a shot, increasing the likelyhood if they make the playoffs they will do so with damaged players. Those already with a play off spot can rest players, and those that aren't making it anyway don't need to do anything other than show up.

This is the logic that I was thinking about, as well. There will be the teams at the top that will secure a playoff spot in week 14 and have four more weeks to rest starters and have nothing but "homefield" to play for. The teams that it will hurt will be the teams fighting for playoff spots, as they play through week 18.

If they go 18 games, I think they should get rid of the bye week in the playoffs. Make it truly even and seed the teams for the location of the games, as well.

When players - current and former - and coaches all agree about something, I think it's worth a pause to think about it. Fans are selfish by nature (not saying it as a bad thing). We always want more of what we love. However, I think it is rather arrogant to simply dismiss the concerns of players with regards to the immediate and long term impact of two more games to the schedule.

There is nothing broken about the seasons right now. So I'm in the camp of not fixing what's not broken. But, that being said, I have no doubt that I'll watch two more games should it come to that.

Personally, my take is a 17 game schedule. Teams have either winning or losing records. No more of this .500 crap. 3 pre-season games seems like a sweet spot, as well.

JB
02-01-2011, 07:09 PM
This is the logic that I was thinking about, as well. There will be the teams at the top that will secure a playoff spot in week 14 and have four more weeks to rest starters and have nothing but "homefield" to play for. The teams that it will hurt will be the teams fighting for playoff spots, as they play through week 18.

If they go 18 games, I think they should get rid of the bye week in the playoffs. Make it truly even and seed the teams for the location of the games, as well.

When players - current and former - and coaches all agree about something, I think it's worth a pause to think about it. Fans are selfish by nature (not saying it as a bad thing). We always want more of what we love. However, I think it is rather arrogant to simply dismiss the concerns of players with regards to the immediate and long term impact of two more games to the schedule.

There is nothing broken about the seasons right now. So I'm in the camp of not fixing what's not broken. But, that being said, I have no doubt that I'll watch two more games should it come to that.

Personally, my take is a 17 game schedule. Teams have either winning or losing records. No more of this .500 crap. 3 pre-season games seems like a sweet spot, as well.

The bolded is a great idea, surely they could resolve the scheduling conflicts.

gary
02-01-2011, 07:18 PM
I am sure by adding two more games even more rule changes to help ease the injuries.

Thorn
02-01-2011, 07:28 PM
Interesting idea on the 17 game season DB. Since you have an uneven amount of games, one season you'd have 8 home, 9 road and then switch the next season to 9 home 8 road games. I can see how that would add to the compatition. I think. LOL

Add in a 2nd bye week to that 17 game schedule (and three pre-season games) and I'm sold on it. To bad it'll never happen. The owners are set on an 18 game schedule.

What I predict will happen though is a short to medium hold out/lock out with a shortened season next year, and then they go to the 18 game schedule in 2012 with two bye weeks and a small expanded roster size. I guess we'll find out in about a half a year or so.

Double Barrel
02-01-2011, 07:34 PM
Interesting idea on the 17 game season DB. Since you have an uneven amount of games, one season you'd have 8 home, 9 road and then switch the next season to 9 home 8 road games. I can see how that would add to the compatition. I think. LOL

Add in a 2nd bye week to that 17 game schedule (and three pre-season games) and I'm sold on it. To bad it'll never happen. The owners are set on an 18 game schedule.

What I predict will happen though is a short to medium hold out/lock out with a shortened season next year, and then they go to the 18 game schedule in 2012 with two bye weeks and a small expanded roster size. I guess we'll find out in about a half a year or so.

I've always figured that they export the 17th game, so the home/away games are still even. Even though one team will get to wear home jerseys on the exported game, it would basically be a road game for both teams.

I like the idea of a second bye week. It helps to lessen the impact on the season that injuries might add.

I think a big issue that hasn't been mentioned much is the division among owners between the small market and big market teams. Right now owners are putting up a unified front because of the CBA, but I've read that many of the larger market owners want to significantly reduce the revenue sharing that is currently in place. I'm torn on this one, because I think it's been great for the league, but, the Texans are one of those larger market teams and would probably benefit over our division rivals if we had the ability to outspend them. Sort of a selfish take, but 9 years into it, I think being a little selfish about seeing some success in Houston is justified.

drs23
02-01-2011, 07:56 PM
I've always figured that they export the 17th game, so the home/away games are still even. Even though one team will get to wear home jerseys on the exported game, it would basically be a road game for both teams.

I like the idea of a second bye week. It helps to lessen the impact on the season that injuries might add.

I think a big issue that hasn't been mentioned much is the division among owners between the small market and big market teams. Right now owners are putting up a unified front because of the CBA, but I've read that many of the larger market owners want to significantly reduce the revenue sharing that is currently in place. I'm torn on this one, because I think it's been great for the league, but, the Texans are one of those larger market teams and would probably benefit over our division rivals if we had the ability to outspend them. Sort of a selfish take, but 9 years into it, I think being a little selfish about seeing some success in Houston is justified.

With that sir, I agree. It's been mentioned in print several times though I don't recall it being referenced so much in broadcast media.

So we have owners quarreling amoungst owners and then have to present a united front vs. the players. I don't like being a 'Henny Penny' but I see nothing positive coming from this. Really hope I'm dead wrong.

thunderkyss
02-01-2011, 08:25 PM
Why are you advocating for New Coke when regular Coke is so popular?

If you aren't getting better.....

Texans_Chick
02-02-2011, 10:39 AM
Interesting feedback I've been getting on Twitter:

@GeorgeAtallah (Head of the NFLPA) @StephStradley breaks it down http://blogs.chron.com/texanschick/2011/02/roger_goodell_goes_orwell_why.html

@ericwinston Best article @StephStradley has ever written right here: http://bit.ly/e3oyPy

@FO_DougFarrar Agreed 100% - Steph covered everything here. RT @ericwinston Best article @StephStradley has ever written right here: http://bit.ly/e3oyPy

@ConnorBarwin98 Everyone take your time and read this RT @ericwinston: Best article @StephStradley has ever written right here: http://bit.ly/e3oyPy

Among other things.

It's interesting how things get passed around on the interwebs.

thunderkyss
02-02-2011, 11:18 AM
@FO_DougFarrar Agreed 100% - Steph covered everything here. RT @ericwinston Best article @StephStradley has ever written right here: http://bit.ly/e3oyPy

@ConnorBarwin98 Everyone take your time and read this RT @ericwinston: Best article @StephStradley has ever written right here: http://bit.ly/e3oyPy


What does RT mean?

infantrycak
02-02-2011, 11:23 AM
What does RT mean?

Right Tackle.

BigBull17
02-02-2011, 12:02 PM
The best part of the NFL season is how vital every game is. Once you take that away, it will lose some of it's luster.

HOU-TEX
02-02-2011, 12:56 PM
What does RT mean?

Right Tackle.

LOL. I think it means Re-Tweet in Twitter

GP
02-02-2011, 06:15 PM
Interesting feedback I've been getting on Twitter:

@GeorgeAtallah (Head of the NFLPA) @StephStradley breaks it down http://blogs.chron.com/texanschick/2011/02/roger_goodell_goes_orwell_why.html

@ericwinston Best article @StephStradley has ever written right here: http://bit.ly/e3oyPy

@FO_DougFarrar Agreed 100% - Steph covered everything here. RT @ericwinston Best article @StephStradley has ever written right here: http://bit.ly/e3oyPy

@ConnorBarwin98 Everyone take your time and read this RT @ericwinston: Best article @StephStradley has ever written right here: http://bit.ly/e3oyPy

Among other things.

It's interesting how things get passed around on the interwebs.

Wow. You hit the jackpot. I mean, that's impressive recognition.

I have to admit that I didn't read it, so I will go and so now.

HOU-TEX
02-09-2011, 12:30 PM
Sounds like the Union's taking a swing. Will it land?

With Special Master Stephen Burbank ruling last week that NFL owners will be able to pocket the network payments in the event of a lockout, the union intends to appeal the outcome to Judge David Doty

With the two sides apparently committed to working out a new labor deal by March 4, the union wants a ruling by March 3

Whether Doty will agree with the union’s position remains to be seen. But if he does, Jerry Jones will have a very hard time making mortgage payments without his cut of $4 billion in TV money

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/02/09/union-pushes-for-expedited-review-of-lockout-insurance-case/

HOU-TEX
02-09-2011, 02:31 PM
Hopefully the agreement to have continuous talks can carry on until an agreement is reached. To me, it's a positive sign.

Trey Wingo of ESPN reports that the two sides are meeting in Washington over the next two days to work toward striking a new labor deal. On Wednesday, the meeting is scheduled to go from 10:00 a.m. ET to 7:00 p.m. ET. On Thursday, a shorter five-hour session is planned, from 9:00 a.m. ET to 2:00 p.m. ET.

And while many (including Danial Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal, who appeared on Tuesday’s PFT Live) remain pessimistic based on the many difficult issues to be resolved, an opportunity remains to find a solution if both sides are willing to devote the time, expend the effort, and make the concessions needed to get the deal done.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/02/09/nfl-union-meeting-wednesday-thursday/

ChrisG
02-10-2011, 01:47 PM
Labor talks canceled as Owners walkout

http://nfl.fanhouse.com/2011/02/10/nfl-labor-talks-canceled-as-lockout-looms-larger-than-ever

The likelihood that the NFL will lock out its players on March 4 now stands at an all-time high after Thursday's scheduled negotiating session between the league and the players' union was canceled. Multiple sources familiar with the talks said the owners' side walked out of Wednesday's meeting due to a disagreement over the talks' most fundamental issue -- the manner in which the players and owners will split the NFL's approximately $9 billion revenue pie.

.....


The owners, seeking in this deal to increase their share of the revenue, would like to take an additional $1 billion off the top, meaning the portion of revenue they'd share with the players would drop to roughly $7 billion. The players have said they'd like to see audited financial statements to justify such a hit, but the sources said Wednesday that they'd stop asking for that if the owners would agree simply to split the whole (roughly $9 billion) pot evenly. The owners apparently walked out after hearing that proposal.

MojoMan
02-10-2011, 01:53 PM
The talks have apparently been canceled after the owners walked out following the latest proposal by the union.

It's not looking good, fellas.

Sources: NFL-union talks canceled (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=6107737)

NFL owners walked away from the negotiating table Wednesday when the NFL Players Association proposed to take an average of 50 percent of all revenue generated by the league, according to player sources.

NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith briefed club player representatives in a conference call Wednesday night, detailing his version of the abbreviated session that ended far earlier than the seven hours that were scheduled between the two sides in an effort to reach a new collective bargaining agreement before it expires at midnight March 4.

Consequently, a five-hour second negotiating session scheduled for Thursday was canceled, and no further meetings have been proposed. Also, the NFL notified teams and owners Thursday that a scheduled owners meeting in Philadelphia next Tuesday has been canceled.

....

GP
02-11-2011, 12:52 PM
The owners appear, to me, to have decided their course of action.

I think their "efforts" thus far have been fake, and they have had no genuine interest in conceding anything. They have stocked up some reserves, and they are showing (by walking out) that they intend to get their way or lock 'em out.

This is where a guy like Mark Cuban should rally his wealthy friends and create his own knock-off version of the NFL. Rent out each city's biggest college stadiums (alternating with the college team, on home game schedules, so the stadium's surface only has one game per week). Forego naming the teams for now. Just call them New York, Dallas, Houston, Cincinnati, Buffalo, etc. and worry about naming them later. Get the players on the field, air the games via Internet streaming video (via satellite, which can be done EASILY at www.livestream.com) and let the players know that they can have x-amount or percentage of revenue and split it however their players union wants to.

This is America. This is the land of opportunity. And one thing is for sure, if a guy like Cuban tried this...and the train left the station and had lots of momentum and lots of passengers, you'd have an NFL owners meeting where they might be willing to talk. As it stands, there's a monopoly situation going on and until someone steps up to offer an NFL2K version of the real life football game...then the NFL (like EA) can do whatevvvvvver it wants to do.

I'd like to see the NFL take one to the nose, honestly. Their refs and their rules and other frustrating things they have imposed are killing the game. They've become a realm unto themselves. I'd like to see today's NFL players tell the NFL to take hike, and then go start a whole new league and watch the NFL cry and try to rebuild over the next 20 years due to losing so many quality players in one fell swoop.

This would a chance for the ghost of the USFL to cause some serious mayhem with a chance at long-term success. Internet streaming is here and everyone will be watching TV over the net--It's on your phone, it's in your laptop, your tablet, and is now available through your LCD TV at home. It affords a whole new, and possibly cheaper way to realize profits vs. standard satellite TV companies.

steelbtexan
02-11-2011, 01:10 PM
The owners appear, to me, to have decided their course of action.

I think their "efforts" thus far have been fake, and they have had no genuine interest in conceding anything. They have stocked up some reserves, and they are showing (by walking out) that they intend to get their way or lock 'em out.

This is where a guy like Mark Cuban should rally his wealthy friends and create his own knock-off version of the NFL. Rent out each city's biggest college stadiums (alternating with the college team, on home game schedules, so the stadium's surface only has one game per week). Forego naming the teams for now. Just call them New York, Dallas, Houston, Cincinnati, Buffalo, etc. and worry about naming them later. Get the players on the field, air the games via Internet streaming video (via satellite, which can be done EASILY at www.livestream.com) and let the players know that they can have x-amount or percentage of revenue and split it however their players union wants to.

This is America. This is the land of opportunity. And one thing is for sure, if a guy like Cuban tried this...and the train left the station and had lots of momentum and lots of passengers, you'd have an NFL owners meeting where they might be willing to talk. As it stands, there's a monopoly situation going on and until someone steps up to offer an NFL2K version of the real life football game...then the NFL (like EA) can do whatevvvvvver it wants to do.

I'd like to see the NFL take one to the nose, honestly. Their refs and their rules and other frustrating things they have imposed are killing the game. They've become a realm unto themselves. I'd like to see today's NFL players tell the NFL to take hike, and then go start a whole new league and watch the NFL cry and try to rebuild over the next 20 years due to losing so many quality players in one fell swoop.

This would a chance for the ghost of the USFL to cause some serious mayhem with a chance at long-term success. Internet streaming is here and everyone will be watching TV over the net--It's on your phone, it's in your laptop, your tablet, and is now available through your LCD TV at home. It affords a whole new, and possibly cheaper way to realize profits vs. standard satellite TV companies.

Cant rep you

This needs to happen. Goddell and ownership are ruining the NFL. The rule changes Goddell has made are laughable.

It appears Goddell is trying to appeal to the fastest growing demographic watching the NFL. (Women) Meanwhile he's doing a terrible job in labor negociations (I dont believe a word he says) I'm oppossed to almost everything he said on the Fox News Sunday interview befor the SB.

IDEXAN
02-11-2011, 02:04 PM
What would the owners be doing if they didn't have their NFL investments ? Still living high on the hog with the returns from their investments of billions in energy, finance, media, etc. And if the owners didn't have their billions invested in the NFL francises, what would the player be doing ? Moonlighting in semi-pro football leagues while they flipped burgers at McDonalds to pay the bills. So I think it's pretty obvious who needs to make the concessions in
this deal.

MightyTExan
02-11-2011, 03:28 PM
The owners have the money, they own the teams, they will get what they want.

gary
02-11-2011, 03:33 PM
The rule changes in the league do suck I must say. While I'm all for player safety this is the nature of the game which is to hit a man. All the fun is being taken out of the game little by little.

Double Barrel
02-11-2011, 03:56 PM
The owners have the money, they own the teams, they will get what they want.

Then the owners should suit up and play some football!

Oh wait.... :thinking:

Stemp
02-11-2011, 04:01 PM
The owners will be greatly reducing the net worth of their investments if they have a long lockout, which will turn the fans off of NFL football. Without the fans selling out tickets and TV eyeballs watching the games, everything drops in value.

For the owners who have their eye on the bottom line, it's a big gamble to play hardball with the players and fans. It quite likely will turn around and bite them on the ass when all is said and done.

Grams
02-12-2011, 08:02 AM
The owners will be greatly reducing the net worth of their investments if they have a long lockout, which will turn the fans off of NFL football. Without the fans selling out tickets and TV eyeballs watching the games, everything drops in value.

For the owners who have their eye on the bottom line, it's a big gamble to play hardball with the players and fans. It quite likely will turn around and bite them on the ass when all is said and done.

The fans are not going anywhere - lockout or no lockout. A 2011 season or not. Does not matter. The fans will be there. Sure some may not renew their sesaon tickets, but others will be in line to get them. Maybe they will have to lower their prices so it will be more affordable to the majority of fans.

This is the county where little boys are taught football when they start to walk. We even have pee-wee football for little boys that their pads and helmuts are bigger than they are.

All of us here suffer through each off-season. Why are we here on these boards, checking all the websites for info on players and football news? Because Football rules. Sure there are some teams already having problems filling their stadiums, but the majority of fans will still be here when the next season starts - be it this year or next.

If you play it (NFL football), they will come.

Texans_Chick
02-15-2011, 07:54 PM
Here's my update on this:

NFL labor: When people tell you not to worry, you should worry (http://blogs.chron.com/texanschick/2011/02/nfl_labor_when_people_tell_you.html#more)

This is infuriating. I know there is posturing like armageddon in labor talks, but I truly don't think a deal gets done any time soon.

ArlingtonTexan
02-15-2011, 07:59 PM
Here's my update on this:

NFL labor: When people tell you not to worry, you should worry (http://blogs.chron.com/texanschick/2011/02/nfl_labor_when_people_tell_you.html#more)

This is infuriating. I know there is posturing like armageddon in labor talks, but I truly don't think a deal gets done any time soon.

I am actually routing for owners lock out/players decertify as the means to getting football on the field the quickest.

Lucky
02-16-2011, 01:32 AM
Maybe I'm just naive, or oblivious to the blather. I still think this gets worked out and we will see a full (18 game) schedule in the fall. There's just too much $money at stake for either side to risk.

Follow the money.

GP
02-16-2011, 10:32 AM
The owners have amassed a war chest, in preparation for the lockout.

They had bolstered TV contracts, padding their wallets. I know this is technically an allegation, but it seems apparent that it holds truth.

They have enough money to last a year, IMO. Sure, they won't be bringing in the same profits as normal. But they have enough to eek out a full season and squeeze everyone else.

I don't think there's any budging by ownership. They feel they gave the players the world in the last deal, and now they want some of it back from them. They're saying "It's YOUR turn to take the bad endof the stick."

BTW, I don't think the owners got the bad end of the stick as they are claiming. I think they have a perception and they have allowed it to become a reality. In essence, it appears the BIG MARKET teams (The Cowboys for instance) are the ones who are driving this thing--And the smaller market teams, since they siphon off the profits of bigger market teams, have been told to shut up and play along due to this being a Big Boy show.

Jerry has to find ways of paying for his stadium, and one way is to force a new CBA deal that adds more $$$ to his coffers. The new deal reportedly will allow the NFL's owners to "more easily" look at building bigger and better stadiums such as Jerry has done in Dallas. The owners want more $$$ to remain in their pockets.

No football in 2011.

GP
02-16-2011, 11:53 AM
The latest "More work is needed" BS from the Commish (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=6125144)...

NEW YORK -- NFL commissioner Roger Goodell indicates the 2011 regular season could be in jeopardy if the league and its players' union don't start "serious negotiations" toward a new labor deal soon.

In an op-ed piece posted Tuesday on NFLlabor.com, Goodell writes: "The hard work to secure the next NFL season must now accelerate in earnest."

With the CBA expiring on March 3, NFLPA executive George Atallah breaks down how the players and the union view the crucial talks. Story

Noting that the current collective bargaining agreement expires March 4, Goodell says he "cannot emphasize enough the importance of reaching agreement by then."

Goodell says owners need more money to offset "costs of financing, building, maintaining and operating stadiums." He adds: "We need new stadiums in Los Angeles, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Oakland and San Diego."

The biggest issue separating the sides is how to divide about $9 billion in annual revenues; under the old deal, the owners receive $1 billion off the top, and they want to increase that to $2 billion before players get their share.

Former players have also weighed in with their concerns.

In a letter obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday, NFL Hall of Famers Jack Youngblood and Bruce Smith asked NFL owners to promise not to lock out players even if a new collective bargaining agreement isn't reached by the time the current one expires at the end of the day March 3.

Youngblood was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001, Smith in 2009. Their letter was addressed to "Owners of the National Football League" and sent Jan. 31 to Goodell at league headquarters in New York.

"As former players, it is crystal clear that the vast popularity and financial success of football means that a lock out cannot be in the interest of anybody involved, particularly the fans who support the game," Youngblood and Smith wrote. "We understand the need for both sides to create pressure, but also know that at times it is important to decrease tenor and tone in order for the right deal to be made in a non-emotional atmosphere."

They noted that the players' union already "pledged to not strike."

"By making the parallel commitment," they wrote, "the owners would create the breathing room for a deal to be struck."

That exact wording also was used in a Feb. 7 letter from Kansas City, Mo., Mayor Mark Funkhouser to Clark Hunt, the owner and chief executive officer of that city's NFL team, the Chiefs. Indeed, Funkhouser's two-paragraph letter to Hunt uses phrases throughout that echo the letter to Goodell from Youngblood and Smith.

Mayors or city officials from at least five sites of NFL teams have written letters to the league or a club official to argue against a lockout.

And in yet another letter, the advocacy group Sports Fan Coalition wrote Tuesday to the NFL and union, asking that its leadership be allowed to listen in on bargaining sessions between the sides.

"We are not asking for a seat at the negotiating table -- although we believe fans deserve one -- but merely to be present in the room," the letter said, "so that we may inform fans across the country about the state of ongoing negotiations and ensure that progress is being made towards an agreement that ensures a central consideration of fans."

So there is news that the players WILL NOT strike, which puts the P.R. burden on the owners who appear ready to lock them out.

I like how there is unified and consistent effort by players, former players, and mayors of NFL team cities to tell owners that a lockout is not in the best interest of anybody, especially the fans.

This is going badly for the owners. Do they know it? Do they care? Or are they so blinded by their desires that they feel justified and can't turn back from their agenda?

The main argument by Goodell has been "owners need more money to offset "costs of financing, building, maintaining and operating stadiums." He adds: "We need new stadiums in Los Angeles, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Oakland and San Diego."

The players wanted to see the NFL's books. While I understand the thinking of some on here, pertaining to the idea that if the owners show their books then the players show theirs too, the difference is that the Commissioner is repeating over and over this mantra about how the owners need more $$$ in order to build better facilities. This is bunk, IMO. That's like telling someone you need $50 for gas in your car...while you might certainly need gas in your car, you could ptentially put $25 gas in your car and spend the other $25 on booze and video game rentals (I don't even want to mention what Texan Bill would spend it on...).

See what I mean? This is like the vagrant uncle showing up and asking for a loan, IMO. Where's the plan to spend the money appropriately? Where's the commitment to funding (in heavier efforts) future healthcare provisions for the players who are going to need advanced care when they are old? So this deal of outlawing helmet-to-helmet hits is the NFL's good faith effort to help the players? I think not. It's token symbolism, and nothing more. And in fact, it can be construed in the future as the NFL having taken lengths to curb injuries to the head (to escape liability).

I sense that this will do harm to the brand of the NFL, and I can't see where the commissioner is strong-arming the owners enough here. In fact, he seems to be as passive as he could be about it...if not appearing to be supportive of owners over players. His appearances, and his speeches on this matter, are all beginning to look like Baghdad Bob who says Americans are not near Baghdad when there are copters hovering over his shoulder.

Goodell keeps repeating the line "More work is needed..." over and over. Really? What kind of "work," Roger? How many miles of ditches need to be dug, and how many yards of concrete need to be poured here, Roger? More "work" is needed? It seems like there is everything BUT work going on. Even Peyton Manning was trying to do work, but he was insulted and shouted down by an owner (perhaps by the guy who is indeed the most vocal opponent against the NFLPA thus far). Commissioner, you're losing your league. You're angering fans. Do something. Show some real leadership skills for once, instead of being an authoritative hack who scolds players for bad behavior like some principal at a school.

Double Barrel
02-16-2011, 12:53 PM
Here's my update on this:

NFL labor: When people tell you not to worry, you should worry (http://blogs.chron.com/texanschick/2011/02/nfl_labor_when_people_tell_you.html#more)

This is infuriating. I know there is posturing like armageddon in labor talks, but I truly don't think a deal gets done any time soon.

Thanks for the updates, TC. You are appreciated more than you probably know.

As far as the CBA, I've reached the conclusion of "frack it". There is absolutely nothing I can do about it as a fan, and fans are obviously where owners/players have the least concern.

If they cancel or shorten the season, both sides simply suck.

I'm going to fill my time with watching UFC and playing paintball. Worrying about these greedy bastids is just a waste of my time.

GP
02-16-2011, 01:39 PM
Here's what I did:

1. Called DirecTV.

2. Automated voice asked if I was a current customer, i said 'yes."

3. Automated voice asked what it could assist me with, I usually say "operator," and then the automated voice usually responds with scripted choices to divert me from seeking a live rep. This time, I said "Unsubscribe" and boy howdy I got a dialing tone and a real person answered on the second ring. Jackpot!

4. First person I got asked me what I needed, but prefaced it with a long heaping of praise to me for how long I was a loyal and faithful customer...probably thinking I meant unsubscribe from the whole deal! I told of my intentions to take myself off the automatic renewal for SundayTicket, and she transferred me to that department (specifically the premium package department).

5. An older lady named Beverly answered, sounded about in her 60s or early 70s. I detailed to her that i wanted two things: (1) I want to be taken off automatic renewal, and (2) I want my comments formally recorded and shared with the NFL people who monitor DirecTV customer comments.

6. She replied and said she understands where I am coming from, and then she proceeds to tell me "Well, I don't think there will be a lockout do you? It seems there is too much money at stake for everyone." She wasn't being combative, she was just entering into dialogue with me. So she and I proceeded to have a 30-minute sports conversation about the NFL, the labor problems, and then it drifted to the topic of her beloved Utah Jazz and how she just hated that Jerry Sloan was gone and how DeRon Williams is the bad guy in that deal, and we just had a grand old time talking sports for 30 minutes! LOL.

7. As the call ended, I told her that I want the NFL to know that I am formally protesting with this action and that I will NOT renew if a deal is not struck by the time Sunday Ticket renewals begin...that I will take my money and re-invest it into UFC PPVs where I feel my fan loyalty is truly rewarded right now. She assured me that they do INDEED look at those customer feedback comments such as mine.

There you have it.

I know that I have not fully declared myself to be a non-subscriber. However, I have shown that my money is not AUTOMATICALLY counted upon when it comes time for the NFL to calculate revenue for SundayTicket in the coming season. And I have expressed "why" with a formal declaration to Beverly the Utah Jazz fan who took my call at DirecTV! LOL.

Thorn
02-16-2011, 02:31 PM
Goodell says owners need more money to offset "costs of financing, building, maintaining and operating stadiums." He adds: "We need new stadiums in Los Angeles, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Oakland and San Diego."

There is no NFL in Los Angeles. Obviously the NFL is up to something behind the scenes, which is no surprise to anyone. And the tax payers pay for a part of those stadiums anyway whether they liked it or not. Well, they did if you live in Houston at any rate.

Screw Goodell, the NFL, the players union and anyone else involved in any of this bullshit. I hope they all go broke. LOL

BetaV1
02-16-2011, 04:27 PM
The latest "More work is needed" BS from the Commish (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=6125144)...

So there is news that the players WILL NOT strike, which puts the P.R. burden on the owners who appear ready to lock them out.[

I like how there is unified and consistent effort by players, former players, and mayors of NFL team cities to tell owners that a lockout is not in the best interest of anybody, especially the fans.

This is going badly for the owners. Do they know it? Do they care? Or are they so blinded by their desires that they feel justified and can't turn back from their agenda?

This isn't the players striking against the owners; this is the owners striking against the players. I wish my job dictated that they must hand over 60% of all revenue to our salary. NFLPA President Kevin Mawae even said flat-out that the owners got a bad deal last go-around:

“I think what really happened is in 2006 we got such a great deal,” NFLPA president Kevin Mawae told Sirius Mad Dog Radio. “I mean, the players got a good deal and the owners felt they got it handed to them and it’s kind of a revenge factor, ‘Let’s get back what we felt like we lost,’ and things like that.”
Credit to NBC Sports (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/01/28/mawae-says-players-got-such-a-great-deal-in-2006/)

The players wanted to see the NFL's books. While I understand the thinking of some on here, pertaining to the idea that if the owners show their books then the players show theirs too, the difference is that the Commissioner is repeating over and over this mantra about how the owners need more $$$ in order to build better facilities.

I wanted to respond to this earlier, but forgot. You and a few others mistook my comment on wanting to see the players books as wanting to view their contracts. This was not what I said. I want to see how the players are investing their money. Surely you can retire comfortably knowing you have a couple of million in the bank before you even hit the age of 30. We can't criticize the owners for wanting to buy tons of private jets with their money because we all know how a majority of these players spend theirs.

See what I mean? This is like the vagrant uncle showing up and asking for a loan, IMO. Where's the plan to spend the money appropriately? Where's the commitment to funding (in heavier efforts) future healthcare provisions for the players who are going to need advanced care when they are old? So this deal of outlawing helmet-to-helmet hits is the NFL's good faith effort to help the players? I think not. It's token symbolism, and nothing more. And in fact, it can be construed in the future as the NFL having taken lengths to curb injuries to the head (to escape liability).

I've posted the figures detailing a player's pension plan in another thread. Something tells me they can afford a decent private health care plan with that kind of pay. As far as what kind of health benefits are being asked of, who knows. The owners and players haven't exactly been releasing concrete figures on what exactly is being asked of other than "revenue." It's a bit unfair to judge either side on the topic of health insurance because we don't know anything about either side's offer.

I sense that this will do harm to the brand of the NFL, and I can't see where the commissioner is strong-arming the owners enough here. In fact, he seems to be as passive as he could be about it...if not appearing to be supportive of owners over players. His appearances, and his speeches on this matter, are all beginning to look like Baghdad Bob who says Americans are not near Baghdad when there are copters hovering over his shoulder.

Goodell keeps repeating the line "More work is needed..." over and over. Really? What kind of "work," Roger? How many miles of ditches need to be dug, and how many yards of concrete need to be poured here, Roger? More "work" is needed? It seems like there is everything BUT work going on. Even Peyton Manning was trying to do work, but he was insulted and shouted down by an owner (perhaps by the guy who is indeed the most vocal opponent against the NFLPA thus far). Commissioner, you're losing your league. You're angering fans. Do something. Show some real leadership skills for once, instead of being an authoritative hack who scolds players for bad behavior like some principal at a school.

Did Roger Goodell run over your dog or something? Maybe I'm in the minority here, but I'm not "angered" by a lockout. Annoyed? Naturally, because that means I can't win any bets during the football season from Saints homers. :( But angered? If you get angered by a lockout, you ought to sit down and question yourself.

CloakNNNdagger
02-16-2011, 06:17 PM
I guess I could use the line "Trust me, I'm a doctor." That would quite possibly work a little better than "Trust me, I'm an NFL owner," or "Trust me, I'm a representative of the NFLPA,"...........and certainly much better than "Trust me, I'm an NFL or NFLPA attorney."


NFL labor pains, part 10: an issue of trust Biggest problem of CBA negotiations (http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/NFL-labor-pains-part-10-an-issue-of-trust.html)
Andrew Brandt
February 16, 2011, 11:01 AM EST

Here are my most recent columns about the NFL labor negotiations, one about the Franchise tag and one about the competing proposals on rookie salaries.

The primary roadblock to a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between NFL owners and players reared its ugly head again this week. The overwhelming problem in these negotiations has not been an additional $1 billion cost credits; an 18 game season; a rookie wage scale, etc. The issue holding up labor peace in the NFL is simple: trust.

The NFL owners do not trust the NFLPA leadership and their actions have shown so; the NFLPA leaders are becoming increasingly wary of the tactics and tone of NFL owners. Without trust and comfort in a relationship, no deal is possible, and right now trust is lacking as much as it has for two years.

Litigation, not negotiation

Both sides in the dispute are fighting for the hearts and minds of fans, as Commissioner Goodell's op-ed letter shows, but fans are starting to clamor for more conversation and less positioning and lawyering.

Ironically, it was the NFL that recently publicly stated that the NFLPA should put the effort into negotiating that it has in litigating. Then on Monday the NFL filed an unfair labor practices complaint with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The filing, in a nutshell, was a preemptive strike to try to prevent a potential legal strategy the union may use in a couple weeks.

The NFL believes the NFLPA will pursue a legal strategy of Decertification to achieve its goals: effectively dissolving itself as a union, leaving the NFL no one to bargain with as the collective agent of the players.

With that, NFL players could file claims in antitrust court as individual plaintiffs, something they cannot do while represented by a union. The NFL argues that this is the end game the union has wanted all along and they have engaged in sporadic and half-hearted bargaining, only to be able to decertify in March upon a lockout.

In other words, the NFL doesn’t trust the union wants to make a deal prior to being locked out on March 4th. They feel the union is angling for the strategy employed by the NFLPA in the 1992-93 under the late Gene Upshaw, a strategy that led to many gains for NFL player including, for the first time, free agency. Before it gets to that point, the NFL wants to ensure the NLRB is on notice.

Players’ leverage?

The NFL’s actions illustrate two things: it (1) has never believed the union wants to get a deal done prior to the expiration of the CBA, despite public posturing that they are working hard to do so; and (2) is afraid of individual player antitrust lawsuits and what they could spark.

In antitrust law, as proven by the Freeman McNeil and Reggie White cases of 1992, football players are treated as other employees, not burdened by restraints on where they are able to work and for how long. Individual antitrust lawsuits strike a tone of fear in the hearts of NFL owners. Defending themselves against treble damages in antitrust court is not how the NFL owners want to spend their offseason.

Troubled Trust

The following are ongoing issues of trust in this two-year bargaining process towards a new CBA:

*NFL officials have not appreciated the public comments by union leadership. Owners are wary of telling anything to top union leaders for fear it is in the news the next day or used as part of a campaign such as “Let us play.”

*NFLPA officials have felt “talked down to” and tones of condescension from NFL owners. A prime example to the union was the story of Panthers’ owner Jerry Richardson, the most hawkish owner in the membership, speaking in paternal tones to players such as Peyton Manning at a pre-Super Bowl bargaining session in Dallas.

*NFL officials have not trusted the NFLPA and their Decertification tour throughout the fall. The league was increasingly frustrated watching the union visit every team to take votes toward using this tactic in March.

*NFLPA officials have not trusted the hiring of attorney Bob Batterman, an attorney they refer to as the “lockout lawyer”. The union is convinced Batterman is charged with doing for the NFL what he did for the NHL: tilting the economic system strongly in favor of the owners, even if it takes a lockout.

NFL officials have not trusted the NFLPA strategy on Capitol Hill. The league feels the union is posturing with Congressmen who just want to talk football to sway their constituents towards their side.

NFLPA officials have not trusted the NFL’s actions in negotiating broadcast contracts that pay through a potential lockout. Despite a ruling for the NFL by the Special Master last week, an appeal to Judge David Doty – who has been very player-friendly – could shift the leverage a bit with a player-friendly ruling.

“Show us your books” source of frustration

NFLPA officials continue to respond to financial concerns from owners by asking for financial transparency with their financial statements. Having said no several times, NFL officials have long been frustrated with these incessant calls to “open the books” of each team, beyond the Packers. Not only will they not show the NFLPA financial statements for reasons that they have already shown them league wide financial data, but also that they do not trust what the union will do with those documents. They fear that sensitive information about what teams pay certain people, their private travel expenses, entertainment budgets, etc. would become public knowledge and cause for embarrassment.

No trust means no deal

As I teach in my Negotiations class at Wharton Business School, negotiations are about trust and relationships as much as they are about the issues at hand.

NFL labor peace since 1987 has been fueled by a long and strong relationship between Upshaw and former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue. Their relationship was formed over a while, and strengthened through personal time and tragedy, including some poignant moments during the 9/11 crisis. Tagliabue retired in 2006; Upshaw passed away in August 2008.

The new captains of this partnership, DeMaurice Smith and Roger Goodell, have not formed a relationship beyond a surface one. I was most encouraged in this negotiation process when on the Monday before the Super Bowl, Smith and Goodell met privately in New York. Even if they didn’t talk about football, that relationship is key to making a deal. I would suggest a couple of private lunches, dinners or visits to each other’s homes in the next week or two. Only then can a deal be made.

Double Barrel
02-16-2011, 06:45 PM
I light of CnD's update, it appears very real that we might be missing a season in 2011.

Why can't they just tweak the rookie salaries of the current CBA and call it a day? NFLPA President Kevin Mawae said the union was content with the current deal and understood the need to put some limits on rookie salaries/signing bonuses for the benefit of veteran and retired players. Both sides seem to agree on the rookie salary issue.

But, it appears (to me, at least) that the owners want a larger piece of pie, right or wrong. And if the union is willing to accept a revised version of the current CBA, then it is my perception that an overhaul of the deal is being demanded by the owners, not the players.

There are over 1900 current players, and let's face it, they are the product. They are the ones we tune in to watch, and they are the reason why we care about this league. I certainly understand the important nature of owners, but there are only 32 of them. Do 32 people really need to slice off an additional billion for themselves? I know I'm simplifying it, but the longer this goes on, the more I side with players. These men come from US, the regular people. They are our sons that grew up devoted to little league, high school, and college football. They have given their lives in devotion to this sport. They represent the elite of our sons, the ones that rose above in talent and dedication, and the ones that made it through the gauntlet of a bone-crushing sport that could permanently sideline them on any given play.

The owners? A bunch of filthy rich elitists that have very little in common with the average fan. Bob McNair did NOTHING to grow the NFL. He contributed to the bottom line, but it was a mighty league well before he bought a franchise. And this is true for many of the owners, Stretch Face included.

And I understand that this is a black & white populist attitude, but I could give a rat's ass about outside perception. This is my gut feeling and from my heart. The owners are clearly greedy little pigs who lust more of the only thing that seems to matter to them: money.

At least the players have a passion for the sport beyond their desire to be paid.

Marcus
02-18-2011, 07:36 AM
I light of CnD's update, it appears very real that we might be missing a season in 2011.

Why can't they just tweak the rookie salaries of the current CBA and call it a day? NFLPA President Kevin Mawae said the union was content with the current deal and understood the need to put some limits on rookie salaries/signing bonuses for the benefit of veteran and retired players. Both sides seem to agree on the rookie salary issue.

But, it appears (to me, at least) that the owners want a larger piece of pie, right or wrong. And if the union is willing to accept a revised version of the current CBA, then it is my perception that an overhaul of the deal is being demanded by the owners, not the players.

There are over 1900 current players, and let's face it, they are the product. They are the ones we tune in to watch, and they are the reason why we care about this league. I certainly understand the important nature of owners, but there are only 32 of them. Do 32 people really need to slice off an additional billion for themselves? I know I'm simplifying it, but the longer this goes on, the more I side with players. These men come from US, the regular people. They are our sons that grew up devoted to little league, high school, and college football. They have given their lives in devotion to this sport. They represent the elite of our sons, the ones that rose above in talent and dedication, and the ones that made it through the gauntlet of a bone-crushing sport that could permanently sideline them on any given play.

The owners? A bunch of filthy rich elitists that have very little in common with the average fan. Bob McNair did NOTHING to grow the NFL. He contributed to the bottom line, but it was a mighty league well before he bought a franchise. And this is true for many of the owners, Stretch Face included.

And I understand that this is a black & white populist attitude, but I could give a rat's ass about outside perception. This is my gut feeling and from my heart. The owners are clearly greedy little pigs who lust more of the only thing that seems to matter to them: money.

At least the players have a passion for the sport beyond their desire to be paid.

It appears as if the players have launched a campaign to play upon your (the fan) sympathies. (We are the good guys, they are the bad guys, etc) Their apparent "success" in doing so, has generated resentment, a natural reaction akin to what's known as "digging in your heals"? Bad strategy.

What the players need to do, is sit down behind closed doors, and look at this situation realistically.

They should accept the fact that the NFL owners are just as united now, as the NHL owners were when they locked out 2004-05 season. The owners wanted a salary cap, the players didn't. The owners locked them out and the entire season was lost. The players, fearful that a second season would be lost, gave the owners what they wanted, a hard salary cap.

You don't think the NFL owners didn't make note of this?

The players need to accept the fact that the owners have the upper hand here, and are going to get what they want.

Either now . . . . . . . . . . . or later.

Lucky
02-18-2011, 07:46 AM
They should accept the fact that the NFL owners are just as united now, as the NHL owners were when they locked out 2004-05 season. The owners wanted a salary cap, the players didn't. The owners locked them out and the entire season was lost. The players, fearful that a second season would be lost, gave the owners what they wanted, a hard salary cap.

You don't think the NFL owners didn't make note of this?
Other than both are professional sports, there's no correlation between the NFL and the NHL. The NHL had franchises teetering on the brink of collapse. They still do. Owners lost less money by not playing the season, rather than playing under the previous contract. NFL owners are making money hand over fist. Every NFL owner will lose money, lots of money, if actual games are missed.

Both sides realize that they will leave $$$ on the table if they miss games. That's why they won't miss games. Both sides are greedy, but neither side is stupid.

Marcus
02-18-2011, 08:04 AM
Other than both are professional sports, there's no correlation between the NFL and the NHL. The NHL had franchises teetering on the brink of collapse. They still do. Owners lost less money by not playing the season, rather than playing under the previous contract. NFL owners are making money hand over fist. Every NFL owner will lose money, lots of money, if actual games are missed.

Both sides realize that they will leave $$$ on the table if they miss games. That's why they won't miss games. Both sides are greedy, but neither side is stupid.

To say that it's a "money" issue, is being too generalistic. Of course it's about money. The owners are great in generating revenue, that's what they do. But I believe the issue they have, is that costs are exceeding the revenue.

"They won't miss games"? Ehh . . I think I'm gonna hold you to that one. But, I hope you're right.

thunderkyss
02-18-2011, 01:19 PM
It appears as if the players have launched a campaign to play upon your (the fan) sympathies.


That's exactly what I thought opening day, when they did their little "display of unity," you know all the players holding up their index fingers after the national anthem.

I thought it was poor taste then, think it's poor taste now.

Lucky
02-18-2011, 08:27 PM
But I believe the issue they have, is that costs are exceeding the revenue.
You believe that, do you? Find a quote attributed to a NFL owner or spokesman that says costs have exceeded revenue. NFL owners are guaranteed a profit based on the TV contract alone. "Costs" are set at $1 billion/year and taken off the top before splitting the money with the players.

The NFL wants an additional $billion a year off the top to "grow the game". Which means financing stadiums that taxpayers will no longer foot the bill for. A growth the current players will never realize in their contracts. If the NFL wants their players to become partners in the growth of the game, the league needs to increase their pensions substantially. Trickle down economy is great and all. But, it's better to have something in writing.

GP
02-19-2011, 04:18 PM
But, it's better to have something in writing.

To me, that's the whole sum total of the game if you're an NFLPA guy.

Show me, in writing, how you plan to use the money you're taking from me.

And the owners just want them to trust what they (the owners) are saying. Riiiiiiight. Only in America......

The players are being told they won't have $2 billion, AND they are to play two more high-speed, volatile action-packed games in the regular season. The owners are swell guys. :rollseyes:

Texans_Chick
02-20-2011, 01:41 PM
You believe that, do you? Find a quote attributed to a NFL owner or spokesman that says costs have exceeded revenue. NFL owners are guaranteed a profit based on the TV contract alone. "Costs" are set at $1 billion/year and taken off the top before splitting the money with the players.

The NFL wants an additional $billion a year off the top to "grow the game". Which means financing stadiums that taxpayers will no longer foot the bill for. A growth the current players will never realize in their contracts. If the NFL wants their players to become partners in the growth of the game, the league needs to increase their pensions substantially. Trickle down economy is great and all. But, it's better to have something in writing.

Yes! If costs were actually exceeding revenue, and the owners were making that claim, they would be required under collective bargaining to open the books.

IDEXAN
02-20-2011, 02:02 PM
Key developments for Green Bay Packers, Inc.
Green Bay Packers, Inc. Announces Financial Results for the Fiscal Year of 2010
07/15/2010
Green Bay Packers, Inc. announced financial results for the fiscal year of 2010. For the year, the company reported revenue of $258 million. The company have reported net income of $5.2 million as compared with $4 million last year. Total operating revenue was $10 million more than the previous year.

Green Bay Packers, Inc. Nominate 3 for Board, Makes Executive Committee Changes
05/28/2010
Green Bay Packers, Inc. following a board of directors meeting at Lambeau Field, said that Thomas Cardella, president of MillerCoors/Miller Brewing Co.-Eastern Division, Jeffrey Joerres, chairman and CEO of Manpower Inc., and Thomas Kunkel, president of St. Norbert College, will be nominated for board for shareholder approval during the organization's annual meeting. The team said the meeting will be on July 29. Also, the board elected Larry Weyers, vice president and lead director, and named Mark McMullen, chairman and CEO of Associated Wealth Management, treasurer and executive committee member. Peter Platten III was vice president and lead director. He has reached mandatory retirement age and moves to emeritus status. Weyers was treasurer.
http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=164159
&&
The Packers books are open to the public.

gary
02-20-2011, 02:04 PM
A team is on the way to L.A. hence why a stadium is being bulit there.

Double Barrel
02-21-2011, 01:34 PM
It appears as if the players have launched a campaign to play upon your (the fan) sympathies. (We are the good guys, they are the bad guys, etc) Their apparent "success" in doing so, has generated resentment, a natural reaction akin to what's known as "digging in your heals"? Bad strategy.

The so-called "players campaign" might have a small influence on free thinkers, but the owners' agenda has obviously brainwashed the sheeple.

I don't see one side as good guys or bad guys. This is business. And when owners have continuously fleeced and scammed local citizens to fund their stadiums instead of putting those finite local taxpayer resources into tangible critical infrastructure that improves the lives of citizens, I'm not going to feel sorry for the billionaires club.

They are making money, and they have always made money. I don't have a problem with them making money. But, don't propagate a bunch of hogwash and smoke and mirrors to obfuscate the issues in order to greatly increase those profits.

We fans don't tune in to watch a bunch of rich old men sit in their luxury boxes. We tune in to watch players. And I'd go to a game if it was still at the Astrodome or even Rice Stadium. The fields are always 100x50 yards, so the players will play wherever the games are held. These luxurious palace stadiums benefit the owners and price the average fan out of the market. Let's be honest about these things instead of acting like these events happen in a vacuum.

And please, spare me the bullshit attitude based upon incorrect assumptions.

Marcus
02-21-2011, 03:26 PM
And please, spare me the bullshit attitude based upon incorrect assumptions.

Spare you the bullshit about what?

I'm just sayin the owners have the upper hand and are going to get what they want, and no amount of demagoguery is going to change any of it.

I know I've mentioned this before, but you should run for mayor or something. You got the campaign speeches down cold. :)

Double Barrel
02-21-2011, 03:47 PM
Spare you the bullshit about what?


I was speaking about the owners, but if the shoe fits, I guess you can wear it if you want... :winky:

I'm just sayin the owners have the upper hand and are going to get what they want, and no amount of demagoguery is going to change any of it.

I don't disagree with you in the slightest. The owners have a lot deeper pool of resources and have been positioning themselves for this potential lockout for years. And with only 32 owners compared to 1900+ players, they have an easier task of presenting a unified front to get what they want.

However, winning this battle doesn't necessarily make them "right", IMO.

I know I've mentioned this before, but you should run for mayor or something. You got the campaign speeches down cold. :)

Too many skeletons in my closet and I'm way to cynical for that nonsense. Plus, I try to maintain some semblance of ethics, so there's three strikes against me as a political candidate which means I'm out! :howdy:

Texans_Chick
02-21-2011, 04:01 PM
The so-called "players campaign" might have a small influence on free thinkers, but the owners' agenda has obviously brainwashed the sheeple.

I don't see one side as good guys or bad guys. This is business. And when owners have continuously fleeced and scammed local citizens to fund their stadiums instead of putting those finite local taxpayer resources into tangible critical infrastructure that improves the lives of citizens, I'm not going to feel sorry for the billionaires club.

The PR component of this is minor. It's an attempt at leverage but ultimately each side is going to do what they are going to do.

Both sides have been doing PR. The NFL has an entire network, established website, and email address of fans.

Ultimately, I think the reason why a lot of fans tend to favor the player's side is that with the exception of minor points, fans like the game the way it is. They do not want a lockout of players to get changes that most fans do not want. AND, the NFL's position is inconsistent...wanting 18 games but saying that safety is of the utmost importance.

It also has not helped the NFL that Roger Goodell is unpopular with a lot of fans due to his role as justice maker for the league. Everybody wants to throw the book at players unless it is your key player that gets dinged. Steeler fans loathe Goodell, for example.

HJam72
02-21-2011, 04:04 PM
Everyone who's not a Texan can go on strike. This is our year. :goodluck:

IDEXAN
02-23-2011, 05:35 PM
I was watching NFLLive today, and they had Jerremy Shocker on as he just been cut by the Saints and mentioned he was going to be taking a physical for another team tomorrow ? Now it's my understanding that teams can't negotiate or sign FAs until we have a new CBA, and I didn't realize players could even take physicals for other teams, obviously teams that would be perhaps interesting in signing them at some point in the future after a new CBA has been consummated ?

infantrycak
02-23-2011, 05:45 PM
I was watching NFLLive today, and they had Jerremy Shocker on as he just been cut by the Saints and mentioned he was going to be taking a physical for another team tomorrow ? Now it's my understanding that teams can't negotiate or sign FAs until we have a new CBA, and I didn't realize players could even take physicals for other teams, obviously teams that would be perhaps interesting in signing them at some point in the future after a new CBA has been consummated ?

If players are cut they are on the open market and can be signed. Players with expiring contracts who would ordinarily be UFA's become such on March 4th. The expectation is the lockout will happen on March 3rd. Once the lockout happens players and teams can't talk. So the handful of cut players can be contacted and signed until the lockout. But otherwise until a new CBA is worked out that's all the free agency you get.

IDEXAN
02-23-2011, 05:53 PM
If players are cut they are on the open market and can be signed. Players with expiring contracts who would ordinarily be UFA's become such on March 4th. The expectation is the lockout will happen on March 3rd. Once the lockout happens players and teams can't talk. So the handful of cut players can be contacted and signed until the lockout. But otherwise until a new CBA is worked out that's all the free agency you get.

Interesting, thanks.

HOU-TEX
02-24-2011, 12:33 PM
Cohen releases a statement. Talks will continue next Tuesday.

At bottom, some progress was made, but very strong differences remain on the all-important core issues that separate the parties. Nonetheless, I recommended and the parties have agreed to resume the mediation process in my office commencing next Tuesday (March 1). During the intervening weekend, the parties have been asked by us to assess their current positions on those outstanding issues.
http://nfllabor.com/2011/02/24/statement-by-fmcs-director-george-h-cohen-on-nfl-nflpa-talks/

b0ng
02-25-2011, 05:04 PM
Cohen releases a statement. Talks will continue next Tuesday.


http://nfllabor.com/2011/02/24/statement-by-fmcs-director-george-h-cohen-on-nfl-nflpa-talks/

How much is this just something the owners agreed to do so they can say "We tried everything!" when they lock everybody out?

infantrycak
02-25-2011, 05:33 PM
How much is this just something the owners agreed to do so they can say "We tried everything!" when they lock everybody out?

Keep in mind there is a legal mechanism to declare the players have not negotiated in good faith in which case a court could order the players to play the next season according to the last offer from the owners.

b0ng
02-26-2011, 06:56 PM
Keep in mind there is a legal mechanism to declare the players have not negotiated in good faith in which case a court could order the players to play the next season according to the last offer from the owners.

Right but if that case was before that Judge in Minnesota that has been hearing all of the NFL stuff (Doty is his name I think) I doubt it would do much other than delay things. I'm interested in seeing a few things play out, which I'm almost 99% sure will happen in court:

1.) The players suing the NFL for anti-trust law breaking after they de-certify

2.) Whether or not the appeal to the decision to allow the owners access to the $4billion in tv contracts while the season is locked-out is successful.

I think when one or both of those things are resolved in court will you see true progress happen in negotiations. Right now I'm going on the assumption that the owners are going to lock out the 2011 season to squeeze the players into giving in to their demands. At this point I hope they don't **** the game up with a new CBA and with how things work in free agency but we will have to see what happens then.

b0ng
02-26-2011, 06:59 PM
This is all shamelessly stolen from the SomethingAwful forums poster Petey. Lots of great resources:

=====

2/10/2011

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=6107737

NFL/NFLPA meeting canceled after owners balk at deal proposed by players. The proposal would have split revenue evenly between the parties (presently 59%-41% in favor of players) and removed the overhead exemption (presently $1 billion before the 59/41 split), as well as allowing owners to apply for credits for stadium improvements and other capital investments. It would also remove all needs for audits since the split would be 50-50, making the process more efficient and expedient, and drop all present requests for owners opening up their books.

However, the owners found this proposal unacceptable, and canceled the meeting.

=====

1/22/2011:

pro-read NYT article profiling DeMaurice Smith, the NFLPA negotiator (succeeded Upshaw), how he works with the players, and some of the challenges he faced. too long to quote in its entirety here, but worth the read.

article here. (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/23/business/23nfl.html?pagewanted=all)

=====

1/20/2011:

http://bizoffootball.com/index.php?...-news&Itemid=53


National Football League Players Association filed its collusion claim against the National Football League on Tuesday. The collusion claim, in short, alleges that NFL owners improperly conspired to not sign restricted free agents during the 2010 offseason, as only 1 Restricted Free Agent out of 216 were signed to offer sheets during the offseason.


Note: this is the second of two collusion claims already filed with Stephen Burbank, the Special Master for the NFL/NFLPA. The first alleged that the NFL colluded to set up television contracts in a way to provide them with leverage for a lockout; in other words, they structured TV contracts a few years ago strategically to give them an advantage in the labor process now (details below in the Forbes article).

Neither of these collusion claims, however, is "the big one", where the union decertifies and files a class action lawsuit against the NFL (again, details blow).


======================================

A GOON'S GUIDE TO THE NFL LABOR DISPUTE

Q: What are CBAs and unions, and why do we have them?

A CBA, or collective bargaining agreement, is a contract made between organized management and labor. CBAs govern the relationship between teachers and principals, cops and city hall, coal miners and coal companies.

So why are millionaire athletes organized like laborers?

Because of antitrust law. The major sports leagues - MLB, NFL, NHL, NBA - are monopolies. They are not monopolies in perhaps the most common sense of the word (like a single company owning all of the steel mills), but they are monopolies because the owners of competing businesses collude with one another to restrict and manage access to a discrete labor market. To adopt the example above, it might be like several steel mills working together to have a common wage, so instead of competition between the firms (where a skilled worker might go elsewhere for higher pay) the mills all agree to work together to restrict labor and their production.

Baseball has an antitrust exemption. The NFL (and most other leagues) does not. However, the Supreme Court has ruled that any disputes between players and the league must first pass through the labor system because of the union. The theory is that if the owners are colluding together to restrict the labor market, the players can collude as well to work collectively and balance the whole thing out. Very simple and straightforward labor relations.

So in effect, the NFL cannot be sued for violating antitrust law as long as the players are organized. However:

What happens if we don't have a CBA or a union?

When we don't have a CBA, there is no football. The CBA structures everything about the professional game - how the schedule works, the salary cap is structured, who gets how much of the TV revenue, how many players can be on the team, and so forth. It's just like a contract for any other union.

Without a union, there can not only be no CBA, there can also be (effectively) no football, because the antitrust exemption is predicated upon there being a labor union to balance out organized management. More on this below.

A (brief) history of labor relations in the NFL:

In the late 1980s, the players struck over Plan B free agency:



The Plan B free agency was a type of free agency that became active in the National Football League in February 1989. Plan B free agency permitted all teams in the NFL to preserve limited rights of no more than 37 total players a season. If a player was a protected Plan B free agent, he was incapable of signing with another team without providing his old team the first opportunity to sign him again. The rest of the players were left unprotected, liberated to negotiate contracts with the rest of the teams in the league.



The strike failed as public support turned against the players. After only a month they stopped striking and went back to work, but immediately sued the NFL for collusion. The Supreme Court, however, ruled such disputes had to be resolved through the formal labor process, not through the courts.

So the players used their nuclear option: they decertified the union. With no union, there was no more labor process, and no more antitrust exemption: the players, led by Freeman McNeil of the Jets and Reggie White of the Eagles, sued the NFL, and won handily in a jury trial. (http://tech.mit.edu/V112/N39/nfl.39w.html)

Their whipping in court brought the owners back to the table, and the two sides renegotiated a CBA in 1993 with certain structures for free agency, revenue sharing, and so forth.

So what's happening now?

That 1993 CBA expired every three years, but has been renewed each time since then. For the last fifteen years, the NFL has functioned under that same agreement. Here it is in PDF form. (http://static.nfl.com/static/content/public/image/cba/nfl-cba-2006-2012.pdf)

However, in 2008, the owners decided that they didn't like the deal anymore. Their argument is that the players receive too large a share of the revenue (details on that below).

What precisely happened next is unclear - whether the owners exercised an option to end the CBA, or declined to renew, or what. But the upshot is that the CBA now expires on March 3rd, 2011.

Please explain the difference between a lockout and a strike

There are two types of work stoppages: lockouts and strikes.

Strikes are when labor refuses to work until their demands are met. This is the most familiar form of work stoppage in professional sports, as almost all of the major stoppages over the last 30 years have been strikes.

Lockouts are when ownership refuses to let players play. This is what is being threatened now: (http://blogs.trb.com/sports/custom/business/blog/2010/12/nfl_owners_following_nhl_owner.html)


Among the reasons the NFL Players Association believes NFL owners are bracing to lock them out when their contract expires in March is the league’s decision to hire labor attorney Bob Batterman to represent the owners.

Batterman represented NHL owners when they locked out players in 2004 leading to cancellation of the entire 2004-05 season.

When asked if the NFL’s decision to hire Batterman was giving the NHL credit for a lockout, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman hesitated and then chuckled.

“Oh boy. I’m not commenting on anybody else’s negotiations,” Bettman said

The owners have said that if the players do not agree to their conditions, the owners will refuse to let anyone play the game of football until the players concede.

It's important to remember the difference between these two things! Strikes and lockouts are both work stoppages but they are very, very different, not only in who is doing them but also the legal remedies available to the parties involved and the reactions of the fans (at least in theory).

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

The NFLPA's website: http://www.nflplayers.com/

The NFL owners website: http://nfllabor.com

(yes, the latter is confusing; in fact, the NFLPA has registered a formal complaint that the owners are trying to deceive casual fans by making "NFLlabor.com" a site for the owners to post sympathetic press releases)


Coming up next, some required reading and facts and figures.

I've left the articles outside of quote tags so that you may quote and comment on specific sections easily and retain the formatting.

CloakNNNdagger
02-26-2011, 07:02 PM
Report: Union plans to decertify (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/02/26/report-union-plans-to-decertify/)Posted by Gregg Rosenthal on February 26, 2011, 5:29 PM EST

Get ready for the labor battle to be turned up a notch.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen report that the NFLPA will decertify by Thursday in the hopes of stopping the NFL owners from locking the players out.

This move would further push the NFL-NFLPA standoff from the negotiating table into the courtrooms. The NFL is expected to contest any decertification as a sham. The battle could open up a lot of antitrust issues.

The NFL and NFLPA are set to re-start federally mediated negotiations on March 1 under this cloud of decertification.

I’m not the legal expect around these parts, and will defer to Florio on the topic. But you don’t need to be a legal expect to know this back-and-forth is all about leverage, and decertification is an attempt by the NFLPA to gain the upper hand.

It’s a reminder that we can expect to settle in for a protracted battle. As if we needed another one.

b0ng
02-26-2011, 07:10 PM
REQUIRED READING

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?sl...questions090810

Roger Goodell was in the midst of a leisurely training camp tour last month when the NFL commissioner began experiencing severe labor pains.

Goodell, as part of his weeklong bus trip to seven NFL camps with Hall of Fame coach and broadcasting icon John Madden, initiated locker-room meetings with players at each stop, and the level of interrogation he faced became increasingly charged as players expressed anxiety and anger over a potential lockout next spring.

At one point in the commissioner’s visit with the Cleveland Browns, linebacker Scott Fujita(notes), a member of the NFL Players Association’s executive committee, asked: “What do the owners want? What’s it going to take to get a deal done?”

“I can’t answer that,” Goodell replied.

“You’re the NFL commissioner,” Fujita shot back. “You’re here as the mouthpiece for the owners, and you can’t even tell us what they want? The CBA [collective bargaining agreement] is up in March. Don’t you think you need to start giving us some answers?”

By the end of his visit with the Browns, players were referring to the league’s chief executive as “Roger the Dodger.” It got worse for Goodell during the final visit of his tour, this stop coming at the Indianapolis Colts’ training camp. According to two sources familiar with the meeting, some Colts players admonished Goodell with swear words, to the point where star quarterback Peyton Manning(notes) was embarrassed by their behavior. Veteran center Jeff Saturday(notes), another executive committee member, cut the meeting short to keep the situation from escalating further.

Welcome to the strange world of the 21st-century NFL, a wildly profitable business in uncertain economic times whose proprietors and employees can’t just get along. With the two sides seemingly headed for a rancorous and incongruous labor showdown next spring, America’s most prosperous and popular sporting enterprise could be walking a fine line between hard-fought progress and shameful self-immolation.

Two years ago, when the owners voted unanimously to opt out of the current collective bargaining agreement following the 2010 season, it set the stage for a confrontation that could well result in the league’s first work stoppage since 1987. As the deadline for striking a new deal nears – things will likely come to a head on or around March 1 of next year – each camp is preparing for battle on numerous fronts. There has been legal wrangling, political maneuvering, spin-doctoring and economic leveraging by both sides … and much of it has been lost on a blissfully oblivious fan base.

Internal NFLPA studies have shown that only 33 to 40 percent of hardcore NFL fans have the impending labor drama on their radar screens. For everyone else, the prospect of football interrupted – and the potential havoc it could wreak upon everything from video games to fantasy drafts – may come as an unwelcome shock.

As we head into a season that could end with an abrupt dose of harsh reality, here’s a fan’s guide to the labor landscape based on exhaustive research and conversations with owners, NFLPA officials, players, agents and other league insiders.

Which side is forcing the issue?

The owners, particularly a faction of aggressive, entrepreneurial Goodell confidants (Jerry Jones, Robert Kraft, Pat Bowlen, Jerry Richardson) who want a CBA that accounts for the high-risk investments they’ve made on new stadiums and other capital expenditures. For the most part, the owners are unified in their belief that they agreed to a lousy deal when the current CBA was extended in 2006, and that the players currently receive too great a share of their adjusted gross revenues. At last March’s NFL owners meeting in Orlando, Fla., the Carolina Panthers’ Richardson gave a fiery speech in which he exhorted his peers to "take back our league by forcing a more favorable deal down the throats of the players." This is likely to be accomplished in the form of a lockout, though it’s possible that the owners could opt for a milder approach: negotiating to impasse and imposing terms of their choosing, which might compel the players to strike. DeMaurice Smith, the NFLPA’s executive director, is convinced that a lockout is coming, and a majority of his constituents – many of whom are more engaged and informed than is commonly perceived – share this belief.

Are the two sides making any progress toward a new deal?

Not really. Though there have been recent reports of an improved atmosphere between the NFL’s management council and the players’ union, there has been no substantial movement toward a new CBA. This may be partly due to the desire of some owners to play hardball and lock out the players until they capitulate; it also may simply be a function of timing. Think of it as akin to negotiations between a team and its first-round draft pick. Though the NFL draft is in late April, talks usually don’t begin to heat up until the approach of training camp, and often the contract isn’t signed until deeper into the offseason. In this case, though the CBA expires after the 2010 season, the real deadline isn’t until a year from now, when there’s a risk that games will be lost.

Why are the owners so upset about the deal they cut in 2006?

Many owners believe that the late Gene Upshaw, who served as the NFLPA’s executive director for a quarter-century, caught then-NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue in a weak moment and muscled through an extension to the CBA that was, in essence, a resounding victory for the players. Upshaw, they believe, knew that Tagliabue – who was preparing to step away after a 17-year stint as commissioner which included unprecedented labor peace – was loath to tarnish his legacy by ending his tenure with a messy fight between the players and owners. He also understood that several of the league’s most powerful owners, such as the Cowboys’ Jerry Jones, were unwilling to entertain thoughts of a work stoppage because of expensive stadium plans. So Upshaw successfully got Tagliabue to sell a deal that gave the players 59.6 percent of total revenue and implemented a revenue-sharing plan in which the league’s 15 highest-earning franchises subsidized the 17 teams that earned the least. A little more than two years after agreeing to the extension by a 30-2 vote, the owners unanimously voted to opt out of the deal two years early. Upshaw’s sudden death from pancreatic cancer three months later may have given some owners an increased sense that the union is in a vulnerable position this time around.

Why do some owners think the system is broken?

Revenue sharing fails to address the reality that some teams (such as the Cincinnati Bengals and Arizona Cardinals) have favorable stadium deals that call for little or no expenditures from the organization while other owners, such as Jones, Denver’s Pat Bowlen or the Green Bay Packers, took out massive loans for new or renovated stadiums. Thus, someone such as the Panthers’ Richardson might be forced to write an eight-figure check that subsidizes a peer such as the Bengals’ Mike Brown(notes), who is actually making a far greater profit because of his relatively low overhead. Further, there are owners who intentionally keep revenues low to maintain their spot in the NFL’s lower 17 and ensure that they’ll receive money under the current system. All of this is mystifying to the players, who believe the owners who are most averse to revenue sharing greet a potential work stoppage as an opportunity for prevailing in an internal struggle.

Do the owners really want the players to take an 18 percent pay cut?

Yes and no. What the owners have actually proposed is that the players take the same cut (roughly 60 percent) of a smaller pie. Under the current deal, owners receive a credit of slightly more than $1 billion for operating and investment expenses off the top of an annual revenue pool that’s approximately $9 billion before the remainder of the money is divided. The owners are seeking an increase to about $2.4 billion in credits, a number they say reflects the changing economic realities of the era. Whereas stadiums which were partly or wholly subsidized by taxpayers were once the norm, owners are now pouring much more capital into state-of-the-art facilities – essentially saddling them with enormous mortgage payments. The owners believe that the players should account for their risk and the bounty (in the form of increased future revenues) it provides. Players, conversely, argue that they are not in a true partnership absent an ownership stake in franchises whose values have increased exponentially over the past decade and a half.

Are the players sympathetic to the owners’ concerns?

Yes, but they’re also skeptical. For one thing, when the players hear the owners talk about “risk,” some of them cringe. As one put it recently: “They’re taking risks? We’re the ones risking our health on a regular basis – we all know there’s a 100 percent injury rate in the NFL. Give me a break.” Players also are dubious of the insinuation by some owners that their profit margins have been vastly reduced under the current deal. Smith, who became the NFLPA’s executive director in March 2009, has repeatedly called for owners to open their books as a means of substantiating their claims of financial distress … and the owners have steadfastly refused. There is also rampant distrust of the league’s proposal calling for the dramatic increase in credits off the top. According to one NFLPA source, among the categories included by owners in their proposal were “professional fees,” practice-facility costs and travel. Says the source: “What company asks its own employees to pay for their overhead?”

Which side is better positioned to withstand a work stoppage?

The owners, based on simple economics. In theory, they could reduce their operating expenses by 50 percent (an estimated $4.4 billion) via the elimination of player salaries and benefits and the temporary layoffs or salary reductions of various other employees. Meanwhile, thanks to the terms of the extensions to the lucrative TV deals the league has with DirecTV and several broadcast networks, the owners would continue to receive payments during a lockout – though the money would eventually have to be repaid via credits for future games. Still, that’s a serious cash-flow advantage that would, again in theory, allow the owners to realize more than 50 percent of their revenues (nearly $4 billion) and, therefore, to cover their operating expenses for an entire season if necessary. Players, meanwhile, would theoretically be much more financially stressed in the short term, and the relatively short career span of NFL players would make the prospect of missing games even more unpalatable.

What legal proceeding could give the players the upper hand?

In June, the NFLPA surprised owners by filing a legal complaint with the Special Master appointed to resolve CBA disputes, challenging the structuring of the television deals. The NFLPA charged that, in negotiating extensions with DirecTV and at least three networks (Fox, CBS and NBC), the league extended valuable benefits in 2009 and 2010 in exchange for the provisions which would allow the cash flow to continue in the event of a lockout – effectively depriving the players of potential revenues in the short term while setting the stage for a work stoppage. Owners, citing the fact that similar provisions have been included in past TV deals, seem to think the players have little chance of prevailing. However, NFLPA executives have been encouraged by early findings during the discovery process that may have documented the league’s intentions, and appear to think that there’s a chance the union’s request to have the TV money placed in an escrow account during a work stoppage may be granted. Also encouraging to the NFLPA: Any appeal would likely be heard by federal judge David Doty of Minneapolis – the architect of the historic 1993 settlement, which brought unrestricted free agency and a salary cap to the NFL. In 2008, the league accused Doty of being biased in favor of the union and asked him to remove himself from further handling of CBA-related disputes. When Doty refused to step aside, the league took its case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit, which rejected the request last November. Thus, Doty’s involvement, at least on paper, could not be construed as anything but a positive development for the NFLPA. And remember that, before being voted Upshaw’s successor, Smith was a trial lawyer and litigation partner in an influential Washington firm. Legal disputes are clearly in his comfort zone.

What was the significance of the Supreme Court’s decision in the “American Needle” case?

It was a big victory for the players – or, more accurately, it spared the players from the prospect of what would have been a brutal defeat. The background: In 2000 the NFL signed an exclusive apparel-licensing deal with Reebok, prompting American Needle, an apparel manufacturer which had individual deals with NFL teams, to file an antitrust lawsuit. The NFL argued that it is a single entity in which the 32 franchises compete on the football field but not in business, and the league won favorable rulings from a federal district court in Chicago and, in 2008, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. American Needle appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, and in a surprising move the NFL filed a petition urging the high court to take the case, hoping that a favorable ruling would essentially exempt it from antitrust litigation. A victory in American Needle, in theory, would have allowed the NFL to insulate itself from the NFLPA’s equivalent of the nuclear bomb – decertifying as a union and suing the league for antirust violations. This was the strategy the NFLPA applied after the ’87 players’ strike, ultimately winning the suit that gave the players unprecedented leverage and set the stage for the historic 1993 agreement which brought the salary cap and unrestricted free agency to pro football. Though some viewed the decision to take American Needle to the Supreme Court as the NFL’s version of a “Hail Mary,” Smith was deeply worried about an unfavorable outcome. In May, however, the NFL suffered a resounding, 9-0 defeat, which allows the NFLPA to at least use the threat of decertification as a negotiating tool.

Is decertification an option for the NFLPA?

In theory, but it’s probably a long shot. Some owners believe Smith, who has a flair for public speaking and seems to enjoy the limelight, would never subject himself to the risk of a reformed union that might choose a different leader in its new incarnation. “Would they De-certify?” one owner mused. “He might not want to take that gamble.”

b0ng
02-26-2011, 07:12 PM
What is the relationship between Goodell and Smith – and could this be an obstacle toward an amicable resolution?

On a personal level, Goodell and Smith haven’t gotten off to the best of starts, with each man at times having felt slighted by the other, based on comments by sources and my own observations. Whereas Tagliabue and Upshaw had a mutually appreciative relationship and were sometimes accused of being too chummy – remember Bryant Gumbel’s famous “personal pet” comments on HBO’s “Real Sports”? – Goodell and Smith may lack the chemistry conducive toward a peaceful resolution of a complex situation. As Goodell’s training camp tour illustrated, players increasingly view the commissioner, at least when it comes to labor, as a somewhat disingenuous adversary. Meanwhile, some owners view Smith as a shameless grandstander who loves the spotlight but lacks the depth necessary to make a savvy business deal. Both depictions are exaggerated, but it’s certainly likely that as leaders dealing for the first time with a labor showdown, each man feels compelled to prove to his constituents – and to one another – that he is no pushover. In the end, egos could be an issue. As one league source says, “It’s not about how much those two hate each other; it’s how much each guy loves himself.”

Who would be the first casualties of a lockout?

A lot of people who aren’t on your fantasy team – and that you might not have heard of – might find themselves in a tough spot come March. Low-to-mid-level employees ranging from ticket sellers to personnel assistants to community-relations officials to quality-control coaches could be facing temporary layoffs, and there is talk of reducing coaches’ pay by 50 percent until the labor dispute is settled.

Besides the TV lawsuit, what other cards does the NFLPA have to play?

The union has broached the possibility of retaliating against the networks who broadcast the league for what it views as a funding of the lockout by advising players to skip out on production meetings and other interview requests. That may not actually happen, but George Atallah, the NFLPA’s executive director of external affairs, warns, “If there are networks that are not portraying this situation fairly, the players are prepared to act.” The union also sent letters to some of the NFL’s major sponsors reminding them that all marketing deals will cease in the absence of a CBA, impairing companies’ ability to use players or their likenesses in advertising campaigns. Finally, Smith, who has connections on Capitol Hill, has done some behind-the-scenes lobbying with legislators who might be persuaded to introduce antirust legislation – though such measures would likely come into play only if the situation worsens to the point of triggering a pronounced public outcry.

Could there be replacement games?

During the ’87 strike the league staged three weekends’ worth of games with replacement players, which helped to weaken the union’s resolve as numerous veterans began crossing picket lines. In theory, this could happen again. However, it would be a much tougher sales pitch to the public this time around – thanks to the immense popularity in fantasy football. Somehow, a draft in which Maurice Clarett and JaMarcus Russell(notes) go first and second overall doesn’t sound so alluring.

Could the players stage their own games?

Possibly. Fantasy freaks would likely warm to exhibitions featuring the Tom Bradys and Chris Johnsons of the world, even if the uniforms and team names were kind of funky. There are also more available venues than there were during the last work stoppage in ’87 – for example, the soccer-specific stadiums in cities like Carson, Calif. and Columbus, Ohio would be sufficient for staging such spectacles, assuming the players could get a TV network not currently in business with the NFL, such as TBS, to pay for broadcasting rights.

Could the UFL provide players with a safe haven?

Absolutely. Some believe the United Football League, which debuted in ’09 and is about to begin its second season, was launched with a potential lockout in mind. As one NFL source speculates, “It was the equivalent of betting the Don’t Pass Line in craps – it was banking on a lockout, so it could be there to fill the void.” In theory, the upstart league could rapidly expand beyond its current vision of six teams for the 2011 season and provide jobs for many of the NFL’s high-profile players during a work stoppage.

If there’s a lockout, will there still be a draft next spring?

Yes, but it won’t be business as usual for the teams or for the players they select. With no CBA in place, teams won’t be able to sign players, and those post-draft minicamps will be non-existent. Also, in the absence of a CBA, the league’s ability to generate revenues from the new crop of big-name draftees will be limited. In other words, if you want to purchase one of those sweet new Jake Locker jerseys in the aftermath of his being drafted, you’ll have to buy one without his name on the back of it or wait until a new CBA is signed.

Who will be on the cover of Madden ’12?

Maybe no one, depending upon how aggressively the union protects its marketing interests in the absence of a CBA. Or, given the supposed Madden Curse, perhaps the NFLPA will persuade EA Sports to put an owner on the cover. (Yes, that was a joke.)

What marketing deals might we see in the absence of a CBA?

“Let’s put it this way,” one player says. “We’ll have no restrictions. So imagine a player doing commercials for a casino, or a liquor company. Or picture a guy skydiving with body paint and landing on top of a strip club. Anything goes, and the league might not like that at all.”

In the absence of a new CBA, will some NFL players get in touch with their inner Cheech and Chong?

Damn straight. If there’s no CBA, the NFL won’t be able to test or monitor players, even prior offenders who’ve run afoul of the league’s policies against substance abuse and/or performance-enhancing drugs. “It’s gonna be an old-fashioned Smoke In for some guys,” predicts a league source. “They’ll be in pot heaven.”

Will the needs of retired players be addressed in negotiations?

Presumably, and that’s a very good thing given the way they’ve been slighted in the past. In theory the new CBA will ensure that both sides will contribute to a fund that benefits debilitated and destitute ex-players, and others who played in the era before the current system was established in 1993. In terms of public relations, being perceived as aiding the cause of retired players is crucial for both the owners and the union; more important, it’s the right thing to do.

Will a new CBA result in an 18-game regular season?

Probably, assuming the two sides can work through the potential complications such a change might present. As I wrote two weeks ago, an Enhanced Season has been criticized by star players like Brady and Ray Lewis(notes) because of its implications relating to injury, career longevity and post-football disability. A switch to 18 games would also affect the union’s push for standardized rules regulating offseason workouts, impact the current training camp format and force players to play additional games before qualifying for post-career benefits. Right now players are understandably resistant to the change because, as one put it, “they’re asking us to take less money and do more work.” In the end, however, the union will likely try to use players’ supposed opposition to the Enhanced Season as a bargaining chip designed to extract other concessions.

Will a new CBA result in an NBA-style rookie wage scale?

You betcha. Again, the union won’t automatically yield on this issue, instead using it as a means of placating owners in exchange for a better overall deal. But in reality, the majority of players believe that the current system – in which the players picked at the very top of the draft receive more guaranteed money than established veteran stars – is a travesty. (For example, this year’s top overall pick, Sam Bradford(notes), got a deal that will guarantee him at least $50 million, more than Brady, a three-time Super Bowl champion, is likely to receive if he and the Patriots reach a deal on a contract extension this week.) Most current players quarrel with the logic behind such a slotting system and aren’t sympathetic to the plight of the future draftees who’ll stand to make less. The players, in fact, have already put forth a proposal that would implement a rookie wage scale, sending a letter to the league last February detailing a “Proven Performance Plan.” The plan called for rookie deals to be reduced in length to three years – the union later said it would agree to a four-year threshold – and created a revenue pool that would fund incentives for players who outperform their contracts (such as the Titans’ Chris Johnson rushing for more than 2,000 yards in his second season) and benefit retired players. Some owners believe that the savings should be spread out to include veterans with low-to-mid-level salaries, providing them with a means of realizing performance bonuses. However the two sides decide to redistribute the money saved, look for the mind-boggling rookie contracts like Bradford’s to disappear under the new CBA.

How do we solve this mess?

We’re glad you asked (and glad you’re still with us after all these questions). As with most labor disputes, this is a gap that can be bridged through creativity and compromise – and, ultimately, it will come down to money and perception. The first thing that has to happen for a deal to be forged is that each side has to move past the rancorous rhetoric and intense emotion that is likely to worsen over the coming months. Certainly, this is a volatile issue that involves principle and impacts the careers and lives of numerous individuals and their families – but in the end it’s a business dispute between two entities that have it pretty good in a strained economy. If the owners and players test fan loyalties by robbing them of an entire season – or, in a worst-case scenario, dragging the dispute past the fall of 2012 – both could end up as losers. Conversely, there is a way to resolve their differences in a win-win scenario that involves growing the pie, rewarding the owners for their investment risks and keeping total player revenues relatively stable. By adding two regular season games and establishing a rookie pool, a new CBA can theoretically create enough additional revenues that owners can get some of what they want (more money credited off the top) and veterans won’t have to take less. For this to happen, the NFLPA needs to abandon its focus on its percentage of revenues – a holdover from the Upshaw regime – and focus on total dollars. Owners, meanwhile, have to get past the perception that they were duped into taking a poor deal in 2006 and try to leverage a deal with the union that seems more like a partnership than a vengeful comeuppance. All of this can be accomplished by rational, well-meaning negotiators who have pro football’s – and its adoring public’s – best interests at heart. “People on both sides have to study the lessons of the Cuban Missile Crisis,” says one league source. “Ultimately, in order to settle this standoff, everybody has to feel that they’ve won, or at least saved face, and that they were part of the process.” Until then, players, owners and those of us who love football will be experiencing labor pains on an uncomfortably frequent basis.

b0ng
02-26-2011, 07:15 PM
FACTS AND FIGURES



This whole thing is pretty interesting, but regarding team profits, this thing pegs, on average, EBITDA of $33 million. It acknowledges that a lot of that comes from the "huge incomes" of the Cowboys, Patriots, and Redskins.

http://blogs.forbes.com/sportsmoney...ut-unwarranted/


As fans settle in for the stretch run of playoff games in the NFL, the most important date on their calendar shouldn’t be Super Bowl XLV on Feb 6, but less than a month after on March 3. That is when the current collective bargaining agreement in the NFL expires. Yes, fans could be looking at the league locking out the players in just over 7 weeks creating a work stoppage that, depending on how long it is, could possibly mean the cancellation of preseason games, at best and regular season games at worst.

The claim by the NFL is that if the players don’t reduce salaries and increase the amount they are providing in “expense credits” for expenditures such as stadium development, the league could see rocky times.

“Yes, NFL players deserve to be paid well,” said Commissioner Goodell in a January letter to fans. “Unfortunately, economic realities are forcing everyone to make tough choices and the NFL is no different.”

But, do the economic realities really point to the NFL needing to make “tough choices”? Here’s how it all breaks down.

What is Goodell basing his “economic realities” on?


The league has pointed to the only financial info made available to the public, the Green Bay Packers. The “economic realities” are that in the worst economy since The Great Depression, the Packers saw reduced profits last year. The club pulled in $9.8 million in profits for the fiscal year that ended March 31. That was a decrease from $20.1 million from the year prior.

Petey note: the Packers are a successful franchise, but they are also in one of the smallest markets, and they are a nonprofit collective owned by the town of Green Bay. So it seems unlikely that many teams would be making significantly less money than the packers.

That’s the Packers, is the league offering up other financial information?

The answer shouldn’t be surprising, but it’s no. In prior labor battles, namely MLB’s 1994-95 strike the players said, “If you’re asking for salary cuts, show us your books.” The NFLPA is asking the same, and was the case in the past with baseball, the NFL has rejected the request.

Is the NFL profitable by other measures?

According to Kurt Badenhausen of Forbes SportsMoney, “The NFL has never been more profitable by our count with the average team earning $33 million in 2009 in operating profit (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) thanks to huge incomes for teams like the Cowboys, Patriots and Redskins.”

The most recent Forbes NFL franchise valuations show 19 of 32 clubs being worth at least $1 billion. In Major League Baseball, where talk of a labor stoppage at the end of 2011 is nearly non-existent, only the Yankees have a valuation of over $1 billion, as ranked by Forbes.

What are the owners looking for?

In terms of economics, a rookie wage scale and increased “expense credits”, both of which would reduce total revenues (the amount of revenues after the owners take their cut off the top before it gets to the players) by approx. 18 percent.

How much do the players currently take in?

Players receive approximately 50 percent of all revenues in the NFL. Looking at it another way, the players receive less than 60 percent of “Total Revenue” – the amount of revenues after the owners take expense credits off the top. (see a listing of All and “Total Revenue” in the NFL since 2000)

Peteynote: the "expense credit" is currently worth $1 billion.

Have rookie wages grown?


Actually, the amount of rookie share of the salary cap has decreased since 1994:

1994 (first capped year) – 6.86%
1999 – 5.41%
2003 – 4.94%
2009 (last capped year) – 3.71%.

How much revenue is the NFL pulling in?


From 2005, the year before current CBA was reached, to 2009, revenues in the NFL have grown dramatically. From 2008 to 2009, during the chilly economy, revenues grew 9%. Going back to the key “All” and “Total” revenues, which is the revenues after the owners take their expense credit cut that is used to determine the salary cap, revenues for the salary cap, the numbers are as follows:
http://i.imgur.com/af1yZ.png

b0ng
02-26-2011, 07:18 PM
The owners are asking for increased expense credits, what do they pull in now?

Approx. $1 billion off the top before the calculations for the salary cap are made. The logic of expense credits is that in doing business activities such as building new stadiums, the increased revenues will trickle down to the players. The players have concerns about loopholes such as the league using the funds for travel expenses, which does not grow revenues. In terms of recent stadium construction, those expense credits have included $800 million to the new Meadowlands Stadium for the Jets and Giants, and $350 million to the new Cowboys Stadium.

Did Free Agent spending dramatically increase in the uncapped season?

In an uncapped season, there was concern that spending would go spinning wildly out of control. But, clubs in the NFL did the opposite, with spending on FAs growing at less than half the pace that it did in the last year of the capped season. Based on data as of Week 10, spending on free agents had grown 4.8 percent from the year prior. The following is a breakdown of free agent spending in the NFL as of Week 10 over the last three seasons:
http://i.imgur.com/x7jGB.png

Has the economy impacted attendance?

Over the same number of home games (254), the NFL drew a total of 17,007,172 for the 2010 regular season. That was down 139,232 in paid attendance from 2009, less than one percent (-0.81%).


Have television blackouts increased or decreased over the current CBA?

There were just 7 blackouts in 2006, compared to 26 this year. The blackouts are tied to whether games are sold out. In an interview with Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, Commissioner Goodell said, “The quality of what people are seeing on television sets with high-definition television and super-slow replays, all of those things make the experience at home terrific. We don’t want to discourage that. We want to encourage that, but what we have to do is make sure that the experience in our stadiums is equally as great. There is nothing like being in a stadium with 75,000 passionate fans enjoying NFL football.”

How does television play into any lockout?


The largest factor in a possible lockout stems from how the NFL’s agreements with their network partners are worded. The NFL would get still get paid for the TV rights, regardless if games are played.

Annually, the NFL pulls in more than $4 billion in television network rights fees (see table below). For all of the network partners, they have agreements in place with the league in which the NFL would be paid these fees, even if games are not played. Roger Goodell has said that the league will have to rebate the networks, with interest, when play resumes, but that’s only half true. The DirecTV fees for NFL Sunday Ticket, which are now almost $1 billion, would not have to be returned.
http://i.imgur.com/yCF6z.png

b0ng
02-26-2011, 07:20 PM
Is ESPN looking to extend their agreement for Monday Night Football?

John Ourand of the SportsBusiness Journal reported last week that, even on the edge of a work stoppage in the NFL, ESPN, the ABC-owned network, is willing to pay considerably more than they already do for the rights to keep Monday Night Football. According to the SBJ:



ESPN and the NFL have agreed to broad terms on a new media rights deal that will be worth nearly $2 billion per year. Specific numbers still are difficult to confirm, but multiple sources say ESPN has told the NFL that it will increase its annual rights fee by 65% to 70%%, which means it will pay the league a record fee, between $1.8 billion and $1.9 billion a year.



ESPN and the NFL have agreed to broad terms on a new media rights deal that will be worth nearly $2 billion per year. Specific numbers still are difficult to confirm, but multiple sources say ESPN has told the NFL that it will increase its annual rights fee by 65% to 70%%, which means it will pay the league a record fee, between $1.8 billion and $1.9 billion a year.

How have television ratings been?

Extraordinary. Nothing comes close to the league’s popularity on television. The NFL have 18 of the 20 highest rated shows during the NFL season. According to a Dec. 19 article in The New York Times, “Of the 50 highest-rated programs during the calendar year, 27 have been N.F.L. games, including 8 of the top 10.” And looking at this New York Times graphic, Sunday Night Football ratings have skyrocketed since 2008.

Are any other business partners reaching lucrative deals with the NFL?

In May of last year, Anheuser-Busch knocked Coors out as the Official Beer of the NFL in a six-year, $1.2 billion deal that begins in 2011, the year there could be a lockout.

What are the players looking for?

Nothing. Technically, they are seeking an extension of the current CBA reached in 2006. To date, the owners have rejected the proposal 5 times.


Are the players willing to bend on any issues?


Yes. The NFLPA proposed changes to the rookie wage scale that has been in the works for over a year. The union for the players offered up what they call a “Proven Performance Plan”. The proposal would reduce rookie contract lengths to a max of 3 years. According to the NFLPA, that would reduce spending on rookie salary by approx. $200 million. The proposal would then take those savings and divert $150 million to players who signed relatively low contracts either as rookies or veterans, but whose performance has been much greater. The rest of the balance (approx. $50 million) would be devoted to a fund for new retired player benefits. The proposal is also seeking the league to match those funds creating a $100 million pool for retired player benefits.

Did the league accept the “Proven Performance Plan”?

Since the Players’ proposal does not reflect the savings on the reduced length of player contracts coming back to the owners, unsurprisingly, the owners rejected the proposal.

Would the players have benefits in the event of a lockout?

No. Medical insurance and other benefits would not be provided to the players as they are tied to CBA. In fact, each of the NFL’s 32 clubs is saving millions in this uncapped year. According to a Q&A released by the NFL in 2010, “The union agreed that in the Final League Year, clubs would be relieved of their obligation to fund numerous benefit programs. Examples include second career savings (401K), player annuity, severance pay and performance-based pay. The total league-wide contributions to such plans in 2009, the last capped year, were in excess of $325 million or more than $10 million per club.”

Do the players have any weapons to try and fight back?

They do, but it’s certainly not full-proof, and fraught with risk. The NFLPA has said that they are considering decertification. That would mean the union for the players would dissolve becoming, ostensibly, a trade organization. Based upon anti-trust law if the NFL clubs, acting as 32 individual businesses, were to attempt to do so, it would be a group boycott of the workers which is illegal.

The NFLPA did this 1989 only to reform as a union in 1993. The NFL would claim through the courts that the new move to decertify is a sham based upon the actions that the NFLPA did prior. It also could mean that a new union could be formed while the current one is dissolved setting up a possible power struggle with the players.

If decertification were to be used, it would likely be a trump card – something that would be acted upon very close to the March 3 deadline.

Most of this looks like it shows the NFL doing better, rather than worse, why are the owners looking to a possible lockout?

The NFL could make a compelling case that they are in need of cutting salaries for the players, but as mentioned, they are not releasing financial information, so what is provided paints the picture. If the picture is indeed correct (and unless the NFL is willing to show otherwise, it is as it is), then one could suggest that opportunity is at the center of it. With the television money being so lucrative, the fact that they get paid those rights fees, even if games aren’t played, on top of keeping approx. $1 billion in DirecTV money, then clawing back to where the owners were before the 2006 agreement was reached is a tempting proposition. After all, with the economy just now starting to thaw, it’s easy to say that the NFL is hurting like everyone else, even if they league isn’t presenting compelling figures.

And while the NFL will say that they have to pay the television money back, in the battle of attrition, the owners can clearly outlast the players. If so, the owners will make back part of what they have to pay back through savings on player payroll.

And all of this doesn’t account for other issues the owners are asking for including an 18 game schedule, and possible hGH testing as part of the drug policy. On the 18 game schedule, the players would incur more injuries, which, unless the league is willing to add more money in the way of benefits, is a key concern for the players.

Lastly, there are the fans, who are stuck in the neutral zone of this goal line stance. The owners appear to be willing to sacrifice games while seeing incredible revenues, ratings, and sponsorship deals reached over the life of the current CBA. The players have been asked to take a cut. As you look back over the numbers above, ask yourself if your company was thriving in this economy, and then asked you to take an 18 percent pay cut, how would you react? What the NFLPA is asking seems reasonable in light of what the owners are asking: show us your books and prove it.

When will there be a new CBA?

This is the $64,000 question. What seems clear is no agreement will be reached in time for the Super Bowl. The sides have had discussions, but they have not been of the “meaningful” variety. Real movement in labor negotiations occur the closer one gets to the deadline. The period from after the Super Bowl to the expiration date on the CBA will be telling, especially the week beginning Feb. 28 leading up to March 3rd on a Thursday.

thunderkyss
02-26-2011, 08:09 PM
Alls I got to say, Obama needs to stop worrying about the middle east, we've got much bigger issues going on.

The NFL is too big to fail... we've got to do something.

Double Barrel
02-28-2011, 01:19 PM
Thanks for all the info, b0ng! :thumbup

The owners appear to be willing to sacrifice games while seeing incredible revenues, ratings, and sponsorship deals reached over the life of the current CBA. The players have been asked to take a cut. As you look back over the numbers above, ask yourself if your company was thriving in this economy, and then asked you to take an 18 percent pay cut, how would you react? What the NFLPA is asking seems reasonable in light of what the owners are asking: show us your books and prove it.

The above sums it up. The players are not asking for more. The owners and their desire for more profits is clearly driving this potential lock-out. And I'm supposed to empathize with them?

CloakNNNdagger
03-01-2011, 09:17 PM
Things have just become more convoluted.

Judge Doty sides with players in “lockout insurance” case (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/03/01/judge-doty-sides-with-players-in-lockout-insurance-cas/)Posted by Mike Florio on March 1, 2011, 6:42 PM EST

The NFLPA previously had little or no leverage in labor negotiations with the union.

Key word: Previously.

Brian Murphy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that Judge David Doty has ruled that the NFL violated the Collective Bargaining Agreement by striking deals with television networks that require ongoing payments to the league during a work stoppage.

Judge Doty has ordered another hearing to determine whether the players’ remedy will be financial damages or an injunction preventing the league from pocketing the money during a lockout.

The ruling comes the night before a full day of mediation in Washington, D.C., little more than two days before the expiration of the current labor deal. Though the league surely will balk at the ruling and vow to appeal the decision to a higher court, the possible inability of men like Jerry Jones to pay the mortgage on places like the Jerry Dome suddenly makes it much harder for the league to withstand a lockout.

And while this will do nothing to soften the league’s insistence that the next labor deal should be Doty-free, we think Doty made the right ruling. Once the league agreed to pay the players 59.6 cents of every dollar made (after $1 billion comes off the top), the league assumed a duty to maximize revenues.

At a minimum, the league assumed a duty not to trade the ability to generate more revenue for a contractual term that benefits the owners — and that hurts the players.

That said, the impact of the ruling on the talks is unknown. It will be important for the league to make concessions in light of the decision, and for the union not to overreach.


EDIT: For exact court verbage: http://bizoffootball.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=764:judge-rules-in-favor-of-nflpa-in-qlockout-insuranceq-case-regarding-tv-money&catid=34:nfl-news&Itemid=53

JB
03-01-2011, 10:58 PM
What jurisdiction does a judge in Minnesota have in this case?

b0ng
03-02-2011, 12:52 AM
What jurisdiction does a judge in Minnesota have in this case?

He's a federal judge and he has been ruling on cases dealing with the nfl for decades. This is one of the major court decisions to happen in my little puzzle. I don't think this will make the owners cave but it is pretty significant.

Carr Bombed
03-02-2011, 01:59 AM
I think he's the same judge that lead to FA...

But look for the league to just go to a higher court, like they did when a judge passed a law where freshman could enter the NFL.

b0ng
03-02-2011, 07:56 AM
I think he's the same judge that lead to FA...

But look for the league to just go to a higher court, like they did when a judge passed a law where freshman could enter the NFL.

8th circuit court is where I'm hearing the appeal will heard. Lots of conservative weight over there and will probably get a better ruling for the owners.

GP
03-02-2011, 10:41 AM
Couldn't the owners claim the ongoing payments were a reasult of the owners planning to move forward with games whereby replacement players or even current players take the field?

This is going to be sticky sticky sticky. I see a long battle on this situation.

The owners, IMO, are squatting on their land and ain't budging off it. They're treating this like it's ground zero and the whole future of their financial livelihood rests upon getting things their way. This is going to get messy, IMO.

I thought they would get something done, but it appears the owners went into those talks last week as nothing more than a P.R. move to try and regain some public opinion they had been losing up to that point.

infantrycak
03-02-2011, 11:27 AM
What jurisdiction does a judge in Minnesota have in this case?

The league and players' union agreed to a particular venue.

8th circuit court is where I'm hearing the appeal will heard. Lots of conservative weight over there and will probably get a better ruling for the owners.

Maybe. The magistrate judge originally ruled for the owners. Doty ruled against them.

As an FYI, Doty was nominated to his court by Reagan.

b0ng
03-02-2011, 11:32 AM
Couldn't the owners claim the ongoing payments were a reasult of the owners planning to move forward with games whereby replacement players or even current players take the field?

No, because no games get played during a lockout.

This is going to be sticky sticky sticky. I see a long battle on this situation.

The owners, IMO, are squatting on their land and ain't budging off it. They're treating this like it's ground zero and the whole future of their financial livelihood rests upon getting things their way. This is going to get messy, IMO.

I thought they would get something done, but it appears the owners went into those talks last week as nothing more than a P.R. move to try and regain some public opinion they had been losing up to that point.


I honestly think public opinion means zilch to both parties for the most part. The owners look kind of bad right now and I really don't think they give a shit about it, which is why they pull stuff like walking out of a negotiation and saying the players aren't negotiating in good faith when they know it's bullshit. Hell the owners aren't even on the same page with each other as they are also fighting over revenue sharing.

Wolf
03-02-2011, 06:24 PM
WASHINGTON – A large group of NFL owners and players' union president Kevin Mawae participated in mediated labor talks for the first time Wednesday, attending a meeting that ended with fewer than 35 hours left until the collective bargaining agreement expires.

The ninth session at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service came on the same day that the league's 32 team owners were gathering at a hotel about 25 miles away in Chantilly, Va. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and all 10 members of the owners' labor committee left the mediation after about four hours of talks.

Members of both sides were planning to return later Wednesday evening to resume mediation.

After the day's early session, the NFL contingent got into a fleet of a half-dozen black SUVs and headed to Chantilly to begin filling in other owners on the status of the negotiations. When they arrived, none of the owners spoke to reporters before entering the meeting.

About 20 minutes after the league's group left at 2 p.m., the NFL Players Association's negotiators group left on foot, walking in the direction of the union's headquarters, a couple of blocks away. New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, a member of the NFLPA executive committee, attended the mediation; like Mawae, Brees hadn't been present at this round of negotiations, which began Feb. 18. But now all members of the union's executive committee have been present at least once.


http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110302/ap_on_sp_fo_ne/fbn_nfl_labor;_ylt=AtEYHAKBUZ7tFYlUmwCLkOUN97QF;_y lu=X3oDMTMzYjQwZmFpBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMTEwMzAyL2Zibl9 uZmxfbGFib3IEY2NvZGUDbXBfZWNfOF8xMARjcG9zAzEwBHBvc wMxMARzZWMDeW5fdG9wX3N0b3JpZXMEc2xrA25mbHVuaW9uZXh pdA--

CloakNNNdagger
03-02-2011, 08:39 PM
Here's a very understable explanation of what the Doty ruling is and what its implications are.............and they are potentially quite devastating to the owners.

Hey Jerry, now where are you going to get your mortgage payments for your palace?

Judge Doty has ordered another hearing because the two sides previously had been focused on the question of whether the CBA was violated by the league’s renegotiation of the broadcast deals to include and/or beef up language ensuring that the billions in rights fees would flow in the absence of football games being played. With a violation established, the question becomes how to fix the situation.

In most pieces of civil litigation, a prevailing plaintiff gets an award of money. In this case, the monetary damages would be calculated by determining the amount of money that the league left on the table when insisting on “lockout insurance,” and then by giving the players 59.6 percent of it.

Another related possibility would be to determine the actual cash value of the lockout insurance, and to require the league to give the players 59.6 percent of it.

The union will prefer an order preventing the money from being paid, or alternatively paying the money into escrow. If the league won’t be getting the use of the money during a lockout, the better approach would be to not have the money paid out at all, in order to avoid the requirement to pay interest on it later.

It’s also possible that Judge Doty will both block the TV money and order payment of 59.6 percent of the money that the league left on the table. Judge Doty’s ruling illustrates a wilful and deliberate violation of the league’s duty to use good faith and best efforts to maximize shared revenue, with the league securing instead of the highest possible rights fees a term aimed at helping the owners and hurting the players. Judge Doty reasonably could conclude that the NFL won’t be permitted to reap the rewards of its strategy — and that the players should be compensated for the league’s failure to get top dollar for the bundle of rights.

The league would contend that such an approach represents something more than compensation, since the penalty would include paying the union for obtaining lockout insurance in lieu of maxing out revenue and then preventing the league from having the benefit of the lockout insurance. It’s possible, however, for Judge Doty to tie two remedies to arguably separate aspects of the CBA violation.

First, Judge Doty could find that the NFL violated the CBA by failing to get the most money possible in rights fees. Second, Judge Doty could find that the NFL violated the CBA by using its cooperative relationship with the union to finagle a term that helped the owners at the expense of the players. Thus, it possibly makes sense both to make the players whole and to prevent the league from receiving the money.

The union would likely be (and should definitely be) happy to get only an injunction against the payment of the TV money, since that would keep $4.3 billion out of the league’s war chest.

Of course, and as Albert Breer of NFL Network pointed out in his Wednesday visit to ProFootballTalk Live, the league undoubtedly will appeal Judge Doty’s decision to the federal appeals court with jurisdiction over Minnesota. That process could take months; surely, the money from the networks at a minimum will be held in escrow until the appeal is resolved.

Bottom line? Once the league processes the impact of the ruling, the league should get serious about working out a fair compromise, taking into account the diminished leverage resulting from Tuesday’s ruling.
link (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/03/02/doty-could-block-tv-payments-and-award-money-damage/)

Brandon420tx
03-03-2011, 03:42 PM
There is a small chance the CBA gets an extension tonight ... well slight might be more accurate

HOU-TEX
03-03-2011, 05:42 PM
The deadline's been extended 24 hours. Per twitter

24 hours? They must think they're closer than what we do

*edit* It's likely just an extension to discuss the actual extension

JB
03-03-2011, 06:32 PM
The deadline's been extended 24 hours. Per twitter

24 hours? They must think they're closer than what we do

*edit* It's likely just an extension to try to garner some good PR

Fixed it for ya

Texans_Chick
03-03-2011, 08:22 PM
The last time they worked out a CBA, there were multiple extensions.

The extension are important because in order to keep the jurisdiction of Doty, a judge that has ruled in favor of the players repeatedly, the union would have to decertify BEFORE the CBA expires

The threat of an antitrust suit (potential damages) is pretty much the biggest leverage that the players have. It is a high risk/reward strategy because they have to decertify before they even have the option to file suit.

CloakNNNdagger
03-03-2011, 10:32 PM
The last time they worked out a CBA, there were multiple extensions.

The extension are important because in order to keep the jurisdiction of Doty, a judge that has ruled in favor of the players repeatedly, the union would have to decertify BEFORE the CBA expires

The threat of an antitrust suit (potential damages) is pretty much the biggest leverage that the players have. It is a high risk/reward strategy because they have to decertify before they even have the option to file suit.

It would seem that not agreeing to CBA extension would be a strong high risk/reward element for the owners.

HOU-TEX
03-04-2011, 10:09 AM
I just wish they get something done soon. The Texans need the FA period before the draft in a huge way imo.

HoustonFrog
03-04-2011, 11:39 AM
I like this. The owners need to sweat.


http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=jc-goodellsmithcba030311


The most important of which is a class-action lawsuit that features the names of Peyton Manning(notes) , Drew Brees(notes) and Tom Brady(notes). It’s ready to go as soon as the clock strikes midnight on the CBA. The fact that Manning, Brees and Brady are among nine players who will be named plaintiffs in the case can’t be understated. Their presence is a powerful statement about the state of the union, that the players aren’t prepared to fold anytime soon.

And it was completely unexpected.

On Wednesday, for instance, one owner basically chuckled at the idea of Brady putting his name on a lawsuit. “That’s not something Tom would do,” the owner said, implying that Brady is not the type of guy who would get his hands dirty or his reputation soiled over a contentious legal issue.


But in less than two years, Smith has created a powerful following among the players. Twenty years ago, the idea of getting the three biggest quarterbacks in the league to back the union was unheard of. Players of that stature didn’t want to take the risks associated with taking on the NFL

Brandon420tx
03-04-2011, 12:00 PM
I think that one owner talking down to Capt. Forehead like he was some college rookie sealed the deal for him.

Double Barrel
03-04-2011, 12:16 PM
I just wish they get something done soon. The Texans need the FA period before the draft in a huge way imo.

I agree. I'm really trying to maintain a "what's best for the league" mentality and avoid taking black & white sides. I've made statements that would lead folks to believe that I'm anti-owner, but it's more about hashing through the story and just commenting on my thoughts. But in the end, as a fan, I just want it resolved.

Obviously, what is best for the league is a full 2011 season. So hopefully they can get this stuff worked out before it threatens what is most important to everyone, the game itself.

I like this. The owners need to sweat.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=jc-goodellsmithcba030311

I think that one owner talking down to Capt. Forehead like he was some college rookie sealed the deal for him.

Verrrrry interesting twist. :popcorn:

HOU-TEX
03-04-2011, 12:39 PM
I agree. I'm really trying to maintain a "what's best for the league" mentality and avoid taking black & white sides. I've made statements that would lead folks to believe that I'm anti-owner, but it's more about hashing through the story and just commenting on my thoughts. But in the end, as a fan, I just want it resolved.

Obviously, what is best for the league is a full 2011 season. So hopefully they can get this stuff worked out before it threatens what is most important to everyone, the game itself.


Yup. *Knocks on wood* From everything I've read recently things are beginning to look a bit more promising. If they're able to reach an agreement on this new extension it'll give me a bit more hope that both sides truly intend on getting a deal done sooner rather than later. Plus, it sounds as if the owners have lower their asking price of 2 bill a little so hopefully they can find a happy medium eventually.*Knocks on wood again*

CloakNNNdagger
03-04-2011, 01:02 PM
NFL, union work towards 10-day extension of CBA (http://www.thestar.com/sports/football/nfl/article/948804--nfl-union-work-towards-10-day-extension-of-cba)



With the NFL’s labour negotiations threatening to careen into the game’s first work stoppage since 1987, the owners and the players’ union on Thursday received a 24-hour extension on the collective bargaining agreement, which was set to expire at midnight.

It was the equivalent of using a final timeout inside the two-minute warning.

And with $9 billion worth of annual revenues at stake, it seems both sides could yet forge into mediation overtime.

According to the NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora, the NFL Players Association also asked for a further 10-day extension of the CBA.

Should the owners balk and try to follow through with their threat to lockout the players after the CBA expires, then the union will file for decertification with federal judge David Doty in Minnesota by 5:30 p.m. ET on Friday, according to La Canfora’s sources.

Doty ruled on Tuesday that the league breached the law when it renegotiated television contracts and is seen as a player-friendly judge. He also signed off on the league’s free agency system in 1993 and has ruled against the league on a number of cases since.

If the union dissolves, then the league could arguably be in violation of antitrust laws for locking out its employees.

According to multiple reports, quarterbacks Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Drew Brees, would be the union’s lead plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

The sport’s biggest stars lining up against the league? The optics wouldn’t be good for either side.

The sticking point in negotiations remains the division of the league’s $9 billion pie, with owners hoping to extract another $1 billion to cover rising costs. Currently, owners take $1 billion out of revenues before setting aside roughly 60 per cent for players’ salaries. Players say that’s tantamount to an 18 per cent cut in pay.

Also up for negotiation is a rookie wage scale, an 18-game regular season, up from 16, and benefits for retired players.

In the court of public opinion, billionaire owners versus millionaire players grappling over mountains of their hard-earned cash would elicit little sympathy.

The money grab is not to the level of Wall-Street greed but it is more public.

Double Barrel
03-04-2011, 01:10 PM
Yup. *Knocks on wood* From everything I've read recently things are beginning to look a bit more promising. If they're able to reach an agreement on this new extension it'll give me a bit more hope that both sides truly intend on getting a deal done sooner rather than later. Plus, it sounds as if the owners have lower their asking price of 2 bill a little so hopefully they can find a happy medium eventually.*Knocks on wood again*

It's a classic negotiating tactic to ask for more than you really want in order to allow the perception that you are giving something back. From the outside, it appears that this is what the owners are doing with the 18 game schedule and second billion.

They do seem in general agreement about the rookie pay and benefits for retired players, so that's a good starting point. Although I'm sure the devil is in the details about these two issues, as the players probably want to ensure that the savings resulting from a limit on rookie pay stays in the player pool, and owners most likely want that money to go to other things. Just my speculation, though, so take it fwiw.

At least they both appear to realize what's at stake here, and the union is certainly putting up a better unified front than they were just months ago.

Thorn
03-04-2011, 02:11 PM
I'm sorry, but I can't be bothered to care anymore. I want to have a 2011 season, and (as usual) the Texans look to improve themselves this coming offseason.

But these very public labor negotiations in professional sports during a serious recession is actually just what the NFLPA and NFL owners need IMO, which is bad publicity and I hope they both get plenty of it.

HoustonFrog
03-04-2011, 02:26 PM
7 Day Extension

http://twitter.com/#!/AdamSchefter

AdamSchefter Adam Schefter
7 day extension confirmed. Talks through next Friday at 5 pm. Mediation likely to continue Monday.

AdamSchefter Adam Schefter
And no roster moves will be permitted during the deadline extension to next Friday at 5 pm. Extension only to try to negotiate a new CBA.

HOU-TEX
03-04-2011, 02:40 PM
7 Day Extension

http://twitter.com/#!/AdamSchefter

Good! Now they have the time...get to work! These "bankers hours" meetings aren't going to get it done. There are enough representatives on both sides to keep the meetings an ongoing process.

HoustonFrog
03-04-2011, 02:57 PM
Good! Now they have the time...get to work! These "bankers hours" meetings aren't going to get it done. There are enough representatives on both sides to keep the meetings an ongoing process.

I think it gets done. This may be simplistic but the reality is that most people know the owners aren't showing their books and are billionaires. As the article I posted earlier shows, the union becomes stronger while the owners realize that public support isn't behind them and they show cracks. I think their only option is to concede some and then call everyone a winner. This way they can brag how they came off their demands to get it done. They all want to be the hero with their egos.

HOU-TEX
03-04-2011, 03:16 PM
I think it gets done. This may be simplistic but the reality is that most people know the owners aren't showing their books and are billionaires. As the article I posted earlier shows, the union becomes stronger while the owners realize that public support isn't behind them and they show cracks. I think their only option is to concede some and then call everyone a winner. This way they can brag how they came off their demands to get it done. They all want to be the hero with their egos.

That's for dang sure! That's why you need to knock on wood thinking it gets done, Mister. Ha. All it takes is one or three of these egotistical assbags to get their panties twisted and then we're screwed

axman40
03-05-2011, 08:37 AM
http://www.c-spanvideo.org/videoLibrary/showPicture.php?programid=246491&height=72&width=103 (http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/298352-4)
WJ: Michael LeRoy (Univ. Of Illinois) on NFL Owner-Player Negotiations (http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/298352-4)

LIVE Airing Time:

8:30:00 AM - 9:15:00 AM
http://www.c-spanvideo.org/schedule?timezone=Eastern&date=&zoom=-1
:tiphat:

GP
03-06-2011, 09:57 PM
At least they both appear to realize what's at stake here, and the union is certainly putting up a better unified front than they were just months ago.

I think the reason we saw a 7-day extension on talks is because the owners saw that the NFLPA wasn't flinching and Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Drew Brees were set to be the lead plaintiffs in a legal case to be filed.

THAT, to me, was a wake-up call (for the owners). Bad P.R. for the owners was about to get much worse.

[In my best boxing match announcer voice]

"In this corner, standing as tall as a mountain--At least in your eyes as an NFL fan, that is--we have Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Peyton Manning! And in this corner, looking like asshats--At least in your eyes as an NFL fan, that is--we have some old, crusty owners who want $1 billion more AND two more games in the reg season!"

Truly a sobering image in the minds of the owners. I think their plan was to see if they could get public sentiment on their side, and to try and make some players break off as a faction and reveal that they were not unified. Now that legal action would be the next step (eating into the coffers of the owners, mind you) I think (or at least I HOPE) that the owners back down and concede enough to get the deal done.

I suspect we'll see the owners get their extra $1 billion and the players get to keep the reg season at 16 games. Or, maybe a compromise is made and the owners get less than the extra $1 billion (maybe $500 million instead)? There'll be some other concessions too, I bet.

HoustonFrog
03-07-2011, 09:16 AM
It's a classic negotiating tactic to ask for more than you really want in order to allow the perception that you are giving something back. From the outside, it appears that this is what the owners are doing with the 18 game schedule and second billion.

They do seem in general agreement about the rookie pay and benefits for retired players, so that's a good starting point. Although I'm sure the devil is in the details about these two issues, as the players probably want to ensure that the savings resulting from a limit on rookie pay stays in the player pool, and owners most likely want that money to go to other things. Just my speculation, though, so take it fwiw.

At least they both appear to realize what's at stake here, and the union is certainly putting up a better unified front than they were just months ago.

I like this. Seems the players were playing hard ball minutes before it almost blew up. From MMQB..article by Jim Trotter of SI. Great read besides the quoted. The players all were ready for a fight and were fed up.


http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/peter_king/03/06/mmqb/index.html


With only five minutes to go before the union's deadline to decertify last Thursday -- a move that might have obliterated the NFL as we know it today -- a player walked into the negotiating room that included commissioner Roger Goodell, league attorney Jeff Pash, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith and union president Kevin Mawae and declared: "We're done! We're decertifying."

It had been three years since the league announced its intentions to void the current labor pact, yet 66 formal negotiating sessions had failed to bring the sides significantly closer. And as the decertification deadline ticked closer, members of the union's executive committee began to feel the owners were stringing them along in hopes that the players would miss the deadline. The players believed their only real leverage was to decertify because it would allow the players to sue the league for alleged antitrust violations if the owners locked them out, as expected. With the window to file closing fast, union officials and executive committee members sat in a room one floor beneath where the power brokers were meeting and weighed their options one last time. Then they decided it was time to act.

At that point the aforementioned player -- whose name is being withheld because of the sensitivity of ongoing negotiations -- walked into the room upstairs, tapped Mawae on the shoulder and made a quick hand-across-the-throat gesture while making his decertification declaration.

According to sources, the union had a member of its legal team on the phone with the clerk of the court in Minneapolis, where U.S. District Judge David Doty presides over the case. Cooler heads ultimately prevailed, and the league agreed to the first of two extensions. Still, if anything could be taken from that brief glimpse behind the curtains, it's that the players know the issues and are prepared to stand up to the men who run the country's most powerful sports league.

GP
03-07-2011, 03:53 PM
Great post, Frog. Just a full bucket of awesomeness.

Thank you for sharing that! Rep your way.

That was my hunch, that it was going to play out like that (with the players realizing they had the owners in a corner). But HOW it happened--with a player slashing his throat and yealling "We're done!"--well, I could not have imagined it being done in such melodramatic fashion!!! WOW!

What needs to happen now, is the union to decide what they can concede and live with...and the owners have to buy into that and play ball accordingly.

For instance:

1. Get a handle on rookie salaries via a wage scale determined by draft position, and find a way for that to work to everyone's limited advantage. Find ways to make it provide a benefit to the players, but to also help the owners to keep costs down too.

2. Decide if the extra 2 reg season games would be acceptable to the players IF the players had some concessions from the owners on the revenue issues. In short: BOTH sides need to win on this deal somehow.

Ultimately, I have felt the past several days (before the epic showdown Frog just mentioned) that the players were going to go forward with the lawsuit and that the owners would buckle at the last second.

The owners have put themselves in a no-win situation because of the potential for losing a lawsuit AND losing revenue due to no games being played.

The players hold the chips. Now they just have to figure out how to handle the betting rounds appropriately.

Double Barrel
03-07-2011, 04:07 PM
Eric Winston was on Jim Rome is Burning the other day, and he had some good suggestions about the potential 18 game schedule. He said the two extra games are worth about $500 million. The alternatives he mentioned would most likely be worth more than that: add more teams to the playoffs and get rid of the first round bye-weeks (this adds four more playoff games, which are obviously premium), and the other idea was to bid out Thursday night football to the networks, as NFLN has an exclusive for this game at the moment. Estimates on these two options combined would be far greater than two more games (especially because that means crappy teams will also have two more crappy games).

Something else mentions on JRIB (not by Winston) was that players had started contributing to a "lock out pool" in the event of a lock out, so they are more prepared for it than I realized.

GP
03-07-2011, 04:25 PM
Eric Winston was on Jim Rome is Burning the other day, and he had some good suggestions about the potential 18 game schedule. He said the two extra games are worth about $500 million. The alternatives he mentioned would most likely be worth more than that: add more teams to the playoffs and get rid of the first round bye-weeks (this adds four more playoff games, which are obviously premium), and the other idea was to bid out Thursday night football to the networks, as NFLN has an exclusive for this game at the moment. Estimates on these two options combined would be far greater than two more games (especially because that means crappy teams will also have two more crappy games).

Something else mentions on JRIB (not by Winston) was that players had started contributing to a "lock out pool" in the event of a lock out, so they are more prepared for it than I realized.

Those are great ideas by Winston.

And prudent planning by the players.

Thanks for sharing, DB! This is my new favorite thread.

gary
03-07-2011, 05:16 PM
How many more teams should be added to the playoffs?

Double Barrel
03-07-2011, 05:25 PM
How many more teams should be added to the playoffs?

Two per conference.

gary
03-07-2011, 05:28 PM
Two per conference.AFC and NFC so four? Thanks.

GP
03-08-2011, 09:47 AM
Two per conference.

It should be mandated that two of those extra AFC spots be strictly AFC South teams.

This means the Texans have a 75% chance of making the playoffs. Can Kubiak do it? Can he NOT be the last place AFC South team who misses the new playoff format? Seems doable to me.

IBleedTexans
03-08-2011, 10:43 AM
It should be mandated that two of those extra AFC spots be strictly AFC South teams.

This means the Texans have a 75% chance of making the playoffs. Can Kubiak do it? Can he NOT be the last place AFC South team who misses the new playoff format? Seems doable to me.

With that format we're bound to make it........ Who am I kidding . I can hear it now "well John I just don't know what happened "

GP
03-08-2011, 10:54 AM
With that format we're bound to make it........ Who am I kidding . I can hear it now "well John I just don't know what happened "

(tap, tap, tap....)

(no eye contact with reporters)

(tap, tap, tap...)

(Breaking the silence, McClain lets out a fart)

Press room erupts into laughter. Everybody's leaves the presser in high spirits.

IBleedTexans
03-08-2011, 11:38 AM
(tap, tap, tap....)

(no eye contact with reporters)

(tap, tap, tap...)

(Breaking the silence, McClain lets out a fart)

Press room erupts into laughter. Everybody's leaves the presser in high spirits.

Omg I just bursted with laughter . Thanx for that

HOU-TEX
03-09-2011, 03:13 PM
Color me confused. The NFLPA has been asking for proof of profit loss. Now that the league is beginning to show details, they reject it?

Things aren't looking too good right now. It's almost seems as if the PA just wants to get through the week and decertify no matter what.

Earlier this week, the NFL agreed to disclose league-wide profits and to show how many clubs had declining profits during the course of the most recent CBA, agreeing to a request NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith made in October and it had originally balked at.

When the NFL did, the NFLPA declined to see it, a source familiar with the process told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, because it would compromise its public position on financial transparency.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=6196585

disaacks3
03-09-2011, 03:19 PM
Color me confused. The NFLPA has been asking for proof of profit loss. Now that the league is beginning to show details, they reject it?

Things aren't looking too good right now. It's almost seems as if the PA just wants to get through the week and decertify no matter what.



http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=6196585 I'm not sure I'm buying all of that. I seriously doubt that the Owners would disclose their full books to the NFLPA unless forced to do so by a U.S. Attorney. Hell, the owners don't even discolse their "local sponsorship" deals with the other owners, much less the players union.

HOU-TEX
03-09-2011, 03:29 PM
I'm not sure I'm buying all of that. I seriously doubt that the Owners would disclose their full books to the NFLPA unless forced to do so by a U.S. Attorney. Hell, the owners don't even discolse their "local sponsorship" deals with the other owners, much less the players union.

Yeah, I get that, which is why I don't understand why the PA would want audited finances from every team. From everything I've read, the league has offered to give bottom line numbers and info from every team but were rejected.

I'm sure there's more details than what has been provided to the public. I guess I was just being naive, thinking it might've been possible to get things worked out with this extension. It turns out the extension is doing nothing more than postponing the inevitable.

GP
03-09-2011, 03:35 PM
Color me confused. The NFLPA has been asking for proof of profit loss. Now that the league is beginning to show details, they reject it?

Things aren't looking too good right now. It's almost seems as if the PA just wants to get through the week and decertify no matter what.



http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=6196585

I read this ESPN.com story by Woj (http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/columns/story?columnist=wojciechowski_gene&page=wojciechowski/110308&sportCat=nfl) and it's not so flattering of the line of reasoning the NFL and Roger Goodell have been taking with these talks.

From the story:

...Goodell has been a master of repeating the company line … even though the company line has more holes in it than a mesh game jersey. He and the owners have been banging that financial drum slowly and loudly since Goodell was elected commissioner on the fifth ballot in August 2006.

But forget about the company line for a moment. Here's the bottom line: The NFL generates more annual revenue than the NBA and NHL combined (with about $2 billion to spare). The NFL, which owns almost every meaningful record for most-watched television programming, can fall out of bed and get a 33 share. And according to Forbes magazine, each of the NFL's 32 franchises is listed among the world's 50 most valuable sports teams. Six of those franchises (the Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, New England Patriots, New York Giants, New York Jets and Houston Texans) are ranked in the top 10.

Duh -- winning.

This is no mom-and-pop business, unless Pop is Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and the business is worth $1.65 billion. And, as The Wall Street Journal noted several months ago, the least valuable NFL franchise (the Oakland Raiders) is worth more than the Chicago Cubs or the Los Angeles Lakers.

So you can see why the players' union is reluctant to take a salary haircut. And if you can't see why it's reluctant, then you've been listening to Goodell for too long.

The players didn't create this crisis; the owners did. They're the ones who signed off on the last CBA in 2006. (Goodell, by the way, played a role in those negotiations.) At the time, Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney gushed to The Associated Press, "We've got the best labor deal in sports."

But now they want a mulligan?

Anyway, whose fault is it if a franchise drafts poorly, plans poorly and spends poorly? And since when is it the players' responsibility to help bail out the lower-revenue franchises by taking less of their previously negotiated slice of the pie?

The owners want to make more money. Can't blame them for that. But until the owners can actually prove there's an electrical fire in the league's revenue wiring, then you can't blame the players for squeezing their wallets shut.

Goodell says no new stadiums have been built since 2006 -- the message being that owners can't afford the cost of new construction. But 21 new stadium projects were initiated and/or completed during the 17-year reign of Goodell's predecessor, Paul Tagliabue. And, in the past two seasons, new stadiums worth nearly $3 billion combined -- Cowboys Stadium and New Meadowlands Stadium -- have become operational on Goodell's watch. So it's not as if the bulk of the league's teams are playing in football Fenways.

GP
03-09-2011, 03:46 PM
Essentially, the NFL owners (even poor old Ralph Wilson of the lowly Bills in that lowly Buffalo market, and crazy old Al Davis in Oakland with his perpetually awful Raiders team) are still among the most profitable 50 pro sports teams--This means out of NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL, etc.

The owners will try to extend the extension AGAIN right when this one ends...but I think the players shoul wisen up and use the last day or so to let the owners know that the only extension given will be one that is used for signing a deal and the deal has to be hammered out in advance of this newest deadline. No more shenanigans, no more P.R. moves--If there is not a verbal agreement on the table by the deadline, I tihnk the NFLPA and its players should definitely decertify and take the owners to court. But seriously, I think the owners will settle somehow.

I think they know they have to play ball with the players and that they don't want a lengthy, drawn-out legal battle. Besides, there are other places to play football and the players just might hold a grudge and decide to start fresh somewhere else.

There are so many reasons why the owners are on the wrong end of this stick. They know it, too, which is why they were quick to add this current window of talks that's going on right now. They could have said "Fine by us, let's go to court." But they didn't. They blinked.

infantrycak
03-09-2011, 04:16 PM
I'm not sure I'm buying all of that. I seriously doubt that the Owners would disclose their full books to the NFLPA unless forced to do so by a U.S. Attorney. Hell, the owners don't even discolse their "local sponsorship" deals with the other owners, much less the players union.

Over at profootballtalk.com they are saying the owners have offered to show the profitability of the league as a whole and have that independently audited, and to show the numbers some teams have had decreasing profits and the players are demanding full disclosure of all team not just league books.

There is no need for the players to see every team's detailed books.

I am sure there will be a dispute on who asked for and offered what when.

J_R
03-09-2011, 04:35 PM
Perhaps wrong thread, if so, please move.

Sources: Agreement reached on rookie scale (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=jc-rookiewagescale030911)


WASHINGTON – While the NFL Players Association and owners remain far apart on the most critical issue – how to split approximately $9 billion in revenues – the two sides have reached agreements on a couple of smaller issues.

According to two sources familiar with the negotiations, the league and the union have reached a basic compromise on a rookie wage scale that will replace the current rookie salary cap. The owners backed off the idea of requiring first-round picks to sign five-year deals, instead limiting the contracts to four years before a player could become a free agent. The agreement is also expected to include a stipulation limiting the amount of guaranteed money and signing bonus offered to draft picks.

In addition, the league agreed that all players drafted after the first round would be limited to three-year deals, but teams would be allowed to put restricted free agent tags after the three years. That’s essentially similar to the current process where players can be tagged as restricted free agents after a three-year deal, although the existing rule allows players drafted after the first round to sign four-year pacts.

The key change is for the players in the first round. Currently, the first 16 players taken in the first round can sign for up to six years. The next 16 players taken can sign up to five years.

...

In the process, the NFL backed off its desire for what would have been potentially onerous contracts. For instance, the league’s first proposal called for the top pick in the draft to get a maximum five-year, $19 million deal. Only $6 million of that would have been guaranteed. The deal would have included no bonuses for play time or achievement, such as making the Pro Bowl.

That would have been in stark contrast to the six-year, $72 million deal that Bradford received last year. That deal included $50 million guaranteed.

“We all saw the problem with the current system, but you have to give a guy a chance to get paid if he’s a good player,” one source said. “After three years, you pretty much know if a guy is a good player.”

In addition to the rookie wage scale, the NFLPA is also expected to agree on stronger language to allow teams to recoup money from players who get in trouble with the law, such as then-Atlanta Falcons (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/teams/atl/) quarterback Michael Vick (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/5448/)(notes) (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/5448/news) or Plaxico Burress (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/5037/)(notes) (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/5037/news) with the New York Giants (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/teams/nyg/). In the Vick case, he was allowed to keep approximately $20 million in signing-bonus money despite going to prison for dog-fighting and related charges.

In essence, the NFLPA received strong support from other players who said that players such as Vick and Burress should not be allowed to keep money in those situations.

disaacks3
03-09-2011, 04:42 PM
Over at profootballtalk.com they are saying the owners have offered to show the profitability of the league as a whole and have that independently audited, and to show the numbers some teams have had decreasing profits and the players are demanding full disclosure of all team not just league books.

There is no need for the players to see every team's detailed books.

I am sure there will be a dispute on who asked for and offered what when. The problem is that the "League" doesn't consider those "local agreements" (which aren't shared revenue) to calculate the league bottom line. If the Texans for instance are getting 200 mil from people wanting to be "The official xxxx of the Houston Texans", that revenue WON'T show in a league "bottom line" report, becuase those aren't considered NFL shared revenue numbers. I simply don't think the NFLPA will EVER see what the real numbers are...it's in the NFL's best interest to keep things as fuzzy as possible.

Here's an interesting read..State of the Shield Report (http://stateoftheshield.com/files/State_of_the_Shield_by_Chris_Stefani_09_09.pdf)

ArlingtonTexan
03-09-2011, 05:24 PM
The problem is that the "League" doesn't consider those "local agreements" (which aren't shared revenue) to calculate the league bottom line. If the Texans for instance are getting 200 mil from people wanting to be "The official xxxx of the Houston Texans", that revenue WON'T show in a league "bottom line" report, becuase those aren't considered NFL shared revenue numbers. I simply don't think the NFLPA will EVER see what the real numbers are...it's in the NFL's best interest to keep things as fuzzy as possible.

Here's an interesting read..State of the Shield Report (http://stateoftheshield.com/files/State_of_the_Shield_by_Chris_Stefani_09_09.pdf)

Honestly teams with high amounts of this type of revenue don't really want Jacksonville and buffalo to know exactly how much more that they are making.

infantrycak
03-09-2011, 06:02 PM
Honestly teams with high amounts of this type of revenue don't really want Jacksonville and buffalo to know exactly how much more that they are making.

Yup. That is more of an owner v. owner issue. Now they are discussing adding some of these things to the pot for determining the player salary cap. In that case the league should at least give up independently verified totals for each category of revenue they are adding.

CloakNNNdagger
03-09-2011, 07:09 PM
Yup. That is more of an owner v. owner issue. Now they are discussing adding some of these things to the pot for determining the player salary cap. In that case the league should at least give up independently verified totals for each category of revenue they are adding.


Cak,

If the NFLPA decertifies and sues, will they not be able to subpoena and probably obtain all the records that the league and individual teams is now trying to protect?

infantrycak
03-09-2011, 08:31 PM
Cak,

If the NFLPA decertifies and sues, will they not be able to subpoena and probably obtain all the records that the league and individual teams is now trying to protect?

The reports are so vague on what they are requesting it is hard to tell. Being in litigation doesn't mean you get whatever you want. They would almost certainly get more than what the league is willing to give up right now. For example there are reports some of the owners have paid themselves and called it an expense rather than profit. The players would certainly be able to explore that angle for owners, their family members or other % owners. But what you might want for a negotiation may be one thing and what applies to the claims you are making may be very different. The players can't just say we want it, they will have to justify how each request goes to one of their claims.

So a short answer is the players would probably get more but not all of what they want.

JB
03-09-2011, 08:37 PM
The reports are so vague on what they are requesting it is hard to tell. Being in litigation doesn't mean you get whatever you want. They would almost certainly get more than what the league is willing to give up right now. For example there are reports some of the owners have paid themselves and called it an expense rather than profit. The players would certainly be able to explore that angle for owners, their family members or other % owners. But what you might want for a negotiation may be one thing and what applies to the claims you are making may be very different. The players can't just say we want it, they will have to justify how each request goes to one of their claims.

So a short answer is the players would probably get more but not all of what they want.


This is all true, and I don't think either side wants it to go to court.

I don't think the union decertifying is all people are making it to be. It would prevent a lockout, but if the players sued and took it to court, it could be a legal battle for a long time, or the judge could just make a ruling that no one liked.

The union has decertified before, and played for years with no union.

CloakNNNdagger
03-09-2011, 08:51 PM
The reports are so vague on what they are requesting it is hard to tell. Being in litigation doesn't mean you get whatever you want. They would almost certainly get more than what the league is willing to give up right now. For example there are reports some of the owners have paid themselves and called it an expense rather than profit. The players would certainly be able to explore that angle for owners, their family members or other % owners. But what you might want for a negotiation may be one thing and what applies to the claims you are making may be very different. The players can't just say we want it, they will have to justify how each request goes to one of their claims.

So a short answer is the players would probably get more but not all of what they want.

Thanks for the explanation. Just wonder if some of the requested records could cost some owners some real big time IRS problems.:shades:

CloakNNNdagger
03-09-2011, 10:45 PM
Boy, during a time of supposedly trying to settle things, the confrontation is being ratchetted up.

Union asks Judge Doty to unseal “lockout insurance” records (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/03/09/union-asks-judge-doty-to-unseal-lockout-insurance-records/)Posted by Mike Florio on March 9, 2011, 8:50 PM EST


With the labor negotiations teetering on the brink, the union has ramped up the litigation pressure, possibly in advance of the decertify-and-sue maneuver.

The Associated Press reports that the NFLPA has filed a motion with U.S. Judge David Doty requesting that he unseal evidence and testimony from the “lockout insurance” case. In the court filing, union lawyers explained that “such openness” provides context that “will be the basis for rulings to come.”

The next big ruling in the lockout insurance case relates to whether Judge Doty will prevent the league from receiving the $4.3 billion in 2011 TV revenue in the event of a work stoppage. Last week, Judge Doty found that the league violated the CBA by failing to maximize the revenue shared by the NFL and the players when negotiating the term that will pay only the owners during a lockout.

The NFLPA claims that the league has yet to explain why the information should remain sealed, and that the league has failed to cooperate with efforts to agree on strategies for protecting third parties, specifically the networks.

It appears that the union primarily hopes to apply more pressure to the league at this delicate juncture of the labor talks. A decision to release the materials could result in negative P.R. fallout for the league, and it possibly could strain relations with the networks, depending on the extent to which potentially proprietary information is protected.

IDEXAN
03-10-2011, 07:46 AM
This is all true, and I don't think either side wants it to go to court.


Don't be so sure about that. Management/Labor disputes have a long history of the Labor leadership not informing it's rank & file of what's going on, let alone allowing them to have any say in the decision-making process. And there's no telling what per centage of the players are totally clueless, but you gotta believe it's big ? Let me just say it here, a large part of the rank 'n file of this "Union" is probably unusually ignorant and indifferent. Until the game checks don't start appearing in the mail in September.

HoustonFrog
03-10-2011, 09:20 AM
ESPN is reporting that the 18 game schedule is off the table...I like that.

JB
03-10-2011, 10:06 AM
Don't be so sure about that. Management/Labor disputes have a long history of the Labor leadership not informing it's rank & file of what's going on, let alone allowing them to have any say in the decision-making process. And there's no telling what per centage of the players are totally clueless, but you gotta believe it's big ? Let me just say it here, a large part of the rank 'n file of this "Union" is probably unusually ignorant and indifferent. Until the game checks don't start appearing in the mail in September.

While I agree with you in the majority of cases, not in this one. This is a pretty small union and each team has a couple of reps that meet with the leadership and then with the teams. The players know exactly what is happening.

infantrycak
03-10-2011, 11:16 AM
Boy, during a time of supposedly trying to settle things, the confrontation is being ratchetted up.

Hollow threat unless Doty truly is pro-union. He either already ruled to seal the documents or it was by agreement. The ruling has been made. There is zero reason this stuff should be unsealed after the ruling. They should have (or maybe did and lost) challenged this issue before the ruling.

While I agree with you in the majority of cases, not in this one. This is a pretty small union and each team has a couple of reps that meet with the leadership and then with the teams. The players know exactly what is happening.

Yup. If a player doesn't know then he just doesn't care. This is a very small very tight community.

disaacks3
03-10-2011, 11:33 AM
ESPN is reporting that the 18 game schedule is off the table...I like that. Oh well, I guess 16 games is better than none....for now.

IDEXAN
03-10-2011, 11:36 AM
This is a pretty small union and each team has a couple of reps that meet with the leadership and then with the teams.

Who are the Texans' player reps ?

HOU-TEX
03-10-2011, 11:37 AM
Who are the Texans' player reps ?

DRyans

IDEXAN
03-10-2011, 12:07 PM
A union rep is on CNBC right now saying the financial info the owners are willing to let them examine is very limited, to the point of being insulting.
In other words he's claiming they won't really give them access to internal financial data, which I would gather means the origional book of the accounts (the actual "journal entries" and "ledger"), instead of just a very high-level collection of summarized account balances in a statement with virtually all details buried in the summary balances ?

IBleedTexans
03-10-2011, 09:00 PM
So what happens if no agreement is met at midnight the lockout starts right?

Ryan
03-10-2011, 09:22 PM
So what happens if no agreement is met at midnight the lockout starts right?

deadline is 5 pm et tomorrow.

GP
03-11-2011, 09:52 AM
A union rep is on CNBC right now saying the financial info the owners are willing to let them examine is very limited, to the point of being insulting.
In other words he's claiming they won't really give them access to internal financial data, which I would gather means the origional book of the accounts (the actual "journal entries" and "ledger"), instead of just a very high-level collection of summarized account balances in a statement with virtually all details buried in the summary balances ?

That's what I read elsewhere, too.

The owners are not playing ball like the NFLPA wants them to. Yeah, they've released some stuff, but not a deep enough disclosure that shows the NFLPA that the owners truly "need" another extra $1 billion in addition to the $1 billion the owners are already receiving off the top.

Said it once, I'll say it again; You give a guy $25 because he says he "needs gas" for his car, and he might only need $5 for gas and will use the other $20 for cigs and beer. It's human nature: We're flawed people.

The players can't concede the entire $1 billion, IMO. They just shouldn't, IMO. They've got to negotiate on it and get that number down to a lot lower figure. Until the owners disclose enough data to show they truly "need" the full $1 billion, then there's no reason (IMO) for the players to trust their word on it and go with that number.

No self-respecting person would give that amount of money away without knowing if it's needed and how it will be spent. This ain't a charity, folks.

CloakNNNdagger
03-11-2011, 11:14 AM
A piece that makes one take pause concerning what these moneies all mean to the players vs. owners. Who needs it more and who will make better "use" of this money?


Domonique Foxworth Shows Displeasure With CBA Talks (http://ravens.gearupforsports.com/blog/2011/03/domonique-foxworth-shows-displeasure-with-cba-talks/#)

By Heckler
March 11th, 2011 at 8:26 am


Yesterday, NFLPA executive committee member and current Ravens’ cornerback, Domonique Foxworth, spoke publicly about his thoughts on the ongoing discussions between the players’ union and the owners. While we were given a bit of a confidence boost last week when the two sides decided to extend the negotiations for another week, Foxworth’s latest comments don’t seem to instill that same hope that an agreement will be met before the end of the extension on Friday night. Here is a quote from Foxworth’s take on the matter.

“The numbers that they have offered can be extrapolated from the numbers printed in Forbes magazine. It’s nothing substantial. The idea that they can ask for a billion dollars from us without giving us the opportunity to really crawl through their numbers is somewhat disrespectful.”

Ok, so, first things first. It’s not exactly a billion dollars. The number being argued over is $700 million. Regardless, according to Foxworth and Ravens.com, the owners aren’t offering up any significant financial numbers to support their claim that they deserve $700 million more a year off the top of the revenue pool. The NFL says that the requested extra money is to cover an increase in operating costs of an NFL franchise.

Foxworth takes issue with the fact that the NFL won’t show the players’ union how that money will be used, and why it is necessary at all. He says that there has been no breakdown of the financial situation shown by the owners, and on that basis alone, he doesn’t believe the players’ union should give up such a large sum of money.

Is Foxworth correct in his assumption that the NFL should have to put forth their financial records in order to prove that they need the money? Maybe. Its easy to see how it would make the players’ union sleep easier at night, knowing that the $700 million they agreed to give up gets used to benefit the business that has made them who they are. But it is really a reasonable request to ask for the detailed breakdown of the operating costs of an NFL team, just to fill a personal entitlement to more money on a paycheck?

While it’s a common request from unions in other industries to have proof of financial documents breaking down spending, profit, revenues and debts, it does come across as nitpicking, from an average fan standpoint. Obviously, we don’t know exactly what is going on behind closed doors, and this could be one of the biggest points being made. The fact that Foxworth came out publicly with his displeasure over the owners’ lack of cooperation to fulfill the union’s request gives us an idea as to where the players stand. He sees it as a make or break situation. But, for those who want to see professional football next year, it’s hard not to step back and ask, “How does this really make a difference in the long run?”

One could safely assume that the costs of operations for an NFL team have steadily risen. For one, you have to account for the standard rise in the cost of living and operations with anything. The price of gas, milk, maintenance, taxes, etc. has, and always will be rising. The NFL is not immune to such things. Also, the overall maintenance and upkeep of these modern stadiums is another reason for a rise in cost. Bigger, more capable staffs, luxuries for both fans and players, safety precautions and travel arrangements all should be taken into account as well. I’m no expert because I’ve never been in the position to run a football team, but it seems to me that the costs of such an operation would rise over time because that’s how most things work.

On the other hand, Foxworth may have a point. Along the same lines, players also have a cost of living that they have to deal with. We’ve all heard the stories about retired players having minimal support from the NFL in regards to lifelong injuries brought about by the heavy hitting business that made them. They have families to support, bills to pay, and a lifetime to concern themselves with. The retirement age for the NFL and professional sports in general is a lot earlier than most other occupations, and so precautions have to be made. Players have to ask themselves, have I put myself in a position, financially, to support my family for the rest of my life?

But is all of that really worth the risk of a lockout and the loss of a season’s worth of revenue? Maybe, but maybe not, depending on how you look at it.

The NFL will make an average of $6 billion dollars in total revenue next year. That is, if they play. From an outside perspective, the risk of losing that money due to a disagreement over $700 million may seem plausible. In a totally non-script breakdown, avoiding all the intricate details to save time (individual player salaries, bonuses, contract terms, etc.), the league breaks down in black and white something like this.

There are 1,696 players in the NFL (53 players + 5 per practice squad multiplied by 32 teams). Divided evenly, that $700 million that the players’ union needs comes out to about $413,000 dollars per player per year. That’s a lot of money per player, and, if put to the right use, could provide for a family and any lingering injuries one may suffer from a long career in the NFL. When a ceiling is taken into account, portioning that money to the players based on tenure (among other variables), with more going to the veterans that will more likely suffer from injuries far past their retirement, then it seems as if Foxworth’s heart is in the right place. He’s looking out for his fellow players and their families’ futures.

As a fan, however, we’ve all seen the horror stories. Players claim bankruptcy because they can’t handle the huge amounts of money that is thrown at them after they leave college. They spend carelessly, buying ridiculous, sometimes unnecessary things, building up debt. Jamarcus Russell is the latest in a long line of examples as he faces foreclosure on his mansion. Rumor has it that Tiki Barber is attempting a comeback because he is short on money. While an extra $413,000 would be wonderful for the players that are capable of playing it smart with their financial situations, it’s always the horror stories that leave the impression on those watching from the outside. For the players, a different, more responsible and caring approach may offer them better luck in their struggle with the NFL. They could suggest that a portion of the extra money goes toward the NFL Player Care Foundation, the organization that provides benefits to players who suffer from the affects of hard hits. With such a recent backlash from retired players claiming that they receive little to nothing in benefits, even a small portion of the $700 million would go a long way. It would give the owners’ hard ground to stand on while they leverage for money that will, for all intensive purposes, line their pockets with more money

However, the numbers are just as staggering from the other side. Broken down again ($700 million divided among 32 teams), each owner would be receiving almost $22 million per season toward operating costs. This is where the problem lies with Foxworth. He believes the owners should have to show the players’ union exactly how an average of $22 million per year (again, black and white, not taking into account the difference between low income and high income teams i.e. Colts vs. Redskins) is necessary in the scheme of operating an NFL franchise. It’s hard to argue with him. Sure, seeing the details of how the owners are spending the money on operational costs would be nice, especially as a players’ union who feel they deserve more money. Even as a fan who is interested, most of us would be interested to see how the operation is undertaken. But it’s not essential if the future of the 2011 NFL season is on the line.

It’s easy to see where both sides are coming from. The players deserve more money, as long as it goes toward long term goals and benefits that will really help them out in the future. With stories of failure and poor financial balancing, however, the players’ union has a secondary enemy against its push to prove they deserve the extra money more than the owners. Either way, in the long term, a loss of $6 billion dollars doesn’t seem to be worth it. While looking out for themselves, maybe the players’ union should try to understand that sometimes an employee has to do what is best for his company. One step back can sometimes mean two steps forward. The debate over whose pocket the money goes in shouldn’t be a make or break deal when it comes to the fate of a new collective bargaining agreement, especially when you go public with your displeasure. That is like complaining to a starving family about how you have a stomach ache from eating too much. Letting this issue destroy the chances of an upcoming NFL season only makes losers out of those who are providing you with the money you’re arguing over in the first place- TV deals, advertising, and, most importantly, the fans.

IDEXAN
03-11-2011, 11:38 AM
What happens when and if the NFLPA decertifies and the owners bring in a bunch of Canadians to play football ? I'm telling you these guys who get gobs of money for playing a game they love anyway are liable to screw it up for themselves ?

toronto
03-11-2011, 11:45 AM
What happens when and if the NFLPA decertifies and the owners bring in a bunch of Canadians to play football ? I'm telling you these guys who get gobs of money for playing a game they love anyway are liable to screw it up for themselves ?

Canadians are too busy these days trying to kill each other on NHL rinks, then debating it endlessly.

gwallaia
03-11-2011, 11:55 AM
I'm to the point where I don't give a damn.

To Hell with the NFL.

toronto
03-11-2011, 12:01 PM
I'm to the point where I don't give a damn.

To Hell with the NFL.

I fear I will reach that point too, which will be the ultimate sad moment for me as the NFL is the only league left that I truly love and am passionate about.

Do NFL owners really expect fans to buy their side of this, watch the league shut down needlessly than turn on the auto reset button, pretending nothing went down? Did they not see the shitstorm that MLB, the NHL and NBA all went through? Maybe they need a tour of those half empty arenas/stadiums for the 2-5 years that followed their respective labor disruptions.

The NFL is counting on its fanbase to be loyal to the point of stupidity meeting blindness. They're in for a rude awakening.

GP
03-11-2011, 12:07 PM
I'm to the point where I don't give a damn.

To Hell with the NFL.

I haven't watched the NFLN in ages.

Why? Because it's all for nothing. Besides, am I going to get the unbiased and totally objective look at what's going on...from the NFL's own personal news channel? LOL. Yeah, right.

Even espn and other media outlets are going to skew things because, in the end, their connection (in business) is with the teams NOT the players themselves.

My greatest wish is that the players would all bolt and jump to the UFL. Render the NFL a wasteland of talent. Let the NFL and its owners reap the whirlwind of its foolishness. They think they're so over with the public that they can ramrod things. The public has seen too much strong-arming in other sectors of life, and they don't care for it when it comes to football either.

The owners are failing to understand the ramifications of not getting a deal done. They're like the ostrich with its head in the ground.

If this deadline comes and goes, and there's a new deadline tacked onto the current one...then it's a joke (IMO) and I don't blame anybody for bailing out on the league. They will have earned the wrath of the fans.

I wonder what the recent stats are, for viewrship of NFLN, that span the period during the Super Bowl until current day. Anybody know? And I want to know what those stats looked like during 2010 over the same period of time. I bet the owners have people watching those figures.

Dan B.
03-11-2011, 01:36 PM
I haven't watched the NFLN in ages.

Why? Because it's all for nothing. Besides, am I going to get the unbiased and totally objective look at what's going on...from the NFL's own personal news channel? LOL. Yeah, right.

Even espn and other media outlets are going to skew things because, in the end, their connection (in business) is with the teams NOT the players themselves.

My greatest wish is that the players would all bolt and jump to the UFL. Render the NFL a wasteland of talent. Let the NFL and its owners reap the whirlwind of its foolishness. They think they're so over with the public that they can ramrod things. The public has seen too much strong-arming in other sectors of life, and they don't care for it when it comes to football either.

The owners are failing to understand the ramifications of not getting a deal done. They're like the ostrich with its head in the ground.

If this deadline comes and goes, and there's a new deadline tacked onto the current one...then it's a joke (IMO) and I don't blame anybody for bailing out on the league. They will have earned the wrath of the fans.

I wonder what the recent stats are, for viewrship of NFLN, that span the period during the Super Bowl until current day. Anybody know? And I want to know what those stats looked like during 2010 over the same period of time. I bet the owners have people watching those figures.

I think the players should start their own league. We have the facilities -- I don't buy that the Rose Bowl and Alamodome are terrible outdated places to watch a football game.

I think you've been dead on in this thread. I obviously came into this issue with a slight bias in favor of the players, but really I just wanted them to work it out. The more I hear though the more I've turned against the owners. Their arrogance is astonishing.

disaacks3
03-11-2011, 02:12 PM
I'm neither really...

FOR the players (bellyaching millionaires who, as a whole, usually blow a lifetime of income in under 5 years.)

OR the Owners (Tightfisted billionaires who, as a whole, are profiting from their NFL frachises at record levels, but want to share even LESS with the employees who make it possible...reminds me of my time @ ExxonMobil)

The bottom line is that the Owners signed a BAD deal a few years ago and are paying the consequences for that now. The players now EXPECT the same percentages as the previous CBA, even when those numbers are unrealistic. On the other side, we have owners who want to take another billion "off the top" for starters, want an additional two games, AND want the players to take a smaller percentage.

As a fan, I wanted an 18-game schedule to make my tickets not seem so overpriced and to get more "real" football for my $$. At this point, I want BOTH sides to make some concessions, but while I've heard that the 18-game schedule is off the table, I've heard of no other concessions from EITHER side.

infantrycak
03-11-2011, 02:34 PM
I'm neither really...

FOR the players (bellyaching millionaires who, as a whole, usually blow a lifetime of income in under 5 years.)

OR the Owners (Tightfisted billionaires who, as a whole, are profiting from their NFL frachises at record levels, but want to share even LESS with the employees who make it possible...reminds me of my time @ ExxonMobil)

The bottom line is that the Owners signed a BAD deal a few years ago and are paying the consequences for that now. The players now EXPECT the same percentages as the previous CBA, even when those numbers are unrealistic. On the other side, we have owners who want to take another billion "off the top" for starters, want an additional two games, AND want the players to take a smaller percentage.

As a fan, I wanted an 18-game schedule to make my tickets not seem so overpriced and to get more "real" football for my $$. At this point, I want BOTH sides to make some concessions, but while I've heard that the 18-game schedule is off the table, I've heard of no other concessions from EITHER side.

Pretty much with you. I don't believe 18 games is actually off the table. There are at least some reports that the $1 bil is down to $700 mil.

HOU-TEX
03-11-2011, 03:09 PM
Unless something changes pretty quick, it sounds like the players have decided to decertify.

NFLPA executive director Demaurice Smith told players on his much-anticipated conference call Friday that the current plan for the union is to decertify, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/03/11/smith-to-players-plan-is-to-decertify/

gary
03-11-2011, 03:17 PM
Unless something changes pretty quick, it sounds like the players have decided to decertify.



http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/03/11/smith-to-players-plan-is-to-decertify/
That's not good news.

JB
03-11-2011, 03:26 PM
That's not good news.

Might prevent the lockout

CloakNNNdagger
03-11-2011, 03:34 PM
The leaks are coming in now like a sieve. Just released:

League makes proposal to union as CBA deadline nears By Jason La Canfora NFL Network
NFL Network Insider
Published: March 11, 2011 at 10:09 a.m. Updated: March 11, 2011 at 03:22 p.m. WASHINGTON --

NFL and NFL Players Association representatives arrived Friday morning for their 16th federal mediation session, but it could be a short meeting, according to league and union sources.

The session included a proposed labor deal -- likely a final one -- from the NFL. If it isn't to the union's liking -- and doesn't include major changes from past proposals and/or more full financial data -- then multiple NFLPA officials said they will present the league with a letter saying they will dissolve. The union also would begin filing papers with U.S. District Judge David Doty in Minnesota to seek an injunction against a potential lockout.

The union was meeting to go over the league's proposal.

The NFL can't impose a lockout of players until after 11:59 p.m. ET Friday, when the collective bargaining agreement expires. The union has until 5 p.m. to decertify.

The possibility also remains that the sides, along with federal mediator George Cohen, could agree that future talks might spur more movement and enough potential for a new deal exists to agree to a third extension of the negotiating window. However, multiple high-ranking union sources have indicated it would take significant movement from the owners' previous proposals to prompt another extension.

However, if the owners provide more detailed financial data and the NFLPA's independent auditor verifies the scope and validity of those figures, then those same union officials indicated they would be willing to take a 50-50 revenue split as part of a new deal.

Before Friday's meeting, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith told WJFK-AM that the union is looking for "the exchange of information so we can make a fair deal."

Under the about-to-expire CBA, owners receive an immediate $1 billion to go toward operating expenses before splitting remaining revenues with players. Owners initially tried to add another $1 billion to that, and while they have lowered the up-front figure they want -- at least down to an additional $800 million, according to the union -- Smith has said it's still too much.

The NFL, meanwhile, said the union was offered unprecedented financial data, including some the league doesn't share with its teams.

NFL general counsel Jeff Pash said Thursday night as he exited that day's meeting that people from the league and the union held face-to-face meetings and exchanged proposals on "important issues."

"Things can come together quickly. Things can fall apart quickly," Pash said. "I've said it many times: If both sides have an equal commitment to getting this deal done, it will get done. I don't know if both sides have an equal commitment. ... Obviously, we have the commitment."

Smith, who left before Pash spoke, came back to the FMCS building to respond.

"We have been committed to this process," Smith said. "But for anyone to stand and turn to the American people and say they question that?

"We're going to work like heck to make sure football continues," Smith added.

Smith also referenced a court ruling last week, when the federal judge overseeing NFL labor matters sided with players in their case accusing owners of improperly negotiating TV deals to stockpile $4 billion to prepare for a work stoppage.

Smith handed out a document, which he said was obtained "through discovery," that included language pertaining to an NFL decision tree. It stated a "key factor" in the league's decision to extend the TV deals as "cash needed during lockout."

NFLPA spokesman George Atallah said the players and the owners didn't meet face-to-face Thursday. He added that the players had waited at their headquarters for two hours to meet with the owners before deciding to head home.

There was some moderate interaction between the sides, but those talks were on non-economic issues only, league and union sources said. Small groups of representatives from both sides participated, but there wasn't interaction between players and owners, sources said before Atallah's statement.

"When is union going to respond to our 150 pages of draft CBA provisions that they received eight days ago," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello wrote on Twitter. "Waiting."


Relive the NFL season in HD with NFL Game Rewind. Sign up now to get full access to the season archives.

The CBA originally was supposed to expire last week. The sides agreed to push that deadline to Friday.

The NFL hasn't lost games to a work stoppage since 1987, when a strike shortened the season and some games included nonunion replacement players. The foundation of the current CBA was reached in 1993 by then-Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and union chief Gene Upshaw. It has been extended five times as annual revenues soared above $9 billion, the league expanded to 32 teams and new stadiums were built.

The 2006 contract extension was the final major act for Tagliabue, who then retired, succeeded by Roger Goodell. An opt-out clause for each side was included in that deal, and the owners exercised it in May 2008 -- three months before Upshaw died. Smith replaced Upshaw as union leader in March 2009.

Two months later, Smith wrote Goodell a letter, asking for detailed financial statements from each of the 32 teams and the league as a whole. The NFL offered to turn over other economic data this week, and the NFLPA rejected that proposal, calling the information "utterly meaningless."

NitroGSXR
03-11-2011, 03:49 PM
Sorry about this mess, Mr. Upshaw. RIP.

Puck the NFL and their players. NHL here I come...

Double Barrel
03-11-2011, 03:56 PM
I think the players should start their own league. We have the facilities -- I don't buy that the Rose Bowl and Alamodome are terrible outdated places to watch a football game.

I have been saying this for awhile, as well. The field is 50x100 yards, regardless if it's at Rice Stadium or Jerrah's Taj Mahal. The players can play on any field in good condition, regardless of the whistles and bells around it.

As a fan, I'd have no problem sitting on wooden benches at Rice Stadium. I'm there to watch the game, and I've got a gut feeling that most NFL fans with a passion for football would agree (this obviously excludes the wine & cheese crowd, but...)

These luxury stadiums are really designed to benefit the owners. Yeah, they give fans some perks, but unless you're the wine & cheese crowd, you won't see most of them.

So let's be honest here: the owners want players and fans to pay for these new stadiums that serve to financially benefit the owners the most. It is simply disingenuous to act like this is not the case. They want players to make less money, taxpayers finance the deals, and fans to pay more for tickets, merch, and concessions.

We go to games and watch on tv to see players play the game, not rich old men sit with ex-presidents drinking $1000 bottles of wine. The owners are not the product, plain and simple. And using other business models is not applicable when taxpayers are footing the bill for their playgrounds.

What do the owners have to lose by opening up their books? I think it's rather obvious.

gary
03-11-2011, 04:17 PM
Might prevent the lockoutBut, would they play?

False Start
03-11-2011, 04:19 PM
Damn, just please get it done and over with already! :slapfight:

Blake
03-11-2011, 04:30 PM
Damn, just please get it done and over with already! :slapfight:

Amen. I am sick of this crap. HEY OWNERS! IF THE NFL IS SO UNPROFITABLE AND RISKY THEN SELL THE TEAM!

HOU-TEX
03-11-2011, 04:33 PM
The decertification button has not yet been pushed all the way. They're both currently still in a meeting together. Hopefully a last gasp to either get something agreed upon or to extend.

Per Twitter Tweets from Schefter, PFT, Chester Pitts, Mike Silver, etc

Pollardized
03-11-2011, 04:38 PM
I haven't read every post in this thread, so forgive me if this has been stated already. The biggest thing the players seem to be bitching about is wanting to see the owner's financials. Here's my problem with this: none of us in the real world get to see how much profit the owner of a company makes. I have worked many places in my life, and financials are not public record for employees to look through at will. If you want to work somewhere, and you make a decent living, you accept that the owner of said business is making a profit. If you think he isn't paying you what you are worth, you go get another job. If Drew Brees thinks he isn't being paid fairly for what he does, I can give him a job installing air conditioning equipment in 130 degree attics in the summer for $15.00 an hour or so. He, and the others, would be more than happy to get their NFL paychecks again after a couple days.

Blake
03-11-2011, 04:49 PM
I haven't read every post in this thread, so forgive me if this has been stated already. The biggest thing the players seem to be bitching about is wanting to see the owner's financials. Here's my problem with this: none of us in the real world get to see how much profit the owner of a company makes. I have worked many places in my life, and financials are not public record for employees to look through at will. If you want to work somewhere, and you make a decent living, you accept that the owner of said business is making a profit. If you think he isn't paying you what you are worth, you go get another job. If Drew Brees thinks he isn't being paid fairly for what he does, I can give him a job installing air conditioning equipment in 130 degree attics in the summer for $15.00 an hour or so. He, and the others, would be more than happy to get their NFL paychecks again after a couple days.

This isnt a single person interviewing for a job. These are the negotiations for the CBA which will regulate working conditions.

But going with how you see it: If you worked with someone and they always took the first $5 of every $20 you make, and yall split the left over $15, but this year they want the first $10 of every $20 you make then split the leftover $10, you would just bend over and accept the new terms? Or would you ask him why they needed the extra $5?

JB
03-11-2011, 05:03 PM
This isnt a single person interviewing for a job. These are the negotiations for the CBA which will regulate working conditions.

But going with how you see it: If you worked with someone and they always took the first $5 of every $20 you make, and yall split the left over $15, but this year they want the first $10 of every $20 you make then split the leftover $10, you would just bend over and accept the new terms? Or would you ask him why they needed the extra $5?

And if you were the owner, would you be happy giving up $60 of every $100 you made?

Blake
03-11-2011, 05:07 PM
And if you were the owner, would you be happy giving up $60 of every $100 you made?

Well i'll tell you what. I would have the knowledge to know exactly how much profit I was making! So maybe I would be happy with that agreement. Or I might be greedy and want more back.

Its an unfair negotiation at this point.

ArlingtonTexan
03-11-2011, 05:10 PM
Decertification filed for officially.

JB
03-11-2011, 05:13 PM
Well i'll tell you what. I would have the knowledge to know exactly how much profit I was making! So maybe I would be happy with that agreement. Or I might be greedy and want more back.

Its an unfair negotiation at this point.

Unfair to who? Why should the players know exactly how much profit the owners are making? Like Pollardized pointed out, most people have no idea how much profit their bosses are making.

I understand the owners agreed to it last time, but they did so with the opt out clause the players agreed to. Now the players don't want to give anything back, the owners don't want to continue as before.

The fans are the ones that will get screwed, and that is on the players just as much as it is on the owners.

Blake
03-11-2011, 05:14 PM
Decertification filed for officially.

So they say the individual players will file anti-trust lawsuits. When can things be repaired? When can a football game be played again? At the soonest.

CloakNNNdagger
03-11-2011, 05:20 PM
Doesn't look good per Wall Street Journal.

Talks between the National Football League and its players union foundered Friday afternoon, as the players union awaited the NFL's decision on their request for more financial information.
link (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703555404576194940917479626.html)

scourge
03-11-2011, 05:20 PM
At this point I am starting to lean toward the owner's side. If the NFLPA wants the NFL to open up all of the books, fine. That way the players can see where this money is being spent and if it is justifiable to want more. However, in trade I'd ask that the players open up all of their books as well. That way the NFL can see where their money is being spent and if it is justifiable to want more.

Hagar
03-11-2011, 05:31 PM
Dr. Ms. Brockovich,

I don't know if you are a sports fan or not, but as you will probably hear in the next few hours, the labor relations between the NFL and the player have deteriorated to the point that it will become a legal issue between the two parties. I am a fan of the sport and a season ticket holder who needs your help. Nobody is representing us in this negotiation/legal battle and it is us who will ultimately pay the price for all these bad feelings between the two parties. I, and the other season ticket holders of the NFL, need someone to represent us in the court room.

Can you help?

Best regards,


I just sent a letter to the most widely known consumer advocate in America ~ Erin Brockovich.

disaacks3
03-11-2011, 05:33 PM
I haven't read every post in this thread, so forgive me if this has been stated already. The biggest thing the players seem to be bitching about is wanting to see the owner's financials. Here's my problem with this: none of us in the real world get to see how much profit the owner of a company makes. I have worked many places in my life, and financials are not public record for employees to look through at will. If you want to work somewhere, and you make a decent living, you accept that the owner of said business is making a profit. If you think he isn't paying you what you are worth, you go get another job. If Drew Brees thinks he isn't being paid fairly for what he does, I can give him a job installing air conditioning equipment in 130 degree attics in the summer for $15.00 an hour or so. He, and the others, would be more than happy to get their NFL paychecks again after a couple days. Not to beat on you any more, but have you been asked to take a pay cut to pay for your working facilities?

At this point I am starting to lean toward the owner's side. If the NFLPA wants the NFL to open up all of the books, fine. That way the players can see where this money is being spent and if it is justifiable to want more. However, in trade I'd ask that the players open up all of their books as well. That way the NFL can see where their money is being spent and if it is justifiable to want more. ??? That just doesn't make sense.

toronto
03-11-2011, 05:34 PM
At this point I am starting to lean toward the owner's side. If the NFLPA wants the NFL to open up all of the books, fine. That way the players can see where this money is being spent and if it is justifiable to want more. However, in trade I'd ask that the players open up all of their books as well. That way the NFL can see where their money is being spent and if it is justifiable to want more.

That makes little sense. The players do not have guaranteed contracts and are being asked to play extra games, give up salary and accept a hard rookie cap. The ONLY thing they asked for, to bargain in good faith, was audited numbers so they could understand why they should make such concessions. The owners told them no, so why shouldn't they sue?

Am I supposed to feel bad for an owner like Ralph Wilson, who could easily sell his team for a billion bucks when he bought the team for $10,00 when the AFL formed? Or Woody Johnson, one of the richest men on the planet? The current average franchise value of a NFL team is 10 digits, or certainly near it. If any of these owners think their situation is untenable, then sell the team. Lord knows there are tons of arrogant billionaires that want in.

I'm certainly wishing these guys would STFU and get a deal done, but the owners have made it impossible for any deal to get done. They essentially want the players to shut up, take it up the ass, and sign.

infantrycak
03-11-2011, 05:49 PM
Not to beat on you any more, but have you been asked to take a pay cut to pay for your working facilities?

Except there is no pay cut. No player has been asked to have their current contract reduced.

GP
03-11-2011, 05:50 PM
We need to start an NFLFA.

NFL Fan Association.

I think Hagar has the right mindset here. Hell, let's get in on the litigation too. Every fan contribute a few bucks to the legal fund, and let's get this horsehit straightened out!

Let's air a commercial on TV, asking for someone to champion our cause and take up our fight.

Think about it: Nobody is doing it yet. Nobody is telling those two groups what the average fan feels. I'd personally like to shoot and air a commercial that tells the players "We'll watch you while sitting on a wood bench at Rice's stadium. We'll watch you in the Alamodome. We'll watch you anywhere. We'll be there."

GP
03-11-2011, 05:53 PM
Except there is no pay cut. No player has been asked to have their current contract reduced.

One of the owners, when the previous CBA was signed, was ecstatic about the deal. He said something to the effect of "We have the best agreement in all of sports. We're fortunate."

But all of a sudden it was a bad deal for the owners and they took it up the bum?

I'm with DB on this one, as usual.

Errant Hothy
03-11-2011, 05:59 PM
So we heard the specifics of what the NFL offered the players but nobody from the players side offered any idea of what their counter offer was. If there was one?

Both sides want more money in this deal, to think otherwise is folly.

ArlingtonTexan
03-11-2011, 05:59 PM
We need to start an NFLFA.

NFL Fan Association.

I think Hagar has the right mindset here. Hell, let's get in on the litigation too. Every fan contribute a few bucks to the legal fund, and let's get this horsehit straightened out!

Let's air a commercial on TV, asking for someone to champion our cause and take up our fight.

Think about it: Nobody is doing it yet. Nobody is telling those two groups what the average fan feels. I'd personally like to shoot and air a commercial that tells the players "We'll watch you while sitting on a wood bench at Rice's stadium. We'll watch you in the Alamodome. We'll watch you anywhere. We'll be there."

90% sure this has been tried before. The reality is that unless they miss regular season football game or have a mass exit of season ticketholders, the side won't care enough.

Honestly, if they cared, the sides would have never let this get to this point and figured out an agreement long ago.

infantrycak
03-11-2011, 06:02 PM
One of the owners, when the previous CBA was signed, was ecstatic about the deal. He said something to the effect of "We have the best agreement in all of sports. We're fortunate."

But all of a sudden it was a bad deal for the owners and they took it up the bum?

I'm with DB on this one, as usual.

Whatever dude. Go play sides if you want. I wasn't and was just making a factual correction.

gary
03-11-2011, 06:14 PM
I'm disappointed but whatever.

JB
03-11-2011, 06:24 PM
I just heard the NFL's legal counsel talking on the radio. I wish I could find a link, because I can't remember it all, but he was basically saying that the Union had sent in decertification letter while still in negotiations. Also that the owners latest proposal was to meet the players at the midpoint of differences, and after 4 years they would be at the levels the players wanted. And that all players that left the league before 1993 would have their benefits increased by 60%.


Did anyone else hear this?

I will see if maybe I can find a podcast.


It sounded to me like the players had no intention of reaching an agreement.

disaacks3
03-11-2011, 06:38 PM
Except there is no pay cut. No player has been asked to have their current contract reduced.

I just heard the NFL's legal counsel talking on the radio. I wish I could find a link, because I can't remember it all, but he was basically saying that the Union had sent in decertification letter while still in negotiations. Also that the owners latest proposal was to meet the players at the midpoint of differences, and after 4 years they would be at the levels the players wanted. And that all players that left the league before 1993 would have their benefits increased by 60%.


Did anyone else hear this?

I will see if maybe I can find a podcast.


It sounded to me like the players had no intention of reaching an agreement.

From what I'd heard earlier, the NFLPA had a guy waiting (on standby) ready to hand-deliver the de-certification letter a week ago. It seems to me that the guy simply picked up the call and handed the letter to Doty when instructed. Honestly, I doubt you'll ever get 100% accuracy from either side. The after four years stuff seems strange. That's the kind of thing a "normal" union agreement would include for a business that has an uncertain future.

Double Barrel
03-11-2011, 06:40 PM
I haven't read every post in this thread, so forgive me if this has been stated already. The biggest thing the players seem to be bitching about is wanting to see the owner's financials. Here's my problem with this: none of us in the real world get to see how much profit the owner of a company makes. I have worked many places in my life, and financials are not public record for employees to look through at will. If you want to work somewhere, and you make a decent living, you accept that the owner of said business is making a profit. If you think he isn't paying you what you are worth, you go get another job. If Drew Brees thinks he isn't being paid fairly for what he does, I can give him a job installing air conditioning equipment in 130 degree attics in the summer for $15.00 an hour or so. He, and the others, would be more than happy to get their NFL paychecks again after a couple days.

The fallacy in your argument is the bolded. The NFL is simply not the 'real world' when they use taxpayers to finance their stadiums and have anti-trust exemption.

Perhaps you should read the thread when you offer such a strong opinion. Lots of good information and takes from both sides of the issue in this one.

JB
03-11-2011, 06:43 PM
From what I'd heard earlier, the NFLPA had a guy waiting (on standby) ready to hand-deliver the de-certification letter a week ago. It seems to me that the guy simply picked up the call and handed the letter to Doty when instructed. Honestly, I doubt you'll ever get 100% accuracy from either side. The after four years stuff seems strange. That's the kind of thing a "normal" union agreement would include for a business that has an uncertain future.



It was something about each club would get (or give) $20 mill per year and after 4 years the Union would have the numbers it wanted.

That would give the owners a bit of relief meanwhile?

False Start
03-11-2011, 07:04 PM
It was something about each club would get (or give) $20 mill per year and after 4 years the Union would have the numbers it wanted.

That would give the owners a bit of relief meanwhile?



-We incorporated new economic terms to try to bridge the gap. You’ve heard a lot of talk about an $800M gap. Nowhere close. Not close to factual.

-We offered today to split the difference and meet the union in the midpoint, with a player compensation number that would have been equivalent to player compensation in 2009 and above player compensation in 2010, and we offered grow it from there over four years by $20 million a club, to the point where in 2014 the player compensation number was the union’s number. It was the number the union proposed to us and we accepted it. That wasn’t good enough.

-We offered to guarantee for the first time in the history of the league, more than one year of injury on player contracts. Apparently not good enough.

-We moved off of our wage scale, and we offered to do a rookie compensation system within the context of a hard rookie cap as the union had proposed which would preserve individual negotiations and maintain the role of agents in the process. Evidently not good enough.

-We offered, in fact we agreed to the union’s request for a cash team minimum for the first time in league history. We agreed to it at their number and their structure. Evidently not good enough.

-We told the union that for 2011 and 2012, we would play within the existing 16-game regular season format, and we committed to them, notwithstanding the rights we have in the current agreement, we would not change to 18 games without their consent. Evidently not good enough.
At the same time, we agreed to implement wide ranging health and safety changes, reducing the offseason program by five weeks, reducing the practice time in the preseason, reducing the practice time and contract drills during the regular season and expanding the number of days off for players. Evidently not good enough.

-We offered to increase the benefits in a wide range for both current and retired players. Under the proposal we had tendered, retired players who left the league before 1993, would experience an increase in their retirement benefit of close to 60 percent and the union, which says it represents former players, walked away from that today.

Link (http://nfllabor.com/2011/03/11/nfl-transcripts-commissioner-goodell-jerry-richardson-john-mara-jeff-pash/)

Is that it?

JB
03-11-2011, 07:10 PM
Link (http://nfllabor.com/2011/03/11/nfl-transcripts-commissioner-goodell-jerry-richardson-john-mara-jeff-pash/)

Is that it?

That's it! Thanks James!

JB
03-11-2011, 07:17 PM
I found this to be very interesting, and it makes the players look really bad, imo.

Will you release any more financial documents?
There is no point to releasing them to people who don’t want to negotiate with you. We did offer to release five years of individual club-by-club financial documents to a mutually acceptable third party to review, analyze and report on those documents. We also offered to give the union aggregate profit data for the 32 clubs as a whole so they could see how the profitability has changed over the years. We offered substantial financial disclosures and the union chose not to take it.
Is the five years of audited financials a new offer?
It was something we had offered them some time ago. It was not something we just offered today.
When De Smith said we want 10 years of audited financials from each club, what was the reaction?
We were upstairs discussing the various points that they had made. Unbeknownst to us at the time they made those points they had already claimed to renounce their bargaining status, so I don’t know precisely why we were meeting with them. We were upstairs discussing it, we were talking to members of our ownership and within the committee and then we saw on one of the television stations that they had announced they had decertified and filed a lawsuit, etc. So it sort of muted the discussion.

CloakNNNdagger
03-11-2011, 08:39 PM
ALL parties, including we fans, have lost perspective. Reading this USA TODAY (http://www.usatoday.com/sports/columnist/lopresti/2011-03-11-nfl-labor-situation_N.htm)piece has brought this sad fact back to reality.

Bad day for NFL, players union to act the victim

So, which images from the day's news are you most eager to see?

We could show you the horrendous devastation from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, where entire chunks of the nation were washed away, and lives with them.

We could show you the bloodshed from further unrest in Libya, where the dead pile up as a country copes with civil war, while our own economy trembles as the price of oil spikes.

Or we could show the men who really behaved as if they had a tough day Friday. We speak, of course, of the NFL players and owners.

We could go into the details of the players solemnly announcing they are decertifying their union, and the owners probably reacting with a lockout, and an antitrust legal fight looming, and deadlines being passed and proposals being rejected and postures being struck. But all that gets a little complicated. And besides, we'd need a lawyer and there are already too many of those in this matter.

Let's just say that the NFL folks picked a pretty bad day to come before the world with grim faces, as if they were victims of fate. Did Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith look to be in anguish? Were their houses still standing?

Yeah, they're in a fight all right, but not quite like any of those in the Middle East.

This is not to say they don't have the right to bargain and squabble and shake their briefcases at one another for economic purposes. Their industry is complicated and popular and Very Big Business. But good grief, what timing for another dress shoe to drop. This was not the moment for people fighting over splits of a vast fortune to stand before us, as if their plight should move the public.

They've been worried sick about an 18-game schedule. On Friday, much of the world was worried if Japan's nuclear reactors would fall down,

We're probably all a little guilty of the foolish self-absorption of the current NFL situation. The media, for its year-round pro football obsession, when even the draft combine — men running around cones in shorts — is treated with deadly seriousness and import. The fans, for going along with the hype.

How can a business — whether the rich employees or the richer bosses — have perspective of its true place, when people line up for hours in the spring so they can see the commissioner call out a name every few minutes?

The NFL has come to believe the world stops for its Super Bowl and can't live without its product the other 364 days. You see today where that leads. No wonder each side acts as if unbridled wealth and profit is a divine right. This league sometimes reminds you of a revved-up engine beginning to run so hot, the pistons might start flying apart.

This moment was likely inevitable, with the two sides in their trenches. One gets the feeling the players wanted the showdown to go to litigation, figuring they had a home field advantage in court. The quotes from the federal mediator's press session Friday suggested a stalemate. "No useful purpose would be served by requesting the parties to continue the mediation process at this time," George Cohen said, according to the Associated Press.

If this were a football game, Cohen would be punting.

So this was Friday on planet Earth.

The television screen showed Toyotas buried under wreckage.

Then it showed shells falling in an oil port called Ras Lanuf.

Then it showed men in nice suits in Washington speaking gravely of things such as trying to find out exactly how many billions are on the table.

Then they went their separate ways. Who knows when the next time the NFL people will stand before us and talk of vital matters? Perhaps after the next hurricane

CloakNNNdagger
03-11-2011, 08:54 PM
Link (http://nfllabor.com/2011/03/11/nfl-transcripts-commissioner-goodell-jerry-richardson-john-mara-jeff-pash/)

Is that it?

At the same time, we agreed to implement wide ranging health and safety changes, reducing the offseason program by five weeks, reducing the practice time in the preseason, reducing the practice time and contract drills (OOPS, a FREUDIAN) during the regular season and expanding the number of days off for players. Evidently not good enough.

I can see the argument now..........The Overworked Syndrome........yeh. :shades:Reducing all this practice time / days off is not going to make the product better. Last year, can you imagine if the Texans were to reduce their practice time (esp. with rookies, new players on the team and with any installment of new systems).........that should work great!:mcnugget:

GNTLEWOLF
03-11-2011, 09:18 PM
As I sit and read all this Iam beginning to think that maybe a year without football would be a good thing

Grams
03-11-2011, 09:29 PM
I am at the point where I could care less what either side has to say.
Both sides are to blame.

steelbtexan
03-11-2011, 09:33 PM
Cant stand the owners. They are all greedy just like BoB.

Cant stand Obama buddy DeMaurice Smith. He's loving the limelight.So no deal will be done without the loss of game checks. The players are getting what they deserve for electing De Smith. He only cares about his image and not what's good for the players or the game.

RIP Gene Upshaw, he was able to get a great deal for 2 reasons.

1. He didn't care about his image
2. He cared more about what was good for the game he loved. Than any of the perephrial issues.

gary
03-11-2011, 09:57 PM
No football. I will find something else to do but the truth is many die heart fans will not.

JimBaker488
03-11-2011, 10:15 PM
Wonder who's really got the input from the NFLPA ? I mean there's got to be a handful of individuals who can really rep the players and who the players respect and stand behind ? Would it be people like Manning and Drees, or players of a lesser stature who really connect with the membership ? There's got to be a couple guys who are the goto for the membership and also have some real smarts and communicate effectively with the lawyers/agents representing the union ?

CloakNNNdagger
03-11-2011, 10:24 PM
Wonder who's really got the input from the NFLPA ? I mean there's got to be a handful of individuals who can really rep the players and who the players respect and stand behind ? Would it be people like Manning and Drees, or players of a lesser stature who really connect with the membership ? There's got to be a couple guys who are the goto for the membership and also have some real smarts and communicate effectively with the lawyers/agents representing the union ?

What do you think? They couldn't wait to file.........And notice Von Miller is right there in the mix!

Brady, Manning and Brees file antitrust suit against league (http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/12/us-nfl-dispute-players-lawsuit-idUSTRE72B0HY20110312)
NEW YORK | Fri Mar 11, 2011 9:52pm EST

NEW YORK (Reuters) - NFL quarterbacks Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees have filed a class-action antitrust lawsuit against the league.

Brady of the New England Patriots, Indianapolis' Manning, New Orleans' Brees and seven other players have asked the U.S. District Court in Minneapolis for an injunction to keep the NFL and its teams from locking out players.

The players allege the league and its teams "have jointly agreed and conspired to deny plaintiffs the ability to provide and/or market their services."

The 52-page lawsuit was filed after labor talks between the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) and the NFL broke down and the players union applied to dissolve itself.

Also bringing the complaint are Vincent Jackson of the San Diego Chargers, Ben Leber and Brian Robison of the Minnesota Vikings, the Patriots' Logan Mankins, Osi Umenyiora of the New York Giants, Mike Vrabel of the Kansas City Chiefs and Texas A&M University linebacker Von Miller, who is entered in this year's draft.

ChrisG
03-11-2011, 10:33 PM
got an email from Goodell on my junk email account @ 8:15 (EST) today:


Dear NFL Fan,

When I wrote to you last on behalf of the NFL, we promised you that we would work tirelessly to find a collectively bargained solution to our differences with the players' union. Subsequent to that letter to you, we agreed that the fastest way to a fair agreement was for everyone to work together through a mediation process. For the last three weeks I have personally attended every session of mediation, which is a process our clubs sincerely believe in.

Unfortunately, I have to tell you that earlier today the players' union walked away from mediation and collective bargaining and has initiated litigation against the clubs. In an effort to get a fair agreement now, our clubs offered a deal today that was, among other things, designed to have no adverse financial impact on veteran players in the early years, and would have met the players’ financial demands in the latter years of the agreement.

The proposal we made included an offer to narrow the player compensation gap that existed in the negotiations by splitting the difference; guarantee a reallocation of savings from first-round rookies to veterans and retirees without negatively affecting compensation for rounds 2-7; no compensation reduction for veterans; implement new year-round health and safety rules; retain the current 16-4 season format for at least two years with any subsequent changes subject to the approval of the league and union; and establish a new legacy fund for retired players ($82 million contributed by the owners over the next two years).

It was a deal that offered compromise, and would have ensured the well-being of our players and guaranteed the long-term future for the fans of the great game we all love so much. It was a deal where everyone would prosper.

We remain committed to collective bargaining and the federal mediation process until an agreement is reached, and call on the union to return to negotiations immediately. NFL players, clubs, and fans want an agreement. The only place it can be reached is at the bargaining table.

While we are disappointed with the union's actions, we remain steadfastly committed to reaching an agreement that serves the best interest of NFL players, clubs and fans, and thank you for your continued support of our League. First and foremost it is your passion for the game that drives us all, and we will not lose sight of this as we continue to work for a deal that works for everyone.



Yours,
Roger Goodell

____


I gotta say this seems like a cheap PR move. He has easy access to fans email addresses and can make it seem like he is leveling with fans.

JB
03-11-2011, 10:36 PM
I'm hoping the owners don't even try a lockout. Just refuse any support. No coaches, no trainers, no supplies. Players will have no insurance unless the pay for it themselves. How many are going to even try to do the work without the support.

It is easy for the players right now. It's the offseason. Would be no work anyway.

Lucky
03-11-2011, 10:48 PM
No football. I will find something else to do but the truth is many die heart fans will not.
gary, it's March. There won't be regular season football for 6 months. I'm more certain than ever that we won't miss a single down.

JB
03-11-2011, 10:50 PM
got an email from Goodell on my junk email account @ 8:15 (EST) today:


Dear NFL Fan,

When I wrote to you last on behalf of the NFL, we promised you that we would work tirelessly to find a collectively bargained solution to our differences with the players' union. Subsequent to that letter to you, we agreed that the fastest way to a fair agreement was for everyone to work together through a mediation process. For the last three weeks I have personally attended every session of mediation, which is a process our clubs sincerely believe in.

Unfortunately, I have to tell you that earlier today the players' union walked away from mediation and collective bargaining and has initiated litigation against the clubs. In an effort to get a fair agreement now, our clubs offered a deal today that was, among other things, designed to have no adverse financial impact on veteran players in the early years, and would have met the players’ financial demands in the latter years of the agreement.

The proposal we made included an offer to narrow the player compensation gap that existed in the negotiations by splitting the difference; guarantee a reallocation of savings from first-round rookies to veterans and retirees without negatively affecting compensation for rounds 2-7; no compensation reduction for veterans; implement new year-round health and safety rules; retain the current 16-4 season format for at least two years with any subsequent changes subject to the approval of the league and union; and establish a new legacy fund for retired players ($82 million contributed by the owners over the next two years).

It was a deal that offered compromise, and would have ensured the well-being of our players and guaranteed the long-term future for the fans of the great game we all love so much. It was a deal where everyone would prosper.

We remain committed to collective bargaining and the federal mediation process until an agreement is reached, and call on the union to return to negotiations immediately. NFL players, clubs, and fans want an agreement. The only place it can be reached is at the bargaining table.

While we are disappointed with the union's actions, we remain steadfastly committed to reaching an agreement that serves the best interest of NFL players, clubs and fans, and thank you for your continued support of our League. First and foremost it is your passion for the game that drives us all, and we will not lose sight of this as we continue to work for a deal that works for everyone.



Yours,
Roger Goodell

____


I gotta say this seems like a cheap PR move. He has easy access to fans email addresses and can make it seem like he is leveling with fans.

This is the same info quoted from Pash up thread.

We have been clamoring for any kind of info about the negotiations, now you have some and your bitching about it?

That e-mail I'm sure was sent out to people that subscribed to NFL. com and signed up for such notifications.

It's all BS anyway. In my opinion, they are all greedy mofo's that have only themselves in mind. A large number of the players will make more in one year than most of us will make in a lifetime.!
Most of the owners make more in a year than our entire family tree will make in a lifetime.

I want to hear the players response to this info. What was so bad about this proposal? Did they even listen to it, or had they already decided to take it to litigation? Seems like the later.

**** 'em all! I just want some football! :pissed:

gary
03-11-2011, 11:03 PM
gary, it's March. There won't be regular season football for 6 months. I'm more certain than ever that we won't miss a single down.Let's say a new CBA gets done in June or July then it would be sort of a sloppy season. Anyway, it was a what if type of post and I hope you are right.

CloakNNNdagger
03-11-2011, 11:08 PM
Von Miller may play better than Kareem Jackson, but I'm not so sure he "thinks" better.

Von Miller’s presence in antitrust suit focuses on rookie salary capPosted by Mike Florio on March 11, 2011, 10:04 PM EST

The 58-page antitrust lawsuit filed by various players against the NFL (we’re up to page 36) includes former Texas A&M linebacker Von Miller as a plaintiff. His presence has prompted some to speculate that the lawsuit is aimed at scuttling the draft.

It’s not, at least not yet. The CBA contemplates a 2011 draft, even if the CBA will be expired when the 2011 draft commences.

Miller’s presence in the action allows an attack on any type of rookie salary cap, either via a rookie wage scale or the “entering player pool” used in past years under the labor deal. The lawsuit alleges that the CBA makes no provision for the use of the entering player pool in 2011, and the lawsuit contends that any restriction on the pay received by incoming rookies constitutes an antritrust violation.

If the lawsuit is still around in 2012, there’s a good chance it will be amended to include another incoming rookie, with the goal of attacking the draft as an antitrust violation. (Indeed, the complaint mentions that a less restrictive draft was found to be a violation of antitrust laws by a federal court in 1976.)

Since the league consists of 32 separate businesses, the players will argue that a system of allocating potential employees violates the antitrust laws. For now, though, the argument isn’t ripe.

Eventually, it’ll be riper than a spotted plantain.

All that said, it’s hard not to wonder whether Miller’s decision to become one of the thorns in the side of the league before he even enters it will hurt his draft stock. Apart from whether players could be blackballed, some could view Miller as a rebel or a loose cannon, and it could be a factor in the final assessment of him as a prospect.

CloakNNNdagger
03-12-2011, 12:31 AM
I find it insulting that D. Smith in one of his interviews asked the rhetorical question if it is fair that the players be expected to make less in 2011 than in 2009..............IT'S THE ECONOMY STUPID!:mcnugget:

Dan B.
03-12-2011, 12:37 AM
I find it insulting that D. Smith in one of his interviews asked the rhetorical question if it is fair that the players be expected to make less in 2011 than in 2009..............IT'S THE ECONOMY STUPID!:mcnugget:

Are NFL owners making less?

scourge
03-12-2011, 01:18 AM
I gotta say this seems like a cheap PR move. He has easy access to fans email addresses and can make it seem like he is leveling with fans.

Not as cheap as the "Let us play" commercials...

CloakNNNdagger
03-12-2011, 08:02 AM
Are NFL owners making less?

Are the owners taking less risk? Contracts are commonly renegotiated because parties find fault in the terms of how previous contracts worked out. It is probably just as legitimate to think the owners feel the previous CBA was not equitable to them as the players feeling the same way..........A POX ON BOTH OF THEIR HOUSES!

A lot more nitty gritty details from ESPN (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=6107737).

NFL owners walked away from the negotiating table Wednesday when the NFL Players Association proposed to take an average of 50 percent of all revenue generated by the league, according to player sources.

Consequently, a five-hour second negotiating session scheduled for Thursday was canceled, and no further meetings have been proposed. Also, the NFL notified teams and owners Thursday that a scheduled owners meeting in Philadelphia next Tuesday has been canceled, sources told ESPN.com's John Clayton.

"We wish we were negotiating today," NFLPA assistant executive director George Atallah said. "That's all I can say."

Wednesday's meeting in Washington started badly, one source said, when the owners' negotiating team interpreted the union's proposal of a 49 percent to 51 percent take as "total revenue," instead of the union's intended percentage take of "all revenue."

At the current revenue levels, "total revenue" has been defined as an estimated $9 billion gross, minus a $1 billion credit in the owners' favor. In the current CBA deal about to expire, the union's share has been estimated at about 60 percent of $8 billion, once the $1 billion credit was subtracted.

Owners have asked for an additional $1 billion credit -- or $2 billion in total -- before they split "total revenue" with players.

Smith has stated that the union would need to examine all of the owners' financial books before it would accept a substantial reduction in allowing the additional $1 billion credit.

To simplify talks, a player source said the union told the owners' negotiating team that it will forgo its request to examine the league's financial books by simply taking the flat 50 percent cut of "all revenue," which would eliminate $1 billion to $2 billion credits off the top and erase the definition of "total revenue."

A union source said that if the NFLPA accepted the owners' current proposal, it would receive a little more than 40 percent of all revenue.

Smith said in an interview with ESPN last week that a 40 percent to 42 percent share of all revenue would represent the smallest percentage of a players' share by any professional sports union.

In addition to the flat 50 percent share of all revenue, players are willing to grant additional credits to any franchise that reinvests in stadium improvement, a mechanism to motivate clubs to grow revenues, a player source said.

The union believes by taking a flat 50 percent share, it would eliminate the need to audit every expense clubs invest in order to offset credits built into the current CBA and the model proposed by owners going forward.

Smith also sent an e-mail, obtained by ESPN, to NFL agents on Thursday outlining the owners' latest rookie wage-scale proposal in January. He detailed how far apart the two sides are, and in an attached memo dated Jan. 26, said the NFL's latest proposal "is a veteran scale, not a rookie scale."

The NFL's owners continued to propose a five-year wage scale for first-rounders, four years for other drafted players, and no individually negotiated contracts. But, according to Smith, the owners added "league-wide base salary escalators."

Smith wrote that the owners' latest offer "makes the proposal worse not only for rookies, but for veteran players with three to five years in the league -- the core of our membership."

Also, players would not be able to renegotiate their contracts or agree to extensions until three years after they were drafted. Signing bonuses would be fixed, paid over the length of a contract and subject to forfeiture "if the player does not toe the Club's line in every way," Smith wrote.

In late September, the NFLPA proposed maximum four-year contracts for players drafted in the first three rounds, and three-year contracts for other drafted players.

The NFLPA's proposal also provided for individually negotiated contracts instead of the owners' proposed set salaries. In addition, a cap would be placed on rookie contract incentives and escalators. The money saved then would be used for a bonus pool for veteran players and rookies who outperformed their contract.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said: "Despite the inaccurate characterizations of yesterday's meeting, out of respect to the collective bargaining process and our negotiating partner, we are going to continue to conduct negotiations with the union in private and not engage in a point-counterpoint on the specifics of either side's proposals or the meeting process. Instead, we will work as hard as possible to reach a fair agreement by March 4. We are fully focused on that goal."

Meanwhile, the NFLPA continued to present its side of the argument to the public. The union was a guest of American Rights at Work, which brought in a beer vendor from Ford Field in Detroit as part of a news conference in the nation's capital aimed at demonstrating the effects a lockout would have on the economy.

"Football and other major sporting events are some of the only things that bring people to downtown Detroit after 5 p.m.," said John Marler, who has worked at the stadium since 2007.

Kimberly Freeman Brown, executive director of American Rights at Work, said the NFL and union are fussing over many of the same issues faced by many workers: pay cuts, longer working hours, workplace safety and health care. She said a lockout would have an impact on 150,000 jobs and cause more than $160 million in lost revenue in every city with an NFL team. She called a potential work stoppage "something that could potentially have devastating consequences on our quality of life and our mental health."

"For many fans, football is just that deep to us," Brown said.

Atallah defended the union's public relations tactics.

"It is important for us to stand with the people who are here on this panel, not for any publicity issue or publicity stunt," Atallah said. "This is real life for us. This is a reality that these people face."


Chris Mortensen is ESPN's senior NFL analyst. Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

CloakNNNdagger
03-12-2011, 09:14 AM
Even though the NFL has not made an official statement, NFL Network has officially confirmed the Lockout is in place.......and they would know.......they are owned by the NFL.

Pollardized
03-12-2011, 10:17 AM
Well i'll tell you what. I would have the knowledge to know exactly how much profit I was making! So maybe I would be happy with that agreement. Or I might be greedy and want more back.

Its an unfair negotiation at this point.

Maybe because I don't have a union mentality I don't get this. I have worked for some big companies in my lifetime. Started out at 16 as a sacker for HEB. Was a cashier, a produce clerk, a night stocker, and night stock control manager. Never once did Charles Butt and I sit down and view his financials together so I could see if my $7.00 an hour was unfair. I just did my job, until which time I decided I was more valuable than what they paid me, so I moved on and found another job.

Worked for the Bell County Sheriff's Department and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, fighting with knuckle head inmates every day. I ain't even get started on little money I made in those days. But, when I got tired of not making enough, I moved on and bettered myself.

Now I am in the the HVAC industry, where I have worked for some really good, profitable companies as a service tech, salesman, service manager, and general manager. Not once did I sit down and look at financials as a way of determining how much money I would settle for. I accepted an hourly rate, or a salary, and did my job.

Now I have my own AC company. I pay someone a set amount of money based on how I bid the job. At the end of the job, the installer and I do not sit down and look at the profit on the job and determine his pay. He accepted his pay based on what he is asked to do on that job. What I make is my business. I have the cost of doing business associated with owning a company he doesn't see that must be factored in: insurance, licensing fees, taxes, gas, warranty reserve, etc, etc.

I'm sorry, I just have a hard time siding with players who make millions when they took no personal financial risk in fielding the team. Bob McNair paid $700,000,000 to own an NFL franchise, he took the financial risk associated with fielding a team, he deserves the opportunity to make a profit from it. If I could work for him, as a player, a coach, a manager, whatever, I would agree to work for whatever I consider an appropriate wage, then go out and do my job. If I don't like the wage offered, I could try to find another team who would pay what I wanted, or I could look for another line of work.

Pollardized
03-12-2011, 10:22 AM
Not to beat on you any more, but have you been asked to take a pay cut to pay for your working facilities?

??? That just doesn't make sense.

There are many people in today's economy who are doing just that. Pay freezes, pay cuts to help meet budgets and operating costs happens all the time.

Pollardized
03-12-2011, 10:25 AM
One of the owners, when the previous CBA was signed, was ecstatic about the deal. He said something to the effect of "We have the best agreement in all of sports. We're fortunate."

But all of a sudden it was a bad deal for the owners and they took it up the bum?

I'm with DB on this one, as usual.

It may be a bad deal for the owners now because players salaries have increased, cost of business has increased (utility rates, insurance, fuel, etc) stadium workers are demanding more, Obama has a hand in everyones pocket... there are many things to consider here.

4Texans
03-12-2011, 10:27 AM
Rep for Pollardized.

Pollardized
03-12-2011, 10:31 AM
The fallacy in your argument is the bolded. The NFL is simply not the 'real world' when they use taxpayers to finance their stadiums and have anti-trust exemption.

Perhaps you should read the thread when you offer such a strong opinion. Lots of good information and takes from both sides of the issue in this one.

I hear ya DB, but the NFL is not the only entity that uses tax payer money for business gain. It is very common practice for cities, counties and states to offer tax abatements to private businesses as incentive to build in their area. By not collecting normal taxes, aren't they in essence using tax payer dollars to finance that business during that period? That business will use all the same amenities that everyone else will use: police, fire, water/sewage, roads, etc, but will not be directly contributing to the tax funding that pays for it. Yes the business will bring jobs and sales tax increases, but then so doesn't the NFL in their cities?

4Texans
03-12-2011, 10:31 AM
If Von Miller's name in the law suit has any effect, hopefully it will be him dropping to #11 in the first round.

Pollardized
03-12-2011, 10:38 AM
I find it insulting that D. Smith in one of his interviews asked the rhetorical question if it is fair that the players be expected to make less in 2011 than in 2009..............IT'S THE ECONOMY STUPID!:mcnugget:

Exactly CND. There are many people in the US today who are making less than they did in 2009. We live in an uncertain economic time. The media is filled with bad economic news everyday. People are holding on to their money more these days. Cities and counties are laying off police and firefighters to maake budgets hold up.

It is that attitude of D. Smith that makes me side more with the owners in this debate.

Pollardized
03-12-2011, 10:39 AM
If Von Miller's name in the law suit has any effect, hopefully it will be him dropping to #11 in the first round.

I believe that is why he is involved, to have stock drop in the draft! He wants to be a Texan and play for fellow Ag Kubes! :homer:

Pollardized
03-12-2011, 10:50 AM
Are NFL owners making less?

Do the players take on the fiscal responsibilities of fielding the NFL team and paying all costs associated with it?

Does Peyton Manning cut Jim Irsay a check for his share of the profits from his Sony advertising gig? Think about it - if Manning didn't play for an NFL team, and he was an accountant for General Motors, do you think we would see his ugly mug all over TV advertising for everyone? No we wouldn't. So his advertising gigs are directly related to his employment as a Colt. Shouldn't he have to share in his profits with the Colts then?

Dan B.
03-12-2011, 11:18 AM
Do the players take on the fiscal responsibilities of fielding the NFL team and paying all costs associated with it?

Does Peyton Manning cut Jim Irsay a check for his share of the profits from his Sony advertising gig? Think about it - if Manning didn't play for an NFL team, and he was an accountant for General Motors, do you think we would see his ugly mug all over TV advertising for everyone? No we wouldn't. So his advertising gigs are directly related to his employment as a Colt. Shouldn't he have to share in his profits with the Colts then?

I feel less than zero pity for the owners "losing money" right now. Cuz they aren't. An NFL franchise is a license to print cash. If it's that bad, they can sell the team. There are thousands of people that would gleefully buy the poor cash strapped Dallas Cowboys from Jerry Jones, since they are such an albatross. How can you say there's a fiscal risk in running an NFL team? Has anyone ever gone bankrupt as an NFL owner? At least in the last 30 years?

If they were really losing money due to a bad economy they wouldn't just try to hork the player's profits. They would cut ticket prices and work to make sure that the average fan can still go to a game. But they don't care about the fans. That's why they bilk your community for a billion dollars in taxes, then threaten to move 20 years later unless you do it all over again. Peyton Manning has never said Indianapolis has to give him a billion dollars and build his business for him, or he goes to LA.

If the owners were sincere about bringing costs in line they would cut costs of attendance along with player salaries. But they aren't. They are just taking more money off the top.

And no, a player shouldn't have to share their endorsements with their owner. That's like saying Justin Timberlake should have to pay the guy that found the N'Sync kids for his commercials with Peyton. It makes no sense.

Pollardized
03-12-2011, 11:25 AM
I feel less than zero pity for the owners "losing money" right now. Cuz they aren't. An NFL franchise is a license to print cash. If it's that bad, they can sell the team. There are thousands of people that would gleefully buy the poor cash strapped Dallas Cowboys from Jerry Jones, since they are such an albatross.

And no, a player shouldn't have to share their endorsements with their team. That's like saying Justin Timberlake should have to pay N'Sync for his commercials with Peyton. It makes no sense.

I didn't say Manning should share with other players, I said with the team owner, who he has a beef with. If he wants the owner to open up and show his financials and give him a bigger share of the franchises profits, then shouldn't Manning open up his household financials and show Isray how much he is profitting by being a member of the franchise and share accordingly?

The players are asserting that owners make their profits at the expense of the players on the field. Why shouldn't the owners expect a share of the profits the players get from being put on the field in the first place.

Makes sense to me.

disaacks3
03-12-2011, 11:27 AM
I find it insulting that D. Smith in one of his interviews asked the rhetorical question if it is fair that the players be expected to make less in 2011 than in 2009..............IT'S THE ECONOMY STUPID!:mcnugget: Normally, I would agree, but the "NFL Economy" is doing better than ever and gaining $ every year." If the NFL statements are correct, I can see why the players would be incensed....there's no reason it should take 4 years to reach the levels the requested. In 4 years, their profits will be even higher and the players "smaller piece of a bigger pie" won't be doing much for those players retiring before 2014.

Maybe because I don't have a union mentality I don't get this. I have worked for some big companies in my lifetime. Started out at 16 as a sacker for HEB. Was a cashier, a produce clerk, a night stocker, and night stock control manager. Never once did Charles Butt and I sit down and view his financials together so I could see if my $7.00 an hour was unfair. I just did my job, until which time I decided I was more valuable than what they paid me, so I moved on and found another job. So, was Mr. Butt marketing "your services" as his entire product, or were you simply helping him sell his food product to the general public? A better comparison would be if you were a Chippendale's dancer, but I digress. I have little sympathy for either side, but I do see the players point. Barring an extremely rare occurence at your job, you weren't facing a career-ending injury every day. To want better short-term compensation seems reasonable.

There are many people in today's economy who are doing just that. Pay freezes, pay cuts to help meet budgets and operating costs happens all the time. And usually, you have a decent idea of the company's monetary position by anlysis of their competitors in an industry and their performance (if listed) on the stock market. The NFL is a monopoly that is only going up in a down economy. This is proven even by the paltry data they've released so far.

Dan B.
03-12-2011, 11:31 AM
I didn't say Manning should share with other players, I said with the team owner, who he has a beef with. If he wants the owner to open up and show his financials and give him a bigger share of the franchises profits, then shouldn't Manning open up his household financials and show Isray how much he is profitting by being a member of the franchise and share accordingly?

The players are asserting that owners make their profits at the expense of the players on the field. Why shouldn't the owners expect a share of the profits the players get from being put on the field in the first place.

Makes sense to me.

I edited the post to reflect that:

That's like saying Justin Timberlake should have to pay the guy that found the N'Sync kids for his commercials with Peyton.


And he shouldn't. Just because that guy stumbled onto a kid that could sing doesn't mean that they get to garnish his wages for life. Just because the Colts sucked one year and got the obvious #1 pick doesn't mean they own the guy in everything he does. Especially when their loyalty (bye bye Baltimore) is as fickle as it is.

Peyton Manning never signed a contract that said he would pay his team a percentage of what he made. If he had, do you really think it's unreasonable to determine what he was making? If you get divorced can you just agree to pay half your wages, but never say what those wages are?

"I'm paying you less this year than last. Sorry ex wife's lawyer, I didn't make any money this year. Sure I own the same company I always did, and my industry is earning cash hand over fist faster than just about any other one on earth. But I'm not going to show you my books. Just take my word for it."

Pollardized
03-12-2011, 11:40 AM
I'll just agree to disagree with you guys :handshake:

I'm not saying I think either side is exactly right in this. I wish I had a small % of everything they are arguing about.

Pollardized
03-12-2011, 11:47 AM
I edited the post to reflect that:




And he shouldn't. Just because that guy stumbled onto a kid that could sing doesn't mean that they get to garnish his wages for life. Just because the Colts sucked one year and got the obvious #1 pick doesn't mean they own the guy in everything he does. Especially when their loyalty (bye bye Baltimore) is as fickle as it is.

Peyton Manning never signed a contract that said he would pay his team a percentage of what he made. If he had, do you really think it's unreasonable to determine what he was making? If you get divorced can you just agree to pay half your wages, but never say what those wages are?

"I'm paying you less this year than last. Sorry ex wife's lawyer, I didn't make any money this year. Sure I own the same company I always did, and my industry is earning cash hand over fist faster than just about any other one on earth. But I'm not going to show you my books. Just take my word for it."

One last thought though: I see your point with a divorce reference. But does an NFL player sign a contract based on profits of the team? Or do they sign based on their value to the team? If their contracts were worded to pay them based on profitablilty, then of course they deserve to see the books. But if they sign for a set amount of money, why does team profitability matter?

Example: I had a job as a commissioned salesman, my pay was based on profitability of each job after it was finished. I had a right to see where each job came in after all costs were allocated. When I drew a salary as a General Manager, I was paid a set salary based on my performance. If I didn't perform they would not have kept me.

gary
03-12-2011, 12:32 PM
I am not a huge believer in everyone sharing their income with each other whenever they want. On the other hand if I am not doing anything wrong and there is merit to suppport my claims then I just might be willing to show my books. I do feel like there is more the owners should consider doing and the players as well if money is really being lost as they tell us.

CloakNNNdagger
03-12-2011, 12:37 PM
So, was Mr. Butt marketing "your services" as his entire product, or were you simply helping him sell his food product to the general public? A better comparison would be if you were a Chippendale's dancer, but I digress. I have little sympathy for either side, but I do see the players point. Barring an extremely rare occurence at your job, you weren't facing a career-ending injury every day. To want better short-term compensation seems reasonable.

It's just a pet pieve of mine. But I hate hearing that argument. These active players have "injury" insurance (unless they are dumbasses)......and have the same opportunity or pitfalls to continue it as any of us after the injury occurs and they leave for the real world. Even when the first year runt player is a minimum salary player, unless he squanders it immediately (like most of these knuckleheads do anyway), they would have a nice little piece in the bank to make for a decent life. How financially insecure would you feel with an extra $300,000 or more in the bank now? And let's not forget. They are not precluded from seeking a nonfootball career following retiring from the NFL for whatever reason. The Chippendale's dancer, on the other hand, has a base annual income of only $45,000-$75,000. Supplemented by mostly dollar bills stuffed into unmentionable places. In the unlikely event they have a "career-ending" injury, they may or may not have ANY insurance and would also be afforded the opportunity for pursuing a post dancing career.............but without the probability of any big bank account to help them out. Chippendale's dancers would have to work more than 4 years to match one year's minimum NFL salary.........and then within a few years, they have to deal with their inevitable "career ending injury".......AGE. :clown:

BTW.............Still, A POX ON BOTH OF THEIR HOUSES.

NitroGSXR
03-12-2011, 12:42 PM
I'm not necessarily siding with the owners but I do have a take on it being a small business-owner myself. I don't know about you but I work too hard, make good choices, and sacrifices to be a top pwrformer in my professional career to be treated "equal."

JB
03-12-2011, 12:44 PM
I edited the post to reflect that:




And he shouldn't. Just because that guy stumbled onto a kid that could sing doesn't mean that they get to garnish his wages for life. Just because the Colts sucked one year and got the obvious #1 pick doesn't mean they own the guy in everything he does. Especially when their loyalty (bye bye Baltimore) is as fickle as it is.

Peyton Manning never signed a contract that said he would pay his team a percentage of what he made. If he had, do you really think it's unreasonable to determine what he was making? If you get divorced can you just agree to pay half your wages, but never say what those wages are?

"I'm paying you less this year than last. Sorry ex wife's lawyer, I didn't make any money this year. Sure I own the same company I always did, and my industry is earning cash hand over fist faster than just about any other one on earth. But I'm not going to show you my books. Just take my word for it."

Seems to be a mis-conception based on misleading info from the players.

Following is a quote from Jeff Pash, legal consultant for the league...

Will you release any more financial documents?
There is no point to releasing them to people who don’t want to negotiate with you. We did offer to release five years of individual club-by-club financial documents to a mutually acceptable third party to review, analyze and report on those documents. We also offered to give the union aggregate profit data for the 32 clubs as a whole so they could see how the profitability has changed over the years. We offered substantial financial disclosures and the union chose not to take it.

Is the five years of audited financials a new offer?
It was something we had offered them some time ago. It was not something we just offered today.

When De Smith said we want 10 years of audited financials from each club, what was the reaction?
We were upstairs discussing the various points that they had made. Unbeknownst to us at the time they made those points they had already claimed to renounce their bargaining status, so I don’t know precisely why we were meeting with them. We were upstairs discussing it, we were talking to members of our ownership and within the committee and then we saw on one of the television stations that they had announced they had decertified and filed a lawsuit, etc. So it sort of muted the discussion.

Link (http://nfllabor.com/2011/03/11/nfl-transcripts-commissioner-goodell-jerry-richardson-john-mara-jeff-pash/)

And why is 5 years not sufficient? The expiring CBA was started 5 years ago wasn't it? Why are the players saying they have to go back further than that?

I don't think the players had any intention of coming to a new agreement. They liked what they had in the old one too much. And if they liked it that much, perhaps the owners have a valid point in saying that it was not a fair and balanced deal for both sides.

disaacks3
03-12-2011, 01:06 PM
It's just a pet pieve of mine. But I hate hearing that argument. These active players have "injury" insurance (unless they are dumbasses)......and have the same opportunity or pitfalls to continue it as any of us after the injury occurs and they leave for the real world. Even when the first year runt player is a minimum salary player, unless he squanders it immediately (like most of these knuckleheads do anyway), they would have a nice little piece in the bank to make for a decent life. How financially insecure would you feel with an extra $300,000 or more in the bank now? And let's not forget. They are not precluded from seeking a nonfootball career following retiring from the NFL for whatever reason. Oh, don't get me wrong, I think (and the data bears this out) that over 70% of ex-NFL players have little or no money within 5-10 years of the end of their playing days. The reason for this is none other than financial mismanagement. While a few players can blame failed investments, many just squander the money...trying to live for an extended time at a level they simply cannot afford.

Their "injury insurance" usually covers about 1/3 of what their normal salary would likely have been with continued playing time. While that surely good money to you and I, it's still far less than what their peers make while still able to play. I've also made the same point about their "free education", if they had the sense to make use of it. While my symapthy runs low on this, I also understand the reality that, as a whole, these guys haven't often really spent the time in studies as a normal student would and have no real-world experience (other than playing football) once they leave the sport.

Bottom line is that only one of these two groups is composed of professional businessmen and it surely isn't the players. While the comment directed at Peyton Manning during the early negotiations wasn't in "good form", it's likely accurate for your average owner vs. your average player.

The owners KNOW that the last CBA they agreed to was a bad deal (for them) and they'll do just about anything to keep another one of those from happening. Everytime somebody wants to blame the players for this, I remind them that it was the OWNERS who "opted out" of this deal two years ago. It is they who decry their monumental losses (despite record revenue) and forced this issue.

axman40
03-12-2011, 02:22 PM
Coaches and general managers all put on a brave front at the recent NFL combine, saying all teams would be in the same boat if a lockout wiped out offseason workouts and delayed free agency. The truth is, with some teams hiring new coaches and changing their offenses or defenses, the boats idling on the dock look nothing alike.
As expected, the owners and players failed to reach an agreement on a new labor deal by Friday's extended deadline. By the end of the night, there was a lockout and an official work stoppage.
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/03/11/SPE51I9GU0.DTL
:tiphat:

Dan B.
03-12-2011, 02:29 PM
I have been saying this for awhile, as well. The field is 50x100 yards, regardless if it's at Rice Stadium or Jerrah's Taj Mahal. The players can play on any field in good condition, regardless of the whistles and bells around it.

As a fan, I'd have no problem sitting on wooden benches at Rice Stadium. I'm there to watch the game, and I've got a gut feeling that most NFL fans with a passion for football would agree (this obviously excludes the wine & cheese crowd, but...)

These luxury stadiums are really designed to benefit the owners. Yeah, they give fans some perks, but unless you're the wine & cheese crowd, you won't see most of them.

So let's be honest here: the owners want players and fans to pay for these new stadiums that serve to financially benefit the owners the most. It is simply disingenuous to act like this is not the case. They want players to make less money, taxpayers finance the deals, and fans to pay more for tickets, merch, and concessions.

We go to games and watch on tv to see players play the game, not rich old men sit with ex-presidents drinking $1000 bottles of wine. The owners are not the product, plain and simple. And using other business models is not applicable when taxpayers are footing the bill for their playgrounds.

What do the owners have to lose by opening up their books? I think it's rather obvious.

Why not have the players agree to play for teams owned by cities? The same ownership model as the Packers for every team. If the city wants to vote for a tax increase to build a new stadium, it's their team and they can do so. Stadium naming rights go towards the tax base, not an owner's pocket. I'd go to Rice to watch a team that I owned a part of play a game.

The owners are completely superfluous, and in some cases (Snyder, JJ, Bud) actually counterproductive. They and their "brand" are the least important of the many aspects that make the NFL work. That's why they whore their name out so quickly and shamelessly.

CloakNNNdagger
03-12-2011, 09:37 PM
Why not have the players agree to play for teams owned by cities? The same ownership model as the Packers for every team. If the city wants to vote for a tax increase to build a new stadium, it's their team and they can do so. Stadium naming rights go towards the tax base, not an owner's pocket. I'd go to Rice to watch a team that I owned a part of play a game.

The owners are completely superfluous, and in some cases (Snyder, JJ, Bud) actually counterproductive. They and their "brand" are the least important of the many aspects that make the NFL work. That's why they whore their name out so quickly and shamelessly.

Evidently, it's not that easy. It's a successfull BUSINESS MODEL that virtually all past startup leagues have been unable to get a handle on.

Here is a historical review I found extremely interesting.:

Top 20 Professional Sports Leagues Which Failed Miserably (or Hilariously) (http://www.mastersinsportsmanagement.org/top-20-professional-sports-leagues-which-failed-miserably-or-hilariously.html)

CloakNNNdagger
03-12-2011, 09:48 PM
Letter to season-ticket holders from Lions president Tom Lewand (http://www.freep.com/article/20110312/SPORTS01/110312017/Letter-season-ticket-holders-from-Lions-president-Tom-Lewand)


In the interest of communicating openly with our most valued customers, we wanted to write to keep you updated on how the expiration of the NFL's Collective Bargaining Agreement may impact the 2011 season.


As you probably know, the Collective Bargaining Agreement —the contract between the league and the labor union representing the players —has expired. The NFL is working hard to reach a new agreement with the players, and we hope the negotiation process does not disrupt this football season. You should know that it is no way disrupting our preparation for a great 2011 season.


In the event any games are cancelled, be assured we will provide you with a full refund, with simple interest, for any cancelled preseason or regular-season home games. We will provide you with the details of the refund program at the appropriate time should it become necessary. In the meantime, if you have any questions about the refund policy, or any other matter, please contact your account representative or any sales representative at (313) 262-2011.


We are sorry the CBA expiration has created some uncertainty during this offseason. We understand and respect that what is most important to you and to all of our fans is that we play football in 2011.


We share your passion for NFL football and your excitement for the upcoming season. Our coaches and personnel department continue to work diligently to prepare for the NFL Draft in April and to be ready as soon as the teams and the players are able to come to a fair agreement for both sides.


Thank you for your patience and understanding. We greatly appreciate your support of the Detroit Lions and will continue to keep you informed of our plans for the 2011 season.


Sincerely,


Tom Lewand

axman40
03-14-2011, 07:29 PM
It’s time for Goodell to step up and earn his $1 annual salary in the coming weeks.
:tiphat:

axman40
03-15-2011, 11:53 AM
U.S. Rep. John Conyers (D-Detroit), the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, lined up against National Football League owners yesterday, introducing a bill (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/D?d112:56:./temp/%7Ebdbk3k::%7C/home/LegislativeData.php?n=BSS;c=112%7C) that seeks to overturn the league's lucrative TV antitrust exemption.

The 50-year-old exemption, which allows the league to negotiate deals for all 32 teams as a single entity, has helped turn the NFL into a multi-billion-dollar powerhouse.

In a statement, Conyers said the owners -- who recently locked players out of facilities as negotiations on a new deal faltered -- had abused the exemption by using broadcast money to create a "lockout fund" to unfairly fight the players' union and extend the contract impasse.


Conyers also called the exemption "an anomaly:"
March 15, The Biz of Football: (http://www.bizoffootball.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=803:ranking-democrat-seeks-to-remove-nfl-antitrust-exemption-over-lockout&catid=54:nfl-labor-news&Itemid=79) No other business benefits from an antitrust exemption for television negotiations. Most professional sports do not have such an exemption -- not soccer, not tennis, and not golf. And neither do any amateur sports -- not the Olympics, not college football and not college basketball.
http://www.mlive.com/lions/index.ssf/2011/03/detroit_rep_john_conyers_seeks.html?utm_source=fee dburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+michigan-elections+%28Michigan+Elections+News%29
:tiphat:

CloakNNNdagger
03-15-2011, 11:24 PM
Jerry Jones just can't learn to keep his arrogant big trap shut!


March 21, 2011
A Game In FlamesIssues of trust and transparency led to the collapse of NFL labor talks. It might be left to the courts to put out the fire
JIM TROTTER

An air of uncertainty filled an upstairs conference room at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service headquarters in downtown Washington on the morning of March 2. For the first time in 13 meetings with mediator George Cohen, the 10 owners on the NFL's labor committee were sitting across the negotiating table from the players on the union's executive committee.

Only one day remained before the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement, and everyone understood that a failure to find middle ground before 11:59 p.m. the next day would result in the league's first work stoppage since 1987.

Cohen began the session by giving each owner an opportunity to speak. Jerry Jones, never one to pass up center stage, tried to lighten the mood by talking of his upbringing and the business acumen that led to his purchase of the Cowboys 22 years ago. The tenor changed when he began discussing how two years of negotiations had failed to bring the sides closer. What he said next, with arched eyebrows, helped steer the situation past the point of no return.

"I don't think we've got your attention," Jones said to the players, several of whom recounted the incident to SI. "You clearly don't understand what we're saying, and we're not hearing what you're saying. So I guess we're going to have to show you to get your attention."

Jones tapped his fists together for emphasis—the players interpreted it as a sign that a lockout was coming—then stood and walked toward the door. As he reached the end of the table, Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, another labor hawk, began to rise, but Robert Kraft of the Patriots, who was sitting next to him, put a hand on Richardson's forearm and kept him from going.

If Jones's intention was to intimidate the players, he failed. "I think everybody in the room thought it was overly dramatic, almost hilarious," one player said. "It was like a Jerry Maguire moment. You know, 'I'm leaving. Who's coming with me?' I know it didn't scare any of us."

Jones's action, however, did help convince the players that the owners were serious about shutting down the game if the union didn't acquiesce to their core demand: an increase in the "expense credit," the amount the owners take off the top before sharing revenues with the players. That figure was approximately $1 billion in 2010, and the owners were asking for an additional $1 billion for such expenses as stadium construction and renovations, international games and the development of NFL.com and the NFL Network. The owners' attitude also made the players more adamant that franchises should open their books to prove they needed the increase, especially in light of the record $9.3 billion the NFL generated in 2010.

Talks finally skidded over the cliff's edge last Friday. The league had put a comprehensive—and on some points player-friendly—proposal on the table, but the Players Association deemed the offer insufficient, renounced its rights as a union and filed an injunction against the lockout and an antitrust lawsuit against the NFL in federal court in Minnesota. Among the 10 plaintiffs named in the suit are star quarterbacks Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees. The league responded as expected by locking out the players, and now the only certainty is that the next stage in the drama will be in the courts.

How did matters get to this point? Over money and trust. Put aside the talk about an 18-game season, a rookie wage scale and changes in benefits for active and retired players, all fairly standard collective bargaining matters. These negotiations were about how to split revenues that are projected to continue to rise in coming years.

In 2006 the owners voted 30--2 in favor of the last CBA, but they quickly came to believe that the agreement—which gave players about 60% of revenues after the expense credit—was too costly, so in 2008 they announced that they would exercise their right to opt out of the final two years of the CBA. "The 2006 deal was the first time we felt like there was a fair deal," says Chiefs guard Brian Waters, a member of the players' executive committee. "So to come back here and be in the position we're in. ... You feel like you're back to the point where you're not being taken seriously."

TimeKiller
03-16-2011, 08:24 AM
Did you guys see Adrian Peterson calling the situation a bit of "modern day slavery"? I mean really? I'm not even black and I want to pimp slap this *****! He and Lebron both, this is what we get for giving some people microphones though...comments about how being a celebrity, athlete and millionaire is JUST LIKE slave labor and all it's slavery goodness. Hey man, you should spend ALL DAY talking to some folks who spent their time fighting against segregation and see if that don't change your tone. They weren't even slaves and they got treated like shit! Seriously, and I want to emphasize that I'm being serious here, seriously if he needs to be shown what slavery is to get the point across I am ALL FOR putting him in chains, a shack and poorly sewn threads so that he can work 16 hours a day sweeping dirt off the ground. **** you Adrian Peterson. I hope you break your legs on your next run and you never get to play again.

CloakNNNdagger
03-17-2011, 06:57 PM
It's called bypassing the "middle man."

Goodell sends letter to players regarding NFL’s most recent offer (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/03/17/goodell-sends-letter-to-players-regarding-nfls-most-recent-offer/)

With the folks who currently are running the NFLPA* (whoever they may be) showing no inclination to continue negotiations and with the NFL very anxious to continue negotiations, Commissioner Roger Goodell has taken his case directly to the rank and file.

Goodell has sent a letter to every player (and the league office has sent a copy to every agent) explaining the terms of the league’s most recent proposal. We’ve obtained a copy of it.

“We want you to understand the offer that we made to the NFLPA,” Goodell wrote. “The proposal was made to avoid a work stoppage. Each passing day puts our game and our shared economics further at risk. We believe the offer presented a strong and fair basis for continuing negotiations, allowing the new league year and free agency to begin, and growing our game in the years to come.”

Goodell then summarizes the key elements of the proposal: maximum salary and benefits per team of $141 million per club in 2011, with maximum salary and benefits per team of $161 million in 2014; free agency for players with four or more accrued season; reduced draft-choice compensation for restricted free agents; extensive changes in offseason workouts; reduction of preseason and regular-season padded practices; increased days off; retention of the 16-game season through 2012 with no change to 18 games without the players’ agreement; expanded injury guarantees, with up to $1 million in the year after an injury occurs; continuing medical coverage for life; immediate increases in pension for pre-1993 players; a new rookie wage scale that would make $300 million per draft class available for veteran pay and player benefits; abd external arbitration of all drug and steroids appeals.

“Working together, players and clubs have made the game great,” Goodell added. “Our fans want us to find common ground, settle our differences, and come to a fair agreement. I have met with many of you since becoming Commissioner. You know of my respect and admiration for you as men and players. We need to come together, and soon.

“In that spirit, we are prepared to negotiate a full agreement that would incorporate these features and other progressive changes that would benefits players, clubs, and fans. Only through collective bargaining will we reach that kind of agreement. Our goal is to make our league even better than it is today, with the benefits shared by all of us,” Goodell said.

And here’s the bottom line — literally and figuratively: “I hope you will encourage your Union to return to the bargaining table and conclude a new collective bargaining agreement.”

We hope they will, too.

Though there’s a chance Goodell’s letter will anger NFLPA* leadership, if it gets enough of the players to insist on the NFLPA* to return to the bargaining table, it’s worth the risk.

GP
03-17-2011, 10:29 PM
Thanks, Cloak.

I think the owners saw how "ready and willing" the players were to stop negotiations and to go to court. They made the sweetheart offer, IMO, to try and either (a) avoid litigation--which I think is the better speculative situation here--or, (b) to make the players and NFLPA look like royal turds in the eyes of the public.

At this point, I think each side is just trying to win the approval of fans. They're teeter-tottering back and forth, one day the owners look like the asshats and the next day the momentum switches and the union/players look like jackwagons.

Either the league's offer is legit or it's a "show" since they know the union/players will go the route of litigation (therefore, the owners make it appear that THEY were the willing ones and the players were in the wrong).

I think the players win in court and get a better deal than what the owners are offering right now. Just my current hunch. But the sitch seems fluid and always ready to turn upside down. LOL. Tomorrow, I'll wake up to reports of the suit being called off and the two sides back to the negotiating table.

CloakNNNdagger
03-18-2011, 12:05 PM
Information must be carefully reviewed before it's acted upon. Truths are hard enough to obtain. Unfortunately, misconceptions are easily obtained and even more easily passed on.

Chester Pitts has gotten, and is giving, bad information (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/03/18/chester-pitts-has-gotten-and-is-giving-bad-information/)

We weren’t surprised by the hostile reaction of Seahawks guard Chester Pitts to the letter from Commissioner Roger Goodell to all players. Though Goodell makes very good points and we fully support his call for continued talks (as should all fans), the players do not want to allow themselves to be divided and conquered, so they’ve stiffened their spines and dug in their heels, even if their short-term position ultimately hurts their long-term interests.

And their short-term position apparently includes a refusal to continue negotiations. We currently suspect that a small handful of people (maybe lawyers like Jeffrey Kessler, maybe one or more players) want to push the process through the April 6 hearing in Minnesota, under the assumption that the players will obtain an order lifting the lockout, and thus giving the players more leverage.

But if the players lose the hearing and the lockout continues, the players lose leverage. A lot of it. (And anyone who says that the players definitely will secure an order lifting the lockout is lying or stupid, or both.)

Seahawks guard Chester Pitts, a representative to the NFLPA*, apparently has been listening to whoever is trying to force the process to litigation. An entry posted by Pitts on his Twitter page this morning shows that someone is telling Pitts that negotiations can’t continue because the NFLPA* has decertified.

“He and the owners lie to the public every day,” Pitts said of Goodell. “That letter is the equivalent of spam! How is it all of sudden he now wants to negotiate when he knows that window has closed. A trade association can not collectively bargain! The courts must now decide.”

In another message, Pitts said, “The movement of the case determines the next step. But no the class can’t bargain. Those are the rules of the antitrust laws.”

Chester, you’re just flat wrong, on both counts.

Negotiations may continue. Period.

Specifically, the lawyers representing the class may continue the negotiations. Packers president and CEO Mark Murphy recently suggested that the league would even consider signing paperwork that would allow the NFLPA* to be involved in exchange for a commitment that the NFL wouldn’t use it against the NFLPA* in court proceedings regarding whether the decertification is a sham, which of course it is — and Pitts knows it.

So how do we know that the lawyers can pick up where the non-asterisk NFLPA left off? Because NFLPA* executive director DeMaurice Smith said so Thursday.

“We have lawyers and class counsel who are representing us,” Smith told Mike Francesa of WFAN. “There’s no reason why those lawyers and class counsel and lawyers for the league can’t get together and talk and negotiate.”

Our guess is that one of the folks who have decided to push the case to the April 6 hearing and to resist further negotiations fed Pitts a line of crap when he started asking why negotiations weren’t continuing.

If that’s the case, Pitts should be upset. And he should commence the process of finding out who lied to him, and why they did it.

dalemurphy
03-18-2011, 05:02 PM
SBNation has some great coverage regarding the Goodell letter. On our blog, we compiled three of their stories together. If you are interested in the CBA/lockout situation and don't want to sift through SBNation's site (www.sbnation.com), go HERE (http://www.texansbullblog.com/collective-bargaining-jungle/news/)... We have links to 3 of their articles that should be read in chronological order.

Seems like Goodell's letter has some folks concerned.

TigerV1
03-18-2011, 05:02 PM
Information must be carefully reviewed before it's acted upon. Truths are hard enough to obtain. Unfortunately, misconceptions are easily obtained and even more easily passed on.

It's things like this that are swinging public opinion more on the side of the owners. I've watched the "Who Do You Support" poll in this forum go from a dominant lead for the players to the owners taking a two vote lead (of course the "Neither" option is still winning...).

If the players aren't careful they are going to find themselves in a position where they have no legs to stand on. If they are banking on the courts agreeing with them on April 6th, that's pretty weak. There is a good chance that won't happen and then the players will be up the proverbial creek without a paddle.

Frankly, the way the NFLPA* is going about things...I hope they get screwed over.

Wolf
03-19-2011, 12:27 PM
MARCO ISLAND, Fla. (AP)—Less than a week into the NFL lockout, there are players worried about affording health insurance premiums.

Normally, teams pay for that. As long as the league’s first work stoppage since 1987 is in place, though, each player is responsible for arranging and paying for his own coverage. Under the federal COBRA law that allows employees to continue coverage at their own expense, the average monthly fee for a family policy is $2,400, the NFL Players’ Association says.

Even a group with an average salary approaching $2 million, and a minimum rookie salary of $320,000 last season, there are those who wonder if they can keep paying for insurance if the lockout drags on.
AdChoices

As players gathered Thursday for their annual convention, NFLPA president Kevin Mawae(notes) said the “biggest concern right now” are “some young players who … may not have the ability to pay COBRA over a long term.”

“Is it a ton of players? No. But is it concern enough for us? Absolutely,” Mawae said.

He also was frank about this: It’ll be tough to keep every single one of his constituents fully informed and fully engaged. The grizzled veterans and the new kids. The millionaires many times over and the players who didn’t sock away enough cash.

“We have 1,900 active players, give or take, and you’re always going to have guys who either don’t know all the issues or don’t buy in or really (don’t) care,” Mawae said. “But the majority of the players understand what the issues are, and they understand that whatever happens, it’s going to intimately affect them, their livelihood and their families.”


http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=AumBuhwzi4isPP7tYhTK98tDubYF?slug=ap-nflplayers

CloakNNNdagger
03-20-2011, 09:37 AM
Here is the NFLPA letter of response to Godell's letter:

March 19, 2011

Roger Goodell
Commissioner
National Football League
280 Park Avenue

New York, NY 10017

Dear Roger:

This responds to the letter you sent to all NFL players on March 17.

We start by reminding you that we were there at the negotiations and know the truth about what happened, which ultimately led the players to renounce the NFLPA’s status as the collective bargaining representative of NFL players. The players took this step only as a last resort, and only after two years of trying to reach a reasonable collective bargaining agreement and three weeks of mediation with George Cohen of the FMCS. At all times during the mediation session we had representatives at the table with the authority to make a deal. The NFL representatives at the mediation did not, and the owners were mostly absent.

The mediation was the end of a two-year process started on May 18, 2009, when our Executive Director sent you a letter requesting audited financial statements to justify your opting out of the CBA (letter attached).

The NFLPA did all it could to reach a fair collective bargaining agreement and made numerous proposals to address the concerns raised by the owners. In response, the owners never justified their demands for a massive give-back which would have resulted in the worst economic deal for players in major league pro sports.

That is why we were very troubled to see your letter, and repeated press reports by yourself, Jeff Pash, and the owners, which claim that the owners met the players halfway in the negotiations, and that the owners offered a fair deal to the players.

Your statements are false.

We will let the facts speak for themselves.

The proposal by the NFL was not an “a la carte” proposal. The changes in offseason workouts and other benefits to players were conditioned upon the players accepting an economic framework that was unjustified and unfair.
Your proposal called for a pegged amount for the salary cap plus benefits starting at 141M in 2011 and increasing to 161M in 2014, regardless of NFL revenues. These amounts by themselves would have set the players back years, and were based on unrealistically low revenue projections. Your proposal also would have given the owners 100% of all revenues above the low projections, including the first year of new TV contracts in 2014. Your offer did NOT meet the players halfway when it would have given 100% of the additional revenues to the owners.

As a result, the players’ share of NFL revenues would have suffered a massive decrease. This is clear by comparing your proposal to what the players would receive under the 50% share of all revenues they have had for the past twenty years.

If NFL revenues grow at 8% over the next four years (consistent with Moody’s projections), which is the same growth rate it has been for the past decade, then the cap plus benefits with our historical share would be 159M in 2011 (18M more per team than your 141M proposal) and grow to 201M per team in 2014 (40M more per team than your 161M proposal).

Your proposal would have resulted in a league-wide giveback by the players of 576M in 2011 increasing to 1.2 BILLION in 2014, for a total of more than 3.6 BILLION for just the first four years. Even if revenues increased at a slower rate of only 5%, the players would still have lost over 2 BILLION over the next four years. These amounts would be even higher if your stadium deductions apply to the first four years (your proposal did not note any such limits on these deductions).

We believe these massive givebacks were not justified at all by the owners, especially given recent projections by Moody’s that NFL media revenues are expected to double to about 8 BILLION per year during the next TV deal.
Given that you have repeatedly admitted that your clubs are not losing money, the billions of dollars in givebacks you proposed would have gone directly into the owners’ pockets. We understand why the owners would want to keep 100% of this additional money, but trying to sell it as a fair deal to the players is not truthful.

You proposed a CBA term of ten years. But you did not include any proposal on the players’ share of revenues after the first four years, which left open entirely how much more the owners would have taken from the players.
The owners continued to refuse to give any financial justification for these massive givebacks. Our auditors and bankers told us the extremely limited information you offered just a few days before the mediation ended would be meaningless.

Your rookie compensation proposal went far beyond addressing any problem of rookie “busts”, and amounted to severely restricting veteran salaries for all or most of their careers, since most players play less than 4 years. What your letter doesn’t say is that you proposed to limit compensation long after rookies become veterans — into players’ fourth and fifth years. As our player leadership told you and the owners time and again during the negotiations, the current players would not sell out their future teammates who will be veterans in a few short years.

Your proposal did not offer to return the 320M taken from players by the elimination of certain benefits in 2010. It also did not offer to compensate over 200 players who were adversely affected in 2010 by a change in the free agency rules. Your letter did not even address a finding by a federal judge that you orchestrated new television contracts to benefit the NFL during the lockout that you imposed.

You continued to ask for an 18 game season, offering to delay it for only one more year (you earlier said it could not be implemented in 2011 no matter what due to logistical issues). This was so even though the players and our medical experts warned you many times that increasing the season would increase the risk of player injury and shorten careers.

All of the other elements you offered in the mediation, which you claim the players should have been eager to accept, were conditioned on the players agreeing to a rollback of their traditional share of 50/50 of all revenues to what it was in the 1980′s, which would have given up the successes the players fought for and won by asserting their rights in court, including the financial benefits of free agency the players won in the Freeman McNeil and Reggie White litigations more than 20 years ago.

The cap system for the past twenty years has always been one in which the players were guaranteed to share in revenue growth as partners. Your proposal would have shifted to a system in which players are told how much they will get, instead of knowing their share will grow with revenues, and end the partnership.

You had ample time over the last two years to make a proposal that would be fair to both sides, but you failed to do so. During the last week of the mediation, we waited the entire week for the NFL to make a new economic proposal. That proposal did not come until 12:30 on Friday, and, when we examined it, we found it was worse than the proposal the NFL had made the prior week when we agreed to extend the mediation. At that point it became clear to everyone that the NFL had no intention to make a good faith effort to resolve these issues in collective bargaining and the owners were determined to carry out the lockout strategy they decided on in 2007.

We thus had no choice except to conclude that it was in the best interests of all NFL players to renounce collective bargaining so the players could pursue their antitrust rights to stop the lockout. We no longer have the authority to collectively bargain on behalf of the NFL players, and are supporting the players who are asserting their antitrust rights in the Brady litigation. We have heard that you have offered to have discussions with representatives of the players. As you know, the players are represented by class counsel in the Brady litigation, with the NFLPA and its Executive Committee serving as an advisor to any such settlement discussions. If you have any desire to discuss a settlement of the issues in that case, you should contact Class Counsel.

Sincerely,

Kevin Mawae
Charlie Batch
Drew Brees
Brian Dawkins
Domonique Foxworth
Scott Fujita
Sean Morey
Tony Richardson
Jeff Saturday
Mike Vrabel


**********************

PFT's interpretation of the letter:

1. The letter starts with this sweet nothing: “We start by reminding you that we were there at negotiations and know the truth about what happened.” (Their bolding, not ours.)

2. The letter criticized the league for not having owners present during the majority of negotiations. The players listed a number of facts with the preface to Goodell: “Your statements are false.”

3. The facts primarily dealt with the problems that the union has with the financial aspects of the proposal, with the players contending that their percentage share of revenue decreasing. Much of the same ground was covered by DeMaurice Smith earlier in the week.

4. The players expressed unhappiness with the proposed rookie wage scale. “Your rookie compensation proposal went far beyond addressing any problem of rookie ‘bust’ and amounted to severely restricting veteran salaries for all or most of their careers, since most players play less than 4 years.”

5. The NFLPA* dismissed the apparent gains in health and safety issues like so:

“All of the other elements of the negotiation, which you claim players should be eager to accept, were conditioned on the players agreeing to a rollback of their traditional share of 50/50 of all revenues to what it was in the 1980′s, which would have given up the successes the players fought for and won by asserting their rights in court, including the financial benefits of free agency the players won in the Freeman McNeil and Reggie White litigations more than 20 years ago.”

6. The most depressing part of the letter for fans: The chances for further negotiations before a court date don’t sound promising. “We no longer have the authority to collectively bargain on behalf of the NFL players, and are supporting the players who are asserting their antitrust rights in the Brady litigation,” the players write. “We have heard that you have offered to have discussions with representatives of the players.

“As you know, the players are represented by class counsel in the Brady litigation with the NFLPA and is Executive Committee serving as an advisor to any such settlement discussions. If you have any desire to discuss a settlement of the issues, you should contact class counsel.”

CloakNNNdagger
03-20-2011, 09:47 AM
March 19, 2011
Foxworth: players ready, willing to talkDomonique Foxworth, a member of the NFLPA’s executive committee for four years, said Saturday the “former” union members are ready to begin settlement negotiations with NFL owners as soon as possible.

Speaking from Marco Island in Florida, where the player reps from the decertified NFL union are meeting this weekend, Foxworth also said he doesn’t see the players re-forming a union any time in the foreseeable future.

When the NFLPA decertified a week ago, it set in motion a chain of events that will be played out in federal court in Minneapolis. A day after the union decertified and became a trade association – unable to bargain collectively – the owners locked them out.

Players then sought a preliminary injunction to lift the lockout and return everything to normal. Nine players, including Peyton Manning and Drew Brees, are filing a class-action antitrust suit against the league. The injunction request will be heard on April 6.

In the meantime, the players have decided to answer some of the criticisms leveled at them by the owners in the league's public relations strategy. While commissioner Roger Goodell and some owners have said they hope the union will return to the negotiating table, Foxworth said no talks about a settlement have been held.

“But we’ve expressed that we’re ready to begin talks as soon as they’re ready,” he said.

Foxworth said decertification was necessary in the attempt to assure there will be football in 2011.

“I want to ensure fans we’re doing everything we can possibly do so that football is played this season,” he said. “Games will be played in August. All fans should unite and root for the injunction to be granted. If it’s granted, then it will be business as usual in the NFL.”

On a personal level, Foxworth said he wanted to get the injunction to “keep the NFL from ruining our chance to win the Lombardi Trophy. I think we have the team that can do it.”

By decertifying, the players also expose the league to antitrust violations. When it had collective bargaining and a player union, the NFL enjoyed antitrust exemptions.

Foxworth said he doesn’t think the players will re-form as a union any time soon, even though he knows the league will request that in any court settlement.

“We’re fine with decertifying, we’re fine with never being a union again,” he said. “That’s our complete intention. Whenever we come to a settlement, they’ll ask that we certify. [But] I don’t know that that’s what we want to do. It’s in our best interests to be an association.

“I don’t perceive any time in the future when we’re going to be a union again.”

The players are meeting in Florida for the first time as a trade association. Normally, the NFLPA would meet in Hawaii in March. This, Foxworth said, was a cost-cutting measure.

“We’re working to educate guys about what’s taken place, about the injunction process and how important it is to stay together,” he said.

Riiiiiiiight. That'll work. Some people ought to just keep their mouths shut.......except for when they're eating.

JB
03-20-2011, 10:14 AM
The more I hear, the more I am thinking the players are greedy bastards just as much as the owners. They want to run the league as controlling partners, not employees. They can all kiss my ass!


The players tend to forget that in 3 years most of them will be gone. The owners don't need these particular players near as much as the players need the owners to provide for them.

Wolf
03-20-2011, 10:57 AM
MSR JB ,I agree I am pretty much burned out on sports and how much it costs to go and salaries are through the roof and all we hear is bitching. Maybe it is because the economy stinks right now and that is why I hate hearing players and owners ***** over MILLIONS of dollars.


In the words of rod Tidwell . Well boo f'ing who

CloakNNNdagger
03-20-2011, 11:07 AM
MSR JB ,I agree I am pretty much burned out on sports and how much it costs to go and salaries are through the roof and all we hear is bitching. Maybe it is because the economy stinks right now and that is why I hate hearing players and owners ***** over MILLIONS of dollars.


In the words of rod Tidwell . Well boo f'ing who

are the fans the "who" you refer to?:D

b0ng
03-20-2011, 12:47 PM
NFLPA cites owners' fixed-salary offer (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=6232940)

MARCO ISLAND, Fla. -- The NFL Players Association says labor negotiations broke down last week because the owners' last proposal would have made salaries a fixed cost and eliminated the players' chance to share in higher-than-projected revenue growth.

"That's a fundamental change as to the way the business has been done with the players -- player percentage always has been tied to revenues," said former 13-year offensive lineman Pete Kendall, the NFLPA's permanent player representative who retired after the 2008 season.

Speaking to reporters Friday at the former union's annual meeting, Kendall described the league's offer as "kind of the old switcheroo."

Kendall said that throughout negotiations, the players' chance to share in increased revenues had been a key component of how to divide the NFL's yearly take of more than $9 billion.

He said the discussions until talks stopped last Friday -- the 16th day of federal mediation -- always revolved around the premise that if the rise in league revenues exceeded a certain percentage each year, players would get a cut.

Uh huh. I wonder why the NFLPA walked away from a deal that would almost garuntee a strike in a few years.