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VRABEL DOESN’T BUY OWNERS’ COMPLAINTS

Six months ago, NFL owners opted out of the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NFL Players’ Association, saying they needed to fix problems with the deal.
Count Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel as one union member who thinks the deal isn’t broken.
Vrabel tells the Boston Herald that he doesn’t buy the owners’ claims that they need revisions to the CBA in order to ensure the financial well-being of all 32 clubs.
How bad are their books?” Vrabel asked. “They can cut [Raiders cornerback DeAngelo Hall] eight games after they sign him for $70 million. They can offer Brett Favre $10 million a season for 10 years not to play for the Packers. Come on. We ask to see their books and they won’t open them. It’s tough to form a partnership with someone who won’t show us his books. These franchises are worth billions. You open USA Today and they got every player’s salary listed. We have to go to Forbes Magazine to try and guess what the teams are worth.”
Vrabel thinks it’s important for the union to find a new leader who’s ready to stand firm with the owners — even if that means a labor stoppage.
“Nobody wants to see a lockout in 2011,” Vrabel said, “but we are going to insist on what is fair.”

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37 Responses to “VRABEL DOESN’T BUY OWNERS’ COMPLAINTS”
  1. Anesthesia says: Nov 9, 2008 9:21 AM

    I think Vrabel makes some good points in a good argument. There is one thing the clubs want even less than to show the players their books, and that’s a lockout. And I think if push comes to shove, the players should force the owners to show their hand or suffer the consequences of a lockout.

  2. LiveNBreath Football says: Nov 9, 2008 9:22 AM

    A work stoppage would be a really bad idea all around. If the economy is still slow by 2011, the Union will look stupidly greedy. Regardless of the state of the economy, the Owners will look greedy. However, if the owners want to win this one, they MUST open their books. They are not so wonderful that their adversary in the talks is just going to take their word for it. Also, labor law requires that if you make poverty an issue, you must provide the requested proof.
    For the sake of the fans who actually allow all the players, coaches, and owners to make millions, get this thing settled in a timely fashion.

  3. dyhardSkinsFan says: Nov 9, 2008 9:24 AM

    please no lockout. Or else we might have to watch…..BASEBALL!
    Nooooooooo!!!!!!!!

  4. pfitz says: Nov 9, 2008 9:28 AM

    good for Mike.He is a smart guy and has the seeds to say what he feels is right..The NFL owners are making a killing and all you have to do is see the former players that can barely walk to know they have to look at their futures now

  5. Razon says: Nov 9, 2008 9:29 AM

    His thought process is a bit flawed. Hall didn’t cost the Raiders 70 mil but rather roughly 8 mil. The 10 mil for Favre would have easily been made back in the first year or maybe two, but that type of player isn’t an every year or every decade occurrence.
    But that is where his argument isn’t flawed. The owners are making money, how much who knows? At the same time, pockets are not as full as they once were and some teams such as the one he mentioned (the Packers) do struggle with rising cost.
    Clearly the system is as broken as owners may want people to believe, but it does need to be tweak. Longer season, rookie salary structure (similiar to NBA) and maybe even rolling money into the next year cap is all things that need to be addressed.

  6. pfitz says: Nov 9, 2008 9:30 AM

    The only injury the sperm lottery winner jonathan Kraft ever had was a paper cut counting his money..I just hope they take better care of the retired players this time

  7. desides says: Nov 9, 2008 9:34 AM

    That last line is interesting. After a list of players who are getting some very high salaries with good chunks of guaranteed money, Vrabel then says the players will insist on fairness. Exactly what the hell is he referring to if Favre being paid $10 million to throw to the other team is NOT fair?

  8. JoeSixPack says: Nov 9, 2008 9:39 AM

    I guess this is the flip side of the coin to having an NFL full of idiot turds… smart guys like Vrabel who can’t be bullshitted.

  9. inmymind says: Nov 9, 2008 9:40 AM

    What a whining little turd! The owners deserve to make a lot a money on their major investments. The problem with unions is they think they should have control of someone elses business.
    The auto industry is going belly up and much of that can be tied back to paying 60-80 an hour for a union line worker.(yes I know, the worker gets only about 30 an hour but for the short-sited folks, pensions, healthcare taxes etc run that to abot 2-2.5x the employee hourly rate). The NFL players believe this gravy train will never end, and for the current players they may be right. However, the long range stability of ALL the teams is important. If fewer teams are in place, fewer jobs are available. With fewer jobs, players will begin to cut their demands, thus lowering salaries. Maybe not in 5 years, but 10-15 years, most certainly. Hey Vrabel, take you few million this year and shut up. People like me who make an nominal weekly pay, would cut off our right nut to make a few million for ONE year.

  10. Matt in NC says: Nov 9, 2008 9:42 AM

    Vrabel is OFF BASE. The owners OWN the team and the players are EMPLOYEES. They have no right at all to demand to see the books of the owners.
    The GAME is more important than the PLAYERS. I’ll pull for the Miami Dolphins whether it is Dan Marino or Cleo Lemon or Chad Pennington or Joe Schmoe playing.
    The CBA DOES need to be overhauled, mainly by providing a rookie salary cap.

  11. bigblue59 says: Nov 9, 2008 9:49 AM

    Excuse me I know the country is going to hell but last time I checked employees do not have the right to view the books of there employers
    Your a worker take the wage your paid or leave this is not a partnership do the players give back money when they suck
    Do the players give back money when they do not sell out the stands
    No they do not they sign a contract and get paid win lose or draw the owners are the ones who are risking it all not the players
    And yes the owners are in it to make money its called business at least until January that is still allowed in this country
    If not for the owners we would have a lot more gym teachers and trash collectors and retail workers
    If any of my employees asked to see my books I would show them the door
    Did the player risk any money building that new home field ?
    Unless the team is a publicly held company the books are closed partner my ass!!!

  12. Mbehavin2 says: Nov 9, 2008 9:51 AM

    Razon – His point was D. Hall got a $70M contract which he was not worth. I for one would gladly take a $8M for 8 weeks of work. So yeah Weird Al finally smelled the coffee on what one player so far?
    I personally would like to see the books as public records for any professional team that gets any public money for their stadiums. When the billionaire owners are upset they are not making millions every weekend after expenses it is time to open the books.

  13. filbertkiwi71 says: Nov 9, 2008 9:53 AM

    “Razon says:
    November 9th, 2008 at 9:29 am
    His thought process is a bit flawed. Hall didn’t cost the Raiders 70 mil but rather roughly 8 mil. The 10 mil for Favre would have easily been made back in the first year or maybe two, but that type of player isn’t an every year or every decade occurrence.
    But that is where his argument isn’t flawed. The owners are making money, how much who knows? At the same time, pockets are not as full as they once were and some teams such as the one he mentioned (the Packers) do struggle with rising cost.
    Clearly the system is as broken as owners may want people to believe, but it does need to be tweak. [b] Longer season, [/b] rookie salary structure (similiar to NBA) and maybe even rolling money into the next year cap is all things that need to be addressed.

    —-
    Simply put, extending the length of the season is a bad idea. How long can a human body take that kind of football punishment before it begins to breakdown? These players need the off season to heal up. Extending the season reduces the length of the off season and subjects tired and worn down players to further injury.
    IMO, I don’t think the owners care if there is a lockout. They could always go the route of replacement players and try to wait out the union.

  14. bigblue59 says: Nov 9, 2008 9:55 AM

    Why do the owners have to worry about the future of the players these players get more money to play a kids game then people who save lifes for a living
    How about the players take a part of there large pay and save it instead of blowing it like a sailor on shore leave.
    I agree that the older players are suffering but that should not hold true for this generation of player with all the cash they are getting a simple passbook savings account would provide enough to live on for the rest of there lifes.
    How about the union forcing players to save 10% of there pay each year towards retirement?
    The problem here is what the problem is in this country today everyone wants someone else to take the blame

  15. TF says: Nov 9, 2008 9:57 AM

    Mbehavin2, I’m certain GM has made numerous BILLION DOLLAR investments, some of them they shouldn’t have made, does that mean there is no way they are struggling?

  16. kayC says: Nov 9, 2008 9:57 AM

    Agreed, desides. Every scenario Vrabel listed in his argument involved a team paying obscene amounts of money to a player.
    I mean, let’s face it– both sides are wealthy beyond their wildest dreams. I don’t really care who gets more money, but for players to imply that they’re not getting a fair salary from owners is a joke. This isn’t a traditional workers vs employer scenario. Nobody’s getting ripped off here, except the fans if a shutout truly does occur in 2011.

  17. gosox2673 says: Nov 9, 2008 9:58 AM

    I know it’s fashionable around here to knock the Patriots every chance you get, but Robert Kraft is far from a “sperm lottery” winner. His father was a dress maker. He did marry into a bit of money, but it was he who made his father-in laws business into such a huge success. I assume hat pfitz is thinks that Kraft’s last name automatically makes him a “cheese magnate”. Just another example of Patriot haters not actually knowing all the facts.

  18. PFTiswhatitis says: Nov 9, 2008 10:03 AM

    Actually, Mike makes a case for the owners – those players sure get paid a lot. Hall made $8 million for 8 games that he barely showed up at. Favre gets how much per INT?
    Mike also conveniently ignores teams like the Bills that don’t bring in that much cash.
    Simple question, who cares more about the league’s success the players or the owners?

  19. 30PTBUCK says: Nov 9, 2008 10:06 AM

    People shouldn’t comment on things they know nothing about or think they know.First of all the Packers books are open they are a publically owned team that publishes their earnings every year.Secondly they didn’t offer Bretteney 100 million over 10 years it was 1 million a year.Also it is the players union that is not helping retired players with their medical problems just ask Coach Ditka or Jerry Kramer.People who think owners of companies or sports franchises are evil are wrong. Why do atheletes think they are entitled to more than 50% of the teams revenue? If they don’t like it go on strike or use their own money( they have enough) and start their own league. Better yet why don’t they redistribute their wealth and have everybody on the team make the same amount regardless of work ethic or talent.That’s what their candiate they voted overwhelming for wants to do. It’s time this elite group does what they preach.

  20. Smush Rodrigez says: Nov 9, 2008 10:10 AM

    “I personally would like to see the books as public records for any professional team that gets any public money for their stadiums. When the billionaire owners are upset they are not making millions every weekend after expenses it is time to open the books”
    Agree. The real problem is that the people complaining about the money are the ones with the most. Out of the 3 entities the order of money is owners, players, fans (a distant third). This is the way it should be: the owners assumed the risk and debt, the players have the talent, and the fans are pretty much screwed. If I decide to make a stand and get rid of my Eagles season tickets, they have 30,000 people ready to buy them. When the taxes get raised, these guys are going to complain and MY TICKETS are going to get raised… This will piss me off.
    If the players really want some sympathy – they should stop allowing guys to go out and make it rain and spray Crystal at bars – spending more money in one night then many fans make in 6 months or a year.
    We should just sick Arlen Spector on these guys!

  21. svnrdr says: Nov 9, 2008 10:21 AM

    Greed is an ugly thing Mike.

  22. Steelers_Fan_MT says: Nov 9, 2008 10:34 AM

    What is fair?!?!?!?! They make MILLIONS a year to play a game!!!!! They are treated like royalty. How much is enough?? With HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of Americans losing their jobs, they ought to thank their lucky stars for what they have!! I would have died to get paid to play a game I love!! They need to shut their whining mouths and take in what they are actually receiving. It doesn’t matter to the owners, the more they pay the more they charge for us to watch our teams. Don’t threaten us with a lockout! It will definitely lose fan base which equals their paychecks. No butts in the seats, no money in the bank. It’s already ridiculous enough for what it costs at these games.

  23. DarthJay says: Nov 9, 2008 10:34 AM

    “I know it’s fashionable around here to knock the Patriots every chance you get, but Robert Kraft is far from a “sperm lottery” winner. His father was a dress maker. He did marry into a bit of money, but it was he who made his father-in laws business into such a huge success. I assume hat pfitz is thinks that Kraft’s last name automatically makes him a “cheese magnate”. Just another example of Patriot haters not actually knowing all the facts. ”

    They said JONATHAN Kraft…

  24. patspsycho says: Nov 9, 2008 10:35 AM

    Anyone who disagrees with Vrabel has clearly never played football before. Playing on a weekly basis with the threat of suffering a career-ending injury takes guts. Have any of those owners suffer a “career-ending” injury? Come on.
    You can argue that players ought to finish college before playing in the NFL or at least have a second career prepared.. but when you are given a good offer, you take it, because you don’t know if you’ll ever get another good offer. Those who say “tough luck” really are clueless as to the amount of punishment that ex-players pay when they enter their 50’s and 60’s when the body starts slowing down.

  25. TF says: Nov 9, 2008 10:36 AM

    Peezy doesn’t understand why Mike (Vrabel) isn’t an idiot.

  26. hesawinner says: Nov 9, 2008 10:46 AM

    In the real world, the owners don’t have to show their books and won’t. Why would they? The players have no where to go. They can’t say “I’ll just take my services elsewhere” unless they want to make less than half of their current salaries that they have deemed unacceptable.

  27. Jim Beam says: Nov 9, 2008 10:48 AM

    Unions are the death Of North American businesses.
    Like a few of your already pointed out, the owners are the ones assuming all the risks. They are the ones who should make the most money. Long after the players have retired and made their millions owners will still be on the hook for loans, overhead, payroll etc etc.

  28. gosox2673 says: Nov 9, 2008 11:11 AM

    “They said JONATHAN Kraft…”
    That my friend is one hell of a point. Just another example of Patriot fans not having all the facts.
    I’ll crawl back into my hole now.

  29. TF says: Nov 9, 2008 11:15 AM

    By the way, Florio, censoring comments that aren’t offensive but are critical of you is a surefire way to get me to never visit this site ever again.

  30. Michael David Smith says: Nov 9, 2008 11:24 AM

    What would you criticize Florio about, TF? He didn’t write this.

  31. yankeemofo says: Nov 9, 2008 11:48 AM

    Maybe Mike can get Obama to come in and “spread the wealth”. This seems to be the mentality of the general populace nowadays…

  32. MarkB says: Nov 9, 2008 11:55 AM

    Ahhh… the classic complaint about “whining” players. Professional athletes make millions because they are very talented in a world where talent is rare. Profootballtalk posters, on the other hand, tend to be talentless dweebs who are lucky to scrape doggie poo of the sidewalk for a living – BECAUSE YOU’RE NO GOOD FOR ANYTHING ELSE. Those guys in investment banking who just destroyed our economy were making tens of millions per year – for the rest of their lives, not for five or six years – and you had no idea they existed, because you live in the bottom of the barrel, and they live on top. Don’t envy people who are better than you. Make yourself better.

  33. renaissancemanrt says: Nov 9, 2008 12:06 PM

    Quit your damn whining. There’s people getting paid a hell of a lot less getting their limbs blown off in Iraq right now. No one is making you play for 15 years until your knees fall off.

  34. Bob S. says: Nov 9, 2008 12:38 PM

    The money grabbing NFL owner cheapskates are the EXACT ones who Obama should drastically raise their taxes and only those at the same level not involved in football!
    The money loving owners who spit in long time fans faces with night football games in northeast late in season and playoffs and their seat license extortion attempt – these money grabbers want to enrage the players too as they know a strike/lockout is coming.
    Don’t forget how the NFL used scab football players to still make sure those games werent cancelled and theyd have to give the fans back their money. And counted it in standings and called it NFL football.

  35. Favre2012 says: Nov 9, 2008 1:09 PM

    They should be able to look at the books, that’s not asking much.
    The fact that they’ve never seen the books proves to me that Upshaw was incompetent.

  36. Mbehavin2 says: Nov 9, 2008 1:28 PM

    TF – All I am saying is sense the owners are using our tax dollars to build the stadiums their teams play in entitles the tax payers to see the books for their teams.
    The same applies to any other company or organization that gets the benefits of our tax dollars.

  37. Razon says: Nov 9, 2008 5:29 PM

    @filbertkiwi71
    Where did I say I supported longer seasons, just that it needed to be address.
    @MarkB
    Yes I have no talents in the world as does every other poster, I guess, except you. So take a teacher who is very talented, what does he/she make?

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