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Adalius Thomas denies talk of playoff strike

On Tuesday night, we caught wind of rumors that frustrations regarding the NFL’s apparent unwillingness to negotiate a new Collective Bargaining Agreement before the start of the uncapped year in March 2010 were giving rise to talk of a players strike for the playoffs.

When acknowledging the rumors, we also pointed out that it could never happen, due to a clear term in the CBA preventing a strike by the players or a lockout by the owners prior to the expiration of the contract that both sides signed.

On Wednesday, Patriots linebacker Adalius Thomas denied, strongly, that there has been talk of a postseason strike.

“To be blunt, it’s a flat-out, bald-faced, capital-letters lie,” Thomas told Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports.  “We’re not the ones who are
interested in not playing.  We want to play.  We’re not going on strike.
We signed this agreement and we’re fine with
it.  We’re happy.  We don’t want to stop playing football.”

With all due respect, Adalius, it’s not a “flat-out, bald-faced, capital-letters lie.”  Or any other type of lie.  The rumor exists.  We heard it from a league source who has connections with many players, teams, agents, and — yes — the union.

Speaking of the union, NFLPA spokesman George Atallah declined to respond to Cole’s request for comment on the rumors of a playoff strike.  And, frankly, that’s disappointing.  All Atallah had to say was, “We fully intend to honor our contractual commitments.”  [Editor’s note:  To make it clear, Atallah didn’t actually say this.  He just should have.]  His reluctance to say anything about the situation makes us wonder whether he feared a follow-up question that might have forced him to admit that, yes, all options have been considered and that, indeed, the possibility of a postseason walkout was discussed, but ultimately rejected.

So, as we had hoped, this rumor will apparently die a quick death.  But Thomas’ words shed further light on the leverage that the owners possess in this situation.

“You play the entire season to get to
the playoffs,” Thomas told Cole.  “That’s when, as a player, you want to play the most.  You
want to go to the Super Bowl and you have four weeks to get there.  You
think we want to stop that?  That’s the dumbest thing I have ever heard.”

In other words, the players want to play NFL football — and the only way they can play NFL football is if the owners let them play NFL football.  As of 2011, the only way that’ll happen is if the players accept whatever deal the owners are willing to give them.

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11 Responses to “Adalius Thomas denies talk of playoff strike”
  1. TheDPR says: Nov 5, 2009 6:39 AM

    I disagree with the implications of your conclusion, Mike. Just because the players want to play NOW in 2009-10, both because they love the game and because they HAVE TO, doesn’t mean they have no leverage or ability to walk out THEN in 2011.

  2. pfinfl says: Nov 5, 2009 7:00 AM

    Unsourced rumors substantiated by quotes that deny the rumor, sounds like someone is getting tooled here Mike.
    BYW, if you are going to log me out then I should get the login prompt not the logout. TY

  3. efangule says: Nov 5, 2009 7:15 AM

    “With all due respect, Adalius, it’s not a “flat-out, bald-faced, capital-letters lie.” Or any other type of lie. The rumor exists. We heard it from a league source who has connections with many players, teams, agents, and — yes — the union.”

  4. PFTiswhatitis says: Nov 5, 2009 8:59 AM

    Uggh. Your comment machine f’ed up on me again. I thought you guys fixed that????
    “In other words, the players want to play NFL football — and the only way they can play NFL football is if the owners let them play NFL football. As of 2011, the only way that’ll happen is if the players accept whatever deal the owners are willing to give them.”
    I doubt Adalius would agree with that restatement. Your conclusion is ridiculous and made solely to support your case Florio. FAIL.

  5. SmackMyVickUp says: Nov 5, 2009 10:23 AM

    Quickest way to get fans to side with the owners would be to start a playoff strike. Must be one of the stupidest ideas ever.
    Striking at the start of the season would have plenty of notice and fans would have a build up.
    Come playoff time and players stop showing up – fans would go berserk.

  6. Dude17 says: Nov 5, 2009 11:51 AM

    Don’t be surprised if another rumor starts about the players delaying the start of a playoff game. They might be willing to delay 30 minutes before coming out on the field. Wouldn’t really disrupt the playoffs and would, supposedly, show that they have power too.
    That would still backfire on them, but don’t be surprised if that starts the rounds.

  7. urbusted says: Nov 5, 2009 11:58 AM

    Shouldn’t affect the Browns too much unless they bought tickets. That’s the only good thing about being a Browns fan. Low stress in the post season. We were fun to watch until we moved. The new Browns Haven’t had much to get excited over. Now we have an !@#!!*! coach who sucks for lack of a better word. Ownership is to blame.
    The NFL had better look at the whole package! The product on the field over all is getting worse! A strike will alienate the fanbase in this economy. The recession is over you say? Might be but families are not recovering near as fast.

  8. urbusted says: Nov 5, 2009 12:26 PM

    Dude17 says:
    November 5, 2009 11:51 AM
    Don’t be surprised if another rumor starts about the players delaying the start of a playoff game. They might be willing to delay 30 minutes before coming out on the field. Wouldn’t really disrupt the playoffs and would, supposedly, show that they have power too.
    THAT would be extremely disruptive to the TV schedule. Thirty minutes is very expensive not to mention possibly bleeding over into another games time slot.

  9. texasPHINSfan says: Nov 5, 2009 3:42 PM

    until/unless you can reveal your source, florio, this argument doesn’t hold much water.
    strikes would make sense if it was the first uncapped year and this was the beginning, but playoffs strike? when they’re under contract?
    it doesn’t take a genius to see both how unprobably this would be and how unlikely players would be to want to strike when they make the playoffs. what would they be striking? an assumption that talks won’t happen months from now about a labor agreement that expires in over a year?
    doesn’t make sense.

  10. Route36West says: Nov 5, 2009 8:11 PM

    Well Florio isnt it possible that it wasnt the players who started the rumors? That in fact it was the owners. Who were trying to do the thing you steadily preach about on this issue, sway public opinion against the players and in favor of the owners. So maybe it was a bold face lie, you don’t know and neither do the rest of us. The only people that do know are the players. So you can’t make statements like there fact when you have know clue. I mean you can make those statements if you want but that doesnt make them true. And anyone who believes it like its a fact and not an opinion is an idiot.

  11. Route36West says: Nov 5, 2009 8:21 PM

    Also you are reporting from a veteran that doesnt have many of years left to play. So the owners have more leaverage over him then others. Because he doesnt have alot longer to play so of course he doesnt care about the cba he already has his money so its not really going to effect him that much. I bet if you talk to the Crabtrees or other younger players in the NFL they would rather not play football then get screwed in the cba. The young nfl players have proven they will sit in there long hold outs. So basically all Im saying is Thomas will bend to the owners will b/c it wont effect him much but the younger guys I think will sit if they have too. So the owners might have leverage over some vets but I doubt its the same to the kids.

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