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Pash advocates a series of agreements between NFL and union

In a Thursday appearance on ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike in the Morning, NFL general counsel Jeff Pash spoke at length regarding the status of labor negotiations, and some of the specific issues with which the two sides are wrestling.

As to the point about which we all care the most, Pash said a deal between the NFL and the players’ union will be reached.  But he acknowledged that, in the end, it’s a matter of when, not if.

And the “when” possibly can come in a piecemeal basis.  Pash advocated an approach we recently suggested,
initially in a segment on Monday’s edition of The Dan Patrick Show
(guest-hosted by a certain Internet hack) and reiterated in writing
later that day.

“Why don’t the NFL and the union try to work out agreements on smaller
issues
,” we said, “in the hopes of building some momentum by establishing common
ground?”

Speaking of the importance of building “momentum, and confidence, and trust,” Pash told the two Mikes,  “[Y]ou do that perhaps by taking some small steps and, hey, let’s see if we can reach an agreement on testing for growth hormone.  That’s one step.  Let’s see if we can reach an agreement on [compensation for] rookies and retiree benefits.  That’s another step.  Let’s see if we can reach an agreement on forfeitures of signing bonuses when players go to jail and breach their contracts.  That’s another area.  And if we can do that, then we can build progress, and the tougher issues might not be so tough at the end.”

Pash also did a great job of doing exactly what we have suspected that the league will be doing with some of the various issues that resonate with the fans:  Using the subjects on which the fans agree with the league as leverage to get the fans behind the league on all issues.  So instead of talking about the fundamental disagreement regarding the size of the slice of the pie the players will continue to receive, Pash spoke about competing visions for the sport, honing in on fan-friendly issues like players in jail keeping signing bonuses, hGH testing, and reducing the preseason from four games to two.

But here’s the potential impediment.  The union has been using its desire to preserve the current 59.6-cents-on-the-dollar share as leverage regarding the various non-economic issues.  Basically, the union can say, “We’ll agree to all these other things you want, if you don’t reduce the size of our total cut.”  If the NFLPA works out deals on these other issues independently of working out a deal as to the core issue — money — the union will have no leverage left once all other issues are resolved.

Still, we think that the two sides should start trying to knock out smaller deals.  Too many issues exist between the parties, and more issues keep coming up.  The best way out of the forest could come from cutting down some of the trees that are blocking the path.

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13 Responses to “Pash advocates a series of agreements between NFL and union”
  1. PFTiswhatitis says: Jul 22, 2010 9:15 AM

    “But here’s the potential impediment. The union has been using its desire to preserve the current 59.6-cents-on-the-dollar share as leverage regarding the various non-economic issues. Basically, the union can say, “We’ll agree to all these other things you want, if you don’t reduce the size of our total cut.” If the NFLPA works out deals on these other issues independently of working out a deal as to the core issue — money — the union will have no leverage left once all other issues are resolved.”
    I’ve never heard of a single union negotiation that did not leverage multiple concilliations for the advancement of other more significant issues. Only a fool would give up that kind of leverage with micro agreements. Negotiation rule #1, give something up, get something in return.

  2. stuulman says: Jul 22, 2010 9:16 AM

    ….florio says, patting himself on the back.

  3. AlanSaysYo says: Jul 22, 2010 9:19 AM

    This method sounds so reasonable that the players are bound to ignore it just based on the reasons you specified.
    It’s unfortunate that the players’ representation is so poor.

  4. Ravenmuscle says: Jul 22, 2010 9:24 AM

    One major issue that should be settled is that if both parties agree to the franchise tag the players should honor it and not stay home and pout and bitch and moan about it.
    Another is that when they sign these contracts…HONOR the contract or don’t sign it to begin with. Don’t come back after one or two years and start crying its not enough money. If they stink they still get to keep the bonus money and NEVER offer to give it back

  5. ampats says: Jul 22, 2010 9:29 AM

    Did everyone notice the clips of the team and QB ESPN showed during the entire segment?
    That right Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, the future 2011 Super Bowl Champions, the team of the decade !!!!!!!!!!

  6. Newguy says: Jul 22, 2010 10:15 AM

    You don’t want to “agree” to the minor issues prior to finalizing the major issues. You certainly want to explore them, but you don’t want to finalize them. If only the tough issues are left, there has to be clear winner and loser and the loser won’t agree and you end up at an impasse. More issues on the table allows for more creative solutions, not just arm wrestling over a % of revenues.

  7. StonerLab says: Jul 22, 2010 10:17 AM

    Ravenmuscle,
    It’s a 2 way street when Owners give out new contracts to players only to re-nig a few years later when production or injuries happen & ask for the player to take a pay cut. Can’t have it both ways & if you were a player in that position you wouldn’t dig it. Players need to get as much money as possible playing in the NFL because how short a career can be.
    What would elimainate alot of that scenario is to have a Rookie Salary Cap in place so Owners can use most of their revenue keeping their own after player’s first contract is over. As it is now a kid like Bradford is going to be paid the highest contract in NFL history with about 45 mil in gauranteed money without ever stepping foot on an NFL football field. How does that make sense for NFL Owners who battle their operating costs & the Salary Cap as well as trying to keep their own talented players who deserve a new lucrative contract?

  8. edgy says: Jul 22, 2010 10:51 AM

    StonerLab says:
    Ravenmuscle,
    ***************
    More than just that. Some organizations have been known to ask even productive players to take a pay cut or be released, in some cases knowing full well that they weren’t going to take one and their intention was to cut them to save on pay roll but they had to win the PR war.
    As for guys like Bradford, you’re paying for POTENTIAL and guess what, even if you’re getting a veteran, you’re paying for PAST performance and the POTENTIAL that they’ll continue to perform. More money has been wasted on veteran busts than rookie busts. Remember, there has NEVER been a $100 mil rookie contract (even with Bradford) but there have been several veterans that have gotten that (and it hasn’t turned out well for all of them).

  9. edgy says: Jul 22, 2010 10:58 AM

    StonerLab says:
    What would elimainate alot of that scenario is to have a Rookie Salary Cap in place
    ***********************
    THAT will not happen. Look at a roster that has no first or first AND second round pick from the year before and guess what, you’ve got players being thrown off the team, despite the fact that the team doesn’t have a high priced pick to pay. People that think that management is going to magically start giving money back to the people that they want to take it away from don’t take this into account when they believe the crap that the owners are shoveling.

  10. joe6606 says: Jul 22, 2010 11:57 AM

    “As for guys like Bradford, you’re paying for POTENTIAL and guess what, even if you’re getting a veteran, you’re paying for PAST performance and the POTENTIAL that they’ll continue to perform.”
    Of course. Which is how salaries work for nearly everyone in the country, unless you have a job which adjusts your salary based on performance. Who deserves more pay: (1) the nerd who just graduated from college, #1 in his class or (2) the star salesman who has been #1 in sales nationwide for the past 5 years? Everyone agrees that your salary should reflect to a substantial effect, your PAST performance. Predicting future performance will always be a crapshoot.

  11. edgy says: Jul 22, 2010 12:51 PM

    # joe6606 says:
    Predicting future performance will always be a crapshoot.
    **********************
    More so in the NFL. Let’s be clear about one thing: all the wailing and gnashing of teeth are based on 10 picks per year that get the really big bucks.
    I hear people scream about a rookie pay scale and how it’s some how going to magically make all the draft problems go away but first round busts have been around since the first draft. Hell, in what could be the ultimate statement of the draft, the VERY FIRST PICK never played in the NFL. Now, it’s true that he had better prospects outside of the NFL back then but it proved how much of a crap shoot the whole process is.
    The difference between today’s big busts and the ones from just 15 years ago is the money but even then when a top QB went sour, his team would take years to recover from that and it wasn’t any worse than it is today except that now, you’re talking about more money but even the owners are making more money now.
    The only thing that a rookie cap can possibly do is get the guy into camp sooner. Other than that, it won’t guarantee performance and you can write all the performance clauses in the world into a contract and it still won’t make up for a bad choice. I guarantee you that if you were to make the rookie cap pennies on the dollar like you and the owners envision or manna from heaven like the players envision and the only difference is that the players get into camp on time, you’d see NO difference between the performances of the two groups.

  12. StonerLab says: Jul 22, 2010 3:53 PM

    edgy,
    You can make damn sure that the Owners will demand a Rookie Salary Cap in the next CBA…no “if’s” ..”and’s” or “buts” about it. That I know & if you don’t believe that will happen then you’ve been sleeping under a rock for the last few years. Commissioner Goodell has mentioned that several times as an issue that needs to be fixed.
    As for your logic that it’s the same thing when signing Bradford as it is a player who has already proved himself in the League on his first contract then you’re nuts! There is no comparison! That player is a proven commodity.

  13. edgy says: Jul 22, 2010 5:13 PM

    StonerLab says:
    edgy,
    *******************
    You got all that from one message? You haven’t spent enough time here to even have a clue as to what I’ve got to say about it. I’m NOT saying that there won’t be one, just that it won’t do what you idiots think it will do. It WON’T stop bad teams from drafting bad players, it won’t stop players from not meeting their potential and it won’t put money back into the hands of the veterans.
    Screw Goodell. He also thinks that we should play a shitload of games outside of the US and that we need to have a London Super Bowl. Do you agree with that moron on those issues as well?
    Baloney. If a guy signs a contract after a couple of years of doing well in the league and he sucks for the entire contract, you’re saying that’s it’s the same? Puhleeze, most of those guys are getting FAR MORE money than the 1st round busts will ever get. It’s stupid to believe that a bust is a better bust just because he wasn’t bust before he signed the contract. More money goes out to veteran busts than rookie busts and that’s a fact.

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