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Drew Brees says NFL owners need to prove the system is broken

Saints quarterback Drew Brees is a member of the NFL Players Association’s Executive Committee, and he’s speaking out on behalf of the union as it wages a P.R. campaign against the owners.

“The fact is this has been a very successful business, and a very successful business partnership for a long, long time,” Brees told Albert Breer of the Boston Globe.  “And last year, we experienced the highest revenues we’ve ever experienced.  And as players, shoot . . . how’s the system broken? But now we’re being told the system is broken.  Until that’s proven to us, all we’re seeing is that revenues are as high as they’ve ever been.”

Brees’ argument is the same as that of NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith:  The owners need to open the books.  And Brees says that until the owners open the books and prove otherwise, the players have no reason to believe the current system needs to change.

“We’re making a percentage of the revenue,” Brees said.  “So we share on the upside and we share on the downside.  And all it’s been is upside.”

The huge ratings for the Hall of Fame game are a reminder that it’s been all upside for the fans, too, who are watching more football than ever before.  And a reminder of how much of a good thing the NFL and the union stand to lose if there’s a work stoppage in 2011.

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76 Responses to “Drew Brees says NFL owners need to prove the system is broken”
  1. thetechnocrat says: Aug 11, 2010 6:59 AM

    Pretty east to prove Drew. There are plenty of bus free agent contracts to pull up. There are plenty of fans who are annoyed by astronomical ticket, apparal, & food prices.
    Either way it’s their money and they can decide how much to pay their employees. If the players don’t like it, go play in the USFL oops, XFL oops, Barnstorm league or maybe even use your fake college degrees to get real jobs.

  2. chris says: Aug 11, 2010 7:29 AM

    Same old tired rhetroic…You are an EMPLOYEE of the buisness. There is no need for them to open any books. We all saw the Packers books and thats all they need to see,PERIOD. Brees if you fall for the same crap that your useless,clueless Union boss gives out, you truly are brainwashed. There is a huge difference between Revenue and net Income Bress. Teams have a lot more debt they the ever of had in the past.

  3. numberfour says: Aug 11, 2010 7:34 AM

    but gee thanx for peeing all over the retirees, loudmouth

  4. .Vox Veritas. says: Aug 11, 2010 7:39 AM

    “The huge ratings for the Hall of Fame game are a reminder that it’s been all upside for the fans, too, who are watching more football than ever before.”
    But Brees doesn’t play for the Cowboys.

  5. TheDPR says: Aug 11, 2010 7:44 AM

    As much of a doofus as I think DeSmith is, the players and union are right on this one. The league should fully disclose their books if they expect the players and the public to get behind them.

  6. UrMomToldMe2TellUHi says: Aug 11, 2010 7:44 AM

    yeah Drew, revenues are as high as ever, while profits are rolled back to number from 15 years ago. a $5 mil return on a $250 mil a year risk is nothing (2%). Yeah, the owners have a gripe.

  7. jimmySee says: Aug 11, 2010 8:08 AM

    Any fair examination of any team’s books must back out debt service on the cost of acquiring the team. That’s a personal expense that the owners of the franchise should be paying themselves out of their own pockets from their profits from their football venture.
    Otherwise, if this debt service is treated as an expense of the team, it reduces the pot from which players can be paid and causes the (inflated) price paid for the team by the owner to become a factor in determining player compensation.
    No reason for players to be hurt by the latest “greater fool” who overpays to be part of the NFL Owners Club.

  8. Polorl69 says: Aug 11, 2010 8:08 AM

    @urmom
    then if it is indeed a 5 million return the owners should have no problem opening the books and proving it. Brees just said that the owners need to prove the basis of their arguement, which In labor discussions is normal.
    Listen I think the system is broken, Rookies get way too much $ and as for veterans, if they would be smart with their money they wouldn’t be complaining, but they do need healthcare.

  9. buford182 says: Aug 11, 2010 8:12 AM

    Jamarcus Russell proved its broken

  10. bwisnasky says: Aug 11, 2010 8:12 AM

    I am surprised such a conservative spokesman would take a Union position. I’m actually surprised Brees isn’t trying to bust the union. As for proving anything to the players, I certainly have never gotten an open look at my boss’s books so I can see whether I’m truly being paid what I’m worth. It’s all ludicrous. millionaires fighting over millions. If any current player seriously thinks there is nothing wrong with a system where a player that has not played a single down in the NFL gets 50 million guaranteed, while vets and the people that built the reputation of the league can’t afford to fix the medical problems that their service gave them, then said player needs to see a psychiatrist. I am all for vets that have proven themselves getting as much as they can. But there needs to be something that prevents newcomers from cash-strapping teams so they end up rebuilding for decades, like the Lions. Mistakes are going to be made in the draft, no team is perfect. And the higher the mistake, the more the overall team is penalized. I thought ultimately they want parity. so they should stop the one thing that keeps digging a bigger hole for the teams on the bottom of the food chain. It should be easier for a franchise to admit a mistake and move on…..

  11. Fan says: Aug 11, 2010 8:12 AM

    The point is simple: Union vs Owners. Look at any industry where Unions reside. Consider this: My friend was CEO of a large manufacturing company with plants in 70 countries. He found that in one plant in the midwest, the average life span of retirees was 18 months after retirement. The culprit was heart attacks. He looked at the food his employees ate and found unbelievably bad stuff. He wanted to change the food to healthier stuff. The Union wanted give-backs. Can you believe it? Took 3 negotiations to get the union to let him make the food healthier so his retirees could live longer.
    Nothing is free in Unionville! So forget this partnership gibberish.

  12. BigBear123 says: Aug 11, 2010 8:24 AM

    Rookie wage scale is a good start.
    Haynseworyh would be a mother good start.
    Ticket prices continuing to rise, not every team is selling out without help.

  13. texline says: Aug 11, 2010 8:25 AM

    5 Million? Dude, these guys are making billions, or they wouldn’t be in this business. That being said, they are under no obligation to open their books to the union.

  14. MrGraf says: Aug 11, 2010 8:30 AM

    “The huge ratings for the Hall of Fame game are a reminder that it’s been all upside for the fans, too, who are watching more football than ever before.”
    I thought the fans didn’t like preseason games? At least that is the excuse the league is using to add 2 more regular season games to the schedule and take years off of some of these players careers. Huge ratings seems like fans do like to watch preseason, they just dont want to be charged for a full price regular season game to watch guys that will be bagging groceries in a month. .

  15. MrHumble says: Aug 11, 2010 8:30 AM

    Players like Brees should go get a real job and ask their employers to “open up the books”….they would be handed a pink slip so fast they wouldn’t know what hit them. We have a case of greed v. more greed and if the two sides can’t work it out then perhaps the fans will decide….ask MLB how that went. Unlike other major league sports, football players receive guaranteed contracts, they get paid whether they sit on the sidelines with a broken fingernail, act up like T.O. and others, or are complete busts like J. Russell…….don’t the rest of us wish we had it all “guaranteed”. I for one think they should do the “walmart special” on these players and “roll back the salaries”, slot each position with a minimum/max. salary. I would be willing to bet that if the max. every player made was something like $1M per year…….they would still choose to play football.

  16. 1072 says: Aug 11, 2010 8:32 AM

    chris says:
    August 11, 2010 7:29 AM
    Same old tired rhetroic…You are an EMPLOYEE of the buisness. There is no need for them to open any books. We all saw the Packers books and thats all they need to see,PERIOD.
    ________________________________
    Wrong! The players are PARTNERS in this deal, not employees. Their cut comes from the owners’ overall take so they have EVERY right to see the books unless of course the owners have something to hide. As much as I hate the union, they’re 100% correct on all this, and if there’s a stoppage in football this year you can 100% blame the owners and that errogant prick Goodell.

  17. NE49ers says: Aug 11, 2010 8:33 AM

    why shouldn’t the owners have to prove their position? The players should continue to get the larger share of revenues considering its the players that drive the sport. If everyone thinks the players are greedy and the owners should lock them out, go watch the CFL or the AFL. We watch the NFL to see football played at the highest possible level.
    In terms of the rookie salary scale, it should have been implemented years before. No one forced the Raiders to give Russell all that money. Why do we blame the players when the owners give out stupid contracts?

  18. PFTiswhatitis says: Aug 11, 2010 8:38 AM

    They share in the downside? There are plenty of teams struggling to survive and I dont see the players of those teams struggling.

  19. Tcostant says: Aug 11, 2010 8:43 AM

    The players need to realize that the owners don’t care what they they think. The owners think the players make to large % of their pie and will shut down the came until the players come crawling back. No if ands or buts about it.

  20. Kevinoc63 says: Aug 11, 2010 8:45 AM

    I love the game but if there is a lock out, I’m not going to watch NFL games for a while when action resumes. You shouldn’t either. We should let the owners and players know that there will be a steep price to pay if a lock out occurs. Given the economic environment and with so many people struggling to make ends meet, there will not be much sympathy for millionaires arguing over money. During these difficult times, people want to be distracted from their problems and the NFL is a great distraction. If that is taken away from fans, I doubt fans will be very forgiving.

  21. Tom says: Aug 11, 2010 8:45 AM

    Most American can’t really feel sorry for players that make on average a $1,000,000 a year and a good many people in the country are facing an uncertain future. As these Prima Donnas fail to grasp is the fans are paying their salaries and in most cases are being priced out of attending the stadiums that their tax dollars paid for. We see the police plotters where more and more are being arrested for an assortment of low life offenses and are being excused by many because of their talent to play football. I for one can live without it.

  22. Yamchargers says: Aug 11, 2010 8:47 AM

    .Vox Veritas. says:
    But Brees doesn’t play for the Cowboys.
    The mans right. If he played for the Cowgirls he sure wouldnt have won a Superbowl!

  23. Newguy says: Aug 11, 2010 9:00 AM

    As long as taxpayers buy stadiums, it isn’t broken .

  24. BOHICA says: Aug 11, 2010 9:06 AM

    Pathetic! Most of America is taking a cut in pay just to keep jobs! These millionaires are arguing over a few million dollars. I wish that I had that problem. I have no sympathy for the players. They make a good living. Hell, they make a great living.
    The paying public is tired of being gouged in the wallet so that these millionaires can continue their greed…that’s all that this is. For both sides. Try telling a fan that works two jobs and saves for weeks or months for a gameday experience that football players are “under paid” or that owners are “under paid”.
    Ultimately, the players are the employee, unions are what is wrong with America, and greed runs ramapant at the cost of the general public.
    I would volunteer to be a tackling dummy for what these guys make for one year!

  25. Really? says: Aug 11, 2010 9:07 AM

    # .Vox Veritas. says: August 11, 2010 7:39 AM
    “The huge ratings for the Hall of Fame game are a reminder that it’s been all upside for the fans, too, who are watching more football than ever before.”
    But Brees doesn’t play for the Cowboys.
    __________________________________
    Highly enjoyed watching your kicker miss by 4 car lengths. Good luck with all that.

  26. Vee says: Aug 11, 2010 9:14 AM

    All I know is this: Drew Brees can say whatever the heck he wants – I don’t care – as long as he keeps torching NFL defenses they way he has over the last 4 years and gets N.O. another Lombardi Trophy or two. Drew Dat!!

  27. Jeff0621 says: Aug 11, 2010 9:20 AM

    Drew Brees meet Sam Bradford.
    Case closed.

  28. DallasRavens says: Aug 11, 2010 9:22 AM

    Drew, I lost respect for you bud.
    Simple equation here…..
    The last time I checked this was still true.
    Net Income = Total Revenue – Total Expenses
    Most of these morons probably missed Accounting 101 when they were getting their “degrees.”

  29. bspurloc says: Aug 11, 2010 9:23 AM

    thats BS!!!! fly the players to canada mexico and england cuz the nfl needs more money!!!!
    ide just flat out refuse to be flown to remote places just for a $

  30. cbatchel says: Aug 11, 2010 9:23 AM

    Actually got to agree with Brees on this one, if the owners are really making such low profits then why not open the books and show it, it will definitly get the public on their side.
    Sorry I don’t just feel sorry for the owners, they are the one’s that negotiated the last CBA . And I see no way the players are giving back any of the current deal when the league is adding two more games the starters actually have to play and a chance to get injured. Thats like a boss telling an employee that they are cutting their pay but making them work 10 more hours of overtime a week. Not many employees will go for it. Atleast not many employees with some leverage and the players have leverage. Fans want to see and pay for stars like Manning, Brady, Brees, Moss, A. Peterson, C. Johnson to name a few. The owners lock them out and bring in scabs and new college players watch the attendance, TV viewing and total revenues go down.

  31. bigpat says: Aug 11, 2010 9:27 AM

    My understanding is that the NFL signed 11 billion dollars in new TV contracts alone last year. 4 billion of of that is guaranteed from Direct TV, whether there is a work stoppage or not. This does not include any concessions, merchandise, parking, etc. that the owners receive. The NFL is printing money, basically. Obviously, saying that the system is “broken” is a negotiating tool of the owners. I don’t believe that you can compare the local carpenter’s union with the NFL Players’ Association. Apples and oranges. This is a negotiation between billionaire owners and millionaire athletes. If they have any grasp of reality they will not kill this incredibly lucrative golden goose.
    One more thing. I belong to three unions and while they certainly have proven to be imperfect, before anyone bashes them as completely corrupt, please don’t forget that unions fought for, and won, for millions of people, weekends off, paid holidays, health insurance, retirement plans, break time, a safe working environment, etc, all of which were vehemently opposed by ownership.

  32. WaccoForFlacco says: Aug 11, 2010 9:27 AM

    buford182 says:
    Jamarcus Russell proved its broken
    _______________________
    Albert Haynesworth is proving it is broken

  33. realitypolice says: Aug 11, 2010 9:29 AM

    thetechnocrat says:
    August 11, 2010 6:59 AM
    Pretty east to prove Drew. There are plenty of bus free agent contracts to pull up. There are plenty of fans who are annoyed by astronomical ticket, apparal, & food prices.
    =====================
    The costs you talk about are not tied to player salaries. They cost what they cost because you pay it. If a new CBA was put in place tomorrow that capped all player salaries at $1 million dollars, the cost of your ticket, your jersey, and your hot dog would stay exactly where they are until you stopped buying them.
    It’s simple supply and demand. Why would an owner charge one penny less than you are willing pay?
    Empty seats and racks full of unsold merchandise are the only things that will ever bring prices down, not a new CBA.

  34. Borg30 says: Aug 11, 2010 9:30 AM

    @fan,
    Well written. The unions today are very greedy and due more harm then good for their members.

  35. Nogard13 says: Aug 11, 2010 9:30 AM

    Brees, and the rest of the players, are nothing more than employees of the teams that they are under contract with. As employers, the owners do not need to disclose any financial information to their employees so long as they want to keep the status quo (i.e. pay 59% of revenues to the players).
    However, if the owners want to reduce the percentage currently negotiated, the players have a right to ask why their total compensation is being reduced and to not sign anything until they are satisfied that the current model doesn’t work anymore. If they don’t sign, the owners then have the option of a lock out and stand to lose the respect (and money) of the fans.
    A lock out hurts the owners more in the long run as they stand to lose the most, individually, if there are no football games.

  36. realitypolice says: Aug 11, 2010 9:33 AM

    chris says:
    August 11, 2010 7:29 AM
    Same old tired rhetroic…You are an EMPLOYEE of the buisness. There is no need for them to open any books.
    =================
    Same old tired comparison of the NFL to other businesses.
    Does your contract with your company require that your compensation be tied to that companies revenues? Probably not. But if it did, don’t you think you would have a right to know what those revenues were? And if the company was trying to lower your percentage based on the fact that they were losing money, wouldn’t you feel that you had the right to ask them to prove it?
    Or are you one of the many on here who feel that you have rights players don’t just because they make more money than you?

  37. vgferenzi says: Aug 11, 2010 9:35 AM

    In what other company in the world can you:
    -earn more than anyone else before you’re first day of work.
    -be so bad you get fire, but you still get to keep your money.
    -at the same time if you’re good you don’t have to honor your contract because you can sit out while former players who saturate the media defend you until the team is in a PR nightmare.
    -demand to see the owners books.
    -assume none of the risk, but still get the majority of the profits.
    -talk about “fair market value” when the league minimum is more than most make in a lifetime, AND, when owners decide that a player is asking too much and the value is not there for their tem, players talk collusion.
    -players, unions, and especially players unions, are greedy parasites who will kill the host to get fat quick instead of living forever off of said host.

  38. realitypolice says: Aug 11, 2010 9:40 AM

    BOHICA says:
    August 11, 2010 9:06 AM
    Pathetic! Most of America is taking a cut in pay just to keep jobs! These millionaires are arguing over a few million dollars. I wish that I had that problem. I have no sympathy for the players. They make a good living. Hell, they make a great living.
    The paying public is tired of being gouged in the wallet so that these millionaires can continue their greed…that’s all that this is. For both sides. Try telling a fan that works two jobs and saves for weeks or months for a gameday experience that football players are “under paid” or that owners are “under paid”.
    Ultimately, the players are the employee, unions are what is wrong with America, and greed runs ramapant at the cost of the general public.
    I would volunteer to be a tackling dummy for what these guys make for one year!
    ===============================
    You sound awfully angry. Why would someone “save for weeks or months” to give money to people you have so much animosity towards?
    Why don’t you stop going? If you and 40,000 or so of your friends did that, that would bring ticket prices down. Nothing else will. As I pointed out in another post, owners are going to charge as much money for a “game day experience” as you are willing to pay, and not a penny less. Why would they? It has nothing to do with player salaries.
    As Michael Corleone said in the Godfather, It’s not personal, it’s just business.

  39. Flyingelvislogosucksbringbackpatpatriot says: Aug 11, 2010 9:46 AM

    It will be proven to you when you get locked out you union scumbag

  40. heyguru says: Aug 11, 2010 9:50 AM

    One issue settles the score immediately. Create and implement a rookie salary cap like the NBA has. EARN your money, don’t make it on the theory that you’ll be great. And this garbage with jealous players holding out EVEN THOUGH THEY HAVE A SIGNED, LEGALLY-BINDING CONTRACT, needs to be severely dealt with at the League level. If you don’t want multi-year deals, players, don’t sign them! Go year-by-year if you think that’s best for you. But if someone fails to honor a LEGAL contract, that should be an ethics violation and the player should not be allowed to pout and go to a new team who will cave to their demands. Business is business, and you can’t have it both ways!

  41. BP says: Aug 11, 2010 9:52 AM

    Brees hit the nail on the head. It is a partnership and that’ exactly what the owners don’t want. They want employees just like any other business. The party is over for the players. The owners will dictate the terms and the players will accept them. What are they going to do about it? Strike? LOL They will be lucky if the owners let them play next year.
    How many of these greedy bastard players are willing to give up a year or two of their relatively few playing years so somebody down the road can make more money? Few.
    Then the owners can collect their massive TV money payout without even putting a product on the field.

  42. edgy says: Aug 11, 2010 9:55 AM

    It’s funny that the leagues will say all that they want and you boobs will eat it up without thinking about the fact that they’re lying. The NBA lied so badly that they were caught holding back revenue from the players and they had to pay it back with interest. MLB has lost several collusion cases when the so-called experts in the media said that the players didn’t have a chance and the NFL doesn’t want to go near Judge Doty’s court room because he won’t let them get away with what they’ve been trying.
    Sterno said during the season that the NBA was LOSING $400+ mil and that they were hemorrhaging, I tells you, hemorrhaging money out of their eyeballs and now, when the media finally calls the owners on it because they were spending like drunken sailors this off season (more than EVER), he suddenly said “I would say that our revenues are robust, and it’s taking more expense and effort to produce them than it has historically. So we are looking for — we are not pleading poverty. We are pleading the need, we are stating the need for an improved revenue versus expense model that would be demonstrably sustainable and continued to allow our sport to grow.” Before June 1, Sterno and the boys were telling everyone that they were bleeding out of their eyeballs but when they started spending money that they had AND the salary cap increased SIGNIFICANTLY, he had no choice but to change his tune.
    The NFL has NOT opened up its books AND the Packers’ 10K means NOTHING because they can hide their revenue so that most of you won’t be able to find it (Forbes CAN and DID and they called the Packers on it last year and they’ll do it again this year). There are teams that are making less than they’d like but they also start off with most of their players’ expenses paid for by TV AND you really don’t know where they stand because they hide behind an uncapped year so until Forbes comes out, you can’t tell what teams may have lost (But don’t put Dallas and Washington in that category). The NFL already takes $1 billion off the top for expenses and over the years, the players have subsidized some of their spending like NFL Europe and yet, you guys seem to think that they do nothing but ask for more. The $150 billion that Jerry Jones got from the NFL for building the Palace Near Dallas came from funds that were partially funded by the players and YET, they don’t get a taste of the action.
    Oh and if these guys left in droves for the UFL and the NFL had to start over, I’d be willing to bet that the UFL wouldn’t be on Versus for long…

  43. Cushing Will Kill You says: Aug 11, 2010 9:58 AM

    Here’s proof that it’s broken:
    JaMarcus Russell is a multi-millionaire.
    There. Fix it.

  44. edgy says: Aug 11, 2010 9:58 AM

    # texline says:
    they are under no obligation to open their books to the union.
    ********************
    If they want money back, they do. I’ve been at 3 companies that wanted give backs. 2 opened their books and 1 didn’t and guess who didn’t get their give backs (Especially after management handed out bonuses to themselves while they said that they couldn’t give pay raises to the rest of the company). If you’re going to plead poverty then prove it. If you won’t prove it then you’re lying.

  45. Who is Mike Jones says: Aug 11, 2010 9:58 AM

    Drew, you spoke like a true player and employee. I’d like to have a raise too.
    If you were an owner Drew, you’d have a different perspective. Its human nature!

  46. CE11 says: Aug 11, 2010 9:58 AM

    Its not so much as the millionaire players (many of which will be near-crippled by an injury when they are older) squabbling over the money they make that bothers me, but it IS the billionaire owners squabbling over the millions they make that is frustrating.
    If owners weren’t turning a significant profit they would be out of this business immediately. If there was no profit to be made, the NFL would not have expanded like it has to include several more teams over the years. There are a ton of other indications that owners are making substantial profit on their investment, but to me, expansion is the most blatant and obvious.

  47. perm says: Aug 11, 2010 10:05 AM

    I guess I’m a bit mystified why people are taking the owners’ side in this one. Comparing this to a “regular” business is foolish. The NFL isn’t a copy shop or a paint reseller… it’s a multi-billion (trillion soon?) dollar industry, where the players are the main attraction and stars. The owners are rich white guys who already never had to work another day in their life with or without owning a team.
    As a league of mostly black guys who grew up with absolutely nothing, I would damn sure want to know what % of the pie the owners are getting. Saying “they are fighting over a few million!” might be true, but it’s irrelevant. The bottom line is the players deserve to be privy to the business of the game that *they* made popular. The only reason the owners can afford to say “No” is because they are the aforementioned rich white guys who don’t *need* any money to begin with!
    For full disclosure, I’m white and I don’t particularly like the idea of a union… although it seems to me that there are some unique situations that require unions. I would argue the NFL is one of them. I’ve seen others bring up this point, but I’ve never seen it answered satisfactorily: If the owners are *really* getting screwed, then why wouldn’t they open up their books? Show the public how awful the operating costs are and how deeply in debt and how much risk they are taking. There are millions of business owners and citizens in this country that would get behind them immediately! Until I see a good answer as to why keeping the books closed is necessary, I’ll use Occam’s razor to answer it.

  48. DallasRavens says: Aug 11, 2010 10:06 AM

    cbatchel says:
    August 11, 2010 9:23 AM
    Actually got to agree with Brees on this one, if the owners are really making such low profits then why not open the books and show it, it will definitly get the public on their side.
    Sorry I don’t just feel sorry for the owners, they are the one’s that negotiated the last CBA . And I see no way the players are giving back any of the current deal when the league is adding two more games the starters actually have to play and a chance to get injured. Thats like a boss telling an employee that they are cutting their pay but making them work 10 more hours of overtime a week. Not many employees will go for it. Atleast not many employees with some leverage and the players have leverage. Fans want to see and pay for stars like Manning, Brady, Brees, Moss, A. Peterson, C. Johnson to name a few. The owners lock them out and bring in scabs and new college players watch the attendance, TV viewing and total revenues go down.
    __________________________________
    The only thing is that the owners dont need their NFL franchise. No owner has made the majority of their money from owning a team. The players need the NFL. The majority of them would be nothing without their NFL job. You need to realize this. Owning a team for most of these guys is a hobby not a career. Bring in new college players and scabs. I would bet my job on it that the players union caves because the players would have nothing else to fall back on.

  49. cbatchel says: Aug 11, 2010 10:12 AM

    People need to stop comparing the NFL and the players to any other common business and employees, it’s not.
    The players are the commodity, the owners are making their money off these stars and their talents which gives these employees more leverage for salary talks. Just like Brad Pitt or George Clooney get 20 million a movie because of their acting talent and star power to bring in fans to watch a movie. Yes the players make a lot more money than most but they have a talent 99% of others don’t have. And millions of fans are willing to shell out their hard earned money to watch that talent. Also the players are giving up a lot for this money, just saw a stat that said NFL players live to an avreage of 54. 54 years old that is not very old, these guys take so many concussions and other injuries that it takes a huge toll on their body and life expectancy. Given their rare talent and huge risk on health I have know problem the players asking for a big piece of the pie.

  50. brownsfn19 says: Aug 11, 2010 10:14 AM

    How about the $50 million guaranteed given to a player who never has taken an NFL snap…dumbass…

  51. Harm City Homer says: Aug 11, 2010 10:17 AM

    The point is players are replaceable and they are going to get injured sooner or later.
    That is why in all the money squabbles around the NFL, how is the public always hating on the player instead of the game?
    The NFL generates over 10 billion per year off the bodies of the players. They have no salary scale, they have no guaranteed contracts. It is not comparable to the job of any other fan or even any other pro athlete, because the other US leagues have systems in place to fairly distribute the revenue without a constant squabble for who gets what.
    Hate the game, not the player. The average rookie contract lasts longer than the average player does. Why does the public feel like they are paying the athletes directly? They do not get to keep the money the team saves on players, and there is no mechanism or motivation, or past history to indicate that they will give it to veteran players. Most teams are not run like the Ravens. Mike Brown hires his family to bungle the franchise. Al Davis is Al Davis. Tampa spent like 40M in actual cash and is one of the teams cheating the old system and driving the cap numbers up prematurely.
    The NFL is king. A dynasty that makes all the rules and rules with an iron fist. Football would still be football under a different set of rules. The draft should be illegal, and a contract should be a contract. The players may lose a few years of income, but the owners are risking the monopoly for what? The AFL, UFL, USFL, CFL or some new brand of pro football will fill the void and offer players a CBA more like the other pro sports. The NFL is just jerseys and logos. It still sucks that Irsay moved his team from here, but if that did not prove that it was his team, not the fans team that what will? GB is the only team in the NFL owned by the PSL holders.
    I think like most other industries, the anti trust rules should apply because competition is better for the public than a monopoly. If the NFL had an equal rival, they would not have as much leverage and unchecked power to rewrite the labor rules as they see fit.

  52. realitypolice says: Aug 11, 2010 10:27 AM

    heyguru says:
    August 11, 2010 9:50 AM
    One issue settles the score immediately. Create and implement a rookie salary cap like the NBA has. EARN your money, don’t make it on the theory that you’ll be great. And this garbage with jealous players holding out EVEN THOUGH THEY HAVE A SIGNED, LEGALLY-BINDING CONTRACT, needs to be severely dealt with at the League level. If you don’t want multi-year deals, players, don’t sign them! Go year-by-year if you think that’s best for you. But if someone fails to honor a LEGAL contract, that should be an ethics violation and the player should not be allowed to pout and go to a new team who will cave to their demands. Business is business, and you can’t have it both ways!
    =========================
    A player is not legally violating his contract if he holds out. The contract says that if a player is going to play football for money, he will only do it for the team he signs with.
    If he is willing to forgo his salary, there is nothing legally wrong with him not playing.
    And again, another poster who has a problem with players not wanting to honor contracts, but apparently no problem whatsoever with teams ripping up contracts any time they want. I continue to be mystified.

  53. gazretired says: Aug 11, 2010 10:30 AM

    Open the damn books. As long as taxpayers shell out hundreds of millions for new facilities in every city it’s the public’s right to know what goes on.

  54. realitypolice says: Aug 11, 2010 10:32 AM

    perm says:
    August 11, 2010 10:05 AM
    Until I see a good answer as to why keeping the books closed is necessary, I’ll use Occam’s razor to answer it.
    ======================
    I think I just tore my rotator cuff patting myself on the back for getting the Occam’s Razor reference without googling it.
    Wikipedia thanks you for the traffic.

  55. steveoz49 says: Aug 11, 2010 10:56 AM

    All of this is pure insanity. I own my company and there is no way in hell that my workers are going to tell me how much money I have to pay them or what their share of my company should be. These players are employees, bottom line.
    Tell ya what… I propose this. Let’s give these players all the big contracts they want. With a clause….. if you have a down year, miss work or just fail to live up to your expectations, you get a paycut. These guys are crying thru the media… who reads this stuff? we do, the highest majority not earning what these guys crying are earning. Guys making $30K a year, busting their humps. I understand that this is a big big business, but at the end of the day… the owner either wins witha good product or loses with bad product. Will the players ever agree to take less money if they don’t perform?

  56. Pottsville Maroons = 1925 NFL Champs says: Aug 11, 2010 11:07 AM

    There are a lot of varying opinions and good points from the posts I read.
    My two cents…
    It’s not the superstars who are going to be hurt. Bress, Manning, Brady, they’re going to be fine. If any superstar, or very good paid players, bankrolled even a small percentage of their career earnings (and, didn’t lose them in bad investments, or go belly-up, like many before them), they’ll survive a lock out. But, the average playing career is 3.5 seasons (I think ?). It’s those players who are battling for roster spots every pre-season, special teamers, practice squaders, etc. who are going to be struggling during a lock-out. I hope they go to their team union rep, and make them aware to fight for them, not the superstars. I’m for First Round Rookie Wage Scale. The 2-7 rounds seem to be fair salaries, and I’d say on the low side for the late rounders.
    As for Bress (and De Smith) requesting (or demanding ?) that the owners open their books, who are they to make a demand like that? When did capitalism become charity? If I operated a business, I wouldn’t be out to just break even, or turn losses. I would want to make profit. These owners aren’t running non-profits. But, I don’t operate a business. As a taxpayer, though, building (or, extoriting, as it should be called) stadiums for billionaire owners is just another example corporate welfare that is wrong. It doesn’t seem to be any different than tax breaks, etc. to entice business to build/locate to your municipality.
    I think both sides in this debate are off-base, and they’ll get it figured out. This isn’t the 1900s coal mine strikes or lock-outs where there was a clear good/bad side. Owners and NFLPA are both certainly flawed.

  57. Poop n' Pants says: Aug 11, 2010 11:21 AM

    Thanks for your ignorant and entirely meaningless opinion Drew. Maybe you should get your nose and stinky birth mark out the owners’ business and stick it back where it belongs…cheating and fondling refs to win NFC championships. Who dat

  58. Rip says: Aug 11, 2010 11:31 AM

    Crap on a cracker, this is NOT “capitalism”. The owners represent individual units of a highly subsidized monopoly, it is absurd (as many have said) to even attempt to compare the NFL to a typical business. However, since I believe the current CBA (that the owners signed on to) dictates that a CERTAIN PERCENTAGE OF PROFITS GO TO THE PLAYERS, then the players have every right to want proof that they are being “overpaid” before negotiating a new contract.
    Jesus, this isn’t brain surgery. If my boss wanted to reduce my contract after my current one expires, yet require more work and tell me it was beause he was losing money, when my current contract is subject to how much money he makes in the first place, you’re damned right he’s going to have to show me where he’s losing money.

  59. bwisnasky says: Aug 11, 2010 11:31 AM

    realitypolice says:
    Same old tired comparison of the NFL to other businesses.
    Does your contract with your company require that your compensation be tied to that companies revenues? Probably not. But if it did, don’t you think you would have a right to know what those revenues were? And if the company was trying to lower your percentage based on the fact that they were losing money, wouldn’t you feel that you had the right to ask them to prove it?
    Or are you one of the many on here who feel that you have rights players don’t just because they make more money than you?
    ——————————————–
    Actually no, I was never officially told my salary was directly tied to my companies profits. Instead, I was told that they have a bottom line they need to reach, and my services were no longer needed, and they escorted me out of the building because they needed to cut my salary to keep their profit margin where it was. They didn’t give me a chance to say “Well show me where you are losing so much, you can’t afford to keep me.” In fact, I didn’t even get a chance to take a pay cut in order to stay….. It has nothing to do with how much I make, or they make or how different the NFL is from any other business. The bottom line is the owners have no obligation to reveal their books to their employees. PERIOD.

  60. Bob Nelson says: Aug 11, 2010 11:31 AM

    As a consumer of the product, I do not like having the increase in players cost being passed on to me.
    Field Pass at NFL.com used to be free now you havve to pay. NFL Jerseys cost over 100 dollars when knock offs in Korea cost $15.
    Tickets are $80 a piece /game for 2 hours of entertainment over 3 hours.
    Programs cost a lot more and they are not even for the game you are watching. The only item in the program is the top sheet(center of magazine) with the line up for the local game. Even though the program is mostly advertizing none of it is from local sources.
    Parking fees.
    $5.00 hot dogs
    60% of the consumer rip off is because of the players.
    Expenses (much of it players expenses, food, hotel, equipment, workers comp insurance, etc.)come out of the owners 40%.
    The owners are not parading around in the fanciest of cars, wearing gold chains, and making it rain.
    I AM TIRED OF BEING RIPPED OFF MY THE NFL PLAYERS UNION!!!

  61. BigSuede says: Aug 11, 2010 11:32 AM

    It is odd to me that there are people above that sympathize with the owners…
    The owners are the ones trying to change the status quo. Thing have been working out well in football- I think the only thing that needs fixing is the rookie wages scale- and the players would give that if they could be free agents after three years- which would be much better for all involved.
    Bottom line- we watch football for the players. If the top talent all started a new football league- the viewers would jump to watch that league. The owners need to realize who make their biz run.

  62. CKL says: Aug 11, 2010 12:51 PM

    I see Brees’ point but here’s the thing. It’s easy for him to say that about “sharing both ways” when the NFL revenue goes up every year. Say the fact they have a cap and the way it gets calculated stay the same. Say revenue went down and hence the cap had to be adjusted DOWN the following year? Think these guys will take paycuts or won’t get mad when they are asked to renegotiate their contracts DOWN or get put off for extensions of what have you?? Suddenly, contracts will be there to be HONORED.
    I mean check the mentality/big picture thinking ability of the average player. Most who spoke publicly before the uncapped year felt it would be a huge $$$ bonanza for them and most people who had any practical experience in the real world realized it wouldn’t.
    Both sides share some blame for this mess but I do agree with Pash when he said that bit about when only one side likes how things were and wanting to maintain it means they are getting the best of the deal. The owners caved back in 06, I doubt they will now.

  63. Norrec says: Aug 11, 2010 12:53 PM

    I’m amazed at how many of the above posters have law and accounting degrees or even knowledge of the basic premise behind what the lockout is even about. Its become pretty obvious barely anyone understand the contracts these players sign. (As is made obvious by the “THEY SIGNED THE CONTRACT, SO THEY HAVE NO RIGHT TO HOLD OUT!!!1!!” posts.) Its also pretty obvious that not very many of posters have any idea what the issues regarding the current CBA are. So here, ill explain it for those of you who apparently have google blocked on your computer. (I’m going to paraphrase from various sources).
    The main issue is that the current CBA will expire on March 5th, 2011. The current reason the ownership is unwilling to sign the CBA, is because currently the NFL pools their general revenues into one large sum and then split that revenue between all 32 teams to pay for player salaries and other expenses relating to the teams. Currently, the players receive 58% of that revenue.
    There are a few reason’s the owners wont sign the contract currently. First being they want the percentage the players receive to be reduced by 18% (Or about $1 Billion, of which would be revenue they would not have to share with the players.) Secondly, and to be honest their weirdest complaint of the current CBA, is that they want the players to be responsible for upkeep/improvements on stadiums and other facilities. (And for any of you saying this is fine, imagine going to work and being told you would be paying for the lobby to be re-tiled and also you would all be taking a 5% pay cut on top of the remodeling, so they could hire a full time maintenance staff to clean the building.)

  64. Norrec says: Aug 11, 2010 1:02 PM

    bwisnasky says: August 11, 2010 11:31 AM
    Actually no, I was never officially told my salary was directly tied to my companies profits. Instead, I was told that they have a bottom line they need to reach, and my services were no longer needed, and they escorted me out of the building because they needed to cut my salary to keep their profit margin where it was. They didn’t give me a chance to say “Well show me where you are losing so much, you can’t afford to keep me.” In fact, I didn’t even get a chance to take a pay cut in order to stay….. It has nothing to do with how much I make, or they make or how different the NFL is from any other business. The bottom line is the owners have no obligation to reveal their books to their employees. PERIOD.
    ———————————————-
    This has nothing to do with anything he posted at all. You got fired because the company wanted to improve its bottom line, and you were probably one of the easiest employees to let go. You also made this whole post irrelevant in agreeing that your salary was not tied to your employers revenues in the form of a collective bargaining agreement. This situation also has everything to do with how the NFL is different from any other business (One that doesn’t pay its employees based on revenues of course). In your case, no, the employer has no reason to show you any reasoning as to why they fired you, or even show you there books so you can try to get a raise. This is not the case with the NFL Since the players receive a percentage of the revenues, the players have every right to see what these revenues are, as well as seeing the expenses.

  65. brasho says: Aug 11, 2010 1:49 PM

    I always thought that pro athletes were delusional, now it’s proven. Who doesn’t want their employers to pay through the nose for their services? The truth is that NFL football is NFL football and I’d watch if every player in the league retired immediately and was replaced by guys not already on 80 man rosters… it wouldn’t be great at first but within time it would be back to norm. I root for the decals on the helmets, not the names on the backs of the jerseys.
    If Drew really thinks the current system, maybe he should try telling that to Joe Fan who has to plunk down $100 a game for season tickets to pay their outrageous salaries. Let’s see these greedy pro athletes plunk down up to 10% of their yearly salary on entertainment that funds somebody else’s greed.

  66. Real Football Fan says: Aug 11, 2010 2:26 PM

    Wow, a lot of bitterness and misinformation in here. Tom do you sympathize with homeless people? Why’s the average American’s plight any of these guys’ business? It has absolutely nothing to do with this topic. And you self-important commentors, please geat a grip. You don’t pay any player’s salary unless you’re personally contributing to those huge television contracts or paying out advertising money to those networks to give them incentive to re-up for even more once the contract negotiations come around. Your tickets, PSLs, parking, etc. goes to owners and owners alone. Why do you think the poor teams were fighting with the rich teams during the last negotiation in ’06? The TV contracts are several BILLION split equally 32 ways. No team is struggling to stay in business as PFTiswhatitis said. Are you slow? The Raiders and Jaguars routinely are blacked out, did you hear about either Wayne Wever or Al Davis on the verge of bankruptcy? The fact is, the owners made a bad deal where they gave players 59% of revenue last time and they want to scale it back, but have no sound reason to do so except that they want to turn back time. It’s not based in necessity, just desire, which in business isn’t a good enough reason. I can see alot of people in here have never been part of contract negotiations or making deals, just are workers used to being dictated to by somebody else.
    The problem for owners now is that there are high revenue teams and low revenue teams due to different stadium situations, but the TV contracts and advertisers drive this business, always have, always will. The Super Bowl is ALWAYS the highest rated show every year, not sometimes, every time. More people watch that game than vote in this country, which means more revenue for the league. For a long time, NFL players royally got screwed as you see with these retired players common destitution, but now that the salaries reflect how much of a cash cow the business has become, why scale those salaries back. NFL teams don’t lose money, that’s utterly ridiculous. I love how some of you drones are here talking about the business for the owners, but the players are supposed to be some slappies who don’t reap the benefits of the game, which solely rests on their ability to amaze on Sundays. If it doesn’t matter, watch the UFL, draft scab players to your fantasy league, watch the CFL. You’re not going to do that because these people entertain you, which is evidenced by the NFL’s constantly great ratings. Capitalism equals greater revenue, greater compensation….just doesn’t apply to movie stars and TV/radio personalities because athletes are the reason those contracts cost so much for NBC, ESPN, and Fox, which every owner in the NFL could comfortably run their teams on if they showed their games every week in front of empty stadiums. It’s why I laughed the past few years when Raider fans were talking about “teaching” Al DAvis a lesson by boycotting games and merchandising until he changed his ways. Why do you think he couldn’t have cared less? Let the NFL go without a season or use scab players. The fallen ratings and thus, fallen revenue from advertisers will get those TV executives on them pretty quickly to work something out with the union. Nobody’s going to pay billions out for 3 shares.

  67. Real Football Fan says: Aug 11, 2010 2:54 PM

    @vgferenzi,
    Are you serious? I guess you’ve never seen those golden parachutes that failed CEO’s get like Carly fiorina at HP after wrecking the company, Richard Fuld at Lehman Brothers being well compensated while leading it to bankruptcy, or Mack Whittle from the South Financial Group while his bank was getting a $350 million taxpayer bailout, lol. But by all means, rail on those football players. These other people are directly responsible for other people losing jobs and still were paid millions, much more than Jamarcus Russell or any other NFL bust, to fail. But I guess it’s okay because they’re just dumb football players, not white collar failures who are directly responsible for a lot of other people’s livelihoods….see you have your backward logic straight.

  68. Real Football Fan says: Aug 11, 2010 3:18 PM

    The owners are not parading around in the fanciest of cars, wearing gold chains, and making it rain.

  69. bwisnasky says: Aug 11, 2010 3:24 PM

    You got fired because the company wanted to improve its bottom line, and you were probably one of the easiest employees to let go.
    ——————————-
    Actually, I didn’t get fired, I got laid off, with 3 month severance.. but the housing market took a dump and no one was buying cabinets anymore. Also, my salary was up there, to where it did make an impact on their bottom line. I’m sorry, but if any business doesn’t think that it’s revenue is directly reflected by the employees that work for them, they are sadly mistaken, or they don’t have any employees.

  70. Real Football Fan says: Aug 11, 2010 4:22 PM

    bwisnasky,
    You’ve compared apples to oranges because your ability to make cabinets is not a unique skill that drives revenue for your company. They need workers like you to make the cabinets, but they don’t derive all of their profits from your work. In addition, your skill is replaceable.
    Players’ on field exploits are the reason that the league just re-negotiated $11 billion in new tV contracts, which they share equally 32 ways. If they feel like their revenue doesn’t match up with operating costs, they need to show a reason for the players to give back some percentage points other than just because they want to. That process begins with disclosing exactly what every team’s financial outlook is, without any funny business of hiding revenue streams. The owners have as much to lose as the players because the NFL is a sure thing for making money, and the networks won’t stand by paying those outrageous TV contracts with lowred ratings from a weaker on field product or no ratings at all because there are no games.

  71. bwisnasky says: Aug 11, 2010 4:59 PM

    Real Football Fan,
    Actually, I don’t make cabinets. I’m an IT tech. And whether they want to admit it or not, there will always be another crop of wanna be NFL players out there that would step up to the plate. Just as my skills are replaceable, so are the players. The product may not be as high quality, just as if you hired a high school grad versus a fully qualified MCSE or CCIE…. but you’d get what you pay for. And I agree, both sides have equally as much to lose in this situation. I just disagree that the owners must disclose to their employers their financial status. As an NFL fan, I don’t want to see any kind of work stoppage, and I think that if the owners/players in the NFL didn’t learn from the NHL lockout or the baseball strike, then they are foolish. As I stated, I am all for the vet players getting as much as they can. If they have proven to their bosses that they are the real deal, by all means, let them grab it. But, there has to be something to protect the owners from paying millions of dollars to an unproven rookie, only to have to cut said rookie 3 to 4 years down the line.

  72. The Big Easy says: Aug 11, 2010 7:54 PM

    Dallas Ravens: Quick question-how much of a role do you think the players have in getting that total revenue you speak of?

  73. The Big Easy says: Aug 11, 2010 7:58 PM

    Dallas Ravens: Quick question-how much of a role do you think the players have in getting that total revenue you speak of?

  74. Real Football Fan says: Aug 11, 2010 8:02 PM

    I think all parties excluding the agents are in agreement about the rookie scale being one of the quickest concessions that the union will make. I’ve stated ina previous post why the Asomugha contract in Oakland was the perfect pre-cursor to what the league should become, instead of being held up as a bad contract because the Raiders actually did a 2 year guaranteed contract with an option, essentially ensuring the player with great production $29 million and a max value of $45 million, no phoney years, no phoney money tacked onto the deal. Owners are wary of paying rookies wacky deals, but they can’t expect to have the other draft picks’ rights for 6 years minimally before that player is able to truly cash in on his production. Right now, outside of the top 10 draft picks, the first 6 years of a player’s career is tied to their draft position. Essentially, Chris Johnson and Desean Jackson don’t have to be paid like some of the better production players in the league because they weren’t blue chip draft picks…that’s a silly business model.
    I’ve proposed a maximum 4 year contract, but ideally 3 year rookie contract because year three is usually by when a player’s commodity is known (quarterbacks maybe fit better for 4 year rookie deal because of the steeper learning curve). In addition, the rookies’ salaries would be capped. That way, the big time money goes to players entering their 4th season, which they can sign fully guranteed contracts for 3-5 years because essentially the owners are structuring contracts to have that kind of flexibility for themselves now anyway, by adding on all the phoney years and money, knowing that past the guaranteed portion during the first 3 or 4 years, they’re in the clear of that contract. So why not just make that full disclosure up front and have transparency with both their players and fans about the worth of a contract? Also, the product would improve because no longer would draft mistakes be thrust into action because they’re some of the highest paid players, they’d actually have to be good enough to get onto the field.
    I don’t think anyone would complain about Peyton Manning or Tom Brady signing for the guaranteed money that Sam Bradford signed for over 3 or 4 years. they are the attraction, he’s only potential.
    Also, about your assessment that the league would march on, only if it were worth watching. People don’t watch these leagues for the uniforms, they watch for great play. It’s the same reason that the big conferences in the NCAA can demand top dollar, while the Mountain West and WAC conferences cannot. More people are interested in watching the Alabama, Florida, and USC products because they have great players, which allows them to negotiate lucrative TV deals. People would still watch the NFL with inferior talent, but I’d bet my house that the Super Bowl wouldn’t be doing a 48 share, which is essentially why the NFL prints money, they can grab the networks by the balls and say, give us a blank check. Nothing on television approaches it’s viewership because people love football performed at the highest level…the players made it that way with great play over the years.

  75. phonecops says: Aug 11, 2010 9:00 PM

    It’s funny how an owner can buy a team for 200 million, claim for 5-10 years that he is losing money, and then sell the team for 500 million. I still fail to see how owners have any ground to stand on. They can terminate a contract at any time, keep all stadium naming rights fees, and STILL CHARGE FULL PRICE FOR PRE-SEASON GAMES. Yes, rookie contracts need to be adressed, but just like revenue sharing, that is an in house problem. When the lockout comes, the owners will rake in short term profits (and that is what America is about these days) only to lose out long term. If the players were smart, they would be preparing to start another league(or use the UFL).

  76. vgferenzi says: Aug 13, 2010 4:09 PM

    @Real Football Player- Once again you were misinformed. Most of those golden parachutes were provided by the current administration for both the public and private sector. Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac execs appointed by politicians were under investigation for fraud until Big O bailed them out gave them the big GP and then made them advisors. So yes, I am right, the actuall employees of almost every company out there do not get to demand to see the books and do not have to assume risk. Changing the subject to try to compare this situation to all of those who benefited by being a personal of financial friend of obama is childish and irrelevent to this subject. The players are wrong, the NFLPA is basically no different than a crime organization shaking down owners, but hey, that’s what unions are.

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