NFL asks union for “shared commitment” to get deal done by March

NFL chief negotiator Jeff Pash told members of the media in Dallas today that a deal on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement can get done before March 4 — but only if both sides agree to intensive negotiations over the next.

“The time has come for both parties to make a shared commitment to devote all their energy to accomplishing a successful negotiation by the beginning of March,” Pash said. “We need intensive, serious, ongoing negotiations that are characterized by a commitment to reach an agreement. If we can do that we will honor the commitment our fans have made, we will spare ourselves and our players extraordinary losses and we will have a game and an economic structure that we can all look back on some years from now and say ‘We did a pretty good job, we got it right and it’s better for everyone.'”

Pash made clear that the owners still want a salary cap, and that they want an 18-game regular season, although he offered what sounded like a little bit of wiggle room on that issue.

“An 18-game season could be a part of a new business model — it doesn’t have to be,” Pash said. “The best reason to have an 18-game season is it would be a response to fan interest. The fans have made clear they don’t want four preseason games.”

Pash stressed that the owners view the current deal as one-sided in favor of the players, but he said the league isn’t looking to get a one-sided deal of its own.

“Everyone on both sides realizes it’s unbalanced and one sided,” Pash said. “I don’t think there’s a serious debate about that. . . . We are not looking to replace one unbalanced and one-sided as another.”

Pash said the league will start to feel the pain immediately if there’s a work stoppage.

“The point we’ve been trying to emphasize, particularly in recent weeks is that both sides — and I want to emphasize that, both sides — have very substantial incentives to try to get a deal done by March 4,” Pash said. “We know we’ll have revenue losses that will be significant, they will grow and they will be cumulative in the sense that they will affect not just the 2011 season but subsequent seasons.”

The league is emphasizing that it won’t just be the owners who feel the pinch: Pash noted that about 500 players who would otherwise become free agents won’t if there’s no deal.

To avoid pain on both sides, Pash said it’s just about rolling up their sleeves and getting to work: “We need to get busy.”

14 responses to “NFL asks union for “shared commitment” to get deal done by March

  1. Has it occurred to ownership that they could charge 50% for preseason games and the fans would be happy with that? The problem fans have with preseason, is that they are charged full admission for what’s basically an exhibition game.

    As a season ticket holder.., I’m all for an 18 game schedule. I’m paying full admission for two preseason games.., I’d be satisfied w/ paying the same amount and having one of the preseason games turned into something relevant and worthwhile. But if the players union won’t accept that.., then it makes sense cut the cost of admission for pre-season games to legitimate value.., which would be about 50% of regular season ticket value.

    How hard is that?

  2. Mr. Pash the fans(and players) have also made it clear we don’t want 18 regular season games either.

  3. “The fans have made clear they don’t want four preseason games.”

    Actually, we’ve made it clear that we don’t want to PAY for four preseason games. Make the tickets $10 a seat and the problem goes away. The fact that Pash made this speech in front of the media, instead of in front of the players, means it’s just more of the same useless posturing.

  4. The union on the other hand was just looking for a casual date. They aren’t ready to get serious yet.

  5. Pftard says: As a season ticket holder.., I’m all for an 18 game schedule. I’m paying full admission for two preseason games.., I’d be satisfied w/ paying the same amount and having one of the preseason games turned into something relevant and worthwhile.

    Do you really think season ticket prices will remain the same with an 18 game schedule?

  6. I still think the only reason the NFL is trumpeting an18 game season is to give up something at the table that it doesn’t particularly care about.

  7. I’m usually on the side of owners and this negotiation is no different. In general, the better an agreement for owners, the better for fans.
    But, will someone, anyone, please ask Goodell/the owners the tough questions about preseason. It is NOT that fans want 18 games. That’s total BS. It is that we don’t want 4 preseason games. The owners keep conflating 18 game season with reducing preseason – – they are 2 different issues. Please make them get that straight.

  8. These owners just make this crap up that the fans (besides the few) want this 18 game season — I’m a die hard fan and I for one don’t want the 18 game season due to it wreaks further havoc on the players bodies and it’s all ready a war of attrition (and I’m not comparing it to real war) — Also it will lead to an even greater watering down of the game on the field with rule after rule until they really are playing on pillows — Also the pre-season is very valuable to the teams as far as young players and rookies and free agent rookies being able to make a team and anyone who follows the NFL realizes some of these rookie free agents turn into really good and sometimes great players —- So the real season starts in Sept — Big deal — Get over it — If your going to Watch the pre-season Watch for the right reasons — Watch it to see the young players and to see who’s going to be on your team

  9. . “The best reason to have an 18-game season is it would be a response to fan interest. The fans have made clear they don’t want four preseason games.”

    Don’t put this on the fans!! We would like less preseason games. YOU (OWNERS) are the ones pushing the 18 game issue. I agree that this is most likely negotiating rabble and will give the owners something to concede on to get something they really want!!

    If you cared so much about the fans, you wouldn’t make us pay for 4 preseason games as a season ticket holder.

  10. OBAMA asked the republicans to do something about the economy 2 years ago! guess where that went! owners- republicans same thing need to compromise!!

  11. 1st..Bring on the 18 game season— 2nd.. install a rookie CAP!!! –3rd..lower ticket prices..

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