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Report: Players came within minutes of decertification, remain ready to fight

Drew Brees

With events changing by the hour and plenty of developments to come in the next couple of days, Peter King and Sports Illustrated wisely decided to carve out a portion of King’s Monday Morning Quarterback column for a report from Jim Trotter regarding the events of late last week.

Trotter reports that, late Thursday afternoon, the NFLPA came dangerously close to pursuing its nuclear option — the initiation of a stew of litigation commencing with decertification of the union.

Reports Trotter:  “With only five minutes to go before the union’s deadline to decertify last Thursday — a move that might have obliterated the NFL as we know it today — a player walked into the negotiating room that included commissioner Roger Goodell, league attorney Jeff Pash, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith and union president Kevin Mawae and declared: ‘We’re done!  We’re decertifying.’”

Trotter doesn’t name the player who made the power play, due to the “sensitivity of ongoing negotiations,” but we’d like to make a guess.

For starters, we’ll assume the player was a member of the union’s Executive Committee, which consists of:  Charlie Batch, Drew Brees, Brian Dawkins, Domonique Foxworth, Scott Fujita, Sean Morey, Tony Richardson, Jeff Saturday, Mike Vrabel, and Brian Waters.  Given the gravity of the message, it surely was one of those guys who delivered it.

Of that group, we think it was Brees.  And here’s why.

First, he’s the only quarterback on the Executive Committee, and quarterbacks are the natural and obvious leaders in football.  Second, because Brees has at all times been reasonable in this process, a strong message from him will have a far greater impact than a strong message coming from someone with a reputation for sending strong messages.  Third, Brees reportedly will attach his name to the antitrust lawsuit filed after decertification; it makes sense for him to let it be known that this avenue is being pursued.  Fourth, to the extent that some members of the Executive Committee reportedly are concerned about being blackballed once the labor dust settles, Brees is the least likely to be shunned, given that he’s one of the best players in the league and that he has plenty of quality years left in the tank.  Fifth, Brees likely has studied the issues sufficiently — including last week’s 28-page “lockout insurance” ruling — to become genuinely pissed about the tactics that league has used (in the estimation of Judge David Doty) to leverage the players.

Regardless of whether Brees or someone else delivered the message, the players are ready for a fight, if a fight is needed.

“We’re ready to go,” an anonymous player (Brees?) told Trotter.  “If this is what it’s going to take for them to negotiate fairly and take us seriously as partners, then let’s do it.  Honestly, most players come from the background where if their backs are being pushed against the wall they’re going to fight back.  They’re not going to turn and cower.  That’s just the DNA of most NFL players, because that’s what got us here.  It’s that survival skill and that ability to fight in pressure situations that has got us to this level.  That’s what you’re seeing right now and will continue to see as we go forward.”

It may not work, but we like the approach.  The league claims the players are partners, but the league has been (in our view) treating the players like employees, squeezing them simply because the owners can.  Though we hope cooler heads will prevail, we also hope that the owners will realize that, while players come and go, they need to be regarded as something other than fungible and they need to be treated properly during what for many of them is a limited period of time before the permanent lockout commences with the often involuntary completion of their careers.

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68 Responses to “Report: Players came within minutes of decertification, remain ready to fight”
  1. chapnastier says: Mar 7, 2011 9:36 AM

    Drew you aren’t a partner chief, you are an employee.

  2. bearchluck says: Mar 7, 2011 9:36 AM

    So did Charlie Batch change positions? Or is he listed on the roster as clipboard holder?

  3. ashburninsider says: Mar 7, 2011 9:37 AM

    Go ahead and decertify. At that point we could possibly have a season. They could hire replacment players to come in and play. They would do it for less and still provide the entertainment we all want. Yes the players are right to fight for healthcare and retirement. And I think the owners are on board with that. But to fight for that extra billion dollars to pad your saleries is petty. Most of the players already make more than I will in a lifetime. It’s a bussiness not a partnership and the owners have the right to that billion dollars. The employees have the right to health insurance and a retirment. The players union needs to get over it.

  4. nbcwantsitsmoneyback says: Mar 7, 2011 9:41 AM

    “Of that group, we think it was Brees. And here’s why.

    First, he’s the only quarterback on the Executive Committee, and quarterbacks are the natural and obvious leaders in football.”

    So Charlie Batch isn’t a Quarterback?

  5. kingjoe1 says: Mar 7, 2011 9:41 AM

    I say let them decertify, and see how that goes for everyone.

    This other back and forth crap is boring. It is just of otu-of-touch people, arguing over who will stay wealthier. Decertification would give everyone involved a bit more of a reality jolt.

  6. waitingguilty says: Mar 7, 2011 9:42 AM

    “…but the league has been (in our view) treating the players like employees…”

    Wait, what?

    Maybe it’s because THEY ARE EMPLOYEES.

  7. grandpoopah says: Mar 7, 2011 9:42 AM

    I doubt it was Brees. I’d bet on Dawkins.

  8. jfar86 says: Mar 7, 2011 9:44 AM

    You apparently forgot that Charlie Batch, the first person you listed among the players, is also a QB.

  9. chc4 says: Mar 7, 2011 9:44 AM

    Yeah, what is all this “partner” nonsense? They are no more a partner than a bank teller is a partner of Wells Fargo.

  10. jw731 says: Mar 7, 2011 9:48 AM

    As the clock approaches midnight, i’m not feeling too good about the prospects of a deal, and it’s not just the football that i will miss, it’s the wifes contingency plans that have me worried. if no games to go to or watch, she says we can take weekend drives, to like Connecticut, to look at the foliage in the fall, covered bridges and other “shoot me now” activities. Don’t get me wrong, i’m a happily married man, but damn i don’t wanna do that when i could be watching football…..Just get a damn deal done…

  11. angrycorgi says: Mar 7, 2011 9:49 AM

    Something players need to understand: Decertify all you want…if you go to step #2 (anti-trust lawsuit), that’s the nuclear option…do that, and forget ever playing in the NFL again…it will cease to exist and you’ll be known as the selfish generation that destroyed it.

  12. skoobyfl says: Mar 7, 2011 9:53 AM

    I personally think greed has taken over the better judgement of both sides. One also has to assume that the NFL management doesn’t really want anything to change but a little more added to their bottom line. Since the TV rights revenues have been increased, both sides should benefit accordingly and the owners should realize that they have that much more to lose.

    All around, I think the tail wags the dog way too much in the NFL. I expect the players to win in this case & the Billionaire club gets less than planned, which is more than before. That’s the reason we stand at the point we are now & where it’ll end up going.

  13. angrycorgi says: Mar 7, 2011 9:56 AM

    The players are like some stupid little country that has one suitcase nuke and no value except oil exports…98% of these people couldn’t cut it in the real world and they think that one little thing they do is what the world spins on. Talk about rampant arrogance…let’s take the real world as an example and put a trade embargo on them (lock them out) and then nix the NFL so that there are individual teams. Treat NFL rules like an ISO certification guideline. Companies do this everyday in real life. Just because a group of companies operate to a set minimum quality level doesn’t mean they are a trust or present a monopoly.

  14. rpiotr01 says: Mar 7, 2011 9:57 AM

    The league isn’t squeezing players just because they can. They’re squeezing them because they should.

    All this bluster by the players (and some from the owners too) may sound good and make they parties feel good about themselves, but as I’ve said several times here, to what end? What is the purpose? What is the expected end game or expected result?

    Neither side is trying to kill the other side. The league isn’t trying to make it so that there is no union. This talk of “backs to the wall” is disingenuous and, in the context of negotiations, dangerous. Frankly we shouldn’t expect much less from the camp of De “WE’RE AT WAR!” Smith, but negotiating in good faith means not pretending that the party on the other side of the table wants to kill you.

  15. steelersmichele says: Mar 7, 2011 10:02 AM

    “…Of that group, we think it was Brees. And here’s why. First, he’s the only quarterback on the Executive Committee…”

    Seriously, you just mentioned players on the “Executive Committee” and you don’t know their positions?

    Charlie Batch is a QB. He may be 3rd/4th string, but that’s still his position.

  16. txchief says: Mar 7, 2011 10:02 AM

    The players are employees. If the NFLPA really wants to be a partner in the NFL, they need to buy in for stock, sign on for the liabilities and take on a corresponding portion of the debt service for the facilities and other future commitments. The yoyos in the NFLPA have no inkling of what is needed to run a business. The only know how to cash a paycheck.

  17. angrycorgi says: Mar 7, 2011 10:03 AM

    Ultimately, revenue sharing is the only good reason for the NFL to remain intact. The players threatening to decertify and bring an anti-trust lawsuit makes the NFL as a unified group a threat. In the end, it is the players’ greed that will destroy revenue sharing and cause the loss of several franchises and many jobs. They are banking on the hope that the NFL wouldn’t risk a reorganization that would lead to so many lost jobs in the country. Unltimately, its the reckless greed of the players that will destroy the NFL and shutdown so many jobs…all because a handful of players feel they need to have a 3rd Bentley.

  18. hobbstweedle says: Mar 7, 2011 10:03 AM

    I don’t understand the union (and their lapdogs, such as the one who wrote the above blog entry) trying to strong arm the owners so publicly with a story like Trotter’s. The parties fight to wear the white hat with fans, so why go out of your way to show us, the fans, that you have your finger on the proverbial button, and would be more than happy to push it? Then again, considering that we’re talking about a bunch of footall players, and an organization with less than stellar leadership, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised.

  19. Burritto says: Mar 7, 2011 10:05 AM

    After reading beyond the third paragraph, this article gave me a concussion.

  20. reidstinks says: Mar 7, 2011 10:05 AM

    Dumbest thing they could ever do.

    Also wondering what Charles Woodson’s position is on this? He fights for CBA rights in WI but is willing to just give them away for his percieved benefit.

    Plus, does anyone really believe them? I sure don’t and think this is the most transparent negotiating ploy EVER!

    Note to owners – call their bluff.

  21. flyerscup2010 says: Mar 7, 2011 10:06 AM

    I guess Charlie Batch isn’t a quarterback now.

    Ashburninsider, I don’t think it’s solely about the billion dollars the owners want. I just don’t see where the players are getting concessions out of the owners in return for what the owners want (18 games, extra billion dollars off the top, higher percentage of the revenue, rookie wage scale). The players have a right to fight for what they think is fair if they can create leverage to do it. It’s called negotiations. The owners apparently decided they weren’t going to negotiate, and instead were going to sit on their $4 billion from the tv contracts until the players crumbled under lack of paychecks. That’s not how negotiating works, and it clearly didn’t work here.

  22. eriktheliberal says: Mar 7, 2011 10:07 AM

    chapnastier,

    Drew and all of his fellow players ARE partners with the NFL owners; they are members of a collective bargaining unit known as a labor union.

    Without the players, the NFL owners would not have a quality product to put on TV each week.

  23. PanchoHerreraFanClub says: Mar 7, 2011 10:07 AM

    Dear ashburninsider, boy do you have your facts wrong. If the union decertifies there will be no need for replacement players. The decertified union players under contract will continue to play for their team unless the team decides to cut them. Any unsigned player (including college players, no draft without the union) can sign with any NFL team. True, the NFL teams could decide not to sign any of the decertified union player, but that would make a prima facia case for anti-trust and triple damages.

  24. brutus9448 says: Mar 7, 2011 10:10 AM

    If I was the owners I’d say go ahead and decertify. The players would lose and lose big in that scenerio

  25. brutus9448 says: Mar 7, 2011 10:11 AM

    If it wasn’t for football most of these guys would be bagging groceries anyway.

  26. kev86 says: Mar 7, 2011 10:11 AM

    Lets keep it 16 games, reduce rooking signing $$$, and increase long term healthcare.

    Season on!!!

  27. FinFan68 says: Mar 7, 2011 10:17 AM

    If the players are partners in the business, what do they finance? Stadiums, no. Investments, no. Other employees, no. They are employees not partners. If they want their “fair” share of the revenue stream associated with the NFL (based on percentages) then why are none of these players willing to put a percentage of their big-money indorsement contracts into the collective revenue pool? “What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine” mentality is hypocritical. Don’t bash the owners for being greedy when the players seem equally so.

  28. 3octaveFart says: Mar 7, 2011 10:20 AM

    chapnastier says: Mar 7, 2011 9:36 AM

    “…you are an employee.”

    So are you, so quit screwing your employer by posting to sports blogs on his dime and get back to work.

    / “you want fries with dat?”

  29. mick730 says: Mar 7, 2011 10:21 AM

    Almost without exception, every NFL player has been pampered and babied since pee wee football. Most, not all, but most never had to perform scholastically in high school or university, and in fact, for whatever education they chose to pursue in college ( and most didn’t pursue anything other than football and chicks), they received free at taxpayer expense. After all, who is it that funds most major universities from which football players in the NFL emerge?

    Now, they have forced a business model on the NFL in which they receive 59.6% of every new dollar that is generated by the league. They risk nothing financially, but demand everything off the top.

    To my knowledge, no NFL owner has demanded that the players give up their benefits in any way, be it health care or whatever. The owners, who take on all the financial risk associated with a franchise, want the division of revenues to be more equitable. The players are willing to destroy the league as we know it to protect their salaries.

    Fine. That’s their choice, but I don’t know how anybody, unless they are Dallas Cowboy fans or Washington Redskin fans, teams with owners who view their teams as a hobby and have no need for financial viability, can side with the players.

    What the NFL players think they want is what exists as MLB. They will find though that if this is what results from their demands, there will be fewer NFL teams, thus fewer NFL jobs, and just like MLB, contending teams will be limited to those with billionaire owners who can afford to throw away tens of millions of dollars year in and year out on a hobby. The NFL will become as uninteresting as MLB.

  30. touchdownroddywhite says: Mar 7, 2011 10:26 AM

    Why would anybody watch “replacement players” when college football would arguably have as much, or more talent at that point? Replacement players be damned. I watch football because of names like Polamalu, Reed, White… Not for the letters NFL… Top quality talent brings top audiences. Anything less is just uncivilized.

  31. jroneputt says: Mar 7, 2011 10:28 AM

    The list of players who were going to be plainiffs in the lawsuit were interesting, all of them are wealthy and if they did not play another NFL game they would still be set for life.

    Please stop with the partners reference. The players are employees, plain and simple.

  32. jroneputt says: Mar 7, 2011 10:30 AM

    oops, typo, left out the t.

  33. clintonportisheadd says: Mar 7, 2011 10:30 AM

    ashburninsider says: Mar 7, 2011 9:37 AM

    Go ahead and decertify. At that point we could possibly have a season. They could hire replacment players to come in and play. They would do it for less and still provide the entertainment we all want. ……

    ——————-

    Where to begin with such a silly post?

    First off, decertification does not mean a strike. In fact it means quite the opposite. The players will report to work just as before while they file a lawsuit alleging conspiracy and anti trust violations against the owners. The owners could still “lock them out” but that would only add to the players legal case.

    And don’t speak for me when you say scab replacements would “provide the entertainment we all want”. I don’t pay top dollar to watch UFL rejects. Then again, maybe your standards are lower. Season ticket holders will sue saying that the product being presented on the field is not what they bargained for. And they will be right. The ratings will suffer and the networks will ask for make good money back from the league.

  34. stanklepoot says: Mar 7, 2011 10:33 AM

    ashburninsider says: Mar 7, 2011 9:37 AM

    Go ahead and decertify. At that point we could possibly have a season. They could hire replacment players to come in and play. They would do it for less and still provide the entertainment we all want. Yes the players are right to fight for healthcare and retirement. And I think the owners are on board with that. But to fight for that extra billion dollars to pad your saleries is petty. Most of the players already make more than I will in a lifetime. It’s a bussiness not a partnership and the owners have the right to that billion dollars. The employees have the right to health insurance and a retirment. The players union needs to get over it.
    _________________________
    No, they couldn’t. It still wouldn’t be the players striking, it would be the owners locking them out. If the owners were worried about an anti-trust lawsuit before, imagine the repercussions of the owners bringing in replacement players while locking out players who are already under contract. That would mean the owners were colluding to breach hundreds of contracts around the league. Additionally, the networks would not air games with replacement players. It would water down a product they value, which a potential carryover after a new CBA was reached. You also have to wonder how many advertisers would be willing to pay for the right to face potential protests and boycotts if they bought advertising during games played with the sole intent of breaking a union. Decertification or not, everyone knows that the players would still be acting as a group with every intention of bringing the union back as an official organization. Unions may not be as strong as they once were, but they’re strong enough to hassle those companies and they tend to go out of their way not to step on each others toes. Also, there are many who would not like to see the owners going out of their way to try and break the players that they actually root for. So, no, there will be no replacement players for any number of reasons.

    Btw, you seem to have things reversed. It’s the owners fighting for that extra billion dollars, not the players.

  35. bengalsown says: Mar 7, 2011 10:39 AM

    Websites like this one are turning the NFL into the WWE.

  36. chapnastier says: Mar 7, 2011 10:49 AM

    @eriktheliberal

    The CBA is an agreement that sets standards for which employers provide salary and benefits (among other things) to employees. Just by agreeing to a CBA does not equal the players being partners in the business but just employees with agreed employment guidelines. I hope this education helps.

    @30octane

    Are you asking me if I want fries? I’m good but thanks for offering. You seem to have that line down pat.

  37. toe4 says: Mar 7, 2011 10:51 AM

    Chapnastier (and others who insist on calling players employees and not partners,)

    Why do you insist on treating the NFL as if it is not a unique situation?

    You cannot treat it as a bank or a garage or a factory. It is professional sports. Filled with unique talent.

    The fact is that if Brees and Brady and Manning started the Players Football League more than half of us would watch that. That fact alone makes the unique talent defacto partners.

    We don’t watch the NFL because we are in love with the owners or the uniforms.

  38. clintonportisheadd says: Mar 7, 2011 10:51 AM

    mick730 says: Mar 7, 2011 10:21 AM

    The owners, who take on all the financial risk associated with a franchise, want the division of revenues to be more equitable……

    ——————-

    As always, Mick’s posts speak to an overwhelming lack of knowledge.

    There is no financial risk in owning an NFL franchise. It’s the closest thing one could have to your own personal printing press churning out millions of dollars a day. The fact is that every franchise has shown exponential growth in it’s value over the years. Ask the Mara’s or the Rooney’s or the Hala’s about the “risks”. The only way to screw it up is to over leverage the asset to buy English football clubs (hello Malcolm Glazer!)

    The only division of revenue issue that needs to be resolved is among the owners. Folks like Snyder and Jones want to turn their franchises into the Yankees and Red Sox and make Green Bay, Buffalo, Tampa Bay, etc into the Pirates and Royals of the NFL. The players are ON RECORD as being opposed to such a set up.

    Asking the players to assume some risk is great if they are allowed to share in the reward. Asking Peyton Manning to drop his salary to a million bucks in exchange for 5% of the teams profits would be fine except the Colts refuse to open the books. Tom Cruise and other movie folks routinely take on a shared financial risk in making a movie with a studio but you can bet they get a full view of the books at the end of the day.

    Its amazing to me that you can still find folks on here that defend and sympathize (sympathize!) with billionaires of whom enough seems never to be enough.

  39. Deb says: Mar 7, 2011 10:52 AM

    @ashburninsider and chapnastier …

    The players were happy to abide by the existing CBA, which the owners signed– supposedly in good faith–but are now throwing out well ahead of its expiration. The owners are asking players to take an 18-percent paycut without showing proof of loss. They are asking players to work extra regular season games without compensation despite health risks. They are trying to limit players’ benefits. Would you be willing to take a paycut to work longer hours?

    Without players there would be no league. Their salaries are commensurate with the revenue they generate. Like it or not, their skills are in short supply. You can’t simply pick up a starting QB or left tackle in the unemployment line.

    Payroll is the largest budget item for all labor-intensive industries, usually accounting for at least 60 percent of the total budget. The NFL is not being asked to pay a higher percentage than any other industry. Your problem is that these players can command more than the average worker because they have unique skills that are not easily replaced. That seems to stir a lot of jealousy among men who don’t share the ability to get rich playing a game.

    This is the free market at work, gentlemen. You need to get over it.

  40. awdlmd says: Mar 7, 2011 10:58 AM

    The owners better realize that without players their billion dollar franchises are not only worthless but in many cases liabilities.

  41. bigsuede says: Mar 7, 2011 11:21 AM

    Some ignorant posters are KILLING ME on this board.

    YES- there are partnerships that are made ALL THE TIME where one partner provides services, and the other provides capital/takes on the financial risk. It is called a LIMITED PARTNERSHIP and it occurs all the time. Ever been to a restaurant with a star chef? Typically there is one guy who does the finances and the other uses his skill to provide the menu- and they split profits evenly.

    So please quit with your myopic views of partnerships- these do occur- much more than you obviously realize.

  42. chapnastier says: Mar 7, 2011 11:22 AM

    @ Deb

    You are failing to understand our points. Look there isn’t a single sports fan that doesn’t wish we could be a professional athlete. Most likely we are former “high school stars” and “high school bench warmers” who really weren’t good enough to go on and play at the next level. I can admit I am somewhere in the middle there and will always envy a professional athlete. But if you think that is why I personally have issues with what the NFLPA is trying to do you are for once out of your mind.

    The owners agreed to the last CBA conceding it was highly in favor of the players with plans to re-visit it upon its expiration which was last week. The players took too much plain and simple. Now I agree with your points on what the players want but my point is that they have absolutely no right to demand a private company open its books. It is absurd to think they do.

    As far as the talent of the NFL athlete, you are right, they are without a doubt the best at what they do. But I argue that if these players were forced to find employment elsewhere then the very best in the other leagues would be more than willing to come play in the NFL for a substantially lower salary. Without the current NFL players to be compared to then we would be seeing the new “best” talent that there was. Are you going to try and convince us that you would stop watching the Steelers if Joe Schmo from the CFL became their QB?

    I would like to pose a question to you and the other pro-NFLPA people, if the NFL players are so irreplaceable then why can’t they go to the CFL, AFL or UFL and make those leagues what the NFL is today?

  43. eagleswin says: Mar 7, 2011 11:25 AM

    eriktheliberal says:
    Mar 7, 2011 10:07 AM
    chapnastier,

    Drew and all of his fellow players ARE partners with the NFL owners; they are members of a collective bargaining unit known as a labor union.

    ========================
    labor union 

    –noun
    an organization of wage earners or salaried employees for mutual aid and protection and for dealing collectively with employers; trade union.

    Origin:
    1865–70
    —————
    I don’t see the word “partners” anywhere in the definition of how a labor union works.

  44. toe4 says: Mar 7, 2011 11:44 AM

    Chapnastier,

    Because they are under contract not to play football anywhere other than their employer. When their contracts are up they very well could do that. And you know what… if they did we’d watch it. The USFL had a fairly strong following. It wasn’t product that killed the USFL it was Pete Rozelle.

    By the way… I am NOT pro-NFLPA… but I have a great deal of difficulty with you treating NFL players as if they were common employees. It is not a common business and their unique talents make them uncommon employees.

    Neither am I pro-owners. I am pro-I-want-to-watch-football-without-this-stupid-crap. But rather than wondering what team the Donovan McNabb is going to get a raise from after he is cut by the Redskins this offseason, I’m left wondering why these guys are choking the golden chicken.

    For those that believe the NFL players are replacables let me remind you that The Replacements is an entertaining movie, not entertaining football as evidenced by the empty stadiums and lackluster TV ratings in 1987.

  45. clintonportisheadd says: Mar 7, 2011 11:59 AM

    chapnastier says: Mar 7, 2011 11:22 AM

    I would like to pose a question to you and the other pro-NFLPA people, if the NFL players are so irreplaceable then why can’t they go to the CFL, AFL or UFL and make those leagues what the NFL is today?……..

    ———————-

    It’s been tried. It was called the USFL. And when the USFL sued for anti trust, the courts found that the NFL was an illegal monopoly. They found that they used their position with the networks to stifle competition. As we saw in Judge Doty’s recent ruling on lockout insurance, the league STILL uses its muscle to tell the networks what to do. To think they would allow such a venture to even get off the ground is naive especially when ABC/ESPN, CBS, FOX, and NBC all are in bed with the NFL. Where would this new league go for broadcast revenue? PBS? The Food Network?

    Any other questions?

  46. alarmbottle says: Mar 7, 2011 12:00 PM

    Wait, I’m confused. Since when the players own the franchises like partners?

    THE PLAYERS ARE EMPLOYEES!!!

    I can’t help but think about how the Asian car companies are usually winning against their American counterparts because of how the unions are weighing down their American car companies.

    Another note is that if the player’s pay is not increasing at the same ratio as the NFL revenue income, then it’s owners’ fault. But if player income is outpacing the NFL revenue, then it’s another thing.

  47. georgegabriel9 says: Mar 7, 2011 12:09 PM

    Absolutely hilarious, and horrifying that you’ve failed to note that Charlie Batch is a quarterback.

    A telling sign of just how bad of a “journalist” you are. What a joke.

  48. sterling7 says: Mar 7, 2011 12:12 PM

    I lost my job 8 months ago and I was making $25.0 an hour. I am now making $12.56 an hour. Let these primadonnas go out, find a real job, work a real job and find out what life is really like. They’d work for far less than they’re making now. Don’t expect me to cry for these overpaid, obnoxious, can’t manage the money they have and want more, narcissistic loudmouths.

  49. jfluke65 says: Mar 7, 2011 12:18 PM

    My vote is Dawkins too. He has that kind of personality, which helped make him loved so much in Philly.

    However, I say go ahead and decertify, then strike. I remember the replacement games. They were entertaining!

    I’m an Eagles fan. All the players I like to watch are Midnight green to me. I don’t start rooting/watching other teams when the ineveitable happens and they move on.

    I’ll cheer just as much for ‘scrubs’ as I do for the current players, Many of whom act like idiots after every play, dancing around etc like they just won the Super Bowl.

  50. chatham10 says: Mar 7, 2011 12:21 PM

    I keep hearing and reading how the players are standing tough and will do so, and I admire that talk but when Sept. comes around and there is no more paychecks will that tough talk be there or are the players like Manning, Brees etc who have signed with very large bonus help you all out with loans or will your smooth talking agents fund you?

  51. marinomanx13 says: Mar 7, 2011 12:24 PM

    Wait! YOU FORGOT TO MENTION THAT CHARLIE BATCH IS A QB!!!!!

    We all know, guys. Holy frig. Look for repeat posts next time before trying so hard to point out mistakes. Damn.

  52. pftequalsgreatjournalism says: Mar 7, 2011 12:27 PM

    The point is that for the best value to the fans, who fund the insane player salaries and owner’s profits, they need each other… What they are putting at stake is the long-term are health of their collective business interests…

    I am chuckling at this semantical discussion of whether the players are employees or partners because it doesn’t matter what you call them but how the deal is structured…

    I hope there is an end in sight to this game of chicken…

  53. theandy59 says: Mar 7, 2011 12:36 PM

    Rooting for the owners in this dispute is like going to Vegas and rooting for the House. Some of you people are really, really stupid. The owners are forcing a confrontation, having taken advantage of their right to cancel an agreement that still had years to run. They’ve done this because they claim the player’s share of revenue is such that it’s impossible for teams to turn a profit; however, they are unwilling to open their books to prove their allegations. Like most owners in any industry, these people resent the money they’re required to pay their employees, and so they spend a great deal of time and resources on conspiring to find ways to reduce that liability. Any of you guys ever been outsourced? If the owners thought for a second that they could bring in replacement players and make more money, it would be a done deal. The fact is, this is a players league. Without them, there is no league. If some of you knuckleheads are willing to sit around on a Sunday and watch a real life version of Shane Falco, go ahead – I won’t spend a second on it.

    As for the whole partnership question, the owners are the ones consistently referring to the players as partners because that’s a true reflection of the relationship. As someone else pointed out, there’s no risk involved in NFL ownership – show me a single NFL team and/or an owner that’s lost money. If you can, I’d say “Sell the team if you can’t turn a profit in this league”, and I’m sure the equity they’ve gained over their ownership would be scores higher than any operating loss they may have taken along the way.

  54. mick730 says: Mar 7, 2011 12:46 PM

    Clintonportishead and fooziegoobler, or goobiefoozerl, whatever his handle is, continue to display why the whole issue of the owners openeing up their books is a canard.

    As Clintonportishead states, there is no risk in being an NFL owner, is is simply a license to steal money. How does he know this? Well, he doesn’t. He’s a union schill and nothing more.

    Facts are the Packers books are open and they show that since the inception of the current CBA, the team’s net profit has dropped from over 35 million dollars per year to 9 million. During that same time period, the team had the youngest team in the league, but still, their player costs rose on average 15 % per year.

    You see, what uneducated union hacks never learned, because most of them never went to school, is that there is such a thing as a financial trent and the trens in profitability for the NFL are down, and this current CBA does not allow for that to change as the poor players recevie 59.6% of every new revenue dollar raised.

    What the short sighted NFLPA and their backers don’t realize is that they will destroy the NFL, just like unions destroyed every other industry they ever touched.

  55. bigbluefan1 says: Mar 7, 2011 12:57 PM

    You are not a partner your the hired help

    Patners share more then profits they share in the costs has any of the partners signed a note to pay for a new stadium ?

    Get over yourselfs your the help plan and simple and you notice that most of america is fed up with crybaby unions and the NFL players are the biggest of the Crybaby club

  56. Chris Guest says: Mar 7, 2011 1:04 PM

    Can someone explain to me why the President of the Player’s Association is not a player…Kevin Mawae.

    That position goes to a player and for a reason. It is pretty clear this guy has a real “conflict of interest” given his believe that he was blackballed for being the President of the Player’s Assn when in fact he stinks. There is a reason it is a player so that he understand the players issues not his real concern which is to keep up the conflict to pay his salary.

    If he wants to be with D. Smith as union counsel, fine but he shouldn’t be ahead of the PA givne his clear idiocy.

  57. panther17 says: Mar 7, 2011 1:06 PM

    Your not partners. Your employees and your replaceable.

  58. toe4 says: Mar 7, 2011 1:19 PM

    panther17,

    replaceable by who? Cory Ross? Who is Cory Ross you ask… Exactly. The UFL leading rusher in 2009.

  59. toe4 says: Mar 7, 2011 1:24 PM

    Chris Guest,

    I don’t know which is worse the fact that you don’t understand how Mawae is still President of the Players Union or that you think he is a terrible football player.

    You ARE a football fan, right?

  60. Deb says: Mar 7, 2011 1:40 PM

    @toe4 …

    Actually Donald Trump killed the USFL. Just saw a great documentary on it called … Who Killed the USFL? If you ever get a chance, watch it. Highly informative and entertaining.

    @chapnastier …

    chap, the players aren’t the ones who pushed their salaries into the stratosphere. A handful of owners did that after the players won the right to free agency. Guys like your Jerry Jones, Paul Allen, and Dan Snyder started paying astronomical signing bonuses so they could skirt the salary cap and outbid owners like Dan Rooney who didn’t have that kind of personal wealth. Teams like the Steelers and Green Bay couldn’t play in the free-agent wars back then because they couldn’t afford it. Isn’t it funny that the very owners who created the monster are the same ones now determined to cut off its head?

    You can’t have it both ways. You can’t tell me billionaire owners are the “victims” in this dispute because they made the investment, they took the risk, so they should reap all the profits but ignore the fact that they wouldn’t make one thin dime without that unique talent whose salary they bid into orbit. And when is the last time an owner was paralyzed or suffered permanent brain damage taking a risk for the game?

    Will I watch a Steelers team made up of scabs? No, I will NOT. I’m not crossing a workers’ picket line on a sidewalk or in my living room. I’m self-employed from a family of middle-class small-business owners and have never belonged to a union. But I will never side with people who manipulate the system to ensure they pay less than a third the tax rate I pay. I’m not a gullible idiot who can be convinced by bought pundits that billionaires are my friends.

  61. tweener8292 says: Mar 7, 2011 3:05 PM

    Kick that tail, Drew. Let’s help get it done.

  62. rlm1241 says: Mar 7, 2011 3:20 PM

    All that is happening is that the owners want to use the same tactics that players have used individually for years. How many times have players held out in order to get a better deal than the one they originally signed? That annoys me to no end – live up to your contract, and negotiate a better deal the next time! However, until players start to live up to their word, they can’t complain when the owners want to do the same.

  63. pandebailey says: Mar 7, 2011 3:33 PM

    You can skip the talk of replacement players – the NFL owners agreed in writing not to try to use replacements again. So its either its either football with the real players or no NFL.

    I always find it amazing that people think players who are putting their bodies on the line in a 3-year career are selfish…..but the owners who are charging you $9 a beer….aren’t. Strange logic.

  64. goawayeverybody says: Mar 8, 2011 2:22 AM

    Tehnically, Brees is only an employee of the NFL as Bono is an employee of whatever music label he has signed with. If you think of it this way, it’s clear these folks are not “employees” in the ordinary sense of the word. Manning, Brees, Brady, et al, are not ordinary employees. People pay money to see them as they would pay money to see Bono in concert. People wouldn’t spend as much money with backup replacements for U2 for instance. Therefore it’s ludicrous to think that the NFL would survive without its superstars.

  65. teddyrex says: Mar 8, 2011 4:07 PM

    Dude you libertarian-tards need to try actually reading something besides Ayn Rand.

    Salary caps, collegiate drafts, franchise tags, etc. are ILLEGAL IN FREE LABOR MARKETS. They have ALWAYS 100% BEEN RULED ILLEGAL, both in the US and in the UK where our common law is based.

    The only reason professional sports is allowed to have these things is because they are negotiating under a Collective Bargaining Agreement with a union, which bars them from antitrust liability. Under this arrangement, the PLAYERS ARE PARTNERS TO THE OWNERS. THIS IS NOT THE SAME AS YOUR SECRETARIAL JOB because your employers don’t use obviously anti-competitive practices.

    ONCE THE UNION DISSOLVES, the NFL and players are no longer partners, and the NFL is thus a normal industry, open to antitrust suits (which it will lose, 100% guaranteed; there is literally no precedent in US legal history, not even slavery, that would justify a draft, a salary cap, etc. in an open labor market).

    So to all you dipwads who say Drew Brees isn’t a partner, STFU. He absolutely is (until they decertify). And to all you morons talking about how the players will lose in a “free market”, why don’t you look to baseball, which is closer to a free market, to get an idea of what the future of the NFL is if the players decertify.

    The problem with FoxNews and the like is that they make this nation so so so much dumber.

  66. lebronsinsecurity says: Mar 8, 2011 7:54 PM

    @mick730 says: “You see, what uneducated union hacks never learned, because most of them never went to school”

    Uhh, I did.. I just happened to take courses beyond Macroeconomics 101.. I think they call them upper-division courses.. You know, if you bang your head against the wall over and over again because you believe it’s right, doesn’t make it right, it just makes you stupid..

  67. deconjonesbitchslap says: Mar 8, 2011 9:07 PM

    why is any, ANY, of this BS you continue to post important to fans in any way? they are going to play next year, on time. they all even say they are going to be playing.

    please, go back to your real journalist style of reporting and post updated twitter feeds from the players.

  68. sirbenly says: Mar 8, 2011 9:37 PM

    clintonportisheadd Has it exactly correct. The NFL owners want the players to be financial partners but won’t open their books. That is absolutely retarded. Those who have 1/2 a brain can see that the owners are being ridiculous

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