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Ball is in NFL’s court

NFL Contract Talks Continue As Deadline Approaches Getty Images

The NFLPA has offered to extend the deadline for doing a new deal in exchange for one thing.

The union wants 10 years of audited financial statements.

NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said that the union has requested the information, and that a decision from the league is due by 5:00 p.m. ET.

We’ll find out how serious the NFL is about doing a deal soon.

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96 Responses to “Ball is in NFL’s court”
  1. descendency says: Mar 11, 2011 4:48 PM

    I wonder if they will broadcast the legal hearings on NFLN or NFL.com

  2. geniusesq says: Mar 11, 2011 4:49 PM

    Just give them the financial statements. Duh. If a player refused to give over his tax returns, everyone would believe he cheated on his taxes. If the owners really are “losing” turn over the damn proof. Duh Winning.

  3. rpiotr01 says: Mar 11, 2011 4:50 PM

    More posturing. Why not just ask each owner to surrender their first born while they’re at it?

    The union never bargained in good faith, never meant to and they never will under this clown DeMaurice Smith.

  4. tjp2033 says: Mar 11, 2011 4:50 PM

    So the NFL has to give up everything and the union nothing?

    Makes no sense. Im sick of both groups but this is bull. De Smith is an idiot too.

    I guess the NFLPA will get what the secretly wanted all along, to decertify. I hope the owners crush them in court.

  5. drreece8 says: Mar 11, 2011 4:51 PM

    Nice move NFLPA!

  6. cassrangers says: Mar 11, 2011 4:51 PM

    Sounds like things are going to get ugly…

  7. Richard Dickson says: Mar 11, 2011 4:51 PM

    This smacks of an offer designed purely to be rejected. “Hey, the owners turned down our perfectly reasonable request … that we made fifteen minutes before the deadline.”

  8. stairwayto7 says: Mar 11, 2011 4:51 PM

    No deal until October! I guarentee it!

  9. johnjosephyossarian says: Mar 11, 2011 4:51 PM

    Negotiate that!

  10. connorchew says: Mar 11, 2011 4:52 PM

    us fans are tired of this deadline bs. but i’d rather have an extended deadline than no communication at all

  11. tuckercarlsonisthevoiceofreason says: Mar 11, 2011 4:52 PM

    Ten minutes before the deadline and they ask for 10 years of audited financial statements. Obvious PR ploy to make the owners look like the bad guys.

  12. thegreenviking says: Mar 11, 2011 4:53 PM

    Another attempt by the union to try and save face.

  13. mantei says: Mar 11, 2011 4:54 PM

    Can’t wait to read the book about this entire thing in a year or two…

  14. skoobyfl says: Mar 11, 2011 4:54 PM

    10 Years of Audited statements from every team, my god the strike is on. Asking a Billionaire for an accounting statement is not in the cards, sorry players.

  15. smacklayer says: Mar 11, 2011 4:54 PM

    Glad to see that De Smith and the NFLPA is in the spirit of compromise – an ultimatum. Just for that I want the owners to lock them out and fight in court.

  16. brownsfn says: Mar 11, 2011 4:54 PM

    Screw this fool…just lock em out…his act is getting old…

  17. commandercornpone says: Mar 11, 2011 4:55 PM

    give away info the union wont safeguard or the union will decert.

    hey, if it gets rid of duh, stall.

  18. hawkjuice says: Mar 11, 2011 4:55 PM

    Clowns

  19. jimr10 says: Mar 11, 2011 4:55 PM

    Last week they were asking for five years financial and now they want 10 years. There is no intention on the part of the players to make a deal.

  20. skeletaldrawing says: Mar 11, 2011 4:55 PM

    Here’s hoping.

  21. knowerofallthings says: Mar 11, 2011 4:55 PM

    That request is completely unreasonable. If you’re audited by the IRS they only require 5 years for example. They don’t want to compromise, they want to go to court.

  22. digd13 says: Mar 11, 2011 4:55 PM

    balls in, balls out. looks like we all lose.

  23. allinblindsevenduece says: Mar 11, 2011 4:55 PM

    I would love to see someone in the real world ask to see the books on a company they work for.

  24. Entropy says: Mar 11, 2011 4:56 PM

    This is just a PR move. The union knows that the owners will not agree to this.

    The union has decided to decertify.

  25. dccowboy says: Mar 11, 2011 4:56 PM

    Sounds like the Union wants to decertify so they just made an impossible to fulfill demand as cover.

  26. warmachine2112 says: Mar 11, 2011 4:57 PM

    A decade of audited financial statements? Hmmm… Doubtful.

    Just a footnote, but DeMaurice Smith looks like the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man.

  27. fivetwos says: Mar 11, 2011 4:57 PM

    Enough of this nonsense please.

    I want another Zbikowski update.

  28. windowace says: Mar 11, 2011 4:57 PM

    Than what ? You can make numbers say what ever you want them to say.

  29. alphaq2 says: Mar 11, 2011 4:57 PM

    What about the financial data for the year that the owners agreed to the deal with Upshaw vs. last years financial data. No way the owners will, or should, agree to 10 years worth of financial statements.

  30. ftblfan9 says: Mar 11, 2011 4:57 PM

    Make a giant public threat to egotistical owners. Looks like the nflpa wants to decertify.

  31. WingT says: Mar 11, 2011 4:58 PM

    Why shouldn’t the owners open up the books?

  32. seahawkhuskyfan says: Mar 11, 2011 4:58 PM

    I think a PPV Cage Match is in order. De Smith against Roger. Winner take all. Maybe they would make 500M through PPV, I would pay $75 to see it

  33. vicktator says: Mar 11, 2011 4:58 PM

    3 simple words: GET IT DONE!

  34. tehowdruid says: Mar 11, 2011 4:58 PM

    So basically the NFLPA throws that out there because they know the owners are gonna turn it down.

    NFLPA: We’re gonna throw this proposal out there so when they turn it down, like we know they will, we can go tell the fans that we tried and did everything we could but the owners wanted nothing to do with it.

    I don’t like any of this. The NFLPA keeps talking about the fans and how they’re sorry to the fans, yet they’re the ones prolonging this.

    We’re not idiots.

  35. louforprethident says: Mar 11, 2011 4:58 PM

    I like college football better anyway. It will be that much better this year.

  36. belichickrulz says: Mar 11, 2011 4:58 PM

    Goodell should respond to the NFLPA the same way that Gen. McAuliffe responded to the Germans during the Battle of the Bulge, “Nuts!”.

  37. chwtom says: Mar 11, 2011 4:58 PM

    DeMo is drawing his line in the sand. That’s fine, but he better be certain of 2 things:
    1. That the players ABSOLUTELY have to have these financial statements.
    2. That they are willing to threaten the 2011 season if they don’t get them.

    I don’t get the feeling this is about finding a fair compromise, I feel this is about tremendous egos on both sides trying to “win” the fight. It’s a shame that a game we all love is in the hands of men who act like children.

  38. sdboltaction says: Mar 11, 2011 4:59 PM

    WI Gov. Walker as the next NFL Commissioner.

  39. bigfranky75 says: Mar 11, 2011 5:00 PM

    DON’T DO IT!!!! let De “The Fraud” Smith expose the union as being the disingenuious sham that it is… they wanted to decertify all along…. LET THEM!

    then lock their asses out.

  40. beastofeden says: Mar 11, 2011 5:00 PM

    You guys do realize that if there is a lockout the Dallas Cowboys AUTOMATICALLY WIN THE SUPER BOWL BECAUSE THEY HOSTED IT LAST

  41. ob66 says: Mar 11, 2011 5:00 PM

    This is what the Union wants to do so I wish they would just go ahead and do it! I don’t know who has the worst pics Kessler or De Smith.

  42. Rhode Island Patriots Fan says: Mar 11, 2011 5:01 PM

    We already know how serious the NFL is about doing a deal. The request for 10 years of audited financials is absolutely outrageous. The NFL should summarily reject the request. Any objective observer will see this for what it is: a negotiating ploy.

  43. mataug says: Mar 11, 2011 5:01 PM

    what the hell do the players think ? the nfl is stupid enough to doctor data for recent years only (in case they aren’t the accurate numbers) ?

  44. hobartbaker says: Mar 11, 2011 5:01 PM

    Ball in NFL court, with little Mo still squeezing it tightly in both hands and twisting.

  45. buffalohogan says: Mar 11, 2011 5:01 PM

    And I told my wife I would buy her an iPad2 if she let me bang my hot 18 year old babysitter.

    Sure…Great “negotiating” DeeMo…

  46. mvp43 says: Mar 11, 2011 5:01 PM

    Whatever De……Thanks for nothing

  47. paulnoga says: Mar 11, 2011 5:02 PM

    The Players are not Partners, they are Independent Contractors if the Union decertifies. Let Breesus whine in the Press all year.

  48. wetpaperbag2 says: Mar 11, 2011 5:02 PM

    I’m curious as to what ALL the financials are. What’s odd is that player’s salaries are ALWAYS available and published in the mainstream media. The same cannot be said regarding what a team brings in. Teams (minus the publicly owned Green Bay Packers) are quick to claim they can’t afford this or that , but never divulge what they take in and what they spend on. The same goes for ticket sales. Teams are always masking what their box office receipts are. San Francisco has been “cooking” the books in this regard ever since the York’s took over.

  49. toe4 says: Mar 11, 2011 5:02 PM

    Earlier today I posted a very rough cut of some numbers I did with a pencil and paper at my kitchen table.

    the numbers suggested it may cost about $70m a year to run an NFL team at an organizational level (groundskeepers, secretaries, travel the whole shebang)

    Well after further investigation the best number I can come up with for operational expenses is $50m.

    Well if that is the case than the average (or should I say the aggregate) NFL team is making anywhere from a $10m profit (at $80m operational costs) to a $40m profit (at $50m operational costs)

    With that range and with it very difficult to determine operational costs of an NFL organization without actual numbers I can see why the union is hung up on this point.

    If the profit is truly greater than say… $25m I can see why the players don’t want to take a smaller slice.

  50. nanner12wojo says: Mar 11, 2011 5:02 PM

    The only good news about decertification is that De Smith is out of the picture. He is a freaking joke.

    If it takes court to force them to play the league is going down the wrong path in the long run. The NFL today is we know it might be ruined. If competitive balance goes away welcome baseball people.

  51. wryly1 says: Mar 11, 2011 5:03 PM

    This ain’t rocket science, folks. If ANYONE wanted a billion dollars from someone they were doing business with, you’d have to show them the books. Owner’s are in la-la land and the Courts will NOT support them.

  52. Kaz says: Mar 11, 2011 5:04 PM

    Don’t they have to de-certify by now? The league should say no and let this go. It’s too late to use Judge Doty and the Union is screwed.

  53. bigfranky75 says: Mar 11, 2011 5:05 PM

    mark my words…. as someone that was leaning “pro-player” the last few months in the lead up to this whole mess. i am now leaning “owner” because of the obvious ploy that decertification was the plan all along….

    as a season ticket holder, if the players decertify/go to court… i will NOT renew my seasons…. if the owners lock them out, and bring in scabs… then i WILL renew.

    what a difference a day makes.

  54. jerseybaron says: Mar 11, 2011 5:05 PM

    The hell with the freaking union. I’ll watch indoor football or anything else. I’m about fed up with this circus. The union doesn’t want to negotiate. All the owners have to do is dissolve the NFL/AFL then start up another league, sign players who are willing to play at a descent buck with health care benefits and we’re off and running. Bye Bye D Smith.

  55. scytherius says: Mar 11, 2011 5:05 PM

    Good for the Union. The fact that the NFL says it can’t afford anything yet won’t turn over some financial information borders on the insane. Not a soul posting here would tolerate that.

    If they decertify, so be it. I’d rather they cancel the season than to kowtow to a handful of billionaires who are unwilling to take even the smallest steps to save the game.

  56. georgiavol91 says: Mar 11, 2011 5:06 PM

    The NFL needs to tell the union to shove it up their ass. NO private company opens their books for employees to look at. Don’t play that “but it’s different here, the players are so sppeecciaaall” crap.

    Does anyone actually believe that information won’t be leaked in 24 hours? C’mon. The union has clearly overplayed their hand.

    Remember what I said three months ago. This is EXACTLY what Smith wanted. Him and that jerkoff Kessler.

  57. 49erdanny says: Mar 11, 2011 5:06 PM

    I feel bad for the players bc de smith is so greedy and power hungry that’s its gonna be his fault the players don’t play this year! I thought his job was to help the players?

  58. johnnyb216 says: Mar 11, 2011 5:06 PM

    Boom.

  59. mataug says: Mar 11, 2011 5:07 PM

    one more thing: I assume the players get a look at the numbers both ways now – either NFL shows the numbers or the courts force the NFL to do so ?

  60. krow101 says: Mar 11, 2011 5:07 PM

    Both sides are greedy… but the owners are also crooked.

  61. semperfi24 says: Mar 11, 2011 5:07 PM

    How the hell did this clown dupe the players into electing him to NFLPA executive director?? From what I have seen this guy is a clown. He has one bullet in his gun, decerification.

    There has been questions about good faith negotiating on the part of the owners (in other words, they want a lockout no matter what). Where are the questions about good faith negotiating on the part of the players. Seems more and more like the players are going to decertify no matter what, so neither side is negotiating in good faith….

    However, so far it seems that in the court of public opinion, the players union is getting crushed. The owners made an offer last week, and the offer was rejected, and reports have been out there that the owners have made sweeter and sweeter and sweeter offers through out the week, and the players have one response: “Not interested! And dont forget we might decertify…”

    Give me a break, take your decertification threats and stick them up you arse De, and start trying to reach an agreement

  62. elmoron says: Mar 11, 2011 5:08 PM

    You go DeMo!

  63. bigfranky75 says: Mar 11, 2011 5:08 PM

    what? does De Smith think we (the fans) are as dumb as the players? we arent picking up what he is putting down….. we see through this.

    good faith was never demonstrated by the players… not once.

    the players are about to LOSE THE FANS….

    boys, you are NOT bigger than the game and you are about to push the fans to the other side… which puts YOU in a spot you do NOT want to be. fools.

  64. geobh says: Mar 11, 2011 5:09 PM

    how could all people sit in meetings this long and look at the baboon looking d smith.

  65. wheels27 says: Mar 11, 2011 5:09 PM

    shows me that the union has been sitting on this “blackmail” button since day one so they can make the owners of the profitable teams look bad by opening their books. they haven’t been mediating in good faith bsince this has been their stance the whole time with a take it or leave it option.

  66. sc2115 says: Mar 11, 2011 5:09 PM

    WI Gov. Walker as the next NFL Commissioner.

    Why? So he can lie about a fake crisis in order to screw everyone who isn’t an owner?

  67. toe4 says: Mar 11, 2011 5:10 PM

    I’m not trying to be facetious, I am very serious.

    What is the argument for NOT handing over the information? Other than “what company does that?”

    the NFL is clearly not just another company. (companies)

    Courts have repeatedly ruled that the NFL (or at least NFL stadiums) is in the public interest so I’m not really seeing why not to disclose the financial information.

  68. kniddynamite says: Mar 11, 2011 5:11 PM

    I find it kind of hard to believe the tortured logic being used to hang this on the union.

    They’re not asking for any money or tangible concessions in return for the extension, just for documents that the owners will likely be compelled to produce during discovery once this thing goes to court.

    It’s the owners who want the players to accept a $1 billion dollar pay cut. It’s the owners who justified it by saying their ability to reinvest in the league’s growth is being hindered by low profits. And it’s the owners who’ve refused to provide the documentation that would back this claim up.

    And yet it’s the players fault for not wanting to take the owners’ word on it?

  69. jetsjetsjetsjets says: Mar 11, 2011 5:12 PM

    I am not sure why everyone seems to care…I am the biggest Jet fan around, but if there is no football this year, I will watch college or do something else.

    I will want a refund of my PSL fees this year. It’s ridiculous to think that we should pay them…i don’t remember that clause in the already completely one-sided PSL contract.

  70. dirtybird06 says: Mar 11, 2011 5:13 PM

    Check Mate!

    Excellent move and for anyone who doesn’t realize how great a move this is, just hasn’t been paying attention.

  71. luke30157 says: Mar 11, 2011 5:13 PM

    Ya… I have 10 years of financial statements from all 32 teams right here in my Brinks Truck …What a bunch of fools…

  72. lowleadman says: Mar 11, 2011 5:14 PM

    Hate to say it, but I am going over to the owner’s side on this one. Compromise and split the difference? Pretty simple. You want a season, then compromise. I promise you that both sides will regret killing this thing. In this economy, with natural disasters hitting us left and right, why can we not see humility from the ones who already have it all? If you walk, this time I do too. That’s 2 season tickets, Sunday Ticket and hats and t shirts. I haven’t been back to hockey, and I am now only casual with baseball.

    Owners 32
    Players 1600
    Fans 68,000,000

  73. stataddict says: Mar 11, 2011 5:15 PM

    While I would like to see a deal worked out, there’s a small part of me that would really like the owners to impose full free agency for any non-contracted players. If they did that, legally they’d only have to offer minimum wage to prospective employees.

    Could you imagine Antonio Cromartie trying to feed his children on minimum wage?

  74. holeinone09 says: Mar 11, 2011 5:16 PM

    10 years of audited statements is a rediculous request. Everyone knows that revenues have soared over the past 10 years, and so has player compensation. Everyone has made more money I am sure. The union leadership should be criticized heavily.

  75. coonsqualler says: Mar 11, 2011 5:16 PM

    Bring in the replacment players!! Then we will watch and see how the Players will cross the PICKET line. Me as a fan, I root for the TEAM name not the name on the back!! Go BROWNIES!!

  76. CKL says: Mar 11, 2011 5:17 PM

    warmachine2112 says: Mar 11, 2011 4:57 PM

    Just a footnote, but DeMaurice Smith looks like the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man.
    ____________________________
    MIIICHIGAN MAN…MIIICHIGAN MAAAAANNN

    /Tyson’ed

    My challenge to Doty…be FAIR…I don’t like judges who are known as people who favor one side or the other.

  77. moochzilla says: Mar 11, 2011 5:18 PM

    “So the NFL has to give up everything and the union nothing?”

    If $1 billion dollars is nothing to you, then salud Don Corleone.

    Ya know, the owners haven’t given up anything either. They’re looking to take an additional $1b off the top – DOUBLE their current cut before the division with the NFLPA.

    Double. Now, maybe that justified and maybe it ain’t. But they need to make the case.

  78. 34bo34 says: Mar 11, 2011 5:19 PM

    Now our tax money will go finance their court battles…. great. I wish I could tell the owner of my company that the employees should be making as much as him. I would say maybe raise the league minimum to help the players at the bottom. The superstars are making more than enough. BRING IN SCAB PLAYERS AND LET THE PROS ACTUALLY USE THOSE COLLEGE DEGREES THEY EARNED, LOL

  79. moochzilla says: Mar 11, 2011 5:19 PM

    Walker won’t even be governor of WI by the 2012 season.

  80. 505phillyguy says: Mar 11, 2011 5:21 PM

    So stupid for the owners not to just give up the financial information. If the current CBA was so bad for them, they should have no problem showing the players.

    Regardless, haven’t the owners ever heard of DISCOVERY. The minute that these issues get before the courts the Union will issue a discovery request for the documents and it will be granted as they will be relevant to the issues before the court. Don’t these guys have lawyers?!!

  81. moochzilla says: Mar 11, 2011 5:21 PM

    “I would love to see someone in the real world ask to see the books on a company they work for.”

    Read the labor agreement. If there is a profit-sharing agreement in your company like there is in the NFL, you certainly can ask to see the books.

    And if you don’t, you’re a major tool.

  82. 2011lockout says: Mar 11, 2011 5:24 PM

    This sucks.

  83. bunjy96 says: Mar 11, 2011 5:27 PM

    The NFLPA just killed the golden goose.

    Thanks for nothing.

    Hope you get your ass whipped in court and the union gets “busted”.

    Their demands were unreasonable in any company’s eyes. No company, in their right minds, would provide what the union is demanding.

    The union knew this all along. They wanted to decertify. Good. Now we can all move along. Hope the players starve. Have zero sympathy for the players. They are EMPLOYEES!

    Let’s see how far this goes into September before the union totally capitulates.

  84. hrmlss says: Mar 11, 2011 5:29 PM

    Required to maintain financial records for only 7 years, so of course make a public demand that can’t be met. Most people don’t just due to the sheer volume of space and stoage. And added liability.

  85. moochzilla says: Mar 11, 2011 5:37 PM

    “They are EMPLOYEES!”

    Nope, wrong. They’re business partners.

    Read the labor agreement.

    And, when you already get $1B off the top for carrying additional expenses the NFLPA doesn’t, it makes it hard to go in and ask for another $1B when you can’t show why it is needed to the health and vitality of the league.

    Or if you refuse to. And it makes it even worse when you can’t even convincingly explain it to the press, general public or fans.

    They’re partners. Not employees. Why can’t you clock punching button pushers get that through your heads?

    This is the life the owners and NFLPA have chosen. They chose to split revenue. They chose to be partners.

  86. thefiesty1 says: Mar 11, 2011 5:39 PM

    The league and owners are already on ESPN covering their ass and placing blame on the union. What a bunch of crap.

  87. randymossblewit says: Mar 11, 2011 5:43 PM

    WingT says:
    Mar 11, 2011 4:58 PM
    Why shouldn’t the owners open up the books?

    Because you Idiot. It’s not their company. Go ask your boss to open up his books to you and see what happens.

  88. fastrichie says: Mar 11, 2011 5:47 PM

    The ball was never in the owner’s court after this announcement. The NFLPA knew full well that the owners would not give them 10 years worth of financials. Therefore, they did this in an effort to curry public sentiment to make it look like they were trying to avoid it. When it reality, this is what they have wanted all along.

    Screw them …

  89. packfannchitown says: Mar 11, 2011 5:48 PM

    If this goes to court the judge will make the owners reveal their books anyway.

    The owners had some leverage going until Judge Doty revealed they made a deal with the TV companies in order to build a lockout warchest. He also revealed other details that showed the owners aren’t operating in good faith like they said they were.

    IMHO if the owners are asking the players to take less money because of ‘hardship” then the owners should be willing to prove this so called hardship exists.

  90. packfannchitown says: Mar 11, 2011 5:49 PM

    The union knew this all along. They wanted to decertify. Good. Now we can all move along. Hope the players starve. Have zero sympathy for the players. They are EMPLOYEES!
    __________________________________
    Well technically they’re more like partners than employees.

  91. jokendave says: Mar 11, 2011 5:50 PM

    Would someone please send in the adults?? These people are so predictable. IF YOU DON’T LIKE YOUR PAY.. FIND OTHER WORK THAT PAYS THIS WELL GROW UP..ALL OF YOU!!!!!!!

  92. dickdick18 says: Mar 11, 2011 6:12 PM

    I hope the NBA & NHL are ready to take advantage of the NFL Lockout. I don’t care what sport I’m watching as long as it keeps the “Old Lady” in the kitchen. I hope she hates them as much as she does the NFL.

  93. moochzilla says: Mar 11, 2011 6:16 PM

    “Because you Idiot. It’s not their company. Go ask your boss to open up his books to you and see what happens.”

    The players are partners, they share the profits. Read the agreement. If you are in such an arrangement, your partner lets you see the books. Especially if they want to justify doubling their take of the pot.

    You idiot.

  94. zeussuperman says: Mar 11, 2011 6:20 PM

    moochzilla says: Mar 11, 2011 5:37 PM

    “They are EMPLOYEES!”

    Nope, wrong. They’re business partners.

    They’re partners. Not employees. Why can’t you clock punching button pushers get that through your heads?

    ——————

    I’m glad you’re an Eagles fan, because you’re one of the few people here who gets it.

    Unions leverage the solidarity of the workforce against the money of the owners. In any profession (for you Gov. Walker supporting knuckledraggers).

    This isn’t employees disagreeing with owners. This is a large multitude of specialized employees who are making demands to level the playing field.

    The owners know what each player makes. Why can’t the other side of the bargaining table have the same information so they can all bargain in good faith?

  95. moochzilla says: Mar 11, 2011 7:06 PM

    Zeus – I’m no lawyer but I can google! Most people won’t educate themselves on this topic.

    They’d rather just say “me hate union” and support the owners. Because that’s America.

  96. lololnpnp says: Mar 11, 2011 8:21 PM

    I thought I read they decertified (or decided to) at 4pm. If that is correct DeSmith is talking out his arse as usual.
    Screw him and the players…except Suh, and maybe C Johnson too.

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