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NFL and union start the blame game

Jeff Pash, Pete Abitante

If you thought the sniping between the NFL and NFLPA was annoying when the two sides were supposed to be operating under a “cone of silence,” get ready to puke over the next few weeks.

Friday’s media session parade started with Federal mediator George Cohen, who had this sobering statement.

“No constructive purpose would be served to requesting parties to continue mediation,” Cohen said.

Translation: Blame both sides.

After that,  NFL lead negotiator Jeff Pash and NFLPA outside counsel Jim Quinn took the microphones on Friday afternoon to blame the other side.

Pash made the case that the NFLPA was deadset on decertification.

“At the very time we were face to face with the union and the executive committee, they had already decided to decertify,” Pash said, claiming that the NFLPA filed for decertification at 4 p.m. ET.  (That’s 45 minutes before NFLPA chief DeMaurice Smith spoke to the media.

Pash was exasperated, claiming that the union turned down a “good deal” which we’ll detail the specifics of later.  Interestingly, Pash said a decision has not officially been made on locking the players out.

“We accepted the union’s position on a wide range of issues,” Pash said.   “Evidently that wasn’t good enough for whatever reason.”

A short time later, Quinn came out to represent the NFLPA and called Pash a liar.   Yep.  He added the league wanted to roll back player salaries until 2007.

The NFL Network cut away from Quinn to get more discussion from their analysts before he was done, which looks like a childish move from a viewer’s perspective.

“The absence of an agreement is a shared failure,” Pash said.   “I think [fans] should be disappointed.”

Finally, something we agree with.

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45 Responses to “NFL and union start the blame game”
  1. FoozieGrooler says: Mar 11, 2011 6:03 PM

    The owners could have opened their books voluntarily, instead the information will now be taken by force in court. Good job.

  2. steelergold says: Mar 11, 2011 6:04 PM

    I’m looking forward to seeing the “good” deal that was turned down.

  3. brownsfn says: Mar 11, 2011 6:05 PM

    Great…6 months of this C R A P ….can’t wait…

  4. clownburger says: Mar 11, 2011 6:06 PM

    Screw the players. I”ll happily watch the NFL with scabs and rookies.

  5. cowboys282 says: Mar 11, 2011 6:07 PM

    No matter what anyone says the facts are the Union decertified. It’s pretty clear who needs the blame.

  6. shelovesfootball says: Mar 11, 2011 6:07 PM

    How fitting. We were the first Super Bowl champs and now we could be the last.

  7. indyeagle says: Mar 11, 2011 6:08 PM

    Everyone with a brain knows the idea of an 18 game season was put out there by the league as one of the “give backs” in the negotiating process. If the league claims that they were willing to give on their 18 game schedule as part of the proof that they were willing to negotiate, I’m going to puke.

  8. hobartbaker says: Mar 11, 2011 6:09 PM

    Old Judge Dotty will become famous. He only wishes it happened while he was still alive so he could enjoy it.

  9. webehighrollin says: Mar 11, 2011 6:09 PM

    Everyone, NFL, NFLPA, and you whiny fans need to just ST$U!! It’s March..relax..

    And please do boycott…then maybe I can finally find some cheaper tickets..Thanks!

  10. aaa82 says: Mar 11, 2011 6:10 PM

    Protest update! Vuvuzelas at the draft! Not joking.

    Fans sign of solidarity against this ridiculousness.

    Spread the word, if you go to the draft, blow that horn the whole time! I don’t get my season, then the NFL can’t have it’s draft!

    Fans unite!!!

  11. hobartbaker says: Mar 11, 2011 6:11 PM

    Cohen issued a terse statement then went off to find somewhere to get drunk.

  12. p4ever says: Mar 11, 2011 6:11 PM

    Greedy owners! You want 1 billion off the top, you prove that it is warranted.

  13. jstrizzle says: Mar 11, 2011 6:13 PM

    *****Lets get a vote*****

    Thumbs up if you are for the NFL

    Thumbs down if you are for the NFLPA

  14. oldbrowndawg says: Mar 11, 2011 6:13 PM

    Well, here’s the NFL’s official statement after the union decided to go nuclear. Read it and then you decide which side was the intractable greed hogs:

    “The union left a very good deal on the table. It included an offer to narrow the player compensation gap that existed in the negotiations by splitting the difference; guarantee reallocation of savings from first-round rookies to veterans and retirees without negatively affecting compensation for rounds 2-7; ensure no compensation reduction for veterans; implement new year-round health and safety rules; retain the current 16-4 season format for at least two years with any subsequent changes subject to the approval of the league and union; and establish a new legacy fund for retired players ($82 million contributed by the owners over the next two years).

    “The union was offered financial disclosure of audited league and club profitability information that is not even shared with the NFL clubs.

    “The expanded health and safety rules would include a reduction in offseason programs of five weeks (from 14 to nine) and of OTAs (Organized Team Activities) from 14 to 10; significant reductions in the amount of contact in practices; and other changes.”
    (Source: NFL.com)

  15. ckg0913 says: Mar 11, 2011 6:16 PM

    I think I am going to be sick. Such greed.

  16. snnyjcbs says: Mar 11, 2011 6:16 PM

    NASCAR, Kentucky Derby and Triple Crown, Golf and Travel are looking pretty good right about now. Tell both sides to eat

  17. hobartbaker says: Mar 11, 2011 6:16 PM

    The Court of Public Opinion rules unanimously against the NFLPA in this matter.

    The Court further holds the principals of the organization, Mr. D. Smith and Mr. G. Atallah, of no fixed occupation, in CONTEMPT.

  18. sacram3ntal says: Mar 11, 2011 6:18 PM

    Listening to Winston Justice on Sirius NFL right now, and am convinced that the players don’t really have a clear understanding of what just happened.
    I think the union decided to decertify weeks ago, and simply carried it out regardless of what concessions the League made today.

    Shameful.

  19. commandercornpone says: Mar 11, 2011 6:19 PM

    pash is right.

  20. moochzilla says: Mar 11, 2011 6:21 PM

    If you think about it, the clock was always ticking against the union and they needed this to come to a head sooner rather than later.

    After all, the owners were looking to get seasonal ticket renewals in early – essentially an interest free loan from the fans to take them through the labor stoppage.

    That TV money warchest ruling was crippling to the owners.

  21. broncobourque says: Mar 11, 2011 6:25 PM

    You can call it childish but if I were the league I wouldn’t devote any time to the NFLPA propaganda. That is not to say that the NFL is spewing any more or any less truth but the fact is that the NFL Network is owned by the NFL. Now that the union has decertified and gone to battle with the league through the courts, I see no reason why they would devote time to the union on the league owned network.

  22. mattsffrd says: Mar 11, 2011 6:25 PM

    unions = useless

  23. roxtar10 says: Mar 11, 2011 6:26 PM

    Man, at this point given the spotlight on the amazing amount of greed displayed by both sides here, I really don’t know if I want to watch football whether they resolve this or not. This whole issue has been a real blow to any respect I had for this game. It’s just a dirty, dirty, fan-raping business…

  24. chapnastier says: Mar 11, 2011 6:29 PM

    No Gregg the fault is clear. The players were offered everything they wanted and conceded nothing. You guys can’t write around it any longer. All but a very few of this sites comments are now in favor of the unions and soon they will change to the owners as well.

  25. moustachedone says: Mar 11, 2011 6:32 PM

    If you’re in the market for a car and I offer you a Ford Focus for $70k and then reduce the price to $35k, I’ve really yielded nothing. The NFL ownership is calling this splitting the difference.

    It’s a farce, but from the looks of these comments it seems to be a pretty effective one.

  26. vmannj says: Mar 11, 2011 6:35 PM

    How many of us get unprecidented access to the financial ins-and-outs of the companies we work for? I don’t know about you, but my boss tells me how much time I work and how much time I get off every year. And, if they say I have to work two extra weeks, guess what? I can keep my salary and my job or I can find something else to do for a living. Absolutely NOTHING that the players are fighting about makes ANY sense to me. 99% of men/boys in America between the age of 10-75 would absolutely LOVE to be in your position…and you just PISSED IT ALL AWAY!!!

  27. chapnastier says: Mar 11, 2011 6:36 PM

    *in favor of the owners.

  28. blizzard01 says: Mar 11, 2011 6:46 PM

    I guess in the battle of millionaires vs. billionaires count me in as siding with the richer ones. Weird.

  29. sirbenly says: Mar 11, 2011 6:49 PM

    Personally, I really don’t see the harm in the NFL opening its books. They want players to buy into the league, let the players see what the league is actually worth. Seems fair to me…

  30. lov3likerockets says: Mar 11, 2011 6:50 PM

    “The NFL wanted us to go back to having players in 2011 make less than they made in 2009. Now, does that sound fair to you?” Why yes DeMaurice it very much does sound fair to me. Considering you are playing a child’s game and making more than what 99% of America makes doing it, you should be MORE than thankful for what you have/had.

  31. wryly1 says: Mar 11, 2011 6:51 PM

    Absolutely F’ing luv it !!! Freudian slip of the century. After mediation attempts failed, dinosaur owner Jerry Richardson said in front of a microphone and camera, ” Now we are going to have to negotiate a settlement. ” Jerry – as they say in the Guinness commercials, ‘BRILLIANT”!
    He made the boneheaded error of admitting the truth.

  32. thehighhat says: Mar 11, 2011 6:54 PM

    aaa82 says:
    Mar 11, 2011 6:10 PM
    Protest update! Vuvuzelas at the draft! Not joking.

    Fans sign of solidarity against this ridiculousness.

    Spread the word, if you go to the draft, blow that horn the whole time! I don’t get my season, then the NFL can’t have it’s draft!

    Fans unite!!!

    ——————————————

    THIS!!!

    We need to get our draft attending New York brothers and sisters to make some noise at the draft this year!!! When Goodell goes to the podium, boo him for the full 15 minutes! Chant F*** you DeMoron Smith!!!

    THEN, break out the Vuvuzelas!!!

  33. selgaeinla says: Mar 11, 2011 6:55 PM

    @oldbrowndawg

    Now post the response where it came out that they wanted the players to roll back salaries, give up free agency, and give up one billion dollars a year because the owners aren’t making enough money.

    Both sides suck.

  34. 22deuce says: Mar 11, 2011 7:00 PM

    The claims by the union needing full disclosure are a joke. Audited profitability statements would show whether or not teams are profitable.

  35. sirbenly says: Mar 11, 2011 7:07 PM

    How many of us get unprecidented access to the financial ins-and-outs of the companies we work for? I don’t know about you, but my boss tells me how much time I work and how much time I get off every year. And, if they say I have to work two extra weeks, guess what? I can keep my salary and my job or I can find something else to do for a living. Absolutely NOTHING that the players are fighting about makes ANY sense to me. 99% of men/boys in America between the age of 10-75 would absolutely LOVE to be in your position…and you just PISSED IT ALL AWAY!!!

    ———————————————————————

    If you don’t know what the situation is, please don’t sign on and leave ridiculous comments. What about if your boss asked you to buy a portion of the company, wouldn’t you want to know what is a fair price to pay?

  36. cowboyaggie says: Mar 11, 2011 7:07 PM

    Ok so correct me if I’m wrong but the owners are people that have worked hard in their lives and were smart enough to acquire wealth to buy the NFL teams. They are the ones who have made this league this profitable. Now due to the economy and all the expenses that they have their profits have taken a hit and they want a piece of the pie back. Now the players mostly have not even graduated from college yet get a minimum pay of 400K a year, while players with larger roles on teams usually make millions. How much would these players be making in the outside world with no NFL that the owners created. The players are the greedy ones, not even listening to the owners offers.

  37. Canyonero says: Mar 11, 2011 7:07 PM

    They’re BOTH to blame.

  38. 22deuce says: Mar 11, 2011 7:09 PM

    the league was asking for $10 million more (roughly) per team per year.

    That’s half Peyton Manning’s salary.

    Players deserve to be paid well, due to the enormous revenues in the NFL, but they invest nothing in anything but their own bodies. Owners have substantial overhead costs. If the teams were more profitable, maybe more teams could build their own stadiums without public funding.

  39. thetobygrizwold says: Mar 11, 2011 7:09 PM

    Let’s all admit that Toby is pretty epic. The guy is just amazing.

  40. buckifan4life says: Mar 11, 2011 7:21 PM

    I’m on the owners side, lock ‘em out until they get a realistic deal done. They need a Rookie cap for sure, drop the 18 game schedule and give more medical benefits for veterans. It’s a very damaging sport on the body. I would hate to see a lockout because the NFL is my favorite PRO sport, but the rookie salaries are WAYYYYYYY too high… Veterans should be getting more money in free agency. Rookies need to prove themselves before cashing in (so to speak). That would slow the whole “jumping early” to the NFL from college. These players need an education too. I just wish MLB and the NBA would lockout their players and change the structure of those leagues to more closely mimic the NFL.

  41. jroneputt says: Mar 11, 2011 7:34 PM

    Let me see, the unions in wisconsin are fighting for the right to negotiate, the NFL union disbands so they dont have to negotiate.

    I hope they stick it to the players. Although, the union is hoping Doty will bail them out.

  42. southyank7 says: Mar 11, 2011 8:03 PM

    blame game, 3 names come to mind in no particular order….
    Roger “the snake” Goodell
    DeMaurice Smith a.k.a the Litigator
    Jerry “try to keep up with me” Jones

  43. sirbenly says: Mar 11, 2011 8:16 PM

    Ok so correct me if I’m wrong but the owners are people that have worked hard in their lives and were smart enough to acquire wealth to buy the NFL teams. They are the ones who have made this league this profitable. Now due to the economy and all the expenses that they have their profits have taken a hit and they want a piece of the pie back. Now the players mostly have not even graduated from college yet get a minimum pay of 400K a year, while players with larger roles on teams usually make millions. How much would these players be making in the outside world with no NFL that the owners created. The players are the greedy ones, not even listening to the owners offers.

    ———————————————————————

    Hey, you’re right…. being an NFL athlete requires no hard work at all, and absolutely no amount of intelligence. Let’s all go play professional football and make tonnes of money!

  44. diehardskinsfan21 says: Mar 11, 2011 8:43 PM

    Anyone who says this is anything less than Jerry Jones’ fault is wrong. We all know he needs one more face lift. The owners. ALL of the Owners are a bunch of money hungry creeps. OPEN YOUR BOOKS! WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO HIDE??? This is ridiculous. Possibly lose popularity in the greatest sport the public looks forward to watching. If thats what they don’t want to do then that is just ridiculous. Shut down football. See how it gets thrown back in your faces you greedy pr*cks!

  45. diehardskinsfan21 says: Mar 11, 2011 9:17 PM

    @buckifan4life
    First, no way on earth the NBA, NHL, MLB EVER hold a candle to the revenue generation that the NFL creates. Pick up Sports Illustrated and they break it down pretty well on how much money those money hungry, greedy, slimy get. They are all billionaires and want more of the money they are giving players. Rates being paid to the NFL are not going down. They continually go up every year as to what Gatorade is going to pay to have Manning sponsor their drink (Read SI) because that is spread throughout the league. Not individual players only. Rookie salary cap I whole heartedly agree with you on, but how on earth do you support the owners. They are trying to pinch pennies from men who do things that average human beings can not do. They have exceptional talent and they should be paid as such. They should earn it. The owners gouge in the stadiums for 8 dollar beers and 8 dollar cheese burgers. I just dont understand how you could possibly take these self righteous, egotistical men’s side. Befuddled.

    But then again you probably also believe that Jim “the cheeter” Tressel didn’t do anything? Can’t wait for Ohio State to go down. The hammer needs to be thrown down on them and swiftly.

    GO SKINS!!!

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