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Message from Krafts suggests that Friday’s offer was negotiable

Robert Kraft, Bill Belichick, Jonathan Kraft

The New England Patriots are the latest team to direct a message to season-ticket holders regarding the current NFL lockout.

One paragraph in the letter hints that the offer extended by the NFL on Friday contained room to move on the part of the players.

“Last week, the league and the owners presented the players’ union with a comprehensive proposal that we believe was fair and benefited both parties,” Patriots owner Robert Kraft and president Jonathan Kraft wrote.  “We hoped it would serve as a basis to continue negotiating in good faith toward a final agreement.  This proposal gave the players many benefits and off-season scheduling changes that they had been seeking.  It also offered a 14% increase in compensation, representing a total of $19-20 billion over the next four seasons.  Unfortunately, the players’ union walked away from mediation and the ongoing negotiations last Friday, without responding to this proposal.  Rather than working collaboratively, they chose to initiate litigation against the clubs.”

When the Krafts say, “We hoped it would serve as a basis to continue negotiating in good faith toward a final agreement,” that phrase reasonable can be interpreted as an indication that the league’s offer wasn’t a bottom-line position, and that the owners had more room to move.

Though the owners could now claim that Friday’s offer evaporated when it wasn’t accepted, the reality is that once the settlement genie escapes the bottle, he doesn’t go back in absent a dramatic change in leverage.  Thus, it’s fair to assume that, if the players would counter the offer, further negotiations would occur.

So will they?  Adam Schefter’s NFLPA source says there’s “no chance” further talks will occur.  NFLPA* spokesman George Atallah said Monday that “any negotiations are up to class counsel.”  If Schefter’s source is class counsel, here’s hoping that class counsel has the full support of his clients before insisting on pushing forward to an April 6 hearing that may or may not go the players’ way.

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38 Responses to “Message from Krafts suggests that Friday’s offer was negotiable”
  1. iknowfootballandyoudont says: Mar 14, 2011 9:26 PM

    The owners should just sit back and wait on the judges ruling on the lockout injunction. If the judge rules in the leagues favor MEmaurice will be calling very soon wanting to negotiate.
    If the judge rules that in the players favor, so what.
    All the owners have to do is talk, act like they are negotiating(kinda like the NFLPA did for the last 2 weeks) and let this thing carry on into the start of the season.
    Once the players start missing checks, I promise you, no I GUARENTEE you. You will not here Brees spouting off, you won’t here MEmaurice spouting off, or Cindy Brady. What you will here is players sweating, worrying, and preparing to cave.

  2. duanethomas says: Mar 14, 2011 9:26 PM

    Like everything the owners say is the bible. They want to negotiate at 3:30 on deadline day. If they had put that much effort with the players as they did getting that lockout insurance from the networks it would be done. Don’t report everytime a owner puts out a statement on the teams website. No matter what anyone says it will be handled in the courts. These back & forth statements will settle nothing, April 6th is the date.

  3. jimmysee says: Mar 14, 2011 9:28 PM

    It takes two to negotiate.

  4. iknowfootballandyoudont says: Mar 14, 2011 9:32 PM

    hear, not here.

    The owners still hold the cards.
    Those greedy players get 59.6% of the estimated 8 billion pie(after the league took its cut off the top for miscellaneous expenses)
    Then the owners still pay the costs of health care for the players and their families. Hell, Antonio Cromartie alone must cost Woody Johnson 5 million a year alone just to insure him and all of his illegitimate offspring.
    If the players need so much money, then why dont they demand their agents take less commision? How bout demanding Reebok receive a smaller cut from jersey sales?
    The owners are too generous as it is with these prima donnas

  5. joyjoy69 says: Mar 14, 2011 9:33 PM

    hmmm, I’m not saying this was what Kraft was saying. Still, it would be really interesting if part of the offer was to give every player a 14% raise over their current contract. That would be a great deal for EVERY PLAYER UNDER CONTRACT. Not so much for all of the free agents who haven’t signed contracts yet…

  6. elrushbo2 says: Mar 14, 2011 9:36 PM

    You players are just EMPLOYEES get it……….. E-M-P-L-O-Y-E-E-S. You don’t like the pay and benefits in the NFL….. the UFL, AFL, CFL, McDonalds, Subway, Joe’s Car Wash are all hiring.

  7. dan39564 says: Mar 14, 2011 9:41 PM

    Its looking more and more like the NFLPA president in on a power trip! And it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

    Can you see Cam playing for the Blue Bomers next year!

  8. ffootballontwitter says: Mar 14, 2011 9:41 PM

    I totally respect Jay Feeley, both as an athlete and as an individual. (His tweets are also pretty cogent, for those inclined to follow along.)

    Listening to today’s PFT interview, it’s easy to fall into the trap of “here we go again” when it comes to negotiating patterns of owners. Feeley regaled the audience with stories of how owners would try to “low ball (athletes) first” and then come back with an enriched offer later.

    None of this, in my view, denigrates either the athletes or owners. If you take the ad hominem out, it is still possible to remain focused on the business of the sport and ask, “Is this proposal fair?” If the players are able to suspend their ingrained feelings and opinions about owners and focus on the terms on the table, much good can still happen before the bile and acrimony that usually accompanies litigation enters the players’ lives. And like murder, litigation is one lesson that people can generally live without.

    There’s an old saying: “Pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered.” You can charge great sums of money, get fabulously rich, and no one will really mind, so long as your everyone else feels they are getting a reasonable value in return. But when you want even more, when you tilt all of the relationships your way, when you litigate or try to game the publicity process and go beyond that which is rightfully yours, all of your previous partners and fans will turn like piranha on fresh meat. And you will choose to interpret everything you read to your own benefit at your peril.

  9. Patriot42 says: Mar 14, 2011 9:42 PM

    Are we going to read how each of the 32 teams view the negotiations?

  10. odessabucs says: Mar 14, 2011 9:48 PM

    Ill advised boys vs. Men. Their intransigence is curious. If the legal part of this works out to the owner’s advantage, the players are gonna be put into a “choke hold”. The owners will go for take back.

    I suspect Mr. Boies will cause the April 6 hearing to get very interesting.

  11. Kave Krew says: Mar 14, 2011 9:50 PM

    Here’s the sad tale…..

    The owners wanted a lockout knowing they had the comfort dollars of the TV deal That didn’t pan out at the last minute, so they then started to negotiate in earnest– TOO LATE….should’ve done that long ago…….

    The players wanted the status quo and would welcome a lockout-decertification-lawsuit if needed. But their FEELINGS got hurt along the way, so they refused to negotiate and went home to pout.

    The fans just want their favorite ‘escape from life’ running normally so they can survive another day at the rock pile……..

  12. jfluke65 says: Mar 14, 2011 10:03 PM

    I think Shefter should be expecting a subpoena for April 6th. This is something the league will surely use to show the Unions just wanted the court to do their job for them.

  13. skleech22 says: Mar 14, 2011 10:09 PM

    JIM NANTZ is a PATRIOT employee…..he should do all the PR for the Patriots!!!!

  14. jimmysee says: Mar 14, 2011 10:11 PM

    elrushbo2 says:
    Mar 14, 2011 9:36 PM
    You players are just EMPLOYEES get it……….. E-M-P-L-O-Y-E-E-S. You don’t like the pay and benefits in the NFL….. the UFL, AFL, CFL, McDonalds, Subway, Joe’s Car Wash are all hiring.

    ————————————————————–

    It’s not that simple El Rushbo — through it may seem so to you and your idol, the fat drug addict.

    Without those players, who you would send to Joe’s Car Wash, the NFL will have all the appeal of, say, the UFL.

    It takes two to negotiate. These guys need each other, like peanut butter needs jelly.

  15. drgreenstreak says: Mar 14, 2011 10:23 PM

    Owners do not own players. They own the team name and all the crap it takes to field a team. They will soak a player for all he is worth to them and then dump them like chicken bones when they’re through with them.

    The owner of the company I work for does not make millions off of my presence. I will work for the company for 30 years because it is what I know how to do. I could flip burgers but prefer to do what I know and expect to be compensated accordingly as I grow in value to the company. Kinda the way it works in life.

    Is it different in football when you are a pro? The players are not overpaid when you consider length of career and the money generated.
    I think the NFLPA should field their own league. Let the current team owners use the record-setting greats from West County Community College and and Division IV Podunk A&M Engineering School for the Blind.
    Even P.T. Barnum would find that a challenge.

  16. lionsfan14 says: Mar 14, 2011 10:29 PM

    I believe that the NFL’s offer was negotiable. Brees is a complete idiot saying that it was just for show. The NFL offered a deal and your side refused. How could this possibly be for show if they offered and dumbmaurice smith and his player staff declined. you idiots just wanted to go to court because you have a judge that tends to decide in players favor, which means that the players probably wont be locked out and free agency can begin. Players had no desire to negotiate and thats why nothing got done for two weeks.

  17. joeflaccosunibrow says: Mar 14, 2011 10:36 PM

    The only people that win in this whole thing are the lawyers.

  18. endzonezombie says: Mar 14, 2011 10:39 PM

    As Jay Feely said, the owners waited to the 11th hour in hopes of catching the NFLPA in a panic to accept whatever the owners offered. If the NFL was bargaining in good faith, they would have presented that offer no later than Thursday. Instead, they barely met with the players on Thursday. It was all gamesmanship by Pash and Goodell that blew up in their face. Perhaps it is time to change the negotiating teams of both sides. The owners would show good faith by removing Goodell and Pash as their spokesmen, as would the union by removing Smith. Let them start over with some new people at the table.

  19. endzonezombie says: Mar 14, 2011 10:42 PM

    elrushbo, I hope your boss tells you the same thing next time you want a promotion: you are just an EMPLOYEE, pal. If you don’t like the current pay and benefits, McDonalds, Subway, and Joe’s Car Wash are all hiring. If you are qualified.

  20. sportsjustice says: Mar 14, 2011 10:43 PM

    I hate johnanthan kraft. He reminds our fanbase of Juaquie Phenix in [I]The Gladiator[/I] He’s just going to ruin our team

  21. huskersrock1 says: Mar 14, 2011 10:57 PM

    Why can’t the NFL just incorporate as one company; the owners would invest their teams and receive common stock back for the relative value of each one. Since then there would be no monopoly issue; they could lay down a 50 million dollar salary cap, and start hiring players. If the players didn’t like it they could go screw themselves.

    There would be some haggling over the value of each team, but the owners would save so much money they would make it back up easy.

  22. thefiesty1 says: Mar 14, 2011 11:07 PM

    Of course it was negotiable. Only the NFLPA didn’t care. They weren’t there to work out a deal. The players walked out with no intention to settle with the owners.

  23. odessabucs says: Mar 14, 2011 11:09 PM

    Only problem with that, Jfluke65 , is that a reporter can’t be compelled to reveal their sources.

  24. mj5150 says: Mar 14, 2011 11:19 PM

    These players are using the owners locking them out as a cover for what this really is-it’s a strike by the players who are trying to use this as a way of trying to get sympathy from the fans-we see through your crap. I’m not saying the players don’t deserve money for playing-it IS the hardest on the body after they leave the sport-but COME ON-a LOT of players are over paid for what they do. I would rather see them go back and pay all the old-time players retro pay because most of them played both sides of the ball and played under a lot tougher conditions

  25. 3octaveFart says: Mar 14, 2011 11:24 PM

    I notice they didn’t mention anything about refunding ticket prices “plus interest” for canceled games…

  26. goombar2 says: Mar 14, 2011 11:38 PM

    Nice to see the pftards are at it again.

    Yes, they are partners. Get over it already, the players oblige to look the other way on lots of things because it’s a monopoly. In return the owners have to act in good faith.

    Open the books already and get it over with. At least that would let us know if the deal on the table was good or bad.

    And knock it off with your dumb comparisons to the jobs you work. The two aren’t similar in anyway. The NFL is making record profits and yet they claim they’re losing money. Great, then prove it. If not, shut up and pay up.

    And if they money is so easy how come you guys don’t strap on a helmet and play? Let me guess, too busy making sure the fries don’t burn? Sounds like some here suffer from envy.

    And if Kraft was really trying hard to negotiate, how come the owners he sent (he decided he didn’t need to show up and flew back home) didn’t even meet with the players on the last day when they were scheduled to meet after lunch?

    It’s hard to take sides in this theater of stupid, but how folks can side with owners claiming they lost money… Give it a rest.

  27. diamonddave13 says: Mar 14, 2011 11:42 PM

    Why would you fools side with the owners here? Sure, the players are employees, but in this case they’re also the product. Without players there’s no NFL.

    Said product also has little to no recourse if they’re career is suddenly cut short. For example, most of us working stiffs on salary pay .70 a week for short or long term disability. If 2nd year, back up RT Joe Smith making $350k blows his knee guess what he gets? Nothing. now he’s made $700k pre-tax and his career & livelihood is over…at 24 or 25. Imagine going to college, becoming a nurse and suddenly being told that nurses are no longer needed. Same thing.

    This is nothing more than a money grab for the owners and are pissed that they messed up the last deal. Brady, Brees and the rest of them arent backing down this time and the players that cant handle their money will find a way…the UFL.

  28. 6thsense79 says: Mar 15, 2011 12:02 AM

    elrushbo2 says:
    Mar 14, 2011 9:36 PM
    You players are just EMPLOYEES get it……….. E-M-P-L-O-Y-E-E-S. You don’t like the pay and benefits in the NFL….. the UFL, AFL, CFL, McDonalds, Subway, Joe’s Car Wash are all hiring.
    ———————-
    Sigh….I’ll probably get a number of thumbs downs for this but I really wish folks would educate themselves before posting. The players are not just employees. They are employees and revenue partners. There are very few business models like the NFL that’s why it is silly whenever I see a post comparing this situation to the average employer employee situation.

    NFL owners in order to maintain their anti-trust exemption works with the union as partners to come up with a CBA that allows the league to implement rules such as the franchise tag, NFL draft, etc that they would not be able to do without a union. The CBA includes a provision for the sharing of revenue between the NFL and it’s revenue partner the player’s union.

    So you see if the players don’t like the pay benefits in the NFL they have these options:

    Negotiate a new CBA as a union,

    If negotiations are not successful decertify the union and attack the anti-trust exemption of NFL teams through the courts including the ability to lock out players,

    If the court suites are successfull either renogotiate with the owners a new CBA to your liking or proceed playing under the rules of the court,

    If litigation is unsuccessful either renegotiate with the owners to a new CBA of their liking since they would now have the upper hand or strike (likely unssuccesfull)…

  29. snnyjcbs says: Mar 15, 2011 12:07 AM

    Tell the Judge to let the Lock out Stand and then if any owners or Team people read this. Bury these Greedy Players and I return, let them win this and this Eight Grand a year from this Family you had coming in is gone for good.

  30. tjd42 says: Mar 15, 2011 12:44 AM

    Yrs it takes two sides to settle,but the dumbest bunch in the battle are the FANS! No one will give up their season tickets because they are afraid someone else will get them. But with most teams with new stadiums have season ticket liscense that have to be paid for the right to buy a ticket and the fans do not give that up until the last dateif then. Good legal issue for the greedy owners to consider. And players you make more in your 5 year career than most people make in a lifetime of work. I know I didn’t in 46 years and 3 months working for the Postal Service, so if you don’t like the pay use your FREE College education and start a careerin your field of study. ( Or is there a demand for basket weavers in the USA?)

  31. oldhamletman says: Mar 15, 2011 1:08 AM

    it’s always negotiable in some way… unless you are a 23 year old kid doing your first deal and then you walk out when they don’t show you invoice…. with no car…. . hey… wait!

  32. CKL says: Mar 15, 2011 2:29 AM

    There’s BS and spin on both sides to be sure. Probably Cohen is the only person who could give an account close the the 100% truth.
    That said…we get point by point and specific things and statements of shared responsibility from one side and nothing but “don’t drink the kool-aid”, and
    “they are liars” from the other side.
    Reminds me of that song “Wasn’t Me”.

  33. 8man says: Mar 15, 2011 6:01 AM

    I see a lot of movement from support for the players to support for the owners. I’m still amazed by how cordial they are after the NFLPA* slapped them in the face.

    If this goes deep into the summer, it’ll be fun to watch those punk @$$ players squirm.

    War NFL!

  34. cylondetector says: Mar 15, 2011 7:10 AM

    I am now willing to miss a season of football to teach this generation of footballers that they aren’t ‘partners’ in the NFL.

    There are some terrible, terrible owners out there – we all know that – but they are the one’s shouldering ALL the risk in this so-called partnership – the players collect a paycheck that handily covers them for the assumed injury risk their profession has.

    Pretty soon this group of ‘Kings’ are going to find out that they aren’t wearing invisible clothes at all.

    Pretty soon a bunch of overpaid, overego’d athletes are going to look down and find themselves butt naked.

  35. fedupsaintsfan says: Mar 15, 2011 8:52 AM

    This all makes me so dam mad!! Like MLB did years back ( think it was 94) Not once did they give a flying flip about the fans. The NFL is no different! So for the same reason!!!! I’m putting my Saints season tickets up for sale!!! I’ve had enough. And like I did with MLB will never watch or attend another game!! Now you can take that to the bank for sure!!!!

  36. 8man says: Mar 15, 2011 9:14 AM

    6thsense79:

    You did a really good job with outlining the process. And intellectually you make some valid points. Emotionally, many of us are just sick of the players and the “tail wagging the dog.”

    Obviously it was in the best interest of the owners to forge a deal, otherwise why would they do it?

    Here is what I think. In order to get the business model into one that would not be considered a trust, the owners would have to make some big changes. And one of those would be revenue sharing. They aren’t willing to do that. And if I’m Bob Kraft or Jerry Jones, the current situation may work better for me than sharing with the likes of Mike Brown, who can’t manage wiping his own arse, much less a pro football team’s finances.

    So that is the only way for the owners to get full control. To make all of the changes necessary to pass the test of being a “single entity” business. If they do that, they can tell the players this is how it is and how it will be. Don’t like it, leave. Or better yet, we’ll just black ball you. Next.

    That being said, I don’t agree that we pay to see the players. Well not “specific” ones. No one plays forever, but we will all watch until we die. They are replacable. I cheer for the gear. If Brady leaves the Patriots and plays for the Raiders. When they play, I’ll be rooting for the Patriots to knock his silly head off. Same reason I hated Michael Jordan. He wasn’t a Celtic. Period.

  37. kennypowders says: Mar 15, 2011 6:50 PM

    Please don’t compare your job to an NFL Players Job. When you go to sign papers the 1st day on your job you don’t have an agent negotiating your terms of employment.

    Apples and Oranges

  38. kennypowders says: Mar 15, 2011 6:57 PM

    8man says:
    Mar 15, 2011 9:14 AM

    They are replacable. I cheer for the gear.

    Thats funny replacable. Its replaceable and theres a reason they are called PROs.

    Teapublicans think you can just grab a Tom Brady/Payton Manning anywhere.

    Bozos

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