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John Mara thinks two sides at one point were close to “tentative agreement”

NFL LABOR FOOTBALL AP

The owners uniformly believe that they placed a fair offer on the table last Friday, after nearly three weeks of mediation.  The players don’t.

Well, some of them don’t.

I think it was all a show,” Saints quarterback Drew Brees said as to the offer made on Friday, “with no real intent to get a deal done, other than just to say they made a proposal — that was no different than anything else that they proposed over the last couple years, couple months, couple weeks.”

In an appearance on ESPN 1050, Giants co-owner John Mara disputed Drew’s characterization of the offer.  In so doing, Mara hinted that, at one point in the past two weeks, he believed the parties were close to getting a deal done.

“Is splitting the difference financially all for show?” Mara said.  “Is walking away from the 18-game season, which a lot of owners were very much in favor of, is that all for show?  Is improving their benefits all for show?  There were a lot of parts of that proposal that would have provided some significant benefits — significant improvements for the players.  And they chose to walk away from it.  So I’m not sure what he means by that.  I felt we made a very substantial offer on that last Friday.  And they chose not to offer so much as a counter — they just chose to walk away and say, ‘We are going to decertify.’

“We were talking the week before,” Mara said.  “During the first week that I was there, which was the second week of the mediation process, there was one day where I started to sense that we were getting close to some sort of tentative agreement.  And the numbers that were going back and forth were in that same ballpark.  So that is absolutely not true.  And again, we had some pretty healthy discussion on that particular day, but at the end of the day their response was, ‘No, this is not acceptable’ or ‘We are sticking to our numbers.’  They did not offer any kind of counter.”

Here’s the key sentence, which the NFL has underlined at NFLLabor.com:  “During the first week that I was there, which was the second week of the mediation process, there was one day where I started to sense that we were getting close to some sort of tentative agreement.”

The message?  These two parties need to get back to the table.  We talked about it during today’s PFT Live.  The owners. including Packers president and CEO Mark Murphy, seem to be willing.  Agent Drew Rosenhaus thinks it would be a good idea.

The only side we’ve yet to hear from definitively is the union, with the exception of Adam Schefter’s report that one NFLPA* source says there’s “no chance” further talks will occur before April 6.

If Schefter’s source really did say that, he really is an idiot.  (Not Schefter.  He’s not an idiot.  A false rumor mongerer perhaps, but not an idiot.)  Even worse, Schefter’s source potentially is standing in the way of solving this mess and allowing the NFL offseason to unfold as it usually does.

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35 Responses to “John Mara thinks two sides at one point were close to “tentative agreement””
  1. benh999 says: Mar 15, 2011 2:53 PM

    It’s kind of sad to see otherwise respectable guys like Brees make jackasses of themselves in order to toe the PA* line.

  2. ffootballontwitter says: Mar 15, 2011 2:55 PM

    Thanks for the interviews. It really seems there are many good people who have good reasons to want the best deal for themselves and their families. It also seems there are a few people who stand to benefit more from a lockout than negotiation–people who would rather burn the whole thing down than to roll up their sleeves and get a deal done.

    If Brees thinks the proposed deal was just for show, there’s a simple solution: call the owners on it, and see what happens next.

  3. vickadelphiaphreedom says: Mar 15, 2011 2:57 PM

    “at” one point?

  4. phinheads says: Mar 15, 2011 2:59 PM

    The header of this story makes no sense. How much of a rush are you in to send these silly notes out where you can’t even phrase the sentence properly. Nevermind, you’re a lawyer. I forgot.

  5. bigfranky75 says: Mar 15, 2011 2:59 PM

    um, can anyone name a single concession that th union has made? i knwo the owners have made a bunch… but has the union?

    yeah… i didn’t think so… further evidence that the whole process was a sham and no good faith was evidenced on the union’s part…. their intent was decertification all along… and the fans see through it. i just wish the players were smart enough to see how bad of a job their “leadership” is doing … De Smith is a union-hack fraud!

  6. wryly1 says: Mar 15, 2011 3:00 PM

    Hellloooo! The simple fact that only a handful of owners even bothered to show up at all – and not until the 2d week after the PLAYERS committed to another week of mediation, should tell you the owners NEVER had ANY intention of settling at this time. Hell, they’ve been talking about a lockout for 3 years. They are sleeping in the bed they prepared.

  7. steelergold says: Mar 15, 2011 3:03 PM

    I am looking forward to the NCAA basketball for the next few weeks.

  8. packattack1967 says: Mar 15, 2011 3:04 PM

    The Barack Obama wannbe was never going to let that happen. Its all or nothing with this creep, especially with his mentor is egging him on.

  9. fin72 says: Mar 15, 2011 3:04 PM

    Owners like Mara, Spanos, Brown, and any of the other trust-fund babies should just shut their mouths and realize how lucky they were to have an NFL team handed to them. As much of a prick as Jerry Richardson is, at least he’s a self-made guy. Most people who work at McDonald’s or Best Buy can claim that they’ve accomplished more on their own than guys like John Mara.

  10. blitz2unow says: Mar 15, 2011 3:07 PM

    I havent ever heard anything about the two sides being close??

  11. siggy00 says: Mar 15, 2011 3:08 PM

    Drew Brees driving the NFL to suicide like he did his own mother.

  12. fin72 says: Mar 15, 2011 3:10 PM

    bigfranky75 says:
    Mar 15, 2011 2:59 PM
    um, can anyone name a single concession that th union has made? i knwo the owners have made a bunch… but has the union?

    ________________________________

    Who says the union should have to make any concessions? The old system apparently was working just fine for everybody, and once the owners started crying poor all they had to do was show the books and the discussion would have been over. That’s why I’ve taken the players’ side. They didn’t pull the plug on my favorite sport, the owners did. Furthermore, by decertifying the union the players are still trying to ensure that the games go on.

  13. idontevenwannaknow says: Mar 15, 2011 3:11 PM

    Since the union/players decertified, would they have to form a union again, vote for union heads and such, then get back to the negotiating table? I guess I’m not really understanding what can be done since decertifying? Isn’t De Smith now the head of something that no longer exists? How are we, the fans, supposed to believe that their decertification was just a “sham” when they continue to act/walk/talk like a union, but aren’t one? Why didn’t they just put off the decertification for the 6 month period after the CBA expired and use this time to negotiate? Oh, wait, that’s right, in the war of public opinion with the NFL owners, they wanted it to look like the owners were locking them out, even though they continue to come across as greedier by the day. Today’s PR blunder officially goes to Adrian Peterson.

  14. seahawkhuskyfan says: Mar 15, 2011 3:11 PM

    I think the players make enough money now, period.

  15. hendawg21 says: Mar 15, 2011 3:17 PM

    I mean really does it matter now neither side seems to want to talk/work it out especially the players so we sit and ponder until April 6th in the meantime neither side will be in a favorable eye with the fans in the end more so the players. And the more the Brees, Mannings, Brady’s etc., talk the more it will turn on the players I mean look at these salaries for QB’s in 2011…and tell me who could possibly feel sorry about them???

    Player 2011 Salary
    Peyton Manning $23 million dollars * estimated salary

    Michael Vick Approx. $20 million dollars *estimated salary

    Mark Sanchez $14.75 million dollars

    Ben Roethlisberger $14.75 million dollars

    Carson Palmer $14 million dollars

    Tom Brady $13 million dollars

    Matt Stafford $12 million dollars

    Matt Ryan $11.25 million dollars

    Philip Rivers $11.2 million dollars

    Tony Romo $11 million dollars

    Eli Manning $10 million dollars

    Jay Cutler $9 million dollars

    Aaron Rodgers $8.25 million dollars

    Drew Brees $7.3 million dollars

  16. angrycorgi says: Mar 15, 2011 3:19 PM

    “Hell, they’ve been talking about a lockout for 3 years. They are sleeping in the bed they prepared.”

    The players selected D.Smith for the job for the sole reason that he gauranteed to get them into court. The players haven’t made a single concession in these talks. Not one. They are the ones scheming to go to court. After they won the directtv litigation, they started licking their chops. That was just them testing the water. After that, they had NO intention of talking anymore. It’s clear (in their simple minds) that they think they can get 60-70% of the $$$$ now, so they have no interest in negotiating.

  17. angrycorgi says: Mar 15, 2011 3:21 PM

    All the NFLPA kept saying after every day was “we are nowhere close to an agreement” while the NFL often times seemed optimistic at press conferences. It’s clear the NFLPA was posturing the whole time for a hearing. Pathetic.

  18. orbearider66 says: Mar 15, 2011 3:25 PM

    @BigFranky … I couldn’t agree with you more. It seems like the owners did compromise on a few things and actually gave the union what they were asking for on some issues. However, I think the one thing they didn’t give … and this seems to be the deal killer for the union … is the financials. I think the union wanted to get their hands on those financials and wave them to the media to show the public that these mean, old rich guys were trying to keep the union and the players down by giving them an unfair wage. While the union seemed to have the public on their side for awhile, I think that is long gone. Geez … look on here. While comments were definitely pro-union a week or so ago, that has definitely changed.

  19. vargafamily1 says: Mar 15, 2011 3:28 PM

    Drew Bress made his own proposal, but it was intercepted on the way to the league office.

  20. geeeeemen says: Mar 15, 2011 3:28 PM

    I’m dressing up as an unnamed source for Halloween

  21. vikefan4life11 says: Mar 15, 2011 3:29 PM

    Do any of the bonehead players realize that every time they say something its usually stupid and I would say 99% of the people are siding with the owners?
    They fail to realize they are in another world that their God given talent has brought them and trying to make their case to fans who most of us dont even make in a lifetime what they make in a year is just pushing us farther away?
    I say to the owners…Have tryouts,the games can go on without them…cuz you know what?No one else in the world is going to pay them and do the things they ask so let them be on the outside looking in…I gaurantee it will be like every other time…they will come to their senses and come crawling back…

    Players…read and interpret this however you want…you are not the reason we come to games…rivalries have been around for 75 plus years and you will be dead and gone and the younger generation will forget you but you know what?…They will still be a fan of their favorite team and whoever is on that team…get over yourself or get a job in the real world and ask your bosses to see their books and tell them you want 60% or their revenue and have fun with that one…Get real man!!!!!

  22. cdaws84 says: Mar 15, 2011 3:30 PM

    wrylyl…by your logic less than 1% of the players showed up for negotiating. So it looks like the players really wanted the lockout

  23. 4evrnyt says: Mar 15, 2011 3:33 PM

    Geez, even the headlines have typos!

  24. Rhode Island Patriots Fan says: Mar 15, 2011 3:41 PM

    I am impressed with Giants co-owner John Mara. He has distinguished himself as the voice of reason in this is whole mess and, importantly, comes across as extraordinarily level-headed. Drew Brees, on the other hand, has taken on an antagonistic, adversarial tone in his public comments. Perhaps the players would be better represented by Peyton Manning and Tom Brady—two of the other prominent names in the players’ antitrust complaint. Speaking of which, why have Brady and Manning been so conspicuously silent?

  25. zimaman says: Mar 15, 2011 3:58 PM

    the more I hear from Drew Brees the less respect I have for him. his comments are one sided and he acts and behaves like a schill for MEMaurice Smith

    shut up Brees – no wonder Richardson dressed you down..now it all makes sense. you have an axe to grind with your NFLPA kingpin.

  26. meatball13 says: Mar 15, 2011 4:09 PM

    Now I know why people like Brees go to Disneyworld,because they certainly don’t live in the real one !

  27. amr71 says: Mar 15, 2011 4:23 PM

    This whole “show me the books” business is a farce. First of all, the Packers’ books are open for everyone to see, and they show that while player costs are up, profits are down, even in a time of record revenue for the league. Second, the league reportedly shared financial information with the union that it doesn’t even share with its member clubs. And third, that’s more than enough … the players seem to have forgotten that they’re employees, not partners. The clubs have no obligation to open their books. Try walking into your boss’s office and demanding that he open the company’s books. He’ll tell you it’s none of your business, and he’d be right.

    The players were given more than enough financial information … more than they even had a right to. They wanted audited financial information, and they got it. That wasn’t good enough, and they walked. They clearly had no intention of negotiating.

    I’ve lost a lot of respect for Drew Brees.

  28. zaggs says: Mar 15, 2011 4:35 PM

    Brees’s protests I think dignal that the Union was going to decertify come hell or high water (or getting 80% of the proceeds). The offer was too long to read? Seriously? That their basic excuse? Pathetic.

  29. truvikes says: Mar 15, 2011 4:41 PM

    Yeah NFL owners should just start over have open tryouts. Pay players who really love the game itself not the money a good wage anywhere from 500,000- 100,000 a year. And let the players who love money find work some place else. The talent won’t be even half as good but the end product would be.

  30. poweredtoast says: Mar 15, 2011 4:43 PM

    Mara seems delusional.

    The NFL’s final offer would have rolled back the players’ cut to 2007 levels, changed to be based off of “projected” total revenue instead of actual, again “projected” at growing by 4%, 4%, 2.5%, and 2.5% over the next 4 years ( while the NFL has been growing by ~7% each year ) with 100% of revenue above that “projected” amount going completely to the owners….

    And he really believes the players were going to be ok with that?!?!

    Oh… and those 2.5% growth years just so happen to be when new TV deals are upcoming…

    But the best part is, the NFLPA proposed to go along with this except that only up to 1.5% over the projected amount would go 100% to the owners but any more than that would be split as normal.

    And the owners didn’t say no, but “hell no”.

    Oh and in regards to opening the books? Pash says they agreed to open 5 years, but check his interview here on PFT – they agreed for a 3rd party to review them but NOT divulge the particulars – only income, costs, and net. No breakdown on the crap they could be writing off against the team, like family salaries, poor investments ( hi Green Bay ), charging personal plane usage against the team, etc.

    Yet the owners are spinning things to get fans to think the players are the greedy ones in this and sadly, we have people foolish enough to fall for it ( 99% chance they were Obama voters… ).

    Don’t be stupid – don’t buy the crap the owners are shoveling before you check it out. So far, everything Drew Brees, De Smith, Kevin Mawae, etc has said about the proposals have been true – even Pash doesn’t deny him in his follow up interviews. The owners are spinning things and sadly, its working on some of you who refuse to open your eyes to it.

  31. tiredofthestupid says: Mar 15, 2011 4:47 PM

    Yes, because “Players” make too much money and shouldn’t be trusted.

    As opposed to a bunch of rich white guys, many who inherited their wealth and never knew a day of hard work in their lives, are to be trusted.

    Can someone tell me why it is ok for one group (the owners) to make AS MUCH MONEY AS THEY CAN POSSIBLY and LEGALLY GET, but it is not OK for the Players to do everything in their power to do the same?

    This country has become a bunch of double standard bearing hypocrits who criticize the “other side” because it is simply about rationalizing a certain point of view. UNIONS BAD: side with the owners…

    If the OWNERS don’t like what the players are demanding, they can walk away forever, or sell their franchise. If the players don’t like it, they can retire or walk away too.

    But the owners continually tell you “we almost had it…except for that financial detail thing that the Union had asked for from the beginning and was the ONE sticking point the Union has stood by since WE opted out of the labor agreement two years ago and negotiated lockout insurance to leverage a better deal for us, until that commie judge took it away.”

    Don’t let actual facts get in the way…

    I know, why don’t the owners, like most businesses in the last 30 years, move their franchises to China and get the Chinese to learn how to play football at a world class level, without the benefit of a free minor league system like the NCAA.

    I’ll be the Chinese gov’t will throw in a couple of stadiums, too.

  32. bigbluefan1 says: Mar 15, 2011 5:21 PM

    What business has to open the books to the help yeah the help that is all they are no different then the ticket taker or the guy selling beer
    They make a lot more but they are just the help

    Now for the ahole who bad mouthed the Mara family you have no idea that man worked his ass off the team was not handed to him he started as a ball boy
    Yes his grandfather bought the team but he was not handed it he earned its called a family business one of the things that used to be great about america.
    How many family businesses have any of you supported this week?
    When you buy your gas is it a francise or a company owned station?
    When you shop for food who owns the market
    Very few of you support a locally owned business I am sure
    I know for a fact that I am the exception to the rule I do support locally owned businesses and for the most part that is what the owners are local business men yes they own a very good business but could anyone have seen that when Mr. Mara paid $500.00 for the Giants all those years ago I bet Mrs. Mara had a fit that he blew that kind of money on a pie in the sky dream that is today the NFL

  33. thefiesty1 says: Mar 15, 2011 6:15 PM

    In your dreams. They were never close -the players that is.

  34. endzonezombie says: Mar 15, 2011 6:21 PM

    I cannot believe the crap I read on PFT by all these so-called fairweather football fans who trash the players and suck up to ownership. Like the this naive nonsense that could only come from a low level team employee:

    “Players…read and interpret this however you want…you are not the reason we come to games…rivalries have been around for 75 plus years and you will be dead and gone and the younger generation will forget you but you know what?…They will still be a fan of their favorite team and whoever is on that team.”

    I assure you that no high level NFL owner or executive would ever agree with such ignorant nonsense. The NFL is nothing without its players – past, present, and future.

  35. fin72 says: Mar 15, 2011 8:59 PM

    Now for the ahole who bad mouthed the Mara family you have no idea that man worked his ass off the team was not handed to him he started as a ball boy
    _____________________________

    And how did he get his job as a ball boy? Huh, moron??

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