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.