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League, players need to resume negotiations now

We’re four days into this unprecedented NFL existence of a decertified union suing the league for violating the antitrust laws and the league locking out the decertified union on the basis that the union isn’t really decertified.  And we’ve entered this abyss of uncertainty despite an offer from the NFL that, with all due respect to Drew Brees (whom we greatly respect), seems to be something much more than a P.R. stunt.

So why not get back to the bargaining table?  The owners seem to be willing to do it.  The players seem to be unwilling.  Or, perhaps more accurately, the players who are willing haven’t been able to get the attention of the folks who would now be handling the negotiations, given that the context has shifted to litigation.

The players seem to be concerned that the perception that the NFLPA* is involved in the negotiations could be used against the players before the NLRB or the federal court in Minnesota, when the league argues that the decertification was and is a sham.  (Which, of course, it was and is.)  As Packers president and CEO Mark Murphy acknowledged during Tuesday’s PFT Live, the league likely would agree not to use in the litigation process any effort by the NFLPA* to be involved in the negotiation of a settlement of the antitrust litigation, which then would become a new CBA.

Bottom line?  There’s a way to get together and work on a new deal.  And as agent Drew Rosenhaus said during today’s PFT Live, there are plenty of reasons for doing a deal now.

Drew’s comments got me sufficiently motivated to urge the two sides to get together in the final two minutes of the show.

Permalink 48 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: PFT Live, Rumor Mill, Top Stories, Union, Videos
48 Responses to “League, players need to resume negotiations now”
  1. mmskin says: Mar 15, 2011 5:05 PM

    huge egos

  2. mdpickles says: Mar 15, 2011 5:09 PM

    YEAH! You tell ‘em MF!

  3. 3octaveFart says: Mar 15, 2011 5:12 PM

    Since it’s now in the hands of the lawyers, wouldn’t they normally advise their clients not to talk to one another?

  4. johnabis says: Mar 15, 2011 5:14 PM

    demaurice smith is a De-bag… The players need to fire him and get there act together. The owners are the ones who gave a good offer and still want to negotiate while the nflpa just wanted to decertify and not even counter offer… what a bunch of A-holes!!

  5. dprouse says: Mar 15, 2011 5:17 PM

    The players have no interest in negotiating until they see how their legal gambit plays out. They believe they can get a better deal from the courts than they can from the boardroom. In a purely boardroom setting, they know they are going to have to make significant concessions, and they aren’t interested in that – not when they think there is a path to victory through the courts. They will only return to the bargaining table when a) they feel emboldened by legal victory, or b) they are forced to return there by legal defeat. Either way, we are stuck for the next few months watching the courts determine how this plays out.

  6. p4ever says: Mar 15, 2011 5:18 PM

    The NFL owners should stop disrepecting the fans by paying a hoard of people to come here and pose as NFL fans.

  7. smellmyface says: Mar 15, 2011 5:19 PM

    Yes they do but with De Dummy running the show it wont happen. Even though the suit they filed is on a woman judge’s dockett Lorenzo Alexander said on the radio today they cant wait for judge Doty to make his ruling.

    Im sure all along Smith has told the players dont worry Doty will side with us.

  8. bigbluefan1 says: Mar 15, 2011 5:23 PM

    Each team has a rep each rep and each owner should sit in a large room that is 64 people each side should have a spokes person and they should and could work out a deal
    Lock the door and no one gets out till the deal is done

    No press no leaks no nothing and no lawyers

  9. randolph32 says: Mar 15, 2011 5:23 PM

    Common sense doesn’t have to prevail, so it probably won’t….

    I just noticed that D Smith is giving the Commencement Address at Maryland, sure would suck to have to listen to that blow-hard while waiting to get that piece of paper!

  10. chapnastier says: Mar 15, 2011 5:24 PM

    Mike, I don’t usually agree with you, but you are still the man. That still shot is epic!

  11. pilprin says: Mar 15, 2011 5:28 PM

    Speak it Mikie….get together and get the thing done so I can continue my obsession…of the NFL!

  12. medcitybob says: Mar 15, 2011 5:35 PM

    200% in agreement with You on this ! !

    Where are the Players ? ?

    At the very, very least t-a-l-k ! !

  13. laeaglefan says: Mar 15, 2011 5:35 PM

    Imagine….Drew Rosenshmuck being the voice of reason.

  14. oldassgoat1 says: Mar 15, 2011 5:40 PM

    Not going to happen. Union decertified, there is no more union to negotiate with. Going back to the table name means admitting it is a sham, they aren’t going to do that. They’ll fight it in court.

  15. bleedsoe9mm says: Mar 15, 2011 5:43 PM

    so your say the sniveling ratfaced lawyers are in charge of the NFLPA

  16. 3octaveFart says: Mar 15, 2011 5:49 PM

    “And as agent Drew Rosenhaus said during today’s PFT Live, there are plenty of reasons for doing a deal now.”

    His wallet being right at the top of the list.

  17. Deb says: Mar 15, 2011 5:53 PM

    If the league was so serious, why didn’t the owners just take the proposal the players made a few weeks ago? Would you honestly trust them not to use the players’ cooperation against them in the “decertification is a sham” suit? These are owners, Mike, not benevolent Salvation Army Santas. And so what if they agree not to use it? What’s to stop the court from considering it anyway?

    I want this resolved as much as the next fan, and would like the think the owners and their reps are being genuine. But given how they’ve behaved to this point, it’s extremely difficult to take them seriously now. And if I feel that way, no wonder the players are skeptical.

  18. flavordave says: Mar 15, 2011 5:56 PM

    They have to resolve this so that the Eagles can play and win the next Super Bowl.

  19. basexc9 says: Mar 15, 2011 5:56 PM

    If the owners did suddenly “open the books”, it’s not like everything will magically be fine and a new CBA signed. What if the players see the numbers and still don’t feel the need to make revenue concessions? I see that as the more likely scenario.

  20. ckg0913 says: Mar 15, 2011 5:57 PM

    Couldn’t agree more! Get back to the table guys,

  21. fatelvis77 says: Mar 15, 2011 5:58 PM

    Oh hello. The league has, on one or two occasions, been found by a court to be a monopoly in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act. Plus they’ve been found to have breached the latest CBA by failing to maximize revenue and creating a $4B slush fund. They only lose in court. Under these circumstances the players have been advised (correctly, I think) that litigation cannot put them in a worse position, and probably will give them greater freedom of movement, better benefits, no 18 game schedule, and more money in the long run. The owners will either lose or fold. Logically and legally, the players’ strategy is correct. I doubt we’ll miss a season, but this will take months.

  22. phinfan says: Mar 15, 2011 5:59 PM

    Mike I will send you a real football helmet for your shelf: MIAMI DOLPHINS!!!

  23. moggy6actual says: Mar 15, 2011 6:01 PM

    If I was an owner, since the players walked away by decertifying and seeking a remedy in court, I would use every option to tie it up in court for as long as possible. The players will start missing game checks and crumble.

  24. brambo67 says: Mar 15, 2011 6:18 PM

    Deb says: Mar 15, 2011 5:53 PM

    If the league was so serious, why didn’t the owners just take the proposal the players made a few weeks ago? Would you honestly trust them not to use the players’ cooperation against them in the “decertification is a sham” suit? These are owners, Mike, not benevolent Salvation Army Santas. And so what if they agree not to use it? What’s to stop the court from considering it anyway?

    I want this resolved as much as the next fan, and would like the think the owners and their reps are being genuine. But given how they’ve behaved to this point, it’s extremely difficult to take them seriously now. And if I feel that way, no wonder the players are skeptical.

    ____________________________________

    I’m sorry Deb, but an understanding of past negotiations as people like Gene Upshaw did would have lead the NFLPA* to realise that the owners use brinkmanship. They have always tried to leave it until the last minute.

    And I’m sorry, but Brees is one of those players that can become even more wealthy from doing a deal. He’s massively well paid, yet he’s allowed the “union” to become the domain of lawyers like Kessler and Smith. These guys will only make huge amounts of money via court cases. The players have become very wealthy whilst the league has become more wealthy.

    Name another industry that has seen wages increase 255% since 1994? At the same time, my ire for the NFLPA is that it has never properly protected it’s past members. All it has done is ensure that the richest get richer.

    Players like Drew Brees.

  25. peanutbutter&jelly says: Mar 15, 2011 6:18 PM

    i hope i have the right movie in mind when i say that the players remind me of that auto mechanic in national lampoon vacation when mr. grizzwald is asking how much is the bill and he’s standing there tapping a large wrench on the palm of his hand saying how much you got and mr. grizzwald thinks it’s a joke and then the mechanic does it again and then mr.grizzwald understands that it is not a joke.i know this is a player drivin league and they do put butts in the seats and they also are the main reason that so much merchandise gets sold but the nfl trademark goes a long way as well and what i mean by that is that someone that noody has ever heard of can play on an nfl team and preform well and next thing you know he is a household name just like some players that are involved with this situation now were unknown to the rest of the world untill they played in the nfl.and from what i have read and understand the owners have made a very fair offer and the players are saying they want more and the owners are saying-look we have to make a buck too and the players are like oh yea well open your books and prove it and if you are making anything we want that as well.where does the greed stop? nobody is twisting thier arms and making them play football it’s a risk they have known about since they were playing pop warner ball.they have a very fair offer on the table with increases over the next 4 years and they wont take it because they think the owners might get an extra nickle.it is really sad as far as i’m concerned and i really wish the owners would just say the hell with it and take thier billions and invest in another type of business and let the nfl fold and blame it on the greed of the players and let them go play for peanuts in the ufl

  26. thebigolddog says: Mar 15, 2011 6:19 PM

    The salary cap has increased 255% ( per brambo67 great data in an earlier post) since it’s inception and the players walked away over 3.8% of current revenue being skimmed for owner expenses. That’s around $10M a team. In a few years, it would be an even smaller percentage of current revenue.

    What’s left to talk about? Every NFL malcontent is part of De Smith’s gang and they are proceeding according to plan. Until the other players wake up to the reality of the deal and oust the militants, there’s nothing to be done outside the courts.

  27. kennypowders says: Mar 15, 2011 6:24 PM

    Why did the owners opt out?

    Didnt they sign the deal themselves in 2006?

    Its their fault that they signed a bad deal. Now they want the players to take a pay cut?
    Who in their right mind would take a pay cut in these hard times?

    If anyone should take a pay cut shouldnt it be the likes of Jerry Jones and Bob Kraft? Do you really think they are struggling right now???

    They players even offered 50/50 split. Owners didnt want it.

    And you bozos’ are on the owners side. WOW!!!

    Teapublicans will never learn

  28. kennypowders says: Mar 15, 2011 6:26 PM

    Roger Goddell makes 9.7 Million a year.

    Where does that money come from?

    Does he really need to make 9.7?

  29. brambo67 says: Mar 15, 2011 6:27 PM

    fatelvis77 says: Mar 15, 2011 5:58 PM

    Oh hello. The league has, on one or two occasions, been found by a court to be a monopoly in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act. Plus they’ve been found to have breached the latest CBA by failing to maximize revenue and creating a $4B slush fund. They only lose in court. Under these circumstances the players have been advised (correctly, I think) that litigation cannot put them in a worse position, and probably will give them greater freedom of movement, better benefits, no 18 game schedule, and more money in the long run. The owners will either lose or fold. Logically and legally, the players’ strategy is correct. I doubt we’ll miss a season, but this will take months.

    ____________________________________

    You are quite right. In court the players would win.
    The problem is that the NFL as you and I know it would be fundamentally changed, with the losers being the fans of the majority of NFL teams.

    Under a pure system that abides by antitrust legislation, revenue sharing would be illegal. Unless you are a fan of a small number of clubs (Cowboys, Redskins, Patriots, Jets, Giants and probably one or two others) your team will immediately have less revenue.

    The lower revenue teams will end up creating their own salary scales and cap on wages. They will not compete for the signature of star players. And also thus the majority of players will be paid less than at present.

    If you are happy to watch a version of the NFL were only about six teams a season can win the Superbowl then great. I think the majority of fans won’t be impressed.

    At the same time, the vast ajority of players would look back on the court-case with a great deal of animosity.

    And ultimately the NFL will not be able to return to it’s current stage.

    So, if you’re a fan of a team like the Jaguars, Raiders (like me), Chargers, Colts, Packers and many other teams, you want the players to get their head out of their collective arses and negotiate.

  30. 3octaveFart says: Mar 15, 2011 6:36 PM

    basexc9 says: Mar 15, 2011 5:56 PM

    “What if the players see the numbers and still don’t feel the need to make revenue concessions?”

    I’m guessing that’s exactly why the owners won’t do it. Hard to cry about lost revenues when you’re awash in cash.

  31. stevez51 says: Mar 15, 2011 6:44 PM

    Get the chick from the USA show Fairly Legal. She can get it done( and look good doing it!!!!)

  32. brambo67 says: Mar 15, 2011 6:44 PM

    thebigolddog says: Mar 15, 2011 6:19 PM

    The salary cap has increased 255% ( per brambo67 great data in an earlier post) since it’s inception and the players walked away over 3.8% of current revenue being skimmed for owner expenses. That’s around $10M a team. In a few years, it would be an even smaller percentage of current revenue.

    What’s left to talk about? Every NFL malcontent is part of De Smith’s gang and they are proceeding according to plan. Until the other players wake up to the reality of the deal and oust the militants, there’s nothing to be done outside the courts.

    ____________________________________

    The thing that annoys the hell out of me the most is that the NFLPA isn’t negotiating (and it seems to me didn’t properly either) so they are unable to discuss some issues that would alter the perspective of many observers.

    For instance, the current ESPN deal was being discussed and would increase the TV deal to $2B per year from 2013. At the moment (maybe others can check this) the deal is worth $1.1B a year,

    I know it requires the NFL to play more games on Thursday nights, but hey, small price! Thing is, we hardly know the details.

    And I wonder if the NFLPA does either because it’s got greedy. Consider that the players were getting about 50% of all revenue per season. Let’s say it drops to 47% (the $325m the teams wanted), the increase of the ESPN deal would more than off-set that amount (increase of $425m approx).

    More to the point, if they were actually negotiating, couldn’t they try to have the deal alter as the revenue increases. In other words, you can negotiate that if the deal increases as is reported, then the amount of $325m is reduced to say $200m.

    None of this has even been suggested.
    And nothing can happen because the players do not want to negotiate.

  33. brambo67 says: Mar 15, 2011 6:55 PM

    I can understand why people respect some players like Drew Brees.

    Personally I don’t, but that’s my personal point of view and I’ll explain it is asked in great detail. Suffice to say that the emounts he earns are hard to justify.

    As Matt Cassel proved when Tom Brady was injured, often another player can be plugged into a well-coached system and it still works and wins.

    If Drew Brees was seriously injured and never played again, the Saints would be effected short-term without doubt (?). The Saints would still exist, they would still have fans and they would attempt to replace him. The NFL would go on.

    Consider the Rams when they discovered Kurt Warner. They found a guy and worked around what he could do. Who is to say that the Saints wouldn’t find an equal to Brees.

    That is why guys in the NFL are always greedy. They have little job security.

    And surely the NFLPA’s main intention should be finding ways to help act against the inherent insecurity of playing in the NFL.

    A player like Brees will earn more in a year than about 75% of players will in their entire NFL career. So, shouldn’t the NFL be attempting to esnure that he is catered for better? Shouldn’t they guard against the excesses of the players by getting better benefits and pensions? Isn’t that what a Union stands for?

  34. gixnic says: Mar 15, 2011 7:09 PM

    Oh god, please. The only reason all of you in the media are crying about this is because your paycheck depends on it, 24 hours wall to wall NFL coverage, ESPN, Fox etc. All you guys are going to lose big bucks when all of these crazy rabid fans turn their attention somewhere else.

  35. Deb says: Mar 15, 2011 7:14 PM

    @brambo67 …

    Pay has increased 255 percent since 1994 in part because players were paid peanuts for most of the league’s history. That’s why retired players need help. I share your annoyance that younger players haven’t stepped up to help them, but by rights, that was the owners’ responsibility. At least the NFLPA is finally trying to rectify that.

    And owners like Snyder, Jones, and Allen sent salaries into orbit by handing out enormous cash bonuses owners like the Rooneys couldn’t match. Or they went over the cap and raised it year after year in their neverending quest to buy a Super Bowl. Whatever the players are earning, the owners aren’t hurting.

    Of course, lawyers are more litigious than nonlawyers, but they’re following Upshaw’s strategy. And by your admission, the owners deliberately pushed this to the brink. The courts aren’t as starry-eyed about Big Boss Man as everyone else seems to be. They may regret their game of brinkmanship.

  36. jefeweiss says: Mar 15, 2011 7:47 PM

    I don’t really know if they even can negotiate until they get a ruling on the sham/nosham of their decertification. Who is going to do the negotiating? If the NFLPA goes on negotiating, it would kind of look like they aren’t so decertified after all.

    Unless the owners put up a pretty good offer in public, I don’t really see that anything goes on until that point is decided in court.

  37. angrytna says: Mar 15, 2011 7:50 PM

    kennypowders says:
    Mar 15, 2011 6:24 PM
    Why did the owners opt out?

    Didnt they sign the deal themselves in 2006?

    Its their fault that they signed a bad deal. Now they want the players to take a pay cut?
    Who in their right mind would take a pay cut in these hard times?

    If anyone should take a pay cut shouldnt it be the likes of Jerry Jones and Bob Kraft? Do you really think they are struggling right now???

    They players even offered 50/50 split. Owners didnt want it.

    And you bozos’ are on the owners side. WOW!!!

    Teapublicans will never learn

    You make some real good points!!………………..NOT! Agreement signed in 2006 was basically a lets see how it goes deal. For all you know, the players would have decertified back had the owners not signed. Both sides were given the opt out option and it just so happens that the owners got the short end of the stick (apparently). I don’t have a breakdown of salaries, but if these players are having hard times it is because they are too stupid to think of the future. They could put their money to work for them, instead they get their money, pay for an entourage, use it as bail money when they get arrested, child support and possibly illegal activities. Believe me, the players would have opted out if it was not working for them. Kevin Mawae knows they got a good deal. This situation needed give and take from both sides. Players need to understand operating expenses and should concede some money and the owners can’t try and make back the money they feel they lost with 2006 deal. Put emotions aside and figure out a way to reach a “FAIR” deal for both sides.

    Not much I have to left to say other than I will focus attention on college football and Nascar if these idiots carry this into the summer.

  38. broncsfan says: Mar 15, 2011 7:59 PM

    thebigolddog says:
    Mar 15, 2011 6:19 PM
    The salary cap has increased 255% ( per brambo67 great data in an earlier post) since it’s inception and the players walked away over 3.8% of current revenue being skimmed for owner expenses. That’s around $10M a team. In a few years, it would be an even smaller percentage of current revenue.
    ***
    Maybe I missed a crucial report, but the last I heard, the owners’ offer was $2 bil (22%) up from $1 bil (11%) skimmed before the pie is sliced. If the owners’ offer was 3.8%, that would amount to a drastic reduction in the current skim, so it’s kind of hard to see them coming to the bargaining table with that offer.

  39. packersteve says: Mar 15, 2011 8:07 PM

    The Players need to re-appear……..

    Nothing is ever solved by walking away……

    I don’t know who is “right”…..but, I do know
    things don’t get solved by walking away !

    and asking the rookies to boycott their
    “moment in the sun”, was extremely boorish !

  40. canadian52niner says: Mar 15, 2011 8:37 PM

    U really changed my mind on you drew brees … I hate your guts now!

  41. palinforpresidentofnorthkorea says: Mar 15, 2011 8:53 PM

    p4ever says: Mar 15, 2011 5:18 PM

    The NFL owners should stop disrepecting the fans by paying a hoard of people to come here and pose as NFL fans.
    ~~~

    You tell ‘em Mo-Reece

  42. endzonezombie says: Mar 15, 2011 9:36 PM

    “The NFL owners should stop disrepecting the fans by paying a hoard of people to come here and pose as NFL fans.”

    Absolutely!

  43. oldbyrd says: Mar 15, 2011 10:23 PM

    Wonder what demaurice is going to be when he grows up? Never mind I know…..A socialist.

  44. Deb says: Mar 15, 2011 10:23 PM

    p4ever says:
    The NFL owners should stop disrepecting the fans by paying a hoard of people to come here and pose as NFL fans.

    ————————————————-

    Amen! I’ve been posting here for two years, and while I recognize some of the pro-owner commenters, most of the people posting for the bosses just showed up in the last four days.

  45. MichaelEdits says: Mar 15, 2011 11:25 PM

    I miss Gene Upshaw. Words I never expected to type.

  46. Canyonero says: Mar 15, 2011 11:26 PM

    What is “disrepecting” the fans, anyway?

  47. anarchopurplism says: Mar 15, 2011 11:56 PM

    Why should the players negotiate now if they had no intent to negotiate then?

  48. thetooloftools says: Mar 16, 2011 12:21 AM

    Just miss 1 regular season and get those replacement players out there.
    I still have VHS tapes of ESPN highlights with those dudes.
    It was great !
    Maybe it wasn’t the best of the best… but it was fun to watch.
    Buddy Ryan of the Eagles after the first day of practice saying “I’ll trade my entire team, sight unseen right now, for any other team in the league”.
    It was great.
    PRICELESS !
    Bartenders and garbage men out their banging heads was great.
    It was sad to see those Cowboys scabs cross the picket line.
    Give me replacement players ASAP.
    Half the league quits when they get behind anyway.
    Here is an idea.
    The winning teams players get bonuses for winning and the losers have to pay the winners out of their own game checks… maybe pride will make these overpaid crybabies care.
    Like say, $1000 a game.
    Nothing else seems to motivate these guys.

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