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Mark Murphy reiterates that the owners want to keep negotiating

Mark Murphy, Al Toon

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says he’s ready to return to the bargaining table.  And he’s not alone.

Packers president and CEO Mark Murphy, a member of the league’s negotiating team, made clear his desire to keep talking.

“We want to get back to the bargaining table,” Murphy told PFT Live on Tuesday.  (A full transcript of his remarks has been prepared.)  “You know, I think we’ve made that clear.  You know, I think that’s the best thing for all of us is to get back to the bargaining process.  We liked the mediation process.  You know I thought George Cohen was very professional.  He added a discipline, a structure to our talks and we would welcome continued mediation and would hope the NFLPA would be able to join us.  It’s hard to do it by yourself.”

Though questions have been raised regarding the ability of the NFLPA* asterisk to be involved, Murphy acknowledged that the league would be willing to consider an agreement confirming that the league wouldn’t use the involvement of union representatives in the negotiations as proof that the decertification of the union was a sham.

“We could handle that,” Murphy said.  “To be honest, Mike, if they want to bargain, if they’re serious, we would do it anyplace, anytime.”

So the league is ready, and we suspect plenty of players would prefer that the talks resume.  Any players who feel that way need to make their wishes known to the NFLPA*.

In saying that, we’re not suggesting that players say so publicly, since those comments would appear on NFLLabor.com in the hopes of driving a wedge between the players who want to negotiate and those who don’t.  For now, the players who want to negotiate need to be sure that their views are being considered — and that their union hasn’t been co-opted by a handful of players and/or lawyers who have decided that they want to press forward with litigation, despite the chance that the players will lose the battle to lift the lockout on April 6, which would swing the leverage in the direction of the owners.

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36 Responses to “Mark Murphy reiterates that the owners want to keep negotiating”
  1. johnjosephyossarian says: Mar 15, 2011 10:57 PM

    Don’t tell us, tell the players.

  2. kidder95 says: Mar 15, 2011 11:01 PM

    Futbol is on!

    Reiterate all you like! Futbol is on!

    Whoohooo! Go Sounders!

  3. 3octaveFart says: Mar 15, 2011 11:02 PM

    ..and the phony PR and damage control moves to the next level.

  4. 3octaveFart says: Mar 15, 2011 11:03 PM

    Funny how the owners and Goodell are all singing the same tune, and they’re all doing it in the press.

    Kinda loses its sincerity doesn’t it?

  5. mikemitchy says: Mar 15, 2011 11:04 PM

    I would just like to respectfully remind everyone who is defending the owners and calling the players greedy that:

    1. The owners opted out of the previous CBA, not the players. That CBA should still be in effect.

    2. The owners opted out because they wanted a bigger chunk of the pie — another $1 billion a year off the top of a $9 billion pie before the rest was split up.

    3. The remaining point of disagreement is why the owners need all this new money, and why the players aren’t allowed to see all of the financial documents to support this desperate need for hundreds of millions of dollars that was split with the players in the previous agreement.

    I’m sure the owners would love to come back and negotiate to try to make a deal without having to open their books. The players will go to court, the courts will order a 100% transparent audit of the league’s books, and everyone will see that the league is doing very well financially and the demand for more money off the top is ridiculous.

    That’s why the league wants to get back to the table now, because any deal they can make with the union will be better than the one they get after their books are pried open.

  6. FoozieGrooler says: Mar 15, 2011 11:08 PM

    “To be honest, Mike, if they want to bargain, if they’re serious, we would do it anyplace, anytime.”

    Shouldn’t you guys be telling this to the players and not just the news services?
    Is this tactic supposed to fool somebody?

  7. omniscient48 says: Mar 15, 2011 11:16 PM

    Huh? I thought just the other day Packer Coach Mike McCarthy was saying the lockout was to the advantage of the Packers. Which is it?

  8. goldsteel says: Mar 15, 2011 11:25 PM

    The pendulum of public opinion has swung in favor of the owners. Why? Because the owners want to get a deal done which is what the fans want. The NFLPA has another strategy all together different. They feel the need to put the owners in a vulnerable position so that they can control the circumstances.

  9. poweredtoast says: Mar 15, 2011 11:35 PM

    Of course he would, because if players have representatives meet to negotiate right now, the NFL will call the decertification a “sham”, get it tossed out, and avoid anti-trust litigation.

    Seriously, who do these owners think they are fooling? Sadly, probably the public opinion of those too lazy to look up the facts…

    Besides, the owners have yet to bargain on any topic, but they sure do like to try to say they have, betting people hear it enough they will believe it, and sadly, so far, they are right.

  10. commonsensedude says: Mar 15, 2011 11:47 PM

    I’ve been thinking of starting an NFL Fans Union .. er .. “Viewers Association.” Maybe I’ll start a Facebook page.

    My/Our Demands:

    I want my football back and now. I will be severely pissed if the 2011 season is cancelled or shortened. I want these millionaires and billionaires to know that I/we are serious and are tired of being treated this way after years of loyal support in making the NFL as popular as it is today. Therefore, If the Owners and NFLPA* don’t put all this crap aside and get a deal done by June 1st, 2011, the NFL Fans Union will punish the league by doing the following:

    * I/we will not buy any NFL gear for THREE YEARS after this thing gets resolved. No expensive jerseys. No posters. Nothing. No matter what. Take that, boys.

    * Will not watch the NFL Network for THREE YEARS after this gets resolved.

    * Will go out of my way to NOT buy NFL or Player-sponsored products for THREE YEARS after the lockout ends. I won’t eat “the official pizza of the NFL,” will try very hard to not fly on “the official airline of the NFL” and will avoid buying Head And Shoulders (sorry, Troy) or eating Campbell’s Chunky Soup.

    * Will absolutely not pay to go to any games for THREE YEARS after this thing ends. (Not that I would anyway since my HD TV and comfortable Living Room give me a better experience than the 90,000+ seat stadiums that the idiot owners insist on building even though they are having trouble selling seats in smaller venues. Hey, owners – not to tell you your business but that’s one thing you might do to lower your operating expenses just a wee bit).

    * No tuning in to draft day coverage for THREE YEARS.

    I/we may think of more consumer protest actions we will take in retaliation if this labor situation is not resolved by June 1st. We the fans are telling both sides to cut the crap and get a deal done or our Fan Union will ensure that the financial pain felt by both sides will linger long after they get back to work.

    There will be a 2011 season or else we will do our own form of financial protest.

  11. commonsensedude says: Mar 15, 2011 11:51 PM

    (Just joking, of course. I don’t have a “Fan Union” but I am just very frustrated that this thing threatens the 2011 season. Please, guys, just get a deal done).

  12. browns99 says: Mar 15, 2011 11:52 PM

    But you don’t understand, Jerry Jones banged his fists together…..sniff, sniff.

  13. sfgiantsworldchamps says: Mar 16, 2011 12:08 AM

    I am losing tolerance for the players side by
    The minute. Who are these guys? Who is this
    Clown representing them? Bring on the scabs and
    The fringe players, they really don’t realize that
    This is an entertainment biz and can be replaced
    In a millisecond if need be (Charlie sheen?) after all
    We as fans root for colors and uniforms and conform
    To whomever is sporting our teams colors!
    The current players can all starve for all I care
    Bring in the replacements!

  14. sfgiantsworldchamps says: Mar 16, 2011 12:18 AM

    No Tomlin or that Bonehead Rothlessberger next
    Fall also sounds very appealing . Have fun
    Squealer fans, I know without your team you’re
    Like a pathetic junky w/o their methodone.
    You Lose Pittsburgh! Now you have to stomach
    Another Pirates season! Ha ha

  15. bebopa says: Mar 16, 2011 12:29 AM

    things are really getting ugly, looks like there may not be football foe a while.

  16. scytherius says: Mar 16, 2011 12:40 AM

    I believe Murphy does. I do not for one second believe the Jerry Joneses of the world do.

  17. ursushorribilis says: Mar 16, 2011 1:02 AM

    Bad things. Bad things, man!

    The players wanted Doty but, now will get Nelson (Obama appointee and probably sympathetic to Unions)….but not quite as pro-Union as Doty………the lockout will stand when appealed to the 8th Circuit (if Nelson rules with the Union)….the silent majority of players who want to negotiate will rebel against MEmaurice…..ME maurice will be fired….

    1.Memaurice will become a “greeter” at a local Golden Corral restaurant…..
    2.Brees doesn’t win in New Orleans….(Benson will hold a grudge…eventually will trade him to the Raiders)……
    3.Peterson will be traded to Buffalo. He will set fumbling records in the cold…(Ziggy is hurt and pissed off)

  18. goldrush36 says: Mar 16, 2011 1:04 AM

    Just get a deal done already! I’m so sick of NFL players saying they put their lives on the line everyday to justify wanting even more money than the ludicrous contracts they already get. I agree that without them there wouldn’t be a league, but they CHOSE to play football for a living. Using their way of thinking would leave me to believe this also means the average soldier should make 10-30 million a year with a jump to 20-50 million a year for those in combat. Bump the pay x10 for first responders while you’re at it. These are the real people that risk their lives daily, not a crybaby millionaire football player. Without the US Military scumbags like Mike Vick wouldn’t even have a country to PLAY in anyway. Seek sympathy from someone else. There’s still baseball.

  19. p4ck3r5 says: Mar 16, 2011 1:25 AM

    damn it..get a deal done! I want to watch footballs on sundays..(Sunday all day! from noon till whenever sunday night football ends)

  20. CKL says: Mar 16, 2011 1:29 AM

    As a longtime fan of the game who remembers Murphy’s playing days it is just a little strange for me to see Mr. Union to now be on the other side of the fence. I wonder if he wakes up slapping his own face sometimes? :D

  21. endzonezombie says: Mar 16, 2011 1:30 AM

    I suppose the players would also like to know that the league hasn’t been co-opted by a group of hardline owners and lawyers who are more interested in PR than actual compromise.

  22. hedleykow says: Mar 16, 2011 3:04 AM

    The owners’ bend but don’t break strategy revealed surprising weakness. Now they are beginning to freak a little. The good news for the owners is they have at least until April 6th to role play with each other on how the next round of negotiations should go. Maybe that lawyer feller who got Bush elected can give the owners some pointers. This has the potential of turning into some seriously funny stuff.

  23. ifyouthinkofgarbagethinkofakeem says: Mar 16, 2011 3:12 AM

    Too late now. Owners is going to have to wait
    Until April 6. In my opinion, the owners and the
    Players will sit down after the hearing to
    Continue negotiating in mediation process and that a deal
    Will get done. I’m just hoping that all this drama about who wants more money or who deserved the money can be fixed by agreeing fair
    Labour. The game is too big and so much popular than any sports in the whole wide world.

  24. wryly1 says: Mar 16, 2011 4:51 AM

    Translation 1:
    We the owners know we’d be way better off negotiating, than getting our asses handed to us
    by the Courts.

    Translation 2)
    We the owners know that the fans and TV networks who provide the annual multi-billion dollar pie, want to see players playing games, not us counting our gold.

  25. darvon86 says: Mar 16, 2011 6:57 AM

    Great. But this time lets televise the negotiations on the Internet and archive it.

    No more “they said this” or “Jerry walked out”.

    They want transparancy. Fine. It’s time the 3rd partner, the fans, had a seat at the table.

    Or at least a Season Ticket.

  26. lichnor says: Mar 16, 2011 6:59 AM

    Owner #1: “Hey, let’s throw Rooney out there to make our case and slam the union.”

    Owner #2: “Yea, the fans may hate his team, but they respect the hell out of them. They will believe anything he tells them. Great idea!”

    Rooney makes his statement.

    Crickets.

    Owner #1: “Hey, Murphy! GET over here!”

  27. idontevenwannaknow says: Mar 16, 2011 7:00 AM

    I don’t care if all the owners are serious or not about continuing the bargaining process, but I am sure that each side has those who want to continue to talk, and if there are people on both sides that want to continue to talk then get to it.

    I don’t care if there are some players that come out and say they want to talk and that gets put up on some website for PR purposes.

    I think we all know that these are grown men attempting to handle a situation that involves a lot of money and if they want that money to continue to come in, they should leave the hostile owners/players at home and hammer out an agreement that the needed majority will accept.

    They may not be able to come to a agreement that each side accepts unanimously, but compromise, get the votes needed, and move on.

  28. billsfan27 says: Mar 16, 2011 7:00 AM

    Screw the banter. Let’s get to the football.

  29. chapnastier says: Mar 16, 2011 7:31 AM

    Now if the players would stop their tantrums and private draft events maybe there could actually be some progress made. Even after all of the owners concessions and not a single one by the players, the owners still are willing to sit down with the spoiled brats. If anyone is still on the side of the players, they haven’t been paying attention.

  30. jc1958cool says: Mar 16, 2011 7:50 AM

    of course they do, how is that lockout insurance going? like playing poker, but no chips left!!

  31. toe4 says: Mar 16, 2011 8:08 AM

    “if you return to the bargaining table we promise we won’t use that against you…”

    The owners can’t really promise anything because they have proven as a collective repeatedly that their word isn’t worth anything.

    The players are not right, but no way should they trust the owners.

  32. eagleswin says: Mar 16, 2011 8:45 AM

    endzonezombie says:
    Mar 16, 2011 1:30 AM
    I suppose the players would also like to know that the league hasn’t been co-opted by a group of hardline owners and lawyers who are more interested in PR than actual compromise.

    ————————-

    Wouldn’t the players actually have to compromise for that to be effective? To the best of my knowledge it’s been the players who have been hardline and haven’t budged an inch since negotiations started.

    Keep putting it on the owners but all the evidence points to the players refusing to negotiate, not the owners.

  33. eagleswin says: Mar 16, 2011 8:53 AM

    3octaveFart says:
    Mar 15, 2011 11:03 PM
    Funny how the owners and Goodell are all singing the same tune, and they’re all doing it in the press.

    Kinda loses its sincerity doesn’t it?
    ——————
    Kinda makes it feel like the owners know what their doing doesn’t it? Everyone on the same page (publicly at least).

    I’d much rather have players mouthing off to the press about being “Slaves” to the owners and telling the world how they want the financials in order to embarrass the owners.

    Why do they need 10 years of detailed financials? I’m not saying they aren’t entitled to some financial information but 10 years on a team by team level? To date, the best explanation has been from Adrian Peterson and he’s willing to talk about it All Day.

    The players message is so much more sincere, from their orders/suggestions that the players go to the UNION* organized draft party to the agents insinuations that there will be repurcussions to players who cross the UNION* at the draft.

    I still don’t see how the lawyers can go before the judge and not burst out laughing when they defend the decertification.

  34. toe4 says: Mar 16, 2011 9:10 AM

    The benefits of pretending to be 32 separate companies is that you get to tout the company line 32 different times.

  35. smchristensen says: Mar 16, 2011 10:36 AM

    This is the most we’ve heard out of Murphy since he took the GB President job. I’m hoping this leads to more from him in a GB perspective. But it begs the question, why is he all of a sudden the voice of the NFL in this situation?

  36. tialen says: Mar 16, 2011 11:58 AM

    Really? then open the damn books, they are going to get opened to the public in court otherwise.

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