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Goodell sends letter to players regarding NFL’s most recent offer

NFL Contract Talks Continue As Deadline Approaches Getty Images

With the folks who currently are running the NFLPA* (whoever they may be) showing no inclination to continue negotiations and with the NFL very anxious to continue negotiations, Commissioner Roger Goodell has taken his case directly to the rank and file.

Goodell has sent a letter to every player (and the league office has sent a copy to every agent) explaining the terms of the league’s most recent proposal.  We’ve obtained a copy of it.

“We want you to understand the offer that we made to the NFLPA,” Goodell wrote.  “The proposal was made to avoid a work stoppage.  Each passing day puts our game and our shared economics further at risk.  We believe the offer presented a strong and fair basis for continuing negotiations, allowing the new league year and free agency to begin, and growing our game in the years to come.”

Goodell then summarizes the key elements of the proposal:  maximum salary and benefits per team of $141 million per club in 2011, with maximum salary and benefits per team of $161 million in 2014; free agency for players with four or more accrued season; reduced draft-choice compensation for restricted free agents; extensive changes in offseason workouts; reduction of preseason and regular-season padded practices; increased days off; retention of the 16-game season through 2012 with no change to 18 games without the players’ agreement; expanded injury guarantees, with up to $1 million in the year after an injury occurs; continuing medical coverage for life; immediate increases in pension for pre-1993 players; a new rookie wage scale that would make $300 million per draft class available for veteran pay and player benefits; abd external arbitration of all drug and steroids appeals.

“Working together, players and clubs have made the game great,” Goodell added.  “Our fans want us to find common ground, settle our differences, and come to a fair agreement.  I have met with many of you since becoming Commissioner.  You know of my respect and admiration for you as men and players.  We need to come together, and soon.

“In that spirit, we are prepared to negotiate a full agreement that would incorporate these features and other progressive changes that would benefits players, clubs, and fans.  Only through collective bargaining will we reach that kind of agreement.  Our goal is to make our league even better than it is today, with the benefits shared by all of us,” Goodell said.

And here’s the bottom line — literally and figuratively:  “I hope you will encourage your Union to return to the bargaining table and conclude a new collective bargaining agreement.”

We hope they will, too.

Though there’s a chance Goodell’s letter will anger NFLPA* leadership, if it gets enough of the players to insist on the NFLPA* to return to the bargaining table, it’s worth the risk.

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68 Responses to “Goodell sends letter to players regarding NFL’s most recent offer”
  1. broncfanor says: Mar 17, 2011 6:44 PM

    Seems pretty fair to me. At least it’s enough that they should have tried to continue negotiating instead of grand standing. They really need to get rid of DeMoron Smith.

  2. Al Davis says: Mar 17, 2011 6:47 PM

    Wheres Green Bay’s owners in this? I wish the entire city would show up and yell at the players

  3. medtxpack says: Mar 17, 2011 6:48 PM

    solid move! hes in it for the game, then the money folks. not like D Smith. they hate on Goodell all they want for not being a player in the past, but neither was D Smith!!
    i hope they figure it out cause baseball sucksssss……

  4. jeff061 says: Mar 17, 2011 6:49 PM

    Who cares if it angers the NFLPA Trade Association. Goodell has a business to run…and as of this date – the business is the players and the league – period.

    That’s what happens when you de-certify.

  5. steelergold says: Mar 17, 2011 6:49 PM

    Good move on Goodell’s part. Finally I can think of something positive that he has done in this drama.

  6. jimr10 says: Mar 17, 2011 6:52 PM

    The only way I see it right now is for the non-millionaire players to pressure the team reps.
    No one seems to care about them. Huh Drew?

  7. waitingguilty says: Mar 17, 2011 6:52 PM

    This is a great move by Goodell, all the while serving as a nice little slap in the face to De Smith.

    Roger is essentially saying “We doubt very seriously that your ‘leadership’ was able to adequately explain the offer, so allow me…”

    Brilliant!

  8. dequan81 says: Mar 17, 2011 6:52 PM

    Didn’t see that coming, but I am glad Goodell did that. I’m not a Goodell fan, but that was a good move and I respect him for being honest and straight up with the players. Now how the players respond will be the real story. I do believe the NFL is sincere about talking… NFLPA* your move. For the fans and the league? or for yourselves?

  9. smacklayer says: Mar 17, 2011 6:53 PM

    Snap the league is just running over the nflpa in terms of PR and now going to directly to the players.

    I am sure that at least half of players are in favor of this. It is just the top dogs like Brady and Manning who have hijacked the union. They have made their millions and a work stoppage wouldn’t phase them either way. It’s the bottom half with whom this letter will resonate.

  10. 52crabcakes says: Mar 17, 2011 6:54 PM

    Fix it! Just fix it!

  11. phinfan says: Mar 17, 2011 6:55 PM

    D. Smith:

    “No this is a horrible deal! I want lifetime Popcorn and Soder Pops.”

  12. duanethomas says: Mar 17, 2011 6:56 PM

    Not going to happen. Good PR by Goodell, but they had 3 years to negotiate and chose Jerry “fist bumb” Jones to lead the way. The letter will have no affect, the date is still April 6th. Since Cromatrie’s opinion carries such weight, ask him what he thought about it….LOL. He won’t read it or even bother to open it. The Union will at least stick together until the 6th.

  13. mmskin says: Mar 17, 2011 6:57 PM

    goodell or should i say GODell is a phony

  14. tdback says: Mar 17, 2011 6:58 PM

    Come on Brees tweet your BS telling us how you are looking out for future players (now that you got yours) you are a liar and stand behind KATRINA like you made a real difference, you know what kind of guy you are. Google his mother people you’ll see what kind of dude he really is!!

  15. nothimagain says: Mar 17, 2011 6:59 PM

    That Goodell, he’s gold Jerry! Gold!

  16. 3octaveFart says: Mar 17, 2011 6:59 PM

    I wonder what Goodell would say of D.Smith took it upon himself to send out a letter to the team owners?

  17. chargerdillon says: Mar 17, 2011 7:00 PM

    A better letter wouldve been……

    Dear NFLPA, last time I checked almost every owner/majority owner in the NFL is a billionaire.

    While you all sit at home, not practicing, and not working, and not getting paid, the owners are still going to be billionaires, and they made sure even if you sit with your pouty arms crossed, they’ll still be making money and you wont.

    Futhermore NFLPA, Sign the contract or in enough time we’ll replace you with players who would gladly play for half of what you make and you can piss in the wind.

    From, The owners puppet

  18. iknowfootballandyoudont says: Mar 17, 2011 7:06 PM

    Sounds like a damn good deal to me. But then again, I’m not a greedy, pampered, spoiled, self entitled player. And I don’t follow blindly behind MEmauric the Pied Piper

  19. joshuavkidd says: Mar 17, 2011 7:06 PM

    P.S.
    Your “labor” chief is a d-bag.

    Sincerely,
    R. Goodell

  20. scudbot says: Mar 17, 2011 7:09 PM

    I’m a Green Bay homer. Our players have been pretty quiet about this. AR is/was/is the non-sham non-union rep. He tweeted a one word comment “Unity” and has said nothing else as far as I know, but I can assure you he’s taken some hot shots for that. The only other player I know of who’s said anything is Nick Collins on ESPN when he said that the prospective draftees ought to go to the NFL’s show. I’m unaware of any claims of slavery or other foot in mouth behavior.

  21. Kave Krew says: Mar 17, 2011 7:11 PM

    That’s classic…..

    This has got me revved up – taking it to the heart of the monster is the best move to make.

    No union butt kissing or hand holding – just a double eff you in your face…….

  22. ratbastardshanahandjob says: Mar 17, 2011 7:11 PM

    Screw Adolf-Goodell. I hope the players put the letter he sent them where it belongs. The circular file thats sits on the floor. The only this owners Puppet wants is the players giveing things back……

    ” Goodell wrote. “The proposal was made to avoid a work stoppage.”- No actually it was a lame attempt to try and trick the union into not decertifing and sending it to court. Court being the only place the players can win. Thats how the players got free agency to begin with, in Court…..The NHL players union didnt decertify. They negotiated in “good faith”. Look what happened to them. They lost a season and the owners wiped the floor with them. The NFLPA wasnt about to make the same stupid mistake…..

    If the players think they can trust the owners. All they need to do is look at teams like the Jets who have already cut everyones salary. Even though the Jets have not lost a penny yet. Guess Woody thinks the secretaries, window washers, janitors etc need a pay cut. After all hes hurting in these tough economic times for the owners. His 3 billion plus worth doesnt go as far as it used to…….

    DirecTV is a sea of red ink. I would like to see the NFL owners reaction if they asked for givebacks and to pay less on their current contract because they unlike the NFL are really hurting…..

  23. poweredtoast says: Mar 17, 2011 7:11 PM

    Roger is such a liar – if it was such a good offer, why not release ALL the details? Like the percentage cuts?

    Again the PLAYERS CANNOT NEGOTIATE AS A UNION RIGHT NOW.

    If they do, they risk having the decertification VOIDED and the antitrust case thrown out, then having to wait 6 months or longer if it comes to that.

    FFS PFT, you’re spinning this as badly as the owners are.

  24. permiepoo says: Mar 17, 2011 7:13 PM

    More fans spouting “the players are morons!”

    Look at those numbers kids… those aren’t *percentages* those are static. What if the NFL grows in popularity overseas and in the Americas by 50% next year? That would mean 14 billion in revenues, which would then mean the players would be achieving 28% of the total revenue.

    Are there any signs whatsoever that the NFL will be shrinking anytime soon? In 2005 the revenues were 5.7 billion. Last year? 9 billion. That covers two of the worst economic years in our nation’s history.

    Taking an offer of static dollars would be the most foolish negotiation probably of all time, or at the very least in the realm of football player negotiations.

  25. melikefootball says: Mar 17, 2011 7:14 PM

    Only thing God-del has done this year I agree with. Hard for the players to point at the owners now. Maybe Mr Smith should straighten his hat and get back to the table.

  26. sh4doww4lker says: Mar 17, 2011 7:16 PM

    There is NOTHING new about a letter being sent to employees/players during a lockout. It is NOTHING more than an effort to weaken the rank and file…….. divide and conquer

    If GOODELL is serious about a resumption in talks all he needs to do is mention his interest during his daily discussions with the mediation service.

    For the forums’ THUMBS DOWN observation crowd –The NFL might even have their law firm wage a media war through forums such as this.
    –been there done that —

    Believe it or not this can only be settled if you get people with credibility on both sides to negotiate an agreement that fairly represents both sides today, tomorrow and into the future……

  27. scudbot says: Mar 17, 2011 7:18 PM

    I wonder how DeCertified Smith likes not being able to do a damn thing about whatever the league wants to send out to the players, now that there’s no union.

  28. citizenstrange says: Mar 17, 2011 7:19 PM

    Goodell just keeps throwing one BS grandstanding move after another. He is the owner’s lap dog and nothing more.

    There can be no meaningful negotiation without open books. That owners have not budged a fraction of an inch on this.

    They don’t want anyone to see their jaw dropping profits. Taxpayers might wise up and quit building billion dollar stadiums for billionaires.

  29. cured76 says: Mar 17, 2011 7:19 PM

    THIS is the worst deal in the history of sports? Is DeMaurice Smith related to Latrell Sprewell?

  30. waitingguilty says: Mar 17, 2011 7:22 PM

    @brazy44

    Your thought process is extraordinarily stupid.

    It’s like- The passengers in my car are scared of crashing, so I should drive it off a cliff!

  31. jakek2 says: Mar 17, 2011 7:25 PM

    Goodell the low life now finds it necessary to fight dirty. Very aphropos.

    De has this worm right where he wants him. All this shows is that the owners are De-sperate.

    Get em De!!!!!

  32. These pretzels are making me thirsty! says: Mar 17, 2011 7:25 PM

    Huh. $141 million cap for this coming year.

    Where’s that mythical pay cut y’all keep talking about?

  33. vetdana says: Mar 17, 2011 7:28 PM

    Smart move ….Now the ball is in the players court and requires a response. If they choose to not negotiate, the players are going to take a very big hit in the court of public opinion !! The longer this drags out, the more damage it will do to the game. Roger knows that it is very bad for business to alienate the fan base that pays for most of the whole show!

  34. rpiotr01 says: Mar 17, 2011 7:30 PM

    My guess is the players respond to this the same way William Wallace and the other Scots responded to the English in Braveheart.

  35. jakek2 says: Mar 17, 2011 7:32 PM

    And to all you sheep that gargle the owner’s creamy kool-aid……

    Do you really think this (begging for mercy) letter is any revelation??? Do you really think the Kevin Mawaes’, Bullocks, Brees, etc., etc. that sat in on these negotiations didn’t convey this “offer” to their members?

    Everytime I read this blog I fear that you bloggers are a fair cross-section of “educated” Americans. If so, we’re truly screwed.

    SMARTEN UP PEOPLE!

  36. 3octaveFart says: Mar 17, 2011 7:33 PM

    Hmm, he missed the part about opening the books again.

  37. outlawjerseywhales says: Mar 17, 2011 7:36 PM

    I have instructed my broker to move me, heavily, into tar and feathers futures.
    When the players finally realize they have been played by De(tritus) Smith for his next big DC litigation partner gig I am going to make a killing!
    The opt-in price is rising, fellows! Get in now!

  38. dkeyser says: Mar 17, 2011 7:39 PM

    I’d be willing to bet a fish taco dinner that Dipsh*t Smith and his lackeys didnt explain the deal to the 300K a year players. I bet he said the deal was bad and they trused in his dumb ass. Hopefully these guys, who outnumber the multi-millionares, put a bunch of pressure on him to get this solved quick.

  39. stubbyjones says: Mar 17, 2011 7:39 PM

    That sounds like the “worst deal in the history of sports”.

  40. hatesycophants says: Mar 17, 2011 7:44 PM

    @iknowfootball,

    You also have no discernible valuable skills. You also don’t sacrifice your body so some old man can get richer.

    I’m beginning to the feeling that, for those of you who support the owners, there’s just a bit of “Hey, we’re paying ‘them’ for something ‘they’ would be doing anyway. ” It’s fairly obvious.

  41. liquidgrammar says: Mar 17, 2011 7:47 PM

    If Goodell and the owners really cared about the game, they wouldn’t have waited until they got their asses spanked in the television revenue case to make a halfway decent offer!! It’s been their strategy all long to lock the players out! The fact that they tried to garner a “lockout war chest” proves that beyond a shadow of a doubt! The whole lot of you are about as dumb as Georgia peaches……..

  42. jsarge99 says: Mar 17, 2011 7:52 PM

    He should mail checks out to all the players with the letter saying there’s more of that if you stand up to D. Smith. That will piss of the NFLTA.

  43. 3octaveFart says: Mar 17, 2011 7:52 PM

    iknowfootballandyoudont says: Mar 17, 2011 7:06 PM

    “Sounds like a damn good deal to me.”

    Goodell could have offered them a bag of dog sh*t and a used snot-rag and you’d still say that.

  44. garyman1 says: Mar 17, 2011 7:59 PM

    I would love to walk into my bosses office and demand 50% of the revenue…or 40%…. or 30%…or…. you get the picture. It seems to be a very fair offer.

  45. nflpasux says: Mar 17, 2011 8:01 PM

    Nothing’s going to happen until enough players realize that Demaurice is out for himself, only, and could care less about a good deal being on the table.

    It should be obvious to even union loving socialists that the problem in these “negotiations” has been Smith and his union henchmen.

  46. peavey2 says: Mar 17, 2011 8:01 PM

    I guess I’m a little confused about the process here: the Union has decertified, right? So at this point there is no collective bargaining unit representing the players. The players are now individuals with a trade organization but no Union. I wouldn’t think that it is even possible for the owners to try to negotiate with the players as a unit, since there is no Union, I would think no CBA is possible at this point. Am I missing something here? No one can bargain on behalf of the players anymore.

  47. elrushbo2 says: Mar 17, 2011 8:10 PM

    There’s about 50 players that have workout bonuses in their contract. If no agreement is reached soon they will not be able to reach the % of workouts to qualify for said bonus. Excellent…. These will be the first 50 or so players to start losing $$$$ because of DeMoron Smith and his band of idiots. Excellent move by the NFL sending the letter directly to all the players. They may not be as united as the former NFLPA would like us to believe.

  48. r8drn8tn says: Mar 17, 2011 8:30 PM

    Apparently most people who comment either have crappy jobs or a warped view of ownership. Most owners do not make more than the employees unless you count retail or fast food.

    You pay employees who generate revenue. This is why the sales force is typically the highest paid in the company, owner included.

    These owners suck tax payers dry to fund their stadiums. They feed off players to generate revenue and bring in customers.

    50/50 seems reasonable.

  49. ratbastardshanahandjob says: Mar 17, 2011 8:37 PM

    D-Smith showed the players the letter Adolf-Goodell sent to Chinese President Hu Jintao on behalf of Nike. Goodell said their NFL advertiser wants to opt out of their deal with those children makeing Nike’s athletic shoes. Like the NFL owners, Nike is hurting and those kids are going to need to put in more hours for less money. Goodell assured Hu Jintao Nike would negotiate in good faith…..

  50. iknowfootballandyoudont says: Mar 17, 2011 8:38 PM

    @ 30octavefart

    Yes, if Mr. Lord Goodell offered the players a bag of dog sh*t and a used snot-rag I would STILL say the league offered a damn good deal.
    Actually too good of a deal for those greedy punks

  51. jdz3184 says: Mar 17, 2011 8:55 PM

    Adam Schefter reports: “This letter was written in Comic Sans.”

  52. joetoronto says: Mar 17, 2011 9:00 PM

    Screw them, bring on the replacements.

  53. stataddict says: Mar 17, 2011 9:04 PM

    To everyone who thinks the NFLPA* cannot negotiate with the owners due to decertification – that is only partially true.

    However, the lawyers for the plaintiffs in the antitrust suit have every right to negotiate terms of a settlement in that suit. Those settlement terms of that class-action lawsuit essentially become a new CBA.

    That’s why the NFLPA* handpicked the lawyers that would represent the players in the pending Brady, et al v. NFL case.

  54. mnsportsguy79 says: Mar 17, 2011 9:40 PM

    this seams reasonable…lets get going already!

  55. Canyonero says: Mar 17, 2011 10:17 PM

    Adrian Peterson says getting a letter in the mail is like slavery.

  56. sakatak says: Mar 17, 2011 10:18 PM

    Goodell is only earning $1.00/year, he told me. He forgot to say he had to pay for the stamps out of his own pocket. I think he wants this thing settled. There are more stupid players than owners, the screw is turning on the players.

  57. peavey2 says: Mar 17, 2011 10:43 PM

    OK, if the players have launched a class action law suit this makes sense. I didn’t realize that the litigation was also a class action law suit. However, given that, it would appear that this can only be resolved in the courts, no matter what the NFL owners offer at this point directly to the players. Doesn’t make sense for Goodell to send out that letter in that scenario, except for PR with the fans.

  58. bensstinkyfingers says: Mar 17, 2011 11:04 PM

    Clearly fans are choosing which scumbag bandwagon to jump on. I’m pretty sure neither side has the fans best interest in mind during these negotiations. It does appear to me that the League and the owners are wanting to get this done asap, and are more willng to compromise. I’d be willing to bet Tom Brady’s left nut that the majority of players want this done and that Demaurice was a bad choice as a figurehead. His grandstanding and posturing appears that it is more about self promotion and taking a stand against “the man” which is going to equal more less compromising , and dragging this out as long as possible. Take him out of the picture and this deal gets done. GO FANS

  59. amr71 says: Mar 17, 2011 11:21 PM

    Walk into your boss’s office and demand that he open his books and show you all the financials. He’d laugh in your face. The players are employees, not partners.

    Not to mention, the Packers’ books are open for everyone to see, and they show exactly what the owners have been claiming: escalating player costs and declining profits, despite record league revenues. The owners are thinking about the long-term financial health of the league. The players don’t care, and they’re going to end up ruining the NFL with their short-sighted greed.

  60. goldsteel says: Mar 17, 2011 11:36 PM

    Good ol’ Roger is attempting to negotiate through the press. It’s working for everyone who is not involved.
    All of his drivel along with $2.00 will get me a coffee at Starbucks.

    The NFL is dead.

  61. thefiesty1 says: Mar 18, 2011 12:03 AM

    Call a convention. All players, GM’s, and owners must attend. Majority vote of each group prevails. The deal is X, take it or leave it.

  62. upperdecker19 says: Mar 18, 2011 12:56 AM

    Did he text the letter to Favre to save a few cents on postage?

  63. micronin127 says: Mar 18, 2011 8:22 AM

    The issues are not as clear. When Goodell states that each team would spend on average $141 million in salary and benefits he is lumping in health insurance which is expensive and growing at a double-digit rate of inflation, plus a pension benefit that all by itself probably chews up 5% or more of the money.

    Players want to know what the cap is for player salaries, period.

    All this talk about how the benefits are more expensive to provide and are eating into the profitability of the league are obvious to owners who know exactly how much health insurance and funding a pension plan costs.

    Most of the other benefits are low cost by comparison, like life insurance or a dental plan.

    If the benefits in total cost 20% of the money allotted to salary plus benefits, then that would be around $28 million meaning the cap for salaries would be down around $113 million which is about $15 million lower than 2009.

    Without opening the books and getting the players to see how ‘total compensation’ is impacting the teams, they will never even be speaking the same language.

  64. paul82461 says: Mar 18, 2011 8:48 AM

    I dont think slaves can read so he better send someone to help.

  65. fedupsaintsfan says: Mar 18, 2011 9:11 AM

    Just make sure both sides take care of the bench warmers!! They work just as hard as the elite players!!!!

  66. stanklepoot says: Mar 18, 2011 9:51 AM

    amr71 says: Mar 17, 2011 11:21 PM

    Walk into your boss’s office and demand that he open his books and show you all the financials. He’d laugh in your face. The players are employees, not partners.

    Not to mention, the Packers’ books are open for everyone to see, and they show exactly what the owners have been claiming: escalating player costs and declining profits, despite record league revenues. The owners are thinking about the long-term financial health of the league. The players don’t care, and they’re going to end up ruining the NFL with their short-sighted greed.
    _________________________
    I don’t care how many people want to make this comparison, there is no similarity between the NFL and a typical workplace. Does the typical workplace pay it’s employees a percentage of the revenue? No, they pay a straight salary or wage. As such, the only financial info on the company the typical worker needs to know is that the company will stay in business and not be laying people off. For NFL players, it’s much different. Oh, and the players aren’t just workers, they’re also the product. Replace them with lesser players and you have little more than a bloated UFL.

    Now, as for the oh so wise owners and greedy players, you need to ask yourself some questions. Why are costs up? If salaries are pegged to a certain percentage of the revenue, then saying player costs are rising means very little, as they remain a set percentage of the revenue. Therefore, it is other costs that are causing any supposed decrease in profits. Why are the owners so determined not to show their books? Is it because they don’t want everyone to see the real reason for some of these cost increases? How many family members and friends are hired on at bloated salaries to perform unnecessary or poorly defined jobs? Are private jet costs and other expenses not really football related being billed to the team? Now, let’s talk about greed. Who sets the ticket, concession, merchandise, etc prices? Who came up with the idea of PSLs? In other words, who made attending a game with your family so expensive that they’ve priced a number of fans out of the experience…and then blacked out the games because they couldn’t sell all their tickets? The players have no control over this. They simply get a percentage of the take. If the owners want to reduce the players’ salaries, they can simply cut their own prices. They won’t do that unless absolutely forced to, however, no matter what the players’ salaries are. If they can get the money out of you, they’re going to pocket it.

  67. rabidbillsfan says: Mar 18, 2011 10:18 AM

    @ permiepoo

    Are you reading the same post that I am? Those are not static numbers because they represent an increase over time. And your argument makes no sense, theres a reason why the sign a multi-year agreement, so they don’t have to take care of this mess every year just because the NFL popularity went up 20%. It’s people like you ,who do not fully undersatnd the situation, that fuels the players cases, and the real fans anger. Also, this is the only offer I’ve seen, if the NFLPA* wanted to really squash this they would send out a letter stating why this was the “worst deal in the history of sports”, and then add what they had brought up as a counter offer. Well played Godell, well played. NFL 2011!

  68. bbb82 says: Mar 19, 2011 11:56 AM

    At least he is trying. Which is more than the NFLPA can say.

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