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“Lockout insurance” case keeps rolling

DavidDotyGetty Getty Images

As the new antitrust case against the NFL begins to percolate before Judge Susan Nelson, the old antitrust case still lingers before Judge David Doty.

The Associated Press reports that the NFL filed on Wednesday a written response to the NFLPA*’s request to make public pages and pages and pages of documents in the “lockout insurance” case.

Given the manner in which the players have used the March 1 ruling in the dispute as both as P.R. tool and a rallying cry, the NFLPA* surely wants those documents to be made public so that more mileage can be made out of the reality that the NFL, under the guise of maximizing TV revenue to be shared with the players, cut a deal for $4.3 billion to be paid during a lockout, while the players get nothing and like it.

Ultimately, Judge Doty must decide the remedy for the league’s violation of the expired labor deal, resulting from the lining up of the “lockout insurance.”  It’s widely expected that, regardless of how it all shakes out, the NFL won’t have the use of that money.

Doty also still has on his docket a collusion claim arising from the allegedly concerted failure of teams to not sign restricted free agents in 2010.

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25 Responses to ““Lockout insurance” case keeps rolling”
  1. eagleswin says: Mar 17, 2011 9:24 AM

    I still have a few questions regarding this case.

    1)

  2. chapnastier says: Mar 17, 2011 9:27 AM

    There was absolutely no collusion last year, just evidence of wise business decisions due to the anticipation of the lockout situation.

  3. eagleswin says: Mar 17, 2011 9:33 AM

    I still have a few questions regarding this case.

    I know the league took less revenue so that the loan was available for the lockout but :

    1) Did they take less on the front end or the back end of the TV deal?

    If they took it off of the front end (ie. the part of the deal that was covered under the CBA), then the players have a case.

    If they took it off the backend (ie .. 2011-2013) then it’s none of the players business as the CBA is expired. If the league can successfully argue that they didn’t take less in 2009 and 2010 then they should still have access to the lockout money. The players have no legal expectation of a guaranteed percentage of the revenue proceeds from 2011- absent a binding CBA. Currently there is none.

    Am I understanding it correctly?

  4. eagleswin says: Mar 17, 2011 9:39 AM

    A related question. What if the owners went to the networks today, with the CBA expired, and asked for the same deal from the networks? Would Judge Doty still be an issue?

    It seems to me he would have no say in the matter as the players have no binding agreement with the owners.

  5. moggy6actual says: Mar 17, 2011 9:41 AM

    More legal expenses for everyone….who can keep paying the longest?

  6. 3octaveFart says: Mar 17, 2011 9:43 AM

    chapnastier says: Mar 17, 2011 9:27 AM

    “There was absolutely no collusion last year, just evidence of wise business decisions due to the anticipation of the lockout situation.”

    You’ll make an excellent drone.

  7. bleedsoe9mm says: Mar 17, 2011 9:44 AM

    isn’t having lockout insurance a little like buying life insurance then faking your own death ?

  8. Rhode Island Patriots Fan says: Mar 17, 2011 9:55 AM

    Didn’t U.S. District Court Judge David Doty already deny the local media’s request to unseal this material? If the “former” players union request to unseal these commercially sensitive transcripts, exhibits, etc. is overly broad, then Judge Doty should also reject their request.

  9. chapnastier says: Mar 17, 2011 9:57 AM

    @ 30octave

    Good morning to you too sir.

  10. mick730 says: Mar 17, 2011 9:58 AM

    “You’ll make an excellent drone.”

    That’s funny coming from a union guy because union members are nothing but mindless drones when they follow the likes of DeMaurice “Can you Dig it?” Smith and Richard Trumka.

  11. ditkasmustache says: Mar 17, 2011 10:00 AM

    What’s most interesting in this case is the way the league DEMANDED that the networks (and cable) structure this deal they way THEY wanted it structured.

    Part of the evidence in the case are emails and memos from various “broadcast partners” of the NFL complaining of both the tactics (“This is the deal-take it or leave it!”) and of the sleazy way it was being done to screw the players.

    Lets not forget the basis of this suit. The NFL has a fiduciary responsibility to the players (since they share revenue) to negotiate the best possible deal. In this case the the league did not do that and the Judge rightly called them on it.

  12. bluepike says: Mar 17, 2011 10:15 AM

    As many lawyers as possible are “on the clock” now. None of them are principles in this matter – they’re right “in the middle” like the smart parasites that they are. They want all this litigation to drag on as long as possible ( hence no further negotiations or offers per George Atallah) so they can “siphon off” as much money as they can.>p/>

  13. mrjames21 says: Mar 17, 2011 10:16 AM

    eagleswin says:
    Mar 17, 2011 9:33 AM
    I still have a few questions regarding this case.

    I know the league took less revenue so that the loan was available for the lockout but :

    1) Did they take less on the front end or the back end of the TV deal?

    If they took it off of the front end (ie. the part of the deal that was covered under the CBA), then the players have a case.

    If they took it off the backend (ie .. 2011-2013) then it’s none of the players business as the CBA is expired. If the league can successfully argue that they didn’t take less in 2009 and 2010 then they should still have access to the lockout money. The players have no legal expectation of a guaranteed percentage of the revenue proceeds from 2011- absent a binding CBA. Currently there is none.

    Am I understanding it correctly?

    Even if they took it off the back end, the fact that the OWNERS opted out of the CBA makes that argument void.

  14. 3octaveFart says: Mar 17, 2011 10:29 AM

    mick730 says: Mar 17, 2011 9:58 AM

    “That’s funny coming from a union guy because union members are nothing but mindless drones…”

    Drones don’t have rights, much less a seat at the bargaining table.

  15. eagleswin says: Mar 17, 2011 10:33 AM

    mrjames21 says:
    Mar 17, 2011 10:16 AM

    Even if they took it off the back end, the fact that the OWNERS opted out of the CBA makes that argument void.

    How so? They did nothing illegal by opting out of the CBA. I think you would have a hard time convincing people that the NFL wouldn’t have opted out of the CBA without the lockout insurance money. I would bet they have a contingency plan in place.

    Another question. Take Peyton Manning who makes, I would have to guess millions yearly on product endorsements (especially on TV). Many of those commercials reference his football career (ie .. shot in a stadium with him throwing passes, or wearing bubblewrap football pads, etc). Manning is clearly earning revenue related to football on television. If the players are revenue sharing partners with the NFL when it comes to TV revenue, why aren’t the players chipping in any of their related revenue?

    Wouldn’t any endorsement that referenced a football player’s career while a member of the NFLPA be subject?

  16. nflpasux says: Mar 17, 2011 10:55 AM

    Doty’s player-friendly rulings won’t survive the appeals process. By the time this all rolls up into a Supreme Court verdict (around 2014), Doty’s major decisions will be unravelled and he can join the Duke lacrosse players’ prosecutor in an embarassing end to his legal career.

  17. hobartbaker says: Mar 17, 2011 11:16 AM

    Great GrandDoty races the Reaper to try to empty his docket.

  18. leftcoastnative says: Mar 17, 2011 11:21 AM

    I am in favor of Doty releasing all of the documents and files regarding the “lockout insurance” the owners negotiated with TV deals totaling over $4Billion because it plays directly into the argument that owners intended to build the war chest several years ago as a means of leverage in bargaining against the NFLPA.

    Additionally, by lowballing the TV packages for several years in exchange for the $4.3 B war chest, the owners did not negotiate in good faith for the total worth of TV revenues for broadcast of NFL games and thus shorted the players and the NFLPA of revenues that should have contributed to the shared revenue pool and to the player’s salaries.

    The league should face fines and penalties imposed by Doty and be made to make whole the NFLPA the amount that has been shorted the players through the conclusion of this renegotiated TV deal. This money should be taken out of the owner’s shares after revenues are distributed.

  19. radrhatr says: Mar 17, 2011 11:40 AM

    Wouldn’t it be nice for the normal people, if they could hand pick the judge they were going in front of?

  20. 8man says: Mar 17, 2011 11:46 AM

    Which came first? The chicken or the egg?

    In this case, players or owners? Well if there weren’t owners, there wouldn’t have been teams or a league to play on. Further, who negotiated the first and all succeeding major television contracts? The owners.

    Would there have been a union without the owners? No. How do you have a collective bargaining organization without first having someone to bargain with?

    It’s as if the current group of players believes the owners and the league can’t make money without them. They have. They can. They will. Game over.

    So to you union guys, remember two things. One, many ownerships tolerate your presence because it can still be profitable with a CBA situation. And two, unions don’t make the overall pie any bigger, they just slice it into extra pieces. When number one changes, so does your employment.

    I’m still amazed by what the owners offered. They must feel they are at a critical juncture in their growth and are willing to be beneficent to keep the machine rolling. Because in reality, it doesn’t matter who puts on those uniforms, people will watch.

    And being someone who feels left somewhat bereft by ties, I’m going to be disappointed unless there is a clear winner in this situation.

  21. eagleswin says: Mar 17, 2011 12:10 PM

    Another question just occurred to me. Wasn’t it the NFLPA (not the NFLPA*) who filed the complaint? Didn’t the union decertify and in theory no longer exist? How is this case continuing on without a plaintiff? The league has no obligation to the NFLPA trade association nor to any individual players in this regard.

    Didn’t the players, by dissolving their union, give up any rights in this case? There’s noone left on the players side who has a right to question the league’s business decision regarding the TV contract. The only entity that did was the union.

  22. chapnastier says: Mar 17, 2011 12:43 PM

    @ eagleswin

    Excellent points, questions that it appears no members of the media are even willing to look into, including this entire site. It’s sad.

  23. 8man says: Mar 17, 2011 2:12 PM

    He looks like Mr. Pitt!

    ELAINE: …..Excuse me, Mr. Pitt? Would it be alright if I got you the socks tomorrow?

    PITT: Tomorrow?

    ELAINE: Yes.

    PITT: But I was hoping for my new socks today!

    ELAINE: Well, it’s just one more day.

    PITT: I’m sorry. I must have them today.

  24. cincyeaglefan says: Mar 17, 2011 2:36 PM

    @eagleswin

    Did Peyton Manning not play football before he joined the Colts? He was a brand at Tennessee. He never uses a Colts logo or any colts gear in his commercials. So that argument wouldn’t hold water. It’s the same reason they make video games with NFL players without the real team names.

  25. fedupsaintsfan says: Mar 18, 2011 9:18 AM

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

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