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NFLPA* avoided breaking ranks for six days

Antonio Cromartie

Though the NFL generally has done a much better job than the NFLPA* of mastering the P.R. effort since the decertification-litigation-lockout square dance began on Friday, the players have benefited from the fact that none of the players have blown a public gasket regarding the delayed start of free agency, the inability to work out at team facilities, and any other aspect of the current circumstances.

Think about that.  Jason Whitlock predicted — and we agreed with him — in January that the players would crumble quickly.

“This is a totally unfair fight,” Whitlock wrote.  “It’s become cliche to say this is an argument between millionaires and billionaires.  No.  This is an argument between spoiled rich kids and their parents.  Once the parents cut off the money, the mouthy rich kids turn bitch quick.”

So far, the mouthy kids haven’t turned bitch.  The first high-profile breaking of the ranks came Thursday, when Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie, who unloaded on both sides for the lack of a deal the day after the AFC title game, said on his Twitter page that players should go to the draft, and that Cromartie himself will attend.

He was there in 2010, appearing on the side of the big stage for an interview while some in the crowd chanted, “Feed your kids!”

Cromartie’s comments could be his first overt effort to feed his kids by getting to free agency by pressuring the NFLPA*, which clearly wants incoming players to not attend the NFL draft even if they claim they aren’t calling for a boycott, to get a deal done.

Regardless of the motivations, we just want them to get a deal done.  Both sides act like they care about the fans.  If they did, they’d be busting their butts to find some middle ground.

At this point, we think there’s a better chance of Cromartie taking a vow of celibacy.

That said, it will all change if Cromartie and other players begin to vent their frustrations.  We can’t blame them if they do.  With a small group of lawyers and/or players possibly railroading the process toward an April 6 hearing that possibly could go badly for the players, the sooner the players who want talks to continue stand up and make their position known, the better.

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19 Responses to “NFLPA* avoided breaking ranks for six days”
  1. mataug says: Mar 17, 2011 4:40 PM

    “At this point, we think there’s a better chance of Cromartie taking a vow of celibacy.” #winning

  2. umrguy42 says: Mar 17, 2011 4:49 PM

    Is it really “breaking ranks” if it’s Cromartie? It’d be like taking anything Charlie Sheen says right now as representative of the Screen Actor’s Guild…

  3. Deb says: Mar 17, 2011 4:50 PM

    I’d like to see negotiations resume immediately between a small group of knowledgeable, rational, owners and similar-thinking players facilitated by a court-appointed mediator … with Roger Goodell, De Smith, politicians as far from the action as possible. But just as Jerry Jones is the last owner I’d want in the mix, Cromartie is the last player I’d want. These guys have demonstrated time and again their only loyalty is to themselves.

  4. jcrileyesq says: Mar 17, 2011 4:50 PM

    why does anyone listen to him? I’m sure his kids don’t since he can’t remember their names

  5. marvsleezy says: Mar 17, 2011 4:57 PM

    If I were a player I would just chill. Id love to have a year off. Would it really be that bad if you were a player and you had some money saved up?

    Id also let the owners know how tired my body was and how much I was looking forward to this long upcoming period of rest.

  6. zackd2 says: Mar 17, 2011 4:57 PM

    No one takes Antonio Cromartie seriously – players, coach, owners or fans.

  7. duanethomas says: Mar 17, 2011 5:00 PM

    Its works both ways, on the other side how do we know its not a small group of owners/and lawyers who have pushed for a lockout? History has shown going to court has favored the players so why not take that chance. Cromatrie is going to lose respect from his peers and teammates. Its clear whatever comes out his mouth will be motivated by him making child support payments. WHEN this is all over who do you think no matter how ugly this gets, the owners will respect? The guy’s who stood tall on principle and saved their money or the guys due to bad money management skills and being socially irresponsible, crumbled.

  8. eaglebobby says: Mar 17, 2011 5:26 PM

    duanethomas–maybe because it was the OWNERS who were STILL at the bargaining table and are STILL calling for talks to resume–it was the players that walked away. And their boy Doty won’t be hearing the case.

  9. peanutbutter&jelly says: Mar 17, 2011 5:33 PM

    i think that the players who want it to be known that they are for the current deal should speak up real soon because i know i’m losing respect for them and the game very fast and i’m quite sure i’m not the only one

  10. thehighhat says: Mar 17, 2011 5:39 PM

    I support AC on this issue. Brothers got to get paid! I do not however, support him on his concepts on parenting.

  11. contract says: Mar 17, 2011 5:39 PM

    Some players need to get together and throw Cromartie a blanket party.

  12. jakek2 says: Mar 17, 2011 5:46 PM

    Mike – you’re a Jersey guy and here you are encouraging players to break ranks. I’m ashamed of you.

  13. mick730 says: Mar 17, 2011 5:57 PM

    “I’d like to see negotiations resume immediately between a small group of knowledgeable, rational, owners and similar-thinking players ….”

    “Thinking players”?? That’s priceless. Maybe Adrian Peterson and Mendenhall would qualify?

  14. Deb says: Mar 17, 2011 6:34 PM

    mick730 says …

    “Thinking players”?? That’s priceless. Maybe Adrian Peterson and Mendenhall would qualify?

    ————————————————-
    If you had taken time to read the commentary on the “slavery” topic in The Nation, you’d have discovered Mendenhall made some interesting and deeply considered sociological points about the white owners and largely black participants in modern-day professional team sports. But why educate yourself when you can snark?

    You have the same attitude as many owners. All you see are men of color with what you assume is a substandard intelligence. That is the kind of disrespect players have been talking about for a week–a condescension from many owners and their representatives who simply believe they are better than the players because they are rich white men and players are athletes and 70 percent of them happen to be African American.

    That arrogance is the primary reason for the impasse and the lockout! And I hate to tell you this, but you may think you are in the same class with the owners, but I guarantee most of them would consider middle-class Americans of any race to be in the same class as the players.

  15. dkeyser says: Mar 17, 2011 7:51 PM

    @ Deb..
    It doesnt matter what race plays the game of football. The Nation fails to address one major difference between slavery and the NFL..In the NFL the players can leave any time they wish. They get paid well. They arent killed or beaten if they dont perform well. To even suggest that they are slaves is an insult, no f*ck that, its a kick to the balls and a slap in the face to any person that had to endure it.
    And being how Peterson is on a good will trip to Africa right now, hows about he finds some real slaves and see how they would feel about trading places. He can visit Sudan, Chad, or Ethiopia and find modern slavery.

  16. burntorangehorn says: Mar 17, 2011 9:14 PM

    We should’ve had a pool on whether it would be a defensive back or wide receiver who opened his trap first.

  17. scottnrsv says: Mar 18, 2011 11:40 AM

    I’m a Jets fan and I know not to listen to anything Cro says. I want the jets to re-sign him, just with a claus to keep him quiet!

  18. Deb says: Mar 18, 2011 1:09 PM

    There was absolutely no rational reason for the following comment to be censored. The link I included was the one GREGG included in his article. If you didn’t want people to read the piece, then your PFT WRITER shouldn’t have provided it!

  19. Deb says: Mar 18, 2011 1:10 PM

    @dkeyser …

    I disagree with Peterson and others using terms like slavery and holocaust to describe lesser events, and have criticized his original comments for the reasons you’ve mentioned. Slavery isn’t an ancient issue; it’s a modern-day tragedy affecting people all over the globe.

    But I was offended by Mick730’s laughing assumption that it would be impossible to find “rational, knowledgeable” men among the players to resume negotiations. And now that others have elaborated on the foundation for Peterson’s comments, though I still disagree, at least I understand there was rational thought behind behind them.

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