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Brady case discloses harsh realities of the lockout

LockoutGetty AP

On Monday, the plaintiffs in the Tom Brady antitrust lawsuit against the NFL filed the final written paperwork in support of the motion to end the lockout while the litigation proceeds.  Apart from the arguments raised in response to the league’s 49-page brief, one of the exhibits attached to the players’ document caught our eye.

NFL senior V.P. of labor litigation and policy Dennis Curran, in a letter dated March 11, 2011, sent to NFLPA* executive director DeMaurice Smith a copy of the document provided to all players upon institution of the lockout.

The blunt, candid terms illustrate in 12 separate points the potency of the action the league opted to take.

They appear in full after the break.

1.  “You may not enter any Club facility or the stadium, except for the purpose of attending a non-Club event or Club charitable event.”

2.  “You will not receive any compensation from the Club.”

3.  “The Club will not pay for or provide health insurance or other active-player benefits or services.  You have already received separate communications regarding your option to pay for health benefits continuation under COBRA.”

4.  “You will not be permitted to perform any services under your Player Contract or otherwise perform any duties for the Club.  This includes, but is not limited to, any duties you would otherwise be performing at Club facilities, such as playing, practicing, working out, attending meetings, consulting with Club medical or training staff (except as provided below), and making promotional appearances for the Club.”

5.  “Testing and treatment obligations under the Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse and Policy on Anabolic Steroids and Related Substances will cease.”

6.   “If you need information from the Club’s human resources department (such as copies of your tax information, child support correspondence, or to arrange collection of personal property you may have left on Club premises, please call [human resources representative name and title] at [contact number].”

7.  “Except for the human resources representative noted above, Club personnel (coaches, trainers, and other non-player staff) will not communicate with you regarding football or any other Club or NFL business issues.  This means that they will not communicate with you regarding any issues relating to your current or potential contract terms, or about collective bargaining negotiations between the NFL and the Union.  This will be the case whether you are currently under contract with the Club or not.”

8.  “If you have an agent, the same procedures stated above concerning access to Club facilities and communications with the Club will apply to your agent.”

9.  “The Club will not give you any further instructions or guidance as to workouts or training.”

10.  “Except for injured players rehabilitating from football-related injuries, the Club will not provide, arrange or pay for facilities, equipment or other services relating to training or workouts.  Injured players will receive a separate letter regarding their treatment and rehabilitation during a lockout.  Clubs will not provide or pay for treatment for non-football related injuries or illnesses.”

11.  “Club security and Player Development staff will not assist you with legal or other problems.”

12.  “If you engage in any activities during the lockout, even training, you do so at your own risk.  Any injury resulting from such activities will not be the responsibility or liability of the Club or the NFL.  You are free to engage in alternative employment during the lockout, but you will not be protected by the Club or the NFL against injuries during such employment.  Once a new labor agreement is reached between the NFL and the Union, you may be expected to report to the Club immediately.  Therefore, you should structure any alternate employment so you can return to the Club promptly after a new labor agreement is reached.”

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48 Responses to “Brady case discloses harsh realities of the lockout”
  1. scudbot says: Mar 28, 2011 9:58 PM

    Yup, that’s pretty much SOP for a lockout. The equivalent is true for a walkout/strike. Both are legitimate, legal and expected negotiation tactics according to the NLRB. I suspect that Brady et al didn’t really bother to get a clue before deciding to go for even more gold.

  2. txbeerbuster says: Mar 28, 2011 10:00 PM

    i guess vick has to buy his own valtrex

  3. hobartbaker says: Mar 28, 2011 10:05 PM

    If you are bleeding to death on the street the Club will not acknowledge the fact or attempt to help you in any way. Further to that cleaning costs as the result of spurting blood or body parts is the player’s responsibility, or that of next of kin.

  4. blackshirtz says: Mar 28, 2011 10:06 PM

    I have no problems with this whatsoever. This is in part what the players walked away from.

  5. paul82461 says: Mar 28, 2011 10:17 PM

    TRANSLATION: just stay home till we call you.

  6. northeastern31 says: Mar 28, 2011 10:19 PM

    Wait…the players have beef with this because?……….. This is the road they chose to take. The owners didnt get up and walk out. Plus, to me , personally, it seems as though you bozo’s had it good.

    So stop crying and get another job with your ” big university” degrees until you swallow your pride.

  7. rovibe says: Mar 28, 2011 10:23 PM

    Anyone else wanna take up a collection for these poor players so they can still buy health insurance and go on nice vacations during the lockout?

    Cry me a freakin’ river.

  8. patmccabe69 says: Mar 28, 2011 10:25 PM

    #6 “If you need information from the Club’s human resources department (such as copies of your tax information, child support correspondence….”

    aka – The Cromartie Clause

  9. gridassassin says: Mar 28, 2011 10:28 PM

    Spend time with your Super model wife 24-7 as u globetrot across the world with a ridiculously ghey looking pony tail connected to the back of your skull.

  10. bigbeefyd says: Mar 28, 2011 10:31 PM

    If you want to dance, you have to put a quarter in the jukebox. ZERO > MY SYMPATHY

  11. kom2k10 says: Mar 28, 2011 10:35 PM

    I particularly liked the part where it said they are free to pursue other employment opportunities…. I’d love to see that!

  12. pmars64 says: Mar 28, 2011 10:53 PM

    Cue the chorus of mediocre minds spouting off about over-paid players, blah, blah, blah… If you don’t like how much the players make, don’t watch the frigging games. You’ll see salaries go down in a hurry. You guys create these “over-paid” players by tuning in, buying the merchandise, tickets, etc.

    Last I saw in this dispute, the players haven’t asked for anything except proof from the owners that they are or will be losing money. I’m sure if your bosses asked you to fork over 20% of your salary just because he said to trust him, you’d do it happily as he drove off in his BMW.

  13. profootballwalk says: Mar 28, 2011 10:53 PM

    “blackshirtz says: Mar 28, 2011 10:06 PM

    I have no problems with this whatsoever. This is in part what the players walked away from.”

    It’s a lockout, not a strike. The players didn’t walk away, the owners, you know, LOCKED THEM OUT.

  14. 44kyle says: Mar 28, 2011 10:53 PM

    Why does the NFL waste all their time talking about unimportant stuff like this? What about the important things, like what if a dude and his momma shoot at somebody?

  15. thefiesty1 says: Mar 28, 2011 10:54 PM

    Looks pretty straight forward and covers all the points. Maybe the players should do a little rethinking and accept the owners’ last offer.

  16. 44kyle says: Mar 28, 2011 10:55 PM

    Will the League help out with legal advice if a guy gets sued for 200k for a little bit of bling?

  17. saberstud75 says: Mar 28, 2011 11:01 PM

    What did the players expect from a lockout? These clowns have been catered to for so long that they don’t know how to take care of themselves.

    I am glad they are getting a dose of reality.

    I hear that escalades and jewlery will be going for cheap on ebay in about 2 weeks.

  18. realfann says: Mar 28, 2011 11:03 PM

    @scudbot

    You mean before the owners decided to go for even more gold.

    The players have not asked for a bigger share and have, in fact, offered to take less.

    But don’t let the facts get in your way.

  19. jbaxt says: Mar 28, 2011 11:05 PM

    I can’t wait for a player to blow out a knee in their own workouts. I don’t wish that on anyone but it’s going to happen. Then we’ll see whose side that player is on. Especially after they void their contract due to the clause that prevents them from participating in outside training/sporting activities.

    I’m finding it hard to find any level of sympathy for a 3rd stringer making $300,000 to be on the practice squad let alone for a player making $5million a year, to play a GAME.

    The outspoken millionaires are killing the careers of the guys who are just trying to get on a team. They actually need the offseason to prove themselves.

  20. realfann says: Mar 28, 2011 11:06 PM

    I’m on the side of the players but I’d say there’s nothing very “harsh” here.

    The owners just said don’t come to work and don’t call us, we’ll call you.

    Nothing to get very excited about.

    Unless you’re a plant.

  21. nflfan101 says: Mar 28, 2011 11:13 PM

    Just about everything stated here has been reported in the news and on this site. Where is the news?

    Oh! That’s right. You want us to feel sorry for the players even though their “leaders” are the ones who actually chose this path by walking out on the negotiations.

  22. footballhistorian says: Mar 28, 2011 11:18 PM

    I think that #’s 6 & 11 will have the biggest effect…judging by reading the newsfeeds

  23. wtfru2 says: Mar 28, 2011 11:19 PM

    Don’t call us we’ll call you. I hope the owners come up with replacement players! They may not run a 4.3 40 but they’ll all be on an equal plane and not a crybaby bunch. They may even appreciate the opportunity to become an NFL player!

    It’ll still be my team with UfL type players taking on someone else’s UFL type players. Maybe we could even get their wages to a 100,000 plus range and cut our ticket prices by half!

    If the players think that they are going to get Joe public to support them getting another million or two, they’re nuts. Thanks all for listening to my banter.

  24. welzy says: Mar 28, 2011 11:25 PM

    The NFLPA* has around 500 members. Do they all get a vote in this? How about we ask them in a blind ballot? Options include:

    1. Continue current strategy
    2. Elect new player representatives, hire new lawyers.
    3. I am being pressured to vote #1, so I respectfully will not vote.

    Maybe they need a sub-union of backups to audit the existing power hungry idiots.

  25. bigd88 says: Mar 28, 2011 11:28 PM

    In before Brian Cushing loads up on roids until the lockout is lifted in an attempt to achieve relevance again.

  26. str82dvd says: Mar 28, 2011 11:32 PM

    Probably passe of me to say, but does anyone think the evil white male owners stand a chance against a lady judge?

  27. Deb says: Mar 28, 2011 11:53 PM

    @scudbot …

    But Brady, et al, didn’t decide to go for more gold. The owners decided to go for more gold. And the owners imposed the lockout.

    You guys blow my mind. You’ve created a fantasy in your heads that the millionaire players you despise (so why do you watch this game anyway?) demanded more money and went on strike. But that’s not what happened. The owners demanded more money and shut down the league.

  28. jdz3184 says: Mar 29, 2011 12:20 AM

    Are Lovie Smith and Greg Olsen in violation of anything while judging the McDonald’s Dunk Contest?

    Or only if they talk to each other?

    Or only if they talk to each other about football?

    Either way had to be awkward.

  29. refuse2fail says: Mar 29, 2011 12:50 AM

    It is very easy to cry that the millionaire players are being babies, but ultimately the owners are greedy bastards.

    They want far too much off the top. Owners have been systematically destroying the game over the past few years. They’re all about building unnecessary new stadiums, forcing out fans who’ve had seats for decades, and attempting to make a buck ANY way they can.

    Shame on these scumbag owners.

  30. stevincinci says: Mar 29, 2011 12:57 AM

    Oh No!!! Not COBRA!

  31. lostsok says: Mar 29, 2011 2:13 AM

    I seriously cannot believe how stupid fans are, based on the above comments.

    We’re talking about owners who are so rich their HOBBY is…OWNING A FOOTBALL TEAM.

    And you’re taking their side because the players, who are merely good enough to collectively earn 9 billion dollars in revenue, and who have spent most of their childhood and literally their entire adult life dedicating themselves to the sport YOU claim to love…want a fair deal?

    Retarded.

    I know we’re not supposed to use that word any more…but it’s the only that fits. You’re all retarded.

    And the next time one of these million- or billionaires takes YOUR hard earned tax money to refurbish or build a stadium, THEN complains about paying his taxes…you’ll probably support that, too, huh?

    It’s no wonder the rich in this country cornhole the poor without end. You LET them, then do their dirty work when someone stands up to it.

    Make no mistake. If Dan Snyder and Jerry Jones thought they could make 9 billion by outsourcing the player jobs to India or hiring illegal Mexicans…they’d do it in a heartbeat.

    And you’d probably buy Raj or Pedro’s jersey for $20 bucks because you’re Washington or Dallas’ “biggest fan.”

  32. dkrause71 says: Mar 29, 2011 3:11 AM

    If your locked out- the teams or any of its personnel cannot talk to you or help you in any manner. That’s all this boils down too. The harsh reality, these guys have it way to soft if this is harsh. Its the adult equivalency of mommy, Tommy won’t play with me.

  33. jcnuk says: Mar 29, 2011 4:05 AM

    This was sent after the union decertified and the League locked them out? Why is it that in point 12 they’re still talking about the NFL and Union making a deal. The Union had disbanded by this time?

  34. pixelito says: Mar 29, 2011 4:34 AM

    Hey dimwit, The players didn’t walk away from a fair existing deal, the owners did.

    Don’t try to act smart, you lack the firepower.

  35. concoursrider says: Mar 29, 2011 4:59 AM

    6. “If you need information from the Club’s human resources department (such as copies of your tax information, child support correspondence, please call [human resources representative name and title] at [contact number].”

    You think Cromartie makes 7 separate phone calls to HR for child support information or do you think he does it in one?

  36. jdvallee says: Mar 29, 2011 6:18 AM

    OBJECTION YOUR HONOR!!! These wounds are “self-inflicted”!

  37. qj1984 says: Mar 29, 2011 6:31 AM

    @northeastern31

    Look disagree with the players all you want but the owners ARE the ones that walked out, for good reason but its fact. The owners NOT the players opted out of the CBA. The owners enforced a lockout, the players did not go on strike. And the owners would have enforced the lockout whether the union decertified or not. They have admitted as much.

    Dont let dislike for the union* tactics gloss over the facts of what actually happened.

  38. vetdana says: Mar 29, 2011 7:21 AM

    I’m sure if your bosses asked you to fork over 20% of your salary just because he said to trust him, you’d do it happily as he drove off in his BMW.

    Are you kidding ? I know of at least a dozen companies locally that have done JUST THAT in the last few months. People are losing their jobs and homes all accross the nation, with the few job openings that are available, paying hardly enough to put food on the table. Welcome to the REAL world !!

  39. jc1958cool says: Mar 29, 2011 8:03 AM

    no. 5 no policy for drugs! roger pinnochio says he’ll deal with it later, canyou say more lawsuits?

    no. 8 can’t talk to your agent! roger pinnochio thinks he’s fidel castro, can you say more lawsuits?

    the league is a ____ joke!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  40. broncobeta says: Mar 29, 2011 8:19 AM

    lostsok says:
    Mar 29, 2011 2:13 AM
    I seriously cannot believe how stupid fans are, based on the above comments.

    We’re talking about owners who are so rich their HOBBY is…OWNING A FOOTBALL TEAM.
    ——————————

    You have it all wrong.

    Owning is a business, playing is a hobby.

    Coordinating employment positions, generating development, funding billion dollar stadiums, and being 100% responsible for financial and legal hardships is not a hobby.

    Carrying a ball up a field while other dudes try to tackle you, that is a hobby.

    I thought they taught you that in preschool.

  41. neilpountney says: Mar 29, 2011 8:36 AM

    Don’t call us we’ll call you. I hope the owners come up with replacement players! They may not run a 4.3 40 but they’ll all be on an equal plane and not a crybaby bunch. They may even appreciate the opportunity to become an NFL player!

    It’ll still be my team with UfL type players taking on someone else’s UFL type players. Maybe we could even get their wages to a 100,000 plus range and cut our ticket prices by half!
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    But here is the thing replacement or otherwise ticket prices will remain the same, beer will still be $10 a go and your hotdogs will still be $6 a shot. This is simply a game of brinkmanship and you have to thing it will go down to the wire before it is resolved. For all the age of people involved here there is very little maturity on show. Both sides are to blame and neither side gives a damn about you the fan. Remember that next time you cheer on your team!

  42. fltharley says: Mar 29, 2011 8:40 AM

    i cant believe some of these people here. you say the players are spoiled and making millions , do you have any idea how many billions the owners are making and the owners are crying saying they need more money ?. the owners are the ones messing up this game we love. they want a 18 game schedule so bad. a 18 game schedule will make them 1.2 billion more. so there willing to change the game make it a two hand touch game to get what they want. i dont blame the players seems to me there the ones that want to play this violent sport and there standing up to the owners. ive dropped my season tickets and wont watch this year. if only the people would stand up against our politicians and started doinn something about the rich peoplel who just cant live without another billion or two. isnt the greed in this country reached enough all ready ?

  43. cshearing says: Mar 29, 2011 10:33 AM

    Wow, pro-league workers out in force I see. Downvoting the factually-accurate statements that it is the owners that stopped football, not the players. Sure they both have some responsibility for the whole mess, but it is a lockout, not a strike. That fact is inarguable.

  44. welzy says: Mar 29, 2011 11:50 AM

    The other fact that is inarguable is that the last deal was lopsided for the players. Tagliabue’s Revenge. If the paycuts in a new CBA come only from Rookie contracts, it’s a step forward.

  45. Deb says: Mar 29, 2011 12:26 PM

    @broncobeta …

    Your envy of the players is palpable. If it were that easy to become an elite athlete and make millions of dollars, then why aren’t you doing it?

    Those men have taken their natural gifts and worked to develop them since childhood–often despite growing up in conditions that weren’t exactly conducive to personal and physical development. Their entire lives have been spent in the quest to be better 1/10th of a second faster or to jump 1/8th of an inch higher than the next man. And they can’t let down for a second or they’ll be passed by the guy behind them. They didn’t just wake up one morning and say, “I believe I’ll play pro football.” :roll:

  46. thomasreilly says: Mar 29, 2011 4:24 PM

    I am generally very open minded about employer/employee disagreements, but in this case it seems difficult to rationalize the owners case.

    – we are not making enough money, and the last deal was bad for us (owners)

    – take our word for this, because we will not show you our financial statements (which would at least make their case more believable.

    – we are locking you out, and not agreeing fulfill the contracts we signed. No pay, no benefits- the contract we signed is null and void.

    How would you react if your boss told you this tomorrow morning? “all of you go home until you are willing to be paid less money, because I am not making enough. Take my word for it, even though I gave you my word on a contract, and on a collective bargaining agreement and then reneged on my word.” I don’t think I would take them at their word.

    I wonder if the players have considered negotiating with the UFL. I bet they would be willing to give them a better offer….

  47. thomasreilly says: Mar 29, 2011 4:53 PM

    Wasn’t there an extension for the CBA which was set to go into place when the old CBA expired? Didn’t the owners lock the players out to prevent this from going into effect?

  48. Deb says: Mar 29, 2011 6:22 PM

    thomasreilly says:
    Wasn’t there an extension for the CBA which was set to go into place when the old CBA expired? Didn’t the owners lock the players out to prevent this from going into effect?

    ————————————————-
    No. The CBA had another two years to run but an opt-out clause allowed either party to nullify the agreement prior to expiration. The owners chose to exercise the clause and the sides were trying to negotiate a new agreement.

    The lockout is a strategy, almost like an owners’ strike. It’s the owners’ way of playing hardball and forcing the players to capitulate to their demands. While it’s in effect, players receive no pay, no contact with coaches or trainers, cannot use team facilities, cannot continue team-sponsored drug-treatment programs, etc. No free-agent deals can be made. The owners hired Bob Batterman, the architect of the NHL’s lockout, to lead their team. And until they were stopped by federal court order, they were trying to improperly funnel TV revenues into a lockout fund to keep them flush in case the lockout canceled the season. So they’d been planning this strategy a long time.

    The union decertified to try and stop the lockout. The existence of the union has allowed the 32 NFL clubs to operate as a single unit with certain anti-trust exemptions. By decertifying, the NFLPA hopes to argue that 32 separate companies are colluding to fix salaries. They’ve applied for an injunction to lift the lockout while the case is being decided.

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