Jeff Saturday thinks appeals on antitrust case will end by early August


Colts center Jeff Saturday joined NFL Network host Rich Eisen for a lengthy and thoughtful interview on NFL Total Access that has aired over the last two nights.

(We recommend checking out the whole thing here.)

The interview was so reasonable, we were reminded again that the essential reasons for the lockout are unreasonable from a fan’s perspective.

The players and owners will ultimately settle this business negotiation.  It will likely have similar terms to the ones that both sides could come up with now, if they weren’t so interested in exercising every bit of leverage first.   For now, that means we are waiting for the upcoming antitrust lawsuit to move forward on April 6.

Eisen asked Saturday when he thinks this will all end.

“My opinion on this thing is, and obviously my hope, is that we win in April. And if we win in April but the owners say, ‘Ok look, we lost the TV case, we lost this case, let’s get a settlement going, let’s get whatever we’ve got to do to get a product back and get something settled.’ Or if they appeal it and it goes, as you said, on appeal, at least in July you get to that point,” Saturday replied.

At that point, Eisen asked if Saturday thought appeals would be exhausted by July, sending players back to work.

“When we had outside counsel come in and give us kind of how the courts in Minnesota and how it kind of works out, they projected the latest in that July, maybe early August-type date,” Saturday said.  “So when we’re making our decision, we based our decision on that type of timing . . . So I would not foresee this going past that point.”

As Florio has pointed out a number of times, no one really knows what the results of the case will be or how the timing will work.  These are just best guesses and believing in any concrete timeline could be dangerous.

For the sake of NFL fans, we hope the projections that Saturday received wind up being correct.

29 responses to “Jeff Saturday thinks appeals on antitrust case will end by early August

  1. “Ok look, we lost the TV case, we lost this case”

    Look Jeff, they won’t lose the case because you guys are clearly in the wrong. Whoever your “counsel” is needs to be fired and you guys need to get back to the negotiating table and present a counteroffer to the owners. That is how negotiations work, not by lawsuits.

  2. It is amazing how pro player PFT is as compared to the comments. It looks to me like the vast majority of the comments are against the players.

  3. If the ruling in Minnesota goes against the NFL, I fully expect the league to appeal to the 8th Circuit in Missouri where I fully expect them to win. I also don’t believe that the league has hired David Boice (sp) simply to write their brief for the judge in Minnesota. The owners are not going to continue operations under the existing setup; it simply doesn’t work. They were talked into a huge mistake in 2006 and they are not going to repeat it so this is the time they are going to make the change, even if it means losing the 2011 season.

    The players are making a killing right now, and the league’s last offer is a good one; it allows the player to continue to make a killing salary wise, but it slows the growth of their salaries in the future. Anyone with an ounce of common sense can see that it is the players who are the impediment to a reasonable deal and who also can be described as the “greedy” party.

  4. During this whole mess I have have continuing lost respect for Saturday. You guys could be done if NFLPA* would negotate a deal. But as stated by Mr. Saturday, they already “knew” what is going to happen when it hits the courts.

    Hey big dummy, should have done this at the beginning and we might see a season this year.

  5. If this goes into August, these spoiled brats (both sides) are going to find that they are no longer fighting over nine billion, but a helluva a lot less.

    I’m very much starting to be turned off, and there’s plenty of people who care way less than I do about pro football that are probably already there.

    If this drags through the summer the damage will take decades to repair.

  6. Well by then players will be out of shape, in jail, broke, and it’ll pretty much be a lost season. When they do return most will go on IR after all the hamstring pulls/tears/ and all the other injuries that lack of training and football actvity will do to you when you only have a week or two before real hitting begins.

  7. chapnastier says: Mar 30, 2011 12:30 PM

    Look Jeff, they won’t lose the case because you guys are clearly in the wrong.

    Except the players are not in the wrong.

    If the owners felt they would have more leverage after April 6 than they do today, they would not be begging the players to return to negotiating. They would be hoping the players go to court.

    The owners’ are trying to apply public pressure to get the players to stop litigating and start negotiating, because they know that once inside the courtroom, the law will be with the players and not the owners.

    Both sides know this, even though the pro-owners bloggers may not.

  8. I wonder if either side realizes the revenue they are fighting over will almost certainly be far lower if this unrest extends to August.

    Even without missing games, if they miss out on FA, and all the off season buzz stays negative then they will lose fans and dollars.

    If they could get this ironed out in the next 30 days and proceed with FA etc then I think the damage will be minimal. Letting it go to August would be bad.

    Memo to both sides: Wake up!

  9. I, like many others, I’m sure, am growing truly tired of this. While the owners share the blame, the majority of the fans’ negativity is focused on the players because of how the end of the “negotiations” is perceived (and probably did) to have happened. The owners/league have repeatedly said they want to get back to the negotiation table. The players and their lawyers have repeatedly said they would not until the lockout case is heard and then only if the owners open their books. If the owners open their books fully (as is being demanded) it is tantamount to handing a child a loaded gun. It will not end things; it will create more and more demands.

    The players are losing my support. I am disgusted enough to have started wondering if I will bother with the NFL any more. The UFL is still here and, while I’ve never been a huge college football fan, I may well become one. The avarice on both sides of this is foul.

  10. This whole thing would have been over by now if they had sent a counter offer to the owners and asked for a 3 day extension to do it, and kept on til a deal was done.

    Lets remember the players walked away from the table, the owners had just sent a proposal. That is why everyone seems to be mad at the players. By the way from a fans view the offer looked at least close to fare

  11. @flr29

    I was just wondering what team you play for?

    You are so far out of touch that you must be a locked out player.

  12. Mick730 says:
    “The players are making a killing right now, and the league’s last offer is a good one; it allows the player to continue to make a killing salary wise, but it slows the growth of their salaries in the future. Anyone with an ounce of common sense can see that it is the players who are the impediment to a reasonable deal and who also can be described as the ‘greedy’ party.”

    You seem to be making the argument that the owners are not making a profit. I believe that to be false. The only persons saying they are losing money are the owners, but they are unwilling to share the proof. I don’t think one side is any greedier than the other. Both sides are ruining the sport. I am troubled by the overwhelming support that the owners get on this forum. While I am far from being “pro-union” I am also far from being “pro-owners.” I am 100% “pro-fan.”

  13. Looks like a bunch of bloggers here stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

    If the players win on April 6th, that gives them HUGE leverage going forward.

    An appeal does the owners no good. They need to get a deal done and camps opened LONG before the appeal is heard in August. Otherwise, many teams driving this negotiation (i.e. Mara) will not get the season ticket money to pay their mortgages.

  14. My DVR messed up and I missed the 7PM show and had to catch the 11PM show. Jeff Saturday should be the ONLY player speaking in front of a mic. The players, even though in my mind they are right, have taken a huge loss in the court of public opinion because of idiots with poor brain to mouth filters spouting off on any medium they have access to be it microphones, Twitter, or whatever.

    Saturday makes sense, when other players seem to handle it like a poorly handled political election campaign when one of the guys gets caught saying how stupid the other one is.

    Note to the rest of the players: Lay off twitter. Say no comment to EVERY question and let the peole who know how to speak/debate speak. Let those who have their own personal PR filter imbedded in the heads between thir brain and their mouths.

    I liked the interview, and I have liked Saturday for years now. The players would be winning the court of public opinion if he was the only guy speaking to a mic in front of him. But, because there are so many voices, many of whom cannot eloquintly speak to what is on their minds, they are losing in the minds of the public.

  15. @ fl29

    Since the unions decertification is a sham then they have no case to begin with. The players should lose this case. Will they? We will know by this time next week.

  16. Typical nfl network re-airing the same junk over and over and over again.

    They should seriously think about hiring a creative director to take over the shows there and add variety

  17. waitingguilty says: Mar 30, 2011 1:09 PM


    I was just wondering what team you play for?

    You are so far out of touch that you must be a locked out player.


    I’m not a locked out player.

    I’m just a guy who understands supply and demand, and supports the (apparently radical) idea that a man should be paid what he is worth.

    I also know the law is with the players, and if Goodell sincerely felt the owners would have more leverage after April 6 than they do now, he couldn’t wait to get to court.

    If you are saying that understanding economics and business and the law puts me out of touch with the majority of pft bloggers, then I agree.

  18. Evidently there are some people, Jeff Saturday included, who are not familiar with David Boise. The players, when all is said and done, will NEVER prevail on Brady et al vs. NFL. Appeals or no appeals, David Boise will not lose. I wouldn’t want to be in the “union” and have to look at what the owners will be offering then. Mr. Saturday, get it done now. Please and thank you.

  19. you guys do understand that the owners are allowed to make a profit right? the owners arent saying they cant pay their mortgage. they are saying the profit isnt as much as it was or should be. nobody thinks the owners are actually losing money every year. they just arent making as much as they should be. when the last agreement was signed, the players and owners agreed that if it wasnt working out for either party, that either party could opt out and redo the agreement. so they want to redo the agreement. there is nothing wrong with that

  20. flr – Great points. Glad to see that there’s at least one other person on this site not brainwashed or being paid to blog here by the owners.

  21. Saturday seemed very reasonable and very knowledgeable. One thing that however stuck out to me while listening to that interview. He talked about how they planned our the timing of everything to ensure that they could get back on the field and play. Makes sense, but at some point they talked about the previous strike and that players returned to work while the lawsuit proceeded. A crystal ball went off in my head as to why the league is so comfortable that the law is on their side – strikes and lockouts are legal and recognized as such. The players have used strikes in the pass, but are suing to block a lockout. I have no idea what the MN court’s ultimate opinion on this will be but the league is likely to go all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary and don’t think they will sign off on any ruling that basically says labor can impose a strike if they so choose but can prevent a lockout by manipulating the system and the timing that it does so. This would basically rewrite the entire system and don’t think our conservative court would allow that.

  22. Jeff Saturday may be articulate, in stark contrast to the evolving image of the greedy NFLPA* comprised of inept ambulance chasers, dumb jocks, and nonsensical Twitterers. Nonetheless, his message just reinforces what the owners want to hear: the players will be manipulated by the union bosses through the offseason, but will likely break ranks by the Fall. Add Saturday’s statements to the players’ financial panic of raiding their rainy day fund months ahead of schedule, and we are looking at a potential rout.

    August may be a drop dead date, for the players, but the owners, sitting on 30+ billion of assets and able to mitigate the impact of revenue losses by making billion dollar cuts in costs, have the financial wherewithal to withstand the lock-out.

    Saturday’s “eloquent” timeline aside, nobody gives the US Supreme Court a deadline. Maybe they’ll take the case for the Fall term, and maybe they’ll render a decision before football season is over, or maybe they won’t take the case until 2012 and not render a decision until 2013. Or maybe not even take the case. The owners are likely sufficiently wealthy to sustain at least a one year lockout and sufficiently confident that there’s enough wiggle room in American Needle to give them the anti-trust protection they need to protect the integrity of the game. Players, on three year average careers, cannot tolerate a Fall lockout or strike.

  23. @nflpasux

    Thanks for summing it up. The owners can handle losing a season and are willing to do that to make more profits long term.

    Well bully for them. I can’t. I want football.

    The best chance for football this year is for the players to win the injunction. They should because the lockout is illegal.

    Worse than that it’s wrong. The owners get a lot of privileges and make a shed load of money because of their anti-trust exemptions.

    They get those exemptions because they provide something that most Americans value highly. A great game.

    The owners lockout takes that game away from me so screw you owners. I vote they lose ALL anti-trust protections unless they lift the lockout NOW

    So Jurry Jones, lift the darned lockout and get back to negotiating. The money you’ll save by not hiring those fleets of lawyers will pay for your next thousand face lifts.

  24. Has everyone noticed how many league shills are lurking to post anti-player crap as soon as PFT posts anything? The first 15 or so posts are always overwhelming ‘thumbs up’ attacks against players – sometimes running into the hundreds. Then they unload withtheir ‘thumbs down’ on anyone attempting to provide a balanced perspective for the players. I think the league is paying these phony fans to stay parked on this site to spread the propanganda into the mainstream. At least Mike isn’t fooled by any of this, and he continues to attempt to present a balanced perspective in spite of the criticism he receives from the league shills posting here.

  25. realfann,

    The NFL is certainly prepared to fight this all the way to the Supreme Court. They took the American Needle case there (a case they had actually already won and still wanted the Supreme Court to weigh in) as a precursor to this legal battle. The only way this doesn’t make it to the Supreme Court is if the players lose or drop their lawsuit before it gets there or the Supreme Court turns it down. Considering the Supreme Court took the American Needle case and in its ruling made comments relevant to the issues in this case that had no bearing on American Needle, I think it is safe to assume if petitioned the Supreme Court would accept this case. That side, I don’t think it makes it to the Supreme Court mainly because I think the courts will be much more receptive to the league’s arguments. I’m still on record that if the judge doesn’t grant the motion to lift the lockout the players will abandon their legal case – Saturday pretty much said so in his interview when he repeated that the most important thing for players was not to miss any games and that this had to be resolved before games were missed. I think the players will have a lot of soul searching to do, because I think the easiest thing for the judge to do is to tell everybody this is premature and to refile in 6 months if the can’t resolve it on their own.

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