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In “lockout insurance” case, players ask Judge Doty to end the lockout

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We expected the NFLPA* to ask Judge David Doty to award as damages in the so-called “lockout insurance” case the money that the NFL left on the table when opting not to maximize the amount of the network rights fees in 2009, opting instead to finagle ongoing payments to the league during a work stoppage in 2011.  We also expected the NFLPA* to ask Judge Doty to block the league from receiving $4.3 billion in rights fees during the lockout.

Based on the report from the Associated Press regarding the brief filed Thursday by the players, we were right on both counts.  For a change.

But the players asked for even more than that.  The players seek punitive damages based on the intentional and egregious nature (in the players’ opinion) of the violation.  Basically, the players contend that the league disregarded its duty to max out the money to be shared with the players and instead negotiated payments during a work stoppage that will help only the league — and that will hurt the players.  Specifically, the players want three times the actual damages as punitive damages.

The icing on the cake?  The players also asked Judge Doty for relief from the lockout, even though the brief reportedly acknowledges that Judge Susan Nelson has the authority to do that.  And she’ll take up that request on April 6.

Judge Doty has set a hearing on the damages in the “lockout insurance” case for May 12.

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43 Responses to “In “lockout insurance” case, players ask Judge Doty to end the lockout”
  1. angrycorgi says: Mar 31, 2011 10:02 PM

    The players and the lawyers are clearly smoking the same thing…

  2. tobyv29 says: Mar 31, 2011 10:02 PM

    The players have a valid beef here. The owners basically screwed them out of the TV money and kept it for themselves to ride out the long planned lockout. Treble damages all the way.

  3. Deb says: Mar 31, 2011 10:12 PM

    Let’s hope Nelson grants the injunction this month so the lockout doesn’t drag into May. But good for the players to provide themselves some backup.

    My hope is that once the lockout’s lifted, the owners will take up Vrabel on the offer to return to the negotiating table and get a deal done instead of trying to drag this out so they can terrorize the players with scabs.

    Most of the dingalings posting to Bring on the scabs! have never actually watched “replacements.” Be careful what you wish for. They sucked in 1987 and the game wasn’t a third as complex then as it is now. And while it might be great for teams in the basement, fans of top-tier organizations like the Packers won’t be thrilled if a bunch of scabs come in and screw up their team stats for the year. It can happen. I wouldn’t watch scabs on principle, but even without principles, I’d rather see I Love Lucy reruns.

  4. saberstud75 says: Mar 31, 2011 10:26 PM

    @Deb,

    I was around in 1987 and watched the replacements. I agree that the sport will take a hit. I also agree that the game is complex compared to 20 years ago, but these guys are not rocket scientists playing the game. The good teams are that way partly because they have good coaches that can teach players the finer details of the game.

    I would watch the scab games ON principle. These primadonna players are out of control and they need to get a reality check.

  5. thefiesty1 says: Mar 31, 2011 10:29 PM

    No, no, no. Judge Nelson tells the players they are full of crap and forces the players to return to the table with their tails between their legs.

  6. phinfan says: Mar 31, 2011 10:34 PM

    Cam newton wasn’t mentioned in this article? Oh the horror

  7. august1969 says: Mar 31, 2011 10:41 PM

    The old Clash of the Titans is on….

  8. lostsok says: Mar 31, 2011 10:47 PM

    Agree with Deb. People who think the players are just being “greedy” are short-sighted. Why, exactly, should we feel sorry for owners who are suffering so badly as millionaires and billionaires that they must deal with OWNING A FOOTBALL TEAM as their hobby.

    Screw ‘em.

    I’ve never one bought a Jerry Jones jersey. I do not have a Stephen Ross fat head on my wall.

    The players ARE the game. They should get every last penny they can, and the owners should thank them for the honor of being part the the game they themselves couldn’t play in a million years.

  9. iknowfootballandyoudont says: Mar 31, 2011 10:47 PM

    Hopefully in September the players are sitting on their thumbs asking themselves “should we have followed DeMaurice”?
    Sitting at home missing paychecks, getting banned from malls, missing those multiple child support payments, getting reamed by the baby mamas’, cussing out the “slave masters”, getting arrested, doing dope, and crying about getting “drug through the mud”.

    Even if they can’t afford to pay their bills, it won’t matter cause they don’t pay them now anyway. What if they don’t pay their Cobra coverage? They won’t have insurance when they shoot themselves. Oh wait, they just won’t pay the bill.
    At least they will still have their fashionable “pants on the ground”. But will the malls take the pants back when the bills aren’t paid?
    But hey it’s all good, cause this is “Keeping it real” Thursday!!!!!!!!!!

    I know the players worshipper will be back here to give IT’s “wisdom” and “intelligent” retort to this post soon enough so get ready for the players propaganda machine.

    That is unless IT’s comments get censored, or not censored, or maybe yes censored after all, or maybe not censored.

  10. commoncents says: Mar 31, 2011 10:47 PM

    How about the NFLPA pay the owners moron insurance. You know, the Dez money, when he can’t survive the lockout and ends up in jail? The owners should deserve something from the NFLPA shouldn’t they??

  11. beerndonuts says: Mar 31, 2011 10:49 PM

    1987 was a tough year to watch football, but not for every team. San Francisco, with Joe Montana (among others) crossing the picket line, went 3-0. Green Bay, if I recall correctly, went 2-1 (too lazy to look it up).

    So when it comes to scabs, each team just needs to make sure that they find the right scabs to balance the players that turn their back on the union.

    Of course since the likelihood of scabs is remote at best, this is more of an academic conversation than anything else.

  12. pappysarcasm says: Mar 31, 2011 10:51 PM

    These azzhats are going to slay the golden goose! Dont they realize that once the courts apply the anit-trust term ‘divestiture” to the NFL, it’s all over!?

    If I was the owners at this point I would cancel the 2011 season and have each owner announce his team is for sale. Squeeze Baby!

  13. joemcrugby says: Mar 31, 2011 10:58 PM

    Now we know why the players have no desire to negotiate:

    Not surprisingly, behind the leadership of their veteran federal litigator leader, the OFKNFLPA (“Organization Formerly Known as NFLPA”)mantra is “Litigate, litigate, litigate!!”

  14. dumbaseinstien says: Mar 31, 2011 11:06 PM

    Money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, money, we REALLY care about the fans (since they might be listening)…but what about MORE MONEY (and lets really screw the owners, if those fool judges let us!!!)

  15. chatham10 says: Mar 31, 2011 11:19 PM

    There is no longer a union but yet they keep going to court as a union, maybe the owners were right when they called it a sham.

  16. TIM says: Mar 31, 2011 11:21 PM

    The players are so desperate that they are once again running to their Mommy (Doty) to save them from the big bad owners ! :)
    Man do they miss Gene Upshaw !

  17. dapple5 says: Mar 31, 2011 11:24 PM

    Well ok, from what limited knowledge that I have of this part of the dispute perhaps the owners did try to squirrel away a little something for a rainy day, well a lot of something. And maybe the players do have a legitimate beef with this singular aspect. But clearly the attorneys have taken over and as we all know they can drag this out and create so much animosity between the parties that this will drag on forever. Thumbs down to the attorneys. Thumbs down to the players for taking themselves out of the starting lineup and sitting on the bench while the lawyers punt and kick the golden goose back and forth between them. Feathers are flying. The golden egg is cracking. Stop the insanity and sit down at a table and realize that your and the owner’s best interests are aligned more than they are not!

  18. alxln says: Mar 31, 2011 11:25 PM

    The more I read about the players and their lawsuit the less I want to see them play football next year. Let these greedy clown try earning money doing a real job, maybe then they’ll realize how privileged they are to play in the NFL. If I were an owner I wouldn’t want any of these players as my employees. Heck, they’re paying ridiculous salaries to play a game and then they sue you for more.

  19. myspaceyourface says: Mar 31, 2011 11:54 PM

    Keep in mind replacement players led to the NFL players return. The NFL owners need to plan to move on without their current players. Once these players lose a few checks and realize their window is closing, they will come running back too.

  20. smacklayer says: Mar 31, 2011 11:56 PM

    Keep biting the hand that feeds you guys. Bite them hard enough and often enough and and they will no longer feed you anything.

  21. hawkdawg88 says: Apr 1, 2011 12:07 AM

    The scab talk is very interesting now. My ticket representative swore up and down at renewal time that under no circumstances would the team make us pay to watch replacement players.

  22. southmo says: Apr 1, 2011 12:24 AM

    That’s pretty funny. The players contend the owners didn’t do their duty and max out the money?? So every time the NFLPA thinks the NFL could’ve gotten a better deal with say…. Nike…. then the NFLPA is going to sue for treble damages?

    The player’s hubris knows no bounds

  23. hawkeye6 says: Apr 1, 2011 12:52 AM

    Players (and we’re talking about a select few who are running their side of the negotiations) are being exposed as wanting to have their cake and eat it.

    Unfortunately a lot of what’s going to happen won’t go the players’ way. If they don’t get what they want every step, will it make the overall negotiations worse? It’s a lockout, no CBA and they still want money. Maybe they should agree to something with the owners soon so that way they can merit the money that will already be way more than most of us make in this declined economy.

  24. cappa662 says: Apr 1, 2011 12:58 AM

    For fans… this is good news. There will be football. They can resolve their issues on their own time.

  25. bartpkelly says: Apr 1, 2011 1:08 AM

    I am on the owners side. They are the ones who got the TV deal, and their franchises, are the ones at risk.
    go owners! Players, suck it up and get back to work!

  26. realfann says: Apr 1, 2011 1:50 AM

    The owners broke the law and should pay.

    But I think the players should offer to drop this request the day a new CBA is signed.

    The owners need some incentive to start negotiating for real instead of the posing they’ve been doing so far.

    This could be it.

  27. whatsupbb415 says: Apr 1, 2011 3:33 AM

    Judge Susan Nelson from what I’ve read so far is pretty Liberal and as an attorney she won suits against Big Tobacco and fought for Womans Rights which leads me to believe she’s going to be more sympathetic to the players she may also consalt Judge Doty whose a judge in the same courthouse none of this could be very good for the owners whom I’m sure would appeal any injunction. What im wondering is why does everything get filed in Minnosota of all states?

  28. vetdana says: Apr 1, 2011 7:23 AM

    most of us dont want scabs but….fill me in on how scabs would enter the equation if the lockout is lifted & players return..Would not the rules agreed upon revert to the old cba, which had no provisions for scab labor ?

  29. angrycorgi says: Apr 1, 2011 7:56 AM

    If this wins, then I better see a boat-load of lawsuits against players for underperforming and causing a loss of revenue and for saying stupid things that drive fans (aka “revenue sources”) away. So lets start fining players for throwing INTs, fumbling, giving up touchdowns, committing penalties, etc. This is in the same vein as this ignorant lawsuit.

    First lawsuit should be against Adrian Peterson for the idiot “slave” remark. Punitive Damages: $1.5 Billion.

  30. paperlions says: Apr 1, 2011 7:58 AM

    I would welcome a completely new league with Owners that appreciate how much money they make while sitting on their asses watching the talent..
    .
    And the owners should pay a much higher price than the money the left on the table. If someone robs your house, they don’t just return the stolen items and walk away with no other consequences. The outcome here can’t be the same to the owners as if they hadn’t violated the agreement; it has to be much harsher than that.

  31. bunjy96 says: Apr 1, 2011 8:10 AM

    whatsupbb415 says: Apr 1, 2011 3:33 AM

    What im wondering is why does everything get filed in Minnesota of all states?

    *****************************
    Because way back when the original CBA was signed, somehow the court in Minnesota got involved and has been that way ever since. Now that the original CBA is now kaput, and when a new CBA is signed, that should be over and done with and Doty along with it.

    Players worst fear is Doty (88) dies before this is
    over.

    How can the union decertify, meaning no longer a union, go to court as a union and collect damages. Who will the check be written to?

  32. bunjy96 says: Apr 1, 2011 8:17 AM

    I am so pissed off with what’s going on, I hope there is no season this year.

    By the time the court actions are all done it will be autumn anyway.

    I would much rather see no football in 2011 than possibly never again seeing the existing structure of the NFL, as we have known it over the years.

    Question? Technically, can the owners cancel the season? If the players keep dragging this out, I hope they do-and I have followed the NFL for over 40 years and am a season ticket holder.

    I have had it!

  33. eagleswin says: Apr 1, 2011 8:18 AM

    I actually wonder if the players will be able to prove any lost income because it’s not a given.

    There is no direct correlation between individual salaries and the cap so there’s no argument there. The only correlation they can make is in relation to the cap floor as that is the only thing realistically which is effected by a bump in revenues.

    The players would have to prove that the teams are in violation of the salary cap floor due to the increased revenue. Now if none of the owners violated the new salary cap floor then there would be no money owed to to the players as they weren’t guaranteed any more than that even if the owners had gotten more revenue.

  34. chapnastier says: Apr 1, 2011 8:52 AM

    @ realfan

    What world are you living in? The owners didn’t break any laws.

  35. zaggs says: Apr 1, 2011 8:56 AM

    Deb,

    “My hope is that once the lockout’s lifted, the owners will take up Vrabel on the offer to return to the negotiating table and get a deal done instead of trying to drag this out so they can terrorize the players with scabs.”

    Wow, what a complete ignorance of the facts. Owners said they were willing to talk. The Vrable lied about talking to the players as he signed a letter that basically said “Talk to players, no, talk to my lawyer”. Last I checked the league was the last party to make an offer, the union has yet to respond. its the union dragging it out dear.

  36. wallyballz says: Apr 1, 2011 9:14 AM

    The players once again are going to the edge of a slippery slope on this one, and it will ruin the game for us. How do you determine when and where throughout the course of the year that a team, or the league, has not ‘maximized revenue’ on all of the aspects that affect revenue? For sure, this will mean ticket prices will go up. Green Bay has a 70,000 person waiting list. If you look at strcit principles of supply and demand, they should raise prices until that list is down to one person. Tickets in GB would go up to about $400 per seat. Will this force the league to look at regular Thursday night games? that would surely bring in more revenue. What about a 20 game season? More revenue. What about advertising on the players uniforms, until they look like NASCAR racers? It could go on and on….

  37. eagleswin says: Apr 1, 2011 9:29 AM

    wallyballz says:
    Apr 1, 2011 9:14 AM
    The players once again are going to the edge of a slippery slope on this one, and it will ruin the game for us. How do you determine when and where throughout the course of the year that a team, or the league, has not ‘maximized revenue’ on all of the aspects that affect revenue? For sure, this will mean ticket prices will go up. Green Bay has a 70,000 person waiting list. If you look at strcit principles of supply and demand, they should raise prices until that list is down to one person. Tickets in GB would go up to about $400 per seat. Will this force the league to look at regular Thursday night games? that would surely bring in more revenue. What about a 20 game season? More revenue. What about advertising on the players uniforms, until they look like NASCAR racers? It could go on and on….
    ————————
    Currently the players are balking at an 18 game season which would increase revenue. If maximizing revenue is the guiding principle in all decisions then aren’t the players being hypocritical?

  38. georgiavol91 says: Apr 1, 2011 12:17 PM

    Doty has got to go. The whole reason there are no negotiations right now is because the players think Doty will ride to their rescue.

  39. Deb says: Apr 1, 2011 1:30 PM

    @saberstud75 …

    I pray we don’t get to find out which of us is right. But it’s me ;) Don’t kid yourself that a great coach can make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. What did Jimmy Johnson accomplish without the players he had in Dallas? What did Chuck Noll do after the Dynasty Steelers retired? Come on.

    @zaggs …

    You guys are so cute when you spew nonsense.

    The owners skipped to m’loo for months without bothering to gather at the negotiating table until the deadline was on top of them. After decertification, they could have continued negotiating with the players’ contingent, and Vrabel issued an invitation asking them to do just that. The owners said repeatedly stepped to the mic and said they would … but they never picked up the phone. The players can’t schedule a meeting without the owners’ assurances that they won’t use the meetings against them in the sham decertification suit. The owners have refused to provide those assurances … thus no talks. Obviously the owners prefer to wait to see what the judge has for them.

    I hope it’s a big plate of crow.

  40. alxln says: Apr 1, 2011 1:59 PM

    The owners and their lawyers must be laughing their asses off reading about this lawsuit.. The players will never see any of that money unless they get a new CBA

  41. truthserum4u says: Apr 1, 2011 5:26 PM

    lostsok says:
    Mar 31, 2011 10:47 PM

    I’ve never one bought a Jerry Jones jersey. I do not have a Stephen Ross fat head on my wall.

    The players ARE the game. They should get every last penny they can, and the owners should thank them for the honor of being part the the game they themselves couldn’t play in a million years
    —————————————-

    The GAME IS THE GAME. Players come and go and the fans still flock to the game like never before. If this wasn’t the case then explain to me how the NFL has survived all these years after some of the all-time greats left it’s fields: Montana, Elway, Marino, B Sanders, D Sanders, LT (the original) J Rice, E Smith and on and on. The players shouldn’t think too highly of themselves because eventually they will be replaced by others who will do it as good or better. That has always been the course; it’s inevitable.

    The game’s popularity has filtered heavily into the betting and fantasy realms, where no one cares about the name on the back of the jersey, just the final stats or points they provide. The players provide great entertainment and should be praised for their accomplishments but let’s not get carried away.

    The players wouldn’t have a platform inwhich to display those talents if not for some rich owner who he himself couldn’t play the game. So your final sentance should read like this…

    the PLAYERS should thank them for the honor of being part of the game they themselves couldn’t play in a million years if it weren’t for some owner covering all the costs to purchase and run a franchise.

    After all, if that part of the equation was so simple, then why don’t the players just establish their own league?

  42. Deb says: Apr 1, 2011 8:12 PM

    truthserum4u says:

    the PLAYERS should thank them for the honor of being part of the game they themselves couldn’t play in a million years if it weren’t for some owner covering all the costs to purchase and run a franchise.
    ————————————————

    And the owners should thank the players for working hours a day from the time they were children to condition their bodies and learn their sport and fight through their injuries and make the necessary sacrifices to become elite athletes capable of playing the game and filling their stadiums and providing such an enormous return on their investment. They are mutually dependent.

  43. truthserum4u says: Apr 3, 2011 2:32 AM

    I think they do – by paying them large sums of money. I think it’s a nice fair trade-off.

    My point was lostock’s point of view indicated only the owners should be thankful; totally ignoring the fact that without the owners, many of these same athletes would be making a small fraction of their current income.

    They are mutually dependant when it comes to this enterprise, but who do you think would be hurt the most financially if professional football didn’t exist, the players or the owners? The truth is there are far more players capable of playing the game than there are businessmen capable of purchasing and operating a team. This fact has always given the league some measure of leverage when it comes to negotiations.

    By the way, I wanted to respond to your last post on the “Foxworth” thread but didn’t want to post it there because the thread was getting old and I wasn’t sure you would see it.

    I agree there is a trust (or should I say a non-trust) factor with Goodell and I think the players feel it as you do.
    I agree that Smith comes across as an antagonist to the league; unneccessarily so in my opinion.
    I think both of those factors play heavily into the bad blood you mention.
    And finally, I agree with your thoughts on how the league should have presented thier side – mutually beneficial.

    What I would disagree with, and this is perhaps nit-picking here, is this statement: “trying to take back what the players had fought to achieve.” I would say the owners are trying to take back what they gave up to the players (to avoid a work stoppage at the time). Probably not a foolish move had Upshaw lived, as I believe he knew what the deal was when the owners agreed to it, but not too smooth since he died.

    Obviously we don’t have the vested interest the players & owners do, but you and I, supporting opposite sides, seem to be able to find more common ground and understand the nature & need of negotiating better than they do. Perhaps if all the fans started faxing once a day a picture of a dead golden goose to both sides, maybe they would come to their senses and get a deal done. At this point I feel like I have a better chance at hitting the lotto.

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