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Report: Owners refused to meet with players last week

GoodellSmithCongress AP

Buried at the very bottom of a mailbag from ESPN’s John Clayton is a nugget that should have gotten much more prominent treatment from the boys and girls in Bristol.

In response to a question regarding whether the lawyers handling the antitrust lawsuit between the players and the NFL could try to work out the labor situation, Clayton says that the players “planned to meet with the owners March 28 and spend the week settling this mess,” but that the owners refused.

So how in the hell is that at the bottom of a Q&A column in the dot-com alphabet junkyard and not on the bottom of the ESPN ticker?

Clayton goes on to explain that the only thing needed was the preparation of a “short document” for Judge Susan Nelson explaining that the NFLPA* Executive Committee would participate in the talks as “advisors.”  But the league said, “No.”

The fact that the players planned to spend last week “settling this mess” implies that the two sides had been talking about possibly getting together.  And it could have happened without any document going to Judge Nelson.  Instead, and as we’ve said several times, the parties need only to agree that nothing regarding the format or structure of the settlement talks will be used by the NFL against the players in as to the question of whether the decertification of the union was legitimate.  Then, the talks could occur with the lawyers handling the antitrust case in the background and the parties taking charge of their destinies.

And if the players wanted to have the NFLPA* Executive Committee involved in the settlement talks without any “short document” going to the judge, the members of the Executive Committee should have been the named plaintiffs in the antitrust lawsuit.  Some, like Drew Brees and Mike Vrabel, are.  But instead of using more of them, the players opted for P.R., reeling in big names like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.

Either way, it’s unfortunate that the two sides couldn’t find a way back to the table.  We suspect that the league ultimately bears the blame for dragging their feet, based on an educated hunch that superlawyer David Boies mesmerized the owners last month at the league meetings in New Orleans, causing most if not all of them to conclude that they’ll win the first, and perhaps most critical, round of the antitrust lawsuit when the players try to force an end to the lockout while the litigation proceeds.

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65 Responses to “Report: Owners refused to meet with players last week”
  1. grpatriot says: Apr 4, 2011 8:34 AM

    Is it possible that the NFLPA over-estimated thier case? Last minute scramble to avoid a court solution? Seemed fairly clear that filing the suit was thier primary objective in negotiations…

  2. joe6606 says: Apr 4, 2011 8:35 AM

    With each passing day, it has become more and more clear that it is the greedy owners who are 100% responsible for this mess and have little to no interest in getting this resolved until they either wait it out until the players fold, or get such a beating through the courts that they are forced to drag their fat asses back to the negotiation table.

  3. scudbot says: Apr 4, 2011 8:41 AM

    The players opened this door. NFLPA: decertified. Therefore the players aren’t represented by an organization empowered to negotiate on their behalf. Whatever negotiations the players were interested in having would have been through a multitude of legal teams, each of which is interested in breaking up the league on behalf of the litigants. If the owners think they can shut this door simply by letting things proceed, why wouldn’t they give it a shot?

  4. commoncents says: Apr 4, 2011 8:45 AM

    When the players decertified a month ago, they are the ones that said “see you April 6th” Don’t make the owners the bad guys here, it was the NFLPA that didn’t negotiate but went running for the protection of judge Doty.

  5. chapnastier says: Apr 4, 2011 8:49 AM

    “We suspect that the league ultimately bears the blame for dragging their feet”

    Why in the name of all hell should the owners bear any of the blame for this? The owners were shafted by the players at the end of the last negotiations and it was proven that the players had no intentions on seriously negotiating anything. Then they filed a law suit, called the owners “slave owners”, ran an aggressive failure of a PR campaign and a true propaganda website with in an attempt to make the owners look like the villains trying to crush the little man. Ultimately the move convinced 3 people who comment on this site and one who runs it while the rest of the football world got the point.

    If I were the owners I would beat them in court Wednesday bring them back down to the employee reality that is their life. I would imagine that if the owners felt there could have been meaningful negotiations there would have been. Until the players back off from their asinine claim of 10 years of financial statements, they aren’t serious and as a result the owners have no reason to believe they will come to an agreement. It’s called biting the hand that feeds you, the players bit the hand one too many times.

    I, like many, cannot stand ESPN and their crapola reporting but to think they are trying to push a pro-owner agenda is beyond ignorant. I have watched ESPN against my will on a daily basis and they have been anything but owner friendly.

  6. mrplow3 says: Apr 4, 2011 8:55 AM

    I wouldn’t meet with them either, not after their behavior thus far.

    I have completely turned on the players in this ordeal. Who exactly in the hell do they think they are?

    If I demanded my boss open his books and show me the profit and pay me accordingly I’d be fired in a milisecond.

    Screw em. I say don’t give in to them an inch.

  7. flyerscup2010 says: Apr 4, 2011 8:57 AM

    I don’t think there’s a logical argument that can defend this. I understand the whole “not a union” concept, and it’s technically correct, but to be perfectly honest, both sides know what the deal is and if the owners were actually interested in having football they wouldn’t be declining to negotiate. It really is as simple as that. The two sides aren’t too far off that this can’t be settled out of a courtroom. Furthermore, how many times has Goodell said that he wants to negotiate and said it in very clear terms? Either he’s full of crap or his views don’t accurately represent those of the owners. Leads me to wonder who’s actually running the show.

  8. blackqbwhiterb says: Apr 4, 2011 8:59 AM

    Sounds like a certain lawyer is jealous of “Superlawyer”David Boies and his ability to mesmerize…………

  9. bukes111 says: Apr 4, 2011 9:07 AM

    commoncents says:
    Apr 4, 2011 8:45 AM
    When the players decertified a month ago, they are the ones that said “see you April 6th” Don’t make the owners the bad guys here, it was the NFLPA that didn’t negotiate but went running for the protection of judge Doty.
    _______________________________

    Well that’s not really true since the owners initiated all of this by locking the players out and demanding more money from a system where the owners are profiting. The players would agree to renewing the present agreement with no changes.
    They’re claiming higher costs but alot of that is due to the costs associated w/ new stadiums. The thing w/ new stadiums is that there is alot of revenue from these operations that are not part of the collective bargaining agreement or in other words, money that the owners won’t have to give back to the players. So they’re asking the players to put up money to help the owners cover costs in investments where the players won’t see the payoff.
    Whether you’re on the players or owner’s side, we’re here because the owners, not the owners want to change the agreement and decertification is an answer to the lockout.

  10. childressrulz says: Apr 4, 2011 9:08 AM

    Wow the pro owner crowd refuses to see the writing on the wall. I will make this simple. The bigger someone’s bank account is the less trustworthy they are and they are always a bigger slime ball as well. The rich don’t get rich giving people a fair deal. String the owners up. Worthless dusty old farts! Go Union.

  11. phillyrockz says: Apr 4, 2011 9:08 AM

    When the owners negotiated lockout insurance, they chose this path. When they lowballed the players at the last minute, they reiterated their intentions. Why blame the players when this was the intention of the owners all along?

  12. cdjones34 says: Apr 4, 2011 9:12 AM

    Ultimately it doesn’t matter whos fault it really is. I suspect both, but the BIGGER ISSUE lies with in all of us HUMAN GREED once that come into play over a 9.3 Billion $$$ pot to be split up then greed over takes logic. I just want my free agency and draft to start I almost watched 3 whole innings of a baseball game the other night ugh….

  13. kingjoe1 says: Apr 4, 2011 9:17 AM

    Really this is not a big deal at all. It’s been proposed before in March, but it is likely the owners don’t have confidence in the players intentions.
    It is quite likely the players are simply trying to manipulate fans and not really interested in negotiating. The players have put all their chips into the lawsuits which were filed. They want to see how the outcome increases their leverage.

    However as the deadline approaches they are looking for a Plan B exit strategy. The owners are not used to being pawns, and have no intention of letting the players make them such.
    Getting this out, playing the media, the players know this was a no loose for them by offering the meeting.
    Owners accept, the players look like they reached out and got this thing back on track. Owners don’t accept and the players can use the media to let the fans know, the players are the good guys.

  14. mattyc says: Apr 4, 2011 9:18 AM

    Unfortunately, as the majority of fans were on their side for quite sometime, the more that this gets out, the more fans will begin to switch more into the corner of…. Neutral. The owners “welcomed” & “strongly urged” the players to return to the negotiating table, according to Jeff Pash.

    Now, the player request to return to settle before court & make a strong indication that they want to end this labor strife, the owners now refused…. Why? Oh… Because they now think they can win in court. Isn’t that why we were all pissed at the players?

    Not a good move folks. Just get back to the negotiating table. Owners, don’t negotiate like a partner if you don’t want the players as your equal. This should be about a 60/40 owners, partnership. Not sure about anyone else, but I’m definitely even moreso disappointed than I were last week.

  15. slugdc says: Apr 4, 2011 9:20 AM

    Man you are really getting a lot of mileage out of the Goddell/Smith photo, aren’t ya?

  16. xxwhodatxx says: Apr 4, 2011 9:20 AM

    Why would they? The owners have all the chips why give in now when the court date is coming up. Personally I think the players see that they have no case and should have made a deal earlier, what tards

  17. phinheads says: Apr 4, 2011 9:24 AM

    tick tock tick tock fans lose tick tock

  18. easyeddie says: Apr 4, 2011 9:29 AM

    The trade association’s members cause is now on life support!

  19. chapnastier says: Apr 4, 2011 9:29 AM

    @ bukes

    The players de-certified in an attempt to keep the owners from locking them out. They did this knowing full well they would get locked out and would be able to bring the owners to court hoping to gain leverage. The owners legally opted out of a system that doesn’t make a bit of financial sense. No employee should get 50% of every dollar a company makes. There is no business logic there. The stadiums are newer because its what people want. They are more attractive to off season shows and events that bring in money to not only the owners but local economies. I find it hard to believe that the cost of those stadiums have anything to do with this.

    @ child

    We see the writing on the wall. The pro-owner crowd sees through the crap and understands what is really happening here. The players are greedy. As I stated above, no company can sustain its employees getting 50% of the profits and a lifetime pension. Just see what union workers have done to the US auto industry and the state of California. The benefits are just too high. I am more worried about your theory of bank accounts and not trusting the rich. I would agree with your premise that there are a lot of shady business people in this world but I find it dangerous to label all successful people as untrustworthy. I think you have some deep rooted hatred caused by a society that lives off of class warfare. I would bet that if you became rich and successful that you would consider yourself trustworthy hence defeating your blanket claims.

    @ philly

    While the owners did indeed try to get the TV money and lockout insurance the players also set up a savings where players would receive money in the event of a lockout as well. They also prepared this law suit a long time ago. You cannot simply blame the owners based off of their actions while the players have done the same exact stuff.

    Hopes this clears up the confusion for you guys.

  20. 3octaveFart says: Apr 4, 2011 9:30 AM

    scudbot says: Apr 4, 2011 8:41 AM

    “The players opened this door.”

    ..right after the owners locked the doors.

  21. 3octaveFart says: Apr 4, 2011 9:33 AM

    chapnastier says: Apr 4, 2011 8:49 AM

    “Why in the name of all hell should the owners bear any of the blame for this?”

    It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in argument.
    William G. McAdoo
    US industrialist, lawyer, & politician (1863 – 1941)

  22. bluepike says: Apr 4, 2011 9:40 AM

    The owners made it very clear who they would negotiate with and under what circumstances. This all goes back to De Smith and his refusal to continue to negotiate early-on. De Smith has never smiled, spoke respectfully, offered any “olive branch” or taken the “high road” at any time. This is the guy the players wanted and it’s very possible they might live to regret it.

    Actually, if you think about it, I don’t think they can win under any circumstances. If the owners win the litigation – the players will be almost at the owners’ mercy. If the players do win and the owners’ lose their anti-trust exemption, the fans will hate them for destroying the current make-up of the NFL ( no more draft etc. ). Considering the fact that the NFL has really become a year around phenomena and how much interest and excitement the draft generates – the league would lose a considerable amount of money without the off-season interest. This, along with the fact that the fans absolutely love the draft, would almost make the players highly detested.

    Good going De Smith – it looks like you’ve really gone and done it now. If you want to get taller, you’ll have to try another endeavor instead of this one.

  23. captainobvious1 says: Apr 4, 2011 9:41 AM

    @ chapnasty – the players have gotten 50% of total revenues since the strike of 1987 – how’d that work out?

    @ chapnasty – the players do not get 50% of the profits. players are an expense – thus they would count against profits.

    @ chapnasty – what the owners did in the lockout insurance case violated their agreement with the players. the courts have said as much. what the players did was entirely voluntary and did not violate any contractual agreement with the owners or any laws.

    hope this clears up the confusion for you.

  24. blantoncollier says: Apr 4, 2011 9:44 AM

    Lets see, if I understand the PFT reasoning correctly.

    Players hire a lawyer with little labor experience because he wows them with his courtroom skills and promises to bust the NFL as we know it.

    The Players fail to negoiate in good faith, decertify, fail to respon the owners offers, and march to Minnesota hoping Judge Doty and Dee save the day in court.

    And all is good.

    The owners hire their own super lawyer, David Boies. He wows the owners.

    And of course all is bad.

  25. pftdabomb says: Apr 4, 2011 9:45 AM

    You know whats sad……this whole debacle has gotten me more excited about baseball then I have been in years. The Reds are 3-0 and looking good!

  26. easyeddie says: Apr 4, 2011 9:47 AM

    chapnastier:
    Thank you! Your comments are right on the issue visa vi class warfare folks who hate anyone who’s successful.

  27. mistakeonthelake says: Apr 4, 2011 9:51 AM

    This situation is too big and too complicated for one party to take all, or even most of the blame. The Union desertification IS a sham. They stated themselves that it was strictly a legal move. Now, whether or not it is legally ‘a sham’ is for the courts to decide. The owners have to take one of two gambles. 1) negotiate, in good faith, with a ‘trade association’ only to have any agreements nullified by the Anti-Trust lawsuit, or 2) allow the suit to continue when a loss would be devastating to the NFL. The players need to either admit they are a union, and negotiate as one; or wait their turn in court and see what the outcome is.

    Why should the owners negotiate with a union that emphatically states that it isn’t a union while stipulating that said non-union’s union-like behavior doesn’t affect its ability to prove in court it isn’t a union? The whole thing is a farce.

    I don’t believe that the owners are losing money. I also don’t believe that the players have been negotiating in good faith, and this union/non-union activity proves it.

    @childressrulz “Wow the pro owner crowd refuses to see the writing on the wall. I will make this simple. The bigger someone’s bank account is the less trustworthy they are and they are always a bigger slime ball as well. The rich don’t get rich giving people a fair deal. String the owners up. Worthless dusty old farts! Go Union.”

    As to the above statement by childressrulz, this is the bottom line of any union/mgmt dispute in American. Unionists think owners have no right to profit on their efforts so they make seemingly unreasonable demands. Businesses, regardless of who they are or what they do, exist for one reason only: to make a profit. Everything else is a means to that end. An entity wants to make a profit; they do this by making and selling a product that, presumably, Americans want; they hire workers to make that product. The hiring of workers is step 3 in the process, not the point of the companies existence. This applies to the NFL as well. True, owning an NFL team may well be a billionaire’s idea of having a cool toy, but it is still a business. The owners want to, and have every right to, make a profit. “Dusty old Farts” who have and make a ton of money create jobs. Whether or not it is due to their high consumption levels, or their investments, or through direct hiring, the wealthy are the job creators in America. Without them, no one has a job. Please stop vilifying the rich. It is pure hypocrisy to vilify that which you strive to be (more so when you are taking the side of millionaires in this particular fight).

    As to the NFL; it is true that we don’t tune in to watch the owners, but without the game the owners are billionaires and the players are middle class at best. Far too many of them lack degrees and, in some unfortunate cases, are functionally illiterate. I don’t believe that the players should just roll over, but they need to understand that they have far more to lose then the owners.

  28. chapnastier says: Apr 4, 2011 9:53 AM

    @ captainoblivious and 30cotave

    Owners to share some of the blame for this. I can agree to that. However the players share more. That is fact.

  29. kennyzed88 says: Apr 4, 2011 9:59 AM

    ummm so when are they releasing the 2011 schedule?

  30. zaggs says: Apr 4, 2011 9:59 AM

    Wow. I mean just Wow. Definitely going to have to make a complaint about this one to NBC. This is just a flat out lie by Floor-Boy. Seems he didn’t want to include everything in his little “I love the union rant”.
    It wasn’t simply the lawyers for the owners refused to meet with the settlement attorneys for the players. It was the lawyers refused to meet with representatives of a trade association. Had the players referred to themselves as a union, the owners would have met. The fact this is all stated in the first part of Clayton’s answer means this whole post is a lie.
    Floor-boy just seems to be pissed that the league is treating the players exactly like they wanted to be treated.

  31. 3octaveFart says: Apr 4, 2011 10:00 AM

    chapnastier says: Apr 4, 2011 9:29 AM

    “Hopes this clears up the confusion for you guys.”

    Gee, thanks for enlightening everybody. What would we do without you?

    ..and btw, are you posting from work again?
    For a guy who spends all his time siding with management over the work force, you don’t seem to have any trouble screwing your employer over while you spend all his time posting on sports blogs…

  32. dcbronco says: Apr 4, 2011 10:01 AM

    Commonsense, you and a lot of others seem to forget that the owners are the ones that opted out of the current contract. They are also the ones that set up funding for the lockout. I’m not sure how people blame the players for the lockout when the owners gave every indication that this was where we were headed. It’s like buying a gun and sitting in the bushes outside someones house to kill them. Then claiming it was all an accident.

    If I ever need to kill someone I hope my jury is made up of people on these boards.

  33. vdaigglesfan says: Apr 4, 2011 10:05 AM

    To all the pro owner fans, please show up in september and watch the owners own.

  34. whathappenedtovox says: Apr 4, 2011 10:08 AM

    When the owners negotiated lockout insurance, they chose this path. When they lowballed the players at the last minute, they reiterated their intentions. Why blame the players when this was the intention of the owners all along?
    __________________________________

    Agreed 100%, and it’s comical that your comment has significantly more “thumbs down” than “thumbs up.” The pro-owner comments on this site continue to boggle my mind. What have the owners ever done for anybody here? They raise ticket prices any chance they think they can. They demand new stadiums and have the taxpayers bear the majority of the burden while they watch their teams’ worth skyrocket. I’m not saying anyone should be “pro-player,” mind you. Plenty of blame there as well, but can anyone explain to me why on Earth anyone is cool with the owners locking the players out and risking no 2011 season because they want to light their cigars with 100’s instead of 50’s?

  35. hail2tharedskins says: Apr 4, 2011 10:08 AM

    All this talk about the author’s bias is a little over the top. While I agree he has a bias in favor of the players, it hardly affects his reporting. He reports stories good and bad for both sides. So what if he includes his own commentary which might be slightly slanted toward the players? As long as he is reporting all news (good and bad) you and I are welcome to draw our own conclusions and opinions. Better to have a biased author that gives us all the information than not receive the information at all. I follow this labor dispute through multiple sources and I have to say that this site is the most thorough and comprehensive (no single source can provide you everything but this site does seem to do the best job) – get the information and ignore the author’s personal commentary if it bother’s you that much.

  36. hail2tharedskins says: Apr 4, 2011 10:11 AM

    What happened to the links I provided with the letters that the NFLPA published that clearly showed that players’ counsel was not expecting any meeting anytime soon???

    Wow, I just typed a reply defending the author’s against multiple claims of bias and my links that are clearly relevant and published by the NFLPA are deleted???

  37. chapnastier says: Apr 4, 2011 10:12 AM

    @ 30octave

    Since you are so smart you are fully aware that you can post from smart phones right? There is a PFT app and it is actually quite cool. For all you know I am on a flight, sitting in an airport, on the road, or doing some sort of work that doesn’t involve pushing papers across a desk like you.

  38. tednancy says: Apr 4, 2011 10:14 AM

    What if the owners determined that by meeting with the NFLPA’s “advisors” would be tantamount to acknowledging the legitimacy of decertification?

    If so, I don’t blame them one bit for refusing to play right into the hands of this greedy power grab by DeSmith.

  39. angrycorgi says: Apr 4, 2011 10:16 AM

    Now the players want to meet…even though THEY rolled out in the first place? What the heck?? I guess the fact that their counsel shamelessly begged Doty recently to make a ruling on an injunction, despite the fact that it wasn’t his job…tells me the players’ counsel is starting to sweat without their favorite back-pocket judge on the case.

    Honestly, I wish they would all just sit down…no lawyers or NFLPA* morons on either side and just 5 owners and 5 players and let them hash it out. All this mess is doing is shoveling tons of cash in the lawyers’ pockets.

  40. scudbot says: Apr 4, 2011 10:18 AM

    3octaveFart says:
    Apr 4, 2011 9:30 AM
    scudbot says: Apr 4, 2011 8:41 AM

    “The players opened this door.”

    ..right after the owners locked the doors.

    The players walked out and the union was disbanded while their reps were still negotiating with the owners so they could go to court. 1. Walkout, then 2. Lockout.

  41. FinFan68 says: Apr 4, 2011 10:24 AM

    The players want the owners to settle the anti-trust lawsuits. Settling would imply that the suits have merit. That would give the players a little more leverage in the CBA negotiations. Trying to equate a lawsuit settlement with a CBA is faulty logic. The owners would be willing to negotiate with the NFLPA, but that would require dropping the suit and recertifying the union. The players do not want to do that right now, thus, they do not want to negotiate a new CBA right now. They just want to settle the lawsuit.

  42. realitypolice says: Apr 4, 2011 10:26 AM

    It’s amazing to me what little understanding people have about how the legal machinations work on a case like this.

    Neither side is going to “win” the anti-trust lawsuit in terms of a trial verdict. This case will never, ever, see trial.

    The players are not going to win and end the draft or restrictions on player movement.

    The owners are not going to win and be able to impose any conditions they want on the players.

    The key question is will the lockout stand or not. Once this is settled through the hearing beginning this week, negotiations will proceed with one side having considerable leverage over the other.

    Whichever side has this leverage will get a deal more favorable to them.

    This deal will then be entered with the court as the “settlement” of the lawsuit.

    And all of this will happen within the next 4 months.

    Trust me. I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

  43. rpiotr01 says: Apr 4, 2011 10:27 AM

    Nelson should order them back to mediation for another two weeks. Someone needs to act like an adult here.

    And FWIW, why should the league meet and negotiate with a union pretending to not be a union for the sole purpose of breaking the league’s back? If the PA* wanted to keep negotiating they shouldn’t have gone through with the sham decertification. My guess is, the league thinks that even if Nelson rules for the players, they still have a great chance of winning in the appeals process.

  44. bukes111 says: Apr 4, 2011 10:33 AM

    @ chapnastier
    _________________________________

    Well 50% of every dollar a company makes is misleading considering that the NFL takes a billion off the top before they calculate the 50%. On top of that, the owners are asking for another billion off the top (although that number should come down when they enter serious negotiations). Then take into consideration that there are revenue streams out there that the owners collect that are not part of the collective bargaining agreement. So in reality, we’re talking somewhere closer to a 60 40 split in favor of the owners.
    And finally, we’re talking about a cap, not a payroll minimum. No one’s putting a gun to the owner’s head and forcing them to use the whole cap. The spread between the lowest and highest payroll was around 60 million. So in reality, the 40% that the players are entitled to won’t be completely utilized.

  45. myspaceyourface says: Apr 4, 2011 10:35 AM

    The owners need to plan to move on without these current players.

    1. Expand the draft to 15 rounds for 2011

    2. Open a FA signing period for 30 days after the draft.

    3. Hold open tryouts

    4. Give the current players an opportunity to return to work, under their current contracts, during the first week of August
    (think you will be surprised how many come back)

    5. Schedule camps, preseason, and regular season games as planed. Show the players that you are serious about moving on without them.

    6. After 4 weeks of the season are in the books, give all remaining players 5 business days to return to work. If they choose not to, make it clear that this is their last chance to do so.

    THE LEAGUE LIVES ON. For everyone that disagrees with this, keep in mind the average NFL career is 3.3 years.

    It would only take a season or two of drafts and FA signings to get the NFL back to the standard.

  46. jimphin says: Apr 4, 2011 10:39 AM

    DS: …” we sent a letter to the National Football League reminding them of something that they know better than anybody else: that discussions on the settlement can occur any time at their convenience…”

    I guess they took De at his word when he sent then letter informing them that negotiation can occur … at their convenience. I suppose that a couple days before a law suit is not that convenient.

    Isn’t this the modern age? Can’t the NFLPA* just send a counter offer via some type of electronic device?

    Doesn’t the next offer need to come from the NFLPA* side? Do they really expect the NFL to negotioate against their own last offer without a counter offer on the table….errr… modern electronic device.

  47. bukes111 says: Apr 4, 2011 10:41 AM

    hail2tharedskins says: they don’t allow links on this forum and all posts w/ links get deleted.

  48. ggeden says: Apr 4, 2011 10:57 AM

    The very problem with it all is that the NFL is a made business. Generating $9b, that has ruined the very integrity of the sport itself (rules destroying game), the integrity of the NFL itself (corruption of commish, owners raising prices on fans cos they can, knowing fans are addicted), and the integrity of players (becoming wealthy divas and sociopaths who take it all for granted).

    This is why whenever a league is fledgling, and trying to make it, it’s always the salad days, a golden era. Like the AFL was. Like the XFL was. Like the UFL is now.

  49. hail2tharedskins says: Apr 4, 2011 11:18 AM

    bukes,

    Thanks for that i was unaware. Good to know, I thought they were deleted simply because they didn’t like the content. Even still, if you gonna delete the links you could at least update the story since the information is clearly out there and from a reliable source.

  50. ggeden says: Apr 4, 2011 11:30 AM

    Just to re-emphasize…

    Basically, the NFL has kinda plateaued now. It’s gotten too big and ‘needs’ to die a lot to bring back the integrity again, but it’s also passed the point of no return too. Why a light at the end of the tunnel is always a new fledgling rival league that needs fans, bends backwards for fans, innovates, rules traditional and fan-geared, players appreciative of the chance and genuinely able to be taught in life and football, etc. Read Schottenheimer’s interviews on joining the UFL, how he hates the NFL now, players can’t be taught anymore, too much of a big business, players come and go, players all self-entitled, owners sweep out coaching staffs very quickly, etc.

    Think back how the AFL forced the NFL to improve massively and dramatically at the time. Remember where the NFL was at the time, what the AFL did — innovations on and off-field, racial equality, etc etc. It was the catalyst for the merged NFL becoming the behemoth it is today. Once again, the cycle repeats tho. Where the game is now overall, in every area, is at another point of decay.

  51. bigd9484 says: Apr 4, 2011 11:33 AM

    Don’t for one second blame this on the players. Anyone who thinks its the owners greed is incredibly mistaken. At 0 hour (when the best negotiating gets done) The owners put an offer on the table that came way across the half way line, and the players were so intent to decertify and go to court, that smith had to try and play it off like the final offer was such a bad deal. They said “see you in court” maybe the players side (the lawyers involved in the case) have gotten some information that the owners side may have more of a chance then they thought, hence the offer to return to the table. At this point (3 days left), the owners are now very happy to look back at the players and go “What? I thought you wanted this settled in court?” The players deserve this. If they don’t like how their union head is acting, they need to hold a vote, and get him out, get someone in who is actually acting in their interest instead of trying to make a name for himself.

  52. obamaczarofussa says: Apr 4, 2011 11:34 AM

    Every single NFL “slave” has the right to choose, not to play for their NFL masa’s.
    They can take the college degree they got for being able to run and catch and hit the real world.
    They can amaze real world employers with their proficient use of ebonics and their uncanny ability to select gold chains and rims… “fo they whip”.
    Please owners, do not give an inch ! Let them feel the cold slap of reality..It’s a humbling the players desperately deserve.

  53. bigd9484 says: Apr 4, 2011 11:47 AM

    And one more for the pro-players small faction. The owners OWN the business, as such, they inherit all risks of said business. The owners raise the prices, because each season, the top player demands more money. Where does this come from? US. If salaries remained fixed, you would have every right to whine about prices going up, because owners would just be pocketing that cash. Unfortunately, since you are pro-player, you should be happy in the knowledge YOU are the reason YOUR prices go up. Conversely, if an entire team were to tank and go bankrupt, how would that impact any of those players? Answer: besides being out of work, it would have no negative impact on those players. They would get to keep every cent, while the owner would assume all the losses. This is why the players have no right to do what they are doing. Not to mention, did you know in the players lawsuit, they are going after the draft and free agency? They are looking to ruin everything we like about football anyway, so why are you so pro-player? The players need to put their ego’s down for two seconds and realize they are nothing better than employee’s. They should be fighting for wages and lifetime health care, end of story. The mere fact the owners are willing to let the players vote on business-model related items (like the 18 game schedule) is FAR more respectful than what they should get. THEY took this to court, so if they found out they are about to get their butt’s handed to them, the owners are now more than willing to let it go public.

  54. dcbronco says: Apr 4, 2011 12:01 PM

    Scud, you forgot to mention the Opt out that took place. That was by far the most important “out”. Without that “out”, no one would be having this discussion right now.

  55. davem23 says: Apr 4, 2011 12:11 PM

    This simple like many of you (about 54 of you), this is legal wrangling, that is intended to show the court that they (the NFLPA*) have been negotiation in “good faith”, when it is pretty clear that they never indented to seek common ground. They are trying a last ditch effort to squeeze the threat of litigation “leverage”, to gain even more concessions. To that the NFL says, “SEE YOU IN COURT!” My prediction…the Lock out will continue past the draft.

  56. airraid77 says: Apr 4, 2011 12:17 PM

    the players are going to lose this battle….
    THe NFLPA thinks that doty will settle it, and the owners will go over dotys head until they get the decision they want, which at worse will come from the supreme court.
    The players are trying to negotiate as a union, while not being recognized as a union.
    THey cant reassemble as a union and have the lawsuit……they want both ends. and rightfully so, the owners have said stick it.

  57. commandercornpone says: Apr 4, 2011 12:23 PM

    which NFLPA* lawyer would the owners have had to meet with?

  58. danetow says: Apr 4, 2011 12:32 PM

    The way I see it the owners tried to negotiate in good faith and didn’t even see so much as a counter offer. The players wanted this in court so the owners are obliging their wishes. The players thought the owners would fold to their wishes like they did last time except this time the owners are taking the high road and will just whoop their butts in court.

    When push comes to shove the players are EMPLOYEES not employers. The sooner they realize that the better.

  59. FinFan68 says: Apr 4, 2011 12:54 PM

    “Buried at the very bottom of a mailbag from ESPN’s John Clayton is a nugget that should have gotten much more prominent treatment from the boys and girls in Bristol…”

    “…So how in the hell is that at the bottom of a Q&A column in the dot-com alphabet junkyard and not on the bottom of the ESPN ticker?”
    ****************
    Mike, based on how you feel about this, why did you let this nugget drop from the top 10 or so articles on this site’s home page?

  60. thefiesty1 says: Apr 4, 2011 1:28 PM

    The owners think they will have the injunction squashed. If the players had any balls they would have met directly with the owners. Ofter the players union* walked out there should have been no question of waiting to for Judge Nelson to kill the injunction. No need to talk to the players lawyers.

  61. nfl25 says: Apr 4, 2011 2:18 PM

    chapnastier says

    “Then they filed a law suit, called the owners “slave owners”, ran an aggressive failure of a PR campaign and a true propaganda website with in an attempt to make the owners look like the villains trying to crush the little man. Ultimately the move convinced 3 people who comment on this site and one who runs it while the rest of the football world got the point”

    that is so funny and true.

  62. nfl25 says: Apr 4, 2011 2:23 PM

    childressrulz says:
    Apr 4, 2011 9:08 AM
    Wow the pro owner crowd refuses to see the writing on the wall. I will make this simple. The bigger someone’s bank account is the less trustworthy they are and they are always a bigger slime ball as well. The rich don’t get rich giving people a fair deal. String the owners up. Worthless dusty old farts! Go Union

    this is what most player backers think like. the majority of player backers are 13-19 years old. they love the players and think rich old dudes that run nfl teams arent as cool as the players. i know alot of philly people love the players too, but alot of patriot fans back the owners. sorry but philly fans never make any sense. and i am an eagle fan

  63. polegojim says: Apr 4, 2011 2:34 PM

    Players and owners need a year or so off without those fat paychecks to feel the effect.

    Sadly, that means all the little folks will receive the same. Too bad greed on both sides hurts the innocent as well.

    Sad Sad Sad

  64. patpatriotagain says: Apr 4, 2011 6:08 PM

    Instead, and as we’ve said several times, the parties need only to agree that nothing regarding the format or structure of the settlement talks will be used by the NFL against the players in as to the question of whether the decertification of the union was legitimate.
    —————————————————–
    and as your readers have pointed out (and anyone with a brain), there’s no way the NFL is going to agree to give up their biggest chip. it’s like agreeing to a cease fire with Al-Qaeda.

    good luck with that.

  65. tbone67 says: Apr 4, 2011 10:27 PM

    Pro-owner? Pro-player? Really?

    This is American capitalism at it’s best. God bless the USA. Both sides had a business agreement that ended. Both sides posturing for what they think they can get at the end of the day. Neither side believes they will alienate the fans to the point that we will stop spending.

    Anyone who thinks the owners can ignore them is wrong. The owners know it. If they thought they could put a good product on the field without the star power that would sidelined, they would. They also know that canning them would present an opportunity for an upstart league. There are enough rich sport fan/businessmen in America to recognize an opportunity.

    Personally, I begrudge no one who is trying to get the maximum of their market value (individually or as group). The trick is not to overplay your cards.

    All big boys pursuing big money from a huge pot. Neither side is going to starve. Every move from both sides calculated to improve their end gain.

    Let them have at it. I just hope they have underestimated the the third player in the poker game: the fans. There is a real possibility this goes too far for too long and both sides are revealed as too greedy and unempathetic. At which point they will need to make concessions (ticket prices, etc) to get us back.

    I love a free market.

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