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Only four of 32 owners at mediation

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As Albert Breer of NFL Network reported last night, Commissioner Roger Goodell and “some of the owners” would be present for court-ordered mediation commencing on Thursday.

“Some” turned out to be four.  Out of 32.

According to NFL spokesman Greg Aiello’s Twitter page, the four owners in attendance are Chiefs owner Clark Hunt, Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, and Steelers owner Art Rooney.

Notably absent from the league’s negotiating team?  Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Packers president and CEO Mark Murphy, and Giants co-owner John “Jury Duty” Mara.

With only a handful of owners present, it’s critical that they have in their pockets the ability to make binding decisions on behalf of their brethren.  In a league where 24 “yes” votes are needed to act on issues like the labor deal, they need to be more than the messengers who are carrying a predetermined list of terms to which the owners will agree.  The owners who are present must have the ability to punch through whatever the owners collectively have decided to do.  If Hunt, Kraft, Richardson, and Rooney don’t have that ability, then the league technically is in violation of Judge Nelson’s order requiring the presence of a representative with “full authority.”

It won’t be an issue unless the players’ lawyers make it an issue.  And they likely will make it an issue only if it appears that the four owners in attendance aren’t serious about trying to work things out.

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62 Responses to “Only four of 32 owners at mediation”
  1. savocabol1 says: Apr 14, 2011 9:37 AM

    So 12.5% of the owners in the league came to the meetings.

    How many players that are named in the suit came to the meetings?……..

  2. dcpatfan says: Apr 14, 2011 9:37 AM

    Kraft’s in the house. Thats all that matters.

  3. tednancy says: Apr 14, 2011 9:41 AM

    Wow, you really want to break bread with the players today, don’t you Mike?

    I wonder how many of the players are present? By your logic, dozens would have to attend or else be found “in violation of Judge Nelson’s order requiring the presence of a representative with “full authority.”

    Gimme a break.

  4. mightymightylafootball says: Apr 14, 2011 9:42 AM

    That’s four too many.

    Hire pro’s to do the work, just like you hire players to play ball.

    Smart business owners let professional negotiators do the talking for them. Dumb ones want to do it themselves.

  5. thelockoutbeard says: Apr 14, 2011 9:42 AM

    This is a complete joke and waste of time! If you are not going to be in it for real don’t waste our time and get our hopes up that football will be back! Once the owners realize the money isn’t rolling in, they will change their tunes!

    The Lockout continues! As the lockout grows on so does my beard! I am growing a lockout beard and am not shaving until they start playing! Please follow me on twitter @TheLockoutBeard

    -The Lockout Beard-

  6. zaggs says: Apr 14, 2011 9:43 AM

    And the entire players executive committee is in attendance? No? Drop the damn bias.

  7. benh999 says: Apr 14, 2011 9:43 AM

    Would it somehow be more productive to have 32 people on each side? Those are four of the most influential owners and plenty sufficient. Stop trying to make a story out of nothing.

  8. smarterthantheaveragebearfan says: Apr 14, 2011 9:45 AM

    I like the makeup of this group….

    You have 3 reasonable owners and just one nutcase (Richardson).

  9. gobolts4lyfe says: Apr 14, 2011 9:47 AM

    Nice to see the Owners want a deal done. If it isnt the players side showing a lack of interest to get a deal done its the owners. Who pays for this lack of interest? WE THE FANS!!!! Thanks guys!!!

    Maybe Vince McMahon should bring back the XFL!! LOL

  10. biggerballz says: Apr 14, 2011 9:48 AM

    You know these are business men, they have other businesses to run, unlike players who have court dates to attend only.

  11. kernelreefer says: Apr 14, 2011 9:49 AM

    Color me shocked.

    Seriously, how many people are surprised that at least one side isn’t either (a) following the dictates of the court-ordered mediation or (b) slow-rolling the negotiation even more.

    The power to make a decision does not mean going back to gather a quorum on every potential settlement. It means making a decision.

    I used to be an optimist.

  12. xsammy34x says: Apr 14, 2011 9:51 AM

    Are all 1800 or so players suppose to show up also? I’m sure the owners didn’t pick straws to see who went….

  13. ravenution says: Apr 14, 2011 9:52 AM

    Just get a deal done.

  14. 3octaveFart says: Apr 14, 2011 9:53 AM

    3 out of the 4 aren’t bad…
    The “Jerrys” need to stay out of it.

  15. firethorn1001 says: Apr 14, 2011 9:55 AM

    The number of owners (or players) present is irrelevant. All they need is one person that has the authority to speak for all 32 and until you can prove that this authority doesn’t reside in any of the owners present you are just speculating.

  16. chazzgoodtimes says: Apr 14, 2011 9:55 AM

    If I could pick two owners to be there in would be Kraft and Rooney. If I could pick one owner to NOT be there in would absolutely be Richardson.

    In fact, if there was a way to jettison Kesler and Richardson into space I feel like we’d have a new CBA by the end of the month.

  17. dccowboy says: Apr 14, 2011 9:56 AM

    I think there’s less than a ‘handful’ of players present as well. Do the players lawyers have similar authority to bind the players to a deal?

    Don’t think so. If they did then they make a mockery of the NFLPA’s ‘decertification’. If the NFLPA ‘lawyers’, like President DeMaurice Smith, are representing hte players in the mediation and he has ‘authority’ to bind the players to a deal, doesn’t that mean that the NFLPA in reality is still representing the players and the decertification was, as the League contends, a sham?

    By the way, when does the NLRB intend to rule on the Leagues complaint about decertification and what recourse does a ruling that it is a ‘sham’ give the NFL?

  18. jw731 says: Apr 14, 2011 9:58 AM

    As a fan…….I Just want football, so the fact that Kraft and Rooney were there, gives me at least a glimmer of hope…..it sure as hell beats Snyder and Jones….

  19. bradjames33160 says: Apr 14, 2011 9:59 AM

    Mr. Bowlen has done his part to bring this stupid lockout to an end by willing to show my Broncos’ books, so he’s absolved of any wrongdoing as far as I’m concerned. With that said, I hate the Pats, Steelers and Chiefs, but their owners are all good men. My major reason for optimism is Jerry Jones isn’t there. A latter-day J.R. Ewing like him is precisely what is NOT needed for negotiations to percolate illustriously.

  20. eagleswin says: Apr 14, 2011 9:59 AM

    It won’t be an issue unless the players’ lawyers make it an issue. And they likely will make it an issue only if it appears that the four owners in attendance aren’t serious about trying to work things out.
    ——————————
    Why don’t the owners just let the players decide how much money the owners should get and how it should be divided up because otherwise the owners aren’t being serious?

    It takes 2 sides to negotiate and only 1 side to dictate. The players refused to negotiate until they got the hammer they wanted and still it’s the owners who must continue to concede?

    The owners have made several concessions and proposals so far, the owners haven’t made a single counter proposal. Maybe the players should show that they are serious in that they want to negotiate a CBA and not just the owners surrender?

    I wish someone would interview the original mediator Cohen and get his unvarnished take on the original mediation sessions. I really think the whole problem was that the players wanted a judge mediating from the beginning because they wanted the oversight hammer (regardless of how trivial we are being told that is), not that the man was a bad mediator.

  21. seahawkhuskyfan says: Apr 14, 2011 10:00 AM

    thelockoutbeard says:
    Apr 14, 2011 9:42 AM
    This is a complete joke and waste of time! If you are not going to be in it for real don’t waste our time and get our hopes up that football will be back! Once the owners realize the money isn’t rolling in, they will change their tunes!
    ———————————————–
    That is the difference here and also where the leverage comes in, the owners have other monies “rolling in”. The players, who don’t, need to change their tune.

  22. hoobsher says: Apr 14, 2011 10:01 AM

    for the love of god, why? WHY ARE THESE TWO GROUPS OF PEOPLE SO DAMN CONTRARY!?

    cant they just agree so we can enjoy the product they give us? do they not feel any sort of enjoyment for what they’re doing?

  23. themohel says: Apr 14, 2011 10:01 AM

    How will the players representatives have full authority? Can the named plaintiffs make a deal that binds all the players? Or is a vote of players necessary to approve any agreement? If a vote is necessary, won’t the players automatically be in violation since by definition nobody will have “full authority”?

  24. chapnastier says: Apr 14, 2011 10:03 AM

    It’s already been said but we can’t expect this site to ask the question… how many of the 1700 players are there? Or even the ones named in the suit?

  25. RussianBreadMaker says: Apr 14, 2011 10:06 AM

    Obviously the owners don’t want to be bothered.

  26. steelersmichele says: Apr 14, 2011 10:09 AM

    Rooney, Kraft and Richardson. Out of all the owners, I would have guessed those three would be there–they seem to care the most about reaching an amicable agreement and playing football.

  27. skoobyfl says: Apr 14, 2011 10:13 AM

    Somebody bring me Shaky Finch.

  28. bigd9484 says: Apr 14, 2011 10:19 AM

    Those players don’t need to be there. The reason “this site” won’t “ask the question” is that it’s a stupid question. The only people who need to be there are people with the authority to say yes to any proposal, which in this case for players is Smith.(Which was mentioned in the article like 500 times, and in articles before it.) If those 4 owners have the authority to vote amongst themselves (it divides out evenly if you didn’t notice, this may have been done on purpose). Stop speculating every 10 minutes, wait for a real report of progress, right now all they have is who is in the room.

  29. wannabeqb says: Apr 14, 2011 10:20 AM

    It doesn’t matter how many of the players or owners are there.

    There could be no members of the exec committee/named plaintiffs present if they have given Smith or some other legal representatives full authority to make decisions, which seems reasonably likely. Most of the pro-league commenters on here seem to think Smith has been calling the shots anyway.

    The important question is whether the 4 owners present have been given full authority, when the NFLs bylaws indicate you need three quarters majority to make a labor related decision. However, given the presence of Kraft, who seems to have been an key influence on the ownership as a whole, I have some hope. (Richardson’s attendance, on the other hand, gives me much less hope!)

  30. steveohho says: Apr 14, 2011 10:22 AM

    How dare they violate a Federal judge’s order! By disobeying their master they risk being added to the largest prison population on earth.

  31. jgrange says: Apr 14, 2011 10:26 AM

    I’m guessing they don’t want Al Davis there since he shows loyalty to his players whereas the other owners treat a lot of them like yesterday’s trash in order to advance their bottom line.

  32. commoncents says: Apr 14, 2011 10:26 AM

    Is Tom Brady and all the BIG name players on the suit there?? I didn’t think so but we will never hear that from you because of your obvious bias.

  33. armchairgm9 says: Apr 14, 2011 10:27 AM

    D. Smith is at the meeting. He alone has authority to decide for the players. So they’re fully in compliance. Goodell doesn’t have that same ability.

  34. endzonezombie says: Apr 14, 2011 10:29 AM

    Two of the owners are hard-core – Kraft and Richardson – while the other two are more moderate. In this era of webmeetings, it may not be difficult to arrange an instant quorum meeting with a 30 minute notice.

  35. chapnastier says: Apr 14, 2011 10:31 AM

    The way this site spins this in favor of the players, its no surprise that so many commenters have it but backward on who is to blame.

  36. capslockkey says: Apr 14, 2011 10:41 AM

    “I’m guessing they don’t want Al Davis there since he shows loyalty to his players whereas the other owners treat a lot of them like yesterday’s trash in order to advance their bottom line.”

    Go ask a guy like Marcus Allen how he feels about Al Davis’ loyalty to his players.

  37. themohel says: Apr 14, 2011 10:47 AM

    Big D – collective bargaining usually allows for a vote on both sides (management and labor) after a deal is struck. If not approved, they go back to the drawing board. The question here is how either side can mediate with “Full Authority” unless the sides have given up the right to do so. Did the players give up the right to have a vote when they decertified? If not, they are no more able to mediate with “Full Authority” than are the owners.

  38. cmich2006 says: Apr 14, 2011 10:48 AM

    If Dan Rooney is there this isn’t a dog and pony show.

  39. 3octaveFart says: Apr 14, 2011 10:50 AM

    chapnastier says: Apr 14, 2011 10:31 AM

    “The way this site spins this in favor of the players, its no surprise that so many commenters have it but backward on who is to blame.”

    The owners are to blame.

    They were the one who “opted out” of an agreement that wasn’t set to expire until 2012.
    They planned this lockout in advance, and it was their plan from day one.
    They prepared for it with their attempt at “lockout insurance”.
    They refused to even negotiate until the very day after Doty took away their war chest.
    They put the final nail in the coffin when they locked the doors.
    No teams are “losing” money, their profits just aren’t as large as they used to be, and the owners don’t like that.
    The players have never refused to “give back” $1 billion, they just want to know why first.

    Hope that clears up your confusion.

  40. jeff061 says: Apr 14, 2011 10:51 AM

    Geez the anti- owners propaganda never ends here. Are you clueless enough to think 32 owners need to be there? It’s the League CBA for which teams are members….should we have the negotiating sessions in an arena with 1800 players and 32 owners?

  41. footballhistorian says: Apr 14, 2011 10:53 AM

    There’s GOT to be a “full Nelson” joke in here somewhere…

  42. holdthemayo123 says: Apr 14, 2011 10:59 AM

    Do you really want 24 of them there? How much good will that do? Seems like they have some of the more influential owners there, which would make you think if a deal is cut that they could convince the others to follow along.

  43. madenatewell says: Apr 14, 2011 11:26 AM

    Stop all the Jerry Richardson hate! The guy used to play in this league, he also is very well televise around the league…you think he’s crazy? Why? Because he stood up to Peyton Manning? These representatives for the players all make good money and have always made good money…they ARE being babies and just because he stood up and called the CBA unsustainable that makes him crazy…

  44. hendawg21 says: Apr 14, 2011 11:26 AM

    Big deal in this day of video conferencing and conference calls they could be dialed in and present that way…

    And or maybe those who did show up are the spokesperson for the entire owner’s group…

  45. chapnastier says: Apr 14, 2011 11:47 AM

    @ 30ctave

    Hey buddy, good to hear from you. I am glad I have someone to prove wrong with facts. First, it was their legal option to opt out of the last CBA. The owners exercised their legal rights to get out of a player friendly CBA and try to work towards a more even deal. Next, of course they prepared for it, its called being wise business men. Since the players also prepared for the lockout by setting up lockout funds it can be determined by your logic that they players never had an intention on negotiating either. For the sake of argument, let’s just say it proves that neither side had any plans on agreeing to anything to that point. Next, what you and other pro-players keep ignoring is the fact that the players were presented a deal by the owners the day they decided to de-certify. The players could have made a counter offer and agreed to extend the deadline giving them more time to negotiate. They didn’t, they prepared for war with a law suit that was drawn up weeks and maybe months in advance. This was a clear indication that they had no desire to negotiate so the owners exercised their rights and locked them out.

    Finally, the owners position has nothing to do with “declining profits”. Instead they see the writing on the wall that the system isn’t sustainable over the long term. As a result, they want to get to a system that is sustainable and keeps the business growing for many years to come since, in the broad scheme of things, that is the goal of both sides.

    Again, I’m glad I can point out your constant in accuracies. I don’t know why I bother, this has to be the 100th time and you still wont accept it. But its a slow day today!

  46. whathappenedtovox says: Apr 14, 2011 11:58 AM

    Not even Zygi Wilf? It’s in his freaking back yard.

  47. seahawkfan4evr says: Apr 14, 2011 12:00 PM

    ya well i know where paul allen is
    BLAZERS PLAYOFFS YEAH BOYYYYY

  48. nineroutsider says: Apr 14, 2011 12:00 PM

    Idiots – don’t pick sides. Just hope they get something done soon. Stop turning the NFL Lockout into a forum for you to espouse your political beliefs. Their dispute is highly specific to a unique industry and cannot be applied to other facets of society.

  49. 3octaveFart says: Apr 14, 2011 12:17 PM

    chapnastier says: Apr 14, 2011 11:47 AM

    “@ 30ctave…”

    The CBA wasn’t due to expire until the end of the 2012 season. The players were (and probably still are) just fine with the way things were.

    It’s the owners who started this mess, and fired the first shot when they pulled the plug on it. Had they not done so, we’d still have a CBA and none of this wrangling would even be going on.

    Even you can’t deny any of this.

  50. nineroutsider says: Apr 14, 2011 12:27 PM

    @ chapnastier

    “Next, what you and other pro-players keep ignoring is the fact that the players were presented a deal by the owners the day they decided to de-certify.”

    -Yeah, an hour before the deadline. They didn’t even have time to read it. Both sides participated in the sham negotiations, but you can be delusional if you’d like.

    Please do explain the writing on the wall. I am curious to exactly how the current model is unsustainable. If the NFL has yet to successfully answer this question, how can you?

    Don’t try to pick sides. None of us know enough facts to do so.

  51. pacstud says: Apr 14, 2011 12:27 PM

    More owners can’t = better results

  52. chapnastier says: Apr 14, 2011 12:36 PM

    @ 30octave

    Of course the players were fine with the unsustainable business! But again, the owners exercised their right to terminate the CBA early. They did nothing wrong. And I don’t care when the offer was presented, all they had to do was extend it to give them time to review it. However since the players never presented an offer it can be proven with logic, facts and reason that they began this by de-certifying!

  53. jakek2 says: Apr 14, 2011 12:44 PM

    Dee Smith has full authority to act on behalf of the Plaintiffs. The four owners do NOT. Therefore, the owners are in technical violation of the order!

    Hey Holiday Inn Express lawyers….you are all dolts and all WRONG.

    Players 1 Owners 0

  54. mshinson says: Apr 14, 2011 12:51 PM

    madenatewell, Thank you.

  55. bwisnasky says: Apr 14, 2011 1:16 PM

    Go ask a guy like Marcus Allen how he feels about Al Davis’ loyalty to his players.

    ————————————————–

    Actually, Marcus Allen got his panties in a bunch because a younger, fresher running back came along and took his starting spot…. Bo Jackson to name names…. now the fact Bo had his career ended early doesn’t figure into this… but I guarantee you, there’s not an owner out there that wouldn’t have taken a healthy young Bo Jackson over an aging Marcus Allen… although Marcus had some good years with the Chiefs. Fact is, everytime a collective bargaining deal gets done, it’s because Al Davis finally gets the small market teams to come along.. and usually he is the one that makes concessions for the players… just as he overpays the players he wants to keep…. and everyone whines cause he throws the salary scale out of whack… a deal will get done when Al steps up to the table.. and not before then….

  56. rocketdogsports says: Apr 14, 2011 1:20 PM

    Well at least Randy Lerner has been visible in this entire process…..not.

    I agree that having Kraft and Rooney gives credibility to the owners group. they are nobody’s fool and the most reasoned of the owners. Someone just needs to sit on Richardson and keep him quiet.

  57. CKL says: Apr 14, 2011 1:40 PM

    jakek2 says:
    Apr 14, 2011 12:44 PM
    Dee Smith has full authority to act on behalf of the Plaintiffs. The four owners do NOT. Therefore, the owners are in technical violation of the order!
    ___________________________________
    I am curious…how do you know that to be true that those owners do NOT have full authority?

  58. eagleswin says: Apr 14, 2011 1:46 PM

    nineroutsider says:Apr 14, 2011 12:27 PM

    @ chapnastier

    “Next, what you and other pro-players keep ignoring is the fact that the players were presented a deal by the owners the day they decided to de-certify.”

    -Yeah, an hour before the deadline. They didn’t even have time to read it. Both sides participated in the sham negotiations, but you can be delusional if you’d like.

    Please do explain the writing on the wall. I am curious to exactly how the current model is unsustainable. If the NFL has yet to successfully answer this question, how can you?

    Don’t try to pick sides. None of us know enough facts to do so.
    ———————————-
    The point you are missing is that the owners presented several proposals over the course of the mediation. The one you are obsessing over is merely the last one, not the only one. The owners were also willing to extend the deadline to give the players time to review the latest proposal with no penalties involved. There was no downside for the players in continued mediation except for the fact that players never presented any counterproposals of their own.

    I wonder why the players union didn’t make any counterproposals? Not one on the day of the deadline, not one during the week before the deadline, not one at all. I heard alot about respect. The players thinking the owners didn’t respect them, the players didn’t respect the mediator,etc. Maybe it’s the players who have no respect.

    What I do know is that we are now at the point we are at now because the union wanted to negotiate/settle through the court system.

  59. thefiesty1 says: Apr 14, 2011 2:02 PM

    If they don’t have a quorum, then there is no meeting. If the negioatting team can’t make (other than JJ who doesn’t count anymore) the session where the hell are the other owners or GM’s?

    The league is projecting that this round of talks is like a pesky mesquito that keeps sucking blood by the players. Ignore it and keep getting bit or swat it a squash the parasites.

  60. bukes111 says: Apr 14, 2011 2:11 PM

    @ savocabol1

    doesn’t matter, De Smith can make decisions for them. Once he agrees, the union can be re-certified.

  61. nygdefenserules says: Apr 14, 2011 2:37 PM

    Rooney and Kraft are two of the most respected owners in the league. If Mara was there, you may have the top 3.

    I am glad they didn’t bring in both Richardson and Jerry Jones since they have already had issues with the players.

    I am a union person – I believe in the purpose of collective bargaining – I do not believe in striking/locking out/decertifying…which are basically the grown-up versions of a “I’m taking my toys and going home” hissy fit.

    Be adults – be professionals – be fair. ….and give me back my DAMN FOOTBALL!!!!

  62. stairwayto7 says: Apr 14, 2011 3:01 PM

    Where is Packer CEO at? This proves he does not want football and does nto want hsi team to get their rings on order yet! DOWN WITH THE PACK!

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