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Players ask judge to force owners to start league year

S. Nelson2

NFL players had until Wednesday morning to respond to the owner’s request for a stay following Monday’s court ruling, but the players didn’t wait that long.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that players sent a letter to Judge Susan Nelson on Tuesday asking for clarification regarding what it means when she says the lockout is “enjoined.”   (I guess I wasn’t the only one confused with that word.)

The players are essentially trying to force the league to impose working rules or get the league year started without rules.  The primary objective by the players is for the judge to force the league to start the league year.

Now the ball is back in the owner’s court.  She ordered the owners to respond by 5 p.m. ET Wednesday, according to Schefter.

This unprecedented, insane week is only going to get crazier.

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76 Responses to “Players ask judge to force owners to start league year”
  1. friendlylittletrees says: Apr 26, 2011 12:56 PM

    If we thought it was ugly at the negotiation table before…

    Imagine what it is going to be like now.

  2. berniemadoffsides says: Apr 26, 2011 12:56 PM

    (Jeopardy theme)

  3. carlgerbschmidt says: Apr 26, 2011 12:56 PM

    Alright, let’s get this season going. Time for the Pack to start their march to repeat and for the vikes to fall further down into the black abyss that is viking football!

  4. commoncents says: Apr 26, 2011 12:58 PM

    Don’t listen to De-Moron Susie, force the players to negotiate in good faith.

  5. andyreidisfat says: Apr 26, 2011 1:01 PM

    Well as of right now all football fans should be on the players side. They want the year to start. The owners don’t. Stand with the players judge. Give us football. ( and most importantly let the Eagles trade Kolb for a top 5 pick and get peterson lol )

  6. bengalanthony13 says: Apr 26, 2011 1:02 PM

    It would be fantastic if she ruled that the NFL year starts this week before Draft weekend, even if temporary. So many teams really on the trade to move players and fill their rosters along with free agency.
    The Bengals, for instance, are presumably looking to trade both Chad Ochocinco and Carson Palmer. They could really use some rules in place this weekend to possibly move these guys for picks and/or players and re-sign some of their own free agents, like Johnathan Joseph. Having some sort of a set of rules in place is key for a team like the Bengals that is in “re-build mode”.
    The Eagles are another team that are desperate for rules in place because they want to move Kevin Kolb, and possibly get picks this year for him. Kolb is also a subject that involves the Bengals, as they may be interested in him.
    I just think it would go a long way, especially with the fans, if there was a forced set of rules in place by draft weekend so everybody can see teams doing things that they normally do in the offseason.

  7. ruckinfidiculous says: Apr 26, 2011 1:03 PM

    Let me get this straight – the players want the teams to be recognized as individual companies, yet now they want them to impose a set of common working rules between them?

    How far does this go before some of the owners decide to just close up shop?

  8. mantei says: Apr 26, 2011 1:03 PM

    Good.

  9. karlpilkington says: Apr 26, 2011 1:04 PM

    Please, oh please. I need me some football.

  10. louforprethident says: Apr 26, 2011 1:05 PM

    So the owners have to respond to a request of clarification of the judge’s intent? huh?

  11. KIR says: Apr 26, 2011 1:06 PM

    Am I the only one who’s confused about some of these “fans” in here unhappy that the lock out is ending? The owners have already admitted that they are making a profit. How much only they know and is their secret. Why are actual “fans” unhappy that the lockout is ending?

  12. blantoncollier says: Apr 26, 2011 1:06 PM

    The player’s Letter was the next step in the antitrust law suit. If the League starts the year with work rules that all 32 teams join, with no agreement to the work rules by the players the potential for antitrust issues exsist. De and Kessler know this, thats why they are pushing this. Its called the Kessler/Smith Agenda, no draft, no salary cap, no salary floor etc.

    That is why the NFL has been pushing for a new CBA. It provides work rules and limits antitrust issues.

    I am still waiting for hear De or Kessler say–”OK we won, lets get back to the table and work this out.”

    They havent and they wont.

    Its not in Dee or Kesslers personal best interest to reach a settlement. Because they want to change the game.

    So Dee and Kessler–its clear you monitor this site…Do you want to improve the game or kill the game?

    The strategy is clear..use the courts to kill the game.

    Touchdown!

  13. primetime17 says: Apr 26, 2011 1:07 PM

    I still think that judge is yummy!

  14. clintonportisheadd says: Apr 26, 2011 1:07 PM

    Since the union has de-certified, the NFL can now impose any work rules/policies they want.

    Drug testing, OTA’s, salary caps, and anything else you can think of is no longer subject to bargaining. So there is no reason for the league not to start it’s new year and re-open the league for business.

    Now we all know that those new imposed rules will be the basis for the next lawsuit the ex-NFLPA will file (anti-trust) and win but so what?

  15. thewhitestguyhere says: Apr 26, 2011 1:08 PM

    Letting the government decide what’s best for your business is like asking a toddler to do your taxes

  16. richsaint says: Apr 26, 2011 1:10 PM

    I think you misspelled it and meant Enjoyed! Because the lock out is supposed to be fun right? Wes Welker thinks so! I am sure that De does too and Roger!
    Wait they dont? I dont either! SO GET BACK TO WORK AND GET A DAMN DEAL DONE!
    If a New CBA isnt signed by late summer the terrorists have won.

  17. zaggs says: Apr 26, 2011 1:10 PM

    Except if they are going by the last offer, the year wouldn’t start. If Nelson is going to force a phantom offer onto the league, whats the point of a court anyways? Not to mention the players cannot make an offer because they are not a union.

  18. themohel says: Apr 26, 2011 1:12 PM

    The owners have been told the lockout is “enjoined” but there is no guidance about what set of rules would be legal. Remember, the Judge has basically announced that it is likely the league (without a CBA) will be held in violation of the anti-trust rules if they operate under previous rules. So, she tells the league they can’t lock out the players and you must open the doors, and that you’ll have to just guess at what might be considered legal later. If that is not an abuse of discretion, it is at least poor judging.

  19. arcaero says: Apr 26, 2011 1:12 PM

    Let me do a little research for you:

    enjoin v.
    for a court to order that someone either do a specific act, cease a course of conduct, or be prohibited from committing a certain act. To obtain such an order, called an injunction, a private party or public agency has to file a petition for a writ of injunction, serve it on the party he/she/it hopes to be enjoined, allowing time for a written response. Then a court hearing is held in which the judge will consider evidence, both written and oral, listen to the arguments and then either grant the writ or deny it. If granted the court will issue a final or permanent injunction. A preliminary injunction or temporary injunction are orders made by the court while the matter is being processed and considered, based on the petition and any accompanying declarations, either of which is intended to keep matters in status quo (as they are) or prevent possible irreparable harm (like cutting trees, poisoning a stream, or moving out of the country with a child or money) until a final decision is made. (See: injunction)

    source: legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com

  20. nfl4ever says: Apr 26, 2011 1:17 PM

    primetime17 says:
    Apr 26, 2011 1:07 PM
    I still think that judge is yummy!
    —————————————–

    Agreed, power is sexy!

  21. endzonezombie says: Apr 26, 2011 1:19 PM

    “Am I the only one who’s confused about some of these “fans” in here unhappy that the lock out is ending?”

    Well, KIR. it is because they are not really fans. They are league shills sent to web to spread the league/owner propaganda. Once the league year starts, they are no longer needed.

  22. wawa33 says: Apr 26, 2011 1:19 PM

    DeMaurice Jackie Chiles: ‘Who told you to put the balm on? I didn’t tell you to put the balm on!”

  23. tamvu says: Apr 26, 2011 1:19 PM

    as much as i want football to start, does anyone see a constitutional problem with telling/forcing owners to run their business? let’s not all forget about the finish line, here, which is a fair CBA for the owners and players. Forcing football to start is only going to add to the chaos, and give the players more reason to avoid negotiation/prolong litigation. Forcing football to start with the laundry list of problems involving the game of football is unacceptable. Joe Haden is wrong, football was not “fine the way it was before.” No rookie wage scaling? No blood testing for HGH (the fact that grown men refusing to is comical, in the light of olympic drug testing for 17 yo scrawny little gymnast girls.) Protocol on handling concussions? We can’t go back to the way we were, and this is an amazing opportunity to make a great sport greater. Abusing the courtrooms and forcing football to start is only going to be a temporary band-aid in the light of the greater issues.

  24. commoncents says: Apr 26, 2011 1:22 PM

    It’s short sighted to suggest that we the fans should all be happy the lockout may be lifted. yea, i want football but I want to know, moving forward, the owners and players have a storng,fair CBA in place. With no deal done, and the players back to work, they(the players) have no incentive to get a fair deal done, or to negotiate in good faith. This ruling stands in the way of a fair deal, especially with the posturing of Demaurice Dick!!

  25. jaggedmark says: Apr 26, 2011 1:22 PM

    Given the deadlines, it sounds like the judge is very cognizant of Thursday’s draft, and is deliberately trying to finish this before that time.

  26. jakek2 says: Apr 26, 2011 1:24 PM

    andyreidisfat -

    I was with you right up until your “trade Kolb for Peterson” comment. I’m a Giants’ fan and do NOT want to see that happen. LOL

  27. whathappenedtovox says: Apr 26, 2011 1:24 PM

    The owners worked hard and made enough money so that they could buy football teams. They’re smart businessmen and deserve to make all the money. The players are lucky that they get paid anything at all. They should just be happy to play for the love of the game. If the owners want more of the 9 billion dollars they should have it.

    The owners do more for the game than the players. I say just replace the 1,696 players with the next best 1,696. I’d still watch that, and it would be awesome. Super awesome. And if those new 1,696 players start to open their mouths, just replace them with the next best 1,696.

    If a player walked into your house and said “Let me see your bank statement,” there’s no way you’d let him, so why should the owners show them their books?

    Also, this sets a precedent for the rest of the country. Now anyone can just say “I’m not making enough money. Give me more.” And if the company doesn’t, I can just decertify and get my money and all the corporations of the world will go out of business.

    So thanks Judge Nelson, you have single-handedly ruined football and America.

  28. iced107 says: Apr 26, 2011 1:24 PM

    why is there confusion when theres things called dictionaries?

    I mean just google “enjoined dictionary” and heres what you get from websters:

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enjoined

    1: to direct or impose by authoritative order or with urgent admonition

    2a: forbid, prohibit

    [b]b: to prohibit by a judicial order [/b]: put an injunction on

    Seems pretty plain as english what that means – lockout is over unless as a stay is granted

  29. bfridley says: Apr 26, 2011 1:25 PM

    Sent a letter?! What is this, 1805? Was it by way of the pony express?

    Send the shorty a text! Tweet at her, or something!

  30. FinFan68 says: Apr 26, 2011 1:26 PM

    So, the players want the judge to order the owners to operate as normal even though there is no “normal” operating environment. Are the league/players supposed to pretend there is a valid CBA in effect? The owners had the ability to opt out of the old CBA, based on an agreement with the players, and they exercised that option. When there were no additional extensions, that CBA ended when the players walked away and chose to litigate. Either the judge is telling the players to abide by the rules that they are currently challenging in her court or she is telling the owners to drastically change how they do business or risk further litigation. I haven’t seen anything that addresses that. Maybe I missed it. It seems to me, based on the lawsuit, that the league would have to develop a new way of doing business from scratch. No union=no CBA=no anti-trust exemption=completely different operating environment. To expect the league to jump in and operate immediately is unrealistic and so is asking the players to work under the very conditions they are challenging. It would not surprise me if the league cancelled the draft this year.

  31. theravenlives2 says: Apr 26, 2011 1:28 PM

    Am I the only one who’s confused about some of these “fans” in here unhappy that the lock out is ending? The owners have already admitted that they are making a profit. How much only they know and is their secret. Why are actual “fans” unhappy that the lockout is ending?

    ===================================

    Because it’s like putting a band-aid on a brain tumor, dummy. It doesn’t solve the problem; it just creates a whole nother set of them. How can the league function with out a uniform set of rules? It would be chaos…you know, like Major League Baseball!

    And the owners absolutely have a right to make a profit. They are the ones who…in many cases…have to pay the debt service on stadium loans. Stop listening to PMSMBC, its not a bad thing to make a profit! That’s what made this country great.

  32. shallowfan says: Apr 26, 2011 1:30 PM

    Anyone see this quote from Jeff Faine, union rep from the Bucs…

    “Everybody has their own personal situations, whether it’s bonuses or what not and if they feel they need to show up, that’s fine. My personal opinion is that it’s not going to do a thing. This thing is going to be won in the courts. There’s still a long road in front of us. I know the general perception is let’s go sing Kumbaya. We won and all that. But at the end of the day, they’re appealing it. They’re appealing it right now. This this is a positive step, but nobody has won in this situation.”

    Sounds like he is saying mediation is out the window and the players have decided to let the courts decide, unless he is talking about the end of the lockout only and not the CBA, but I’m not sure that is the case. If the players win the appeal mediation is out the window and the courts will decide…pretty much the fate of the NFL as we know it.

    The thing is, although I want the lockout to end, if the lockout does end and the players win this will get very ugly and football will change for the worse…that is a guarantee…so I am torn.

    If I’m the owners and I lose the appeal then I agree to the stipulations of the previous CBA (what the players wanted) and hopefully get a deal done so the lawyers will backoff, for the good of the game. If the owners don’t do that then they do not care about the game and just want to pocket as much $$$ as possible.

  33. zoxitic says: Apr 26, 2011 1:30 PM

    The real secret is that Judge Nelson is in 3 fantasy leagues. 1 keeper league that has been going on since 1998. No way she is missing out on the 2011 season.

  34. tiredofthestupid says: Apr 26, 2011 1:30 PM

    @thewhitestguyhere says:

    “Letting the government decide what’s best for your business is like asking a toddler to do your taxes”

    You mean, like when the government took over GM, turned the company around after a decade of horrible management, and put GM in position to re-take the #1 car producer title?

    I wasn’t for the bailout because bad companies should fail, no matter what the size, but you can’t argue with the results. The Gov’t DID get GM back on track. Or to put it into football parlance: “SCOREBOARD!”

  35. 7thehardway says: Apr 26, 2011 1:32 PM

    Someone please help this idiot out.

    What does “being forced to start the league year” mean? Because this judge lifted the lockout does that mean the ownership has to… do what exactly?

    Make trades? Sign free agents? Cut players? Fire assistants? What? And what if none of this happens? Will the players then cry “collusion?”

    Under what rules would the whole “starting the league year” apply? As soon as a single free agent is signed, a single trade made, isn’t that a form of anti-trust? So… what are the owner expected to do? What are they supposed to do…?

    Playoff hockey… keep saying that over and over…

  36. montymontana15 says: Apr 26, 2011 1:35 PM

    Vince Lombardi was right, trade them ALL. Football as we knew it is over, just like everything else, GREED ruined the USA in 2007, and now GREED ruined the National Football League, can you say futbol as in SOCCER…..YUCK!! EGOS and GREED ruined what was a good thing. They should just back to what they had, but now this will drag on and on and the season will be lost and who knows wtf the NFL will look like in the future. They dont even have a plan!! Where’s the remote time to watch Ku Fu Panda Bear play third base.

  37. crazy2bbengals says: Apr 26, 2011 1:45 PM

    this would be like Walmart being forced to open let their emplyees come to work eventhough the building isn’t finished yet

  38. clintonportisheadd says: Apr 26, 2011 1:50 PM

    commoncents says: Apr 26, 2011 12:58 PM

    Don’t listen to De-Moron Susie

    wawa33 says: Apr 26, 2011 1:19 PM

    DeMaurice Jackie Chiles:

    commoncents says: Apr 26, 2011 1:22 PM

    especially with the posturing of Demaurice Dick!!

    ===================

    Nothing like an outspoken black man to make the racists come out of the woodwork.

  39. hobartbaker says: Apr 26, 2011 1:53 PM

    Full text of the player’s statement –

    “Deer Juj Nielson, sure some of us bin ‘enjoyin’ the lockout, but we don’t wants it goin’ too long. Maybe ’bout the middle of August, give or take. Then we won’t be ‘enjoyin’ so much. Hope you be enjoyin’ life too, thanks for everything, we know we can count on you guys up there. Bye from all the guys!”.

  40. thephantomstranger says: Apr 26, 2011 1:54 PM

    carlgerbschmidt says:
    Apr 26, 2011 12:56 PM
    Alright, let’s get this season going. Time for the Pack to start their march to repeat and for the vikes to fall further down into the black abyss that is viking football!
    ______________

    Keep it up, monkey-boy.

  41. zerored78 says: Apr 26, 2011 1:56 PM

    @FinFan68

    You don’t think the owners’ should have been working on a plan on how to run the league in the absence of a CBA as soon as the union decertified? The court is tell the NFL to run their business legally. That’s not too much to ask.

  42. jimr10 says: Apr 26, 2011 1:57 PM

    finfan68 —you make too much sense. the players want it all their way. I am so against the way kevin mawae, who isn’t ever a player, and the other lackies, that i hope the bottom falls out for them. the way the NFL worked, was the best system for all concerned. the players never intended to negotiate and smith and kessler talked them into this. i hope the day comes when they regret their choice of de moron.

  43. abengalfan says: Apr 26, 2011 1:57 PM

    bengalanthony13 says:
    Apr 26, 2011 1:02 PM
    Having some sort of a set of rules in place is key for a team like the Bengals that is in “re-build mode”.

    HaHaHaHa
    When you have no front office what difference does it make?

  44. angrycorgi says: Apr 26, 2011 1:57 PM

    Jerry Jones just gave a pre-draft press conference. He’s saying that “across the league the new football year has not started yet” so they will not be opening the weight room (a side question asked, not draft-related). So there ya have it.

  45. depack says: Apr 26, 2011 2:00 PM

    “yummy”???? Please adjust your screen settings!!!

  46. zaggs says: Apr 26, 2011 2:00 PM

    “KIR says: Apr 26, 2011 1:06 PM

    Am I the only one who’s confused about some of these “fans” in here unhappy that the lock out is ending? The owners have already admitted that they are making a profit. How much only they know and is their secret. Why are actual “fans” unhappy that the lockout is ending?”

    Because we see that the “players” want nothing more than to take any common set rules amongst the teams and get rid of them. Demoron Smith has basically hinted they want to do away with the draft (hence why he wont comment beyond 2011′s draft) which means free agents instead of a draft which benefits the big market teams and destroys competitive balance.

  47. teke184 says: Apr 26, 2011 2:04 PM

    It’s not posted here yet, but Goodell has a press release in which he whines that, if the players get their way, the NFL Draft will go away and that the game as we know it will be fundamentally changed.

    Looks like he and the owners didn’t think things through too well before they opted out of a valid CBA and decided to play hardball with the players.

  48. mick730 says: Apr 26, 2011 2:10 PM

    FinFan68 makes some great points. Not only should the league cancel the draft, they should suspend operations and cancel the 2011 season. There is no longer a union, there is no longer a CBA under which to operate, and therefore these is no longer any anti trust exemption for the NFL and its 32 teams.

    It is the height of absurdity to expect the owners to operate in any way given that there is already one anti-trust lawsuit that has been filed and hundreds of others waiting in the wings. As has been mentioned here before, a finding of ant-trust brings treble damages. Simply conducting the draft could leave the 32 teams open to the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars. Operating this season, in any way, which shows any cooperation between any or all of the 32 teams leaves them open to the loss of hundreds of millions more.

    The only way forward for the NFL is to follow the example of the NHL. Cancel the season, force the union to reinstate itself, and to force upon them a very severe CBA.

    Were I a NFL owner, I would not consent to paying these guys hundreds of millions of dollars while the same guys are suing me for hundreds of millions more. There is no law in the US whereby the government can force a business to remain open and lose money.

  49. airraid77 says: Apr 26, 2011 2:10 PM

    this is absurd beyond belief.
    I still say this is the optimal situation for the owners to change the financial environment to their liking.
    This is going to be forced to the supreme court. GUARANTEE IT!

  50. jlinatl says: Apr 26, 2011 2:13 PM

    As fans we all want football back, but what is happening now is NOT good for the fans or the game.

    The league operates beyond the scope of nomal business law. Until there is a CBA that continues it, football runs the risk of becoming dominated by a few teams. That will be great for 2-3 years for fans of those few until you realize that half the teams in the league are not competitive and in jeopardy of folding or moving.

    I don’t see how seeing Carson Palmer traded could be more important that having rules established that prevent the Brown family from saving their way into a perenially financially profitable 1-15 team that cannot or will not compete for top tier rookies (no draft) or free agents. And the Bengals won’t be the only ones in that boat.

  51. radrhatr says: Apr 26, 2011 2:16 PM

    does anyone remember tammy faye baker?

  52. mick730 says: Apr 26, 2011 2:18 PM

    “Looks like he and the owners didn’t think things through too well before they opted out of a valid CBA and decided to play hardball with the players.”

    Oh, I think the owners have thought this through very well. Why do you think they hired David Boies? Simply to make a 40 minute presentation before this district court judge in Minneapolis? How foolish can you possibly be? Boies is known, well known, for his work on appeal. The owners, and most people with any clue whatsoever, knew that the Minneapolis court was home field advantage for the players and its union. That was a given. Why do you think the players always run to that very same court? The NFL went into this knowing full well that the first round would go to the union in Minnesota.

    The union hacks and the racialists here harumphing the “win” yesterday, are akin to fans thinking the game is over after their team gets a first down on the opening drive of the first quarter. This thing is just getting started.

  53. h0c2000 says: Apr 26, 2011 2:20 PM

    Player contracts are based on league years. Until a new league year starts, then they can’t earn workout bonuses, etc. So the lockout isn’t over until a new league year begins.

    Also, free agents won’t be able to get a new contract.

  54. snowpea84 says: Apr 26, 2011 2:23 PM

    When you take away the owners ability to run their business as needed…then why should they keep running them? I’d like to see them get out while the getting is good.

  55. moochzilla says: Apr 26, 2011 2:30 PM

    “It’s not posted here yet, but Goodell has a press release in which he whines that, if the players get their way, the NFL Draft will go away and that the game as we know it will be fundamentally changed.”

    Fear mongering, just like “Death Panels” and “GOP wants to end your Social Security”.

    They take what the most motivated part of the base loves the most, and pretend it is in danger.

    Useless hack. Empty suit. Tired strategy.

    Losing.

  56. moochzilla says: Apr 26, 2011 2:31 PM

    “the players want it all their way”

    Really? The owners lied about needing $1B more, the players wanted to keep it as is.

    The players want to play, the owners are stalling the season.

    The players have the law on their side, the owners don’t.

    This is a lockout. Not a strike.

  57. bigmann1977 says: Apr 26, 2011 2:35 PM

    It looks as if the NFL will become as popular as baseball. The players are hell bent on reducing the league to 32 seperate companies. So prepare for the death of teams like Cincy, Buffalo, Cleveland, Green Bay, Tampa…. and hello to the reign of the two NY teams, DallAss, Washington, and every Cali team. Small market teams will die slow agonizing, embarassing deaths. A system that sends free agents and college players to the highest bidder benefits no one.. Not the game… Not the fans… Not the league as we know it… It’s a great league… It’s number one because of the level playing field… Tamper with that and you have the NBA and we’ll all have to suffer with the next ego telling a primetime ESPN audience where he’s taking his talents to…

  58. tednancy says: Apr 26, 2011 2:36 PM

    teke184 says: Apr 26, 2011 2:04 PM

    It’s not posted here yet, but Goodell has a press release in which he whines that, if the players get their way, the NFL Draft will go away and that the game as we know it will be fundamentally changed.

    Looks like he and the owners didn’t think things through too well before they opted out of a valid CBA and decided to play hardball with the players.
    ===================================

    So the players’ union sucker punches the NFL and you blame the NFL for not anticipating it?

    De Moron uses the same playbook. Too bad for him most fans see right through it.

  59. mick730 says: Apr 26, 2011 2:37 PM

    “I wasn’t for the bailout because bad companies should fail, no matter what the size, but you can’t argue with the results. The Gov’t DID get GM back on track. Or to put it into football parlance: “SCOREBOARD!””

    Really? Is that why the US government is looking at massive losses on the sale of the stock it now holds in GM? If that’s your idea of a successful business venture, my guess is you’re one of those people who don’t pay any federal income taxes and don’t really care how much taxpayer money is flushed down the toilet.

  60. stull60060 says: Apr 26, 2011 2:40 PM

    If I were the owners I would keep the players locked out. Who cares about some judge’s ruling. A federal judge ruled that Obama care is unconstitutional in it’s entirety. Yet, the Obama Administration continues to implement it.

  61. FinFan68 says: Apr 26, 2011 3:03 PM

    zerored78 says:
    Apr 26, 2011 1:56 PM
    @FinFan68

    You don’t think the owners’ should have been working on a plan on how to run the league in the absence of a CBA as soon as the union decertified? The court is tell the NFL to run their business legally. That’s not too much to ask.
    ————————
    Actually, I do think the league should have been working on a plan but it is not as simple as you seem to think it is. Are all the contracts now void since they were borne from an agreement that was only “legal” when a union was actively involved? If a trade is made, is that an anti-trust violation? What are the rules and how will they be enforced? Are there standardized rules anymore or must they be agreed upon by the two teams that are playing the game? Are the collectively shared TV revenues even valid anymore because one entity no longer exists?

    There are way too many questions and too many variables for the league to do anything at all. Many fans complain that the owners are “billionaires” and therefor should stop trying to hold down the “working man”. The fact that most of these guys are billionaires should give the players a moment of pause. Player salaries are based on game checks not showing up to work. The players chose to use the “nuclear option” in order to gain leverage. They assumed the owners’ nuclear option was the lockout…what if they are wrong? Wouldn’t it be safer for the league to not conduct any form of business at all until a new labor agreement can be reached? The league could easily stop locking the players out but not hold any practices or play any games. Not all of the players have a “workout” or “roster” bonus. The “nuclear option” for the league could be to simply suspend everything yet allow the players to show up for “work”.

  62. nflfan101 says: Apr 26, 2011 3:28 PM

    tiredofthestupid says: Apr 26, 2011 1:30 PM

    @thewhitestguyhere says:

    “Letting the government decide what’s best for your business is like asking a toddler to do your taxes”

    You mean, like when the government took over GM, turned the company around after a decade of horrible management, and put GM in position to re-take the #1 car producer title?

    I wasn’t for the bailout because bad companies should fail, no matter what the size, but you can’t argue with the results. The Gov’t DID get GM back on track. Or to put it into football parlance: “SCOREBOARD!”

    ———————-

    The truth is that the government STOLE GM from the rightful owners, violated federal law by not paying secured creditors, and played funny accounting games to claim that GM made money.

  63. kevinfromphilly says: Apr 26, 2011 3:28 PM

    This whole comment string is as annoying as watching Fox news. Morons making stupid arguments about how people are so unfair to stand against billionaires.

  64. wetpaperbag2 says: Apr 26, 2011 3:29 PM

    stull60060 says: Apr 26, 2011 2:40 PM

    If I were the owners I would keep the players locked out. Who cares about some judge’s ruling. A federal judge ruled that Obama care is unconstitutional in it’s entirety. Yet, the Obama Administration continues to implement it.
    —————-

    Wrong. Yes, the federal courts made their ruling, but the Obama Administration is appealing. That hardly means that he’s doing it anyway despite the ruling. Get your political facts in order before coming onto a SPORTS page to make an argument.

    Secondly, if the league defies the court order, then the league opens itself up to lawsuits from not only the players, but the individual cities each team resides in, the states of the teams, the fans, and punishment from the courts. If that were to happen, then TV companies will begin to withdraw their money from the NFL and essentially be the death knell.

    This ruling could ultimately force both sides back to the negotiating table to come up with a new *CBA or set of new league rules that everyone can live by.

    Also remember, as much as folks gripe about player salaries, keep in mind just how much more the owners make. It’s all about tempering EVERYONE’S greed at this point.

  65. toe4 says: Apr 26, 2011 4:06 PM

    I can’t figure out of the players letter was proper or juvenile. “enjoined” carries a sense of urgency with it. Which the owners clearly did not follow by not allowing workouts today.

    Requesting clarification is an awful lot like the legal equivalent of tattle telling.

  66. manzoa says: Apr 26, 2011 4:07 PM

    I wouldn’t get my panties in a bunch over this ruling. This judge was appointed by Obama, the most liberal POTUS in history and nominated for the seat by a liberal senator from MN. Once this ruling reaches the 8th circuit where 13 of the 16 judges were appointed by Republican presidents, it will end-up in the trash where it belongs. The ONLY solution is for a CBA reached through negotiation by both sides in good faith…not one imposed by some stupid liberal activist judge. Both sides have to give some ground…and they will eventually.

  67. 3octaveFart says: Apr 26, 2011 4:07 PM

    clintonportisheadd says: Apr 26, 2011 1:50 PM

    “Nothing like an outspoken black man to make the racists come out of the woodwork.”

    Don’t be so tough on ‘em.
    They might just be Republicans.

    ..oh, uh, wait.

  68. kcfanatic says: Apr 26, 2011 4:12 PM

    Now, the NFL can’t impose rules due to Anti-Trust Laws, but each individual owner can impose their own rules for their own teams, and any team that plays in their stadiums.

    So, teams could make some really hard rules, and other teams could have harder rules. I think that the Chiefs should make a rule right now that every player that plays in Arrowhead Stadium has to partake in a blood/hair/urine analysis drug test every time they take the field in KC. Then, I think the Cowboys should start charging parking fee’s to the players. Like about $500 per day. Tow their cars if they don’t play. Then, New England could make a rule stating that OTA’s start tomorrow, but are mandatory, and there is a $100k fine per day missed. Really start screwing with the guys until they come together as a group and start to negotiate. I also think that Scott Pioli should just go out to colleges and start signing guys right off the street. Not upper tier guys. Lower ones. Offer them half of what they are projected to get, and explain that there is no maximum or minimum and they are going to be paid less this year. That will get the mid-level guys all worked up.

  69. dcbronco says: Apr 26, 2011 4:21 PM

    So many want to make out the players as these evil villains trying to ruin the game. While way too many players are greedy. They are no different from many of the owners. Jerry Jones is greedy, but I will say that he is capable of making his own money. A lot of these owners want it made for them. Through tax breaks, free stadiums and insane concession stand prices. For every Terrell Owens trying to feed his family. There is a Zygmunt Wilf trying to force tax payers to pay for his new corporate office by paying off the right politicians.

    The players haven’t asked for complete free agency. If they wanted that they could have forced it after the Reggie White case. The players have made it clear that they wanted to stay with the current deal. The owners say they don’t make as much profit with that deal. But I bet they would have made a lot more if they had gotten all that they could from the network contracts. Considering that the network deals could have been worth as much as two billion more over the last two years, the least successful team would have made almost 20 million in profits. Think about that. The one billion additional the owners wanted off the top would have been there if they had gotten the best deal possible.

    The biggest problem with the NFL right now is penis envy. The owners look at all of the money their rich friend steal in the market and their corporate jobs. And they want that too. And like those finance workers and corporate heads, they will squeeze it out of the American people by any means necessary.

  70. thefiesty1 says: Apr 26, 2011 4:49 PM

    She gave them an inch, now they’ll take a mile. Nothing will satisfy the players now. How could a middle aged white woman be so stupid?

  71. jagerbolt says: Apr 26, 2011 5:09 PM

    The amount of hyperbole in this thread is delicious!

    The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

    Is this a very crazy and unsettling offseason? Yes.

    Will football be changed forever for the worse? I doubt it.

  72. FinFan68 says: Apr 26, 2011 5:21 PM

    thefiesty1 says:
    Apr 26, 2011 4:49 PM
    She gave them an inch, now they’ll take a mile. Nothing will satisfy the players now. How could a middle aged white woman be so stupid?
    ———————————–
    It is probably similar to whatever convinced you to undermine your own point by typing that last question

  73. airraid77 says: Apr 26, 2011 5:49 PM

    At the end of the day the owners still have control. they neeed to get away from the lawyers and look at what the judge is telling them….and start looking at what is available……To me they have the option to basically set the rules to their liking. Forget rolling back salaries to 2007….how about 2000 or 1994. The players would sign the owners best offer in 5 minutes.

  74. moochzilla says: Apr 26, 2011 6:41 PM

    Oh my, the obsolete southern white man is PISSED about his decision.

    Go back to crying because you don’t have any unique skills and can’t earn big money for your work.

    Any kid out of college could replace 90% of you tomorrow.

  75. dcbronco says: Apr 26, 2011 8:10 PM

    Airraid, I think you’re missing the intent of the decision. She is giving them a chance to go back and actually negotiate in good faith. They haven’t tried that yet. Asking for 1 billion off the top to pay for stadiums that tax payers pay for isn’t good faith.

    Making a bunch of stupid punitive rules will only open them up to more AT rulings. It will also cause the players to actually ask for complete free agency. Which they would get. And that would effectively kill the league for all but a few teams. At least Seahawk fans will finally be happy.

    My instincts tell that the owners have pissed off a group of judges. By asking for Doty to be removed, they questioned the integrity of a judge. I’m sure the others in that building didn’t appreciate that either. The owners basically acted as if they owned the court. Anybody involved in the legal field will tell you not to screw with a judge. If they are doing something illegal, fine. But don’t question their integrity.

  76. treadstone06 says: Apr 26, 2011 8:36 PM

    I imagine when Judge Nelson became a judge, she never thought she would have to play mommy to a bunch of “grown-ups”. This just strikes me as a, “Mommy, he won’t let me play!” moment. So sick of this crap! Here’s to football!

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