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Players ask for $1 billion bond if stay is granted

DeMaurice Smith, Scott Fujita AP

The NFLPA* has filed their opposition to the NFL’s request for a stay following Judge Susan Nelson’s ruling to lift the lockout on Monday.

As you would expect, it’s filled with the sort of legal maneuvers that will get the average football fan pining for talk about Pittsburgh’s offensive line.

Albert Breer of NFL Network breaks down the 23-page filing, with a few key notes:

1. The players asked for a $1 billion bond if the stay is granted.  (Cue bad Austin Powers jokes.)  That is the estimated damages from the player’s side if the stay is granted.

2. The players want the NFL to immediately implement a system which does not violate antitrust laws.   (Does that mean a system without a draft or free agent restrictions?  Discuss amongst yourselves.)

3. The players argued that the NFL is unable to prove they are likely to win an appeal, which seems like a fair point to this non-lawyer.

4. They also say a stay is not in the public’s interest.   That’s the best argument yet.

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96 Responses to “Players ask for $1 billion bond if stay is granted”
  1. moochzilla says: Apr 27, 2011 10:25 AM

    Affix a pricetag to the owners’ stall tactics. Makes sense.

    If the players wanted to kill the draft, you’d be seeing a test patten on ESPN tomorrow night.

    Let’s face it, they have the owners over a barrel, and Smith is O’Bannion. They’re just gonna keep hitting.

  2. nflsucker says: Apr 27, 2011 10:30 AM

    I hate this whole useless conflict, but do love imagining Jerry Jones sh*tting bricks every time the players poke the owners’ gold-plated asses.

  3. descendency says: Apr 27, 2011 10:31 AM

    The best argument is that the owners are asking for a stay because otherwise the lockout is pointless. Well, the judge just said you shouldn’t be locking players out… so…

    The NFL should have definitely come up with a much more reasonable claim for why they deserve a stay. It seems like they were assuming they’d win.

  4. clintonportisheadd says: Apr 27, 2011 10:31 AM

    Sounds about right.

    There is no reason to grant a stay-especially since Judge Nelson crafted her decision to be appeal proof.

    The NFL will lose this round. Again. In fact I think the last time the NFL actually won any court case was the Maurice Clarett suit many years ago.

  5. eagles83 says: Apr 27, 2011 10:31 AM

    oooook…How about we decline the stay and sign some FAs and trade some players?!

  6. EJ says: Apr 27, 2011 10:32 AM

    Austin Powers would do a better job running the NFL, thats for sure.

  7. dblade4 says: Apr 27, 2011 10:34 AM

    As much as it would be nice to have football back I hope this one goes for the owners. If football changes it wont be as good.

  8. dk56 says: Apr 27, 2011 10:35 AM

    This gave me tired head.
    Anyone interested in talking bout the Steelers o-line??? NOT

  9. sapientone says: Apr 27, 2011 10:35 AM

    Why does it feel like we hear so much about how the owners actions are here to defend the game and details as to protecting the draft, protecting competitiveness within the sport etc.? However, the players side is only about the rules or processes they are trying to eliminate and not the why behind it. This is among the first mentions I see of the players position being in the public interest but yet there’s not argument as to why it is so. I have no doubts there are arguments to be made for both type of systems (similar to free market vs legislated or controlled markets) why aren’t we hearing about them? Is it too boring to print?

  10. snowpea84 says: Apr 27, 2011 10:35 AM

    The publics interest???? As much as I want to see football, this is a business we are talking about, and not one that is necessary for the safety of anyone. That really should not be something that is being regulated here.

    The longer this goes on, the less I like the players, and the more I think the NFL is doomed.
    Take away the ability of the ownership and the league to make business decisions and take away their margin for financial risks…and what do you think is going to happen in the long run????

  11. ravenution says: Apr 27, 2011 10:35 AM

    The only point I care about is point 4. Thats in my best interest.

  12. cappa662 says: Apr 27, 2011 10:36 AM

    I feel like the NFLPA is playing chess while the NFL is playing checkers. The NFLPA is like 20 steps ahead of the NFL right now when it comes to litigation. They severely underestimated the NFLPA.

  13. hamdog69 says: Apr 27, 2011 10:37 AM

    Keep bringing big business down to the size of the average man. That will teach us all the definition of socialism. That a boy lawyers and legal system. Wonder if the NFL is considering outsourcing or relocating.

  14. weneedlinemen42 says: Apr 27, 2011 10:38 AM

    1) There are no games yet, if the owners payout any pre-existing workout bonuses nobody has lost anything.

    I still can’t work out why the Judge think the players have suffered irreparable damages. So far some have missed out on the opportunity to sign a contract in March. They haven’t missed a single day of training camp let alone a game.

    No one has been prevented from ever signing a contract, nor even from signing one before the start of the season.

    The only real harm they’ve suffered is that they’ve been prevent from using the team’s weight rooms. These are adults, do they really have to be provided with gym facilities? They cannot make their own arrangements for working out?

    4. Again the public has missed nothing yet but the media reports on free agency and a few O.T.A.s .

    Sure, when we start missing games then both the players and the public could be argued to be suffering some sort of damage but, until that point, it seems a rediculous argument.

    It’s like arresting someone for stepping into a bar because they might get into a drunken fight later.

  15. zaggs says: Apr 27, 2011 10:39 AM

    1 billion for what damages? Seriously? They are going to claim all those workout bonuses, which may get paid later, total to 1 billion?
    Not to mention point 4 is violated by point 2. Its in the fans interest to have a salary and and a draft.

  16. giveseanpaytonhisjuicyfruit says: Apr 27, 2011 10:39 AM

    A billion dollars…. I thought it wasn’t about the money?

  17. orbearider66 says: Apr 27, 2011 10:39 AM

    Um … “not in the public’s interest”? Neither was decertifying in the midst of negotiations and then turning around and continuing to act like a union.

    Smith has a lot of nerve acting like he cares about the “public interest” at all.

  18. mightygiants says: Apr 27, 2011 10:39 AM

    It clearly means that those players that were given tender offers by the NFL teams would be unrestricted free agents. The draft is covered under the old CBA so why are you mentioning it in this article?

  19. quirtevans says: Apr 27, 2011 10:40 AM

    I thought the old CBA provided for the 2011 draft.

    However, as to the future … absent collective bargaining, I don’t see how the draft is NOT a violation of the anti-trust laws.

  20. tnazvol says: Apr 27, 2011 10:41 AM

    @#$% Attorneys……

  21. GG Eden says: Apr 27, 2011 10:42 AM

    Half-time in Minnesota…

    NFLPA Lawyers 33
    NFL Lawyers 0

    Let’s cross to Suzy Kolber on the sideline with Joe Namath…

  22. chapnastier says: Apr 27, 2011 10:43 AM

    Wait, again I am confused… How in the hell can a union which cannot exist for the ruling to take affect, ask for any amount of money for anything? How can this sham even go forward!?

  23. canuck54143 says: Apr 27, 2011 10:47 AM

    What happens if the NFL owners get sick of anittrust lawsuits and merge all 32 teams into one company. Than the NFL INC. appoints a owner to run a team, and profits are split depending how much stock they have. Would the owners still be violating anti-trust laws?

  24. kevinfromphilly says: Apr 27, 2011 10:47 AM

    Number 4 might be the best argument, but if it was a legally meaningful point, this whole lockout would have never happened in the first place.

  25. 2011to2020lions says: Apr 27, 2011 10:48 AM

    If I were the NFL, I think I would say I am done with this. Lets just let it go. If you want your own league than have it. Good luck!!! I know as a fan of football and the off season, I have had enough. I am ready to say forget it all. I may not watch the draft, and if they take even a preseason game from me I wont watch a single game this year. Maybe taking a year off is what we all need. The players may see it from our side, the owners may see it from our side, and we as fans may see it from the side we need to, our side. We are the ones getting the screws put to us.

  26. bfridley says: Apr 27, 2011 10:49 AM

    This is stupid.

  27. jvw1982 says: Apr 27, 2011 10:50 AM

    I hate this crap but I will say the Players are playing this much better than they did during the last work stoppage…..I respect the players lead man and their team of lawyers are clearly one step ahead of the owners, every step of the way so far……..

  28. truvikingfan says: Apr 27, 2011 10:51 AM

    seriously, you can’t make this stuff up.

    The whole thing is one giant joke that nobody gets.

  29. tommyf15 says: Apr 27, 2011 10:52 AM

    2. The players want the NFL to immediately implement a system which does not violate antitrust laws. (Does that mean a system without a draft or free agent restrictions? Discuss amongst yourselves.)

    Without a union both a draft and free agent restrictions are both anti-trust violations so yes- they’re going after them.

    I love the draft and always have. But the players CANNOT pick and choose which anti-trust matters it wants to “go after” as if they’re at a buffet table.

  30. txchief says: Apr 27, 2011 10:55 AM

    This just makes me wich the league would just fold and start over. There will be no end to the ridiculous requests from the NFLPA* otherwise.

  31. Rhode Island Patriots Fan says: Apr 27, 2011 10:58 AM

    I hope—and expect—that Judge Nelson denies the league’s petition for a stay on her order. I hope—and expect—that the NFL will then petition and secure a stay from the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

    If the players want a “no-rules” NFL, the perhaps the owners should give them what they want. It will become a public relations nightmare for the players, and basically destroy the game of American football.

  32. dldavidlong says: Apr 27, 2011 11:00 AM

    i say be careful what you wish for. the nfl should cancel the draft. let each team operate by their own rules, let them negotiate retirement, health benefits, fines, loyalty clauses, drug testing. we’ll see how fast the players want to unionize.

  33. argile2000 says: Apr 27, 2011 11:01 AM

    Number two makes me want to go insane!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    De Smith must go… This again just screams… The players will never negotiate in good faith!

  34. mestevo says: Apr 27, 2011 11:05 AM

    So basically the players are asking to make Goodell’s ‘doom and gloom’ WSJ article a reality with point number 2 there?

  35. dccowboy says: Apr 27, 2011 11:05 AM

    $1B US? Seriously? To cover ‘damage’ caused during a 2-3 week period in the off season?

    Based on that figure the players have already incurred about $3 billion over the course of the 7 week ‘lockout’. Which means that the players apparently make ALL of their money during the off season.

    Clever.

    And yes, a rule set that does not violate current anti-trust law means no draft, no frachise/RFA, no roster limits, no drug testing, no discipline, no controls on agents. I take that to mean that, to comply, the NFL would have to cancel the 2011 draft and allow any team to sign as many players as they want

  36. nothimagain says: Apr 27, 2011 11:05 AM

    Whatever pushes the agenda of maintaining an entry draft and free agency rules is in the public/fan interest.

    I can’t help but think if the players or player’s lawyers get their way they’ll be back as a union in 5 years after figuring out the 32 teams collectively won’t be spending as much of that 9 billion a year pie on salary as they once did.

  37. Kaz says: Apr 27, 2011 11:09 AM

    Yes it means no draft, free agency system. After this weekend i’m done with football anyway. They’ve taken the fans for granted, and both parties think we are some fools.

  38. pjg1309 says: Apr 27, 2011 11:10 AM

    I am a fan and I want a stay or whatever else will get both arrogant and selfish sides together to get a GOOD deal done that will insure that the competitive balance is preserved and the game will continue for my kids to grow up and enjoy as much as I have. What I do NOT want is a situation where either side can come back in a few years and challenge this whole thing again and we are right back where we are right now!

  39. irisht53 says: Apr 27, 2011 11:11 AM

    To point 2, do the players really want a system where pension and insurance has to be negotiated on a player-by-player basis? I’m sure Manning and Brady would have no problem getting anything they would want in their contracts, but the rank-and-file player would find their benefits severely reduced.

    Also, under that idea, do the players want a system where the league doesn’t HAVE to pay anymore than the current minimum wage (granted they still likely would, but the bottom of the rosters would become filled with players making around $100K or less (which would still be markedly more than most of these players would be able to make in the real world), which would save a team almost $300K per player). Apart from the idea of being able to actually “build” a team, I would think most owners would be ok with this.

  40. mcwest1 says: Apr 27, 2011 11:12 AM

    I’m about fed up with this whole ordeal. I’m to the point where I don’t care if they play football or not this season.

    I’m fed up with both the league and the players. But mostly with De Smith. This guy was elected and paid handsomely to do a job. It speaks volumes of his lack of capabilities to do his job when the players can get a better deal through litigation than what they can get by negotiation.

    He intended all along to take the litigation road. He agreed to extend the CBA for an extra week under the ruse of wanting to negotiate a deal without litigation. And it was done to garner PR, and to have something to show the court that he tried in good faith to get a deal done.

    There’s no good reason why negotiations can’t be happening while waiting for the court’s ruling.

  41. jerseybaron says: Apr 27, 2011 11:13 AM

    At this point I am so fed up/disgusted with this whole mess who really cares. I’ve been following football since 1961 and now I just don’t care. A bunch of proma-donna’s wanting more then they have now. Sorry the average person fighting to put bread on the family table has to hear this. Nope, at this stage I hope the owners just cancel the leagues and start up a whole new league. At this point I would watch a bunch on non-union players (scabs) fighting for a spot at a reasonable salary. Call me when this is resolved. In the meantime I just lost all interest.

  42. Scott says: Apr 27, 2011 11:16 AM

    “They also say a stay is not in the public’s interest. That’s the best argument yet.”

    Really? But getting rid of the draft and free agent restrictions is in the best interest of the public? I’d rather they shut this thing down for a year than ruin the game forever. I am seriously pissed at the players. D Smith is a jackass.

  43. Kaz says: Apr 27, 2011 11:17 AM

    Let me correct that, I’m done with football until I hear this lockout is over and cba reached.

  44. nathanmanthe says: Apr 27, 2011 11:24 AM

    The only issue I have with all of this is that if the anti-trust thing goes Kessler’s way and we look at a “free market” per Woj on ESPN then all of the sports will be opened up to the same kind of anti-trust violations and we will have “free market” sports with no drafts or age requirements or any of the like. There can be an 18 year old age requirement, but the draft and all of that as violations? The players need to put an offer together that meets in the middle as well as the owners. The problem is that we don’t get a response to the proposal from the players. We just here that its “the worst deal in the history of sports” with no counter-offer. I would probably be on the players side if I had ever seen counteroffers to the last offer the owners gave them. Until that happens I have to go with billionaires because I don’t know of any other industry where you go to your boss and tell them you want to see the financials so that you can get paid better if they are not to your liking. How many of these are publically traded? ONE. The rest are private businesses and as long as they are not breaking federal tax laws there should be no reason for them to divulge that information to an employee. In the end, both sides, GROW UP, SETTLE IT LIKE MEN, and PLAY SOME GOSH DARN FOOTBALL

  45. crubenst says: Apr 27, 2011 11:27 AM

    “2. The players want the NFL to immediately implement a system which does not violate antitrust laws.”

    We all need to see through the lies of D. Smith and the NFLPA. They are absolutely asking for the end of the draft, salary cap and free agent restrictions.

  46. themohel says: Apr 27, 2011 11:28 AM

    How exactly is the public interest harmed if the lower court’s decision stayed until the appeals court hear an emergency motion in several weeks? Odds are good that the 8th Circuit can decide the appeal of the preliminary injunction in plenty of time for the season to begin if the owners lose.

  47. eagleswin says: Apr 27, 2011 11:37 AM

    1. I’d love to see how the calculations for that figure. My guess is there aren’t any. It’s just a big attention grabbing round number.

    2. It’s fairly obvious as they are attacking the draft and free agency in the anti-trust suit. If they are attacking it in a lawsuit then that means they don’t want the owners to use it in the temporary working rules.

    3. I’m not really sure it is a fair point but I’m sure the judge who issued the initial ruling certainly thinks she won’t be overturned on appeal so in filing this specific request to the aforementioned judge it is relevent.

    4. The public’s best interest isn’t necessarily served by starting football at all costs which seems to be this site’s #1 concern (and which was confirmed in the open letter a few month’s ago).

    The best interest will be served when the players decide to negotiate instead of litigate.

  48. hobartbaker says: Apr 27, 2011 11:37 AM

    Anything so our sensibilities aren’t assaulted on a daily basis with pictures of DeMotormouth.

  49. micronin127 says: Apr 27, 2011 11:39 AM

    The stay should be granted and the bond should be ordered, but they should make the amount of money the owners must post increase over time. $100 million now. And $100 million additional on the first of every successive month that there is no CBA.

    Then Judge Nelson should proceed with the case before her court so that everyone knows exactly what rules do not violate antitrust laws.

    If they would just proceed with the case, they could settle each issue and the result would be a CBA.

  50. Kwame F says: Apr 27, 2011 11:42 AM

    Wow looks like there are a lot of NFL office moles posting here. The propaganda here is funny. The facts are regardless if you think D Smith is lying or not, the player’s position (up to this point) has held up in a court of law. Owners clearly planned a lockout years in advance by holding tv networks hostage. That was proven in court. The players were fine with the current system in place, the owners were the ones that opted out. The league had the highest ratings in history but the owners say the model is broken. And if it was up to the owners, free agency would have never existed. It took law suits to accomplish that.

  51. willycents says: Apr 27, 2011 11:42 AM

    concerning point #2 of the filing. The draft/salary cap/free agency restrictions/more would probably be a violation of anti trust. Elimination of them would possibly be to the players benefit. However, elimination of the salary floor, collaboration on workplace rules, collaboration on scheduling a season, collaboration on playing rules on the field, and any number of other items are also violations of the actual wording of the Sherman act.
    In its purest analysis, to avoid “restraint of trade” lawsuits, each team would be required to play the other 31 teams in the league.
    With no allowable collaboration on workplace rules, suppose Jerry Jones decides to institute a 52 week, 40 hour per week, no vacation, rotating schedule with a starting wage of 50K per year and no benefits? Assume the other teams institute something similar? Is this really what the players want? Suppose it comes to a “take it or leave it” wage discussion? How happy would the plaintiffs be with a work schedule that consisted of two hours on-four off-two on-four off every day? That appears to me to be the possibility that the players are asking for.
    Would I do it as an owner? Damn right, the most draconion work rules I could dream up. Institute drug testing like much of the international sports community uses…weekly and before and after each competition. Is this really what the players want? That is the bag of worms the players have opened up.
    If one owner did this, then the players would be running to re-certify their union so fast that they would all pull a groin. Then, they would have to have 32 local union shops because there are 32 individual businesses to strike. Suppose one or two teams members don’t join? How does that affect a strike? Do the non-union team members get to sue the union for damages due to loss of wages/career damage? Just thinking of the worst case for the players.

  52. commoncents says: Apr 27, 2011 11:45 AM

    i would rather watch scrubs than agree to allow the players run the league. De-Dick should be shot!!!!!

  53. patpatriotagain says: Apr 27, 2011 11:53 AM

    what damage to the public does a stay do? if we have a draft there’s nothing different. after the draft comes the boring season anyway, so why is the public’s interest the best argument against a stay. we just want football getting rolling in July, which it should be – even with the NFL winning their appeal

  54. joetoronto says: Apr 27, 2011 12:03 PM

    At the end of the day, that idiot, “DE Smith”, will be worth about as much as that pimp hat he wears.

    For the long term health of the game, the owners should, and probably will, just shut it down.

    There’s no judge anywhere in the world that can stop the owners from shutting down their businesses.

    Shut it down.

  55. laeaglefan says: Apr 27, 2011 12:05 PM

    What exactly would be the point of Judge Nelson’s ruling on Monday if she grants the owners a stay now? Is Goodell just hoping that she changed her mind between then and now?

    Just work out a long term CBA as quickly as possible and play under the 2010 rules until that happens. That seems like the most logical way to go.
    Why does there have to be a work stoppage while all of this is going on?

  56. tamvu says: Apr 27, 2011 12:07 PM

    Geez, one billion dollars? You’d think the ‘damages’ that douche was referring to were the damages caused by that nuclear reactor in Japan right now.

  57. pigeonpea says: Apr 27, 2011 12:08 PM

    If the players get their demands of a league without a draft and cap, I don’t imagine NFL football will have quite the appeal with me anymore, not to mention the casual fans it picked up since the 90′s.

    I am so sick of this dispute that I am contemplating writing off 2011 for the NFL, watch the CFL instead this year and see if anything is different come 2012. This entire dispute is a classic example of how unions ruin everything they get involved in.

  58. angrycorgi says: Apr 27, 2011 12:16 PM

    Keep in mind, if the NFL goes down on the anti-trust issues, so will every other sport in short order. MLB, the NBA and the NHL all utilize player drafts and some sort of revenue-sharing scheme. The idiot NFL players aren’t only looking to destroy the NFL, they are looking to nuke the other major sports as well.

  59. dfinpds says: Apr 27, 2011 12:26 PM

    I usually make it to 3 home games a season. Not any more. Jerseys? I own 5. Packed away in a box in the garage. Sunday ticket? Not again. When the inmates want to run the asylum it’s time for a change. De Smith will not be happy until he and Kessler are forever known as the people who brought the biggest sport in america to its’ knees…… When will these athletes who think they are entitled to anything they want realize they are killing the golden goose? I hope the owners lock the stadiums and pay the legal costs and watch the players and the *nflpa wither. When October rolls around and there is no season……….remember to thank the bug-eyed d-bag in the fedora……….

  60. rkt4mayor says: Apr 27, 2011 12:29 PM

    The owners need to chill. While I don’t support the players anti-trust lawsuit, or them going after the draft, I do think the owners are being very unreasonable in their CBA demands.

    On one hand, they want the players to take a billion dollar paycut and on the other, they demand that the players play two more regular season games!

    How many of you owner bootlickers, would be happy if your boss took away your two weeks of vacation and cut your pay?

    And, before I get attacked for being a “union hack” or a “socialist,” keep in mind I am a well known conservative blogger and you can see my work on Redstate.com and Politico amongst other sites. I blog under the name of “RyanT.”

    In short, I am a conservative Republican who doesn’t blindly support management on every issue, unlike some of the hacks on these comment boards.

  61. jakek2 says: Apr 27, 2011 12:31 PM

    $1 Billion is LOW! It should have been much more! Free agents alone stand to lose at least $350M in guaranteed salaries. Multiply that times 3 (Treble damages) for NFL’s antitrust violations and damages exceed $1B. Nevermind retired players damages (x3) and draftees damages (x3).

    I don’t need to read the NFLPA’s opposition to stay to know that this is what they argued when asking for the $1B bond.

    Boy the owners are gluttons for punishment!

  62. jpmelon says: Apr 27, 2011 12:32 PM

    This judge is not going to be ruling in favor of the league. It’s a shame that she allowed personal politics into it.

    Maybe if she would have spent some time thinking about how crappy football would be if the players were in charge, she wouldn’t have spent so much time writing a 90 page “pat on the back” justifying her decision.

    The facts of this case: The players and the league had an agreement. The owners wanted to renegotiate the contract and essentially waited for it to expire (a.k.a. the right thing to do). The players are exploiting a legal loophole by decertifying and then create a class-action lawsuit (workers, working collectively as a group….err union). The American Needle case gave legal precedence to the notion that teams are individual companies, so teams can’t legally work together to create a truly even playing field. Players have the upper hand with a pro-union judge.

    Nice.

  63. bunjy96 says: Apr 27, 2011 12:35 PM

    Stop and think a moment about this.

    IF NFLPA* is somehow or other able to eliminate the draft etc (legally), then what happens to all the other major sports (NHL,MLB and NBA)?

    Their unions will all be in court in a heartbeat and it will be the ruination of pro sports in this country, as we know it.

    Don’t think their unions aren’t carefully watching this progress thru the courts.

    The only resolution, as much as I hate to say it, is to have the Congress settle the anti trust situation for American pro sports, once and for all so it can never come up in the courts again.

  64. thefiesty1 says: Apr 27, 2011 12:39 PM

    Money grab by the players. Give them an inch and they’ll take a mile.

  65. rkt4mayor says: Apr 27, 2011 12:41 PM

    Never forget, despite blithely ignorant comments in here, that it was the owners desiring to “crush the NFLPA” which actually opened Pandora’s box.

    What made such supposedly “brilliant” businessmen actually think their monopoly/trust could survive an ANTI-TRUST court action?

    Was it arrogance or just sheer and utter stupidity on the part of Jones/Goodell etc?

  66. crashinghero says: Apr 27, 2011 12:43 PM

    pigeonpea and angrycorgi seem to be completely misinformed. pigeonpea goes so far as to argue strongly and effectively for the unions in his first paragraph, and then to suggest unions are somehow ruining the current situation. Hate the players, fine, but hate the players for decertifying the union. If the union still existed, you would have exactly what you want.

    There’s a bizarre political schizophrenia around this issue. It seems that conservatives, drawn in by their admiration and love for white male billionaires, are trying to apply their conservative ideals to this situation in support of the owners. As was pointed out very well by Sally Jenkins in the Washington Post, the owners are advocating a unionized (read: liberal) existence. The players, meanwhile, by being ostensibly anti-union, are supporting a free market (read: conservative) league. The rhetorical acrobatics required to be an anti-union owner supporter seem to be too tricky for most posters here…

  67. dknice says: Apr 27, 2011 12:44 PM

    hamdog69 says:
    Apr 27, 2011 10:37 AM
    Keep bringing big business down to the size of the average man. That will teach us all the definition of socialism. That a boy lawyers and legal system. Wonder if the NFL is considering outsourcing or relocating.

    Boy, change the channel from Fox News. The owners want a socialist system. Players should be able to sell there services to the highest bidder, i.e a true capitalist system. They should be able to choose which city they want to live and get paid as much as the market dictates. A draft, a salary cap are anti-free market. Not difficult, but if a millionaire beats a billionaire in this case it is socialism? Ponderous, f’ing ponderous.

  68. dknice says: Apr 27, 2011 12:47 PM

    commoncents says:
    Apr 27, 2011 11:45 AM
    i would rather watch scrubs than agree to allow the players run the league. De-Dick should be shot!!!!!

    Why not this level of virtiol for the NFL lawyers? Hmmmm, I wonder what it could be?????

  69. buckeye2280 says: Apr 27, 2011 12:49 PM

    Yep, Congress will have to act to give the pro sports an anti trust exemption when it comes to draft, franchise tags, salary caps and floors or the whole system is gonna bottom out. Most people think the MLB system is bad, wait till there is no draft of any kind or rules of any kind.

    Hell think about it. The only rule that the NFL could say is something like can only dress 45 players. Whats to stop NY or Dallas from putting 100 guys on payroll if for no other reason to keep them away from other teams. Or incase of injury they can just pluck from a guy who has been able to practice and everything else that comes with being on the team.

  70. clintonportisheadd says: Apr 27, 2011 12:51 PM

    dblade4 says: Apr 27, 2011 10:34 AM

    As much as it would be nice to have football back I hope this one goes for the owners. If football changes it wont be as good.

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

    I see this type of comment alot and it seems folks are just very uninformed. A stay of her ruling ONLY means the lockout is lifted. It DOES NOT dictate any work rules (ie the draft is illegal, there is no salary cap, etc) for the league to follow. The folks who are posting such garbage are victims of the NFL scare tactics.

    In fact, the end of the lock out (along with the players no longer having a union) means just the opposite. The LEAGUE can now implement anything it wants. 2 more games, no free agency, max salary, drug testing, etc.

    So why would the league oppose such an outcome? Because they would then be sitting ducks for a costly anti trust judgment.

  71. crashinghero says: Apr 27, 2011 12:52 PM

    Also, it seems fairly obvious that this decertification is essentially a big game of chicken between the players and the owners. Neither the players nor the owners want to eliminate the anti-trust practices and protections created by a CBA, but they both want the upper hand when that new CBA is written. Also, just because it’s a game of chicken doesn’t mean it’s a sham; the decertification is deadly serious and could ultimately have very real consequences if a settlement isn’t reached before the courts rule. The players have the upper hand in the sense that they legally hold all the cards – i.e., their decertification can seriously damage the league and the owners. But it will also seriously damage the players, and so the owners may allow the game of chicken to reach its conclusion and pick up the pieces in the aftermath. That conclusion – that the owners are willing to let the league crumble under anti-trust laws and then rise again down the road when the players come begging for better conditions – seems to be the only conclusion that explains the owners’ motivations rationally. The owners want to kill the league so they can remake it as they wish.

  72. rkt4mayor says: Apr 27, 2011 12:54 PM

    The owners need to swallow their pride and their unfettered greed and come to the players with a reasonable and fair proposal:

    1. Drop this 18 game nonsense! Nothing will get done until the owners drop this completely!

    2. Split the difference on the extra $1 billion the owners want. Settle for $500 million. Ronald Reagan once famously stated that he’d rather have “half a loaf than no bread at all.” The owners need to learn the art of compromise.

    3. Carefully implement a rookie salary cap WITHOUT changing the rules on when players can become free agents! The NFLPA accepted that a rookie cap needed to be implemented but balked when the NFL demanded that players be locked into rookie contracts for 5 years!

    If the owners do this and agree to secure a long term CBA, the players will drop their lawsuit.

  73. nahcouldntbethat says: Apr 27, 2011 12:54 PM

    To all the people saying this is the beginning of the end for professional sports in the US is the NFL winds up in a free market via anti-trust action:

    1. Major League Baseball has a specific anti-trust exemption granted by an act of congress. Until congress chooses to withdraw this exemption MLB is free from anti-trust related actions.

    2. Major League Soccer is indeed a single entity already with teams acting as departments of the same company. No anti-trust there.

    3. Ditto for the WNBA.

    4. Oh, and most importantly, ALL the other major sports have a collective bargaining agreement in effect in which the players specifically waive anti-trust issues in favor of collectively bargained rules.

    Which of course means that…

    The NFL is hanging out bare-ass naked at the moment with no CBA in place, no legally granted anti-trust immunity and clear rulings from courts at all levels that the NFL is actually not a single-entity entitled to anti-trust protections.

    How did the NFL get here?

    They better be asking themselves that question really soon or they are going to be a lot poorer.

  74. oldhamletman says: Apr 27, 2011 1:01 PM

    a lot of people talking like the Players are winning based on this one ruling… they aren’t

    the players are no longer a union

    they dissolved the union in a sham to avoid negotiation and have been ordered to negotiate anyway

    The sham will come into play soon and hurt them in the long run

    The NFLs goal is to get players cheaper and they are 80% of the way there…..

  75. kazkal says: Apr 27, 2011 1:17 PM

    ————————————————–
    I hate this whole useless conflict, but do love imagining Jerry Jones sh*tting bricks every time the players poke the owners’ gold-plated asses.
    ———————————————

    And the players don’t have the same gold plates?What owner is making Billions of profit from the NFL? Most of these guys would be rich without the NFL…Some don’t make that much of a profit (See Steelers & Packers) Yet your vet minimum paid player makes more then most of we’ll see in 10 years …

  76. moth25 says: Apr 27, 2011 1:19 PM

    no drug testing, no discipline

    Other than the draft, salary cap, and free agency, the owners will actually have MORE power when it comes to drug testing and discipline. Individual teams can mandate weekly testing of everyone, or HGH blood testing, or whatever they feel is necessary. They can fine players for insubordination, with no limit on the number of weeks. As independent contractors they would not be responsible for health insurance, taxes, retirement, etc. Owners could dictate off-season workouts and OTA’s as much as they want (mandatory).

    I think the vast majority of NFL players need to fully understand what eliminating the anti-trust violations would do to them. The superstars would be just fine but the vast majority of players will get seriously hosed.

  77. crazy2bbengals says: Apr 27, 2011 1:20 PM

    I have a feeling if there is no stay, Charlie Brown may take his football and go home.

  78. crazy2bbengals says: Apr 27, 2011 1:27 PM

    “a stay is not in the publics best interest” how the hell do they know what is in our best interest? They mean a stay in not in their best interest. Leave me the hell out of this!

  79. childressrulz says: Apr 27, 2011 1:29 PM

    I think a lot of people forget that it was the owners who voted out of the current agreement. Throughout this process the players asked the owners to prove why this agreement wasn’t working for them. The owners claimed that they weren’t making a profit. They have now admitted to making a profit. I think this judge correctly interpreted the law but now I worry that the owners have missed their chance. I don’t think the players will go back to what it was after this victory. I hate the old fart owners but for the sake of football I hope they win their stay.

  80. childressrulz says: Apr 27, 2011 1:32 PM

    Who are the idiots saying that decertifying was a bad idea for the players. They will just recertify as soon as negotiations are over. It is as simple as that.

  81. snnyjcbs says: Apr 27, 2011 1:34 PM

    A Stay will be granted if not by the Players Ringer Lower Court Judge then by the Appeals Court. The longer it takes to issue the better as the Appeal should run a couple months. Deeper we go the better.

    As you spell out in your article you are a non Lawyer, some would say you are a non sports writer as well, the owners will end up burying these Greedy Players before it is all done.

    Remember the Goal is to win the War, the Battles?, you win some you lose some. With the Lock Out over why are not any Free Agents being signed or players hitting the weights at the Teams Facilities lol.

  82. narutofan10 says: Apr 27, 2011 1:36 PM

    this is a great move i want to say that this is checkmate even funnier is the fact that that 1 billion is what the owners were trying to screw the players out of

  83. broncobourque says: Apr 27, 2011 1:37 PM

    Everyone is focusing on what not having a union allows the players to do, while nobody seems to be focusing on all the protections they lose. As individuals and not a union, there is nothing stopping teams from having workouts 365 days a year. The CBA limited how many OTAs teams could have and what could be done at those workouts, no CBA no limits.

    Most workout bonuses are based on a percentage of workouts completed, I’m not sure any player will complete 75% if the workouts are 4 hours of windsprints, twice a day, 7 days a week.

  84. atlantabirds says: Apr 27, 2011 1:38 PM

    txchief:

    If the NFL would end and start over, there would be no union. There would be no collective bargaining agreement. There would be no draft. There would be no free agency. There would be no salary cap. There would be no rules requiring players to attend college for three years – or at least be 3 years removed from their high school graduation – before an NFL team can sign him. An NFL team would be able to sign the next Ryan Clady or Sam Bradford to a cheap (so to speak) deal right out of high school and spend 3-4 years developing him, which of course would have the same effect on college football as the pros have had on college baseball and basketball.

    Is that what you want? Or are you just bashing unions and more specifically NFL players?

  85. gdpont says: Apr 27, 2011 1:39 PM

    Because it unreasonably restrains a potential NFL player from marketing his services, the draft violates federal antitrust law. While the league argues that it is necessary to achieve competitive balance, there are two primary reasons that demonstrate that the draft is necessary to do so.

    First, it gives players two choices, sign or don’t play in the league. Teams have three choices, sign, trade, allow draft rights to expire. Given the unpredictability of a player’s future success, both the player and the team are handcuffed. Under today’s economics, high picks are a big gamble and, as Parcell’s pointed out last night, untradeable. Jamarcus Russell and Ryan Leaf are the poster boys for the disastrous impact of missing on a high pick.

    Second, there are other ways to distribute talent that does not restrain a player’s ability to market his talents to all teams. One simple way is to increase roster sizes for bad teams and reduce roster sizes for the good teams. The league can distribute more shared revenue to the bad teams combined with a salary floor to make sure that the team spends the money on players. Whether these are good ideas or not, they are alternatives that do not restrain a player’s opportunity to take his talents to South Beach. Big market teams may have some advantages, but it would show up primarily in the quality of back-up players rather than stars. Would Drew Brees have ever signed with the Patriots to back up Brady and win a championship? I doubt it.

  86. atlantabirds says: Apr 27, 2011 1:41 PM

    moth25:

    “the owners will actually have MORE power when it comes to drug testing and discipline”

    No they won’t. The best players will simply avoid those teams. Even the ones who aren’t drug or discipline problems wouldn’t want to put up with the hassle. At best, such a franchise would simply be a farm team whose free agents would leave for a more liberal franchise first chance they get.

    It is in the best interests of the game, the owners and the players to come together on a CBA that both sides can live with.

  87. 3yrsnfl says: Apr 27, 2011 1:47 PM

    So the Union decertifed? But they are still representing the players? Why does D. Smith still have a job? Wasn’t the order based on the fact that there is no union?

    I missed something along the way.

  88. buckeye2280 says: Apr 27, 2011 1:54 PM

    @gdpont

    First off if we go to the free market system the NFL can not tell any owner how many players they can and cant sign. They could say you can only dress 45 based rules for competition but not actually how many employees you can sign. Think of this new version being similar to nascar. Hendrick motorsports actually has 5 drivers signed even though he can only field 4 teams. He sent one of his drivers to drive for another team. In the NFL a large market team could simply sit on there extra players as backs ups to be used when needed. Also, in the new free open system there would be NO REVENUE SHARING. You think right now that Jerry Jones is gonna give a dime to any other team if they don’t have a CBA dictating that he has to share it. F the players and there attacks on the fundamental structure of the NFL. I understand them wanting there share of the pie but they can all fall over dead for attacking the system the way they are.

  89. atlantabirds says: Apr 27, 2011 2:01 PM

    This is no big deal. It is only equal to the “lockout fund” that the NFL owners got from the TV network. The owners were “partners” with the NFLPA because the NFLPA CBA gave the owners the sole and exclusive right to negotiate TV and apparel deals under the logic that the owners would seek the best deal possible. The owners violated that CONTRACTUAL PARTNERSHIP by signing for hundreds of millions LESS in TV money in return for the lockout fund.

    The players are justified in trying to get that money back. When a judge actually has to deal directly with what the owners did in a lawsuit (which is coming) the owners are going to come out looking very bad.

  90. eagleswin says: Apr 27, 2011 2:08 PM

    gdpont says:Apr 27, 2011 1:39 PM

    Second, there are other ways to distribute talent that does not restrain a player’s ability to market his talents to all teams. One simple way is to increase roster sizes for bad teams and reduce roster sizes for the good teams. The league can distribute more shared revenue to the bad teams combined with a salary floor to make sure that the team spends the money on players. Whether these are good ideas or not, they are alternatives that do not restrain a player’s opportunity to take his talents to South Beach. Big market teams may have some advantages, but it would show up primarily in the quality of back-up players rather than stars. Would Drew Brees have ever signed with the Patriots to back up Brady and win a championship? I doubt it.
    ——————————-
    I hate to break it to you but every single thing you posted here would violate antitrust.

    League mandated roster sizes – Violation
    League mandated salary floor – Violation
    Revenue sharing – gone. No national contracts. Each team would be responsible for it’s own TV contract. There would be no mechanism for helping other teams.

    There are no other mechanims that the league can impose once the antitrust kicks in.

    Anyone remember Kessler advising the Arena League Players union to hold out for more money about 6-7 years ago? Didn’t that league go brankrupt 2 or 3 years after the owners caved?

  91. nmeagle33 says: Apr 27, 2011 2:20 PM

    The players suck. I’m for as suggested; owners start a new league, kick out all the present players.

    De Smith has higher aspirations I’m sure, congress?

    Regardless, shut down the NFL. Open a new league maybe with some Canadian football and teams if they wanted to. Kick the players a smith to the curb.

    In today’s economy these B ….S PULLING THIS S… must be terriorists. Well, a little over board but as I feel.

    NO UNION, LONG LIVE THE NFL!

  92. flik44 says: Apr 27, 2011 2:32 PM

    $1 billion? Open your books and prove it!

  93. geo1113 says: Apr 27, 2011 3:29 PM

    @flik44,

    Why can’t the NFLPA accept the affirmation of an independent 3rd party that profits in the league are down and that owners are not playing games with their books.

  94. ehatem says: Apr 27, 2011 5:49 PM

    Seriously, I’d love for the NFL to implement point 2 for one year. Just one. After that you’d see the guys who aren’t making 10 million a year revolt and put in new leadership. Cincinnati would probably dump half their roster. As would a couple of other teams just so they could rake in the bucks from TV revenues without expending any real money for players. The guys who made 500 thousand last year? They’ll be making probably 100 thousand this year. Oh there will be a few guys who cash in some huge contracts as some teams try to buy a championship. Of that I have little to no doubt. But the vast majority of players in the league would see their standard of living decrease, their ability to stay healthy decrease because when you’re making 100 thousand a year its pretty easy to find another guy just like you. Injured reserve? No need. Just cut the guy. Without guarantees, which will no longer be present, there’s really no reason to keep them on the roster.

    The haves have sold the have-nots in this fight a bill of pure unadulterated crap. The agents have sunk any chance of a salary scale for rookies which would have given those players more money and the elite players, who I can guarantee you are eying baseball contracts longingly, are wanting more of the pie then ever. Agents and elites are the ones negotiating this contract. NOT the players. Are the owner’s innocent here? No. But at least their greed isn’t stabbing one another in the back. At least not yet anyway. What the Mannings, Brees (and understand I’m a Saints fan saying that), and Bradies of the league are doing to the rank and file is disgusting.

  95. Brian says: Apr 27, 2011 6:02 PM

    All the MSNBC watchers would do better in these arguments if they watched CNBC more instead.

  96. tjrubleysaudible says: Apr 27, 2011 8:43 PM

    Are UFL games televised? How can I watch CFL games in the U.S.? Are there alternate viewing methods for these 2 leagues via the internets? I want to know if there are any other ways to get a football fix if the NFL goes down the path of MLB. I’m not interested in watching the haves kick the snot out of the have nots. I like the parity between teams in the NFL, but it seems like that may be gone soon.

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