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Roger Goodell positions himself as protector of the NFL draft

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell leaves a federal courthouse after NFL labor dispute talks in Minneapolis Reuters

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell knows that the draft is the most fun part of the offseason for football fans. And he knows that this year’s draft is being overshadowed by the league’s labor unrest. So in his efforts to win public support for the owners’ side in the labor situation, Goodell is positioning himself as the protector of the draft.

In an interview with ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Goodell re-stated his case that the owners want to keep the draft in place, while the players want to do away with it.

“When people attack the game of football, I take that seriously,” Goodell said. “People are attacking the draft. They’re attacking free agency restrictions, they’re talking about the salary cap. All of that attacks the very essence of what made our game so successful, and I believe that’s important: As commissioner I need to do everything I can to protect the game for our fans.”

For his part, NFLPA* executive director DeMaurice Smith has dismissed Goodell’s claims about attacking the draft, saying, “If he truly believes that the draft is something that we’re attacking, then I don’t know what’s gonna happen on Thursday, but the last time I checked my calender, the draft is scheduled to move forward.”

But while the 2011 draft is safe, future drafts are being attacked, even if the players don’t realize that’s what their lawyer is doing.

The millions of NFL fans who love the draft as a three-day celebration of football in the spring are squarely on the side of keeping the draft in place, which is why Goodell sees it as smart PR to position himself as the draft’s protector.

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103 Responses to “Roger Goodell positions himself as protector of the NFL draft”
  1. chubbybeerswiller says: Apr 27, 2011 8:36 AM

    Goodell is proving that he is just a stooge. Does anyone in this entire labor crisis take him seriously? The players obviously don’t. And the owners have circumvented him and are handling the negotiations themselves (although mainly via lawyers). I really really REALLY wish Goodell would get canned, and a real commissioner would be hired. Goodell offers nothing of substance to the league.

  2. mightygiants says: Apr 27, 2011 8:37 AM

    Roger is being very disingenuous. When he takes such a blatantly dishonest position, he loses the respect of the fans. The players are not attacking the draft, what they are doing is seeking leverage and bargaining power against a group of greedy owners that want to make the players of the number one sport the significantly lowest paid (so they can increase their own already inflated wealth).
    I really wonder if a man who is capable of such dishonesty can be trusted to protect the integrity of the game. Roger is supposed to be the one person protecting football. Instead he is shamefully acting the the owner’s attack dog. He should be telling the owners to reduce their demands that the players take massive pay cuts, before the game is destroyed. That would be the actions of a true and honorable commissioner.

  3. FinFan68 says: Apr 27, 2011 8:38 AM

    How is the 2011 draft safe? There is a 2011 college draftee amongst the named plaintifs in the ant-trust case and the draft itself was specifically targeted in the litigation. There is no more anti-trust protection provided by the CBA so anything the league does is subject to future lawsuits and the draft is chief among them.

    There are many things about Goodell’s actions that I can’t stand but I think he is right on this issue.

  4. artyshellz says: Apr 27, 2011 8:41 AM

    Players wouldn’t have the forum to attack the draft if you didn’t lock them out GODell!!!

  5. breakyourballz says: Apr 27, 2011 8:41 AM

    I am in agreement. We need the Draft, Salary Cap, and Free Agency restrictions…

    The problem I have here Roger is the players just wanted to continue with the old system. It was the owners that wanted this “re-negotiation”.

    The ruling this week was a major blow to Jerry Jones next face lift operation.

    You know the old saying.. “The horses are out of the barn”…

  6. commoncents says: Apr 27, 2011 8:44 AM

    I am tired of the posturing and the attempts to win the media spin battle. Goodell is a loser but DeMaurice, in his attempt to gain leverage, is threatening the game of Football as we know it. If the NFLPA can’t start to negotiate in good faith on their own then they deserve no protection from the judge!!!

  7. whitetail28 says: Apr 27, 2011 8:48 AM

    WOW!! The its obvious whos side PFT is on by this headline alone…… The NFL “IS” trying to keep the draft. He is painting himself nowhere.
    Im sure I wasted my time posting this as it will be deleted.

  8. dan1919 says: Apr 27, 2011 8:48 AM

    Well said mightgiants and beer swiller.

    I hope the players are more level headed than I am. Whenever Goodell opens his mouth and lies it makes me want the players to destroy him.

    Fire Goodell and bring back Tags. Please.

  9. joe6606 says: Apr 27, 2011 8:55 AM

    Goodell thinks we are all idiots.

    The players dont want to get rid of the draft. The commentary is nothing more than legal positioning, a “fine, if you want to continue to negotiate in bad faith, then we’re going to take extreme positions until you wake up and get back to the table”

    The owners position regarding the lockout is such a joke, it’s ridiculous. Their position regarding the financials may not be, but they have NO legal justification for locking a decertified union out. Enjoy your upcoming reaming from the appeals court

  10. whitetail28 says: Apr 27, 2011 8:56 AM

    And by the way… I enjoy the draft more then “any” other part of the season. And that includes the last SB, and I am a Packer fan.
    The draft goes and I walk away from pro ball…
    The draft builds these teams and that is the first and biggest step in winning it all.
    If you want to build a team through chaos or disorganization, see the Washington Redskins. They play the game of FA like there is no rules. How did that go??? See the first player to sign a $100,000,000 contract.
    Maybe Tom Brady, Adrian Peterson, Jake Long, Finley, etc all hire out to the highest bidder together. 31 teams suffer. Why would any fan want any of this????

  11. impeachgoodell says: Apr 27, 2011 8:56 AM

    Lots of posters have hit the mark. Goodell is a blatant hypocrite and comes off as being insincere every time he opens his mouth.
    Given his credibility is shot, the only thing to do is to replace him

  12. ukdude7 says: Apr 27, 2011 8:58 AM

    “When people attack the game of football, I take that seriously,”

    No-one’s attacking the game of football. The NFL is the number one professional football league, that’s all. It is not the custodian of the game of football, the NFL does not own football.

  13. paredskinwarrior says: Apr 27, 2011 8:58 AM

    the players are just trying to play, they are the ones locked out by the owners!

  14. Kave Krew says: Apr 27, 2011 8:59 AM

    The current system works for everyone, but the owners got too greedy…….they made a bad deal the last time and now want to make up for it in one swoop….

    So far, Judge Nelson has had an eye out for the fans as well as realizing that, yes, the current system works for all and stop being babies and work this out…

  15. chapnastier says: Apr 27, 2011 9:00 AM

    Say what you want about Goodell but at least he is trying to save the NFL right now while the union lawyers try to destroy it. It took him long enough but finally he might be doing some good.

  16. east96st says: Apr 27, 2011 9:02 AM

    Isn’t a tad hypocritical to call yourself the “protector” of something that you, yourself, exposed to the threat in the first place? It is funny seeing how many dolts think old Rodger is a standup guy protecting the League from the big old bad lawyers when he and the owners were the ones that opened the door to the attacks in the first place. Really, since these assclowns learned nothing from their crushing loss when they went before the Supreme Court, how can anyone have any sympathy for them whatsoever? A brain dead chimp would have realized they needed a different legal strategy. Yet, they insisted on marching right off the cliff. Law students will be chuckling over this one for decades to come.

  17. rockymtnphinfan says: Apr 27, 2011 9:04 AM

    I’m with Goodell on keeping the current pieces in place. The draft especially. There definitely needs to be a rookie wage scale. If you can’t see that then you are blind as a bat. Last draft alone the rookie class, in ROUND ONE ALONE, had over 300 million dollars of guaranteed money. That is ridiculous. The owners want more of the pie, but aren’t willing to open the books to prove they are getting the shaft. I think the owners started out driving this thing, but now the players lawyers are going all cavalier when requesting no draft/no salary cap/no free agency restrictions. Like Mike Tyson would say “thats ludicrous”

  18. clintonportisheadd says: Apr 27, 2011 9:05 AM

    “In an interview with ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Goodell re-stated his case that the owners want to keep the draft in place, while the players want to do away with it”

    ———————

    That is factually wrong. The NFLPA long ago agreed to an extension of the last CBA. The SAME CBA that allows for the current systems (including the draft) to stay in place. The same CBA the owners opted out of which started this whole mess.

    Why would the players agree to an extension of the CBA (and the draft) if they wanted to “end the draft”?

    Simple. They never did. It’s just NFL PR spin that the less sophisticated and less intelligent fall for. And judging by the comments on this site Goodell has found quite a few suckers who have bought this bill of goods.

  19. alewatcher says: Apr 27, 2011 9:07 AM

    Joe Posnanski has a good column on SI.com today making the case for Goodell being in way over his head in this mess. The man makes a compelling point, it’s worth a read.

  20. tbparker says: Apr 27, 2011 9:10 AM

    Whether it is only a leverage tactic, the lawyers for the players are saying there should be no draft, free agency restrictions, salary cap, etc. I really believe the casual fan of the NFL does not realize this and Goodell should be letting it known. D. Smith wouldn’t say whether or not this will be the last draft we see.

  21. harmcityhomer says: Apr 27, 2011 9:10 AM

    The players are just doing what anyone would do if their employers tried to cut payroll by a billion dollars while revenue is going up every year.

    If the game was so perfect, why opt out of the CBA that protects the draft, a salary cap and restrictions of free agency?

    I love pro football the way it was, but I can learn to love a different version of it. My team usually picks near the bottom of every round. I would be glad to see a system where they can just hire a player like Peterson, Jones or Miller.

  22. toe4 says: Apr 27, 2011 9:11 AM

    He needs to be positioning himself as “Protector of the Game” and not “protector of the bits I’m allowed to speak about”

  23. kom2k10 says: Apr 27, 2011 9:13 AM

    THE PLAYERS ARE ATTACKING THE DRAFT!!!

    Read the lawsuit! It states that the draft violates anti-trust laws and prevents potential employees from seeking employment on their own terms! If DeSmith says they are not attacking the draft, then they need to drop that part of the lawsuit!

    If the players win the lawsuit, the draft is DEFINATELY in jeaporady!

  24. pheagles says: Apr 27, 2011 9:16 AM

    Now that the lockout is enjoined, does Roger Doger get his salary back?

  25. p4ever says: Apr 27, 2011 9:16 AM

    Fire Goodell!

  26. 8drinkminimum says: Apr 27, 2011 9:16 AM

    D Smith could care less about the long term health of the league. It’s just a notch on his belt. Guys like him and Kessler are more into the kill than the aftermath.

  27. mightygiants says: Apr 27, 2011 9:25 AM

    kom2k10,

    If the game will be ruined by the players winning the lawsuit, why isn’t the league attempting to settle by making a reasonable offer to the players (one that doesn’t ask the players to take a massive pay cut)?

  28. blantoncollier says: Apr 27, 2011 9:28 AM

    When Dee Smith or Jeff Kessler stands up and says the following then I will believe they care about the players and the NFL.

    * We believe the draft should continue in 2012 and beyond

    * We believe for the good of the game Free Agency should continue under the current system or with some minor adjustments

    *We believe for the good of the game a Salary Cap should be in place tied to a salary floor

    * We believe for the good of the game, a Rookie wage scale shoud be in place so current players are better compensated.

    They will never agree to any of it because they dont believe it. Read Smith’s comments, the draft will take place on Thursday. No one in the media, including this site, has the guts to ask him what about 2012 and beyond?

    Smith and Kessler dont care about the fans, the NFL or the average players. They care about their future and ruining the game, we all love.

    Come on Dee–you monitor this site..we can tell by the comments, stand up. Be honest. Man Up! Stop lying and playing with the fans.

    I am not an owners stooge. I am a fan!

  29. toe4 says: Apr 27, 2011 9:28 AM

    The purpose of the attack on the draft by the players is not to end the draft its to force a settlement discussion.

  30. realitypolice says: Apr 27, 2011 9:29 AM

    kom2k10 says:
    Apr 27, 2011 9:13 AM
    THE PLAYERS ARE ATTACKING THE DRAFT!!!

    Read the lawsuit! It states that the draft violates anti-trust laws and prevents potential employees from seeking employment on their own terms! If DeSmith says they are not attacking the draft, then they need to drop that part of the lawsuit!

    If the players win the lawsuit, the draft is DEFINATELY in jeaporady!
    =========================

    I don’t know why I keep bothering to do this, since you’ve obviously decided not to listen to any form of reason on this issue, but I will give it another shot.

    When you file a lawsuit against someone, you throw everything including the kitchen sink in there. You don’t expect to actually get all of those things, but you need to come strong or you have no room for negotiation later.

    I will use the analogy that I have used before: If a teenager needs TEN dollars, he asks his parents for TWENTY.

    That is all that is going on here. I know all of the chicken littles and ownership shills on here don’t want to believe it, but it really is that simple.

    The next CBA will have a draft, a salary cap and free agent rules.

    Now please come down off that ledge.

  31. bfridley says: Apr 27, 2011 9:30 AM

    What a cop-out rebuttal from Smith – of course this year’s draft is taking place tomorrow… it’s EVERY DRAFT AFTER THAT, that the NFLPA wants to remove

    Goodell is right – the draft is just as big as any other aspect of the sport, and the draft is probably my favorite weekend of the year (it was a LOT better when it was three rounds one day, and then four the next)

    My only wish for the draft is that they didn’t show the player talking on the phone before the pick is announced – it completely removes the suspense

  32. starvinglionsfan says: Apr 27, 2011 9:32 AM

    How stupid does this guy think we are?! How are you the protector of something that your actions put in jeaporady. If he doesn’t institute this madness then the prior cba atl goes on and everything is business as usual. This guy reminds me of the bad guy in the incredibles. He creates the disaster then rushes in with a cape claiming to save us from it, only to find out he’s lost control and needs the real heroes to step in and clean up his mess. The players were right this guy is a joke!!!

  33. jimr10 says: Apr 27, 2011 9:32 AM

    De Smith, your nose is growing. That has been your game plan all along. No draft. No restricted free agency. No salary cap.

  34. whitetail28 says: Apr 27, 2011 9:32 AM

    Simple solution to it all. Lift the ban playing under the last CBA “they both excelled there” until x date. At that date if a new CBA is not reached both sides submit their proposal to the courts and the judge makes a fair compromise between the two proposals. This would force the two sides to come together as close as possible with the fears of loosing anything like the draft as it is being used as leverage right now. They woul either come to an agreement or be so close it wouldnt matter by X date. Why is this so hard???

  35. east96st says: Apr 27, 2011 9:34 AM

    “THE PLAYERS ARE ATTACKING THE DRAFT!!! ”

    Ignoring that you clearly don’t understand leverage in negotiations, again, WHO exposed the draft to the attack? It wasn’t the players that opted out of the CBA that had the draft well protected, it was the owners. Maybe they shouldn’t have torn up the old contract until a new was in place. Once the legal protections that the CBA provided was gone, ANY first year law student could have told you it would be open season. They that sow the wind, shall reap the whirlwind.

  36. eagleswin says: Apr 27, 2011 9:35 AM

    artyshellz says:Apr 27, 2011 8:41 AM

    Players wouldn’t have the forum to attack the draft if you didn’t lock them out GODell!!!

    ———————————-

    You are incorrect. The union decertified which opened the league up to anti-trust litigation. That is what gave the players the forum. The lockout itself is irrelevent in this regard.

  37. zaggs says: Apr 27, 2011 9:35 AM

    Ah yes, the double talk I expect from this site. Allowing Demoron Smith to claim they’re not attacking the draft, then admitting that the players are attacking the draft. They are in fact attacking the draft so for those morons like KIR, this is why fans are not happy about the legal decisions. We like competitive balance, the NFL gives as best as you’re going to get in sports.

  38. realitypolice says: Apr 27, 2011 9:38 AM

    “When people attack the game of football, I take that seriously”.

    Well, then, he must be pretty angry at the owners he works for who decided to opt out of a deal that 30 out of 32 of them voted for and ALL of them signed just 5 years ago.

  39. scoopandslam says: Apr 27, 2011 9:39 AM

    The fans at the draft tomorrow night BETTER boo Goodell raucously. NFL fans around the world are counting on you guys!

    Either boo, or get a nice “GARY BETTMAN CLAP CLAP CLAPCLAPCLAP” chant going.

    Make us all proud.

  40. eagleswin says: Apr 27, 2011 9:42 AM

    joe6606 says:Apr 27, 2011 8:55 AM

    Goodell thinks we are all idiots.

    The players dont want to get rid of the draft. The commentary is nothing more than legal positioning, a “fine, if you want to continue to negotiate in bad faith, then we’re going to take extreme positions until you wake up and get back to the table”

    The owners position regarding the lockout is such a joke, it’s ridiculous. Their position regarding the financials may not be, but they have NO legal justification for locking a decertified union out. Enjoy your upcoming reaming from the appeals court
    —————————
    You do know that the players walked away from the table. The only potential bad faith argument regarding the owners you could have is regarding the “lockout insurance” and the owners mediated 2 weeks after that was taken away so at worst case, the owners have negotiated in good faith for at least 2 weeks before the players (who didn’t give a single counterproposal during that time) walked away.

    If this was a genuine decertification, I think most would agree with you but I challenge you to find more than a handful of people (who aren’t in the NFLPA) who say that the decertification isn’t a sham.

    Other than being wrong on most of your facts, you have quite a lather worked up there.

  41. eagleswin says: Apr 27, 2011 9:44 AM

    paredskinwarrior says:Apr 27, 2011 8:58 AM

    the players are just trying to play, they are the ones locked out by the owners!

    —————————–

    The players filed a lawsuit against the owners before the lockout. If the players just want to play, they could drop the lawsuit. No? Then I guess they just don’t want to play.

    Catchy slogan you have there. To bad it’s just propoganda.

  42. realitypolice says: Apr 27, 2011 9:48 AM

    In the interest of fairness and balance, I will point out that Demo Smith is also an idiot for suggesting that the fact that the draft will occur this Thursday is proof that they are not attacking the draft.

    Everyone knows that the 2011 draft was provided for in the previous CBA.

    Why can’t any of these guys be straight with us?

  43. eagleswin says: Apr 27, 2011 9:50 AM

    harmcityhomer says:Apr 27, 2011 9:10 AM

    The players are just doing what anyone would do if their employers tried to cut payroll by a billion dollars while revenue is going up every year.

    If the game was so perfect, why opt out of the CBA that protects the draft, a salary cap and restrictions of free agency?

    I love pro football the way it was, but I can learn to love a different version of it. My team usually picks near the bottom of every round. I would be glad to see a system where they can just hire a player like Peterson, Jones or Miller.

    ————————————-
    Payroll is not cut. Seriously, that’s one of the most blatant inaccuracies and rallying cries of those who back the players.

    Please think for yourself. No players salaries were to be cut. In fact there was a guaranteed increase in the salary cap each year. What the owners were trying to cut was the rate of inflation on the salary cap. I know you were concerned that Peyton Manning was going to have to get a second job as a spokesperson for some company to make ends meet but he’ll make more money next year than last year.

    Another point that get’s lost is that REVENUE does not equal PROFIT. Just because a company makes 9 billion doesn’t mean it doesn’t have 8.5 billion in expenses. Profit is a much smaller number than revenue.

    Lastly, you do realize the owners still want the draft, salary cap, and free agency? It’s the players attacking that, not the owners.

  44. moochzilla says: Apr 27, 2011 9:55 AM

    Fear of no draft = fear of death panels

    It’s a joke.

    Sad that this is all the empty suit has left.

  45. eagleswin says: Apr 27, 2011 9:56 AM

    clintonportisheadd says:Apr 27, 2011 9:05 AM

    “In an interview with ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Goodell re-stated his case that the owners want to keep the draft in place, while the players want to do away with it”

    ———————

    That is factually wrong. The NFLPA long ago agreed to an extension of the last CBA. The SAME CBA that allows for the current systems (including the draft) to stay in place. The same CBA the owners opted out of which started this whole mess.

    Why would the players agree to an extension of the CBA (and the draft) if they wanted to “end the draft”?

    Simple. They never did. It’s just NFL PR spin that the less sophisticated and less intelligent fall for. And judging by the comments on this site Goodell has found quite a few suckers who have bought this bill of goods.

    —————————————–

    A lawsuit in federal court says that you are wrong. A named plaintiff in the lawsuit was brought on board specificially to attack the draft.

    If you want to argue that the players aren’t pushing a lawsuit where their lawyers are arguing that a draft should be illegal, then you are out of touch with reality.

    The players wanted to push the original extension because it was a sweetheart deal for the players even with the other mechanisms. Now that they have been asked to slow down the gravy train, it is a problem.

  46. tednancy says: Apr 27, 2011 9:59 AM

    east96st says: Apr 27, 2011 9:02 AM

    Isn’t a tad hypocritical to call yourself the “protector” of something that you, yourself, exposed to the threat in the first place? It is funny seeing how many dolts think old Rodger is a standup guy protecting the League from the big old bad lawyers when he and the owners were the ones that opened the door to the attacks in the first place.
    ===============================

    While it may be true that the owners made some key mistakes, their biggest error was trusting the players union too much. The owners negotiated in good faith for a new CBA, the union did not. The NFL got sucker punched, and here we are today. Unlike some folks, however, I blame the guy who threw the punch, not the guy who got hit.

    However, when one party shakes down the other, it is plain wrong to blame the victim. Should the NFL have done things differently? You bet: the should never have trusted De Smith and Kessler from day one.

    It is beyond stupid to look at this situation and say “look what you made the players do, Roger.” Nobody forced the players to attack the game itself. That was their choice. If the owners didn’t see that coming, perhaps they were naive in thinking that anything would be sacred to schemers and union goons like Kessler and Smith.

  47. bigperm33 says: Apr 27, 2011 10:01 AM

    Goodell should position himself as nothing more than a puppet and mouthpiece for the owners because this lockout has proven that that is all he is.

  48. joetorious says: Apr 27, 2011 10:03 AM

    I like the draft as is (sans the primetime aspect). But if the players truly are threatening it and it should someday be no more, I’ll still be excited to find out who my squad picks up via whatever new process is in place.

    At the end of the day, the draft in its current format (from a TV-viewing standpoint) is spending countless hours in front of a TV watching Boomer get mad at the production crew for its sometimes-disjointedness.

  49. dk56 says: Apr 27, 2011 10:10 AM

    Dont forget that both sides are very concerned for us, “the fans”…. Goodell, the protector of the draft, D Smith, and especially look at how many players are speaking up for us now, that have not in the past.

    Yeah, right – they all have our backs!!! : (

  50. moochzilla says: Apr 27, 2011 10:13 AM

    The self-immolation of Roger is funny to watch.

    The plan was that he’d remain above the fray, an advocate for the fans. Total BS, as he’s a puppet of the owners, but a solid gameplan.

    Then they lost the lockout money they hoarded. And then they continued their record of futility in court with yet another loss.

    And now, we have Roger the attack dog and shill for his bosses. Which is their right, but a terrible waste of what could have been an asset to calm the dialogue and sway the fans.

    Now he’s become a parody of himself.

    Given the the owners tragically misuse an asset like Roger, is it any surprise they routinely fight amongst one another for the rights to draft / pay the Jemarcus Russells of the world?

    They’re clueless.

  51. GG Eden says: Apr 27, 2011 10:14 AM

    If the CBA was allowed to run its course, instead of the owners opting out, the same sequence of events would have occurred…..the NFLPA asking the NFL to open its books on the last 10 years, the NFL rejecting it, the NFLPA decertifying, a lockout, and an anti-trust lawsuit brought against the NFL, that (predicting the future) would still have won in court.

  52. cappa662 says: Apr 27, 2011 10:15 AM

    Andrew Luck to the Redskins if no draft. I’m all for that!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I wouldn’t mind seeing the NFL as a free market for a few years.

  53. moochzilla says: Apr 27, 2011 10:16 AM

    “The owners negotiated in good faith for a new CBA, the union did not.”

    Like when the needed to have $1B or the league would fold?

    And then that was proven to be a lie?

    And they offered nothing in return?

    And they wouldn’t share the details on why the league was in such dire straits? Because it wasn’t?

    Or how they needed $500M or the league would really fold this time?

    And then that was proven to be a lie when they leaked that they go down a tad further?

    Good faith like that? Worse or better?

    There was no negotiation, it was a DEMAND the owners made because they thought they had the lockout money stashed away. It’s that simple. They lost that cash, they lost the war.

  54. paulitik74 says: Apr 27, 2011 10:16 AM

    Roger Goodell is quite possibly the stupidest commissioner in sports. That’s saying a lot considering Stern and Selig are out there.

    They’ve had 3 years to prepare for the possibilty that the lockout wouldn’t work and he’s throwing out this bull$#!+.

    The draft is going nowhere. Roger should be focusing on talking the owners into dropping this doomed appeal and get to work on a CBA.

  55. tednancy says: Apr 27, 2011 10:17 AM

    harmcityhomer says: Apr 27, 2011 9:10 AM

    The players are just doing what anyone would do if their employers tried to cut payroll by a billion dollars while revenue is going up every year.

    If the game was so perfect, why opt out of the CBA that protects the draft, a salary cap and restrictions of free agency
    ====================================

    You are arguing a false choice. Just because the owners exercised their right to renegotiate the 2006 CBA after four years (which was a condition both parties agreed to in 2006) doesn’t mean they were rejecting all of the elements therein.

    Are you suggesting that owners should be forced to choose between the specifics of the 2006 CBA and the destruction of the NFL as we know it?

    According to your logic, the owners and players shouldn’t negotiate. Instead, the owners should either accept the 2006 CBA or else the union will blow-up the NFL.

    Are you sure your real name isn’t De Smith?

  56. easyeddie says: Apr 27, 2011 10:18 AM

    “But while the 2011 draft is safe, future drafts are being attacked, even if the players don’t realize that’s what their lawyer is doing.”

    I’m not so sure a lot of the folks here understand what the union lawyers are trying to do either. They want the NFL to turn into MLB — i.e., no salary caps, no draft.

  57. clintonportisheadd says: Apr 27, 2011 10:22 AM

    Lets review the timeline again shall we.

    It is indisputable that the impasse we are now at dates to May 20, 2008 when the owners voted to opt out of the CBA. They CHOSE to walk away from labor peace.

    Everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) that has transpired since then can be traced to that choice. Lawsuits, lock outs, and the rest were never necessary. Labor peace could have been maintained but the owners decided otherwise.

    The next time you want to “blame the players” for no football you ought to keep that in mind….

  58. umrguy42 says: Apr 27, 2011 10:22 AM

    “The millions of NFL fans who love the draft as a three-day celebration of football in the spring”

    How about the millions more who loved it as a 2-day celebration on a weekend, instead of prime-time on a Thursday AND a Friday, and then on Saturday?

  59. michbengal says: Apr 27, 2011 10:23 AM

    “The millions of NFL fans who love the draft as a three-day celebration of football in the spring are squarely on the side of keeping the draft in place”

    That’s not the reason. It’s because we know it helps maintain parity.

  60. moochzilla says: Apr 27, 2011 10:25 AM

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

    Seriously, have they lost anything in court yet?

  61. tednancy says: Apr 27, 2011 10:26 AM

    mightygiants says: Apr 27, 2011 9:25 AM

    kom2k10,

    If the game will be ruined by the players winning the lawsuit, why isn’t the league attempting to settle by making a reasonable offer to the players (one that doesn’t ask the players to take a massive pay cut)?
    =====================================

    Another argument from the “don’t you dare make me hit you” crowd.

    Even if the union is using the threat if destroying the NFL as “leverage” – isn’t it more like bullying? Aren’t De Smith and the rest of the union goons really just high-priced hostage-taking terrorists?

    So if the union does attack the draft, cap etc., are we supposed to blame the owners and not, you know, the players who are doing the attacking?

    “Look what you made me do!” Sounds like the words of a wife-beater, a terrorist, or in some cases, a union lawyer.

  62. Rhode Island Patriots Fan says: Apr 27, 2011 10:34 AM

    The ignorance shown by some posters here is both amazing and amusing. The NFL Draft is a cash cow for the league. The NFL Draft is a marketing bonanza for the league. The NFL Draft promotes competitive balance and parity in the league, so that teams with high valuations, like the New England Patriots, don’t get even more powerful at the expense of teams with lower valuations. The league therefore has everything to lose and absolutely nothing to gain with the elimination of the NFL Draft. On the other hand, the rookies—i.e., players—have everything to gain with the elimination of the Draft. Indeed, without a new CBA, future top prospects (2012 and beyond) would be able to play for any team they chose. Therefore, at least some players have a very strong incentive to see the Draft eliminated, whereas the league has every reason to want to keep it. Strangely enough, Roger Goodell, the protector of the NFL Draft, will likely get booed tomorrow night. Imagine what those booing will say if there’s no Draft in 2012. “It’s all Goodell’s fault!”

  63. eagleswin says: Apr 27, 2011 10:35 AM

    moochzilla says:Apr 27, 2011 9:55 AM

    Fear of no draft = fear of death panels

    It’s a joke.

    Sad that this is all the empty suit has left.
    —————————
    Another inflammatory inaccuracy. Is that all that you have left? Maybe you’ll compare Goodell to the gestapo next?

    Death panels had no basis in reality and were endlessly promoted by people with a specific political agenda.

    There is a legitimate fear of no draft as there is a pending court case which specifically attacks the draft. There’s no ambiguity. There’s no arguing that the players lawyers aren’t attacking the draft in court.

    If the court case goes until it’s conclusion and the players win on that point the league will not be able to have a draft, period, unless the union reforms. The players do not have the option of saying, ” I know we had the draft declared illegal but we didn’t mean it, our bad”. It will be illegal unless there’s a union otherwise the league will be violating federal law.

  64. firstand4ever says: Apr 27, 2011 10:39 AM

    The NFL owners are to blame for the current mess the league is in. We are not in a work stoppage because players threatened the draft and free agency. The owners locked the players out of the league. The players wanted to continue with the way things have been.

    As a matter of fact, the players agreed to a new rookie wage scale which would have saved owners billions of dollars collectively. This idea that the players tried to radicalize the game of football is a falsehood.

    I have always respected and liked Roger Goodell but during this process. He has lost alot of credibility.

  65. joe6606 says: Apr 27, 2011 10:40 AM

    “If this was a genuine decertification, I think most would agree with you but I challenge you to find more than a handful of people (who aren’t in the NFLPA) who say that the decertification isn’t a sham.”

    ——————————–
    Here’s where you, any many others who parrot this point are wrong:

    Arguing that the decertification was a sham, and therefore should not be recognized is not a valid legal theory that has even been successfully used in court.

    Go browse Lexis. Find me caselaw that demonstrates that is a legal theory that has been used before succesfully? Guess what..there is none.

    Now, of course, litigants are always free to try new techiques in hopes they’ll invent new law (who ever thought you could successfully sue McDonalds because there was no warning on their coffee cups that the coffee inside,was, umm hot) but when you attempt to use these unproven theories, you tend to get reamed..just like the owners did on Monday and will continue to get at appeal.

  66. kevinfromphilly says: Apr 27, 2011 10:42 AM

    If Goodell REALLY wanted to protect the draft, he wouldn’t have moved it to Thursday. Man, I used to love veging out in front of the TV all day Saturday and Sunday!

  67. EJ says: Apr 27, 2011 10:42 AM

    The National Football League shouldn’t change one single thing. If its not broke, don’t try to fix it!

    NFL of 2010=Billions of $$$$$$$
    A New NFL=Uncertainty

  68. jvw1982 says: Apr 27, 2011 10:45 AM

    I don’t believe a thing the worst commissioner in sports has to say…..the owners wanted to go down this road and now they are trying to say the players are trying to ruin the sport……only a naive person would fall for it…..if he wanted to protect the game he would have negotiated in good faith months ago….just the fact they craved out a side deal with the networks 6 yrs ago proves what they wanted to do all along…..I love my football and I am not happy that this clown thinks we are this stupid to fall for this…..the only reason why the players are going down this road is because the owners forced them too………

  69. southmo says: Apr 27, 2011 10:47 AM

    I can always count on articles with this as a topic to have the comments that are the least related to actual reality.

    Protest #1 – the draft wouldn’t be in danger if the owners hadn’t locked them out!
    Answer: Not true. The lawyers for the players sued to have the draft ended the day BEFORE the owners locked them out. Lock out or no lock out, the draft was challenged.

    Protest #2 – It’s just leverage!
    Answer: Actually, it’s a pending court case, and until it is withdrawn, it is a real possibility. Believing it’s merely leverage is trusting in the good graces of agents, lawyers and 1900 players, plus incoming rookies, many of whom (mostly agents and lawyers) have said they oppose the draft. You’re assuming they will withdraw it and make a deal before the courts rule. In other words, you’re just hoping it’s leverage. I agree. I hope it’s just leverage too. But at least I recognize it’s just a hope.

    Protest #3 – If the owners hadn’t opted out, the players wouldn’t have sued!
    Answer: Nobody forced anyone to sue to have the draft removed. In fact, I could just as easily say if the players hadn’t walked away from the bargaining table… see… you want the players to have all the freedom, but you want the owners to do what you tell them to do. That argument has no logical basis.

    Protest #4 – Many variations of this one, but it basically goes… the draft stinks, we don’t need it!
    Answer: Millions and I mean millions of fans totally disagree with that. So go ahead and take it away and see how popular the sport remains. And if the sport isn’t as popular, then there won’t be as much money. And if there’s not as much money, the players lose too.

  70. argile2000 says: Apr 27, 2011 10:50 AM

    I do not think many people posting actually read up on the law suit, or antitrust rules. I did my best to read up on all this “stuff” last night. Let’s go over facts.

    NFL wanted a new CBS, for some very good reasons

    Rookie Salary Cap. ( A very big need )
    Shrinking profit margins due to legitimate cost increases.
    The last CBA was almost theft in the favor of the players.

    In negotiations, The NFL made proposals, that were fair starting points. The NFLPA* made not one counter offer.
    The NFLPA decertified so that they may file antitrust law suits. Yes they did this for position and because they know they can win.

    Antitrust rules say that the NFL cannot collude, unless the players collude as well. The problem is that the NFL is unable to not collude. It is physically impossible for the NFL to operate a Sport league without colluding. The NFLPA* knows this. The players on the other hand can thrive if they collude or do not collude, due to the antitrust law problems when applied to sports leagues. Bottom line… The law is flawed when applied to sports leagues.

    I am sorry to say that these facts put the game of football in serious jeopardy and most of you posting are not seeing this fact.

    We needed a new CBA. The players went to the courts because the law is flawed in their favor. They never countered. The draft and the salary cap is in serious danger. It is not just a leverage tactic. TRUST ME!

    FYI… I am not a fan of Godell!

  71. 3octaveFart says: Apr 27, 2011 10:59 AM

    chapnastier says: Apr 27, 2011 9:00 AM

    “Say what you want about Goodell but at least he is trying to save the NFL right now while the union lawyers try to destroy it.”

    You lose, get over it.
    But there’s still time to hop onto the Birthers bandwagon, they still have a sweet conspiracy theory going on…

    ..oh, wait.

  72. tednancy says: Apr 27, 2011 11:10 AM

    clintonportisheadd says: Apr 27, 2011 10:22 AM

    Lets review the timeline again shall we.

    It is indisputable that the impasse we are now at dates to May 20, 2008 when the owners voted to opt out of the CBA. They CHOSE to walk away from labor peace.

    Everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) that has transpired since then can be traced to that choice. Lawsuits, lock outs, and the rest were never necessary. Labor peace could have been maintained but the owners decided otherwise.

    The next time you want to “blame the players” for no football you ought to keep that in mind….
    ====================================

    So what you are saying is that the 2006 CBA should last forever? Is the 2006 CBA written on stone tablets like the Ten Commandments or something?

    What do you think would happen if the 2006 CBA were allowed to run for two more years? It still would have expired, and the same issues that were raised by the owners in 2011 would be raised in 2013.

    And you know what? The players would have done the exact same thing they are doing now: using the threat of destroying the NFL as a bargaining chip.

    Besides, the opt-out clause was a condition that the players agreed to – it was a major element of the 2006 CBA, a concession without which the owners would never had agreed to the deal. The opt-out was part of the give-and-take of that negotiation: the players got a perhaps-too-sweet deal and in exchange agreed to revisit the CBA in as early as 2010, should either side deem it necessary.

    And I don’t need to tell you that the economic health of the USA is decidedly worse now than it was in 2006. Hence, the owners choice to revise the CBA going forward.

    Whether the agreement expires in 2010 or in 2012, is really immaterial. The owners’ decision to exercise their right to opt out in 2008 instead of 2010 has absolutely no bearing on the players’ decision to attack the draft, salary cap, drug testing etc.

    So you see, your cause-effect argument is an outright fallacy.

  73. George says: Apr 27, 2011 11:11 AM

    I find it humorous that half the posts here side with the players. To think that it’s the players that made the NFL the multi-billion dollar enterprise it is today, it’s plain ignorant. It is the business acumen of the owners, who have been successful in other ventures, that have turned the NFL into what it is today financially.

    The owners opt-out of the previous CBA because it was not financially sound for the overall financial health of the league. It was an unsustainable business model.

    If the players think that they know more about investing, profit sharing, revenues etc, then how come the avg. player goes bankrupt just years after retirement?

    Stop trying to win the fans sympathy via the court system and legal technicalities, get back to the negotiating table and act as business people would. it’s called negotiating.

  74. eagleswin says: Apr 27, 2011 11:22 AM

    moochzilla says:Apr 27, 2011 10:16 AM

    “The owners negotiated in good faith for a new CBA, the union did not.”

    Like when the needed to have $1B or the league would fold?

    And then that was proven to be a lie?

    And they offered nothing in return?

    And they wouldn’t share the details on why the league was in such dire straits? Because it wasn’t?

    Or how they needed $500M or the league would really fold this time?

    And then that was proven to be a lie when they leaked that they go down a tad further?

    Good faith like that? Worse or better?

    There was no negotiation, it was a DEMAND the owners made because they thought they had the lockout money stashed away. It’s that simple. They lost that cash, they lost the war.
    ——————————-
    I hate to get in the way of a good rant but how about a little reality interjected into it?

    The league offered unprecidented financial information and certainly more than they were required to offer. The raw numbers to be auditted by an independent/mutually agreed on 3rd party acctg firm. The only people who thought it wasn’t enough were the NFLPA mouthpieces who wanted the extra information for other reasons (see NBAPA and what the open books has done to their negotiations). Even DeMaurice admitted that the only reason they didn’t accept the offer to look at the numbers was for PR reasons.

    But if the NFLPA not looking at the numbers for PR reasons = owners lying to you, you won’t be accepting any rational explanation given to you.

    The owners made multiple proposals (which noone disputes) while the players made no (read : ZERO) counterproposals during mediation. It makes me think that you don’t understand which side budged and which side didn’t.

  75. Rhode Island Patriots Fan says: Apr 27, 2011 11:28 AM

    realitypolice says:Apr 27, 2011 9:29 AM
    kom2k10 says:
    Apr 27, 2011 9:13 AM
    THE PLAYERS ARE ATTACKING THE DRAFT!!!
    Read the lawsuit! It states that the draft violates anti-trust laws and prevents potential employees from seeking employment on their own terms! If DeSmith says they are not attacking the draft, then they need to drop that part of the lawsuit!
    If the players win the lawsuit, the draft is DEFINATELY in jeaporady!
    =========================
    I don’t know why I keep bothering to do this, since you’ve obviously decided not to listen to any form of reason on this issue, but I will give it another shot.
    When you file a lawsuit against someone, you throw everything including the kitchen sink in there. You don’t expect to actually get all of those things, but you need to come strong or you have no room for negotiation later.
    I will use the analogy that I have used before: If a teenager needs TEN dollars, he asks his parents for TWENTY.
    That is all that is going on here. I know all of the chicken littles and ownership shills on here don’t want to believe it, but it really is that simple.
    The next CBA will have a draft, a salary cap and free agent rules.
    Now please come down off that ledge.
    ———————————————————-@ realitypolice—And so, using your analogy, if the teenager asks his parents for $20 and gets it, he’s not going to keep it? That’s not reality. I think you’ve just arrested yourself.

  76. scytherius says: Apr 27, 2011 11:28 AM

    We all know he is the worst Commissioner in the history of sports. Anyone with an ounce of sense knows that getting rid of the draft i a necessary part of the anti-trust legal argument. Goodall is supposed to be above both sides and work for a resolution. He’s just another owner.

    And if the billionaires hadn’t threatened a lock out and moved with such speed to do so, this would not have happened.

    The game will suffer until there is a new commissioner. But the way the owners run things nowadays, I would expect his successor to be Donald Trump.

  77. FinFan68 says: Apr 27, 2011 11:37 AM

    clintonportisheadd says:
    Apr 27, 2011 10:22 AM
    Lets review the timeline again shall we.

    It is indisputable that the impasse we are now at dates to May 20, 2008 when the owners voted to opt out of the CBA. They CHOSE to walk away from labor peace.

    Everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) that has transpired since then can be traced to that choice. Lawsuits, lock outs, and the rest were never necessary. Labor peace could have been maintained but the owners decided otherwise.

    The next time you want to “blame the players” for no football you ought to keep that in mind….
    ——————————-
    Look, you can’t cherry-pick some historical facts and omit others because it makes your case seem week. When the latest CBA was being negotiated, 2 owners were adamant that the deal was going to be bad for the owners. Based on that, BOTH SIDES agreed to an opt out clause. The owners could have made a stand back then, rather than give the players the sweetheart deal they enjoyed since 2006. They did not do that and instead chose to negotiate in good faith. They knew the opt-out would be there if the deal was in fact as bad as some of the owners claimed. The fact that we had NFL football in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 is because the owners actually negotiated instead of showing a belligerently defiant attitude. Fast forward to this year, the players never negotiated (contrary to what you seem to think) in good faith and chose the litigation route. The lockout happened BECAUSE the players decertified and removed the anti-trust protections provided by the CBA. Read that as many times as it takes you to grasp that fact. If the players and owners continued negotiations there would have been no lockout and there would more than likely have been a deal by now. You seem to forget that the owners were still at the table with an offer that could have been negotiated further, when the players ran to the courts. Why did they need the courts? Because their position at the bargaining table lacked leverage.

    The next time you want to “blame the owners” for no football (without even considering the players’ actions) you ought to keep that in mind….

  78. mightygiants says: Apr 27, 2011 11:50 AM

    tednancy says:
    Apr 27, 2011 10:26 AM
    mightygiants says: Apr 27, 2011 9:25 AM

    kom2k10,

    If the game will be ruined by the players winning the lawsuit, why isn’t the league attempting to settle by making a reasonable offer to the players (one that doesn’t ask the players to take a massive pay cut)?
    =====================================

    Another argument from the “don’t you dare make me hit you” crowd.

    Even if the union is using the threat if destroying the NFL as “leverage” – isn’t it more like bullying? Aren’t De Smith and the rest of the union goons really just high-priced hostage-taking terrorists?

    So if the union does attack the draft, cap etc., are we supposed to blame the owners and not, you know, the players who are doing the attacking?

    “Look what you made me do!” Sounds like the words of a wife-beater, a terrorist, or in some cases, a union lawyer.

    ________________________________

    Tendency,

    To accept the premise of your position we must ignore the facts. We need to ignore the fact that the owners, not the players, cut the last CBA short. We need to ignore the fact that the owners, not the players are the ones that shut down football indefinitely. We need to ignore the fact that the owners not the players are the ones demanding the drastic change in the status quo. Once we acknowledge those facts, you position doesn’t hold up.

  79. realitypolice says: Apr 27, 2011 11:54 AM

    Rhode Island Patriots Fan says:
    realitypolice—And so, using your analogy, if the teenager asks his parents for $20 and gets it, he’s not going to keep it? That’s not reality. I think you’ve just arrested yourself.

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

    Boy, I wish I had your parents growing up.

    I don’t know what “arrested myself” means, but if it means I haven’t allowed for something that has zero percent chance of actually happening, I guess you may have a point.

    I also haven’t considered the possibility that aliens will kidnap Roger Goodell and Demo Smith and replace them them with droids, but since that has the same chance of happening as this lawsuit does of ever actually being heard by a jury in it’s current form, maybe I should.

  80. mightygiants says: Apr 27, 2011 11:55 AM

    George says:
    Apr 27, 2011 11:11 AM
    I find it humorous that half the posts here side with the players. To think that it’s the players that made the NFL the multi-billion dollar enterprise it is today, it’s plain ignorant. It is the business acumen of the owners, who have been successful in other ventures, that have turned the NFL into what it is today financially.

    The owners opt-out of the previous CBA because it was not financially sound for the overall financial health of the league. It was an unsustainable business model.

    If the players think that they know more about investing, profit sharing, revenues etc, then how come the avg. player goes bankrupt just years after retirement?

    Stop trying to win the fans sympathy via the court system and legal technicalities, get back to the negotiating table and act as business people would. it’s called negotiating.

    ______________________________

    If the owners were as brilliant as you claim, they wouldn’t have signed the last CBA. To suggest that giving credit to the players is ignorant is frankly just an exercise in irony. There isn’t a single fan that gives even a dime because they want to see the team’s owner.

    Also on the subject of ignorance you might want to brush up on the concept of monopolies and anti-trust law. You will be surprised to find there is no other industry where competitors are allowed to collude to limit employee’s salaries.

  81. arnoldziffel says: Apr 27, 2011 11:56 AM

    If ol’ Rodger can protect the Draft as well as he protects the owners from having to open their books and prove their claims that they’re all losing money well, then the Draft should be fairly safe.

  82. thefiesty1 says: Apr 27, 2011 12:19 PM

    Absolutely, KEEP the draft. A $1 billion bond is nothing more than a money grab by the players which is ALL this whole thing is about.

    If the players don’t like who they are drafted by, they can refuse to sign a contract and find another career. They don’t have to play football. Of course they can’t do anything else. Their too stupid.

  83. tednancy says: Apr 27, 2011 12:40 PM

    @ Fin Fan68:

    Great post. The truth needs to be heard, because it’s increasingly clear that the union has muddied the water enough to create the illusion of moral equivalence between negotiation and hostage-taking.

  84. moochzilla says: Apr 27, 2011 1:02 PM

    Eagleswin…

    “The owners made multiple proposals (which no one disputes) while the players made no (read : ZERO) counterproposals during mediation. It makes me think that you don’t understand which side budged and which side didn’t.”

    Uh, you missed a critical fact that is truly inexcusable on your part and likely explains why you are so wildly off-base.

    The players weren’t asking for anything. There was nothing for them to “budge” from. They wanted the status quo (that made the owners rich), and believed they could keep it that way. They then proceeded to do exactly that.

    The owners wanted $1B and an 18 game season.

    Ownership did not want to negotiate anything, the made a demand. And the players refused, and then won the argument in court. Which was no surprise.

    You don’t “budge” when you have leverage and aren’t asking for anything. It’s illogical. It makes no sense.

    If I walk up to you and say “give me your car”, you’d say no. You wouldn’t offer to give it to me on weekends in order to prove “good faith”.

    How can you not see this? Are you a Prep grad?

  85. moochzilla says: Apr 27, 2011 1:03 PM

    “Their too stupid.”

    That was an awesome display of intellect!

  86. moochzilla says: Apr 27, 2011 1:09 PM

    And I suppose that this means the draft will become a 4 day ad for the owners.

    Get ready for NFL Network “reporters” to ask Goodell non-questions like:

    “Roger, why is the draft so great?”

    “Roger, why do you love the fans so very much?”

    “Roger, why is the draft the best thing about the NFL?”

    But I bet the owners will be trading their picks so they don’t have to spend so much on unproven talent, right? I expect they’ll all pass in rounds 1 and 2, right?

    Because they’re losing money, right? So much so that most of you needed to build them a stadium with your tax dollars so the greedy players would have a place to play. Those rats!

  87. George says: Apr 27, 2011 1:33 PM

    mightygiants, of course fans don’t go watch owners, that’s just silly. My point is, without the Owners expertise or their resources, the NFL wouldn’t be what it is today, that’s all I am saying. Do you really think the players have any input in Network dealings? Negotiating any television contracts or any other Business function of the game? No, all the players do is play and collect a paycheck.

    As fans, we root for them and at the end of the day, we just want to watch football. But on the same token, the players need to realize that trying to strong arm the hand that feeds them is going to come back to bite them in the butt.

    I say, go back to the negotiating table and stop acting like children. If they want to be considered businessmen, then they need to start acting like one and start the negotiations and stop going through the courts to force their way

  88. George says: Apr 27, 2011 1:41 PM

    oh and without a draft or cap to free agency, smaller market teams such as GB, PITT and MN, wouldn’t be able to compete against a bigger market like NY. Look at what’s happened to MLB… I don’t know about you, but it seems to me that the smaller markets have become an oversize farm system for Boston, NY and Philly.

    Let’s not forget this is a sport, a game and what makes a game interesting is the competition…. The draft and Free Agency allows that.

  89. moochzilla says: Apr 27, 2011 1:47 PM

    “the players need to realize that trying to strong arm the hand that feeds them is going to come back to bite them in the butt. ”

    How, exactly?

    Legally? Nope. They always win in court.

    Financially? Nope. Owners will still outbid one another for talent and drive up costs. Not that this maters since salaries are ties to revenue.

    The only thing that an NFL player is in danger of is an early death from playing this game. That’s why he’s well-compensated for doing so.

    The players weren’t asking for more money, you know that…right?

  90. moochzilla says: Apr 27, 2011 2:11 PM

    “oh and without a draft or cap to free agency, smaller market teams such as GB, PITT and MN, wouldn’t be able to compete against a bigger market like NY. Look at what’s happened to MLB… I don’t know about you, but it seems to me that the smaller markets have become an oversize farm system for Boston, NY and Philly. ”

    Wonder if the owners knew all of that when they tossed aside the CBA that made them all rich?

    Face it – they want it both ways. The want the protectionism that keeps the playing field level and the socialism that keeps salaries tied to revenue. But then they also want a higher share of the revenue.

    Doesn’t work that way, as the players are now showing them.

  91. eagleswin says: Apr 27, 2011 2:43 PM

    moochzilla says:Apr 27, 2011 1:02 PM

    Eagleswin…

    “The owners made multiple proposals (which no one disputes) while the players made no (read : ZERO) counterproposals during mediation. It makes me think that you don’t understand which side budged and which side didn’t.”

    Uh, you missed a critical fact that is truly inexcusable on your part and likely explains why you are so wildly off-base.

    The players weren’t asking for anything. There was nothing for them to “budge” from. They wanted the status quo (that made the owners rich), and believed they could keep it that way. They then proceeded to do exactly that.

    The owners wanted $1B and an 18 game season.

    Ownership did not want to negotiate anything, the made a demand. And the players refused, and then won the argument in court. Which was no surprise.

    You don’t “budge” when you have leverage and aren’t asking for anything. It’s illogical. It makes no sense.

    If I walk up to you and say “give me your car”, you’d say no. You wouldn’t offer to give it to me on weekends in order to prove “good faith”.

    How can you not see this? Are you a Prep grad?
    —————————-
    That had to be one of the worst disjointed rantings i’ve seen here today.

    The players did want something. They wanted status quo. Wanting status quo (ie sweetheart deal) is still “wanting” something. The owners wanted something different, hence the negotiations. Refusing to compromise on your demands (just so you aren’t confused, the players demands were that nothing change), is refusing to negotiate.

    Owners got rich and bought football teams, they didn’t buy football teams and become rich. Cause before effect, that’s the way it works. Also remember, revenue does not equal profit.

    If i remember correctly, the owners abandoned the 18 game request and cut their $1 billion offer to $500 million. They also offered to increase medical/pension benefits. Those owners really didn’t want to negotiate did they?

    Also, the players haven’t “won” their argument in court. The last i checked there are several legal hurdles to clear yet.

    That example was absolutely horrible and I can’t see how it has any bearing on the discussion.

  92. George says: Apr 27, 2011 2:56 PM

    Moochzilla – I am on the owners side. They are running their teams like a business and when things change, you have to adapt. The players want to stay status quo. The owners are the one paying the bills and the ones taking on liabilities and financial risks. They are investing into their business and the players are just one more asset of the business. It might be argued the players are the biggest asset, but an asset nonetheless.

    Players should get back to the negotiating table and stop trying to go through the court system to reach an agreement.

  93. stixzidinia says: Apr 27, 2011 3:51 PM

    I’m willing to bet that 90% of those doomsday posts buying Goodell’s cheap sell job hook, line, and sinker are coming from guys that have either Fox News on the TV in the background or have Rush on the radio in the background.

    For all their fear/paranoia based whining trying to paint the union and the players as the “bully”, the day football resumes they’ll be right back to cheering WHO on Sunday? That’s right, the players. The players are the ONLY reason the NFL is where it is. Keep telling yourselves it’s the corporate fat cats driving the league. The ONLY reason people buy tickets, tune in on Sundays, or shell out cash for merchandise is because of the players. I don’t see any fans out there sporting Steelers jerseys with “Rooney” on the name tape. I don’t see anybody sporting Cowboys jerseys with “Jones” on the back. Nobody watches because of the owners. Nobody. The players are the only reason the league exists. And they are not expendable. The league found out in 1987 just how little the public cares to see less talented scrubs on Sundays wearing NFL laundry.

  94. stixzidinia says: Apr 27, 2011 3:58 PM

    I am on the owners side. They are running their teams like a business and when things change, you have to adapt. The players want to stay status quo. The owners are the one paying the bills and the ones taking on liabilities and financial risks. They are investing into their business and the players are just one more asset of the business. It might be argued the players are the biggest asset, but an asset nonetheless.

    Players should get back to the negotiating table and stop trying to go through the court system to reach an agreement.

    ————————-

    There is no “financial risk”. The NFL has never been more profitable. Being an NFL owner is a license to print money. The only “risk” involved is for owners that either run putrid franchise (Buffalo, Cincy) and/or build ridiculous and unnecessary billion dollar sports palaces (Jerry Jones). It is not the players’ responsibility to take a pay cut because certain owners can’t run proper business or because they get in over their heads with ridiculous and unnecessary overhead.

  95. moochzilla says: Apr 27, 2011 4:00 PM

    Easgleswin,

    Not a rant, just statement of facts. Facts that held up in court. But you make a great point that undermines another statement you made.

    Revenue doesn’t equal profit, you are 100% right! Which is why the numbers the league showed – that in your expect opinion were unprecidented [sic] and sufficient – were not the appropriate basis for evaluation. The NFL needed to verify the profit because they were saying they were making less profits.

    Do me a favor and read off to me the value of the Eagles from 1990-2010, year by year. Tell me it’s become less profitable. And since salaries are DIRECTLY tied to revenues (a factor I assume you willfully ignore), salaries weren’t the problem of the league being less profitable.

    They did offer They also offered to increase medical/pension benefits…which essentially would have been paid for by the players since they’d be forfeiting $1B as part of the deal.

    Why wouldn’t the players just set that up themselves and keep the $1B. What sense does that make? None.

    The example shows that a refusal to entertain a ridiculous offer doesn’t mean you’re being obstructionist. You just refuse the offer because you can.

    And they did.

  96. moochzilla says: Apr 27, 2011 4:05 PM

    George,

    Fist off, they will come to an agreement. No question – everyone is getting rich and they need one another to keep it going.

    I agree that the owners take on more risk, but that’s their choice. And they already get $1B off the top because of that. That’s in place, the players accept that concept and have always been willing to carve out a huge chunk of cash for the owner’s overhead.

    But if you want $2B you need to justify why. If it is ‘unsustainable’ then it should be easy to show. I will back the NBA owners over the players next year, because they can show that the current system is killing the league.

    This will all work itself out, don’t worry.

  97. moochzilla says: Apr 27, 2011 4:10 PM

    And by ‘risk” being ‘their choice’ I mean things like…

    1) Drafting Russell first overall when many questioned if he could play and everyone knew his attitude stunk.

    2) Signing TO over and over and over despite evidence that it isn’t a cost-effective move.

    3) Building huge stadiums in small market areas like Jacksonville.

    4) Moving games to an unprofitable NFL Network, which kills your ad revenue for those weeks.

    Here is what you need to understand, the owners want all the benefits of the current CBA, but at the same time gouge the players for an additional $1B. You can’t have it both ways.

    Watch what happens if they talk about local TV contracts instead of revenue sharing. THAT MAKES IT MLB tomorrow…not player salaries.

  98. Brian says: Apr 27, 2011 5:49 PM

    If the emotion gets taken out of it, there WAS a deal to be made. The owners argued that their operating costs had increased and they wanted a bigger portion taken off the top. The old CBA took 1 billion, the last owners offer asked for an extra 500 million.

    (One would think with the entire economy struggling and high overhead costs from stadiums, the players would understand that’s not incredibly surprising.)

    There were many options for the players besides decertifying and suing. They could have negotiated and won some concessions they did not have under the old CBA.

    In fact, the owners offered several, including concessions on practices, health insurance, and more. The players could have got a concession on the 18-game season never happening, and in fact they did. They could have acheived many things in return for that extra 500 million for operating expenses. The players could have even asked for their own opt out clause.

    But they didn’t. They accepted no concessions and made no concessions. Everything headed straight to court for one huge all or nothing gambit.

    Pretty stupid move for the long run I’d say.

  99. George says: Apr 27, 2011 6:44 PM

    stixzidinia says: Apr 27, 2011 3:58 PM

    For all their fear/paranoia based whining trying to paint the union and the players as the “bully”, the day football resumes they’ll be right back to cheering WHO on Sunday? That’s right, the players. The players are the ONLY reason the NFL is where it is. Keep telling yourselves it’s the corporate fat cats driving the league.

    ***********************************************

    Hey Stixzidinia, the players are the entertainment, the product on the field, but don’t kid yourself in thinking THEY are ones driving the profitability.

    Thanks to the owners business acumen and marketing skills, the NFL has thrived over the past decade. They are the ones that have taken the financial risk i.e. financing of new stadiums, purchase of teams, and they have to make sure that they are receiving a return on their investment. Half the players in the NFL today can’t even speak properly, yet you want to credit them with the “financial growth’ of the league? They are an asset, that’s all.

    What good is it to have the greatest idea/asset in the world, if you can’t market it and have people aware of it???? that’s right, if it wasn’t for the owners negotiating profitable TV contracts and product endorsements for the league, half America wouldn’t even know who these players are…… you must be a democrat hahahahaha

  100. moochzilla says: Apr 27, 2011 9:10 PM

    “But they didn’t. They accepted no concessions and made no concessions. Everything headed straight to court for one huge all or nothing gambit.”

    Are you kidding me? They’ve won every case so far. They’ve won almost ever case since 1987.

    Backing the owners is like backing the French army or the LA Clippers.

    Follow the story and the facts, not your emotions.

    PS – a total dope could negotiate that contract, as it is subject to simple ratings data compiled by Neilsen and the fact that you have 3 networks fighting over it.

    There is no negotiation for TV, you sit by the fax and wait for the best offer to roll in.

    Please. Learn something about the process before you post.

  101. bsandcs says: Apr 27, 2011 11:11 PM

    because you’ve negotiated billion dollar tv contracts before?

  102. moochzilla says: Apr 28, 2011 10:13 AM

    More than you have, checkout boy.

  103. leagle911 says: Apr 28, 2011 2:04 PM

    This could actually get much worse before it gets better.

    Let’s say there is no draft, and incoming rookies and free agents can sign where they want.

    I see veteran players suing to void their contracts because they were signed during an era when the draft was imposed and they had much more limited choices. So, conditions have changed and they did not have the opportunity to freely act, as they would have if they had signed during a period with no draft, and they too want their freedom.

    If this continues into a “free for all” era, I see the veteran players thinking they are getting screwed (hey, Peyton might like playing for the Jets) and trying to bolt, using litigation to break their contracts.

    It could happen.

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