Skip to content

Players believe 2011 league year has begun

jailcell_g_061114_420_1 Getty Images

The league apparently has decided to wait for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit to rule on the NFL’s request for a stay pending appeal of the order lifting the lockout.  The players believe that the league has no reason to delay starting the 2011 league year.

“Last night, Judge Nelson issued a 20 page decision denying the NFL’s request to stay (delay) the injunction she issued on Monday in the Brady v. NFL litigation that the NFL must stop the lockout,” lawyers Jim Quinn and Jeffrey Kessler wrote in a memo to all players and agents, a copy of which PFT has obtained.  “The decision denying the stay is once again very strong, and rejected all of the NFL’s arguments.  Accordingly, the order ending the lockout is in full, immediate force.

“The NFL has filed for an emergency stay with the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, while the Eighth Circuit considers the NFL’s stay request.  Unless and until such a request is granted, however, we believe the 2011 League Year now has to begin; the Clubs must open their facilities to allow players to work out, meet with coaches and otherwise perform their jobs; and the NFL and the Clubs cannot collectively continue to refuse to deal with players.  It is our view that the NFL and the Clubs will be in contempt of court if they do not comply with the order unless and until they hear differently from the Eighth Circuit.

“We will let you know later today what the NFL is going to do to comply with this order, and what the specific schedule will be going forward.”

We agree with everything they’ve said.  The orders are clear — and the league’s effort to delay the lifting of the lockout have served only to make the situation clearer.  The lockout is over.  Turning players away, as at least three of the teams have done, constitutes contempt of court.

The next question very well could be if — and when — the days without an arrest meter is re-set to zero based on the incarceration of an owner for failing to comply with the multiple federal court orders.

Permalink 68 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Rumor Mill, Sprint Football Live - Rumors, Top Stories, Union
68 Responses to “Players believe 2011 league year has begun”
  1. seahawkhuskyfan says: Apr 28, 2011 10:58 AM

    Could the owners really let a female tell them what to do? Come on, owners like this don’t let a woman push them around.

  2. snowpea84 says: Apr 28, 2011 11:00 AM

    Everything that is happening is a travesty. And I’m not talking about the owners “failing to comply.”

  3. nagaswan says: Apr 28, 2011 11:01 AM

    Dear Future, please give us a Dan Snyder mug shot.

  4. clintonportisheadd says: Apr 28, 2011 11:02 AM

    Hey Roger—

    How’s that “opting out of the CBA” thingy working out for you these days?

  5. southmo says: Apr 28, 2011 11:03 AM

    Ok, NOW there’s a possibility of contempt of court.

    Secondly, Judge Nelson writes like J.K. Rowlings on steroids.

  6. berniemadoffsides says: Apr 28, 2011 11:03 AM

    “The next question very well could be if — and when — the days without an arrest meter is re-set to zero based on the incarceration of an owner for failing to comply with the multiple federal court orders.”

    Boy, would I love to see Jerry Jones in cuffs… :-D

  7. isaeus says: Apr 28, 2011 11:03 AM

    Let’s hope the teams smarten up and comply with the judge’s ruling!! It is time to get back to work.

    In the meantime, the owners can see where this is going. Their leverage is gone. The money grab attempt failed – get back to the table and negotiate a new CBA that is fair for both sides.

  8. upperdecker19 says: Apr 28, 2011 11:05 AM

    “The next question very well could be if — and when — the days without an arrest meter is re-set to zero based on the incarceration of an owner for failing to comply with the multiple federal court orders.”

    As Jerry Jones scrambles to add temporary seating to add to his comfort in the local prison.

  9. txchief says: Apr 28, 2011 11:05 AM

    So now that the NFL lockout has been enjoined, and the league year has begun, it is necessary for each team to develop their own set of player rules and implement them. The NFL must now function much more like a regulating body or business association and cannot enforce uniform rules across the league. Although hopefully, the league might be able to continue revenue sharing for media contracts, serving somewhat like a promoter and sanctioning organization of boxing matches.
    The league would not be able to enforce a hard salary cap (or floor) for the individual franchises, but they could regulate who takes the field for their sanctioned contests, the rules for the game and the qualifications of the players. Such a system could disallow felons and those taking performance enhancing drugs from taking the field. As well, the league could set a maximal payroll for each team for each contest. For example, a team could have a maximal payroll of 5 million per game. If that allowed one team to bring 75 players and the other only 25, so be it. Each team could keep as many players under contract as it wishes for as much as the team is willing to pay, but there can be a measure of parity during the games on financial grounds. Those players receiving extremely high salaries will be called upon more often and may have shorter careers.
    Each team can now set its’ own player rules and work hours. If the players don’t like the rules, they could quit and seek employment elsewhere. Undoubtedly, most team owners will want to set up a reasonable set of employee regulations that would improve productivity and the health of their employees. Healthcare for the period of employment, worker’s compensation and contribution to an IRA and a long-term disability policy would be provided by most teams. I doubt many of the team owners would elect to pay outrageous amounts to unproven rookies and veteran players who have off the field problems or who has been insubordinate to prior employers.
    Here are a few reasonable inclusions to the employee handbook:
    1. The players show up for workouts and playbook study every day, Monday through Friday. No more “off season” to get out of shape and in legal trouble. Player contracts will include performance incentives as well as penalties for poor performance. If you can’t stay in shape, know the playbook and perform on game day, you are not doing your job.
    2. No performance enhancing drugs or recreational drugs. Random drug testing as often as necessary will be enforced. No more multiple chances to clean up, because you can’t play in an NFL sanctioned game if you’re dirty.
    3. Acts of moral turpitude are grounds for immediate dismissal from the team.
    4. Appropriate attire and professional demeanor required at work and any work-related activity or event, including travel to and from such events.
    After all the dust has cleared, the players will have to produce to earn their paycheck, and they will have to begin to behave in a manner befitting a highly compensated individual. Many of the players will be able to do so. Many others will have difficulty.

  10. micronin127 says: Apr 28, 2011 11:06 AM

    Teams should certainly stop turning the players away that are under contract and allow them to access facilities, physical therapy, doctors, etc…

    Starting the league year puts the league in the spot of coming up with a set of rules that don’t violate antitrust laws. Good luck with that…

    Trades would be the easiest thing to allow as a first step.

  11. zoxitic says: Apr 28, 2011 11:06 AM

    “The next question very well could be if — and when — the days without an arrest meter is re-set to zero based on the incarceration of an owner for failing to comply with the multiple federal court orders.”

    This is my guess as to why Goodell canceled.

  12. zone44blitz says: Apr 28, 2011 11:08 AM

    Put all the owners in jail! Bunch of thieves!

  13. chatham10 says: Apr 28, 2011 11:09 AM

    Let everybody stay cool, if the owners had won the players would have done the same thing.

  14. dccowboy says: Apr 28, 2011 11:09 AM

    I think it has too.

    It would be funny to see Goodell arrested on National Television at the start of the draft. Very entertaining.

  15. dickroy says: Apr 28, 2011 11:09 AM

    Everyone knows that the NFL is above the common law. They are a big corporation.

  16. dericivy says: Apr 28, 2011 11:10 AM

    Snyder should be the first owner thrown in jail, that would be swell.

  17. cscfriarbob says: Apr 28, 2011 11:10 AM

    Well yeah. They are in contempt. But they should be. Sometimes you simply have no choice. They have no choice but to pursue things as far as they can in hopes that the legal system will finally offer an unbiased ruling.

    It probably won’t. And at that point, they’ll have to face the consequences.

    But until they get there, they have no choice but to play the string out as far as they can.

    And then they’ll probably just shut down completely out of sheer spite. And/or to reorganize in some fashion and try the whole thing all over again with a new business structure that might allow them to win instead.

  18. steelersmichele says: Apr 28, 2011 11:11 AM

    Why shouldn’t the players believe the 2011 season has begun and move forward with workouts and practices and meetings with coaches and trainers?

    Goodell released the pre-season and regular season schedule and is even holding the draft because in his own words, he wants to move forward as though the season will start on time.

    If the league is allowed to function as though we’ll play, why can’t the players?

  19. kspl1 says: Apr 28, 2011 11:11 AM

    I hope something happens. How can they just get away with ignoring a federal judge. They’re ruining the draft, arrogant a-holes

  20. rocketdogsports says: Apr 28, 2011 11:12 AM

    I’m taking Judge Nelson with my first pick.

  21. jeff061 says: Apr 28, 2011 11:12 AM

    Pretty pathetic to see the NFLPA and it’s players acting like this

    It’s fricken draft day – it can’t be all about them all time

    Respect the process – give it a couple of days, it’s not like any of these greedy bastards would normally be working out on draft day

  22. billybats says: Apr 28, 2011 11:13 AM

    For those who are (understandably) confused about what the judge’s ruling means, here it is:

    The NFL must open for business, even though there are no rules in place, and even though any actions the NFL takes in running its business will be challenged in additional antitrust lawsuits by the players, with treble damages for violations.

    If the NFL doesn’t open for business (pending a ruling by the appellate court) because of the fear of incurring liabilities, it is in contempt of court (according to Judge MF).

    What a country.

  23. ravenution says: Apr 28, 2011 11:13 AM

    Start locking up or fining owners daily until they comply.

  24. kspec1982 says: Apr 28, 2011 11:15 AM

    The owners need to stop being such dooooosh bags and let football begin.

    This has gone way beyond rediculous and as a fan i’ve had enough of the owners crap.

    Hey owners sit the F*** down get a deal done and stop your complaining everyone is agianst you and your doing the league more harm then good.

  25. archd3 says: Apr 28, 2011 11:16 AM

    The draft is considered 2010’s final event, right? Is there any kind of way the owners can twist Judge Nelson’s ruling to mean they’re not obligated to conduct business as usual until the 2011 football year? Maybe as a stall tactic?

  26. tombradyswig says: Apr 28, 2011 11:17 AM

    MAKE IT STOP, PLEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAESSEEE!!!

  27. chapnastier says: Apr 28, 2011 11:17 AM

    What if the teams said they were performing renovations at their facilities and as a result they felt it to be a dangerous environment for its employees? I mean what they are doing is clearly contempt but there has to be loopholes they can jump through. My building locks its doors on the weekends and it doesn’t mean they are locking me out.

  28. supashug says: Apr 28, 2011 11:17 AM

    Were they locked out of jail cells, what the hell is that picture up there for. Are they going to jail if they go to work out???

  29. jwayne11 says: Apr 28, 2011 11:19 AM

    This is all postering folks. The players and their UNION yes UNION they have been and will continue to be a UNION know that a league year can not start until the rules are put into place. They simply can not go back to the 2010 rules those would voilate the Judges orders. You can’t simply expect the rules to be in place overnight. The players are going to be the big losers in this folks, they can walk around like the prima dona’s they are now but when they start getting offered 100k a year play football their tune will change. And before you say it, yes they can be offered 100k and no its not colusion. to quote the judge that is the free market system. HA HA HA. Careful what you wish for Demarcus Smith you just might get it.

  30. vetdana says: Apr 28, 2011 11:19 AM

    Federal Judges dont like it when their rulings are ignored out of hand !! At some point, very soon, people are going to recieve arrest orders from the court. Are these NFL Barristers going to join hands with the Owners and walk together into jail?

  31. spartaninnh says: Apr 28, 2011 11:20 AM

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but (1) current court order (subject to error-of-law review) is that the NFLPA’s decertification is a sham; (2) that means there is no union with which to enter into a CBA; (3) all FA players are therefore on their own in dealing with the teams.

    Which means the players are right. Right?

  32. watchthisjack says: Apr 28, 2011 11:21 AM

    If the leauge year has, in fact, begun the fact that the elite free agents haven’t been signed to intricate $100 million deals by 12:05AM (as in years past) is in and of itself strong evidence of collusion.

  33. billyt0020 says: Apr 28, 2011 11:22 AM

    I gladly volunteer Mike Brown to take the axe for the owners. Please take him to Jail immediately so he doesn’t screw up the draft tonight.

  34. spartaninnh says: Apr 28, 2011 11:23 AM

    Bugger — should be NOT a sham.

  35. purplescar says: Apr 28, 2011 11:23 AM

    One word … “schism”

  36. commoncents says: Apr 28, 2011 11:23 AM

    The owners believe the players can get started without them.

  37. quirtevans says: Apr 28, 2011 11:24 AM

    I’m guessing that incarceration won’t be the first step, Mike.

    The first step will be an order to show cause why they aren’t in contempt of court.

    The sooner that happens, the better. That might actually get the owners to comply.

  38. kingjoe1 says: Apr 28, 2011 11:25 AM

    turning the players away, being overly stubborn has started to turn the fans in favor of the players. I think the owners had the fans backing, but when you lose, take it like a man. This doesnt mean you can’t appeal, it just means until you are told you didnt lose, man up.

  39. mataug says: Apr 28, 2011 11:25 AM

    me too

  40. pilprin says: Apr 28, 2011 11:26 AM

    I was on the owners side….but the way they are handling this has changed my thinking. They appear to be arrogant Jerks!

  41. kissbillsrings says: Apr 28, 2011 11:28 AM

    By the time anything could be done against the owners they will have their stay & all this contempt crap will disappear…..ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

  42. ken0west says: Apr 28, 2011 11:29 AM

    Who is going to be the first owner to cross the picket lines and sign a player? 2 weeks ago I would not have even thought to think about it, today it seems like an actual possibility.

  43. wcman says: Apr 28, 2011 11:32 AM

    Hey Mike…chill. You are behaving like a drama queen. Nobody is going to jail, and the Judge specifically said in her ruling that teams did not have to sign players. They simply have to open the doors; and that’ll happen when they have “figured out” the situation. Yes if you want to get specific they are in contempt of the order if they turn the players away, but the court is not going to throw people in jail because they took a couple of days to think about what they would do. The NFL will wind up opening the facilities and not signing players until their appeal is heard.

  44. snnyjcbs says: Apr 28, 2011 11:43 AM

    All for not, the Lower Court Ruling will be Stayed by The Big Boys. The Players have what is essentially a win in Small Claims Court.

    With the Stay coming from the 8th Circuit and a couple months being needed for the Appeal to work it’s way through tell the players grab the Sunscreen and hit the Beach as they will not be playing Ball or being paid for who knows how much longer.

    And to all the Free Agents?, what a shame as there is no Free Agency, hope the owners stick it to these players that want to change the game, they are punks and the players of yesterday would eat them for lunch on the field.

  45. bing253 says: Apr 28, 2011 11:44 AM

    The one thing I don’t understand is all along the players have been saying they don’t want anything more they just want what they had under the previous CBA. So now that they have won the ruling why haven’t they requested a meeting with the owners to figure this thing out? It’s looking like their goal is to win their lawsuit rather than negoiate a deal that benefits the league. So both sides are to blame for this mess but the players seem to have an opportunity to be the bigger person and at least make a offer to owners to get this thing rolling again? The worst that could happen is the owners reject the invite or offer and we are in the same place we are now.

  46. rad312 says: Apr 28, 2011 11:45 AM

    Enough with the nonsense……”a copy of which PFT has obtained” stop hiding the obvious your friends from the union or should I say the NFLPA* sent you a copy as they have with every piece of documentation that PFT have received to-date.

  47. p4ever says: Apr 28, 2011 11:50 AM

    @dccowboy,

    Wouldn’t it be cool to see steeler Harrison impose the fine on Goodell for conduct detrimental to the League.

  48. eaglesfan520 says: Apr 28, 2011 11:52 AM

    Judge Nelson should just start issuing arrest warrants, starting with Goodell, then listing every owner that has denied thier players access to their facilities… then we’ll see how fast they can come up with some guidelines to start the leauge year

  49. supashug says: Apr 28, 2011 11:53 AM

    insane, no one is going to Jail, just plain stupid

  50. kevinfromphilly says: Apr 28, 2011 11:53 AM

    Well, they won’t be arresting ONE owner. Al Davis will just disappear in a puff of smoke when they come for him. Unless they bring a wooden stake, of course.

  51. rad312 says: Apr 28, 2011 11:55 AM

    Wouldn’t that be typical of the crack legal system on display in Minnesota, an owner incarcerated for contempt while the owners await the hearing of their appeal in the 8th Circuit….all the while we have players (and families) being arrested on domestic disputes, stabbings, shootings, DWI’s/DUI’s, and drug possession…..

    The argument by the NFLPA* which would stand up in all courts including the Supreme Court would an injunction based on Irreparable Harm on players as apparently a number of players (including union board members) without access to team facilities and staff (babysitters) are a danger to themselves and society…….so put them back to work!

    Stop the insanity!

    Hopefully the 8th Circuit levels the playing field and forces both parties to mediate / negotiate to an agreement. Get this out of the court and the damn lawyers & judges, and into a board room so that business people can talk about the parameters of a CBA!!!!!!

  52. tformation says: Apr 28, 2011 11:57 AM

    As nice as it would be to see Snyder, Jerry Jones, Al Davis, Jennifer Lopez, Zygi, Virginia McCaskey and every single citizen in Green Bay, WI in handcuffs doing a perp walk: not going to happen.

    Too much money. People with money don’t do perp walks unless they’re Madoff. (And I’d like to see the logistics behind putting the entire population of Green Bay in jail.)

    That said, being found in contempt of court is not going to serve them well with ANY judge they find themselves in front of next.

  53. saintsfan33 says: Apr 28, 2011 11:57 AM

    So if all the owners get arrested for Contempt, who goes to jail in Green Bay?

  54. dcbronco says: Apr 28, 2011 12:01 PM

    Hey TX, wouldn’t owners have to take drug test too. And all other employees. And without limited free agency, wouldn’t the players be able to just go somewhere else. Remember, colleges don’t pay the players at all but do you believe they don’t turn a blind eye to things if they might win. All of these ideas of silly rules would quickly get ignored. Winning makes money. Unhappy and free players would leave. Unsuccessful teams lose money and fold. Colleges ignore rapes, do you really believe NFL teams won’t ignore a failed drug test for a star. And what keeps a star who failed a test from reporting a team that fires a less talented friend for the same offense.

    Some people are thinking like the owners. You’re not Gods. Just businessmen. Accept a fair deal and move on. Damn, you bunch of Gordan Gecko’s. How many boats do you think you can waterski behind?

  55. capslockkey says: Apr 28, 2011 12:02 PM

    Nice picture of Rae Carruth’s crib in the article.

  56. geo1113 says: Apr 28, 2011 12:16 PM

    “As nice as it would be to see Snyder, Jerry Jones, Al Davis, Jennifer Lopez, Zygi, Virginia McCaskey and every single citizen in Green Bay, WI in handcuffs doing a perp walk: not going to happen.”

    Ah, yes…Jennifer Lopez in handcufss…I can dream!

  57. joetoronto says: Apr 28, 2011 12:20 PM

    “Players believe 2011 league year has begun”

    Wonderful. In my mind, I’m going to Carolina.

  58. noeffinway says: Apr 28, 2011 12:20 PM

    So which teams are out there right now working deals with free agents behind the scenes? And which ones are getting left behind? Who is going to be the first to announce they have signed a big name free agent while the others play this legal game?

  59. pondbridge says: Apr 28, 2011 12:25 PM

    CONTEMPT OF COURT…

    Can’t wait to see Goodell up on the stage in Radio City Music Hall in an orange perp suit and hands chained behind his back, while a federal marshall with shotgun raises the mike to his mouth to announce the draft picks.

    One word or warning in the slammer, Roger, don’t bend over for the soap.

  60. pondbridge says: Apr 28, 2011 12:29 PM

    News flash:

    Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft just signed the 2010 NFL All Pro team.

  61. oldhamletman says: Apr 28, 2011 12:29 PM

    the players walked away… they could have a deal right now if they hadn’t ‘shammed’… they have been ordered to negotiate and haven’t done so in good faith…. they can squawk all they want… but the reason we are here is them….

    by the way guys… first court skirmish is merely step 1…. NFL doesn’t care what happens in court as long as Player costs go down… and the Players are no longer a union… who do you think is getting played?

  62. tformation says: Apr 28, 2011 12:43 PM

    geo1113 says:

    “Ah, yes…Jennifer Lopez in handcufss…I can dream!”

    That would be the ideal situation from this, yes. If there’s not going to be any football, let’s at least throw Jennifer Lopez behind bars where she and her bad taste can’t hurt any one anymore.

    Won’t someone think of the children?

  63. buckeyefan1026 says: Apr 28, 2011 12:45 PM

    Lets consider the NFL and Players to be brothers, where the NFL would be the older brother. This would make Judge Nelson the mother. She has sided with the younger brother, however the older brother remains stubborn and just wont stop nagging.

    A mother is always right, even if they are wrong, so stop the nagging and man up NFL!

  64. narutofan10 says: Apr 28, 2011 1:00 PM

    these owners are such sore losers even the republicans are not gonna bail them out they are screwing themselves

  65. narutofan10 says: Apr 28, 2011 1:02 PM

    “oldhamletman says: Apr 28, 2011 12:29 PM

    the players walked away… they could have a deal right now if they hadn’t ‘shammed’… they have been ordered to negotiate and haven’t done so in good faith…. they can squawk all they want… but the reason we are here is them….”

    do you even know the specifics of the deal the owners were gonna take an extra billion just for the hell of it yeah i bet you would take that too LMAO

  66. Deb says: Apr 28, 2011 1:04 PM

    jeff061 says:

    Pretty pathetic to see the NFLPA and it’s players acting like this … Respect the process – give it a couple of days, it’s not like any of these greedy bastards would normally be working out on draft day.
    ————————————-

    Seriously? Respect the process? The lockout has been lifted. Time for the owners to respect the process. They were the “greedy bastards” who started this by opting out of the CBA and demanding an additional billion dollars off the top before dividing revenues. The players didn’t demand anything. And why wouldn’t they work out on draft day?

  67. narutofan10 says: Apr 28, 2011 1:09 PM

    “All for not, the Lower Court Ruling will be Stayed by The Big Boys. The Players have what is essentially a win in Small Claims Court.

    With the Stay coming from the 8th Circuit and a couple months being needed for the Appeal to work it’s way through tell the players grab the Sunscreen and hit the Beach as they will not be playing Ball or being paid for who knows how much longer.

    And to all the Free Agents?, what a shame as there is no Free Agency, hope the owners stick it to these players that want to change the game, they are punks and the players of yesterday would eat them for lunch on the field.”

    you obviously do not know the full story the players just want basically the same deal as last. and if you think even republicans like to see what the nfl has been doing you are extremely wrong the appeals court is gonna deny the stay and then uphold the judges decision after all there is no evidence that the judge acted to quickly/unfairly and that is what is needed to override a ruling the judge laid out everything in the case and came to a well thought out ruling not even the republicans can overrule it even if they want to

  68. dcbronco says: Apr 28, 2011 2:07 PM

    So, Naruto. You believe the owners can get an expedited hearing but not the players. What is it that makes you think that way? Is the fix in. If the owners can get their appeal expedited, so can the players. Billionaires don’t always get their way. And in a high profile case, sometimes the right thing happens and the rule of law prevails. AT law is on the players side in this argument.

    Some people don’t understand that if the owners refuse to negotiate fairly with individual players, and it will be obvious, they are opening themselves up for further lawsuits. Eventually they will be paying the players millions for sitting at home. That’s how suits work. Anyone that has ever been wrongly fired and got their jobs back got back pay. The same thing would happen here. And with no lockout insurance money, which the owners will still owe the players 59% of, most owners will struggle to make those payments. And they can’t get that money from the networks.

    Stop looking at the NFL as a league and look at it as an industry of competing companies. Which it is. They work together under the NFL banner. If Peyton Manning suddenly can’t get a job, he will sue. If the owner pays him and surrounds him with bums, the product suffers. And the networks won’t pay for a weak product. Those TV contracts are the vast majority of most teams money.

    The owners have no choice. Even if the 8th does a partisan vote. The Supreme Court won’t as they proved in American Needle point. The Supreme Court is not going to overrule itself. Also if Judge Doty comes back and awards triple damages on the 2.4 billion the league left on the table in the last contract, the owners will have to pony up 7.2 billion to the players. A lot of teams would go out of business immediately.

    Stop holding your breathe owners. Go back to the table. The blue color will go away after awhile.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!