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Jonathan Kraft reiterates that the players stopped the talks and sued

NFL Holds Annual Meetings Amid Lockout Getty Images

As we move well into the eighth week of the lockout, the parties are still squabbling from time to time about the events that gave rise to the current mess in which the NFL finds itself.

Patriots president Jonathan Kraft, in an interview on WEEI in Boston, dusts off the league’s position that the blame for the present situation rests with the players.

“We were negotiating in the first part of March under the guidance of the federal mediator and from the NFL’s perspective we thought we had put fair things on the table and we’re having rational dialogue,” Kraft said, via SportsRadioInterviews.com.  “The players, I know there is a lot of rhetoric that flies around about this, the players were the one’s who got up from that table, walked out of the room, decertified, and filed an anti-trust lawsuit.  That’s the timeline and those are the facts. We were sitting there negotiating with them when they got up, if they were still negotiating why would we have locked them out.  We had extended [the expiration of the labor deal] already, all you have to do if you’re having good dialogue you extend the deadline, but we were at a table and instead of negotiating they chose to get up and out of the room, decertify as a union, and file an antitrust lawsuit.  That’s when we executed on the lockout, but the Commissioner has been very clear and I think the league has said all along, ‘Lets sit down and let’s negotiate.’ Because at the end of the deal it’s not going to get worked out through litigation and through a court system.  It’s going to get worked out when two business parties sit across the table from each other.  We didn’t start the legal proceedings.  The players did and hopefully we can convince them that litigation isn’t the right path and that negotiation is.  Unfortunately so far we haven’t been able to do that.”

Kraft repeated that the league is ready to talk, any time.  “I think the Commissioner has said ‘We’re ready.  Tell us when and where.  We’ll go sit back down and negotiate,’” Kraft said.

But those words don’t fully mesh with the league’s actions.  The league wanted last month to negotiate only on the league’s terms, in D.C. before federal mediator George Cohen.  Then, after a few days of mediation before a magistrate judge in Minnesota, it became clear that the parties really weren’t serious about making progress until some of the rulings emerged from the court system.

If the parties really wanted to talk right now, they’d be talking, right now.  And if one side really wanted to talk and the other didn’t, the side that wanted to talk would be saying so — loudly — at each and every opportunity.

As to Kraft’s initial point, we’ll agree with the superficial notion that the players pulled the plug on the talks and sued.  But the league pushed the players into a corner, meticulously planning for a lockout and making it clear to the players that, if the owners’ terms weren’t accepted, a lockout is coming.  So the players used the primary weapon in their arsenal in an effort to block the lockout.

Though the league dropped an offer that falls generally in the ballpark of a final deal on the final day of the extended period for talking, prior events that week apparently predisposed the players to sue.  The players simply didn’t trust that the owners were serious about trying to get a deal done, and to the extent that the owners are more experienced and versed in the nuances of business dealings, the owners should have been more sensitive to the messages being intentionally sent and/or inadvertently received by the players.

And so at this point it’s not the players’ fault or the owners’ fault.  They both are to blame, and they should focus their efforts not on blaming each other but on trying to find a way to legitimately and genuinely come together as partners, for the good of the game.

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63 Responses to “Jonathan Kraft reiterates that the players stopped the talks and sued”
  1. 8drinkminimum says: May 2, 2011 5:07 PM

    The players were “predisposed” to sue from day one.

    Yea there are both to blame but your slants have clearly been in the player’s favor.

  2. umiami11 says: May 2, 2011 5:19 PM

    Who the hell cares whose fault it is? Blame is not going to solve this.

  3. fltharley says: May 2, 2011 5:22 PM

    and how long ago did the owners negotiate with the tv networks to put aside an illegal fund ? i think kraft should look at what he says . owners wernt going to negotiate at all they had plans to lock players out years ago

  4. b7p19 says: May 2, 2011 5:23 PM

    Guess what Bob, if you lift the lockout the players will come back.

  5. phillycheez says: May 2, 2011 5:27 PM

    Bottom line is that the owners are better situated to play the waiting game, which it seems they are all too willing to do.

    This whole mess just makes me ill.

  6. philahitman says: May 2, 2011 5:30 PM

    The owners opted out of CBA… it didnt expire. THE OWNERS OPTED OUT. There wouldnt be negotiations, litigation or a lockout if not for the owners. We’re not stupid Bobby… go back to what you do best… writing checks and letting Bill Bellichick make you look smart.

  7. harmcityhomer says: May 2, 2011 5:31 PM

    The owners are the ones who imposed the lockout.

    The players were willing to extend the deal and negotiate way before the last deal expired.

    This thing can be settled in court. The 2 sides have to work together but do not have to be partners, be a union or have a CBA.

    JUST LIFT THE LOCKOUT AND PLAY.

  8. daboltfan says: May 2, 2011 5:31 PM

    Its all good. The 8 circuit will not grant a permanent stay. Judge Nelson’s ruling is right and there will be a league year starting sooner rather than later

  9. endzonezombie says: May 2, 2011 5:32 PM

    It really stupid for Kraft to release this nonsense at this point. We have heard it all before, but perhaps he is hoping to catch the ear of the St. Louis court. Robert Kraft has always been one of the hardcore owners demanding more money for his Gillette Stadium compensation. He thinks he is such a mover and shaker that he left for Israel during the critical last days of the CBA negotiations. I bet communication is a little frosty these days between Brady and Kraft when Brady has to listen to this BS coming from Kraft’s son.

  10. kissbillsrings says: May 2, 2011 5:32 PM

    This is not one of Johnathan Krafts finer moments….finger pointing is for kids not educated adults….there is accountability on both sides of this & it is just sad for us fans to have to go through it when history has shown getting the courts/lawyers involved only makes things worse for the most part….It blows me away that both sides are too busy stepping over those dirty dollars to pick up those shiny dimes….as Foret Gump says:”STUPID IS AS STUPID DOES”

  11. glen1904 says: May 2, 2011 5:35 PM

    if you want to call the hard line approach the owners took in negotiations then Krafty is right, not to mention the fact that getting the TV contracts to pay them even though there was a lockout was not planning for one, then yes blame it all on the players. They all know the fans will never lock out the NFL on their TV schedule so they just don’t have to give a sheet about them.

  12. frojo112963 says: May 2, 2011 5:36 PM

    b7p19 says: May 2, 2011 5:23 PM

    Guess what Bob, if you lift the lockout the players will come back.

    Guess what, if the players drop the lawsuit, the owners will drop the lockout!

  13. geniusesq says: May 2, 2011 5:38 PM

    The players were willing to extend the deadline again if the owners finally disclosed the evidence supporting their claims. If they’d done that, the negotiations would have continued and a deal would have been reached.

  14. bunjy96 says: May 2, 2011 5:38 PM

    There are several differences here that I think need to be restated.

    1. The players made plans for court action and told their players a long time ago to get ready.
    2. The league tried an illegal end around with the TV payments and lost.
    3. The players did walk out from mediation even with an offer of some type on the table. The league did offer redacted financial for 5 years. The league did pull the 18 game schedule off the table.
    4. The players did decertify and then sue-their option-knowing the deadline for doing so was close.
    5. The league then did the lockout-their counter option.

    As said in the movie “A Few Good Men”, {Those are the facts and they are indisputable}.

    A corollary to that is the league did and does not want the CBA done with long term court supervision, like any other American businesses, not in bankruptcy.

    What went on in the mediation and who said what and when is PR issued by both sides for strictly PR purposes and it means nothing really.

    Should also be noted that the players keep throwing around the term “partners”. Partners share and share alike. They are not partners, they are employees. No players income other than their contract is on the table for sharing.

    Both are wrong in the approach they are taking all to the detriment of the fans who ultimately pay for this game either directly or indirectly.

    Once this gets out of court supervision, the owners will do what they can. For the players, if under court supervision they feel they have the bargaining chip.

    Bottom line, IMO, until it gets out from under court supervision, there will be no CBA. Businesses are not run by the courts and never were until 1987 and the NFL is the only one I know of.

  15. impeachgoodell says: May 2, 2011 5:39 PM

    The more both sides position themselves thru the media, the sleazier they seem.
    Stop talking to us you dolts and get back to the negotiating table.
    Do what it takes and get this done before you lose every single fan out there

  16. Topher says: May 2, 2011 5:39 PM

    After our week long break for the draft, court ruling and terrorist killing… we now return to our regularly scheduled finger pointing.

  17. frojo112963 says: May 2, 2011 5:40 PM

    philahitman says: May 2, 2011 5:30 PM

    The owners opted out of CBA… it didnt expire. THE OWNERS OPTED OUT.

    And the players have openly admitted that they got the better of the previous CBA, which is why the owners opted out. If the reverse had been true, the players would have also opted out as they would have had the “negotiated” right to do!

  18. steelersteve says: May 2, 2011 5:40 PM

    I agree with harmcityowner – The NFL & Fan’s would not be in this mess – had the Owners NOT opted out of the current CBA.

    It’s called GREED people!

    Money makes people do stupid things…… it realy does!

  19. tiredofthestupid says: May 2, 2011 5:42 PM

    So is this a theme, today? First Polian’s son, now Kraft’s. Who’s next, a story on Jerry Jones’ son? Maybe a Rooney?

    Another son in a position of power who, I am sure, has EARNED his position every step of the way without the benefit of Daddy’s name or money.

    At least the players had to be GOOD at the college level playing football before being handed millions…not born and handed the keys to a billion dollar franchise with the benefit of the best coach of this generation.

    Again, I will never feel sorry for either side. It is business, but pointing fingers (either side) sure seems more like PR than actual, you know, NEGOTIATING.

  20. ravenution says: May 2, 2011 5:47 PM

    The team of me

  21. jstrizzle says: May 2, 2011 5:49 PM

    Fans reiterate that they don’t care. Get a deal done!

  22. eagleswin says: May 2, 2011 5:57 PM

    But those words don’t fully mesh with the league’s actions. The league wanted last month to negotiate only on the league’s terms, in D.C. before federal mediator George Cohen. Then, after a few days of mediation before a magistrate judge in Minnesota, it became clear that the parties really weren’t serious about making progress until some of the rulings emerged from the court system.

    If the parties really wanted to talk right now, they’d be talking, right now. And if one side really wanted to talk and the other didn’t, the side that wanted to talk would be saying so — loudly — at each and every opportunity.
    ——————————
    That’s bull. You are glossing over some very important points.

    1) The league wants a CBA that is not overseen by the federal court system. The NFLPA does.

    The union never made a single counterproposal to any of the league’s proposals infront of Cohen. Why is that? It’s because the union never lost a single grievance with Judge Doty and it goes towards showing that the players (not the league) were the ones negotiating in bad faith). That is why they want everything done with a judge involved. Judge Doty is their ultimate weapon and it will be a cold day in hell before DeMaurice gives that up.

    The league is sick of judicial oversight of their league, they want the courts out of it. Hell, Minnesota judges took 3 years to tell the league that they could suspend 2 players for failed drug tests. Despite PFTs protests to the contrary, judicial oversight is a big deal.

    The players are overplaying their hand. They are confident they are going to crush the owners and apparantly many of them have signficant anger at the owners. Unfortunately, alot of that anger is misdirected as seen by quotes from many players who simply don’t understand the facts. The rank and file are content to be angry at the owners without forming informed opinions.

    When you ask yourself one simple question it all becomes quite clear. Which side has threatened to blow up the league as we know it if they don’t get their way?

    Those are not the actions of someone who wants to negotiate.

  23. sirfurproductions says: May 2, 2011 5:59 PM

    It’s funny that now the lockout is back on, all of these pro-league posters are back. Where were you guys when it was off?

    Lackies one and all…

    League lackies will say “The players quit talking, it’s their fault.” but the truth is that there was a perfectly good CBA in place. It was the OWNERS who wanted a bigger piece of the pie.

    The league might be able to sway the sheep, but the REAL fans know it was the greedy owners who initiated the whole mess to begin with…

    Only the sheep will give this a thumbs down.

  24. whocarez0 says: May 2, 2011 5:59 PM

    Mr. Kraft, you sound like a 4 year old boy screaming, “He hit me first!!”

    The longer this goes on, and the more I hear quotes like this, the more I think that both sides really are a bunch of spoiled rotten ungrateful brats who dont deserve my time and hard earned $.

    BTW, the NHL playoffs are awesome!

  25. nfl25 says: May 2, 2011 6:01 PM

    The best part about the whole thing is the owners came out with exactly what they offered the players, they put it out there for everyone to see. They said they want to continue negotiations and all that. They are trying to stop hard hits on defenseless players (whether u agree with how they are doing it or not, they are still trying)etc, etc ,etc. They came out with facts.

    The players, said “they are liars” “they treat us like slaves” “goodell is a joke” “they don’t care about player safety” “they are greedy” “blah, blah blah”

    Why do the owners come out with facts and the players just run their mouths? Where are the facts?

  26. sirfurproductions says: May 2, 2011 6:04 PM

    I am an Owner (1 share of Packers)… I don’t want my players locked out… I want them on the practice field, working to bring me another Lombardi.

  27. ampats says: May 2, 2011 6:04 PM

    May I speak for everyone on this site ?

    WE WANT FOOTBALL !

  28. 1phd says: May 2, 2011 6:06 PM

    It’s always the step before that you miss though Krafty boy. Like WHY did the players stop talking and sue? Could it be because the owners decided they were ending their deal, stonewalling after seventeen days of talks while making offers of less and failing to provide evidence of their alleged economic peril? Uh, yes.

  29. ampats says: May 2, 2011 6:09 PM

    Agree kissbillsrings !

    Jonathan should speak with Bill about dealing with the media. Nobody says more about less than BB.

  30. rc33 says: May 2, 2011 6:11 PM

    No football in 2011, folks.
    On the plus side, politically abitious DeMaurice Smith gets his grill on ESPN every night at 6:02. And that’s all that really matters.

  31. nflfan101 says: May 2, 2011 6:21 PM

    PFT said:

    “And if one side really wanted to talk and the other didn’t, the side that wanted to talk would be saying so — loudly — at each and every opportunity.”

    —————-

    What the He– do you think that they owners have been doing? They have been begging for negotiations to the point that they are embarrassing themselves.

    The owners were sort of caught with their pants down. They truly thought that it was a matter of negotiating a new CBA. D. Smith said that it is WAR. No one believed him (including PFT), but he was not lying. He meant that IT IS WAR.

    ALL OF THIS MESS IS SOLELY THE FAULT OF D. SMITH, PERIOD. And that is a fact.

  32. footballfan292 says: May 2, 2011 6:30 PM

    Owners put a crappy deal on the table and then blame the players for walking out?

    The owners opted out of a deal early. Then they demand an extra billion off the top plus a bigger split and then not provide any evidence of why they need that money?

    If the CBA simply expired, I might be more sympathetic to the owners side. But when you opt out of an agreement and then demand such a large sum of money claiming you are going broke with out it, and then not provide evidence of that….I can’t side with the owners on this one.

    Just because the past deal was pro-player doesnt mean the next one must be pro-owner. How about everyone starts out fresh and get a deal that is fair to BOTH sides?

  33. parkerfly says: May 2, 2011 6:33 PM

    fltharley, that’s incorrect. The players never did negotiate. The owners stated that the players never budged an inch, and D Smith admitted it. The owners moved quite a bit from their initial proposal.

  34. hobartbaker says: May 2, 2011 6:35 PM

    “Sharing the blame” is so 20th Century.

    Kill the players!

  35. thomasreilly says: May 2, 2011 6:36 PM

    The players are going to court because they are right and they know they are right. They are suing the league because they know they will gain the advantage of the “nuclear option” as a chip on the negotiating table (no draft, true free agency). The owners claim they are not making enough money, but they won’t show the books to prove it. The Patriots have not opened their books to the players, and they make a bunch of money as a franchise, on the stadium, on merchandise and on Patriots Place.

    The players don’t need to drop the nuclear bomb, they just need to show the owners that the bomb exists and the whole negotiating landscape will change.

  36. bushdoctor504 says: May 2, 2011 6:43 PM

    frojo112963 says:
    “Guess what, if the players drop the lawsuit, the owners will drop the lockout!”

    are you retarded?

    the NFL planned this lockout over 3 years ago when they hired that scumbag Bob Batterman, who famously helped run the NHL into the ground in 2004…

    As I’ve said before, if you Support the Owners, then you are:
    A) Lacking basic cognitive abilities
    B) Extremely misinformed…
    C) A staunch right wing conservative that is incapable of supporting a labor union

    There is NO logical reason to support the owners position! Period!
    Give me a thumbs down and Go hang out with Roger Goodell…

  37. steelersteve says: May 2, 2011 6:47 PM

    tiredofthestupid says: …..not born and handed the keys to a billion dollar franchise with the benefit of the best coach of this generation.

    I am so sick of hearing about how – Belijerk is the best coach out there! The guy has won 3 super bowls all damn near last second with a freak’n FG mind you! This guy is a nut-hair away from being O-FER with his team’s SB victories and let us not forget the following:

    1st – The year he won his 1st SB – this was the Oakland Raider rip your heart out – tuck rule – where The Raiders got totally F’d!

    2nd – Lets not forget when he video taped the Steelers ILLEGALLY that helped them win the AFC Championship in Ben’s spectacular rookie season.

    Belijerk -This guy is a cheat and looser IMO and cannot carry Rex Ryan’s jockey strap – the guy probably prefers to smell it however : )

  38. loytomaki says: May 2, 2011 6:47 PM

    The day the league signed the TV contracts that got them money “in case of a lockout in 2011″ they had planned to lock the players out. This was supposed to be the ace in the hole that would force the players to take whatever deal the owners gave them.

    The thing that is bothering them, is they did not count on the players disbanding the union (making the lockout tactic, their ace in the hole, illegal).

    Don’t sit here and pretend that the league didn’t plan to halt football 3 years ago, they just thought it would result in forcing a quick resolution when the players caved in. They did not count on any real push back.

    Now they are counting on the conservative 8th circuit court to force players to rejoin a union so they can be locked out? With all the efforts to bust up unions, how do you think they are going to rule?

  39. terrygca says: May 2, 2011 6:48 PM

    Whether or not it was called a lockout, the league was getting all of the benefits and leverage of a lockout once the negotiations extended past the new league year. The league was happy to say they were negotiating so long as they didn’t have to make the bonus payments contractually due to so many veterans. Why didn’t they open the league year under the existing rules and continue to negotiate? That is likely to be what the courts force anyway. The league would look a lot more righteous to me if they would have been willing to put off the lockout until after the draft or perhaps before training camp to continue negotiating.

  40. commandercornpone says: May 2, 2011 7:22 PM

    what union? they decertified. the fact duh and co are still around indicates it was all a sham.

    so what if the owners wanted to scrub the agreement – they had the right to do so. that is in the agreement.

    the union* wants to do in court what they couldnt do at the negotiating table. one judge was firmly in their court.

    we will see about the next court. frankly, if the choice is (a) side with actual businessmen, or (b) side by a shyster lawyer… i wont take (b).

    the union could have kept negotiating. duh is a liar. players, u picked a liar.

  41. FinFan68 says: May 2, 2011 7:31 PM

    As to Kraft’s initial point, we’ll agree with the superficial notion that the players pulled the plug on the talks and sued. But the league pushed the players into a corner, meticulously planning for a lockout and making it clear to the players that, if the owners’ terms weren’t accepted, a lockout is coming. So the players used the primary weapon in their arsenal in an effort to block the lockout.
    —————————-
    Superficial notion? Not even close; that fact is the preeminent reason the negotiations stopped without a deal. The players were no more pushed into a corner than the owners were in 2006. The last time I checked, the owners negotiated back then and we all had our football in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. The lockout was planned for the eventuality of the players executing the same tactic they always use when they have little leverage on their side…they decertify, place the league in jeopardy via anti-trust issues and then sue, hoping to get some leverage and further concessions from a league that cannot survive without a CBA. They did that and THEN the lockout happened. It did not block the lockout; it CAUSED the lockout. It would have been avoided with honest negotiations. Yes the owners lockout fund was disingenuous, but no more so than the NFLPA’s actions to get a better deal on the licensing at the expense of the former players. Where is that money? Being used as a “lockout fund” by the NFLPA* while the owners are subject to heavy fines for what they did. Yes, the owners’ offer was not optimal in terms of giving the players everything they wanted, but there were several concessions and the offer was worth negotiating further. The players refused it based on PR (according to D. Smith).

  42. bradjames33160 says: May 2, 2011 7:32 PM

    I want football. I want the owners to drop the lockout and I want the players’ concession to be they will no longer have any dealings with DeMoron Smith, in fact, it is still early spring so to appease the fans, he should be crucified. That is a fair trade I think, DeMoron forever cast out of anything to do with the NFL for a new CBA. Meanwhile, I am not a prophet but I predicted after the Patriots beat the Eagles, they would never win another Super Bowl, at least not in the Belichick/Brady era. Fellow historians, check the facts to see if I’m wrong.

  43. tommyf15 says: May 2, 2011 7:38 PM

    frojo112963 says:
    Guess what, if the players drop the lawsuit, the owners will drop the lockout!

    This is a flat-out lie. I don’t know if you’re trying to BS PFT’s readers or if you’re just BSing yourself, but that statement is flat-out inaccurate.

    People are free to support whatever side they want, but it really irks me when people LIE to drum up support for the owners.

  44. frojo112963 says: May 2, 2011 7:39 PM

    bushdoctor504 says: May 2, 2011 6:43 PM

    frojo112963 says:
    “Guess what, if the players drop the lawsuit, the owners will drop the lockout!”

    are you retarded?

    Nice personal attack Jackwad!…..Not one thing I said was untrue!….Leave it to an unintelligent putz to make it a personal attack.

  45. frojo112963 says: May 2, 2011 7:41 PM

    Oh, and nice to see that you know your ABC’s bushdoctor!

  46. primetime2 says: May 2, 2011 7:42 PM

    For all of those asking “why doesn’t the nfl start the league year and negotiate” the answer is because they will get sued. Without a cbs if they make 1 rule the nflpa can sue them.

  47. endzonezombie says: May 2, 2011 7:58 PM

    Who can trust what a bald headed geek says…

  48. eagleswin says: May 2, 2011 8:11 PM

    terrygca says:
    May 2, 2011 6:48 PM
    Whether or not it was called a lockout, the league was getting all of the benefits and leverage of a lockout once the negotiations extended past the new league year. The league was happy to say they were negotiating so long as they didn’t have to make the bonus payments contractually due to so many veterans. Why didn’t they open the league year under the existing rules and continue to negotiate? That is likely to be what the courts force anyway. The league would look a lot more righteous to me if they would have been willing to put off the lockout until after the draft or perhaps before training camp to continue negotiating.
    ————————-
    This has been brought up many times (and answered many times). The 2010 rules (the existing rules) without the players union violate antitrust. Business as usual can not go on while the antitrust suit is continuing. What would the rules of FA be? Also, as the owners pointed out during the brief time the lockout was lifted, benefits negotiated in the CBA such as healthcare and pensions are no longer in effect as they violate antitrust with there being no union.

    If the union kept negotiating as a union, perhaps you’d have a case.

  49. 411dooleybug1 says: May 2, 2011 8:17 PM

    When will these two sides understand that NO-ONE CARES who started it, who’s to blame, yadyadaya… All the fans care about is football.

    It’s amazing to me that neither side can see the ramifications of their actions – that the fanbase is eroding and the money they are arguing over divvying up is lessening by the minute.

  50. jeremycrowhurst says: May 2, 2011 8:47 PM

    It’s all a negotiation — the mediation, the litigation, the lockout, everything. The pie they’re fighting for is bigger than it’s ever been, so obviously they’re all going to be fighting harder than they ever have before.

    It also doesn’t matter who did what, or who did what first. It was obvious years ago that a lockout was a possibility, so both sides started preparing for it. It was obvious that since a lockout was a possibility, the union might decertify, so both sides started preparing for it. None of that is bad faith. It’s just preparation for one of the paths they could see they might end up taking. To not make those preparations would have been gross negligence.

    All this other stuff is just noise. Right now it’s in the courts. To say they should just go back to the bargaining table is like saying your team should run a play action pass when the other team’s offense is on the field. It’s not a sensible reaction to what’s taking place on the field.

    Nothing happens until the next court ruling on the stay of the injunction. Then everyone will have a better idea where they stand.

  51. moggy6actual says: May 2, 2011 9:01 PM

    This site is slanted toward the players. I’m not sure if it’s due to being pro-player or anti-owner or some combination of both.

  52. terrygca says: May 2, 2011 9:06 PM

    To eagleswin says: May 2, 2011 8:11 PM

    The union would not have disbanded if the lockout was not imminent. If the league would have started the year under the old rules, they could have continued negotiating.

  53. odessabucs says: May 2, 2011 9:41 PM

    They both have their hands clutched around the neck of the goose who lays the golden egg!

    Who will prevail? Probably not the goose!

  54. fltharley says: May 2, 2011 9:58 PM

    i guess what really scares me the most is roger goodell is trying to change the game of football so they can get a 18 game schedule. did anyone notice the rule changes he wanted last months rule change meeting ? he dosnt want anyone to hit a qb , also no one is allowed to touch wr. he wants running backs to stop putting head down when running into the line. everything goodell wants is totall taking away hits in the game that made football what it is. and that sham meeting he had at the draft where they hand picked the people for the town hall. saying they all wanted a 18 game schedule ive seen numerous polls and 70% dont want a 18 game schedule and they dont want a nfl track meet , and that is all it will be if goodell and the owners get what they want. football has always been a hard hitting sport and i pray that it stays that way

  55. tommyf15 says: May 2, 2011 10:01 PM

    FinFan68 says:
    They did that and THEN the lockout happened. It did not block the lockout; it CAUSED the lockout.

    This is false. What caused the lockout was the expiration of the CBA.

    There was a clause in the CBA that stated that the union could not decertify until six months after the CBA expired. This left the players with no choice but to decertify beforehand.

  56. tommyf15 says: May 2, 2011 10:07 PM

    terrygca says:
    The union would not have disbanded if the lockout was not imminent. If the league would have started the year under the old rules, they could have continued negotiating.

    This is correct.

    Again, I have no problem when a person’s philosophies are in line with the owner’s. It just pisses me off when those people have to MAKE THINGS UP to defend their position.

  57. jimphin says: May 2, 2011 10:10 PM

    The threat of a lockout was meant to be a deterent to the players to decertify.

    Unfortunately, the players had already pre-approved the decertification well before any serious negotiation took place.

    The Smarmy one had the authority to decertify and didn’t hesitate. He already had his warchest of over 100 million ready to help the needy millionaires pay their bills.

  58. stevecmh says: May 2, 2011 10:49 PM

    I agree that this is just re-hashing earlier arguments. I didn’t even know Kraft had a son. From what I read here, I think I would take Stephen Jones any time over this fellow.

    There’s no point in repeating the same arguments we went through 4-6 weeks ago. Let’s argue about the appeals court situation instead…

  59. eagleswin says: May 2, 2011 10:57 PM

    terrygca says:
    May 2, 2011 9:06 PM
    To eagleswin says: May 2, 2011 8:11 PM

    The union would not have disbanded if the lockout was not imminent. If the league would have started the year under the old rules, they could have continued negotiating.
    ==================

    2 things.

    1) The lockout may have been imminent but would not have happened until negotiations had ended and the owners wanted to negotiate. Can you name one counter proposal the players made during negotiations. If not, you have to consider the possibility that the players intended to litigate instead of negotiating all along. I’m not saying they had to like the owners offers but negotiating usually means a compromise and i only saw one side compromising.

    2) Unions are only supposed to decertify if the membership has lost faith in their leadership. It is not supposed to be bargaining tool in the union’s arsenal (ie. false decertification so that the union can gain bargaining power that they couldn’t through normal negotiations). When working towards a CBA each side has a powerful tool. The owners have the lockout and the players have the strike. The players were not helpless and it really was shady of the players to decertify as can be seen by DeMaurice continuing to lead the players against the owners.

  60. thefiesty1 says: May 2, 2011 11:27 PM

    When the greedy players get their heads out of their butts and ship DeMo up the river without a paddle, then go back to the table and bargain in good faith, the owners “might” drop the lockout since the appeals court seems to have figured out what the players are up to.

  61. FinFan68 says: May 2, 2011 11:51 PM

    tommyf15 says:
    May 2, 2011 10:01 PM
    FinFan68 says:
    They did that and THEN the lockout happened. It did not block the lockout; it CAUSED the lockout.

    This is false. What caused the lockout was the expiration of the CBA.

    There was a clause in the CBA that stated that the union could not decertify until six months after the CBA expired. This left the players with no choice but to decertify beforehand.
    —————————
    No it isn’t. I can see how facts get in the way of your argument but that is not how it happened. The CBA expired because the players decertified…that means there was nobody to negotiate a new CBA with.

    If the clause said they had to wait 6 months until after the CBA expired, how does decertifying early comply?

    The players left the table, decertified, and filed a suit. That is what led to the lockout. Were/are the owners expected to continue to do business as normal when that business is subject to the ongoing and future anti-trust suits?

    They did not have to decertify, they chose to. The CBA was extended and could have been extended again if both sides chose to negotiate. One it was all said and done, which side was at the table trying to negotiate. This union’s leadership expects a utopia where there demands are routinely met and they never have to make any concessions. That is not negotiating but that is how they acted. They have done that before and the strategy is in effect again. The difference is this time the owners are not sitting back and paying the players while they go out and manufacture leverage via the courts in an operating environment that legally prohibits the league from conducting “normal” business.

  62. clownburger says: May 3, 2011 1:44 AM

    Every time you hear someone from the league speak on this, all they say is they want to get back to the negotiating table and work out a deal.

    I have NEVER heard the players or the Union say they want to get back to negotiating. Never.

    Screw the players.

  63. rad312 says: May 3, 2011 7:04 AM

    bunjy96 says: May 2, 2011 5:38 PM

    There are several differences here that I think need to be restated.

    1. The players made plans for court action and told their players a long time ago to get ready.
    2. The league tried an illegal end around with the TV payments and lost.
    3. The players did walk out from mediation even with an offer of some type on the table. The league did offer redacted financial for 5 years. The league did pull the 18 game schedule off the table.
    4. The players did decertify and then sue-their option-knowing the deadline for doing so was close.
    5. The league then did the lockout-their counter option.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Additional facts:
    1. The owners opted out the CBA which was their contractual right.
    2. The NFLPA polled the players for a vote to support the decertification during the preseason in preparation for the NFLPA’s decision to decertify and walk away from collective bargain discussions.
    3. With the decertification the NFLPA* cannot directly negotiate with the owners instead all discussions have to be through each side’s legal teams.
    4. The NFL made a proposal which was not reviewed by the NFLPA before decertification papers were filed. This per a player union’s representative. So only after the fact does De Smith and the NFLPA* claim “the offer to the worst in sports history….”
    5. The NFL and NFLPA entered into mediation discussions under the Federal Mediator George Cohen.
    6. At the directive from Judge Nelson for further mediation the owners request mediation continue under the Federal Mediator. The NFLPA* argue against the use of the Federal Mediator with their argument that the Federal Mediator is pro-owner. Judge Nelson sides with the NFLPA* and appoints a judge under the purview of her court.
    7. Mediation discussions postponed for 4+ weeks due to the scheduling docket of the appointed judge.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    It is clear the NFLPA / NFLPA* choose the path of litigation over continued negotiations.

    The cloud surrounding the mediation is amazing to me and I am surprised that more attention is not on it. The Judge chooses against the use of the Federal Mediator even though 14+ days were invested in the process and appoints here own mediator who (almost) immediately suspends mediation for 4+ weeks. Why? Both decisions are inexcusable to me as a fan.

    Whether the offer from the owners was sufficient to the NFLPA or not the reality is that progress was being made. There were documented concessions on the parts of the owners including the reduction of the $1B and the 18-game schedule which on the surface to me as fan is sufficient ground for discussions to continue and not for either party to walkaway.

    Whether your viewpoints are pro-player or pro-owner we are all pro-football. Anyone who thinks that a deal will get done while bogged down in litigation is delusional.

    I do not blame the owners from wanting out of the court (Minnesota) oversight on the CBA. However I do see the reasons why the NFLPA want it to continue as the NFLPA have received nearly 100% favorable rulings under the court. So from an NFLPA perspective it is working very well….

    Once again whether pro-player or pro-owner, simply look at this fact – no other professional sports league’s CBA is under the oversight a court system.

    In short, the best way forward is to stop the damn back & forth in our court systems, and force both parties back into mediation for a collectively bargain agreement that both parties can live with. Given the world events to think that both sides cannot reasonably agree on how to split an industry revenue of $9B is shameful…..

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