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Goodell says the league, players need to be talking in order to strike a new deal

Roger Goodell AP

The NFL continues to maintain and update the labor propaganda website known as NFLLabor.com.  Most recently, the league has added to the site a transcript of Commissioner Roger Goodell’s conference call with Colts fans.

The league opted to highlight and to headline Goodell’s statement, which should be obvious by now to anyone who has been following the lockout, that the parties “need to be talking to reach an agreement.”

He’s right, but it’s not as if the league has been banging on the players’ door and the players have refused to talk.  If the league were serious about working out a new labor agreement, all 32 owners would have attended last month’s court-ordered mediation sessions.  If the league suddenly is serious about negotiating a CBA, all 32 owners should be present in less than two weeks, when court-ordered mediation is scheduled to resume.

Or the league could simply pick up the phone without the involvement of a federal chaperone and try to get things moving in the right direction.

The reality is that neither side has been serious about talking because each side believes it will gain leverage via the litigation process.  And while it’s accurate that the litigation filed by the players has delayed progress toward a new deal, it would be unfair to blame only the players for the filing of suit.  The league knew that the players, when faced with a lockout, would likely shut down the union and sue.  And yet the league still pushed the players to the brink of a lockout, essentially forcing the players to make their power play.

So it’s not the players’ fault that litigation has been pursued.  It’s both sides’ fault for allowing the situation to get to that point.  And the league’s insistence that only the players should be blamed eventually will become (if it hasn’t already) yet another impediment to working out a new labor deal.

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77 Responses to “Goodell says the league, players need to be talking in order to strike a new deal”
  1. cappa662 says: May 5, 2011 2:58 PM

    Tell me something I don’t know. Ho-dell.

  2. njdevil7 says: May 5, 2011 2:59 PM

    i hate this stuff

  3. benh999 says: May 5, 2011 3:00 PM

    “The NFL continues to maintain and update the labor propaganda website known as NFLLabor.com.”

    Good thing the NFLPA* has its own propaganda website, known as ProFootballTalk.

  4. commoncents says: May 5, 2011 3:04 PM

    I hope the writers for PFT are on the PA payroll because i have not ever seen an unbiased report of the labor situation from this site. maybe i should just stop reading if this is the PFT agenda.

  5. oldbrowndawg says: May 5, 2011 3:05 PM

    I knew this was going to be an absolute mess the day the players walked away from the table and decertified the union, throwing the entire matter into the hands of lawyers in black robes, aka judges. Unless some adults on both sides step up and prevail and take this thing out of the hands of the lawyers in robes, it will take MONTHS to resolve, leaving the only option for a 2011 season to both sides agreeing to let it play out in court and just going with the 2010 arrangements for operations in the interim. Thanks, lawyers. You’re about to do for football what you’ve been doing for our country for the last 50 years to the point that a little girl can’t even open a lemonade stand in Indiana due to your toxic “regulations”. A pox on all of you!

  6. bfridley says: May 5, 2011 3:07 PM

    Bias. It’s really becoming obnoxious.

  7. samyooehl says: May 5, 2011 3:07 PM

    The players ARE talking!

    About Osama and boxing, not the CBA.

  8. nflfan101 says: May 5, 2011 3:08 PM

    FACT: Who are Goodell and/or owners going to talk with? D. Smith has refused and still refuses to talk/negotiate.

    If PFT, fans, and players want to end this mess, then tell S. Smith to get his butt in negotiations.

    FACT: D. Smith has decided that he can get better (at least in his mind) results through legal/court action. He apparently wants a totally free – no CBA – employment situation for the players. That means no pay cap and no pay floor (he doesn’t care about the “average” player).

  9. prosb4hos says: May 5, 2011 3:10 PM

    Look, there are no good guys in this fight… but Senator Palpatine is right, league & players should be talking.

  10. phinheads says: May 5, 2011 3:11 PM

    And all this time

  11. hobartbaker says: May 5, 2011 3:12 PM

    The players are “talking”, Raj, but you might not want to hear what they’re saying.

  12. phinheads says: May 5, 2011 3:12 PM

    And all this time I thought all it would take was a billion fans waiting like the suckers we are.

  13. smacklayer says: May 5, 2011 3:13 PM

    Any update with the league’s claim with the NLRB about the sham decertification? I am surprised that isn’t getting very much attention as that would absolutely collapse the players legal stragedy in one fell swoop. It would instantly void the Brady lawsuit and literally force the union back together, and presumably back to bargaining table. Can we get an update on that?

  14. domeunit says: May 5, 2011 3:13 PM

    The big issue that both sides talk about is how to split a 9 billion dollar “pie” as they put it. Keep it up with the stupid comments and propaganda on both sides, I’m sure that 9 billion is going to shrink really fast.

  15. eagleswin says: May 5, 2011 3:15 PM

    If the league were serious about working out a new labor agreement, all 32 owners would have attended last month’s court-ordered mediation sessions. If the league suddenly is serious about negotiating a CBA, all 32 owners should be present in less than two weeks, when court-ordered mediation is scheduled to resume.

    ————————————

    It makes no more sense today than it did when you first said it weeks ago. You are not going to get all 32 in a room and there is no need for it. The owners will vote on any proposal that the negotiating committee brings them and that is all that is required.

    If you want to talk about a side being serious about one side refusing to negotiate and instead opting to litigate.

  16. nflfan101 says: May 5, 2011 3:17 PM

    PFT said:

    If the league were serious about working out a new labor agreement, all 32 owners would have attended last month’s court-ordered mediation sessions. If the league suddenly is serious about negotiating a CBA, all 32 owners should be present in less than two weeks, when court-ordered mediation is scheduled to resume.

    ———-

    In other words, if the league was serious, (1) they would not have elected to opt out of the then existing CBA (which opt out was actually part of the CBA) and (2) they would agree to anything that D. Smith wants.

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

    PFT said:

    So it’s not the players’ fault that litigation has been pursued.

    ———

    In reality, this statement by PTF is complete BS. It is the players fault that they filed suit. Look at the Summons and Complaint. They were signed by the players’ attorney, not by the NFL’s attorney.

  17. kevinfromphilly says: May 5, 2011 3:21 PM

    “The league knew that the players, when faced with a lockout, would likely shut down the union and sue. ”

    And yet, there will still be 50 posts saying how it’s the greedy unions’ fault. Each with 150 thums ups from the front offices of every club.

  18. joe6606 says: May 5, 2011 3:22 PM

    unfortunately, there aren’t going to be any meaningful discussions until the appeals court makes its ruling in July or August

  19. Brian says: May 5, 2011 3:22 PM

    Soooo how exactly did the owners push the players to the brink? By compromising on every issue, and putting an offer on the table? Oh I see.

    So you’re saying the union was forced to decertify and sue because the union is what…. allergic to compromise and/or negotiation??

    Really.

  20. iamtalkingsolistenandlearn says: May 5, 2011 3:24 PM

    Dear Roger:

    I agree 100% that the league and the players(inmates) need to talk in order to strike a new deal. However, the players(“partners”) and their hired ambulance chaser, DEmo “i wanna be paid like Upshaw” Smith do not think like rational people.
    See, players are only capable of saying ridiculous things, wearing pants on the ground, buying bling(and not paying for them), shooting themselves with guns, doing drugs, beating women, assaulting women, praising terrorists, and getting arrested. They also can not think for themselves, take ownership of their actions, accept that they are not above the law, accept that they are not entitled to whatever they want, and can only follow the words of a career lawyer who’s only interest is billable hours.

    If the players(inmates) and their attorney really wanted to bargain they would not have gotten up in the middle of a bargaining session, decertify their union in sham fashion, and run like Jesse Owens to file action in the courts.

    They claimed that a lockout will harm them soooo bad and the issue is sooooo important yet their group of plaintiffs don’t even show up for the hearings. They claim that they are still working together as a union, but they decertified ???
    They claim they “earned” the right to demand over 50% of all income derived from the league. Yet not one “player” has invested a single dime in purchasing a team, insurance, upkeep, financing, or any other expense involved in owning and operating a business. They erronously feel that the league can not survive without them, when in fact it is they that can not survive without the league.

    They also want to be your “partners” Roger. LMAO right?
    Yea, I know we have to speak the “partner” line publicly for appearances, but their is no way in hell I will associate myself with a “partner” that doesnt know how to dress appropriatly in public, doesnt pay their bills, does drugs, calls us “slavemasters”, makes stupid public statements, and gets arrested daily.

    Anyway, can’t wait till the 8th circuit and our business “friends” on the bench rule in our favor shortly. Then that pimp wannabe DEmo Smith will come crying to get a deal done when the “partners” start missing paychecks and are unable to pay their baby mamas. LMAO!!!
    Everything is going to plan Roger!! Stick to the plan.
    Can you dig it!!!!!!

    Signed
    ~32 owners~

  21. tommyf15 says: May 5, 2011 3:24 PM

    nflfan101 says:
    He apparently wants a totally free – no CBA – employment situation for the players. That means no pay cap and no pay floor (he doesn’t care about the “average” player).

    People here have repeatedly stated that the “average” player’s salary would drop in order to accommodate the Bradys and Mannings of the world. How can we be certain that this is true? Sounds like more pro-owner scare tactics.

    I heard the same nonsense when baseball players were granted free agency, that the star players would starve out the lower and middle class players. The opposite happened- ALL of the players benefitted from the growing salaries of the stars. And that’s exactly what will happen if the NFL doesn’t have a salary cap or floor.

  22. gf2711 says: May 5, 2011 3:26 PM

    In other news, the sky is blue.

  23. pfmadden says: May 5, 2011 3:27 PM

    “Goodell says the league, players need to be talking in order to strike a new deal”

    In other news: water is wet.

  24. wasafan says: May 5, 2011 3:28 PM

    “So it’s not the players’ fault that litigation has been pursued.” Wow.. I believe that is the funniest thing I have read on this site. Let’s see… If the owners would not have threatened the lockout, where exactly was the motivation coming from for the players to seriously negotiate? There wouldn’t have been. Yes, the owners locked out the players, but did they really have a choice if they wanted to have ANY leverage in the negotiations? I think it was the only option they had if they wanted to put any pressure on the union to negotiate seriously.

    By the way.. I notice you always call NFLLabor an owner driven propaganda site, but you never seem to mention nfllockout with the same disdain. Strange…

  25. pappageorgio says: May 5, 2011 3:32 PM

    The idea that both sides don’t want to go back to the table because they think they will gain leverage in litgation is somewhat incomplete.

    The league wants to sit at the table and hammer out a deal……the players side has said they will return to the table to settle the lawsuit.

    i.e. the players want the league to hand them the lawsuits (and all the leverage) in order to talk CBA. Why should the league do this?

    Both sides need to realize that there is leverage out there……but should meet in the middle and be talking CBA.

    Unfortunately, the league is going to have to be the bigger people here. D Smith is not going to give in (due to ego mostly), so the owners need to make a concession moving forward (but shouldn’t settle the lawsuit in the players favor…that’s too big).

    The league should let players go back to work…re-instating workout bonuses and stuff….with the understanding that FA will start when they have hammered out a basic financial understanding reguarding compensation/rules…..even if it takes a couple of months to iron out all the specifics.

    This way……current players are allowedin the buildings and get some things that they want but potential FAs are going to be putting pressure on their union to get ‘er done.

  26. pftdabomb says: May 5, 2011 3:32 PM

    I think it is so funny, that if your pro NFLPA* (cant forget the Astrix)you think this site is Pro League, and if your Pro League, you think this site is Pro NFLPA*. Id say that just goes to show you that generally this site stays neutral. Good work fellas.

  27. tommyf15 says: May 5, 2011 3:34 PM

    nflfan101 says:
    It is the players fault that they filed suit. Look at the Summons and Complaint. They were signed by the players’ attorney, not by the NFL’s attorney.

    The players had three choices:

    1. Agree to a bad deal. The owners proposal shifted over one billion dollars a year from the players to the owners. Can’t say I blame the players for not accepting this.

    2. Allow the owners to lock them out and see what happens. From a historic prospective lockouts are a deadly weapon for the owners, so I can’t blame the players for not wanting to go down this road either.

    3. Take their chances by decertifying and asking the courts to life the lockout.

    Next someone will say “just negotiate!”, but in the real world that’s not a solve-all. If the owners refuse to budge on their position, what’s the sense?

  28. mantei says: May 5, 2011 3:35 PM

    The lockout was a fait accompli 2 years ago, you dolts. The players “decertifying” had no effect on it.

  29. hail2tharedskins says: May 5, 2011 3:35 PM

    How can you say the league the forced the players to decertify and sue? The appropriate course of action in labor negotiations if labor doesn’t like the deal is to strike, not decertify and sue. The players didn’t have any leverage at the negotiating table so they are trying to manufacture it in the courts. The league didn’t go to court to gain leverage, they believed they already had the leverage on their side at the bargaining table. The involvement of the courts sit solely with the players, there is no two way street on that one. You can cite blame on both sides for not reaching a deal, but the blame for taking this to court sits solely on the players. Furthermore, as long as the league refuses to settle the case then there is no leverage to be gained in court. That is a big point to remember, the players assume they force a negotiated settlement with the leverage of the anti-trust suit pending, but as long as the owners believe they have a decent shot at winning on the merits of the underlying case, then the entire idea of suing to gain leverage is entirely misguided. So unless the players really want a system with no rules, then they are just wasting time with the lawsuit. I use to be of the opinion that if the lockout was lifted, the owners would settle the lawsuit. I am slowly shifting my opinion – even though the owners would have to pay the players while the lawsuit proceeds, they would be paying them on cheaper terms than the previous CBA (which means it would cost them less than if the players had accepted their last proposal before decertification). So, there is no reason for the league to rush to settle this lawsuit. The longer this stays in the courts the longer it will be before a CBA gets negotiated, we may end up with football before then but with an unstable system. I will repeat what I said months ago, the fastest way to end all of this is for the injunction lifting the lockout to be permanently denied so that both sides know there is NO FOOTBALL until the two sides negotiate a new deal – and watch how fast a new deal will be in place!!!

  30. greenmeattruck says: May 5, 2011 3:39 PM

    none of this disgusting mess will be untangled unless/until an ABRIBITOR- NOT a MEDIATOR – is brought in to decide. both sides will object to any compromise of their current position, because the narcisistic jerks sitting at the table on both sides would then lose face. thank you to owners and players for ruining the sport that we love. THE LOVE OF MONEY IS THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL!!!

  31. hail2tharedskins says: May 5, 2011 3:40 PM

    smacklayer,

    The NLRB apparently moves at a snails pace. The charge before the NLRB is still pending and they are investigating the claim. I don’t recall any info on when a possible ruling will be made and I have read some so-called experts who are convinced that the league’s claim will be denied and other experts that are convinced that the league’s claim will surely prevail. So, as it stands I don’t think anybody has any idea when they will make a ruling or what the ruling will be, so again we wait.

  32. jokendave says: May 5, 2011 3:46 PM

    Lets just shut down the NFL. That way it will make both sides happy. Owners don’t have to pay players, and player don’t have to work under such harsh conditions. They can work a 9 to 5 and get min. wage. There! Everyone’s happy and a multimillion dollar buisness shot to hell. And us as fans can invest in sports that appreciate us as fans. With the cost of everything right now, I could care less about a billion dollar fight on either side. Its senseless and greedy. So hows that for a solution? Because thats the way it will end up if no one wants to sit a compromise.

  33. tomwill21 says: May 5, 2011 3:47 PM

    If I never heard from Goodell and De Smith ever again it will be too soon.

  34. eaglesfan290 says: May 5, 2011 3:52 PM

    I agree with NFL Fan, when you look at what the Players want in the long term; which is a league without a draft, no pay ceiling or floor, and virtually no rules who exactly is De Smith representing?

    I have been trying to figure this out, the vast majority of the (1800) players the NFLPA represents would be hurt by this deal. The game changers would be helped they would get paid a lot of money. I have heard the analogy used that it would be like making movies 80% of a team’s player budget would go to 1-3 stars and the rest would be a supporting cast. If you are a punter, kicker, play special teams, are on a practice squad, maybe a slot receiver or Fullback what happens to these guys?

    I think it’s also fair to point out that without Union players I guess are more like independent contractors under what Kessler and De Smith want. This being the case would they be entitled to health benefits………..most independent contractors have to pay for their own insurance?

    There are a lot of question, like most of the named players on the lawsuit IE: Brady and Manning would significantly benefit in a system like what Kessler has proposed. Well does this create a conflict of interest to the mid level and lower tier players? Where are there financial interests of these players represented?

    The NFLPA did add Von Miller to the lawsuit, but then again he is a top 5 pick, who is looking out for all the UDFA’s who can’t sign with a team, these guys just have to wait?

    Retired players are not represented in the lawsuit, yet sadly these players need to have a voice. I hope when the new CBA is drawn up players who are partially disabled or suffer long term from the game they played are taken care of better than they are today.

    I don’t understand how so many players say they get lockout new from PFT. If you’re Union or association or whatever they are calling it these days is not keeping you in the loop………how do player of all degree of skill and utility feel they will get a fair shake when this is over? All I see is the interests of the few being represented in the legal process.

    As fans we just want football, but if the players and owners want a long term CBA both sides need to stop hiding behind lawyers and start thinking about solutions to problems.

    Yes there needs to be a CBA, Yes there need to be a draft, Yes there needs to be a rookie wage cap, Yes retired players need better benefits, Yes players need to be kept safe without changing the game we love.

    Owners and Players come together and the fans will love you, but keep in mind most of us love our team player and owners come and go piss off the fans and you will find out how fast you become an after thought!

  35. tdotsteel says: May 5, 2011 3:54 PM

    You would think all the people posting on this message board are multi-millionaires.

    Try and comprehend the owners opted out of the CBA because they wanted an additional billion dollars. The players wanted the CBA to remain the same. Owners threaten lockout players de-certify.

  36. vadog says: May 5, 2011 3:54 PM

    Considering all the parties involved, and their entrenched stances…I am predicting that there will be no NFL in 2011, no Super Bowl in Indy and possibly no league going forward. It’s about to implode like ENRON did.

  37. rad312 says: May 5, 2011 3:58 PM

    The initiation of litigation is 100% with the NFLPA / NFLPA*. Saying anything else is skewing the facts!

    Enough already about the redicate of all 32 owners need to be in attendance. Do you know for a fact that all owners have been in attendance of bargaining meetings leading to the previous CBA’s?

    I would venture they were not in attendance, in fact I would venture that a representation of the owners were attendance and when discussions reach an appropriate state that information was distributed for review and the owners held a conference call to discuss.

    Based on experience when coming to negotiation ‘less is best’, the less people involved in the discussions generally more efficient and productive, as long as the participants are representative of their parties.

    Now back to facts, in order for discussion to recommence both parties need to be involved and in order for productive discussions both parties need to be like-minded with the end of objective of getting a deal done.

    The primary reason why discussions have not recommenced is both parties are awaiting the rulings of the courts, in particular the NFLPA* who with the Minnesota rulings believe they have all leverage.

    At this point the NFLPA* will not engage in any discussions until the 8th Circuit rules, if they rule in favor of the owner the NFLPA* will either decide to appeal the ruling or return to the bargaining table.

    Call it PR stunts or not, however the owners have been consistent in their message that the only way to an agreement is through negotiation and not litigation. Further the only offers from either side have come from the owners.

    It should be pretty clear to most that NFLPA* have not seriously engaged in discussions to-date, the NFLPA* choose the strategy of desertification and litigation. The NFLPA* has not bargained in good faith and have offered no proposals or counter-proposals, in fact they admitted to not even reviewing the last owners proposal before decertification and legal filings.

    PFT – Let’s not let facts get in the way of a good story!

  38. harmcityhomer says: May 5, 2011 4:00 PM

    Both sides need to just shut up and play football.

    The players have a legal right to decertify.

    The owners should just implement some rules and play football. As long as the rules do not violate anti trust law, the players will not sue.

    The NFL does not need a CBA and the players do not need a union, and seem like they have better rights and a better deal without one.

    Just play football.

  39. mystictate says: May 5, 2011 4:07 PM

    I keep reading here that the owners forced the players to decertify can someone please explain to me why this is being said over and over again? I thought that the players left the bargaining table and decertified? Last i heard they extended the cba for a week and could have extended it again while negotiating a new cba and instead of extending the deadline again the players decided to say the last offer made by the league was the worst ever in pro sports and decided to go to court. i just wondering when the owners are going to say enough is enough and call the players bluff and make the nfl 32 companies with no salary cap floor other than minimum wage and pay the bottow 3rd of the roster 50k a year lets see how they like that!!!

  40. joe6606 says: May 5, 2011 4:19 PM

    “The NLRB apparently moves at a snails pace. The charge before the NLRB is still pending and they are investigating the claim. I don’t recall any info on when a possible ruling will be made and I have read some so-called experts who are convinced that the league’s claim will be denied and other experts that are convinced that the league’s claim will surely prevail. So, as it stands I don’t think anybody has any idea when they will make a ruling or what the ruling will be, so again we wait.”
    ————————————-
    Here’s some info for you:

    The owner’s argument that the decertification is a sham, is a legal argument that has NEVER been successful at any point in US history.

    To be fair, it’s an argument that pretty much is never argued, because in “the real world” owners never oppose a union when it wants to decertify, because generally speaking most industries would MUCH rather deal with their peon employees on an individual case by case basis as opposed to having to deal with a union, which is on better financial footing to defend its members.

    The NFL is bizarre in that it has workers, who because of their financial status, can hire high powered attorneys to defend them whereas the average Joe worker cannot.

    In short, if the courts/NLRB were to side with the owners, and agree that the decert is a sham, it would be a textbook example of judicial activism as there is no basis in law or precident to support it.

  41. nineroutsider says: May 5, 2011 4:19 PM

    The ‘NFLPA*’ needs to start lining up investors and talking about starting their own league. The owners will scramble quicker than roaches under a spotlight.

    I don’t want that to happen, but now that their litigation is going to backfire and the owners’ are about to gain a huge amount of leverage, the players need to start manufacturing some of it or there is going to be a long wait.

    A long wait is what I don’t want, but its their money to lose…I will just keep mine in my bank account and not spend it on season tickets.

  42. tombradyswig says: May 5, 2011 4:33 PM

    J O K E ! ! !

  43. vahawker says: May 5, 2011 4:49 PM

    [i]The players had three choices:

    1. Agree to a bad deal. The owners proposal shifted over one billion dollars a year from the players to the owners. Can’t say I blame the players for not accepting this.

    2. Allow the owners to lock them out and see what happens. From a historic prospective lockouts are a deadly weapon for the owners, so I can’t blame the players for not wanting to go down this road either.

    3. Take their chances by decertifying and asking the courts to life the lockout.

    Next someone will say “just negotiate!”, but in the real world that’s not a solve-all. If the owners refuse to budge on their position, what’s the sense?[/i]

    Hey tommy15 what about choice #4–stay at the table and continue to negotiate until a new CBA was in place? Hmmmm You wouldn’t be related to D. Smith would you?

    Owners didn’t compromise? Guess that last offer which gave so much of what the players wanted wasn’t a compromise? Or couldn’t be used as a basis to work something out?

    Seems it is Smith’s grandstanding and political aspirations that prevented the players from budging off their positions. but don’t let facts get in the way of a good pro union rant.

  44. dccowboy says: May 5, 2011 4:50 PM

    Really? Thank you Captain Obvious.

    In other equally stunning developments, a recent scientific study concluded that dead trees do indeed burn faster than live ones, the Sun will rise in the East, Generalissimo Franco is still dead.

  45. tdurk34 says: May 5, 2011 4:59 PM

    OK, so to be serious every owner needs to be present does that mean every player should be there? After all they are not a union. So to get an agreement they have to have a majority of ALL the players. The judge said it was ok to de-certify and they are no longer a union so they should all be there to understand the items discussed. They can have in any oneof 32 cities in the football stadium, they will need the room, and besides they aren’t being used for anything else.

  46. Kwame F says: May 5, 2011 5:02 PM

    Funny how people forget that we got to this point because ownership opted out of the deal, despite having the most financially successful season in league history.

  47. moggy6actual says: May 5, 2011 5:03 PM

    If the NFLPA has truly decertified, why have they not disposed of the union assets and distributed the profits to the players?

  48. billybats says: May 5, 2011 5:05 PM

    Hey, “Judge MF”: your bias in favor of the players has become breathtakingly obvious. “What’s the Turk paying you to set up my father, Captain?”

    You might want to tone it down a little, pumpkin.

    Countdown to having my critical post deleted–3 minutes.

  49. TIM says: May 5, 2011 5:06 PM

    The Commish has been consistent from day one that they needed to keep negotiating until they get an agreement. Too bad the players union walked out and went “on strike” and left the mediation to run to their Mommy the Courts to get more than a fair deal the owners were willing to negotiate. Remember the owners did NOT lock out the players until AFTER the union walked out of all talks and refused to talk and forced everthing into court.(what I call going on strike).
    Gene Upshaw would have had a fair deal with the owners long done !!!

  50. tommyf15 says: May 5, 2011 5:08 PM

    Brian says:
    So you’re saying the union was forced to decertify

    hail2tharedskins says:
    How can you say the league the forced the players to decertify and sue?

    mystictate says:
    May 5, 2011 4:07 PM
    I keep reading here that the owners forced the players to decertify

    Not one, not two, but THREE of the pro-owner zealots need to take “Reading and Comprehension 101″ class.

    The author never said the players were “forced” to decertify and litigate, he said that he didn’t blame them for doing so. Big difference there.

  51. tommyf15 says: May 5, 2011 5:14 PM

    vahawker says:
    Hey tommy15 what about choice #4–stay at the table and continue to negotiate until a new CBA was in place? [/i]

    Covered- here it is again:

    Next someone will say “just negotiate!”, but in the real world that’s not a solve-all. If the owners refuse to budge on their position, what’s the sense?

    [i]Owners didn’t compromise? Guess that last offer which gave so much of what the players wanted wasn’t a compromise? Or couldn’t be used as a basis to work something out?[/i]

    What offer was that?

    Let’s not forget that the owners already had a deal in place, and they chose to opt out of it. That, and nothing else, was what started all of this.

  52. warhorse007 says: May 5, 2011 5:14 PM

    If the players win in court, and there is no free agency nor draft, the only way to stop the NFL of going the way of MLB, with the Yankees and the Sox, is for the entire group of 32 NFL owners to merge their teams/companies into some type of limited parnership as a single corporation, or even one entity by merger if the last resort.

    The shares according to the owners will be determined according to the worth they put in the pile. So Snyder and Jones will be the biggest shareholders.

    They will each still be able to make the individual decisions for each of their own perspective teams, and run them the way they want to, but obviously things will be tweaked.

    They can then bring back the NFL, the exact way that we have grown to love it, and it wont matter what the players do then.

    They can slot players pay according to position throughout the NFL, and the only extra money the stars will make will be according to their ability to market themselves to sponsors. They can build a retirement fund for former players.

    Bonuses will be according to wins. In other words, the highest paid NFL QB this past year would have been Aaron Rogers.

    This brings the incentive to play well.

    League leaders will be bonused in prospective categories.

    And if any of the owners dont want to do it……..they can take their teams to the UFL.

    Likewise with the players.

  53. pappageorgio says: May 5, 2011 5:19 PM

    Nineroutsider…….

    Really? Owners would scramble if the NFLPA tried to put together their own league?

    In fantasy land…yes owners would be shaking in their boots. In the real world….the logistics of a player formed league would make the NFLPA pee themselves.

    First….where would they play? A local HS stadium? Unless players are willing to take a massive paycut….most of the venues that would support such a league are at least partially owned by NFL owners (this would probably drive up the rent.

    Second……the logisitics behind bankrolling such an endevor very difficult minus TV deals or merchandising stuff…..it would be a huge risk and really hard to pull off. An there would be no network willing to pay a massive TV deal on a league that’s probably going to fold like a pizza box.

    Third……even if the NFLPA did take a risk and make the massive investment in such a league, the owners could declare the NFL lockout over 1 day before their season started and any player with a current contract couldn’t participate without being in breach of contract (i.e. everyone give their signing bonuses back). The NFLPA would go completely bankrupt in about six seconds from trying such an idiotic plan.

    Do you have any idea what a massive logisitcal undertaking this all is?

  54. tommyf15 says: May 5, 2011 6:01 PM

    warhorse007 says:
    If the players win in court, and there is no free agency nor draft, the only way to stop the NFL of going the way of MLB, with the Yankees and the Sox, is for the entire group of 32 NFL owners to merge their teams/companies into some type of limited parnership as a single corporation, or even one entity by merger if the last resort.

    The owners tried the “single entity” argument last year and the Supreme Court unanimously denied it, nine votes to zero.

    Doing what you’re suggesting would be a clear anti-trust violation.

  55. pigeonpea says: May 5, 2011 6:02 PM

    The league opted to highlight and to headline Goodell’s statement, which should be obvious by now to anyone who has been following the lockout, that the parties “need to be talking to reach an agreement.”

    Good Lord, Roger… What a stunning insight! What next? Are you going to tell all of us ignorant heathens that the sun sets in the west as well?

  56. geniusesq says: May 5, 2011 6:05 PM

    Just cough up the financial data so both sides can negotiate with their eyes open. The one hand behind your back tactic was a mega-failure.

    Get it together already. Rookie and veteran free agents are in limbo, and the coaches are stuck in the middle. #debacle

  57. nineroutsider says: May 5, 2011 6:25 PM

    @pappageorgio

    Yes, I do understand that the idea is quite untenable. That is why I said that they need to talk about it, line up high powered investors, and start exploring the option just to give the NFL something to think about. Perception and reality can often be confused; smoke and mirrors are all part of business.

    I could debate some of your points, but why waste time on this.

    Essentially, I just want this thing over and am not happy with either side, but its just business.

  58. nineroutsider says: May 5, 2011 6:28 PM

    geniusesq says: May 5, 2011 6:05 PM

    Just cough up the financial data so both sides can negotiate with their eyes open. The one hand behind your back tactic was a mega-failure.

    Get it together already. Rookie and veteran free agents are in limbo, and the coaches are stuck in the middle. #debacle
    ——————————————————
    Exactly…stop playing games and get serious. We all know that they just want to take more of the pie, so admit it, negotiate, and strike an effing deal already!

  59. hlmatty1 says: May 5, 2011 6:32 PM

    I thought the legal analysis often offered by PFT was lame, but some of the posters here make PFT look like Oliver Wendell Holmes. Just make up some rules and play? Other than maybe the size of the field, what type of ball, the general rules of the game, and the number of players able to play on any day (and the number of games in a season), almost everything else (i.e., the draft, salary floors and ceilings, pension plans, minimum salaries, free agency, etc.) could all be possibly attacked under anti-trust. The “sham” argument never winning? How many cases involved a union ALWAYS decertifying when in labor negotiations and then reconstituting itself after a deal? Arbitrators? Rarely do arbitrators decide business models to operate under. Ooo..the owners decided to opt out so they are at fault. If you signed an agreement that even your opponent said was one sided in the opponents’ favor, and had to right to get out of the deal, would anyone here not do so??

    If I were the owners, I would do two things: immediately (and publicly) open negotiations with the networks for an 18 game season; and make Tiki Barber and Iccky Woods be my poster children for life after football. The former would highlight the dangers of no CBA (no extra monies for extra games, no additional members on the roster, and without lifetime medical coverage, the players could nurse their injuries themselves). The former show how even stars end up broke, divorced, and relegated to selling programs on game day. Imagine if no player had a pension or medical and other benefits.

  60. endzonezombie says: May 5, 2011 6:47 PM

    “I hope the writers for PFT are on the PA payroll because i have not ever seen an unbiased report of the labor situation from this site. maybe i should just stop reading if this is the PFT agenda.”

    @commoncents: you are a well-kmown league/owner shill on this site, so ,yeah, please stop posting your propaganda here. You have always been against the players, and I assume that once a new CBA is agreed upon, you will go back to cleaning latrines again at your stadium. You are not a fan of the game – you are a shill for the owners.

  61. seahawkhuskyfan says: May 5, 2011 6:54 PM

    Just let the players text the job market for a year. Surely they can find other sources of income. They all went to college, right?? It is an easy world out there, several 3M jobs out there. Maybe they can “dig it”, as in dig the ditch for $12/hour. These players don’t realize how lucky they have had it.

  62. liontomyself says: May 5, 2011 7:21 PM

    tommyf15 says:

    Let’s not forget that the owners already had a deal in place, and they chose to opt out of it. That, and nothing else, was what started all of this.

    ___________________

    The players agreed the owners could opt out. Why else would it be in the last CBA? Did the players not sign the same CBA as the owners?And if someone can do something, you should assume someone WILL do something. So, the players agreed / allowed the owners to opt out.

    And it was a bad deal for the owners (again, why else have an opt out?) so the players said, ok, you can opt out in couple of years if you truely don’t like it.

    If it were a bad deal for the players and the owners were to state they were fine with it, do you think the players would not have opted out?

    So, what “started all of this” was the players allowing the opt out in the last CBA (see? I can do it too)….players are wrong.

    Go owners!

  63. vahawker says: May 5, 2011 7:24 PM

    Tommyf15:
    Let’s not forget that the owners already had a deal in place, and they chose to opt out of it. That, and nothing else, was what started all of this.
    ********************************************

    What started this was Tagliabooo forcing a bad deal down the owner’s throats and the owners stupidly acquiescing. You know the CBA had an opt-out clause right? So the owners were abiding by the terms of the CBA that the players agreed to. Why do you have a problem with that?

    and Warhorse was talking about owners creating an entirely new entity that would stand up to court scrutiny. Not going back with same arrangement they have now.

  64. chadmurdigan says: May 5, 2011 7:47 PM

    We should all take our moms on a well-deserved vacation to the Bahamas until this collective bargaining nonsense is resolved.

  65. eagleswin says: May 5, 2011 9:08 PM

    geniusesq says:May 5, 2011 6:05 PM

    Just cough up the financial data so both sides can negotiate with their eyes open. The one hand behind your back tactic was a mega-failure.
    —————————————
    The owners offered to give the players plenty of data but DeSmith refused to look at it for PR reasons. DeSmith admitted that himself.

    What I don’t understand is why people who can’t be bothered to follow what’s going on in the lockout feel the need to show their ignorance of the issues?

  66. eaglesfan290 says: May 5, 2011 9:10 PM

    Why is it the Players are only partners when you are talking about NFL dollars? If a player goes out and gets an endorsement deal all the sudden he isn’t a partner anymore and he gets 100% of that money.

    Now didn’t the team invest in that player, give him a place to workout, a good coach, teach him the Pro game, didn’t they help by promoting him, making him marketable?

    I don’t think the players would be very happy if the Team they played for said “Hey we are partners I want half your Gatorade money.” I mean you can’t be a partner half the time!

  67. rad312 says: May 5, 2011 9:16 PM

    tommyf15…..

    There was a clear Option 4 – continue to negotiate. You state that the owners would not budge yet by all accounts the last proposal offered up by the owners contained a series of concessions.

    The offer may not have good enough for the NFLPA to wholly accept so the next step should have been further negotiations and a counter proposal by the NFLPA however the NFLPA choose decertification and litigation.

    I am not sure how you can so blatantly dismiss the option for continued negotiations.

    The owners by their contractual right within the CBA choose to opt out. They did not break a contract. The opted out as was their right.

    Both parties choose not to begin serious discussions until the proverbial 11th hour…..which is sadly typical of many negotiations.

    Why walk away from the negotiations? Only one reason the NFLPA felt litigation was a better option than negotiations; they felt as litigation gave them greater leverage over the owners.

  68. 52crabcakes says: May 5, 2011 9:18 PM

    BOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Goodell, BBOOOOOOOO. WE WANT FOOTBALL, WE WANT FOOTBALL, SO JUST FIX IT!

  69. valman61 says: May 5, 2011 9:24 PM

    Tommyf15

    I agree that all salaries will rise without a salary cap in due time, as they did in baseball. I equate removing the salary cap will hurt the small players to taxing the rich will hurt jobs for the middle class. It’s a sham used by wealthy people to retain their wealth. However, the salary cap is the necessary trade off for the salary floor. Which in football is necessary for competitive balance. Your baseball analogy works perfectly, my team (the ny giants) will just outspend everyone else and become the Yankees. There will be 5 top teams and the small market owners will squeeze every last cent out of their teams living off revenue sharing and big market teams coming to town. That is why you need a cap.

  70. tommyf15 says: May 5, 2011 10:17 PM

    liontomyself says:
    So, what “started all of this” was the players allowing the opt out in the last CBA (see? I can do it too)

    Actually, you can’t. The previous CBA expired. No one opted out.

    A few posters are pointing out that the owners were within their rights when they opted out of the last CBA. I agree, however:

    1. That doesn’t change the fact that the owners opting out started this mess, and

    2. If the owners have the right to opt out, the players also have the right to decertify. You can’t have it both ways.

  71. tommyf15 says: May 5, 2011 10:23 PM

    Valman, I appreciate your well thought out post, but I disagree with the conclusion you’ve drawn.

    There is a far greater disparity of revenue generated between the top baseball teams vs the lower income teams than there is in the NFL.

    And even in a worst case scenario, no one here can figure out who “The Yankees” will be. In other threads posters have said it would be the Redskins, Cowboys, or Patriots. You think it’ll be the Giants, but why not the Jets?

    And MLB isn’t quite the competitive balance disaster people try to make it out to be. Nine different teams have won the World Series over the past ten years.

  72. MichaelEdits says: May 5, 2011 10:25 PM

    Wait a minute. They what? Need to be talking? I would have never thought of that.

  73. goldsteel says: May 5, 2011 10:56 PM

    Thanks for nothing Mr. Goodell. Both sides will get around to it when money becomes an issue.

  74. stevecmh says: May 5, 2011 11:15 PM

    As a Cowboys’ fan, I was very pleased to defeat the Eaglets at the end of last year regardless of the effect on the 2011 draft order.

    Now that I have been reading Philadelphia fans’ pro-management comments on this site the last few weeks, I cannot wait for the Cowboys to pound Philadelphia’s faces into the ground again once the season starts.

    Funny thing is, I doubt the Eaglets’ players would agree with all of the crap their fans are writing on this site.

  75. eagleswin says: May 6, 2011 6:39 AM

    tommyf15 says:May 5, 2011 10:17 PM

    liontomyself says:
    So, what “started all of this” was the players allowing the opt out in the last CBA (see? I can do it too)

    Actually, you can’t. The previous CBA expired. No one opted out.

    A few posters are pointing out that the owners were within their rights when they opted out of the last CBA. I agree, however:

    1. That doesn’t change the fact that the owners opting out started this mess, and

    2. If the owners have the right to opt out, the players also have the right to decertify. You can’t have it both ways.
    ———————————————-
    I would like to point out that your second point is incorrect.

    Opting out only signals that negotiations need to happen. Opting out gives the owners no leverage over the players. The tools in a union/management labor negotiation are supposed to be the lockout for the owners and the strike for the players.

    Decertification is supposed to be a remedy for a labor force stuck in a bad union. It was never intended to be a negotiating tactic for the union to gain leverage with management. Make no mistake, the union does exist, in all but name.

  76. CKL says: May 6, 2011 7:03 AM

    wasafan says:
    May 5, 2011 3:28 PM

    By the way.. I notice you always call NFLLabor an owner driven propaganda site, but you never seem to mention nfllockout with the same disdain. Strange…
    _____________________________
    Agreed. I never even knew about that nfllockout site until a poster on here mentioned it. It’s outrageously childish.

    I would also like a poll on how many people are sick to death of the constant and voluminous accusations of “ZOMG!!1111 OWNERSHILLS!!!1111 NFL LEAGUE PLANTS!!!!11!!!”
    Give it a bleeping rest already. Most of you who make that accusation (regardless of the side you are accusing of shills) say that because you have no proper retort, which is evidenced in the rest of your responses with those accusations. That’s how childish namecalling and strawman arguments work: “when there’s doubt, call someone else out”. I thumbs down every single post I see that does that regardless of the side that makes the accusation.

  77. chapnastier says: May 6, 2011 7:53 AM

    “So it’s not the players’ fault that litigation has been pursued. It’s both sides’ fault for allowing the situation to get to that point. And the league’s insistence that only the players should be blamed eventually will become (if it hasn’t already) yet another impediment to working out a new labor deal.”

    Despite the continued growing bias of this site, it is the players fault and Goodell is on point. Get over it.

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