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Players’ contingent at mediation has authority to do a deal

DeMaurice Smith, George Atallah AP

Earlier today, we asked NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell whether the four owners who’ll attend mediation next week in Minneapolis will have the ability to strike a deal without a vote of all 32 owners.  Goodell responded by explaining that each side will have to ultimately defer to folks not present.

NFLPA* spokesman George Atallah tells us that the contingent representing the players’ interests will have full authority to make decisions without seeking further approval.  “It was the case in bargaining,” Atallah said via e-mail.  “It is the case in litigation settlement.  Players in attendance have the authority to make decisions along with class counsel.”

Class counsel currently includes NFLPA* executive director DeMaurice Smith.

With the decertification of the union, the players collectively have sacrificed the opportunity to give express approval to any settlement of the antitrust lawsuit.  Instead, those players have the right to object to the proposed settlement as part of the court approval process.

If the reconstitution of the NFLPA as a union is one of the conditions of settlement, a majority of the players likely will have to embrace the deal, but that’s not something that will happen at mediation.  The goal of mediation is to try to settle the lawsuit between the 10 named plaintiffs and the 33 defendants — the NFL and each of its teams.  In order to make real progress, all parties need to be present or, at a minimum, representatives with full authority to settle the dispute need to be there.

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36 Responses to “Players’ contingent at mediation has authority to do a deal”
  1. salleem1 says: May 11, 2011 4:37 PM

    First….

  2. BlackAndGoldAllDay says: May 11, 2011 4:40 PM

    My advice to both sides: Don’t be afraid to make a decision. And don’t be afraid of criticism regarding your decision. This thing is playing out so publicly, I think both sides are afraid of looking like the loser. There is no loser. All of you are going to make big bucks … as long as you get the product back on the field.

  3. brothaman1 says: May 11, 2011 4:41 PM

    This is why we had war in medieval times. Lets bring that back.

  4. bearskoolaid1985 says: May 11, 2011 4:42 PM

    We all make comments on this lock out as Pro-Players or Pro-Owners. Yet as FAN’s we have no say on the game we are so passionate about The NFL.
    Maybe it is time we show our passion for the NFL as FAN’s and rally at the site of Monday’s negotiations. If 100,000 or more show up someone will take notice Owners, Players, or Governmant for this is not there game it is ours for without the FAN’s where would the Owners and Players be…. Unemployed just like the rest of us.

  5. kom2k10 says: May 11, 2011 4:43 PM

    Why would the NFL be interested to settle an absurd lawsuit that says they are commiting anti-trust violations by having a draft and having players sign contracts???

    The lawsuit is ridiculous and the NFLPA* huff and puff about how they want to “negotiate”, but all they want to “negotiate” is a B.S. settlement to this ridiculous lawsuit that is trying to destroy our game!

    They need to drop the lawsuit and negotiate on a NEW CBA!!! It’s a waste of time to try to get the NFL to settle your ridiculous lawsuit because they will NEVER agree that they are doing anything wrong by sticking with the terms of the orginal CBA (i.e. Draft and restricted free agency).

  6. cdjones34 says: May 11, 2011 4:43 PM

    Again I will put this out there to any former NFLPA members and current NFL owners….Lift the lockout …set up FA rules prior 2010 season somewhat similar to ’09 rules…in turn the former NFLPA returns to bargaining and get a deal done.. this is gonna drag into the season otherwise…no way can everyone involved not see that now… this way everyone wins… players get to go back to work…free agents get to sign…coaches and teams with staff changes get to implement new systems, changes.. owners get a new CBA.. fans get a finished product for 2011… if not a lot of teams are gonna look like garbage till its to late to really compete…NFLPA and all can walk away saying we won

  7. TIM says: May 11, 2011 4:47 PM

    Of course the union has to lie and say the players at any negotiations have the authority to make a deal,since there is not supposed to be a union,lol.
    In reality we all know that the ambulance chaser who still runs the union must agree to anything the players agree to.The union is still in full effect and the decertification was a total sham,we all knew that from day one(everyone except the lib Judge in Minn,lol).
    Man do we all miss Gene Upshaw !!!

  8. snowpea84 says: May 11, 2011 4:53 PM

    Jesus. As if the players are going with the iintent of striking any kind of a deal. They are just going to lay out unchanging demands.

  9. macgee10 says: May 11, 2011 4:55 PM

    Blackandgoldallday I could agree with you more on what you just said. No one should be afraid to step up and make a decision if they feel it is in the interest of their own party. This has gone so public with the finger pointing that its getting ridiculous and everyone is tired of it.

  10. riverhorsey says: May 11, 2011 4:55 PM

    Make the deal, let’s play football !!

  11. edjy71 says: May 11, 2011 5:04 PM

    Until the courts make a final decision on weather or not the lockout is legal, there is ZERO chance that any kind of real negotiating will happen.

    Anything done before then is just posturing on each side, sorry.

  12. gorams55 says: May 11, 2011 5:12 PM

    “NFLPA* spokesman George Atallah tells us that the contingent representing the players’ interests will have full authority to make decisions without seeking further approval. “It was the case in bargaining,” Atallah said via e-mail.”

    this shows the problem right here. the current union leadership has no idea how a union is run. you can not just agree to a cba and tell the dues paying members that this is how its going to be, any agreement must be approved by majority before its accepted.

    but since the players elected a leader that does not know how to run a union nor how to collectively bargain, he had no choice but to push the negotiations into an arena where he knew how things work.

    everyone says that the players got a great deal out of the last cba negotiations, and last i checked that was won through collective bargaining, the difference here is last time that they had a leader who knew what he was doing, this time they have someone who is lost outside of a court room.

  13. thephantomstranger says: May 11, 2011 5:13 PM

    Maybe instead of having 32 owners in the negotiating room plus lawyers, they could send four owners to negotiate on their behalf. Then when what looks like a deal has been reached, all the owners could get on a conference call to approve it.

  14. sagnam says: May 11, 2011 5:21 PM

    I’m sure about 50 people in a room trying to negotiate will get a lot done.

  15. Rhode Island Patriots Fan says: May 11, 2011 5:21 PM

    Entirely too much is being made of the fact that only four owners will attend the next mediation session. Likewise, the fact that the players’ contingent will have the authority to do a deal is irrelevant. The more relevant and pressing question is: Will the players be WILLING TO DO a deal? Stated somewhat differently, will the players be willing to make a meaningful counterproposal on the central issue of this labor dispute: revenue. To date, they haven’t. If both sides can reach agreement on revenue splitting, then I predict an agreement on rookie wage scale, retirement benefits, expanded season, financial disclosure, etc. will soon follow. That’s the roadmap to settling the NFL labor dispute.

  16. warmachine2112 says: May 11, 2011 5:24 PM

    Enough of this poncing about. Get the damned deal done!

  17. dolphan343 says: May 11, 2011 5:28 PM

    Not sure what your infatuation is with this who can agree to deal fastest thing is. Other than for you to pick a side with the players who cares?? As long as they are negotiating is all that matters. If they negotiate somthing that needs approval of other owners it will be put to vote. For you and the players to whine about this and the players to use this as an excuse to not negotiate is way more of a delay than the owners having to get majority approval.

  18. mick730 says: May 11, 2011 5:34 PM

    Oh goodie. That does mean the the decision making power rests in the hands of Chester Pitts?

  19. joetoronto says: May 11, 2011 5:35 PM

    Shut it down and watch “Dee” go down as the clown he is. I wonder if he’d still wear that pimp hat.

    Shut er down.

  20. broncfanor says: May 11, 2011 5:43 PM

    So the NFLPA is no longer yet they still have the power to speak for all the players?

  21. smacklayer says: May 11, 2011 5:46 PM

    Enough with the “what about the fans??” and “the fan should have a say in this” or “the fans are the one who will get screwed”

    First and formost fans are not getting screwed in any way. This is an entertainment product. You have no investement like the owners or paycheck like the players or other employees. All you have is an emotional attachement to an entertainment product, which gives you no standing incidentally.

    Secondly you are a customer of the NFL. You purchase their product either directly with tickets and merchandise or indirectly by watching commercials. Once you fork over your cash (or your time in the case of a commercial), you are done. You have no say in how the league spends that money or what they do with it, or whether they decide for their own benefit to shut down the league. Just as after you buy that Big Mac from McDonalds, you have no say on what the owner of that McDonalds franchise does with “your” money.

    If you want make a statement, do it by not purchasing any products or tickets and turn the TV off. But don’t act like you have a say in the matter or act like you are “getting screwed” just because you have a emotional connection to the game. Grow up.

  22. nfl25 says: May 11, 2011 6:00 PM

    I thought this article was about the lockout, why is there a picture of a male reproductive organ wearing a hat?

  23. endzonezombie says: May 11, 2011 6:07 PM

    Lets hope everyone is not as dumb as kom2k12 ( like he is an actual fan of any team with that name). The lawsuit will be dropped as soon as a new CBA is reached. The purpose of the lawsuit is to force the owners to bargain in good faith. The antitrust terms of the lawsuit will not be part of any new CBA. Got it, Einstein?

  24. Deb says: May 11, 2011 6:07 PM

    How about we try a gladiator competition? Jerry Jones in hand-to-hand combat against Suh. After he loses, we feed his carcass to real lions, and everyone goes back to work.

  25. jimr10 says: May 11, 2011 6:25 PM

    Surprise, surprise. Anther pro-player article.

  26. kairn42 says: May 11, 2011 6:31 PM

    I think the point that’s being made is it’s not really “mediation” if one group says “Yes, we’ll do this” and the other side says “Yes, we’ll do this…..after…you know…we call home and make sure the other guys all agree”

    Plus, the mediation was ordered by the court no? So, since the owners have been tap dancing dangerously close to the line of contempt regarding Judge Nelson, one would think they wouldn’t want to dance even closer on the subject of ‘all parties having the authority to make a deal’.

    Both sides are wrong in this case, and even the loosing side is going to make an ass-load of money. The only people who lose here are the fans…but the longer this rolls on the more it looks like BOTH sides just don’t want to be told what to do by anyone other than themselves.

  27. nflfan101 says: May 11, 2011 6:34 PM

    Interesting – you say that the “Players’ contingent at mediation has authority to do a deal” and then you explain how they really cannot make a deal for all players. Players can opt out of any so called deal.

    Plus, has the court ever declared this to be a class action suit? If not, then the only players involved in any so called deal are the players named in the suit. All of the other players are not really represented (unless the NFLPA* is really the NFLPA).

  28. friendlylittletrees says: May 11, 2011 7:08 PM

    I miss celebrity death match… Goodell and D Smith… Awesome!

  29. nineroutsider says: May 11, 2011 7:28 PM

    This is all an elaborate hoax by the NFL and the players to generate even more fans and $$$ for the business by creating a huge buildup for the 2012 season and its all going to plan.

  30. endzonezombie says: May 11, 2011 7:38 PM

    “Class counsel currently includes NFLPA* executive director DeMaurice Smith.”

    Since there is no official organization known as the NFLPA*, how can Smith be its Executive Director?

  31. endzonezombie says: May 11, 2011 7:41 PM

    “I thought this article was about the lockout, why is there a picture of a male reproductive organ wearing a hat?”

    nfl25 only wishes he could fill a hat with his…ah…brain.

  32. oldbyrd says: May 11, 2011 9:21 PM

    The Unions are basically finished. Revolts against them are taking place all over the world. YOU WANT PRO FOOTBALL……FIRE THE MINI COMMIE SMITH AND MARXIST UNIONS. UNION SUPPORT IS DOWN 20% in the last five years. Good bye D

  33. crubenst says: May 11, 2011 9:33 PM

    Luckily for us, the league lawyers are much smarter than D. Smith. There’s only one way this thing can end…. a cba. And there will be no football until they agree on one, even if it take the league “going out of business.” The players will find out the hard way that D. Smith is leading them down a dead end. You can’t force business owners to operate the way you want them to through the courts.

  34. cliverush says: May 11, 2011 9:46 PM

    Margin called gentleman.

  35. eagleswin says: May 12, 2011 6:35 AM

    endzonezombie says:
    May 11, 2011 6:07 PM
    Lets hope everyone is not as dumb as kom2k12 ( like he is an actual fan of any team with that name). The lawsuit will be dropped as soon as a new CBA is reached. The purpose of the lawsuit is to force the owners to bargain in good faith. The antitrust terms of the lawsuit will not be part of any new CBA. Got it, Einstein?

    —————————

    The purpose of the lawsuit is not to force the owners to bargain in good faith. It is purely to manufacture leverage for the union. The union realizes that if they bargain in good faith they’ll have to give back more than they want to so they set out manufacture a way to get more money out of the owners (litigation). It’s been a smashing success for DeSmith as his legal fees have gone through the roof. The rest of the union, not so much.

  36. chubbsmcgee says: May 12, 2011 11:43 AM

    I can’t decide if I love or hate De Smith’s hats.

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