An idea for solving the labor mess


As we said earlier today, we just want this lockout to end.  Our first preference for ending it entails the negotiation of a long-term deal with which both sides are equally happy, or equally unhappy (the latter is usually the best sign of a good resolution).  Our second preference is for the lockout to be lifted, so that we can get back to football.

Here’s an idea for getting a deal done.  We can’t take credit for it, but we also can’t disclose the source who shared the idea with us on condition of anonymity.

Starting next week, the league and the players will resume mediation in Minneapolis.  So what if the two sides negotiate for a week or two, with the NFL eventually putting a firm offer on the table, pre-approved by at least 24 of the 32 owners?  Then, the offer would be submitted to all players, including rookie draft picks, for a vote.

If a simple majority of all players approves the offer, it becomes the new CBA.  If the offer fails to get more than 50 percent of the vote, the two sides continue their impasse.

It would give the owners a strong incentive to put an attractive deal on the table, and it would give all of the players a voice in the process, instead of the handful who currently are calling the shots.

It may not be a perfect solution, but it’s better than the current state of affairs, which features one side that doesn’t seem to want to do a deal and another side that wants only to complain about that reality.

90 responses to “An idea for solving the labor mess

  1. how about if the players get realistic about their “demands” and negotiate their slight pay cut in good faith?

    Bottom line:

    To the fans the players are replaceable, the teams aren’t.

    Guess which side represents the team?

    I’ll give you a hint, it’s not the players.

  2. The players feel like they’re going to win the legal battle, so they’re not going to agree to any deal until the courts get it all settled.

    Nice try though. I’m sure surfing Twitter for stories is getting pretty old by now.

  3. I’m tired of hearing ideas because its not going to happen no matter how much we hope it will. Both sides are stuck waiting to see which one has the most leverage against the other and it’s rediculous.

  4. Great idea. I like it but why does the lock out need to be lifted for this to happen? Why not lift the lock out if there is a deal. One could also say the union should re certify prior to this. So in fairness, this proposal can go-ahead without the lock out being lifted

  5. The lawyers and agents running the show for the players at this point are comfortable with there being no CBA. It will take a painfully player-friendly offer if the owners are going to shove this toothpaste back in the tube… and we know where that leads.

    The best bet for the soonest and longest lasting football is for the owners to get used to the idea of The Wild West and start exploring how that’s going to work itself out.

  6. Why didn’t they do the same thing with the previous offer the first mediation session?

  7. Won’t work, because the union people who are running things don’t WANT the players voting on the settlement, until THEY approve it.

    De Smith wants to keep his job as head of the union, and right now, his grip on that is slipping. Things like keeping Kessler around and ignoring the fact that people aren’t getting paid is making him less than popular with the majority of the players. If he allows the entire membership to vote on accepting an offer without his public acceptance, first, it’s quite likely they will, and if that happens he can kiss his job goodbye.

    But it would be a nice solution.

  8. It’s that easy???

    How come nobody mentioned this earlier???

    Might as well by my tickets now. This lockout is as good as over. :p

  9. I overhead the end of a ticket holders and Goodel/Joe Banner conference call. Banner made a comment at the end of it that was startling in it’s simplicity. Whatever the courts decide, both sides will still have to sit down and hammer out a deal, so useful time is being wasted. That’s the simple fact, a CBA will still need to be done, exactly what Andrew Brandt has been saying, so perhaps the union needs to re certify. By the way, the owners have underestimated De Smith and their greed has contributed to this

  10. I would absolutely love for this to happen, this seems like a dream scenario for the owners, though if DMS or Kessler tell the players it is a bad deal without even a second thought they will soundly reject it without even reading it.

  11. I would love to hear the representatives of the players excuse for not agreeing to this ” we the representatives feel it would not represent the majority of players if the majority of players actually voiced what they want. The only way to keep secure the true intent of the majority of players is to avoid any kind of voting or direct input of their positions on various issues. Such distractions like “listening to them” would only waste valuable billable hours that we could spend grandstanding and posturing so when the fans REALLY start to get pissed we have ammunition to point the other side and say it was more their fault…”

  12. I would have each side make a video presentation to us, the fans, and post it on NFL.COM. Then, everyone gets to vote online for the owners or the players.After all, the customer is always right.

  13. That seems like a fair resolution to the current impasse as long as it includes a stipulation that the league’s NLRB complaint(s) and the players’ anti-trust suit(s) be dropped and the union recertifies prior to signing the new CBA. It sounds pretty easy but there may some NLRB procedural issues in getting that done. I’m sure a couple of lawyers will complain that the process is not league and the CBA would essentially be invalid or some other such garbage.

  14. Here is what scares me about the players tact, if they win the court case, in all sincerity, what stops the unions from the other 3 major leagues (MLB, NBA, NHL) from stalling in negotiations and then decertifying and filing anti trust lawsuits. That’s what bothers me, Kessler’s tactis has far reaching consequences and btw he’s the lawyer for NBA players!!

  15. Interesting, this idea needs 75 percent of owners to be accepted but only 50 percent of the players.

    While I make that point, it may sound like I disagree – I don’t! The owners take all the risks financially and should have the right to do what they feel best to protect and grow their investment.

    Should a rookie player, who is going to capitalize on the NFL’s success, tell the owners how to run their business and get an equal voice in the vote?

  16. Somebody must have stolen the normal scribe writing under this alias. This article doesn’t have the normal stink of bias. What is it I smell? Can you actually smell tail between the legs???

  17. Hey Mike! Why not suggest that the NFLPA* be the one who should finally putting up a firm offer instead of offering up more and more litigation?Did your usual astuteness (LMAO) miss the fact that the owners have already put a firm offer on the table?

  18. The players aren’t qualified to even examine and agree to a deal of this complexity. You think a deal like this can be done with this sort of simple thinking? Don’t be a fool, life isn’t that easy.

    Most players don’t have the education or maturity to really know what is going on and could be pursued just to get a deal done. Sorry but you need lawyers on both sides to look this over so they don’t get screwed by some fine print or a loophole.

    This suggestion is far to idealistic for the real world. Sounds nice and a lot of people would think it makes sense but it wouldn’t work. Forgetting that most of these players aren’t too smart.

  19. I’d love to see this, but I think there’s too much macho crap on both sides for anything like this to ever happen.

  20. The NFL needs to remove the anti-trust hammer from the union by setting work rules that don’t violate anti-trust statutes.

    1) Limited “luxury tax” style” salary cap. NBA vs. Williams showed this would pass the 2nd circuit threshold.

    2) No franchise or restricted tags. This would only hurt a few teams and really, if teams are relying on the franchise tag then they aren’t doing their jobs

    3) A limited 2 or 3 round draft. Again, NBA vs. Williams indicates that a limited draft is acceptable in the interests of competitive balance.

    4) No roster limits – if a team wants to pay 80 $50k per year “partners” instead of 53 $800k per year players then that’s ok.

    If the league instituted these general rules then they would be immune to the anti-trust actions that DeMo and Kessler are trying to cash in on. The NFL would then be free to pursue other non anti-trust actions such as:

    18 game season. Or what the heck, maybe a 20 game season.
    no minimum salary or salary floor
    no CBA health benefits
    no CBA injury protections
    no pensions
    no limits on OTA’s and minicamps

    I think with a bit of thought the NFL could give up anti-trust liable practices without turning into Major League Football.

  21. It is simple and makes sense and that is why it will never happen.

    Here is another simple idea…
    Stop talking about it.
    Walk away from the game until they get the message.
    No ticket sales or concessions.
    No TV revenue.
    No merchandise sold.
    Tell the league, players and owners alike, that we just don’t give a f*** and we will come back when it is in our best interest.

  22. It sounds fantastic. Love that it requires only three-fourths of the owners. Can they get around union decertification by having the players vote as a “trade association”? Why does this have to wait another couple of weeks? It’s dragged out too long already.

  23. It’s a great idea but Jeffrey Kessler would kill it. Remember that the longer he drags this on and the more little brush fires he creates the more money he makes. Also his son is an agent for 28 former first round picks and is the agent for vocal players such as Chester Pitts.

    Also the former law clerk of Judge Doty is on the legal teama long with De Smith. No way De Smith, Barren, and Kessler would let this happen. The players are getting played by power politics. Those 3 power players have all the incentive in the world to blow this whole thing up and stretch it out as long as possible.

    The players and NFL have an incentive to get a deal done. The ones with the real power have the opposite incentive.

  24. How about the owners put up a deal that fully complies with all anti trust considerations. This settlement offer to be in effect for 10 years.
    1. Total free agency for all players in the league as a one time deal. Cancellation of all existing contracts. Allow everyone to negotiate new contracts, first shot to the present team, then to teams in inverse order of record.
    2. The draft for the only purpose of giving teams first right of negotiating with a draftee, say for 90 days, then, the next team has a 30 day window, the next a 2 week window, etc. Again, in inverse order of record.
    3. All new contracts are for a 3 year period, with each party having an “opt-out” option after two years.
    4. No salary cap/floor for any team except as that individual team determines that it can afford financially.
    5. No limit on the overall number of players that a team may have on its roster, nor what it can pay them.
    6. Each team sets its own workplace rules/working hours governed only by applicable state/federal laws regarding contract employees.
    7. The NFL will offer no benefits to anyone except to direct league employees. Benefits offered to anyone else are the complete responsibility of the individual teams.
    8.All drug testing done by the schedule and under the control of the World Anti-doping asssociation. Any person failing a test is punished under the guidelines of the WADA.
    9. All income from player endorsements that results from the exposure from being associated with the team or the league shared 50 – 50 with that team and/or the league.
    10. The league institutes a maximum gross player expenditure per game limit, say $50M, based on the gross average value of each players contract, including all bonuses divided by the term of the contract, then those values added together to arrive at a figure for the entire gameday roster. Any team violating this number is prohibited from participating in any post season play.
    11. Any re-certification/re-forming of the union during the term of the agreement will be construed that the current de-certification is a sham and punishable under the provisions of applicable laws.

    12. No pre-season games, simply a 20 game regular season.

    Sounds fair to me as an initial offer, subject to further negotiation. And, submit it in writing on the 16th, and request the players provide a written proposal on the same day. Even be willing to give the players reps a day to study it. That would show who was willing to negotiate and who wanted to just litigate.

    **disclaimer**I own my own manufacturing business(utility trailers), have no connection with the league, financial nor otherwise, have a unionized workforce(with no labor problems in 22 years of dealing with them) and fit into the pro-owner group that is so distasteful to PFT.

  25. That over-simple solution really only makes sense to a neutral observer. That would be like walking up to two guys in a fight and saying, “Look, take turns hitting each other twice each and then get along.” Makes perfect sense to someone not in the fight, but to the guys fighting, they know if they win, they’re going to win big.

    So both sides are in a “winner take all” mentality, which is probably accurate since they’re in court, but more importantly, both sides really BELIEVE they’re going to be the winner, so settling for anything else feels like giving in for no other reason than to save time.

    It’s also worth noting that this is a bit like political parties – whoever is right and whoever is wrong, there’s no denying that both sides truly believe their philosophy is the one that is best in both the short and long term. And anyone who’s been in a political argument (everyone?) knows that there’s no overcoming that with logic, anger, insults, common sense, historic planetary alignments, or anything else.

    So… Nice article. I guess.

  26. cengelman93 says: “The owners take all the risks financially and should have the right to do what they feel best to protect and grow their investment.”

    See, I don’t know where some fans get that idea. WHAT risk? They get tax dollars for their stadiums, and they’re in one of the few industries that is all but utterly recession-proof. Even when people are hurting they find time for football. They STILL buy the hats and stuff (for X-mas if nothing else).

    The owners want MORE profit. That’s all this is. It’s egomaniacs putting THEMSELVES and their profits above the game. They want to squash the union because they feel like they “lost” in ’06 and want payback. They are the rich, fat equivalent of Ryan Mallett!

    THEY are the bad guys here! It just amazes me how something so obvious is so hard to see for so many people. Just amazes me.

  27. The problem is that it would likely get a majority of the vote from the players, but not because a majority of the players agree to it. Many will simply vote in favor just so they can get back to playing and get a paycheck. As much as I can’t stand De, there’s a reason these guys need representation.

  28. When it comes to a CBA union members vote on the offer on the table. So this idea makes sense, the problem is De Douche and the other Douche bags will never let this happen. Players need to speak up against the union, association or whatever they are now and say lets see the offer and vote. This happens in a free society not in a dictatorship that the NFLPA is.

  29. add on to the big long post above

    13. limit on game day roster of 47 players. (those whose salary expense is calculated in the per game cap.

  30. I just don’t understand why they don’t keep the same everything as the last bargaining agreement… except… Add a rookie wage scale, which will save the owners money on unproven commodities… I understand they want to keep more of the pot, but if you could spend many millions more on Vets vs Rooks… it would be worth it, and they could even keep their budget closer to the minimum salary cap vs the maximum salary cap. Furthermore, the Vets, who make this league will be happy more money would come their way.

  31. The owners knew that their “offer” at the end of the original mediation session was never going to be accepted by players. The “offer” wasn’t at all fair and was meant to be a way for the owners to say “look fans, we put an offer on the table. They didn’t accept it. Obviously they’re the ones who don’t want any football next season”. It was all publicity.

    Also, don’t act like it’s the players who are the only ones who want to be in court. Let’s not forget that the owners will appeal any decisions that go against them in court (i.e. if the panel of judges from the 8th Circuit uphold the injunction, the owners will appeal to have the entire 8th Circuit preside and rule on it) and are just as willing to keep dragging out the lockout until they get a settlement that favors them.

    I generally favor the players, but let’s be fair here. Both sides are too blame. You can argue that the decertification was a sham and that the players were going to do so all along but you would then have to admit that the owners planned to lock the players out all along as well.

  32. tebowsgonnagitya and i care because?

    if you really do some research on that name you’ll find out it was my everquest character and then…..

    well you can learn alot more about me than you can from facebook!

  33. Just set up voting stations in all of the cities local jails, since these players keep getting arrested, they can cast their votes in-between the mugshot and de-lousing…

  34. What if that does happen and one of the players who doesn’t vote for it decides to sue to NFL for anti-trust?

    Unfortuantely this MUST play out in court. The player used an irrevsable card by decertifying and suing. The can of worms is fully open and there is no putting the toothpaste back in the tube until the courts have adjudicated this.

  35. “Our second preference is for the lockout to be lifted, so that we can get back to football.” …

    Everyone who comments that they ‘just want football back’, is ignorant to the fact that they are saying they don’t care how badly Tom Brady wrecks the competitiveness that makes the NFL great.

    Don’t do a deal until it is done right! And it cannot be done right while Brady and Nelson are holding a gun to the owners’ heads.

    I am the biggest football fan around, and I am not in any way involved with or related to the NFL or any of its teams.

  36. Of course this writer already suggested the owners lift the lock out without suggesting the players union re certify. Who said bias is missing from his posts?

  37. There is no way the players union will negotiate a fair CBA without a lockout or a shut down of the league. You’re dreaming if you think otherwise.

    The NFL owners should suspend operations until a new CBA is negotiated that works for the owners not just one that makes the players more and more overpaid with each passing season.

  38. Forgetting that most of these players aren’t too smart.
    I am sure most players feel likewise about all of you fans that hate the players that play your favorite game.

  39. The union wants to have this decided in court. They (the players) have no interest in solving this outside of court. So we get what we have here which is the way they want it. Dream on dreamers.

  40. Ok, now I’m confused. Today, the players* asked the judge for $707M. Since the *NFLPA no longer exists as a union, does that mean every single player filed suit against the league? There were only 6-8 players that initially filed suit against the league (Brady, et al.). So do those 8 guys split the $707M? Or are you telling me what we all knew all along…that the decertification was a SHAM??!!!

    Just curious, what is D. Smith earning now that he represents a union that no longer exists?

  41. I suggested that over a month ago. Call a convention and require ever player under contract there and vote on the offer made by the owners when dumb ass decertified and walked out. All 32 owners must attend as well, not just a few. Everybody votes. The idiots (union types) and lawyers are responsible for this mess. They are barred from attending.

  42. I’ve been reading this site for years. I haven’t commented in a while, because most of the time I feel the comments are useless. But for the first time in months, I felt the need to log in and let my opinion be heard.

    It’s been explained ad nauseum so far, but to reiterate… anyone taking the players side clearly does not understand the bigger picture issues.

    1. It’s not just about getting football back ASAP; it’s about getting the correct system back at whatever cost. We the fans do not want the NFL to turn into the MLB, where the rich owners can buy the best teams. What make the NFL great is the parity. Small market teams have the same opportunity to reach the super bowl as big market teams. Next year, the Bills have just as good a shot as the Giants as reaching the super bowl (in theory). Where as in baseball, the Padres have an incredibly small chance at reaching the world series when compared to a team like the Yankees.

    2. It has nothing to do with siding with the owners vs. siding with your favorite player. I can’t believe this is an argument people are actually making. It’s siding with the current version of the game, which the player suit is trying to destroy.

    3. It’s all about the money. For the owners, players, and the fans.

    Owners: assume all business risk, front all financial responsibility for player salaries, stadiums, operating expenses. They deserve a high level of compensation for this up front financial risk.

    Players: are employees of said owners. Already receiving salaries the average American would kill for, but are demanding more. In reality, they are employees, they do not have a right to 50% of profits, they do not have the right to view the owners books, they have the right to be paid whatever their employers think they’re worth. If they don’t like it, a majority of them have college degrees. Go find a job doing whatever it is you have a degree in; see how difficult the real world really is.

    Fans: Holy crap do we want to watch football this season! What the hell do you think we’re doing on this stupid site in May arguing over this BS? We care, a lot! But we realize what makes the NFL great. The parity, the fairness, the meaningfulness of every single game, the salary cap keeping each team competitive. The league, the owners, the players, the fans, it’s all a combined effort. It’s the best damn sport in the world and we all know it.

    Now get in the effing bargaining room (without some BS judges involved) and figure out what is good for us all. The owners deserve a larger piece of the pie for ponying up the investment money (in stadiums especially), the players deserve to be well compensated for the risks they put themselves through for our entertainment (which I feel they already are; they don’t need more), and the fans deserve an affordable game day experience.

    Get it done fellas! Get this sht done. Please.

  43. Here’s any easy way to solve this mess. The only case the players have against the league is an antitrust violation that is bound to the ruling that the NFL is not one entity but 32 individual companies. So if every owner bought 3 shares of the league and sold there teams to the league and called themselves league owners and team managers, the NFL would be one entity. Then the league could make the players play for minimum wage. There it is. Easy solution.

  44. It will never work because the system is so messed up. Only 9 big ego selfish owners can veto any reasonable deal. And there appears to be a solid 9+ team block of owners led by Jones and Richardson that does not want a deal. They just wants to hurt the players as much as possible and break the will.

    If the owners had a 51% vote (17 votes needed) like the players do it would result in not only a much better chance of getting a deal done but a much more reasonable deal. The problem is the owners agenda is being driven by the nuts on the end not the sensible or reasonable majority.

    To make matters worse this Jerry Jones-Richardson block is not only at war with the players but they are at war with the smaller teams wanting to take a chunk of revenue from them and redistribute how the owners share their own revenues. Which makes it even harder to get a deal when they cannot even agree how to share their own money.

    Basically the Jones-Richardson block is holding the other owners, the players and the league hostage to their will and judgment. If they do not get what they want no one gets anything. Just because one is rich and born a billionaire does not make one smart or reasonable.

  45. Just be sure to send that extra share my way for truly turning the players into the leagues slaves because they didn’t appreciate what they had.

  46. Here’s an idea that would surely work… I call it Survivor: NFL. Banish all the nfl owners and players reps to a sun drenched south pacific island with nothing but hardtack and bad homemade rum. No one gets off the island until a deal is signed. Make sure they have plenty of paper and pencils too. There’d be a deal in 48 hours tops. For added revenue they could televise it. I’d bet it would blow away the ratings for the draft!

  47. Without antitrust violations there is no need for a players union. Or a cba. Since the only reason there is a union is to waive antitrust lawsuits, which the union no longer exists because it is suing over it. just take the possibility of antitrust violations away.

  48. De smith would become the worlds biggest epic failure. That’s what happens when you put all of your eggs in one basket D.

  49. I fear that with the pool of overall revenue shrinking on a daily basis BECAUSE of this standoff, we will never get to a compromise because the players are asking for more than the owners are willing to part with. I’m not assigning blame to either side, I’m just pointing out the predicament. Perhaps we will not have a season after all. 😦

  50. Legally, I don’t think it would fly, but it’s a nice thought. At least I think so.

    Of course, the Union…er… Association… would do just what they did last time the League put their offer out there to the players. They were incensed that Goodell would try to go behind their backs.

    No, the D.Smiths of the world and their lawyers would have zero interest in letting the players vote on a CBA offer.

    But despite the fact, it’s actually the Player’s turn, the NFL should still put another offer on the table. Even if it isn’t accepted, it would score publicity points and would put more pressure on the players. At the moment, the players are feeling very little pressure from the courts.

  51. Won’t work as most of the players are unaware of the little nuances of the deal. Plus, most players are too focused on getting back to work and getting that paycheck so they can blow it on women, cars, jewelry, etc. The longer term consequences will be overlooked and the owners know it.

    It sounds like a good idea, but the player reps will turn it down.

  52. If both sides are sincere about playing football in 2011 then I would suggest five things that they could come together and take steps to solve this thing without missing any more football.
    1. Drop all lawsuits, if anything, shows good faith on both sides.
    2. Open the offseason for two weeks so that coaches can meet with veterans and rookies akin to when the lockout was lifted for the short time during the draft.
    3. Let teams hold rookie camps, but with assistants running the camps. Since teams can’t sign 2011 undrafted FA’s then teams can fill out the camps with players that are either: still under their rookie contracts, players that were signed before the lockout (which are usually 2010 practice squad players), or players that have less than three years experience.
    4. During the two weeks, both sides get together and try to work towards a deal. If no deal can be reached then the 2011 season would be played under the 2010 rules with a catch…..teams can only sign FAs to two year deals, but each contract will have a mutual third year option.
    5. Both sides agree to have a 6-9 month mediation session to hammer out a new CBA.

  53. i don’t think DeMaurice Smith would go for it because he would no longer be needed and he wouldn’t be able to get any credit.

  54. Ill start by saying I have always loved NFL football. Love it! I’m a diehard 49ers fan who lives near the Buffalo area. (Yeah you remeber those four consecutive superbowl loses. Guess what team saved my spirits the next year) There are no other sports that I even care enough about to really get into but I absolutly love football! When the season is over its still my sport of choice and I get into all the offseason activity almost as much as I do an actual game… did I mention I love football?!

    That being said, this whole situation makes me SICK! The amount of greed fueling BOTH sides turns my f***ing stomach. Neither the players OR the owners need more money! Is Jerry Jones stuggling to pay his bills?? No. Does Tom Brady have to worry about how he will put gas in his Hummer?? I think not. As much as I love the game I am starting to feel like I honestly don’t want to watch it at all anymore. Thinking about these two filthy rich parties causing all this mess over a little more or less money that they will probably just whipe their asses with and taking it as far as they have, well, it kinda makes you not even want to give them the time of day anymore doesn’t it? They’re ruinning football for everybody and I hope they fall flat on their faces.

    The solution proposed in this article sounds good in theory but we all know it would never happen like that. My idea for a solution, we let the children fight it out until they lose the whole fanbase and they ALL end up with far less money than they would have if they had just settled this. We watch more college, maybe try to support those small leagues like AFL, UFL, etc. and say F**K the NFL! The league, the owners AND the players!

  55. malthor says: May 12, 2011 10:59 PM

    how about if the players get realistic about their “demands” and negotiate their slight pay cut in good faith?

    Bottom line:

    To the fans the players are replaceable, the teams aren’t.

    Guess which side represents the team?

    I’ll give you a hint, it’s not the players.
    First Malthor the dusty old owners are just as replaceable. Sure a new league wouldn’t be the NFL but I bet between the players they could field twenty or so teams. They would probably do an even better job fleecing tax payers for stadiums.

    Bottom line:
    You and the owners are retarded! They voted out of this deal in the first place. I think you forget that.

    Next this is a bad idea because it isn’t how unions work. You might as well ask them to give up, roll over and take any deal. F that! Go Players. By the way they are right to think they will win in court.

  56. It should be obvious by now that the Republican leaning judges who are tasked with providing a ruling on the stay, can’t figure out a way to rule in favor of the owners, so they are “not” ruling, instead.

    At some point, though, the court will be compelled to get on with its work. All evidence is pointing to an ugly finish for the owners in that eventuality.

  57. How about the following approach:

    Owners/Commish want 18 games. Players say 16.
    Meet halfway – 17 Games and 2 bye weeks. Have the bye weeks between weeks 6-7 and 12-13.

    Rookie wage scale
    Replicate what NBA does. It shifts the bad salaries to veterans.

    Revenue sharing
    Have a minimum and maximum percentage (45% to 55%) – This protects both the players and owners. Calculate an incremental payout chart – for every additional million dollar to the total revenue.

  58. Legally cant do that as it won’t bind the players who vote no. There is no union and they can’t contractually bind anyone unless they reform. It is even more complicated with pending lawsuits.

  59. @buckybadger

    You can be unintelligent and still learn everything there is to know about the legal and monetary aspects of the CBA debate in the NFL…so long as you’ve had years and years of experience dealing with it.

    Equally, you can be a very smart individual and have no idea how to interpet hundreds and hundreds of pages of legal print because you’ve had little-no experience with it.

    Your main argument is mostly on the money, lawyers on both sides will be mulling over every detail there is to cover, but it’s a little excessive in belittling the players. Most intelligent people don’t represent themselves in court or other legal proceedings. That would be like leading your own expedition up Mt. Everest with no climbing experience, but it’s okay because you’re in decent shape and good health.

  60. The people that speak for the players speak for them for a reason. Too many players are dumb for this type of process towards a resolution to be fair. If this type of strategy were employed the owners would just lower the amount players get paid for every cba because most players don’t really think ahead. After a couple cba’s star qb’s would be lucky to get 50k per year.

  61. buckybadger says:
    May 12, 2011 11:23 PM
    The players aren’t qualified to even examine and agree to a deal of this complexity. You think a deal like this can be done with this sort of simple thinking? Don’t be a fool, life isn’t that easy.

    Most players don’t have the education or maturity to really know what is going on and could be pursued just to get a deal done. Sorry but you need lawyers on both sides to look this over so they don’t get screwed by some fine print or a loophole.

    This suggestion is far to idealistic for the real world. Sounds nice and a lot of people would think it makes sense but it wouldn’t work. Forgetting that most of these players aren’t too smart.

    This hits the nail right on the head.

    You show Antonio Cromartie a collective bargaining offer and he’ll see a Chinese menu.

  62. BOTTOM LINE: Until the players stop lying about NOT being a union……..SCREW ‘EM AND SHUT TEAR THE WHOLE DAMN THING DOWN!!!!

  63. Uhhhhh, yeah. How many NFL players have the ability to fully comprehend and make an informed decision on a new CBA proposal?

    Cromartie can barely read…just saying.

  64. In a perfect world this makes a lot of sense…

    In the REAL world this won’t work…you wanna get the whole court system uninvolved? Yeah, that sounds great! But you really think all these players who make millions of dollars before the age of 30 would really just look at a document and say “oh hell yeah!”? I doubt it, what’s going to happen is theyd get this document and take it to who? Oh yeah, a LAWYER, to read over it and tell that player what exactly it does to them, harsh reality is that the lesser payed players would most likely “suffer” more.

    People like us who are lucky to have jobs, who make $20-60,000 a year don’t care how you split a $4.8b pot…just give us football. Give us one thing that love instead of ruining it for all of the people who matter, THE FANS.

  65. There is a big problem with this idea. The owners’ willingness to propose a player friendly offer and the players’ willingness to accept that offer will be determined by whether or not a lockout is still in place. It is naive to think that either party is going to ignore that subtly, that is what all the legal wrangling has been over and neither side is going to be willing to fold their hand before they know whether or not they are moving forward with a lockout or not. You can propose all the solutions you want, but at the end of the day the quickest way to solve this labor situation is for the 8th circuit permanently reinstate the lockout and force the two sides back to collective bargaining! You can push for the 8th circuit to end the lockout, but that is not going to end the labor dispute. We still won’t know what rules the league will implement, or whether they appeal to the supreme court, or if they decide to go completely out of business (i doubt that but we never know) or come up with some other maneuver. Let’s not forget the big elephant in the room, if the lockout is lifted and there is no CBA (which would mean that the league would be paying players less than they would with a CBA so the owners would be ok in the short term), the anti-trust lawsuit proceeds adding even more uncertainty and potential disaster to the long-term health of the game. There is a reason that courts are not suppose to be involved in labor disputes, and sooner this gets out of court the faster the NFL can put this behind them (both the owners and players), but arguing that is in fans interest to lift the lockout while the lawsuit proceeds is a very short-sighted viewpoint.

  66. Sorry to buck the trend here, but this sounds like a terrible idea. The players are getting so desperate that it will easy to find half of them that will sign anything for the sake of getting a paycheck. Two months later, they’ll wake up and say “Oh, what the heck have I done?” It’s kind of like the drugged up delirious guy on his death bed, groggily signing a change to his will two hours before dieing to give his estate to either his dog or a beautiful yet treacherous bimbo, you make the choice.

  67. Well a good start would be for the players to stop talking about the owners asking them to take a paycut.

    Under owner’s proposals their pay would keep going up, just at a lower rate than under the previous CBA. That’s not a paycut, that’s getting a smaller rise each year.

    Still, we were doomed to this as soon as the last CBA was signed. The owners knew they had made a bad deal, and started planning for war before the ink was even dry. Whilst the players have grown to see one of the most one sided labour deals in history as their minimum entitlement. It was a recipe for disaster, and that is exactly what we’ve got.

  68. Here is an idea, get all the owners and player representatives into a room. Then lock the doors and don’t let them out until they’ve got a deal. No food, no water.

    When they’ve signed a new CBA, they have to slip it out under the door. Then they have to wait for a vote by all the current season ticket holders. If two thirds of the fans approve the deal they can come out.

  69. I’ll tell you what, I’m tired of the players bad, owners good shtick. You leave the current CBA alone and everything moves right along. But Noooooooo.

  70. Wait…. Didn’t the owners already put an offer on the table that the players walked away from? I mean of course this isn’t your idea, its been done. The players failed.

  71. How about the owners agree to the same deal that made them millions of dollars and enabled 10% year over year growth? The deal they just opted out of prior to locking out the players?

    I really hope the owners will be disbursing money to all of you who blindly support their money grab here and are openly rooting for them. I hope they are writing you a check. Otherwise, it really makes no sense.

  72. Obviously, the Union will not allow a simple solution. Giving all the players a voice at the negotiation table is not they way they work and would set an extremely uncomfortable precedent for future agreements. Why pay over 200 mill in union dues if they end up doing the work themselves to solidify an agreement?

    And what incentive would the NFL have in negotiating against themselves? They clearly seem not content to agree to a bad deal. They want a deal that will allow their profits to grow. And the Union will not place a counter offer until they get NBA type of fiscal transparency. Come to think of it… this NFL ownership vs union struggle seems to be much bigger in that Baseball, Basketball, and Hockey are experiencing the same negative profit trends.

  73. um…. isn’t this exactly how the negotiation process works? only last time the owners put the frame work down for a “firm” offer the player reps rejected it even before it got to the rest of the players for a vote.

  74. Then, the offer would be submitted to all players, including rookie draft picks, for a vote.


    I’m not sure I understand how this would work, legally. The players have no vote while they aren’t unionized. They can’t unionize while the antitrust lawsuit is going on or the lawsuit ends. While the lawsuit is going on the only people who need to approve anything are the lawyers. The lawyers can accept a settlement of the lawsuit but can not force it upon the players (ie. they can opt out of the settlement and continue the lawsuit on their own).

    The only way that would work, imo, is if everyone acknowledges that the union is still a union except for the purposes of the lawsuit. They get to have their cake and eat it to.

    I still don’t think they are any closer on one of the biggest issues, judicial oversight. I think that is one of the main reasons a deal won’t get done.

    At this point I don’t see a deal getting done until this plays out in court awhile longer.

  75. Though I do like the idea, Here’s another one. The owners put a fair deal with a very slight Pay cut to the overall % and far reduced rookie wage scale including slotting of salaries for the first and second rounds. Boths side contribute 50% to a fund that goes to pay medical costs for retired players and fund pensions for players who retired before 95 ( lets be real if you played after that you made more than million dollars and if your broke, thats on you) no 18 games because thats stupid. Set rules for how much players can be fined or suspended for infractions both on and off the field. The building of a group of refs, players, coaches, owners, and former players to judge if on the field hits are illegal (so the players don’t feel like the league is being run by a dictator, it kinda has been since Goodell took over) % year vested rule (since they seem to be split between 4 and 6) a three player roster expansion. And thats the major points. I also believe that if these groups are going to continue playing this game that the owners MUST open ALL the books, even if it is to an impartial third party. This must take place.

    This opening of the books is a big deal to me as an American, forget as a football fan. This is a league much like MLB, NBA, and the NHL that all have major anti-trust exemptions and other tax situations. For that status they don’t get to keep their books closed. We as tax payers invest Billions of dollars in stadiums for these teams “because they create jobs and econmic growth” but thats bull. In reality they don’t. In fact its quite possible we as tax payers have payed Billions of dollars to build stadiums for billion aires who most likely could have built these stadiums them selves. Its high time the rich start playing by the rules in this country.

  76. @sowcrates, I understand that this could be a league full of guys who have doctrines and this idea would still be a horrible one for them. Your right, even the most intelligent of us on this earth still use lawyers to represent us in court or as an agent. Lets not talk like most of these guys in the league are that or even close.

    Not every player is a moron but a lot are. This is why 80% of the league is broke when they get out. I understand most don’t even accumulate a million dollars before they are done playing, the problem is they don’t seem to realize this.

    My point as one pointed out earlier is that guys like Drew Brees don’t want guys like Antonio Cromartie getting the equal vote on something this important. One guy has an good idea what he is talking about and the other guy doesn’t even know the names of his kids.

  77. That would be a great day if that happened. Duh wouldn’t allow it promising more and more with litigation and decertification.
    Unfortunately the owners have already put fair deals on the table encompassing more time off, player vote on 18 games, good money and more retirement benefits, etc. We all know how that turned out.

    Troy Vincent where are you? We need you to save football!!!

  78. @buckybadger

    “Not every player is a moron but a lot are. This is why 80% of the league is broke when they get out.”

    Are they? You sure?

    So over 30 of these guys will make the news in a year or two because of their debt?

    Just because home-wreckers and broke morons always make the news doesn’t mean they make up a majority of players, less than 5% of the NFL (That’s less than 2 guys per 53-man roster on average) are wasted voices.

    I might also add that your logic was well-practiced 150+ years ago when most people didn’t have the right to vote in democratic societies.

  79. Replacing Millionaire Players with Robots that don’t complain about “Being Broke” ?

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