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Reports regarding lack of progress are a matter of semantics

NFL And Players Resume Mediation Getty Images

So how can the competing reports from Monday evening regarding the progress, or lack thereof, in mediation be harmonized?  Sal Paolantonio of ESPN reported that a breakthrough came on Monday.  Others, specifically Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com and Mark Maske of the Washington Post, reported that no meaningful progress was made.

Both reports can be accurate.  Even if no specific progress was made on Monday, the fact that the NFL agreed to make a new offer when the players still haven’t responded to the NFL’s offer of March 11 represents a significant, and rare, development in matters of this nature.  Negotiations respect certain rituals, the most basic of which is that one side makes a proposal and the other side responds, and so on.  Parties that have made an offer typically are very reluctant to revise that offer without some response to the prior offer — the practice routinely is called bidding against oneself.

The fact that the NFL made a new offer despite getting no response to its prior offer, it light of all relevant facts and circumstances, represents significant “progress,” regardless of whether any “progress” was made in the back-and-forth.

Unless, of course, the offer made by the NFL essentially restates the terms of the offer made on March 11.

The more pressing question is whether, now that the offer has been made, the players will respond, or whether they’ll simply dismiss it as the second worst deal in the history of sports.

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13 Responses to “Reports regarding lack of progress are a matter of semantics”
  1. willycents says: May 16, 2011 10:52 PM

    The problem is that the players legal team are not a negotiators, but, litigators. they have no comprehension of the acceptable standards of negotiation.
    This is why the NFL requires agents for players. Players are either too egotistical to negotiate on their own behalf, or too stupid.
    Y’all decide which one it is.

  2. nhpatriotsocal says: May 16, 2011 10:57 PM

    You guys are getting board…..How many ways can you spin this.

  3. berniemadoffsides says: May 16, 2011 10:59 PM

    (Smashes face through monitor)

  4. huskersrock1 says: May 16, 2011 11:01 PM

    Again how can you blame the owners?

  5. wigwam101 says: May 16, 2011 11:02 PM

    DeMaurice Smith himself is clearly the major impediment to any sort of deal being struck between the owners and players. If the NFLPA* wants to work out a new contract and play football in 2011, they need to fire Smith asap and elect Troy Vincent (or another former player) to represent them.

  6. realitypolice says: May 16, 2011 11:03 PM

    The NFL could very likely propose a deal that is even more favorable to themselves based upon the actions of the 8th circuit.

    I wouldn’t blame them. The players decided on a strategy based upon gaining leverage by winning in court. Now that the tea leaves appear to be pointing the other direction the owners would be crazy not to take advantage of their leverage.

    The players would be unwise to wait until June 3rd to get serious about this deal. The fact that the court has basically said that they believe the owners would win on the merits means the owners have the leverage moving forward.

    Anyone that knows much about the legal system knows that oral arguments rarely sway judges, who typically lean on briefs and research, which they already have access to.

    The players strategy has backfired on them and they have no one to blame but themselves.

  7. Deb says: May 16, 2011 11:07 PM

    Mike, are you familiar with the term gaslighting?

  8. hkirch says: May 16, 2011 11:07 PM

    You are being to negative in your option on this matter – impatient too – just let the process work – please avoid comments just to make comments and perhaps impress us with your brilliance! You are too much on the owners side and you know why because that is where your (NBC) money is! There is no football now and in past years there was NO FOOTBALL at this time of year! I know yiou need visits to the site but except for me maybe you’re hits are way down. NO trade talk or projections to talk about.
    Thanks

  9. msclemons67 says: May 16, 2011 11:13 PM

    “The more pressing question is whether, now that the offer has been made, the players will respond, or whether they’ll simply dismiss it as the second worst deal in the history of sports.”

    That there is %100 Prime USDA snark. I like it.

  10. seahawkhuskyfan says: May 16, 2011 11:14 PM

    Do the players still “dig” De Smith?

  11. hobartbaker says: May 16, 2011 11:23 PM

    Having given us the Good, and the Bad, PFT drops some Ugly on us before heading off to bed.

  12. endzonezombie says: May 17, 2011 1:45 AM

    Most of us will remember all the player haters after a new CBA is signed. Then we will drive them off the forum.

  13. truvikingfan says: May 17, 2011 8:11 AM

    We have all been waiting for the ruling to come down from the 8th circuit, and thereby, giving the leverage to either side. The leverage has clearly been given. It is now time to stop this litigation mess, man up, sucl it up, and deal at the table.

    By continuing to spew the same garbage, Smith is now going to alienate the last few shreds of support he has. He is also continuing to destrpy the game. Get off it dude, and get to the table, with some serious desire to end this.

    Your plan of litigation has fallen faster than the metrodome roof, and you now need to deal. DO IT!! You know you want to.

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