The specific terms of the new offer made Monday by the NFL to the players have not yet been leaked. But NFLPA* president Kevin Mawae made the players’ generally feelings on the offer clear during a Tuesday segment with Adam Schein and Rich Gannon of SiriusXM NFL Radio.
Mawae told Schein and Gannon earlier today that the league and the players “are not anywhere closer to a deal now than we were in March.”
This implies that the new offer wasn’t much better than the old offer. But given that the players’ leverage is a lot worse now than it was in March, thanks to the Eighth Circuit’s sneak preview ruling on Monday that gave away the likely ending of the appeal process, the players should be glad the NFL hasn’t moved in the other direction.
So now the challenge is to not publicly complain about the status of the talks but to keep talking. Respond to the offer, and see what the owners’ next move is. By replacing negotiation with whining and waiting for the outcome of litigation, the players aren’t helping themselves, the fans, or the game.
When they decertified on March 11 and filed the Tom Brady antitrust suit, the players laid the foundation for an all-or-nothing attempt to break the lockout. They won the first battle, but as it relates to the attempt to force the doors open before August, the players by all appearances will lose the war. Though the eventual ruling on the “lockout insurance” case could determine some of the short-term dollars and cents, the reality is that the players’ Plan A is close to imploding, forcing them to realize that Plan B leads to a less favorable CBA.