We don’t know if it’s a groundswell or a grassroots movement just yet, but there appears to be growing support for the players and owners to sit down and negotiate once again.
Falcons running back Jason Snelling, Falcons linebacker Coy Wire, and Eagles kicker David Akers have all publicly expressed a desire to negotiate soon rather than continue to pursue a litigation/leverage strategy. And if the NFLPA* doesn’t want to negotiate, at least one agent wants to do it for them.
Agent Joe Linta wants to get a copy of ownership’s most recent proposal and present it to his players.
“I’d like to see it myself so when I talk to my 45 guys, I can show them what it is – since there is no union,’’ Linta told Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I would like Mr. Rooney to forward the offer to me. I represent two percent of the union, I’m not insignificant. Let me ask you something, who has the players’ back more, the players union or the player’s agent? Why can’t I get copy of this and disseminate it to my players?”
Agents generally have their interests aligned with the players. But we’ve also seen many of them implore the NFLPA* via Twitter to negotiate with the league again or make a counter proposal. That runs counter to the current player strategy.
Ultimately, agents have similar interests to fans: They just want a fair deal done quickly, with labor peace to follow. Linta worries that this litigation strategy could wipe out the season, and he wonders if most players would really oppose the current NFL offer.
He thinks that top agents, who negotiate for a living, could help if they were kept in the loop.
“These guys are driving these players right off a cliff right now. I told a father of one of my players who got drafted, it’s 50-50 this season is not going to happen. These coaches are starting to go looney-toon too,” Linta said.