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Drew Brees: Owners saw Gene Upshaw’s death as an opportunity

upshaw190 Getty Images

As one of the named plaintiffs in the players’ lawsuit against the owners, Saints quarterback Drew Brees has closely monitored the labor situation. And he traces the current problems to the day the former head of the NFL Players’ Association died.

But Brees doesn’t believe the problem is that Gene Upshaw’s death left the players without a leader. Instead, Brees says the owners perceived that the players were left without a leader, and they thought they could cash in on Upshaw’s passing.

“Ever since Gene Upshaw passed away — I’m just going to lay it all out there — the owners saw blood in the water,” Brees told Jim Trotter of SI.com. “They felt like, ‘This is our opportunity to take a significant piece of the [financial] pie back at all costs, a piece that we will never have to give back again. This is our chance, while they don’t have leadership, while they’re scrambling to find a new executive director. This is our time.'”

It’s incredibly distasteful to think about the owners celebrating the death of a Pro Football Hall of Famer who is one of the most significant figures in NFL history, but Brees believes that that’s how the owners viewed Upshaw’s death: A time when the players weren’t prepared to do anything other than accept what they were offered.

“Their philosophy was, We’re going to give you a very subpar deal, a slap-in-the-face deal, and hope that you’ll accept it because hopefully we’ve intimidated you enough into thinking that this is a take-it-or-leave-it deal, and you’re just going to succumb to the pressure,” Brees said. “Well, guess what. We’re a lot more informed and educated than in the past, and we’re much better businessmen than you think and we’re going to stand up for what is right and what is fair. Fifty-fifty is fair. It’s been fair for the last 20 years and I think the game has done pretty well over the last 20 years. I think franchise values have gone up at a pretty good rate over the last 20 years. So you can’t sit here and tell me that the system is broken.”

The players wanted to keep playing under the deal they negotiated under Upshaw’s leadership, and now that the owners have opted out of that deal, Brees says the players remain united.

“This fight was brought to us, and we feel like we were backed into a corner,” Brees said. “We’re trying to fight our way out of it.”

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195 Responses to “Drew Brees: Owners saw Gene Upshaw’s death as an opportunity”
  1. prosb4hos says: May 26, 2011 4:26 PM

    If the players spent a fraction of the time negotiating with owners as they do complaining/trying to sell their side and talking to the media, an agreement would already be reached.

  2. ralphshere says: May 26, 2011 4:28 PM

    Drew Brees is a SuperBowl WINNING Quarterback and one terrific human being.

    Turns out he’s a stellar business leader as well!

  3. drmonkeyarmy says: May 26, 2011 4:29 PM

    Drew Brees needs to shut his mouth.

  4. spectre14 says: May 26, 2011 4:29 PM

    To think I liked Drew Brees…

    Drew, the reason the owners are coming back with a different deal isn’t because they’re trying to take advantage of a man’s death, it’s because the players got an (admittedly) good deal last time and they’re trying to balance the scales.

    To even suggest that the owners are trying to take advantage of Gene Upshaw’s death is absurd. It amazes me the extent De Smith has been able to poison the players against the owners.

    Hell, if Gene were still here, this garbage would probably be over and done with and we’d be enjoying football again instead of waiting for “the courts” as the game of football is damaged by the day.

  5. blackdb says: May 26, 2011 4:29 PM

    Very sad Drew Brees would stoop to this level

  6. petedutcher says: May 26, 2011 4:31 PM

    My respect for Brees just plumetted.

  7. bsreimer says: May 26, 2011 4:31 PM

    Now I rrrreally hope this gets settled in time for the opener at Lambeau. So the Claymaker can permanently shut Drew’s mouth since Drew obviously is unable to himself

  8. radrhatr says: May 26, 2011 4:31 PM

    Real classy Drew! Using someone’s death to try and get a point across. I suppose the owners caused Hurricane Katrina too!

    If you’re getting screwed so bad, why even play for these monsters?

  9. blitzburghgator says: May 26, 2011 4:31 PM

    Upshaw’s death did leave the players without a leader.

    Dee Smith does not qualify.

  10. malthor says: May 26, 2011 4:32 PM

    Think i just lost all respect for Brees.

    I guess the deals they offered seem very sub par compared to the really bad deal the owners signed last time.

    I haven’t seen anyone really comment on how the players need to make concessions because the last deal was so very lopsided in their favor…….

    why is that?

  11. rayala3 says: May 26, 2011 4:32 PM

    Upshaw took care of Upshaw. Ask the retired players.

  12. zaggs says: May 26, 2011 4:32 PM

    Isn’t this the same POS that couldn’t be bothered to read the owners second to last deal? Stay classy in sh!t city brees.

  13. dolphinsrule65 says: May 26, 2011 4:32 PM

    Brees….STFU!, the more you open your mouth, the more i can not stand you…..What a crock of crap…..You FORGOT ONE THING BREES,,,,THE COSTS HAVE SKYROCKET ALSO….MORE FOR EVERTHING, AND FIFTY-FIFTY IS A JOKE…Yea let me go ask my owner to open his books and pay me fifty-fifty…But Brees, are you not set for life? So you really could care less how long this takes, you and Payton and Brady, you all got your money, right Bro?

  14. duster1982 says: May 26, 2011 4:33 PM

    This guy makes me physically sick to my stomach. Im mad at myself for once respecting this low life.

  15. billygoat says: May 26, 2011 4:33 PM

    When will these players realize they come off looking like idiots every time one of them opens his mouth?

  16. nicksabansanahole says: May 26, 2011 4:33 PM

    Drew Brees is exactly right. He is speaking the truth. Good for him to take a stand. I support the players %110.

  17. trbowman says: May 26, 2011 4:33 PM

    Counter offer?

    Radical idea, I know.

  18. t1mmy10 says: May 26, 2011 4:34 PM

    Um… then how come the owners opted out of the last cba BEFORE upshaw was even diagnosed with pancreatic cancer? Shoots a pretty big hole in your pretty serious accusation there brees.

  19. bf53 says: May 26, 2011 4:34 PM

    Good God. Just shut up and get a new deal. This is pathetic.

  20. richc111 says: May 26, 2011 4:36 PM

    You know Drew is onto something here. As a matter of fact I am pretty sure that the NFL owners killed Upshaw and covered it up by making it look like Pancreatic Cancer. Oh they are wily ones those owners. I am just glad they are smart enough to generate enough income the pay Brees 13 million last year.

  21. zimaman says: May 26, 2011 4:36 PM

    the more Brees moves his lips the bigger an A hole I think he is

    you know if their really was collusion by the owners here is a case where 32 teams should just get together and say “okay boys – no one sign Brees and let him play in the CFL”

  22. gorams55 says: May 26, 2011 4:37 PM

    actually the owners probably wish upshaw was still around rather then deal with the nonsense that is demaurice smith.

  23. rtandler says: May 26, 2011 4:37 PM

    All well and good, Drew. Can we be finished with the rhetoric and overly dramatic talk now? Now how about if your buddy De comes up with a counter offer?

  24. giantrealist says: May 26, 2011 4:37 PM

    Brees is one of the real American role models in the NFL. I’ll take his words as fact.

    On another note, outside of PFT every other blog is split 50/50 on who people side with. Even in the outside real world it seems to fit that ratio. Why not here? My unofficial tally is that 95% of the radish heads here support the greedy Owners. That does not reflect the percentages outside of PTF.

    I suspect the team’s employees are flooding this site in support of their bosses. It’s an organized campaign to create an illusion that the general public is against the players.

    This scam makes a ton of sense. They are facing loss of employment or pay cuts. They want to return to work. The only way they can is to make the players feel like the fans are turning against them.

  25. angulocarlos1 says: May 26, 2011 4:38 PM

    DREW BREES is an idiot! The NFL is not a parnership and the players are not sholders to sholders with NFL owners. They are employees, plain and simple. The system is broken because players have a sense of entitlement to 50/50 what owners make yet don’t expect to contribute to the operating expenses.

    Even “educated men” can understand that, unfortunately Drew Brees can’t and thats sad. Anyways, at this point, I hope the NFL is locked out for a whole system so it can make these players humble and realize they have something really good in front of them.

  26. ilovefoolsball says: May 26, 2011 4:38 PM

    As hard as it may be to swallow don’t think for a second that it’s not true.
    These owners are billionaires for a reason. They’re cold, calculated business men, and although Brees may think that the players are smarter than they once were and can be businessmen, the truth is that the owners were doing business when most of these players were wearing diapers.
    They know how to get what they want. They are powerful men who are always looking for leverage, and if you don’t believe that they saw Upshaw’s death as a point of weakness for the NFLPA then you’re sadly mistaken.
    Don’t hate the man for actually saying the truth instead of the boring “no comment” that we hear all too often.

  27. 8drinkminimum says: May 26, 2011 4:38 PM

    Yet another player lashes out. Getting a little nervous boys?

    If Brees, Manning etc actually won the antitrust suit and the draft etc were abolished that would be their legacy. They could win 10 Super Bowls and they would still be remebered for ruining the competitive balance of the league.

  28. bearfan78 says: May 26, 2011 4:38 PM

    Is splitting operational expenses 50/50 fair then?

  29. firerogergoodell says: May 26, 2011 4:39 PM

    It’s not that hard people. Jim Irsay and I figured out a fair deal on napkins today while we were eating lunch at Rick’s boatyard.

  30. justanotherdummy says: May 26, 2011 4:39 PM

    The players need to cease flapping their gums. Almost every time a new pearl of wisdom drops from their lips, I like them less. They are getting pretty good at alienating me a bit more each and every day.

  31. sterling7 says: May 26, 2011 4:39 PM

    Another stupid comment by a football player, what a surprise. It seems Gene Upshaw ripped off the players as much as any owner ever could. I believe there is an investigation going on about how many millions Gene Upshaw embezzeled while leaving his brethren NFL players out in the cold. All that money Gene ripped off from the players union, about 15 million to start with and all those expensive homes etc. How about those ex-NFLers struggling to pay there medical costs and bills. And which ex-Buffalo Bill in a wheel chair did Gene Upshaw threaten to kick his ass if he didn’t stop complaining about the poor treatment by the players union. Gene Upshaw was the players union’s biggest detraction. Look at the facts, Gene helped himself more than anyone by far!

  32. citizenstrange says: May 26, 2011 4:39 PM

    Political Supporter: “Give ‘em Hell, Harry!”

    Harry Truman : “I don’t give them Hell. I just tell the truth about them and they think it’s Hell.”

    Same goes for Drew Brees. He is just telling the truth about the owners and they think it’s Hell.

  33. nnagi says: May 26, 2011 4:39 PM

    if brees is so much more informed and educated about the current labor issues, he’d realize that the players received too good of a deal on the last CBA and the owners need to correct this…it’s not fair to split the revenue 50-50 because the owners have to pay all their expenses out of their share while the 50% the players get is all profit…Brees is an idiot and for that matter all of the players that think this way are as well…

  34. sftitan says: May 26, 2011 4:39 PM

    What the average person on the street sees is spoiled millionaire players fighting with greedy billionaire owners over who gets a bigger cut of the profits while regular people worry about rising unemployment rate and the threat of losing their homes.

  35. trbowman says: May 26, 2011 4:40 PM

    Is June 3rd here yet?

  36. gothwolf says: May 26, 2011 4:41 PM

    Hey, Drew, you want 50/50. Cool. How about you split the team expenses 50/50 too. That’s “fair” right? 50/50?

  37. ezmoover says: May 26, 2011 4:42 PM

    Drew Brees’ mouth drips with thoughtless hypocrisy.

    The players’ position is exactly the same as the owners’ position… self-serving greed. Period.

  38. edjy71 says: May 26, 2011 4:43 PM

    He’s dead boys, let’s cash in!

    MOOOOAAAA, MOOOOOAAAA!

  39. Justin says: May 26, 2011 4:44 PM

    and for his next magic trick, Drew Brees, will make the insane amount of respect I have for him, DISAPPEAR!

    :::poof::::

    Isn’t he amazing folks!

  40. andrewfbrowne says: May 26, 2011 4:44 PM

    Wow, that is an incredibly harsh thing to say. The sad thing is it is done without a shred of evidence to back it up.

    Brees had his hyperbole flakes this morning, because he also said cameramen taking pictures of their players organized practices made him feel like Anne Frank.

    AP says they are like slaves for the way they are treated, this is out of hand.

    OTA’s and minicamps protect these guys from themselves.

  41. p4hbiz says: May 26, 2011 4:44 PM

    We would have Football if Gene Upshaw was in office.

  42. aasukisuki says: May 26, 2011 4:45 PM

    I can’t believe all of the fans that are in the owner’s corner in this dispute.

    The owners are the side that opted out of the current deal. A deal that split revenue rougly 50/50. That’s 50% going to ~1700 players, and 50% going to 32 owners.

    Yes, the owners have to pay for coaches, staff, advertising, & other business expenses, but they are also heavily subsidized by their communities for things like building stadiums, so the risk isn’t as much as people would like to make it out to be.

    Additionally, the average career of an NFL player is 3 years. Now look at how long teams have been owned by the same owner/family.

    The fact of the matter is that the NFL is as healthy as it has ever been. The owners are not struggling, or getting an unfair shake. The owners opted out of the current deal, have been planning to lockout the players for YEARS, and are the sole reason for this fiasco.

  43. isaeus says: May 26, 2011 4:45 PM

    Everyone who says players are merely “employees” is so far off base it’s not even funny.

    This is the entertainment industry, not the fast food industry. Is Tom Hanks an “employee” of MGM or Paramount? Or does he get a big contract with a % of the take, because he is the entertainment? Think it through people.

    The players ARE the game. The ownership has changed hands on many of these teams, and they don’t matter. If the best players go and join a different professional league, you would see the viewers and attendees shift very quickly.

    Everything Brees said is dead on correct and much of it is not disputable. The fight WAS brought to them, they were presented with a very different deal with no shared risk/benefit (fixed cap), franchise values have increased dramatically, and the players are being asked to give the owners a lot more money.

    Seems like reasonable grounds to ask for financial justification, i.e. audited financial statements.

  44. stellarperformance says: May 26, 2011 4:46 PM

    bearfan78 says:
    May 26, 2011 4:38 PM
    Is splitting operational expenses 50/50 fair then?
    —————————————————–

    Exactly. When is Brees going to come out with his plan to assist funding a new stadium for the Vikings?

  45. grandpoopah says: May 26, 2011 4:46 PM

    I’ve had it with the pro-owner trolls on this site. If you think Jerry Jones or Mike Brown is a better human being than Drew Brees, then you need a head examination. Let’s see PFT publish a list of all registered users on this site, when they initially signed up, when they began commenting, and which direction their comments lean. We could even trace the IP addresses to see if, for example, 100 different usernames all originate from the same IP address. From there, we can perform a fairly simple statistical analysis to determine whether there is in fact something fishy going on with the anti-player commentary.

  46. 4gone says: May 26, 2011 4:46 PM

    Now should not be any question as to why players are litigating for leverage instead of negotiating for compromise – does he really believe that?
    Getting dangerously close to that fight with your girlfriend where you say something you just can’t take back – careful Drew
    So Dr. Drew is now a lawyer too?

  47. Deb says: May 26, 2011 4:47 PM

    @bearfan78 …

    The owners already take one billion dollars off the top to cover operational expenses before any revenues are split. Of course, you knew that, right? Then healthcare and pensions for retirees comes out of the players’ portion. In what other industry do the personnel costs of health care and retiree pensions come out of the employee revenues?

    And nothing the owners take in from their individual stadium palaces is subject to revenue-sharing with players or other owners. So anything Bob Kraft makes from his big stadium shopping complex or anything Jones takes in from Jerrah’s World–which were partly funded through taxpayer dollars–goes right into their pockets. You knew that, too, right?

    Of course, they don’t earn anything on merchandise or concessions to help cover their expenses … nah.

    Could you guys be anymore ignorant? The poor widdle billionaire owners aren’t suffering desperately at the hands of their players. You people are the biggest dupes on the planet.

  48. ruckinfidiculous says: May 26, 2011 4:47 PM

    Or maybe they saw the opportunity after they saw what a dumbass (DeSmith) Upshaw’s replacement is……

    “Well, guess what. We’re a lot more informed and educated than in the past”

    Based on a majority of the comments coming out of players these days, you could’ve fooled me regarding being more informed and educated.

  49. WingT says: May 26, 2011 4:47 PM

    Wow, based on the tone of Brees I would say this doesn’t get solved this year.

    hey Drew, if you want this thing settled then you might consider making a counter offer – just a wild and crazy thought

  50. manderson367 says: May 26, 2011 4:48 PM

    gothwolf says:
    May 26, 2011 4:41 PM
    Hey, Drew, you want 50/50. Cool. How about you split the team expenses 50/50 too. That’s “fair” right? 50/50?

    The players should split their indorsement deals 50/50 with the teams too.

  51. possiblecabbage says: May 26, 2011 4:48 PM

    Is this really different than when the Players saw Tagliabue’s impending retirement to really get a good deal out of the owners? The whole reason the owners voted for a deal that was so unbalanced in favor of the players was so that Tagliabue could reture with a perfect record on labor peace.

  52. tombradyswig says: May 26, 2011 4:49 PM

    shut up drew greed!!!!!!
    you’re a football player, how about playing some damn football!!!!
    God I hate you with a passion!!!

  53. Deb says: May 26, 2011 4:49 PM

    ralphshere says:

    Drew Brees is a SuperBowl WINNING Quarterback and one terrific human being.

    Turns out he’s a stellar business leader as well!
    ————————————————-

    Exactly what I was thinking. Any Saints fan with half a brain would be proud to have a guy with that much savvy representing their team. And that’s coming from a Steelers fan.

  54. rad312 says: May 26, 2011 4:51 PM

    giantrealist says: May 26, 2011 4:37 PM

    Enough with the conspiracy angles……the player’s, their representatives, their families & friends all could be doing the same thing that you are accusing the team & league employees……..enough with nonsense!

    The league opted out of a bad because they believed the economics did not work……not because Gene Upshaw passed away…..again complete nonsense.

    What was the league to do, put off for a year their ability to opt out in deference to Gene Upshaw’s death.?.? No.

    The real questions that player’s should be asking themselves is why they choose De Smith and Kessler to represent the NFPLA/NFPLA* and why they choose to decertify and litigate over negotiation.

    Drew is sounding more & more ignorant by the day!

  55. anonymouslyanonymouscommentor says: May 26, 2011 4:51 PM

    This is very similar to Mendenhall’s comments. While his comments had a much, much, much lower chance of being accurate, people flamed him just for the type of comment he made, with no regard for whether or not they might be accurate. This is another case where the comment is something many of us can’t or don’t want to imagine actually being true, so instead of actually weighing the comments simply based on their validity, we get all this negative backlash.

    I think Drew has a point and I’m glad he had the balls to say it, despite what the many ignorant pricks here think of him now.

  56. philsimmsisadouche says: May 26, 2011 4:51 PM

    I am at the point that I don’t even read comments made by either side in their entirety anymore. It’s just more of the same anyway. I’m so sick of the verbal jousting that’s gone on with one side feeling like they have to respond to a slight by the other with a shot over their bow.
    Both sides are losing credibility with me every day.
    If they would invest this much energy into finding a solution instead of finger pointing, we’d already have an agreement and OTAs would be in full swing.
    The owners and the players both need to grow up and realize that they should be thankful that we, the fans, have put up with this to this point and that they still have a game to come back to.

  57. rpiotr01 says: May 26, 2011 4:52 PM

    Wow, Drew Brees is mentally ill.

  58. tmaleman says: May 26, 2011 4:53 PM

    Pretty sure Drew doesn’t care what you turds think about him

  59. gothwolf says: May 26, 2011 4:54 PM

    “The players should split their indorsement deals 50/50 with the teams too.”

    LOL. True.

    Since Drew believes 50/50 is fair, I think NFL players should also pay “fair” taxes. :)

  60. ampats says: May 26, 2011 4:54 PM

    Seems that Drew Brees is going to have PR nightmare on his hands after the lockout since he seems to be the biggest mouthpiece from the players side on his comments lose him more credibility and respect every day. His last statement is plain dumb.

    grandpoopah,

    I have been here for many years before PFT went Hollywood. Maybe we should check your IP address to see if it is coming from a certain QB’s house in New Orleans ?

  61. Deb says: May 26, 2011 4:54 PM

    @possiblecabbage …

    Now what motivation would the owners have to sign a bad deal in order to help Tagliabue retire with a perfect record on labor peace? None whatsoever. But I guess it sounded good to you when you typed it.

    Whatever their reason for signing a deal many of the greedy brutes didn’t really want, it wasn’t to do a favor for Paul Tagliabue.

  62. warmachine2112 says: May 26, 2011 4:57 PM

    Whether or not the Owners/League saw the death of Gene Upshaw as an opportunity is surely something of a moot point, given that a larger part of the equation is the “replacement” of Upshaw.

    DeMaurice Smith was appointed by the Players and is, therefore, their responsibility.

    Clean up your own mess before creating one for others.

  63. mushin9 says: May 26, 2011 4:57 PM

    Way to tone down the rhetoric.

    Maybe we should send Brees to the Middle East to clear up that little spat. Should have peace by supper time.

  64. bearfan78 says: May 26, 2011 4:59 PM

    @Deb

    ——————————————
    The owners already take one billion dollars off the top to cover operational expenses before any revenues are split. Of course, you knew that, right? Then healthcare and pensions for retirees comes out of the players’ portion. In what other industry do the personnel costs of health care and retiree pensions come out of the employee revenues?
    —————————————–
    Not what Brees wants – 50/50 with no billion off the top. It’s closer to 60/40 after the billion – but you knew that. Also, I seem to pay my share of health premium. And I have no pension – I fund my own 401k … so um…like every other business, it comes out of employee revenues.

    ———————————————-
    And nothing the owners take in from their individual stadium palaces is subject to revenue-sharing with players or other owners. So anything Bob Kraft makes from his big stadium shopping complex or anything Jones takes in from Jerrah’s World–which were partly funded through taxpayer dollars–goes right into their pockets. You knew that, too, right?
    ———————————————-
    And the players share their 80 million dollar Nike deal with the owners and teams too right?

    ———————————————-
    Of course, they don’t earn anything on merchandise or concessions to help cover their expenses … nah.
    ———————————————-
    And the players don’t use their name and team affiliation in signing record deals or other endorsements….nah.

    ———————————————-
    Could you guys be anymore ignorant? The poor widdle billionaire owners aren’t suffering desperately at the hands of their players. You people are the biggest dupes on the planet.
    ———————————————-
    Right…ignorant.

    Under a 50/50 plan, the owners would have zero protection against rising expenses (airfare, hotel, food, office staff, health care, etc). The players would have all the benefit and zero risk (what risk would they have?).

  65. bobwhitequail says: May 26, 2011 5:00 PM

    If you had only one statement to understand what is really going on here, Brees statement would be it. NOT because what he said is true, rather it shows that De Smith and Kessler are feeding these guys vitriol, lies, and hyperbole.

    And the players are buying it. They are seeing it as “A WAR!”, “Worst deal in sports history!”, etc. which is all B.S. spewed by Kessler and De Smith.

    Time for the players to start thinking for themselves. Inflaming the situation by such ridiculous statements as this just hurts their cause and makes them look ignorant and petty.

  66. andrejohnsonforpresident says: May 26, 2011 5:00 PM

    looks like everything i wanted to say has already been said. Good job

  67. seatown12 says: May 26, 2011 5:01 PM

    To all you player haters, it’s lucky for you that Jerry Jones dong has many heads so you can all suckle up at once. To the owner haters, why dont you just stop watching football.

  68. grandpoopah says: May 26, 2011 5:01 PM

    @Goodell’s interns:

    I see you guys really really don’t want anyone analyzing where all these Scott-Walker-esque comments are coming from, huh? Afraid of a little statistical analysis?

  69. steel086 says: May 26, 2011 5:01 PM

    I agree that the players got a good deal. That very same deal has been very good for most of the owners. The issue clearly is that the owners want more money. They dont care about having a fair or good deal for both parties. Neither side lost any money on the last deal. So if the owners wanted to truly make a fair deal then the could have NOT opted out of the last deal, and negoitiated a new deal when the time came. All of you that say the players are greedy, ignorant morons sound like fools to me.

    Next point of you that had made a statement like ” I hate this jerk”, I have no respect for him, etc about Drew Brees……GET REAL. He did not disrespect the Honor of Gene Upshaw, only stated that when Mr. Upshaw passed the owners made a calculated decision to take advantage of the obvious loss of the unions powerful leader and attacked the union when they thought they were susceptible.
    Dont hate him hate yourself for your lack of reading comprhension skills. People get some emotional and never read. Its like your wife or husband when she is upset, nothing you say will make sense at that time.

    Personally I think this is a labor fight that while I am truly missing my offseason drama for my team (trades, FA pickups, etc). Itsstillnot my fight, I have a job to worry about and a family to raise. Some of you might need to get off the couch, put down the laptop, and find something that effedcts them to HATE.

  70. desertpirate1146 says: May 26, 2011 5:01 PM

    Just more idiotic spew. Don’t let the facts get in the way of the stupidity that Smith is throwing out.

    Upshaw was still in charge when the owners opted out. Smith came in and sold them on the idea that the only way to go was decertification and litigation. He is such a “smooth talker” they actually believed him.

    At least some of the players are now coming forward and asking real questions. Brees and the rest are just blind idiots following a power hungry lawyer.

  71. dwoofer says: May 26, 2011 5:01 PM

    It seems that the posters on this site are for the most part people who want the NFL season to be played, no matter what any agreement might entail, even if it puts players in a worse contract than they had before (and it surely will.) NFL football contracts are the worst in sports, and the owners now see an opportunity to give the players an even worse contract. I think they are using the economy as an excuse, although I didn’t see any empty stadiums last season. Brees may not have used the best wording in making his point — he made it sound like the owners were glad to see Upshaw die (maybe they were.) His point is that they saw what they perceived as a gap in leadership for the union, and seized upon it. I think that the money the owners make is an obscene amount, and the players have every right to strike if necessary. I hope the players band together and tell the owners to try finding players from the Arena, etc to attract fans. Yeah, I’ll go out and buy a jersey of a 3rd string UTEP quarterback.

  72. bobwhitequail says: May 26, 2011 5:02 PM

    Chester pitts was the last mouthpiece for Kessler and now it’s brees. So sad. Pitts is an idiot but brees should be smarter than this.

  73. eagleswin says: May 26, 2011 5:04 PM

    It’s clear to me that Drew has some real anger issues with the owners that extend way beyond the CBA. He has convinced himself of some very disturbing assumptions.

    Both the players and owners agree that the last CBA was hugely slanted towards the players. It makes sense that the owners would try to get some of it back. Maybe rather than hanging onto the players “win” back in 2006 and acting like they are entitled to it the players should negotiate?

    When did negotiating become synonymous with “shoving a subpar deal down our throat?

    It sounds like the union thinks they are entitled to only increasingly better deals and not to have to deal with any downside.

    Drew, also remember that the players are teh ones that hired the pitbull litigator with ZERO negotiating experience before the owners made a single offer. This litigator preapproved decertification before serious negotiations started and you say the owners are the ones that were looking to take advantage of the situation.

    Look in the mirror Drew and seek help.

  74. 4gone says: May 26, 2011 5:05 PM

    New Orleans devistated by new Hurricane – this one named Drew – it only blows hot air.
    Thought he came there to build something not tear it down

  75. saints25 says: May 26, 2011 5:07 PM

    PriscoCBS Pete Prisco
    Now we know why Peyton Manning doesn’t say dumb things like Brees during this lockout. Smarter man.
    ————————————————————————————————-

    PriscoCBS Pete Prisco
    Drew Brees is nuts if he think the NFL owners were like sharks when Gene Upshaw died. He needs a doctor to get the foot out of his mouth.

  76. pallidrone says: May 26, 2011 5:07 PM

    Drew Brees is just spouting the DeMaurice line.

    The Owners opted out of the CBA before Gene Upshaw died.

    The one thing I would like Drew Brees to answer though is how come it is a slap in the face of the players for the owners to ask for $2 billion off the top of $9.5 billion for operating expenses, when they agreed to $1 billion off of $5 billion in total revenue 5 years ago.

  77. jpak12 says: May 26, 2011 5:08 PM

    I just lost all respect for Brees, that was just low.

  78. theytukrjobs says: May 26, 2011 5:09 PM

    These comments by Brees are very distasteful. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but to say that owners “saw blood in the water” at the passing of a great man is kind of disgusting.

    The reason the owners chose to strike now, as Brees puts it, is that the current CBA expired. It is because franchise valuations are not increasing at the same high rates as in the past. Operating expenses are accelerating at a pace faster than net income, while on top of this people are paying smaller portions of new stadiums.

    Neither the players nor the ownership are hurting financially, and it is a bit absurd that they can’t work out a deal together. Owners to me take most of the blame because they refuse to open the books. But players also look pretty stupid when they talk about “50/50″ as a fair split when really it is an arbitrary number. Owners have to pay ALL the expenses out of their 50% while the player’s end is take home. Usually true partners split PROFITS when they start talking 50/50.

    In that case, it would be more like a 90/10 in favor of the players. But even then it is still funny math because at the end of the day the owners make money AND they own franchises that have hopefully gained a bunch in value and can be sold for further profits.

  79. nnagi says: May 26, 2011 5:10 PM

    the communities provide on average about 30% financing or $350M for most stadium projects, but they get a steady return on this investment for years, the owners are bearing the brunt of the debt servicing and have every right to negotiate a deal that is more favorable to their interests…i’m in favor of the owners digging their heels in on this even if it means no football season in 2011…the players have not even made a counter offer, they decertified their union in an attempt to gain leverage… i say let the courts handle it from here, the owners have the leverage and rightfully so…soon enough the players will wish they would have accepted one of these offers…

  80. lawman2001 says: May 26, 2011 5:11 PM

    Football is the biggest sport in America by far. Every year it becomes more of a year-round thing. Espn just ranked which sports franchises pay their players the most in the entire world. Barcelona and Real Madrid held top spots, and the Yankees and Red Sox were in the top ten as u would imagine. The Lakers and Magic were way up. An NFL team was not listed until #70. The REdskins. And some of you people have a hard time understanding why players want to keep the status quo?

  81. ravensfan4life52 says: May 26, 2011 5:13 PM

    Ok Brees I respect you more than most other players in the league but that is stupid. Gene Upshaw was viewed as and in some ways really was too friendly with the owners. if they wanted a better deal they would’ve tried to get it with upshaw. and that is disrespectful to the owners to say something like that. I respect you as a player but I lost some respect for you as a person for making claims like this with absolutely no backing to them.

  82. dkrause71 says: May 26, 2011 5:14 PM

    Brees is one of the real American role models in the NFL. I’ll take his words as fact.

    On another note, outside of PFT every other blog is split 50/50 on who people side with. Even in the outside real world it seems to fit that ratio. Why not here? My unofficial tally is that 95% of the radish heads here support the greedy Owners. That does not reflect the percentages outside of PTF.

    I suspect the team’s employees are flooding this site in support of their bosses. It’s an organized campaign to create an illusion that the general public is against the players.

    This scam makes a ton of sense. They are facing loss of employment or pay cuts. They want to return to work. The only way they can is to make the players feel like the fans are turning against them.

    ————————————————-
    One reason you could see a legit ratio different than say ESPN or CNNSI is this site is hardcore football. Most people i know that are football fans wouldn’t care about 80% of the stories posted on this site. So regardless of what the voting is, it is likely going to be different than most other sites.

    Its no different than going to a special board of any other topic. The hardcore just are not generally going to think the same as the masses.

  83. jokendave says: May 26, 2011 5:17 PM

    Hears an idea, Leave Brees. I sure there are plenty of muli-million dollar jobs out there for you. What an ungratefull arrogant ass. Try getting a normal job and complain, see what happens.

  84. redskinsrt says: May 26, 2011 5:17 PM

    Distasteful or not this is the way that big business operates.

  85. discosucs2005 says: May 26, 2011 5:18 PM

    I hate the comparison that some of the players are making by calling themselves labor. While technically true, I don’t think it is the same as the vineyard workers in the Grapes of Wrath fighting the oppressive business men.

    However, the people that are on the owner’s side because they feel it fits their political leanings have to be the most shortsighted people on this site.

    Logically, the player should be entitled to at least a 50% cut. You could argue more because they do more of the work, and their skills are more valuable.

    The simple solution would be that the owners sacrifice some money, in exchange for some of the changes to the game the players want (no draft for example). That would be the best scenario because it would mean we get to keep the game we love, and everyone feels like they are getting a fair cut.

    On a different tangent, people should remember that the owners are the ones who both, signed the old deal, and opted out of it. They are also the ones that caused the money paid to players to skyrocket.

  86. twindaddy says: May 26, 2011 5:20 PM

    Wow, just lost all respect for Brees. Using a man’s death (which is irrelevant to the issues) to garner public support is about as low as you can go.

    You can best believe the owners would rather be dealing with Upshaw rather than Duh Smith.

    Turns out Brees really just sounds smart, but is a dumbass.

  87. eagleswin says: May 26, 2011 5:20 PM

    grandpoopah says:
    May 26, 2011 4:46 PM
    I’ve had it with the pro-owner trolls on this site. If you think Jerry Jones or Mike Brown is a better human being than Drew Brees, then you need a head examination. Let’s see PFT publish a list of all registered users on this site, when they initially signed up, when they began commenting, and which direction their comments lean. We could even trace the IP addresses to see if, for example, 100 different usernames all originate from the same IP address. From there, we can perform a fairly simple statistical analysis to determine whether there is in fact something fishy going on with the anti-player commentary.
    ——————————-

    Are there any black helicoptors following you? You seem quite paranoid and in need of validation. I’ll save you some time, your opinion is as valid as mine and neither are going to influence the NFL or the NFLPA to change their strategies one bit.

    The difference between you and me is that I can state why i support the owners position in this particular instance using reasoning.

    You on the other hand justify your position by seeing phantoms where there are none. Your opinion is only valid if anyone who disagrees with you is a plant. There can be no discourse because your position is blindingly obvious and righteous.

    Helllooooo players union.

  88. greenbaypackerbacker says: May 26, 2011 5:21 PM

    Hey guys,

    I am new to posting here but have been a follower of ProFootballTalk for many years. I feel the need to chime in finally on this topic.

    I think the NFLPA* is foolish for having money lavished guys like Manning, Brees, Brady, etc. support them as their representatives. These three alone made enough money in the past few years that going without football in 2011 isn’t going to hit their pocket books. THEY DONT CARE!!! They can say that they do but its BS.

    Why not have the middle of the road guys that are making barely above league minimum represent the league. l

    None of these pro guys would ever make it in the “Real 40 hour a week 8-5 environment”

  89. tchurch316 says: May 26, 2011 5:24 PM

    The more this lockout goes on the less I like Brees.

  90. usmutts says: May 26, 2011 5:24 PM

    It’s disheartening to see all this hate for Drew Brees, one the finest human beings in professional sports. And just because he expressed an opinion on something that’s been talked about for quite a while.

    The first amendment protects the rights of people to spew hatred, of course, but I’m still shocked at the level of venom here, just because a guy said something you don’t agree with.

    Embarrassing, really.

  91. ampats says: May 26, 2011 5:24 PM

    Deb,

    Your comments are usually well researched but your comment about Bob Kraft’s “palace” being partially funded by the taxpayer $$ is incorrect. The only taxpayer money that was used while building Gillette was for the infrastructure on the roads on Rte 1 which surrounds the stadium which is a nightmare on game days.

    The Kraft family built Gillette Stadium on their own dime which is part of the reason that ticket prices at Gillette are amoungst the highest in the NFL. But they didn’t charge PSL’s for season ticket holders.

    Keep waving those pom poms for the players ! Glad to see you think this should be litigated by the courts which it seems the only direction the players want to go.

  92. tncm333 says: May 26, 2011 5:25 PM

    Freakin sheeple.

    Brees is bang on with what the owners have been trying to do, I.E., trying to shove a bad deal down their throats.

    But the dumb sheep keep baaaaaacking the owners.

  93. bunjy96 says: May 26, 2011 5:25 PM

    Keep digging that players hole Drew and then drag them all in it with you.

    The more the players talk the more ignorance is shown.

    DeSmith sure has them bamboozled. Do they really understand what is happening? Pied Piper syndrome?

    Good job Drew. Not.

  94. philyeagles5 says: May 26, 2011 5:27 PM

    seriously if they are such awful ppl, then go find someone else to pay you millions and millions to play a kids game.

  95. bucfandango says: May 26, 2011 5:27 PM

    50% – 50% is totally reasonable and fair…….. after expenses. Wow, with guys like Brees at the helm, guys making $15 Mil per year, a deal will never get done. I thought Drew was smarter than that. Guess not, in his eyes like De-mo, it’s 50-50 before expenses. All or nothing and no compromise. Will not take one penny less. Drew, my boy, you are in for a rude awakening. You have to be tough to be dumb and here is a perfect example.

  96. bear0426 says: May 26, 2011 5:32 PM

    Wow, such venom against a player when the owners hold all of the cards. It is so freaking obvious that the administrative employees of the teams have been told to clog up the blogs with such anti-player malice.

    Owners you are the greedy worthless pigs. Without the players you would still be spoil brat rich men, just without a football team, with the players you are richer spoil brats. Remember that.

  97. siggy00 says: May 26, 2011 5:34 PM

    “Brees said. “Well, guess what. We’re a lot more informed and educated than in the past, and we’re much better businessmen than you think and we’re going to stand up for what is right and what is fair.”

    More informed than in the past under Gene Upshaw’s leadership?

  98. sagnam says: May 26, 2011 5:43 PM

    bearfan78 says:
    May 26, 2011 4:38 PM
    Is splitting operational expenses 50/50 fair then?

    ————————————————–

    Don’t forget about splitting endorsement dollars with the owners too. Without the NFL there wouldn’t be commercials for these guys.

  99. j0esixpack says: May 26, 2011 5:45 PM

    Seems to me it’s just the opposite.

    If Upshaw were still with us there’d have been a fair deal already worked out.

    All sides deserve blame at this stage, but there’s truth to that statement.

  100. robf2010 says: May 26, 2011 5:48 PM

    “gothwolf says:
    May 26, 2011 4:41 PM
    Hey, Drew, you want 50/50. Cool. How about you split the team expenses 50/50 too. That’s “fair” right? 50/50?

    The players should split their indorsement deals 50/50 with the teams too.”

    And Paul Allen should split his Microsoft fortune, Jerry Jones his oil fortune, and the Rooneys and Hunts should share their inheritance …

    The owners are asking for an extra billion dollars off the top for expenses. They’re not asking the banks or investors for it. They’re asking their “employees” for it. If they do that, wouldn’t that make the “employees” owners, too?

  101. snnyjcbs says: May 26, 2011 5:48 PM

    Brees better hope they get back to playing Football because he does not seem to be the sharpest Tool in the Shed. You get a few with the smarts of an Upshaw but this dude is not one of them.

    The owners are not the ones that went to Court or broke up a Union lol, what a SHAME to change the game. Now if Brees would have stated that Upshaw would have never let the players work themselves into such a weak position as they are now sitting.

    Lose June Hearing which they will and they are finished. If I was a regular player I would tell them to get in and work out a deal and now. The player and Agent Revolt is already beginning.

  102. ttebow15 says: May 26, 2011 5:50 PM

    The sad thing here is it shows you how quickly this is spiraling out of control. If and most likely when the players receive their first loss in court this coming week and they don’t return to the bargaining table and instead decide to counting ongoing court battles the season is lost.

  103. pitch87mph says: May 26, 2011 5:54 PM

    You know, I don’t know Drew Brees, the man. He’s an incredible football player and an ambassador for the city of New Orleans. But I’m increasingly becoming convinced the guy’s got issues and a pretty warped, narrow perspective. Some have referred to him as “principled”. Ok. Fair enough. Stubborn with delusions of grandeur sounds more like it. From the dispute with his mother (didn’t talk to her for years or something) to his increasingly ridiculous statements about the lockout. The guy sounds more like a person who quickly makes up his mind about something, and then becomes unbending in ever altering it and an enemy for those who dare disagree with him. I’m all for fighting what you believe in. But hopefully those beliefs are based on sound reason and judgment, and continually evolve as new information is obtained. Sounds like this guy stops using reason and judgment after his initial conclusion. I’m losing respect for him real quickly (not that he cares).

  104. Rhode Island Patriots Fan says: May 26, 2011 5:54 PM

    How does Drew Brees square his hypothesis with the fact that the NFL owners voted to opt out of the 2006 CBA roughly three months BEFORE Gene Upshaw’s sudden and unexpected passing in August, 2008?

  105. canadian52niner says: May 26, 2011 5:56 PM

    One terrific human being? If Miami made him an offer even close to the saints few years back ther is no way he is in new Orleans! He is your hero because he had no where else to go. This comment about a great man like gene ups haw is an embarrassment to the league … Which I also now classify drew brees as. You can put brees up there with the idiots that are adrian Peterson, rashard Mendenhall, and Chester Pitts!

  106. hoopsdoc says: May 26, 2011 5:57 PM

    Eagleswin-bravo, well stated.

    As for Brees, the more he talks, the dumber he sounds. And to think, people rip Manning for not saying anything.

  107. tmaczoozoo says: May 26, 2011 5:58 PM

    Yeah, owners are stinking pigs… take your nfl and stick it where the sun don’t shine!

  108. depotnator says: May 26, 2011 6:02 PM

    It’s so funny to see how quickly all the owner shills got to this site to trash another player. Does PFT leak their impending posts on Twitter? Does these pwner shills think anyone – besides themselves – are reading ( and approving) their comments? Whenever I see one of those foolish comments with 150 + approvals, I just ignore it as league propaganda.

  109. daboltfan says: May 26, 2011 6:12 PM

    if the players want 50% of the money they take 50% of the costs. league payments, new stadium contributions upkeep etc. this would require more openess from the owners on their financial information. but it would make both sides partners in the running of the league. a split say 45/45/10 , which would allow both sides to conribute to costs instead players getting 49-51 cents of every dollar after a 1 billion dollar cut off. any thing left at the end of the year will be rolled into the next as further pay to players and owners. yet would allow for the league to further support the development of its self by always investing into self.

  110. chatham10 says: May 26, 2011 6:16 PM

    I just can’t get over the fact when someone who has a name in Sports, Movies etc all become the voice for whatever. What did Brees graduate in from Purdue? If he graduated and now he is the spokeperson for the NFL Players. I agree that he should have freedom of speech but I go by this saying ” Be careful in what you say as nobody knows you have no idea what you are talking about until you open your mouth and remove all doubt. Brees is not even attending the meetings in Mpls so the lawyers must be updating him which makes him a slave to the lawyers.

  111. geo1113 says: May 26, 2011 6:18 PM

    If the owners were going to shove something down the players’ throats, they had a very simple way of doing it. They would have locked the players out before the players had a chance to decertify.

  112. stadanko says: May 26, 2011 6:22 PM

    You all know Brees didn’t say anything about owners celebrating the death of Upshaw. Typical PFT owner fan boy bias. He simply stated a very realistic business strategy. The Union leadership was in flux and anyone with half a brain, especially billionaires, are going to use that to their advantage. Anyone who thinks otherwise is naive and comparing Brees statement to Mendenhall or Peterson’s comments is as ludicrous as those comments themselves.

  113. mick730 says: May 26, 2011 6:22 PM

    ” The Lakers and Magic were way up. An NFL team was not listed until #70. The REdskins. And some of you people have a hard time understanding why players want to keep the status quo?”

    I’m no baseball fan, but isn’t the regular baseball season, without playoffs and world series something like 162 games?

    I loathe pro basketball, but doesn’t it last from early October until almost the end of May? The regular season? And don’t they play several times a week for each of those many months?

    The NFL plays 16 regular season games. I think the economics are quite a bit different. Don’t you? Let’s face it, pro football players make a lot of money for a very part time job.

  114. bucfandango says: May 26, 2011 6:24 PM

    I have an idea, let’s take the players 50% for this season and give it to our Soldiers, and let them play the games. They’d love to get paid what a practice player makes, much less a star. Players whine about compensation for injury, long term health care, not getting a fair deal. Well Look at what a Soldier, Seaman, Airman, or Marine gets paid and think again, you arrogant, greedy primadonnas. They work harder than you do and it is far more dangerous.

    If you are reading this in English, thank a soldier.
    Semper Fi

  115. kingjoe1 says: May 26, 2011 6:28 PM

    Drew Bress just dropped into the “can’t stand” catagory, when it comes to NFL players.

    Brees is wrong. His statement alone demostrates that it is actually he who is trying to use Upshaws death to line the players pockets.

    Brees really needs to get away from all of this and learn to keep his mouth shut.

  116. bpfpft says: May 26, 2011 6:40 PM

    chatham10:

    Brew majored in Industrial organization while at Purdue. It’ the field of economics that studies the structure of and boundaries between firms and markets and the strategic interactions of firms. Some of the common market structures studied in this field are the following: Perfect competition and monopolistic competition.

    I don’t think Brees in unqualified to speak on the topic, my problem with him is that he’s devisive. He’s clearly not the type of person who can work to bring the sides together, he’s always referring to the fact the the fight was brought to the players eventhough we all know the issue much more complicated than that. Whatever the issues are, they need to be negotiated and that will take hard work not rhetoric to the media. It seems to me that he’s been buying what DeSmith is selling and he fully supports the litigation strategy so he’s not a leader that can bridge a deal. Someone else will need to step up on the players side and bring get the ball rolling because Brees has said all the same things since March 11th and I for one am tired of it. I’ve certainly lost a lot of respect I had for Mr. Brees.

  117. iplaybingowitholdpeopleandwin says: May 26, 2011 6:43 PM

    There’s likely more to this story than what MDS is reporting so its foolish to predicate an “I lost all respect for Bress” on the basis of this piece. That said, some of ya’ll need to take your own advice.

    Brees merely cites an age old principle of warfare – take advantage of a change in leadership. It’s likely that some of the owners, like any sage general, want to cash in on De Smith’s ignorance of the game, lack of respect from the owners, perceived lack of player support, and arrogance/pride. This labor dispute is like any battle and the tacticians, of which Brees, Brady and Manning are some of the best, are going to infer that the other side is using the basic strategies that they use on the battlefield every Sunday.

    IMO, Jerry “Darth Sidious” Jones wants to pay for his stadium and needs cash. He also wants to keep what he kills at the cash register rather than share with the other owners or the players. For him and other selfish owners this is an opportunity for them to get back some of what they lost in 1987. Like Brees suggested, the then owners, Tagliabou and Upshaw negotiated a deal that was fair for the league – the league and all involved prospered. Based on the comments made by current owners, it seems like they are split on whether they want the old deal and the one being pushed by Darth Sidious and his minions.

    Point being, Brees is just thinking like a strategist and reasoning that the owners are attempting to exploit whatever advantages they can.

  118. tmaczoozoo says: May 26, 2011 6:44 PM

    One phrase for the Pwners…

    TURD-BURGLER.

  119. Deb says: May 26, 2011 6:45 PM

    @bearfan78 …

    So that 401(k) you’re funding … no matching funds from your company? Right. And you’re funding the 401(k)s of decades of retirees as well as your own?? Right.

    That, sweetie, is what I meant by the pension funds coming from the players’ revenues. And FYI, a 401(k) is not a company pension.

    Now let’s switch to healthcare … so you pay 100 percent of your health premium and your employer pays zero? Uh-huh. I’ll bet. And you’re responsible for the healthcare of other employees and retirees? Right.

    All that BS sounded good enough for the mutton-heads to give you thumbs up but that still doesn’t make it relevant to the discussion.

    As for the 50/50 split with no money for operating expenses taken off the top … the league doesn’t operate under that system so why are you whining about it? Oh I know … just so you can pretend you know what you’re talking about.

    Nice try :lol:

  120. riverhorsey says: May 26, 2011 7:00 PM

    Drew’s a good guy but statements like that don’t help the talks at all.

    even if it is true.

  121. bushdoctor504 says: May 26, 2011 7:03 PM

    F the owners!!!

    At least Drew Brees is standing up for the players…

    More players need to be vocal!

    Peyton Manning is a coward for not speaking publicly on the issue!

  122. Deb says: May 26, 2011 7:04 PM

    @bucfandango …

    You dishonor our troops with that self-serving nonsense. We all owe gratitude to our military. Football players have no greater obligation to American soldiers than team owners or fans.

    I wish soldiers, teachers, police officers, and emergency service workers were paid like corporate CEOs and pro athletes. But thanks to our soldiers, we live in a free society. And in a free-market economy–whether you like it or not–people are paid according to the market demand for their skills.

  123. grandpoopah says: May 26, 2011 7:05 PM

    @eagleswin,

    First off, I’m an Eagles fan, so at least we have that in common. Second, you completely distorted every word I typed. I’m not even saying anything one way or the other about whether the players or owners are righteous. I’m talking about the very unusual divergence in opinion of the commentary on this site and every other national poll out there. Maybe that’s all well and good, but it smells fishy to me. It would be nice if PFT published the type of information that could be used to determine if, in fact, that is the case. Hey, for all we know, my suspicions could be totally off base. Maybe all the pro-owner comments are actually coming from the players’ union. Let’s look at the data and find out. That, my friend, is a call for information that we could use to perform sound reasoning. I don’t see any reasoning, facts, or logic anywhere in your post, despite your claim.

  124. northern49niner says: May 26, 2011 7:07 PM

    The support for the owners on Pft makes me sick. Do people remember that the players were locked out. They didn’t go on strike. And while the owners want $2 billion back, they wouldn’t show their books. Ridiculous. I’ll admit both sides are greedy but it’s more on the owners at this point.

  125. wethog66 says: May 26, 2011 7:09 PM

    Ever since this lockout started I have been firmly in the middle in the belief that bot the Owners and the Players are to blame for the current state of the NFL.

    After reading these latest comments from Brees I have to say I have very little faith that the upcoming season will start on time, if at all. How can it when someone this stupid is at the top of the leadership for the Players side of things?

  126. thedudesnotin says: May 26, 2011 7:11 PM

    The pride of Purdue ladies and gentlemen.

    The more I think about it, the more I believe this whole labor mess is a ruse.

    Players aren’t in a rush to solve the CBA because it saves their bodies from long OTAs and pre-season games, while the owners get to slash office salaries and workout bonuses.

    I think we as fans, if we all decided to just ignore these posts, and just comment on the football related ones, may send a clear signal that we don’t really care about the extracurricular stuff, and call us back when this all clears up. Summers here now, and I guarantee you that most people soon will think of the NFL as an after thought, if they haven’t already.

  127. hoobsher says: May 26, 2011 7:12 PM

    goddamn it drew, i love you.

  128. thedudesnotin says: May 26, 2011 7:14 PM

    @Deb

    When did you get so didactical?

  129. oscojoe says: May 26, 2011 7:21 PM

    Mr Brees, you and any other player who would stoop this low just loss my respect. It wasn’t that long ago when the players were critizising Upshaw for being to close to Goodell & the owners. There was a lot of talk from some players about replacing Upshaw once the owners opted out of the CBA over 2 years ago.

    You are wrong Mr Brees and it is sad to see you or any one else to use the passing of a NFL Hall of Famer and Leader of your so called NFLPA / now Association in such a way.

  130. Deb says: May 26, 2011 7:21 PM

    @ampats …

    Thanks for the heads-up on Kraft and his stadium funding. Yes, I did assume on that one :) Kraft is one of the best businessmen among the owners, so I’m not surprised he built the complex without government involvement.

    So … how does Bob feel about the antitrust suits? Most players see the suits as leverage to force owners into good faith negotiations. Although I realize no matter what happens, life and football will go on, I’d also prefer the league continue operating with its antitrust exemptions in place.

    However, a group of owners anxious for release from the financial burden of revenue-sharing has a vested interest in sabotaging any efforts at reaching a CBA and forcing this thing through the courts. They want to blow up the league as we know it because their large-market teams will do just fine without scrub teams like the Bengals eating into their profits. Rumor has it Kraft is one of those hoping to eliminate revenue-sharing. Hmmm …

    So while you’re busy shaking it for the owners, just remember they have all sorts of agendas. The players just want to play–that’s why they’re practicing despite knowing any injuries they suffer during the lockout won’t be covered by their contracts.

  131. commandercornpone says: May 26, 2011 7:26 PM

    brees crapped all over retirees before, and now he jammed both feet so far in his mouth he will never get them out.

    he should follow the brady example, ie, say little, or the manning example, ie, say nothing. the union* lawyers are feeding him crapola.

    statements like that make it rather obvious that the union* only had a litigation plan (or a run to bam plan), and intends to not negotiate at all.

    is capo gino’s agent (tom condon) still on the retirees compensation board?

    the owners had the right, per the deal, to opt out. so they did. at least THAT wasnt a sham.

    anderson and goth are right. players, start sharing all the football expenses and your football – derived endorsements etc. i didnt think u would…

    a lot of players change teams and get punted by teams forever all the time. owners are much more steady and permanent. the players ALL can and will be replaced. and possibly very soon.

  132. bucfandango says: May 26, 2011 7:28 PM

    @ Deb

    Sorry maam, I was just trying to put things in a different perspective. I also put my money where my mouth is. I dishonor only those that put their own greed above everyone else. Fortunately for teachers, police and emergency workers, they generally sleep in their own beds at night and tuck their children in. It also sounds like the Owners finally want to play their players “according to the market demand for their skills”, as you stated so eloquently. CEO’s rape and pillage their own corporations, many publicly traded, collecting Multi-Million Dollar bonuses while their companies lose money. I wouldn’t call that market demand, but I would call it a license to steal.

  133. greghensley says: May 26, 2011 7:29 PM

    May 2008 Owners opt out

    Aug 2008 Gene Upshaw is diagnosed with cancer and dies a few days later

    Brew Brees simply lied. Pro owner, pro player doesn’t matter, he lied.

  134. Deb says: May 26, 2011 7:30 PM

    @thedudesnotin …

    It’s my inner Mary Poppins. She’s always battling that wicked sassy gal ;)

  135. bobwhitequail says: May 26, 2011 7:34 PM

    You guys who are saying “Brees said it therefore I take it as fact” need to wake up.

    The facts are that Gene upshaw died August 20, 2008. The league opted out on May 20, 2008. Gene was actually negotiating on behalf of the players after the league opted out.

    Brees is flat out wrong. The facts are the facts.

    Gene Upshaw’s good name should not be smeared by players like Brees who are so emotional as to let De Smith and Kessler goad them into saying ridiculous things like this. It is a dishonor to Gene’s memory and a dishonor to players IMO.

  136. jakek2 says: May 26, 2011 7:40 PM

    I’m going to buy my Brees jersey right now!!

  137. rlessane says: May 26, 2011 7:49 PM

    I think it’s funny how most people on this board are so against the players. The players didn’t ask for more money it’s the owners. I wish people would stop comparing their $9.50 an hour job with players and the NFL. Most people on this board are probably overhead for their companies and add zero value. These players generate billions of dollars for these owners. Let’s be real no one comes to see the owners on Sunday. I bet most people on this board can’t name 10 owners without looking on internet.

  138. purpleronin says: May 26, 2011 8:12 PM

    No Mr. Drew I think the significance of Upshaw’s absence is that if he was here, there would most likely be a deal already. In fact, based on Upshaw’s past stewardship of the NFLPA, I believe there would have been negotiations almost everyday till an acceptable deal was reached. Upshaw was not the type to sit on the sidelines and let someone else (i.e. the courts – or lawyers) do his negotiating for him. At least not as his 1st and only choice. If I wanted to be as callaous and opportunistic as Brees is coming off as I might say “you mean like you and the NFL and Saints ownership took ‘advantage’ of the Katrina catastrophe to get a rebuilt stadium and public sympathy on the way to a convienently timed Superbowl run?” Real classy Drew…

  139. depotnator says: May 26, 2011 8:16 PM

    mick730, you are a moron if you don’t realize that pro football players are in training of some sort 11 months of the year. They prepare for approx. 6 months ( March – August) , and play for 5 months ( Sept – Jan) – longer if they make the playoffs. Also moronic is comparing pro football to any other sport. The exposure/risk of serious injury is greater in football than any other sport, which is the reason most players train to stay in football shape all year.

  140. sakatak says: May 26, 2011 8:18 PM

    Dear Drew,
    I am losing respect for you, you see respect is a very important part of what is going on here. I believe the owners respected Gene so much that they were more than happy to agree to a contract with him that might have favored the players. Now ask yourself, Why did the owners respect Gene? I believe Gene earned respect in many ways, but one of the most important ways was Gene was not disrespectful of the owners like you are. It is always easier to negotiate when there is equal respect. You say you should still split the revenue 50/50, then use that figure to start your counter offer, if you do it respectfully who knows what could happen. You always seem so cool in the pocket, why are you acting so uncool now.

  141. willycents says: May 26, 2011 8:27 PM

    jakek2 says:May 26, 2011 7:40 PM

    I’m going to buy my Brees jersey right now!!
    ——————————————

    Yup, typical of a player, worship a liar. I suppose you plan on demanding in the next cba that DeSmith get a spot in the ProFootball Hall of Fame too, right?

  142. palinforpresidentofnorthkorea says: May 26, 2011 8:28 PM

    Worst post on the subject to date. Thumbs up if you agree!

    ~~~~
    Deb says: May 26, 2011 7:21 PM

    @ampats …

    Thanks for the heads-up on Kraft and his stadium funding. Yes, I did assume on that one :) Kraft is one of the best businessmen among the owners, so I’m not surprised he built the complex without government involvement.

    So … how does Bob feel about the antitrust suits? Most players see the suits as leverage to force owners into good faith negotiations. Although I realize no matter what happens, life and football will go on, I’d also prefer the league continue operating with its antitrust exemptions in place.

    However, a group of owners anxious for release from the financial burden of revenue-sharing has a vested interest in sabotaging any efforts at reaching a CBA and forcing this thing through the courts. They want to blow up the league as we know it because their large-market teams will do just fine without scrub teams like the Bengals eating into their profits. Rumor has it Kraft is one of those hoping to eliminate revenue-sharing. Hmmm …

    So while you’re busy shaking it for the owners, just remember they have all sorts of agendas. The players just want to play–that’s why they’re practicing despite knowing any injuries they suffer during the lockout won’t be covered by their contracts.

  143. tjrubleysaudible says: May 26, 2011 8:29 PM

    This makes me believe, for the first time, that there will be no NFL football this year. You can’t reason or negotiate with people who have a mentality like that.

  144. deconjonesbitchslap says: May 26, 2011 8:38 PM

    boycott the NFL!

    i’d love to watch these players squirm when they realize how useless their “skills” are when they don’t have fans to watch them.

  145. saints25 says: May 26, 2011 8:39 PM

    Gene Upshaw’s good name should not be smeared by players like Brees …………………………………………………………………..

    He knows the players have lost this case,an the NFLPA is about to get their ass waxed…NFLPA fought the good fight,but you cant out spend the Boss..Im sure they would like to have the 15 MILLON DOLLARS back that the NFLPA gave to Upshaws Widow..

  146. Kaz says: May 26, 2011 8:45 PM

    northern49niner says: May 26, 2011 7:07 PM

    The support for the owners on Pft makes me sick. Do people remember that the players were locked out.
    _______

    Sure we remember. After the players walked out of negotiations and sued. And new people claiming that Owners employees are flooding this site are obviously new to the site. Look at the names. Many of these people comment on a lot of topics. Die hard football fans. Just cause yall obviously don’t recognize anyone. Don’t mean we do. Brees is a fool for speaking such divisive rhetoric. It accomplishes nothing if he really wants to get a deal done. Pro Owners/Pro Players alike should be able to agree with that.

  147. billionsvsmillions says: May 26, 2011 8:47 PM

    Translation, How can WE, Players/Owners, get the fans to PAY MORE THAN THEY ALREADY DO to watch 2 hand touch football. F*** you Brees, F*** you Owners, as a fan… F*** BOTH sides. Take your riches shove them up your a**. Come work my job for a week you bigots,… Your a**es will be BEGGIN for a tenth of what you make. Pathetic little whiny rich snobs. I want, I want, I want… you PLAY a GAME for f*** sake, you travel around the nation, Your PAID to stay in shape with some of the best medical teams in the country, and yet… Whaaaa Whaaaa we want more. F*** the NFL. I hope Direct TV tanks, I hope the fans say fu** you to the $8 a fu*** beer, $20 plus to park my f***ing car, $10 for a f***ing ferry ride to the stadium, all to watch a bunch of millionairs BITCH about making in some cases 10 MIL a year to catch or throw a ball? Have we gone f***in insane in this country??? Seriously? Piss off NFL, Especially you Goodell, you and your kangaroo court go take a hike. NO wonder you fined so many players last year,… you needed the cash to keep your operation a-float knowing whats ahead of it.

  148. wigwam101 says: May 26, 2011 9:09 PM

    Maybe Drew Brees should consider a career in gator wrestling or snake wrangling, like Ochocinco.

  149. ampats says: May 26, 2011 9:26 PM

    Deb,

    We both have been on this site for a long time and have respectively disagreed on many topics BUT are you high or drunk?

    Yes, the owners agreed to bad deal and want to opt out. Who wants this in the courts ? Not the owners but the players. DeSmith is intent on making his bones as he could care less about the game but further making a name for himself. The owners have made two proposals to which the players have not made a counteroffer. Why?Even if the “NFLPA” consider it an unacceptable offer make a counteroffer, that is how business is done in our world.

    To say the owners want something similar to MLB is incorrect as which side has talked about eliminating the draft, creating unlimited FA and many more things that I will not watste my time debating. You as a Steelers fan should know what has happened to MLB in Pittsburgh where the Pirates have been irrelevent since Roberto Clemente and Willie Stargell ( I know you live in Fla)

    I do tend to side more with the owners since as pointed out people like Bob Kraft have mortgaged their teams to build stadiums etc.

    This is the USA and if you don’t like your employer you are free to work somwhere else. As your star player Harrison said on NFLN he is currently not under contract and unemployed. They are free to take their skills to another league (UFL)and negoitate whatever they want because if they are the game everyone should follow.

    History shows that leagues like the AFL and ABA were able to compete on some level.

    If the players feel they are geting screwed, put their money where their mouth is or get to the table and ork out a deal and quit trying to destroy the game as other leagues have.

    The NBA is next !

  150. 5ringking33 says: May 26, 2011 9:33 PM

    The players conveniently forget the “opt out” was collectively bargained. They knew it was a sweetheart deal when they got it. Negotiate or don’t. I have cancelled my Sunday ticket and will not attend any games this year. Figure out how to split that $$.

  151. cuzidid42 says: May 26, 2011 9:33 PM

    The only thing I want to hear coming out of the mouths of the players or thier representitives is “Here is our counter offer!!!!!!!!!!!”

  152. fusion3450 says: May 26, 2011 9:42 PM

    sure a lot of people that comment on here like drew is actually going to see what they type. do we really think he is saying anything that lawyers aren’t telling him to say?

  153. raidermike says: May 26, 2011 9:44 PM

    And we all thought Rashard Mendenhall was the biggest idiot in the NFL

    Who knew ???

  154. goombar2 says: May 26, 2011 10:12 PM

    My favorite thing about this website, they let the employees of teams post. Funny stuff!

    Just a little tip, the feigning outrage bit gets old…

    Like last week, you guys talked about Brees being the scourge of the Earth. Then in this post you claim you’re loosing respect for him?

    It’s just nonsense.

  155. flipadelphia says: May 26, 2011 10:18 PM

    Brees, sit back down, counter one of the offers the owners gave and start to negotiate……or shut up.

    I bet 99% of these players claiming that they’re “informed and educated” haven’t even seen any of the offers that were put on the table.

    The owners are playing this perfectly. They must’ve known every time a player speaks about how badly they’re treated they look like a complete idiot.

  156. sneaky1632 says: May 26, 2011 10:29 PM

    It’s amazing how these employees get away with talking trash about their bosses, if any of us tried that with our bosses we would be gone like that.

  157. smellmyface says: May 26, 2011 10:34 PM

    Everytime he opens his mouth he sounds more and more like a whiny b!!ch. Go back to Oprah and let her clean that dirt off of your face.

  158. Deb says: May 26, 2011 10:35 PM

    @ampats …

    You need to put on your thinking cap.

    I didn’t say the owners want to go to court or that all the owners want to do anything. The owners are 32 separate entities with different agendas. And I said a group of them would benefit by losing this court case. And they would. This subject has been a bone of contention among the owners for years.

    Longtime owners like the Rooneys bought their teams for a few thousand dollars and watched their worth multiply to billions. They prospered as a result of the NFL’s revenue-sharing plan, and they want things to remain as they are.

    But many of those family-owned operations are dying off. When Georgia Frontiere died, the Rosenbloom family sold their stake in the Rams. Ralph Wilson’s family doesn’t want the Bills. When he goes–and he’s in his 90s–they’ll be sold.

    New NFL owners didn’t buy in for a few thousand and watch their money grow. Stephen Ross paid more than $1.5 billion to buy the Dolphins. When you put down that kind of money, you want a much faster return on investment. So you’re less inclined to want to share revenues with guys like Mike Brown or Bill Bidwell. I don’t know where each individual owner stands on the issue, but Jerry Jones has been pushing for years to abolish revenue-sharing. That would kill small-market teams like the Bengals, but the teams that survive would make more money.

    If the players win the antitrust suit, it would effectively accomplish what some of those owners have been wanting all along. They don’t mind losing the draft and the current free-agent structure. They’re fine with bidding individually for players. The most sought-after players will make buckets of money and lesser players will make less than they do now. As with most things, the guys at the top of the food chain will get the lion’s share.

    Don’t kid yourself, ampats. These are savvy businessmen. To a degree, some of them genuinely want what’s best for the league. But whether they’re teams wanting to ensure their own survival or make as much as possible while investing as little as possible (Mike Brown) … or teams wanting a leaner league where fewer clubs split the revenue pie … all the owners want what’s in their individual best interest.

  159. Deb says: May 26, 2011 10:37 PM

    @palinforpresident …

    Still obsessed. Bless your heart. :lol:

  160. secdominance says: May 26, 2011 10:50 PM

    How is 50-50 an ufair deal for the owners? And to all you people bringing up the owner’s expenses, the owners take $1 billion off the top BEFORE money is divide for expenses. No one is forcing these owners to build new stadiums except the other owners.

    Come back with some new talking points because operating expenses isn’t going to cut it

  161. Deb says: May 26, 2011 10:52 PM

    @bucfandango …

    If you’re a soldier or vet, thank you. It still has nothing to do with the NFL labor impasse.

    As for teachers, cops, and emergency workers … don’t bet money on where any of them are sleeping or tucking. There are saints and sinners in all walks of life. Most of the NFL’s 1700 players sleep in their own beds and tuck in their children. Peep into the lives of 1700 people in any organization and you’ll find those who sleep around, have kids out of wedlock, are involved in domestic violence, commit crimes, abuse drugs, and go into debt spending more than they make. The difference is they don’t make the news.

    Yes, I’d agree that big business in America has a license to steal–and not just from their own companies but from the American taxpayer. That’s why I’m not overly trusting of the big businessmen who own NFL teams.

  162. nepatsfan83 says: May 26, 2011 11:00 PM

    Drew Brees should just keep his mouth shut. He is really starting to sound like an idiot. Gene Upshaw got them a deal that favored the players. He took advantage of Tagliabue heading out the door and not wanting to leave a legacy where he leaves and the NFL is either in a lock-out or strike. So ask Drew Brees why the deal had a “opt-out clause”.

    He says he and the players know business. Well no successful business gives 50% of their revenues to “employee salaries”. This isn’t 20 years ago, hell it isnt even 5 years ago. Everyone talks about $9-$10 billion dollars. Does he understand the difference between revenue and bottom line. Costs are much higher than they were with stadium loans, etc.

    No one talks about all of the other expenses that these players get in benefits like free travel, free food, state of the art facilities, the best medical care their is, etc. That stuff isn’t included in salary cap numbers.

    This is what i see: 2009 Salary Cap $129 million. 2011 Projected Salary Cap $151 or a 17% raise over a two year period. I am sure that the 10% unemployed or the others that haven’t received raises over the last two years feel real bad for you!!! But hey, Drew knows business!!

  163. kmh4508 says: May 26, 2011 11:02 PM

    Why don’t you read the entire article and then form your own opinion and not just listen to the the 4 quotes that MDS selected from the article. Brees state 5 different reasons dating back to 2008 that proves that the owners were preparing to lock out the players, including an league memo that literally states “financial needs in a lockout” dated in 2008. Brees is in a no win position; somebody needed to step up and take the lead on this. The players are lucky to have him representing them.

    You guys need to get a clue.

  164. coachstram says: May 26, 2011 11:08 PM

    I wish this pompous politician wanna be would STFU.

    He’s like Al Sharpton, always ready to throw himself in the middle of everything. He loves the attention, be it forced pre-game hysterics, pre game show of “player unity”, or just plain blather to hear himself speak……he’s clearly in it for one person.

    Himself.

    Take a hike, Senator Brees.

  165. southmo says: May 26, 2011 11:17 PM

    Considering many of the owners considered themselves friends with Gene Upshaw, what Brees said is classless. One can only hope Brees is purely ignorant here of the history between Upshaw and the League, but whether it’s merely ignorance or a complete lack of class or both… it speaks very poorly of Drew Brees.

    There is a sinking feeling that NFL players and lawyers are simply not smart enough to realize they are biting the hand that feeds them and the NFL as we’ve known it will not survive. It should of course. Cooler heads, reasonable people, and all that. But then quotes like these…. wow.

    It’s disheartening. It really is. I have truly enjoyed NFL football. I’ll miss it if idiots like this rule the day. And unfortunately, it seems we have less and less leadership everywhere these days.

  166. southmo says: May 26, 2011 11:23 PM

    Brees state 5 different reasons dating back to 2008 that proves that the owners were preparing to lock out the players, including an league memo that literally states “financial needs in a lockout” dated in 2008. Brees is in a no win position; somebody needed to step up and take the lead on this.

    ——————————-

    And you believe the players just magically had all the paperwork ready to go to decertify and all the paperwork and lawyers and named plaintiffs to sue in anti-trust court? Yeah, the players didn’t prepare at all did they?

    And regardless of all that, it doesn’t excuse Brees saying the owners smelled “blood in the water” when Gene Upshaw died. THAT was classless. That wasn’t based on fact. He attacked their character and motives.

    Why? Because they locked them out? And it’s ok for the players to sue? Or strike? C’mon.

  167. clownburger says: May 26, 2011 11:48 PM

    I’ve been waiting since March for the Players to make a counter offer to the owners proposed deal.

    How can anyone support these jerk offs?

    I guess the players supporters are GLAD they aren’t negotiating and throw little parties when the Players decline to present a counter offer?

    How can you support that crap?

    Oh that’s right…you’re not REALLY fans.

  168. peanutbutter&jelly says: May 27, 2011 12:08 AM

    lets say i’m an nfl owner (although it’s not true)and i stand to make a huge payday from this upcoming season as well as 31 other owners who stand to make the same kind of huge payday,the same kind of paydays that have helped make us the billionaires that we are but because we are such greedy, selfish,a-holes that we don’t want to give up a few percent of the pie we would rather watch this 9bil.dollar industry go down the tubes.to me that is how so many people sound when they are expressing their support for the players and i’m sorry folks you are beyond wrong and if you would stop and think about it for a minute you might think about it like this-who with 1/2 a brain cell would screw up a 9 bil.dollar industry that has steady made them filthy rich over such a small percentage of the pie? nobody i can think of thats for sure.the owners are so firm in their stance on this because they are smart business people and they see that if things keep going the way they are the nfl will be no more. not because they are so greedy that they would rather shoot themselfs in the foot than part with 3 or 4 percent of the pie.btw the last cba was a great deal for the players they did way better than 50% but i don’t recall the nflpa saying anything like” hey we should give some back to the owners you know just to keep it fair” but maybe they did and i just missed it-mybad

  169. thedudesnotin says: May 27, 2011 2:57 AM

    Drews comments are like a fart in the Brees..

  170. axespray says: May 27, 2011 4:41 AM

    drew brees exploiting a death(s) so he can look like a “saint” in the public’s eyes?

    hmmm….where’d I see that before?

  171. truthserum4u says: May 27, 2011 6:02 AM

    isaeus says:
    May 26, 2011 4:45 PM

    Everyone who says players are merely “employees” is so far off base it’s not even funny.

    This is the entertainment industry, not the fast food industry. Is Tom Hanks an “employee” of MGM or Paramount? Or does he get a big contract with a % of the take, because he is the entertainment? Think it through people.

    [Great example! Now even Hanks, who was basically the entire show in Cast Away, gets only a relatively small % of the revenues from his movies. In fact, entire casts put together don’t get 50% of the revenues from movies. So why again should the players be entitled to such a deal?]

    The players ARE the game. The ownership has changed hands on many of these teams, and they don’t matter. If the best players go and join a different professional league, you would see the viewers and attendees shift very quickly.

    [WRONG! The GAME is the game. Far more players, great players, Hall of Fame players have come and gone than owners, and yet the game is thriving like never before. And just what other league are you referring to? No other league existing or soon implemented would have the cash to pay these players like they are now. There wouldn’t be the television coverage or contracts because it takes a track record to get such deals – something the owners have crafted for decades for the NFL.]

    Everything Brees said is dead on correct and much of it is not disputable. The fight WAS brought to them, they were presented with a very different deal with no shared risk/benefit (fixed cap), franchise values have increased dramatically, and the players are being asked to give the owners a lot more money.

    [Wrong again! The owners, as someone has already noted, opted out of the CBA BEFORE Upshaw was even diagnosed with cancer. The facts sort of conflict with Brees’ contention that the owners were trying to take advantage of Upshaw’s death.
    The fight was brought to them because the previous deal was so heavily in favor of the players (admitted by the players) and the owners have basically said we gave you five years of a great thing and we now need to right the ship. Just because they agreed to a bad deal once doesn’t make the owners beholden to future bad deals. If you agreed to what turned out to be a bad car lease, would you want to be forced to engage in another bad lease just because you did it once before?]

    Seems like reasonable grounds to ask for financial justification, i.e. audited financial statements.

    [Really? So the players would have been fine with the owners asking for such information in years past when the players demanded more money? I think not!]

  172. chapnastier says: May 27, 2011 6:24 AM

    “It’s incredibly distasteful to think about the owners celebrating the death of a Pro Football Hall of Famer who is one of the most significant figures in NFL history, but Brees believes that that’s how the owners viewed Upshaw’s death: A time when the players weren’t prepared to do anything other than accept what they were offered.”

    You are forgetting what is even more distasteful here (shocker). The fact that Brees is using Upshaw’s death to try to push his agenda is worse since of course there is no proof that the owners see it this way. More garbage coverage of the lockout PFT.

  173. truthserum4u says: May 27, 2011 7:06 AM

    rlessane says:
    May 26, 2011 7:49 PM

    I think it’s funny how most people on this board are so against the players. The players didn’t ask for more money it’s the owners. I wish people would stop comparing their $9.50 an hour job with players and the NFL. Most people on this board are probably overhead for their companies and add zero value. These players generate billions of dollars for these owners. Let’s be real no one comes to see the owners on Sunday. I bet most people on this board can’t name 10 owners without looking on internet.

    ——————————–

    I think many are against the players because they claim things are being forced down their throats, when in actuality all that has happened is the owners presented a proposal. People don’t understand why the players don’t counter with a proposal of their own if they are truly interested in striking a deal. Most who are against the players believe the NFLPA decertified simply to letigate, which is not negotiating in good faith.

    The players didn’t ask for more money because they already knew they had a sweetheart deal.

    Sure people watch the game because of the players, but who provides the oppurtunity for the players to display their skills? Who has made the financial commitment to make it possible for the players to take the field on Sunday’s rather than take on a 9-5 job that they just might lose because of the economic down-turn? Who built the league up in popularity and profit (there has always been superstars in the league)? Yep, you guessed it, those greedy pigs we call owners.

    The owners are simply trying to get back some of the money they gave away to the players five years ago. And they’ve presented some concessions in their offers as well. In negotiations you give and take – the players only seem to interested in taking.

  174. truthserum4u says: May 27, 2011 7:49 AM

    Deb –

    In the past, whether I’ve agreed with you or not, I at least could see your point of view and you usually made valid points. But this latest on how some of the owners would benefit if the players win in court just doesn’t add up.

    Jerry Jones doesn’t want revenue sharing to be abolished because he wants to damage other teams; he wants to force guys like Mike Brown to work as hard at promoting the Bengals as he does promoting the Cowboys or sell it to someone who will. This isn’t McDonalds trying to put Burger King out of business. Conversely they need each other in order to succeed.

    As you have stated they are savvy business men; Jones and the others you purport seeking a leaner league, would realize such an occurance would not mean more money. In fact, it might add up to a bigger slice but of a much smaller pie.

    The NFL is successful in large part because it has competitive balance. Once that is lost and the league becomes top heavy like Baseball (which is what will happen if the players were to win in court) it begins to lose much of its popularity. As fans in the cities that can’t compete lose interest and stop following the game, as teams fold as you suggest, the game will no longer be the draw on television that it is now. Fewer fans and dwindling markets makes the game less viable for the networks. Less viable means much, much smaller TV contracts (one can only watch the Cowboys & Redskins play so many times a year on TV). Less exposure opens up the market for other sports leagues to seize the lost fanbase. The dominos would continue to fall in many facets, all leading up to far less money than they are reeling in now.

    Jerry Jones and his ilk may be greedy, but they surely aren’t stupid. Losing the draft, total free agency along with no salary cap would be the demise of the NFL as the most popular & profitable pro sports league – and don’t kid yourself – Jerry knows it.

  175. ampats says: May 27, 2011 7:55 AM

    Sorry Deb,

    But you need to put your thinking cap on and we respectively disagree.

    Last season there was not a salary cap and the mantra before the season was that the owners like Jerry Jones , Dan Snyder would go hog wild buying players. What happened ?

    I do agree that everyone in life has their own agendas but I do believe the majority of owners understand that the NFL is the golden goose and know destroying the competive balance of the league will lead the NFL to become more like to MLB. Can you imagine that a team in New York and LA are on the verge of bankruptcy?

    At the end of the day we want what everyone ( most) on this site want is for sensible heads to prevail and NFL football to begin so we can all continue what this site does best, allow fans of teams of opposing teams to sling mud. ( joke)

    I know your popularity in the AFC North outsde the black and gold( it is really yellow by true definition) but I am not here to insult Steeler Country at least not today !

  176. theguy57 says: May 27, 2011 9:51 AM

    Drew –
    Good points on the premeditation of the lock-out, but really – blood in the water?

    Owners opt out of lockout on 5/20/2008.

    Upshaw died SUDDENLY on 8/20/2008 – his illness was diagnosed only a few days before his death.

    Yet the owners had the foresight to see his demise coming. They must have called Miss Cleo.

    Do wither side use facts? Unreal.

  177. goawayeverybody says: May 27, 2011 10:40 AM

    Question: how many ass-kissing sockpuppets for the NFL and its owners can this site actually allow?

  178. bturner032002 says: May 27, 2011 10:42 AM

    hey u clowns do know that the players currently get 59.6% right??? They want 50% in the new deal that still leaves 1 billion in other revenue left over to the owners. That’s 31,250,000.00 per owner left over.

    The owners are trying to shaft the players!

  179. copman40 says: May 27, 2011 10:59 AM

    Ever since this battle between the players and owners started, Drew Brees has shown what it is like to make an idiot out of yourself in front of millions of fans. I hope someone talks to him and advises him to keep his comments to himself. How could he possibly believe what he wrote??

  180. Deb says: May 27, 2011 11:16 AM

    @clownburger …

    That’s right … if we support the players we’re not real fans and if we don’t vote the way you think we should we’re not real Americans. Please, get a new schtick :roll:

  181. Deb says: May 27, 2011 11:33 AM

    @truthserum4u and ampats …

    Well, truthserum, I hope you’re right. I believe revenue-sharing is a significant reason for the league’s success, and Jones has had me worried for years. I’m not implying that Jerry’s malevolent. You can’t blame an owner who invests the kind of money Jerry does in marketing the Cowboys brand for resenting a cheapskate like Brown. The league would fare better if all the owners worked as hard as Jones does. He annoys me, but Brown annoys me more.

    I’m just cautioning that there’s a lot of backstory here. The owners have other financial agendas than reducing the players’ revenues–and no one can assume they know what Jones or anyone else has in mind with that kind of money at stake.

    People keep treating this as though players have demanded more money, demanded to see the books, and struck to shut down the league. That’s not what’s happening. For generations, the treatment of NFL players was one of the worst stories in American labor history. The players have good reason for not trusting the owners and not taking their word that profits are down when it’s on record that revenues are higher than they’ve ever been. Green Bay is a small-market team and one of the least profitable in the league. Their books are not indicative of all the other teams.

    All these people shouting about how the players refused to negotiate either don’t know or have forgotten that months passed while the owners dilly-dallied prior to the deadline. The players made an offer weeks ahead of the owners that would have taken their cut of revenues back to 2002 levels. The owners wasted valuable negotiating time by throwing out red herrings about 18-game seasons. Their last proposal failed to address key areas of contention and was held until just hours before the deadline. If players hadn’t decertified when they did, they’d have had no legal recourse to a lockout they knew had been planned for two years.

    This is a complicated game of chicken, and it’s ridiculous for people to carry on like the players have backed these savvy owners into a corner. The owners could end this today if they wanted. They could lift the lockout, put all their employees back to work, operate the league under last year’s rules, and continue negotiating the CBA while the season moves ahead. It’s that simple. The players do not have that power. The owners do. And you have to ask yourselves why they aren’t exercising it.

  182. majbobby says: May 27, 2011 12:12 PM

    Cry me a River players…..

    Look you signed the CBA that put this parachute clause in there not only for you but for the owners….

    Now tell me one thing IF it went bad for you tell me that you would not have used the same parachute….. YOU CANT, because you WOULD.

    All I have to say is

    Owners 2 Offers
    Player 0 Offers.

    Keep crying instead of negotiating.

  183. bigtull says: May 27, 2011 12:22 PM

    I see I’m 24hrs late for the debate!
    Anyway, I think Brees is on target with his comments. The Owners lawyer is the type of negotiator that would take that kind of advantage. Pass new that Upshaw was deathly ill,(or dead, the timeline escapes me.) when he had the Owners say they would not be extend the contract option 2 years ago.

  184. truthserum4u says: May 27, 2011 5:01 PM

    Deb,

    The players aren’t demanding more money because theyalready know the last CBA was heavily in their favor. Anyone in their spot would want the status quo; their not exactly being honorable here.

    Horrible working conditions for players hasn’t existed in decades – these players weren’t even born yet. The players have experienced nothing but increased pay and better working conditions in the last several CBAs. In fact, I can’t think of one concession they’ve had to make while receiving numerous benefits. Usually in negotiations if you want something you need to give something in return. That hasn’t seemed to be the case in this relationship. Now they are asked to make a concession and “the worst deal in sports history” is being “shoved down their throats”.

    Last minute offers is quite common in any negotiations because no one takes things too seriously until the deadline is looming. This is not unique to NFL owners. And by the way, there were other benefits to the players in those offers, ot the least of which, Goodell would no longer be prosecution, judge & jury. Also, the extra one billion the owners were asking for [I noticed you haven’t been using skimming much lately ; >) ] was a starting point in which they have moved down.

    This isn’t like the owners offer (which again is a starting point to be negotiated from) is going to roll back the players income significantly. The players won’t be hurting.

  185. Deb says: May 27, 2011 5:53 PM

    @truthserum4you …

    I think age affects perspective when it comes to the history of those horrible working conditions. We’re talking about the 70s and 80s, and I was a young fan then, so it doesn’t seem like eons ago to me :) And there haven’t been numerous CBAs. These deals have only been in place since the late 1980s. Rod Woodson was the first Steeler to earn a million dollars in the 1990s.

    I don’t believe providing for the health and safety of players is doing them any favors. The league has done nothing through the years to address the fact that football players have a shorter life span and higher dementia rate than the population at large. And within the last few years, the NFL cut funding to research for spinal injuries. None of their rule changes have a demonstrable likelihood of reducing the number of concussions, but they’re likely to increase scores for fantasy players, which makes the game more marketable.

    The players don’t have to give anything except their talent. NFL revenues skyrocketed when this became a talent-driven league. The players are the commodity, and the owners bid up their salaries hoping to get the best possible talent for their teams. Of course, most players never get the full publicized amount of their contracts. I can’t say what the future impact of the owners’ proposed changes will be on the players’ revenues because the future hasn’t happened yet. I do know the owners have achieved the highest revenues in their history under the current CBA … so they really have nothing to complain about.

    The owners came in demanding they be allowed to skim ;) an extra billion off the top of the revenue pie but refusing to show any substantive data to explain why they need to do that. I wouldn’t do business that way, and neither would the NFL owners. When the players refused to accept unreasonable demands, the owners threw a tantrum and shut down the league.

    They could resume operations–and negotiations–tonight if they wanted. The players don’t owe them anything. The owners are the ones who want out of the current agreement. It’s up to them to propose a better one that’s acceptable to the players. So far they haven’t–and for nearly three months they haven’t even tried. The players did respond to the last proposal–they said no. Time the owners tried again. This intransigence is accomplishing nothing.

  186. truthserum4u says: May 27, 2011 8:37 PM

    The first CBA was in the late 60s, not neccessarily a good one for the players but they were recognized as a union and a deal was struck. There have been numerous ones since. Just because the two sides didn’t have strife or deals were in essence extended, doesn’t mean a new CBA wasn’t implemented.

    I never said providing for the health and safety of the players is doing them a favor. But the studies showing a shorter life span and the dementia rate are relatively recent. Studies have also shown that no matter what measures are taken in regards to head injuries, people playing football will still suffer from them. I do believe the owners can be more serious in trying to reduce such occurances, but it is an unfortunate part of the game. The players are fully aware of such risks, much like the construction worker who perches on a slab of steel 40 stories up, or the coal minor who digs far under ground. The players know this and still chose to participate; no one is holding a gun to their heads, they can walk away. But they don’t, in part because they are paid handsomely.

    The owners didn’t need to give anything either. Just because revenues went up didn’t make them obligated to increase payroll. They did so because it was good business for both the owners and players.

    This business about the players being the game, and they are the commodity is a falacy. Revenues didn’t sky-rocket because of the talent, it did so because of carefully crafted marketing. Fans are far more loyal to their teams than they are to a player, just ask a Packer fan.

    There has always been talent, even super-star talent in the league and yet the popularity of the NFL is greater than it’s ever been. Hall of Fame players have come and gone, as will the current generation and the league won’t slow down. Another reason the league has become so popular is the fantasy and betting aspects, which have nothing to do with the name on the back of the jersey. The NFL didn’t become the giant it has by accident.

    The owners may very well have something to complain about. When rising costs of doing business decreases your profit margin it most certainly is a concern, no matter if you are reaching new heights in revenue. This is not exclusive to the NFL.

    You are simply taking the word of the NFLPA that the information provided by the league isn’t substantive data. But who knows since the players were far more interested in litegation than negotiation.

    The owners want out of a bad deal! Stop the presses! Wouldn’t you if you felt like you were in a deal that heavily favored the other side and you were afforded the oppurtunity? The players agreed to the opt out clause. The players knew the deal greatly favored them. You don’t think they knew the owners would come back after five years of a one-sided deal and ask to adjust it? Is it really that unreasonable to tilt the scales back towards a good deal for both?

    The owners are using the lock-out as leverage just as the players are using the court system. The players would have no incentive to agree to a new CBA if the owners implemented the status quo since it already favors the players.

    By the way, the lock-out was completely legal, just as the players went on strike in the past. The sham decertification was a move to avoid negotiating in good faith. Let’s face it, they are still a union – you know, I know it, everyone knows it.

  187. centexhorn says: May 27, 2011 9:22 PM

    This place is a sewer. Why are people blaming Drew Brees for telling the truth? Blame the owners for cheering a man’s death. Anything less than fifty-fifty is wrong of the owners.

  188. Deb says: May 28, 2011 11:52 AM

    @truthserum4you …

    They had a toothless union in the 60s and most players were making peanuts into the 80s while the owners raked in millions. You said the players have experienced nothing but better pay and working conditions in the last several CBAs, and I’m saying there haven’t been many CBAs that actually improved the players’ lot because the union has only had real bargaining power since the late 1980s.

    Yes, players choose to play just as railroad workers chose to work the railroad at the end of the 19th century when so many were maimed and killed as a result of horrific working conditions and they and their families were left to starve. We need people to work in dangerous professions, but that doesn’t mean the employers who profit from their efforts don’t owe them or their families something if they’re disabled or killed on the job. You can’t legislate morality and conscience, but you can legislate workers’ comp and pension plans … or you could until pension programs were scuttled in the ’80s thanks to Big Business’s political contributions.

    I’m not buying the NFLPA’s line; I know what I know. Regardless of their “special” antitrust exemptions, the 32 clubs have 32 sets of books. You cannot draw conclusions about the earnings of the Dallas Cowboys from the books of the Green Bay Packers. In my industry, book sales are public record. If my publisher told me profits were down when I could see for myself that sales were up, do you think I’d agree to take less in royalties without seeing tangible evidence of revenues vs. expenditures? I’d be out of my mind to just take the publisher’s word for it, and if they weren’t forthcoming with the data, you bloody well better believe I’d sue to open those books!

    I negotiate contracts all the time. And when I first started freelancing, I got screwed a few times when people lowballed the work estimate. By the time my hours were added up, I was significantly underpaid. Too bad. I’d signed a contract. Live and learn. You’re trying to convince me 32 billionaires who’ve been signing contracts all their adult lives were coerced by a bunch of players into signing something that wasn’t in their interests? Please. They’ve looked into the future and see the potential revenues at stake and don’t want the split they have now. Fine, let them sit down like adults and negotiate a new one instead of trying to strong-arm the players and hoodwink the fans.

    I’ve never said lockout isn’t an acceptable leverage strategy but so is decertification/antitrust suit. The owners have always played hardball, so now the players have accommodated them. After decades of being shafted, it’s good the players have finally figured out–courtesy of Gene Upshaw–how to fight dirty. But the owners can still stop this any time by lifting the lockout, imposing last year’s rules, reinstating the season, and sitting down at the negotiating table. They claim they’re close to an agreement, and once that agreement is reached, the players will drop the suit and recertify, saving the league’s antitrust exemptions. Simple as pie, and the owners can stop tormenting their employees and fans.

    If the owners want to keep going–and as I said, it’s looking as though some might–based on previous court decisions, odds are they’ll lose. Maybe their egos just won’t let them believe that. Or maybe they think the players will give before they do. But the players have one advantage: Most of them have been poor before.

  189. locutus says: May 28, 2011 2:04 PM

    You’re trying to convince me 32 billionaires who’ve been signing contracts all their adult lives were coerced by a bunch of players into signing something that wasn’t in their interests? Please. They’ve looked into the future and see the potential revenues at stake and don’t want the split they have now. Fine, let them sit down like adults and negotiate a new one instead of trying to strong-arm the players and hoodwink the fans.

    Deb, what makes you think 32 people can come to an identical conclusion, let alone 32 “billionaires”, as if that somehow makes them monolithic? It doesn’t and they, as group, decided to move forward despite the negative, for them, contract. It was also this same contract that had an opt out clause which they triggered.

    As far as sitting down like adults, it seems the only offers have been from the owners while the players have not once counter offered. How can there be negotiations when only one side wants to while the other is thinks they don’t have to because they will win in court?

  190. Deb says: May 29, 2011 9:12 PM

    @locutus …

    Good point about getting 32 owners to act as a unit. Oddly enough, because they’re centrally represented, the 1700 players may be more unified in their strategy. The owners may well have conflicting agendas, and I think that’s part of the frustration.

    You’re mistaken about the players countering. The players made an offer weeks before the deadline that would have taken their cut of revenues back to 2002 levels. Mike has reported on this. The owners flat-out rejected it. After that, the players couldn’t get the owners to sit down and negotiate in good faith until the last grains of sand were slipping through the hourglass. The owners had verbally indicated they were close to agreement, then came in at the 11th hour with a written proposal that went backward. That led to decertification.

    The players can’t now present a counterproposal until the owners agree that they won’t use the counterproposal against them as evidence that they’re still a union. If they owners do so, the players will have no way to fight the lockout. The owners have refused. The owners prefer to shut down the league and lay off their employees than to sit down and negotiate in good faith. The players have no choice but to continue until receiving a definitive ruling on the lockout. You can thank the owners for no season this year. These negotiations could have continued as the season moved forward.

    People can thumbs down on that all they like, but the owners locked out the players, shut down the season, and now are screwing their employees though they aren’t yet out any money. And that is a fact.

  191. lonewizard says: May 31, 2011 10:17 PM

    If I never saw Drew Brees, Tom Brady or Payton Manning ever play again it would be OK with me. The game is much bigger than the a__holes that signed the anti-trust suit. Gentleman you are following a fool. Remove your good name from the suit and get back to the bargaining table.

  192. rogerfromoz says: Jun 1, 2011 12:14 PM

    Greed is good. Ask Gordon Gecko. NFL is already minting money and they are able to sell more season tickets even with a lockout threatening to kill part or all of the season. You say it’s incredibly smart people doing incredibly good marketing. I happen to have met some of the owners. Smart is not an adjective I would use to describe them. Greedy is a better description. The only reason the NFL owners have so much “smarts” is because they have a monopoly on professional football in the U.S. The NFL marketing machine failed miserably when they went to Europe. Dan Snyder bankrupted Six Flags. He’s done nothing with any of the other assets he acquired. He’s a dope. Don’t kid yourself. That said, i’m not taking the players side either. They listened to dumb lawyers tell them they should disband their union and file an antitrust lawsuit. The courts are all stacked in the NFL’s favor thanks to 20+ years of conservative appointments (even with Clinton because R’s refused to accept any of his nominees). NFLPA should have known better. Total lack of foresight and leadership that they didn’t. While the players might “deserve” more $$, it ain’t happening. I’d negotiate a deal now and try to save the season.

  193. skippynj says: Jun 1, 2011 2:14 PM

    Never seen so many foolish comments in my life. You boys need to take your noses out of these plutocrat owners behinds, stop watching fox news and read something objective now and then. This is nothing but a cynical money grab by the owners, same as the psl’s. Brees speaks the truth but the “owners”, as George Carlin used to call them, have convinced you that what’s good for the rich will be good for you when you get rich. When you lay down to die, poor as you are now and confused about how things didn’t work out the way they told you it would, don’t beat yourself up too badly, just die.

  194. qj1984 says: Jun 1, 2011 10:09 PM

    The mud slinging from the players is beginning to go a little to far. Brees needs to realize that one day there will be football again and when that day comes one of those guys that he is trashing will be signing his pay checks. He needs to choose his words and attack points much more wisely. We are not just talking about the owners strategy anymore, he is now questioning the character of the owners and some people, no matter how valid or absurd it might be, will not take kindly to that.

  195. pigeonpea says: Jun 2, 2011 2:36 PM

    giantrealist says:
    I suspect the team’s employees are flooding this site in support of their bosses. It’s an organized campaign to create an illusion that the general public is against the players.

    Of course… Because both the U.S. Courts and the international NFL fanbase are so tuned into PFT.com that a few pro-owner posts are going to tip the scales into a landslide win for the owners, where Congress will legislate the former NFLPA back to work under near slave-like conditions.

    My suggestion? Get off the pipe and stop watching so much Jesse Ventura’s Conspiracy Theory. The combination is really screwing with the way you think.

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