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League submits reply brief in Eighth Circuit appeal

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On Thursday, the NFL submitted a final reply brief in support of the appeal of Judge Susan Nelson’s order lifting the lockout.  The 38-page document, in which the party initiating the appeal customarily receives the last word in writing, responds in fairly concise manner to the arguments raised by players who filed an antitrust suit against the league on March 11.

With the Eighth Circuit already expressing that it has “serious doubts” regarding the ability of the federal courts to end an employer-imposed lockout and the players responding with a strong case for erasing those doubts, the NFL focused extensively on the plain language of the Norris-LaGuardia Act, which prohibits courts from issuing injunctions in labor disputes.

In the end, the question will turn on whether the judges agree with Judge Nelson and the players, who interpret the Norris-LaGuardia Act to not apply where, as here, a union has decertified.  If the two judges who expressed “serious doubts” ultimately agree with the NFL, the lockout will remain in place.

On that point, it’ll be interesting to see whether the players point out at the hearing — or in a supplemental written submission — a portion of the recent comments from Dolphins owner Stephen Ross to Jarrett Bell of USA Today.  “We negotiate with unions all the time, and there are issues there,” Ross said. “But they’re not the same types of issues.  When you’re dealing with guys earning over $1 million a year — the average salary is, what, $1.87 million? — you’re not talking about the same kind of labor issues.  Are these really labor issues?  These are not labor issues.

If, as Ross contends, these are not “labor issues,” then perhaps this is not a “labor dispute” within the meaning of the Norris-LaGuardia Act, which would allow the lockout to be lifted by the federal courts.  Though the league would quickly be able to rattle off seven reasons why the Dolphins owner’s words should be given no weight, the fact remains that, by sounding off while litigation is pending, Ross has invited the players to make his words an issue — just as the NFL has done with things the players have said.

Given that the Tom Brady antitrust lawsuit will continue even if the Norris-LaGuardia Act prevents the lockout from being lifted, the NFL has focused on other arguments aimed at ultimately defeating the case and forcing the union to reconstitute.  As to the question of whether the courts should defer to the NLRB’s assessment of whether the decertification of the NFLPA was a sham, the NFL focused on a point we’ve previously made regarding the dilemma the union faced on March 11.  Though the expired CBA contains language preventing the NFL from arguing that decertification is a sham, the CBA contemplates that the sham defensive will be waived if decertification occurs after the CBA expires.  Due to the presence of language forcing the players to wait six months to file an antitrust lawsuit if they fail to file before expiration of the CBA, the players had to decertify before expiration of the CBA — and then hope that they would be able to tiptoe around the timing issue as it relates to the sham defense.

In their appellate brief, the players contend that the CBA blocks the NFL from arguing that decertification is a sham if the union decertifies on or after the expiration of the labor deal.  The union thus contends that, by decertifying on the day the labor deal expired, the union decertified “on” expiration of the CBA.

Here’s the full language of the relevant CBA provision:  “The Parties agree that, after the expiration of the express term of this Agreement, in the event that at that time or any time thereafter a majority of players indicate that they wish to end the collective bargaining status of the NFLPA on or after expiration of this Agreement, the NFL and its Clubs and their respective heirs, executors, administrators, representatives, agents, successors and assigns waive any rights they may have to assert any antitrust labor exemption defense based upon any claim that the termination by the NFLPA of its status as a collective bargaining representative is or would be a sham, pretext, ineffective, requires additional steps, or has not in fact occurred.”

Though the long, legalese-heavy sentence contains the “on or after” language, the initial portion of the sentence seems to make clear the requirement that, to avoid the sham defense, decertification must occur “after the expiration” of the CBA.

This doesn’t mean that decertification necessarily was a sham; instead, it means that the NFL will still be able to argue that it was a sham.  Which means that the NFL could not only prevent a lifting of the lockout under the Norris-LaGuardia Act but also defeat the entire case, if the NLRB concludes that the decertification was indeed a sham.

Bottom line?  There’s still plenty of uncertainty for both sides, which means that both sides should be taking advantage of the uncertainty to control their destiny via negotiation, rather than waiting for one side to win and one side to lose, which will result in a skewed deal that will do nothing to restore long-term labor peace.

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43 Responses to “League submits reply brief in Eighth Circuit appeal”
  1. vahawker says: May 27, 2011 12:48 AM

    Couldn’t the league, then use the players own words regarding talking to their teams’ union player reps against them?

  2. jpmelon says: May 27, 2011 12:52 AM

    Could the argument be made that the process of filing the lawsuit started before the expiration of the CBA? If this is a valid consideration, I’d say the players are in trouble.

  3. eaglebobby says: May 27, 2011 1:00 AM

    Here is why the players have planned for litagation since the owners voted–according to both parties’ agreement in the CBA–for opening up the agreement and why they looked for a lawyer after Upshaw died in 2008.

    The original CBA expired at 12.01am on March 4th–both parties agreed to extend the deal by a week–meaning that the new expiration date was 12.01am on March 11th. But the players decertified at 4pm on MARCH 10TH–which means they decertified NEITHER on the date–the 11th–or after that date. They were so much in a rush to sue the league on antitrust issues that they jumped the gun.

  4. glen1904 says: May 27, 2011 1:13 AM

    that is why the whole lock out to force the players to sign a deal they will just be unsatisfied with like the owners were on the last deal is stupid!
    if they do it will just lead to a strike a few years down the line and really kill the 9 billion dollar goose.
    that is why they need to lift the lock out and both sides put their ego’s and greed aside and get a deal done somewhere in the middle before “sports fans” move on to sports while they haggle over their business. as I have said before if I want business I’ll watch CNBC and get my football on Saturday’s.
    lift the lock out get back to the table and work out an effin deal you greedy idiots!!!!!!

  5. trbowman says: May 27, 2011 1:15 AM

    Why does anyone choose to become a lawyer?

  6. realfann says: May 27, 2011 2:38 AM

    32 independent businesses cannot legally conspire to lockout workers in order to force them to take a pay cut.

    That is exactly what is happening here.

    Whether an anti-trust exception exists or not to protect this behaviour should be immaterial because fundamentally the NFL anti-trust exception has been granted in order that Americans can enjoy football.

    Something we are being prevented from doing because of the lockout.

    In other words, NFL gets special treatment to allow it to play games in a league format with rules designed to ensure competitiveness because we Americans want to watch competitive football.

    Using that special treatment for a totally different thing i.e forcing the players to take a pay cut, is an abuse.

    And should be stopped as soon as possible.

  7. ffootballontwitter says: May 27, 2011 3:04 AM

    The reply brief asks a simple question: did decertification happen as part of a labor dispute? Most of the other stuff – “cartel” vs “multiemployer bargaining unit”, “NFLPA” vs “NFLPA*”, “worst deal in history” vs “second-worst deal in history” etc. are petty distractions from the real issues that need resolution.

    The NFLPA* stance is a little bit like a company trying to claim they are profitable to their shareholders and then “flipping a switch” to plead poverty to the taxman. It’s something that a “clever” lawyer might think of using, but something that a “smart” lawyer would try to avoid.

  8. descendency says: May 27, 2011 4:19 AM

    How much longer until the NLRB case is over?

    Why is this taking them so long? Don’t they operate like other judges?

  9. chapnastier says: May 27, 2011 6:17 AM

    There is one way to end this, drop the suit and get back to the negotiation table. Until then, this is going nowhere.

  10. depotnator says: May 27, 2011 6:35 AM

    Are the people who responded to posts like this at this hour really football fans, or merely owner shills …

  11. dewiseman says: May 27, 2011 6:36 AM

    “This doesn’t mean that decertification necessarily was a sham…” Of course it was a sham. If it wasn’t, why is DeHatter still hanging around and not looking for another job? Why do you end your post by suggesting that both sides need to get back to the bargaining table? If it wasn’t a sham, then presumably there’s no union left for the owners to negotiate with. When are you going to start calling a spade a spade, Mike?

  12. oldbyrd says: May 27, 2011 7:16 AM

    Enjoying all the off season football stuff? Do you miss the trades, free agency, excitement? This is what communism brings about. Unions, the only thing worse is politics.

  13. CKL says: May 27, 2011 7:39 AM

    If the owners want to win this thing they need to make Ross STFU.
    JP Not sure on that one. I see where you are coming from and obviously am no legal expert but I can’t imagine a court would punish the players’ side for having to prepare for something like that in advance. to make sure it was filed at exactly the right moment since there were provisions that limited their window for decertifying.

  14. micronin127 says: May 27, 2011 7:48 AM

    The primary reason to decertify was to prevent a lockout. If the lockout can’t be lifted, then what residual benefit do the players get from decertification, the ability to file lawsuits?

    I hope they decide to reconstitute if the lockout isn’t lifted. If they go the ‘death of a thousand cuts’ route with lawsuit after lawsuit after lawsuit, then there certainly won’t be football in 2011.

  15. mightygiants says: May 27, 2011 8:10 AM

    The issue isn’t the union vs not a union, when it comes to the Norris-LaGuardia Act. Rather the issue is there is nothing in the wording of the act that allows it to be applied to an employer.

  16. cuzidid42 says: May 27, 2011 8:33 AM

    He did not say these were not labor issues, he said these were not the SAME KIND of labor issues……

  17. cuzidid42 says: May 27, 2011 8:43 AM

    Realfann says that these are 32 seperate entities conspiring to lock out the players.

    Well, the same court that wanted to lift the lock-out has ruled that the NFL is a single entity during the STAR-CAPS incident the last two years. If they are infact seperate entities, then Pat and Kevin Williams would not be facing suspension because the would fall under Minnesota Law for drug testing.

  18. src3346 says: May 27, 2011 8:46 AM

    Well, here we are again looking into the eyes of the NLRB. The League went to them (I believe in February) regarding the “UNION”. Everyone wants to blame the owners and the players who are equally guilty. The real culprit in the matter is the NLRB and their inexplicable and irresponsible failure to respond to the Leagues contention that the decertification of the “UNION” was and is a complete SHAM. Maybe the members of the NLRB believed that the most recent RAPTURE :), would make it unnecessary for them to make a ruling.

  19. src3346 says: May 27, 2011 9:05 AM

    The primary reason to decertify was to prevent a lockout. If the lockout can’t be lifted, then what residual benefit do the players get from decertification, the ability to file lawsuits?

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME!

    Opting out of the CBA was contractually available to both parties. The potential lockout was always there, but would never have happened if the UNION had not Decertified. Note to Players Association; RESPOND TO AT LEAST ONE OF THE OFFERS FROM THE LEAGUE. Oh, that’s right you don’t know who your actual representatives are and only a handful of you are on the same page. Here is a thought . Have another random player throw some darts at the League, Roger Goodell, one of the Owners or their Legal Counsel. That certainly will get the ball rolling. IDIOTS!!!

  20. zxcvbnmjhgfdsa says: May 27, 2011 9:31 AM

    zxcv/May 18:

    ‘The union* left behind an assoc. within the meaning of the Nor-Lag Act, n/w/standing the decert. Hence it remains a labor matter free from judicial (Nelson) intervention. Ergo, the 8th Cir. vacated her enjoining the stay.’

    M.F./above: ‘The NFL focused extensively on the plain language of the Nor-LaG. Act which prohibits courts from issuing injunctions in labor disputes.’

    At least the NFL reads PFT.

  21. nypd1056 says: May 27, 2011 9:46 AM

    I have not seen anything written where the players are taking a pay cut. It seems every new contract the players and the teams sign, the players are getting more money. Every year the NFL and players union divvy up a certain amount of money and as a result the CAP is raised. HOW CAN THIS BE A PAY CUT for the players when there is more money to be distributed. Can someone explain this to me.

  22. touchdownroddywhite says: May 27, 2011 10:02 AM

    The players arguing that they decertified “on expiration” is like a QB saying, “I wasn’t past the line of scrimmage, I was ON it”.

    So if they decertified “on expiration” that means the deal was expired, officially, when then the anti trust lawsuit was filed.

    But WAIT, there’s more:

    “Due to the presence of language forcing the players to wait six months to file an antitrust lawsuit if they fail to file before expiration of the CBA”

    So they decertified “on expiration” of the CBA and then went back in time as a non union entity in order to file an anti trust suit during the CBA so they didn’t have to wait 6 months.

    Can’t have it both ways, and I think the fact that they actually tried to have it both ways will hurt them the worst here.

    Either way you look at it, they did something incorrect and/or backwards.

    Players, please give in now. It’s going to happen, so save all of us the time and just get it over with.

  23. klunge says: May 27, 2011 10:07 AM

    Realfann also is misinformed apparently about the entire lockout. The owners NEVER tried force a pay cut! Where are you getting this info? They put a deal on the table with a 25% raise over the next 3 years! Current cap is $128M, the deal offered increased to $161M in annual steps. Are inflation and average American wages rising at that rate (roughly 8.5% yearly)? Let me help you out – the answer is no.

    The verbage in the old CBA is in my mind no different whatsoever than the owners securing lockout insurance from the TV contracts. They did not intend to bargain in good faith, intended to sham decertify, and placed language in the contract to protect themselves against the deserved punishment for the sham. The fact that that verbage was put there in 2006 shows the players were preparing for litigation much sooner than the mock decertification vote that was held at the beginning of last season. They know damn well the owners would opt out of the ridiculous deal in favor of the players. The NFL took steps via TV contracts to balance out the leverage during work stoppage and suddenly THEY are the ones accused of bad faith negotiating? Ha. And the fact they at least tried to negotiate should say something.

  24. Rhode Island Patriots Fan says: May 27, 2011 10:16 AM

    At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what public statements are made by Stephen Ross or anyone else. What matters is the “plain language” of the Norris-LaGuardia Act (NLGA), which provides, in pertinent part, that a case involves or grows out of a labor dispute when it is “between one or more employees or associations of employers and one or more employees or associations of employees.” 29 U.S.C. Section 113(a)(1). Do anyone see the word “union” there? I don’t. That means the NLGA is not only applicable to this case, but the lower court (Judge Nelson) did NOT have jurisdiction to enjoin the NFL’s lockout. That means the lockout should be allowed to continue. Fans must come to grips with the fact that labor peace (i.e., a new CBA) is even more important than the timely start of the 2011 NFL season; otherwise, the nightmare we’re living now will only repeat itself—yet again—in the not-too-distant future.

  25. Rhode Island Patriots Fan says: May 27, 2011 10:41 AM

    CORRECTION: Re: my post above, the 29 U.S.C. Section 113(a)(1) reference should have read: “between one or more employers or associations of employers and one or more employees or associations of employees.”

  26. ttebow15 says: May 27, 2011 10:45 AM

    What I see is a choice by the players that if they are defeated in this the first court battle to gain unnecessary leverage, that they return to the bargaining table by June 15 in hopes of getting a deal by sometime in July. However if they take the De Smith option to of looking for any court ruling to gain leverage then say goodbye to 2011 season. This whole thing is going to turn on that choice, counting the court fighting or negotiate like proper businessmen.

  27. willycents says: May 27, 2011 10:46 AM

    I am still pretty dense headed, I suppose. But, I still cannot comprehend who the league can negotiate with? There is no entity representing the players in this matter if there is no union.
    Not to take sides on this “negotiating” demand/suggestion, but, seems to me (regretfully) that Mike is correct on the 32 owners should be “in the room.” However, it seems to me that the all of the players also need to be there “in the room” to negotiate and approve an agreement, since there is no one to represent each individual player.
    IF there is an agreement between the negotiators, a group of the players approve it by a majority vote; it seems to me that those who disapprove of it can still disregard it since, insofar as every player is now a separate bargaining agent, it would not apply to them by their choice.
    In any non-union employer/employee relationship, an agreement with one/several employees does not necessarily apply to other employees.
    In “right to work” states, an individual cannot be forced to join a union, hence, what is to prevent players subject to those individual states laws from saying “screw the union” settlement and sueing anyway?
    I have both union and non union employees, doing virtually identical jobs, and I can legally treat them differently,even though I choose not to.
    Can someone out here beat it through my thick skull with whom the NFL can negotiate, at this juncture, with no union, that can arrive at a binding agreement to a non union workforce of 1700+ employees?

  28. sl1111 says: May 27, 2011 10:51 AM

    oldbyrd says:
    May 27, 2011 7:16 AM
    Enjoying all the off season football stuff? Do you miss the trades, free agency, excitement? This is what communism brings about. Unions, the only thing worse is politics.

    ————–

    Wow – this is stupid.

    The union voluntarily decertified – so if you hate unions – why would you want the owners to win the “sham” decertification argument and force the union to act as a single entity again?

    If you love your capitalism/anti-union position so much – get rid of the antitrust exemption the owners enjoy and make them work under the normal rules of capitalism. Let the union dissolve and act as normal private employees.

    You, and those that believe the stupid things you say, and living contradictions.

  29. vetdana says: May 27, 2011 10:54 AM

    judging from the above posts….this whole issue is one collosal convoluted mess !! Everyone..Judges, Lawyers, Owners and Fans…all having Different ideas on what the real issues in the case are !!!! How could anybody, with a sound mind think that this litigation would result in leverage for a better deal, before so much time elapsed…that the 2011 season and two or three others would be lost before anything got resolved ?? Very few people, with the exception of the legal counsel knew, what they were in store for and …if anybody wants to save the league from destruction…they better get this OUT of the Courts and back to the table !!!

  30. sl1111 says: May 27, 2011 10:56 AM

    src3346 says:
    May 27, 2011 9:05 AM

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME!

    Opting out of the CBA was contractually available to both parties. The potential lockout was always there, but would never have happened if the UNION had not Decertified.
    ————–

    You know this is simply incorrect, right?

    Please look up the thousands of articles/sources over the course of the football year guaranteeing that the owners were going to lock out the union at the expiration of the CBA. It was common knowledge.

  31. willycents says: May 27, 2011 11:12 AM

    @ sl1111 says:May 27, 2011 10:56 AM

    Do you believe every thing you read/hear in the media?

    I put about as much faith in what the media says as I did in the “rapture” that was predicted for last week. (and I read/heard about it everywhere)

    Sit down with a copy of the National Enquirer and read it. You know, the alien baby in Brazil, etc. That is how much faith you should have in the media….headlines and conjecture is all they produce.

  32. klunge says: May 27, 2011 11:26 AM

    src3346 says:
    May 27, 2011 9:05 AM

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME!

    Opting out of the CBA was contractually available to both parties. The potential lockout was always there, but would never have happened if the UNION had not Decertified.
    ————–

    You know this is simply incorrect, right?

    Please look up the thousands of articles/sources over the course of the football year guaranteeing that the owners were going to lock out the union at the expiration of the CBA. It was common knowledge.
    ———————————————–

    Actually he may be right, its just an unusual situation because normally they could only have a lockout if there was still a Union. They initiated the lockout after decertification for several reasons, in my opinion.
    One, to show they consider the decert a sham and do not recognize it.
    Two, they virtually HAVE to lock players out because sham or not, technically the Union doesn’t exist therefore any regulations or actions of the teams that are commonly enforced around the league are subject to anti-trust litigation. How can you conduct an organized, regulated, meaningful camp or free agency deals when all the rules are considered collusion? The Brady case happening right now is proof of that.

  33. moochzilla says: May 27, 2011 11:30 AM

    “If you love your capitalism/anti-union position so much – get rid of the antitrust exemption the owners enjoy and make them work under the normal rules of capitalism. Let the union dissolve and act as normal private employees.”

    You just made the the following team owners vomit on their shoes with your statement:

    Jacksonville
    Baltimore
    Indianapolis
    Detroit
    Green Bay
    Arizona
    Buffalo
    Cleveland
    Cincinatti
    St. Louis
    Minnesota
    Denver
    Tennessee
    Miami
    Kansas City
    San Diego
    Carolina
    New Orleans
    Tampa
    Seattle

    Probably 90% of those teams above would vote against what you are suggesting, perhaps all of them. I could only guarantee 2 owners (Snyder and Jones) voting for free market capitalism.

    Get some knowledge about how this works / needs to work to ensure 32 viable franchises and parity.

  34. moochzilla says: May 27, 2011 11:31 AM

    Sorry sl…I see you ‘get it’!

  35. src3346 says: May 27, 2011 11:34 AM

    src3346 says:
    May 27, 2011 9:05 AM

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME!

    Opting out of the CBA was contractually available to both parties. The potential lockout was always there, but would never have happened if the UNION had not Decertified.
    ————–

    You know this is simply incorrect, right?

    Please look up the thousands of articles/sources over the course of the football year guaranteeing that the owners were going to lock out the union at the expiration of the CBA. It was common knowledge.

    By the same token the “Union” made sure that verbage was in the CBA stating that The League could not use the Sham defense if the Union decertified. BOTH PARTIES ARE GUILTY OF PLANNING FOR THE LOCKOUT, therefore, it is simply CORRECT! Check all of the facts.

  36. jackfnburton says: May 27, 2011 11:50 AM

    Yeah. They really want to talk. Because, you know…it’s important to settle this through negotiation instead of litigation.

    *yawn*

  37. greghensley says: May 27, 2011 12:30 PM

    Players drop the lawsuit. Owners end the lockout.
    Keep the 50/50 split but the players take over pension plan and insurance costs. Slot all rookie contracts but make contracts 4 years for 1st and 2nd round players and 3 years for everyone else.

  38. time2speakup says: May 27, 2011 1:48 PM

    With all of this “legalese jargon” (which has given me a headache) swirling about, the only thing that is clear to me is this could go into infinity – and what good is that. When it does, nobody benefits and everybody, repeat, everybody loses.

  39. moochzilla says: May 27, 2011 2:19 PM

    “Players drop the lawsuit. Owners end the lockout.
    Keep the 50/50 split but the players take over pension plan and insurance costs. Slot all rookie contracts but make contracts 4 years for 1st and 2nd round players and 3 years for everyone else.”

    And why would this be accepted by the players?

  40. anonhotep says: May 27, 2011 7:32 PM

    Let’s look at what did happen in the NHL. The league and the NHLPA failed to negotiate a new CBA and the current CBA expired. The union got caught with their pants down as the owners locked them out. Without income from playing the players were forced to accept a new CBA with a hard salary cap reducing the clubs labor cost. NHL teams could and did raise ticket prices and kept the additional revenue. This is a fight about money. The NFL owners are not happy with the current split (CBA) even though they are not losing money as the NHL claimed in 2003. The NFLPA is happy with the current CBA and would like to continue with something similar. The NFL opted out in 2008 of the CBA and hired the architect (Bob Betterman) of the NHL’s lockout to work for them. The NFL tried to prepare for a lockout by negotiating a TV contract (4 billion USD) in violation of the CBA because it did not maximize the benefits for both parties in that only the owners received revenue if there was a lockout. The NFLPA was able to prepare for an expiring CBA through decertification and litigation. Without decertification the players would have remained in a lockout state until they would have run out of money and forced to accept a new CBA of the owners choosing. The owners have made this a litigation issue and the 2011 is in the hands of the courts.

  41. eagleswin says: May 28, 2011 3:10 PM

    anonhotep says:May 27, 2011 7:32 PM

    Let’s look at what did happen in the NHL. The league and the NHLPA failed to negotiate a new CBA and the current CBA expired. The union got caught with their pants down as the owners locked them out. Without income from playing the players were forced to accept a new CBA with a hard salary cap reducing the clubs labor cost. NHL teams could and did raise ticket prices and kept the additional revenue. This is a fight about money. The NFL owners are not happy with the current split (CBA) even though they are not losing money as the NHL claimed in 2003. The NFLPA is happy with the current CBA and would like to continue with something similar. The NFL opted out in 2008 of the CBA and hired the architect (Bob Betterman) of the NHL’s lockout to work for them. The NFL tried to prepare for a lockout by negotiating a TV contract (4 billion USD) in violation of the CBA because it did not maximize the benefits for both parties in that only the owners received revenue if there was a lockout. The NFLPA was able to prepare for an expiring CBA through decertification and litigation. Without decertification the players would have remained in a lockout state until they would have run out of money and forced to accept a new CBA of the owners choosing. The owners have made this a litigation issue and the 2011 is in the hands of the courts.

    —————————–

    You are wrong about many things except for this fight being about money. Of course it’s about money.

    The special master, who is the one who is supposed to have jurisdiction over the lockout insurance, said the owners TV money was not a violation. The players, not liking the answer, went to Doty, who has never ruled against them and got a favorable verdict. The owners have the option of going to the 8th circuit to appeal his ruling and most likely Doty’s decision will be overturned if they decide to go that route. Just because a Minnesota district judge makes a ruling doesn’t make it right or final.

    The NFLPA was supposed to wait 6 months after the expiration of the CBA before they decertified. It was spelled out in the CBA and that is why the owners should win this one. The owners could only have maintained the lockout until the players LEGALLY DECERTIFIED after 6 months. Not indefinately. The problem is the players don’t want to lose any money whereas the owners are prepared to lose some money.

    If the players had not decertified and litigated maybe they would’ve negotiated and that’s the point.

  42. greghensley says: May 29, 2011 10:03 AM

    moochzilla says: May 27, 2011 2:19 PM

    “Players drop the lawsuit. Owners end the lockout.
    Keep the 50/50 split but the players take over pension plan and insurance costs. Slot all rookie contracts but make contracts 4 years for 1st and 2nd round players and 3 years for everyone else.”

    And why would this be accepted by the players?
    _____________________________

    If the players truly want to be 50/50 partners, they should decide how much goes toward former players and it should come from players. The owners will always look to screw them anyway possible. Also for insurance, the players union would be allowed to find the best deal for themselves, instead of owners saying here is what you get.

    Now the owners would no longer be receiving 1 billion off the top nor the 2 billion they are currently seeking.

    Players take care of player needs. Teams take care of team needs. It is a long term solution.

  43. laeaglefan says: May 29, 2011 5:03 PM

    I don’t see where any individual player is being asked to take a pay cut. Contracts are still negotiated on a case by case basis. The only argument that the players have is that collectively they’re being asked to have less money in the cumulative pool for ALL players. While in theory this could mean to some players that they will be asked to accept a lessor contract, in reality it probably means that rookies will have to accept a few less million for being given a golden opportunity to prove their value, in order to get the really big bucks. I don’t see this as being unfair whatsoever.

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