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Hall of Famer wants league, players to do a deal now

floyd-little Getty Images

When the NFL made on March 11 an offer to the players that didn’t nearly go far enough when it comes to the revenue split but that promised to take care of former players, the league tried to get said former players to pressure the current players to support the offer — or, at a minimum, to clamor for further talks.  It didn’t work.

Now that the league and the players are possibly closing in on an accord, a Hall of Fame former player has figuratively clunked together the heads of the two parties, in the hopes of getting a deal done.  (And, if he were in the room during negotiations, we have a feeling he’d do it literally.)

“You can see the problems,” Hall of Fame running back Floyd Little said over the weekend, at the football camp of former Broncos tight end Daniel Graham, per Jeff Legwold of the Denver Post.  “Playing careers are short, life expectancy is short and the health issues extend well past when you’re done playing.

“When they’re done with all this, we need to have something in place for guys to get the help they need.  Because all of the guys in the league now are going to be where we are someday a lot sooner than later.  That’s it.  There’s enough money to go around on both sides, so do the deal and take care of the people who play the game we all love.”

Little also raised a valid point regarding the multimillionaires whose names appear on the lawsuit that has given the players real leverage.  “[T]he leaders now, the Peyton Mannings, the Drew Breeses of the world, they understand they’re set, but that their careers and their teammates’ careers will finish someday with their lives left to live,” Little said.  “It’s important everybody thinks about that.”

Little is right.  Manning, Brees, Tom Brady and the like don’t need the money, now or in the future.  Former players and lower-level current players need a deal that will help take care of them, and hopefully that’s what some of the $9 billion per year, on its way to $20 billion and beyond, will do for the men who made the game what it is — and for the men who are currently helping to make it even better.

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14 Responses to “Hall of Famer wants league, players to do a deal now”
  1. liquidgrammar says: Jun 20, 2011 8:28 AM

    Well said, Floyd Little.

  2. kevinwi says: Jun 20, 2011 8:30 AM

    maybe if Brady, et al didn’t take 70M salaries, their teammates could be better paid in the now.

  3. clintonportisheadd says: Jun 20, 2011 8:53 AM

    Brees and Brady have both spoken to the issue that they are the “names” on the suit but that the folks that they are co-plaintiffs with (the less well known with shorter and less lucrative careers) are the real potential winners when the dust settles.

    As far as the ex players go, they really have no seat at the table do they? Goodell works for the owners and Smith works for the current players. Gene Upshaw was notorious for viewing the ex players as an annoyance and nothing more than a PR problem. One would think that as an ex player himself Upshaw would be more sympathetic. I guess when making $6 million a year it’s easy to throw your former playing colleagues under the bus.

    Lets face it-one of the few issues the owners and players did agree on was keeping ex players away from today’s revenue streams. If not for Congress and the heat they brought down, these folks would never have even paid the ex players any attention.

  4. duanethomas says: Jun 20, 2011 9:39 AM

    How did he get into the HOF? Played 9 years and had 1 thousand yard season? That has always stumped me, when you have guys like Chris Doleman (155 sacks) still not in.

  5. polegojim says: Jun 20, 2011 9:42 AM

    I get that there are ‘some’ situations where players got a bad deal and that the money score should be evened up a bit, but I still struggle to see the players as ‘victims’.

    First, take care of the guys who’s careers are truly cut short by injury. The rest – even with minimum pay and a short NFL career, they make far more than most people will make in a lifetime. Most can make a plan for ‘the rest of their life’ after football, while they’re playing football.

  6. jw731 says: Jun 20, 2011 11:21 AM

    Dollars to Doughnuts, that 75% of current NFL players don’t even know who the hell Floyd Little is…….And you think they are gonna listen?

  7. olcap says: Jun 20, 2011 11:41 AM

    For everything ONE thing that players do to make the game better, the NFL’s leader, silver-spoon-fed Roggy Goodell, does 10 things to make it worse.

  8. Deb says: Jun 20, 2011 12:08 PM

    @polegojim …

    The media is in the business of attracting readers/viewers. So when a player comes out with something off-the-wall, such as comparing the life of a modern-day football player to a 19th-century slave, that makes headlines. But only a couple of the league’s 1700 active players have engaged in that kind of hyperbole. In general, the players don’t go around referring to themselves as “victims.” They’re simply trying to negotiate a labor deal appropriate to their industry.

  9. tommyf15 says: Jun 20, 2011 12:15 PM

    clintonportisheadd says:
    Brees and Brady have both spoken to the issue that they are the “names” on the suit but that the folks that they are co-plaintiffs with (the less well known with shorter and less lucrative careers) are the real potential winners when the dust settles.

    As far as the ex players go, they really have no seat at the table do they? Goodell works for the owners and Smith works for the current players.

    Well said.

    I have sympathy for the retired players, but let’s face it- typically when a person leaves one job for another, they can’t expect handouts from their previous employer.

    The general public has NEVER been supportive of the players in their battles with ownership. Perhaps if they had been back in Floyd Little’s day, and maybe if his union had fought a bit harder, Little and his contemporaries would be in a better spot.

  10. zerored78 says: Jun 20, 2011 12:46 PM

    Ex-players need to stop complaining. They all did the job they willingly signed up to do for the compensation that was agreed to at the time. If they were promised more than they are receiving, take it to court. If not, deal with it like most the rest of us in the real world and find another way to get by.

  11. descendency says: Jun 20, 2011 12:49 PM

    I wish the money the Brady case will win “the players” would actually go to the guys who need it, but we all know it’s going to premiere players. The extra cap space will be used to sign long term deals with star players and QBs – not important roster people like special teamers and backups because they are a dime a dozen.

  12. time2speakup says: Jun 20, 2011 1:23 PM

    True, football is a sport – a game. But when the average kid playing started at 7 or 8, then all the way to and through the NFL, that’s a kind of dedication and effort that should be fairly rewarded each step along the way. Heaven knows there is more than enough money for fairness. Manning, Brees and Brady being the ones who stepped up is only right. They are untouchable. They can put their necks on the line without getting their heads handed to them.

  13. vahawker says: Jun 20, 2011 2:23 PM

    Maybe the former players should have been more concerned with former players while they were current players, then their situation likely would be different.

  14. binkee says: Jun 20, 2011 10:04 PM

    What’s with these retired ballplayers?
    They didn’t give a crap about the retirees
    when they were playing. Now when the
    shoe is on the other foot they start shooting
    off their mouths.

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