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“Bizarre chaos” from new injunction would cut both ways

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At one point in the current labor dispute, long before the union decertified and 10 players filed an antitrust suit and the league locked them all out, the NFLPA was toying with political strategies that would hurt everyone.  Persuading Congress to attack the league’s broadcast antitrust exemption, for example, would have led to less TV money for the league — and thus less TV money that could be shared with the players.  Likewise, an apparent disdain for the league office’s tax-exempt status could have been replaced with a structure that would have made it more costly for the league and its teams to process revenues and pay taxes — and thus giving them less total money that could be shared with the players.

Now, as the process possibly moves toward conclusion, NFLPA* lawyers could be unleashing a legal strategy on behalf of unsigned players that could hurt both the league and the unsigned players.

The possible filing of a motion for an injunction aimed at forcing the league to sign rookies and free agents before locking them out would, as an NFLPA* legal memo obtained by Sal Paolantonio of ESPN puts it, cause “bizarre chaos” for the league.  But it also would create a potential mess for the free agents and rookies.

A source not tied to the union or the NFL but with knowledge of the situation broke it all down for us earlier today.

Apart from the fact that the unsigned players will be locked out as soon as they sign contracts, the players surely won’t get any money until the lockout ends.  Yes, there will be signing bonuses.  But no team in its right mind will make the money due at any point before the 2011 league year commences.  And so the tactic still won’t get the players their money any faster.

Also, the magnitude of the contracts offered will surely be much lower before the lockout ends than after a deal is struck.  Though some teams may splurge on the likes of Nnamdi Asomugha, the market will be much softer than it would be with a new labor deal in place.

As to the possibility that Peyton Manning would be a free agent, the source pointed out that the league would surely implement rules that would apply to the players for whom the lockout is lifted, at least until they sign contracts.  The franchise tag would still be implemented, along with possible limits on restricted free agents.

On that point, the NFLPA* could argue while seeking the motion that the franchise tag and any other restrictions on free agency would violate antitrust laws and should be prohibited.  But that process would make a complex process even more complicated.  Besides, any ruling would be subject to another appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, delaying for weeks if not months the final outcome of the process.

The only group that would benefit in any way from the lifting of the lockout as to unsigned players would be the rookie draft picks, who presumably would be permitted to work out at team facilities and receive coaching — until they sign contracts.  But with the calendar approaching August, there simply isn’t enough time to let all of that play out in a way that benefits anyone.

In the end, the NFLPA* lawyers may not care about the practical consequences of seeking an injunction for the unsigned players.  Indeed, it may fit with their broader agenda of trying to string out the dispute long enough to miss the season and position the players for a big-money antitrust verdict.

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43 Responses to ““Bizarre chaos” from new injunction would cut both ways”
  1. skoobyfl says: Jul 14, 2011 1:42 PM

    As I mentioned before, the NFLPA lawyers have one goal in mind & one goal only = Get a Multi-Billion $ settlement that they collect a % of. It’s pretty obvious & even more apparent that they would win eventually, so the owners are under the gun.

    I’d expect that the July 21st owners meeting will turn into a vote for whatever agreement they can get in hand, otherwise the NFLPA lawyers will take a big piece of candy home at some later point.

  2. goldeelox says: Jul 14, 2011 1:44 PM

    1. Litigation
    2. ?
    3. Profit

  3. fcs34 says: Jul 14, 2011 1:45 PM

    Bizarre choas is also the name of James Harrisons new rap cd.

  4. twitter:Chapman_Jamie says: Jul 14, 2011 1:46 PM

    I’m really sorry but I am confused. How can FA and Rookies not already be signed? Does the lockout apply to every athlete? The union doesn’t exist anymore right? Since rookies were never part of the union can they really be locked out?

  5. jm11890 says: Jul 14, 2011 1:47 PM

    “In the end, the NFLPA* lawyers may not care about the practical consequences of seeking an injunction for the unsigned players. Indeed, it may fit with their broader agenda of trying to string out the dispute long enough to miss the season and position the players for a big-money antitrust verdict.”
    —————————————————-
    This is it right here. Demoron has no interest in settling nor do these lawyers for the players. there will be no football this year till these cancers are out

  6. pastorinisflak says: Jul 14, 2011 1:47 PM

    I’ll quote Pacman on this one, “It’s ridiculous…It don’t make no sense.”

  7. 0mattfrye0 says: Jul 14, 2011 1:47 PM

    Our world would be alot better without lawyers.

  8. snnyjcbs says: Jul 14, 2011 1:48 PM

    If I was the players I would take a really good look at those Lawyers and the position they have put them in to date.

    Only thing worse then an Attorney is the Dog S___ people step in and have to wipe from their shoe.

    Get a deal done you GREEDY new generation soft player. The NFL needs more James Harrison’s.

  9. fivetwos says: Jul 14, 2011 1:49 PM

    An irrational view of certain leverage, coupled with attorneys who don’t want a deal done is probably why they are getting noplace inside that room right now.

    This is where Boylan is seriously missed.

    I expect nothing until he is back in the mix.

  10. kevinfromphilly says: Jul 14, 2011 1:49 PM

    Aw hell, this is obviously just a ploy to keep the owners from getting too cute with the rookie wage scale negotiations. Just end it now, for crying out loud.

  11. We'reFineThere says: Jul 14, 2011 1:49 PM

    I miss the old days when the only text wall I read each year concerning football was Matthew Berry’s draft day manifesto.

  12. biggerballz says: Jul 14, 2011 1:50 PM

    god i hate lawyers

  13. captainwisdom8888 says: Jul 14, 2011 1:54 PM

    We will have our football on sundays! We will have our fantasy leagues!

    Optimists- THUMBS UP
    Pessimists- THUMBS DOWN

  14. time2speakup says: Jul 14, 2011 1:56 PM

    Just when I’ve convinced myself this cannot get any more nuts, along comes this bit of sunshine.

  15. joesphkerr says: Jul 14, 2011 1:59 PM

    “In the end, the NFLPA* lawyers may not care about the practical consequences of seeking an injunction for the unsigned players. Indeed, it may fit with their broader agenda of trying to string out the dispute long enough to miss the season and position the players for a big-money antitrust verdict.”

    So if this happens, then do the lawyers still get paid? No season means no players getting paid. Yup…the players are going to get nothing but screwed if this happens, just like the fans. I would guess that there will still be games on Sunday. It would be safe to say that the networks and the NCCA have a plan in place. While the Saturday prime games might not get moved, nothing wrong with watching mid-level schools play on Sundays.

  16. harmcityhomer says: Jul 14, 2011 2:01 PM

    I thought I read on this site that the player lawyers have a flat fee deal that actually would make them do more work for the same money if this thing drags out into a trial, and would not reward them anymore for winning a big judgement than reaching a quick settlement.

    I just want the football. Enough with the legal speculation.

  17. rascalmanny says: Jul 14, 2011 2:02 PM

    So will it really happen?

    No NFL this year?

    Don’t be surprised.

  18. ididntsaythat says: Jul 14, 2011 2:08 PM

    You know, for a moment I thought I was reading about those clowns in DC fighting over the debt ceiling. This now has turned into theater. We all know they are NOT going to sacrifice one red cent! They are just posturing now for who looks better in the end.

  19. nothimagain says: Jul 14, 2011 2:13 PM

    Look, this potential anti-trust route/verdict isn’t going to happen.

    Forget the fact that the players may not actually win it or win a huge judgment. The simple fact is the players collectively cannot hold out for a season let alone 2. Once pay checks start missing you’ll see a bulk of them putting pressure on their leadership to get a deal done.

  20. bobwhitequail says: Jul 14, 2011 2:15 PM

    Kessler and Quinn could care less if the players get paid or there is football IMO. They have been trying to blow up the process or delay it for a long time. It appears their motivation is 1) making money, 2) building their reputation, and 3) victory against the NFL no matter the cost. If benefitting the players was on their agenda why have they been actively trying to blow up, delay, or obstruct a CBA deal? The bigger mess these lawyers make the more they get paid to clean it up (or even to grow it into a bigger and bigger mess).

    The only way the lawyers lose if if a deal is made between the NFL and players. If they sue and lose, they make millions. If they sue and make a big mess and there is no resolution, they make even more millions. If they sue and win, they make billions. The only way they lose is if a deal is made.

  21. captainobvious1 says: Jul 14, 2011 2:22 PM

    The owners’ meeting is one week from today which makes the “deadline” for a deal the 20th. Both sides know that there’s still plenty of negotiating time left and are waiting to see who blinks first. I can’t imagine this not coming right down to the wire. So the players throw this tidbit of info out to the media hoping to gain some last minute leverage – probably won’t work, but why not at least give it a shot.

    @harmcityhomer – you are correct that you read that on this site.

  22. iamthorny says: Jul 14, 2011 2:29 PM

    Can’t we just book both sides on JUDGE JUDY and have this decided in less than 15 minutes?

  23. sampetros says: Jul 14, 2011 2:32 PM

    It’s really going to happen folks. I knew it but I didn’t think it would be this early in the process that everyone is starting to realize the season will be lost. I’ve said it before and I will say it again. This season is lost!! It will be all legal action for the next 6-8 months and then a possible settlement OR courts decide the outcome in the end which will be about the start time of 2012 Training Camp.

    Here is a great question. Since the season is lost, will there be a 2012 Draft? If so, who get’s the 1st pick in the Draft? Will it be Carolina? If so, will they take Andrew Luck? This is going to be the weirdest next 12 months for a die hard NFL fan like myself.

  24. bobwhitequail says: Jul 14, 2011 2:35 PM

    @harmcityhomer, that was based on one tweet from one reporter that a flat fee was “part of the deal” for the lawyers. “part of the deal”? what are the other parts? Does it just add on to the existing payments/commission? PFT was right that these lawyers would be very resistant in willingly giving up millions (or possibly billions of dollars). They would not be resistant to a leak designed to calm down outraged players or the public however.

    That single tweet was after 2 days of intensive reporting that lawyers are fleecing the players. So it appears that the tweet was sent as a way to quiet the negative PR reaction. No indication that it is a substantive change.

    Kessler alone has already made $25 million from the NFLPA form 2006-2010. That was before the lawsuit even started and now that he is the lead counsel it must be staggering how much he is making. And that is not even counting any commssion. Only the lawyers and NFLPA Brass know the actual financial arrangment. I would put zero wieght in last minute tweets in response to public outcry.

  25. tommyf15 says: Jul 14, 2011 2:36 PM

    Apart from the fact that the unsigned players will be locked out as soon as they sign contracts, the players surely won’t get any money until the lockout ends. Yes, there will be signing bonuses. But no team in its right mind will make the money due at any point before the 2011 league year commences. And so the tactic still won’t get the players their money any faster.

    I have to disagree with this.

    When you say “no team in it’s right mind”, that’s your opinion and your entitled to it. But in my opinion there would be several teams that would get creative in order to take advantage of a ONCE IN A LIFETIME opportunity to obtain a player like Peyton Manning. That includes giving him a signing bonus, meaning he gets it for just signing the deal without any delays.

    Someone would do it.

    Also, the magnitude of the contracts offered will surely be much lower before the lockout ends than after a deal is struck.

    I have no idea why they would be. In fact my guess is that the contracts would be higher. For example, right now teams like the Vikings and Cardinals have no other way to obtain a veteran QB than to sign one.

    Though some teams may splurge on the likes of Nnamdi Asomugha, the market will be much softer than it would be with a new labor deal in place.

    The bottom line is this- if the injunction is granted and the court orders teams to negotiate with free agents, there would be no pint in making a lowball offer

    As to the possibility that Peyton Manning would be a free agent, the source pointed out that the league would surely implement rules that would apply to the players for whom the lockout is lifted, at least until they sign contracts. The franchise tag would still be implemented, along with possible limits on restricted free agents.

    With no CBA in place that would be a flagrant anti-trust violation.

  26. lovesportsandsurfing says: Jul 14, 2011 2:44 PM

    Im hoping for a 5 year lockout…we have college football, and they will play some of their games on sundays, so all good.

  27. bobbyd12 says: Jul 14, 2011 2:46 PM

    “Now, as the process possibly moves toward conclusion”. Huh? Just last night there was an article here on PFT saying things were not even close. They have NOT agreed on the revenue split, they have NOT agreed to a rookie wage scale, they have NOT agreed to player safety issues and an 18 game schedule might be back on the table. Now the next morning we are talking about a possible conclusion?? C’mon, this has become a joke. And as far as not losing revenue?? It happens to companies and employees all the time on strike or lockout. Yes it is a lot of money, but these owners are beyond rich with other endeavors long before buying football teams. For a better deal in the long run they will take the short term pain, a lost season.

  28. dave1961 says: Jul 14, 2011 2:56 PM

    The only chaos I see if media making up wild speculation from unreliable sources. It seems to me whoever u talk to has been playing you all like a bunch of rummies.

  29. gdpont says: Jul 14, 2011 3:02 PM

    Not only would Kessler and Quinn attack franchise tags and other free agency restrictions, their real target will be the draft. I anticipate that the threat of annulling this year’s draft will give the owners something to worry about and more incentive to move towards the player’s bargaining proposals on unresolved issues. I do realize that this year’s draft under the auspices of the now-expired CBA, but I do not think that protects the results of the draft because the rookies never were represented by the NFLPA. The ultimate question will be whether a decertified union that has never represented the rookies has or ever had the legal authority to force the rookies to abide the restrictions on their personal and economic interests that the draft imposes on them. In the absence of a new CBA and a player’s union, I think there is a strong argument that requiring rookies to play for the team that drafted them, or not play at all, would violate antitrust laws.

  30. realitypolice says: Jul 14, 2011 3:20 PM

    I think you’d better get a second source on this.

    Your inflaming a lot of people with what seems like a pretty flimsy case.

    One source with no ties to either side but with “knowledge of the situation?

    Getting a little “deadspinny” up in here.

  31. 2011to2020lions says: Jul 14, 2011 3:25 PM

    Greed it all goes back to GREED!!! I am a forty five year old man with a back injury on disability, and I lost everything I had when I hurt it. I am not complaining about it, just making a point. These people spend more in a day than I make in a month and they can’t work out a deal that will set them and their kids up for the rest of their lives if they use it correctly, and they can’t find a compromise???? Come on!!! give me a break!!! It’s football, the best sport in the world and you either own a team, or play the game, can’t you just be happy to be a NFL player, or owner??? just work out a deal, set your pride aside. We all lose if this don’t work, but we all win if it does, no matter who caves you still win, so just meet in the middle of where your at and lets play FOOTBALL!!!!!

  32. Spencer says: Jul 14, 2011 3:27 PM

    Wait, what?

  33. nahcouldntbethat says: Jul 14, 2011 3:34 PM

    The rumor is that the lawyers representing the players in the Brady suit are now on a flat fee with no contingencies built-in.

    If this is the case then it’s very possible that the move was made to insulate the player’s continuing case from charges that it is driven by the lawyers and not their clients.

    If the move was made to do that then we’re not having football this year. At least not until the owners crumble.

    I’d be very afraid of I was an owner or a magrinal player at this point. If there’s no football this year those are the two groups that are totally screwed.

  34. jcg23 says: Jul 14, 2011 3:40 PM

    Bring on the scabs…

  35. mushin9 says: Jul 14, 2011 3:52 PM

    @jcg23

    This is a lock-out, not a strike. Scabs are workers that cross a strike picket line to work despite their fellow workers refusing to go in.

    In this case a scab would be a team that decided they were not going to lock out their players and were going to hold camps, practices, etc…. Don’t see that happening though you can never put anything past crazy Al out in Oakland.

  36. tommyf15 says: Jul 14, 2011 4:04 PM

    jcg23 says:
    Bring on the scabs…

    It would be illegal for the NFL to lock out the players and then bring in replacements.

    And seriously, the idea of someone advocating that makes me puke. How fair would it be for the owners to lock out the players, disregard the contracts of the players that they willingly signed, and refuse to sign NFLPA players to new contracts?

    If the jealous, player-hating bizzitches would stop and freakin’ THINK for a minute…

  37. pftstory says: Jul 14, 2011 4:07 PM

    Geesh I read the PFT blurp as something that supports the notion of football sooner rather then later. Then we got all these others saying it means the thing will drag on and th eone yahoo saying the season is lost.

    To me the theory that asking the courts for the new injunction would cause chaos for both the owners and players, and the fact that it would not be decided in the courts quickly means its less likily this route is used.

    Its a bluff people. If the owners as thinking the players will soon cave without them giving up much more, the players have to do something (bluff) that they are prepared to up the anti and not cave.

  38. raidermick says: Jul 14, 2011 4:09 PM

    Okay, Okay, enough is freakin enough!

    It is going to take someone here that frequents this forum to execute the following. (I personnaly will abide, however, I don’t have the time to orginize…)

    What I am trying to say is this:

    We are the ones footing the bill. With out us, the FANS, there is no NFL – I know you guys already know this and I am not being condesending, so hear me out.

    Here’s the plan, “FANS HAVE THERE OWN DEALINE.”

    If these clowns come out of the July 21st meeting with no aparent agreement, then that should be the fans drop dead date for this freakin league. If no deal is done by July 21st, then we, THE FANS , all walk away. I mean we ALL walk away.

    Just think about it. If we could refrain from attending or watching any games that may be salvaged this season (even if they agree on a deal that would save the entire season) if that deal is not at least agreed upon by the July 21st (NOT JULY 22ND, – NOT “wait we are close” BS – JULY 21ST! FIRM – No freakin exceptions!!

    We pay the freakin bill and we need to be heard. But like I said, we ALL must walk not just a few.

    Now I would be the first to say it would be difficult for me to do. I love the NFL.

    However, the thoughts of these clowns toying with our emotions and the passion we have for this league, would make it easier to cope with.

    It’s pretty simple in theory, because if we don’t go or watch on TV- They wont have our billions to to fight about in their sand box.

    In short – No FANS – NO freakin money!!

    I say someone here should take this and run with it – I just dont have the time to orginize such a feat…

    Again, we ALL have to walk to make them realize who the real freakin bosses are…

    It would work if we ALL got together on the same page. It really would…

    Enough is freakin Enough !- Let the REAL Bosses be heard!!!

    Your thoughts are encouraged….

    Late…

  39. TurdSandwich says: Jul 14, 2011 4:20 PM

    I am no judge, but I do judge this to be some BS.
    How long can you haggle about the water bill before the grass dies?

  40. tommyf15 says: Jul 14, 2011 4:24 PM

    raidermick says:
    Here’s the plan, “FANS HAVE THERE OWN DEALINE.”

    LOL…good luck with that.

    It’s never happened and it never will.

  41. mathsimillion says: Jul 14, 2011 5:11 PM

    And these are the types of reasons why a deal still hasn’t been reached yet. The lawyers are ruining this thing.

  42. snoop24 says: Jul 14, 2011 5:40 PM

    The tommyf15′s of the world are why the yahoo’s can get away with this. Why can’t we all walk away? Big deal it is football. Quit watching, quit going to games and they will straighten up in a hurry.

    The problem is that most of the idiots on this site can’t live without their football. So watch some college and go to some high school games. Hell do something productive with your life on Sunday instead of wasting it watching a bunch of overpaid whiners.

    Just my opinion, but what a waste of time.

  43. tommyf15 says: Jul 14, 2011 7:17 PM

    snoop24 says:
    The tommyf15′s of the world are why the yahoo’s can get away with this. Why can’t we all walk away? Big deal it is football. Quit watching, quit going to games and they will straighten up in a hurry.

    The problem is that most of the idiots on this site can’t live without their football. So watch some college and go to some high school games. Hell do something productive with your life on Sunday instead of wasting it watching a bunch of overpaid whiners.

    Just my opinion, but what a waste of time.

    So just stop following and watching NFL football right now.

    Stop worrying about what me and everyone else does, and most importantly stop acting as if people need to band together to punish anyone that doesn’t do things YOUR way.

    Just as an FYI used to watch WWE Wrestling. I was getting more and more put off by the untimely deaths in that industry, and when Chris Benoit killed himself and his family I said enough is enough and walked away. I didn’t need anyone to do it with me.

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