There’s still a minor reason to be mildly concerned

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With the new labor deal looking even more inevitable than ever, and with all signs pointing to an agreement coming by Tuesday at the latest, there’s reason to be at least a little concerned until the two sides apply their Herbie Hancocks to the settlement documents.

The owners, for example, are concerned that NFLPA* lawyers Jeffrey Kessler and/or Jim Quinn will make a Hail Mary effort to blow up the talks, focusing on an issue that was overlooked or underestimated during the negotiations and trying to pump it a dealbreaker.  (It doesn’t matter whether they will or would; the reality is that the owners are concerned that they may give it a try.)

And as one member of the media pointed out earlier tonight, another bait-and-switch by ownership could cause a major problem between the parties.  Last month, the owners reportedly changed terms that the players believed already had been the subject of an agreement.  The move nearly caused the talks to collapse.

So, basically, we’re leaving the pink champagne on ice while we all remain prisoners of the lockout, not of our own device.  Hopefully, they’ll kill that damn beast soon.

80 responses to “There’s still a minor reason to be mildly concerned

  1. You have got to be kidding.

    Even on the most positive, optimistic news day in CBA negotiations history, there is still cold water.

    Un-Freaking-Believable.

  2. I knew this was coming. Get rid of Jeffrey Kessler and the deal will get done. Hopefully when the next CBA is up, Kessler won’t be involved.

  3. Hurry up & get it signed, before they find the passage back to the place they were before.

    Relax, said the lawyers. We are programmed to deceive. They can sign it anytime they like. But we will never leave…

  4. This is progressing from the ridiculous to the sublime! I’m checking out of this moronic nonsense until I hear officially that the CBA is agreed to. Enough already!

  5. I honestly feel better now that I know what the horrible setback might look like. The completely unanticipated horrible setback was much scarier.

  6. You mean we don’t have to talk about the Lebron James circus and the rest of the WWF-inspired NBA?

    We can follow a real professional sports league!

    Oh, goody goody!

  7. If the owners can find a way to squeeze more out of this deal in the 11th, by God, they will if they think it won’t destroy the deal. There are ALWAYS 11th hour hiccups. Anybody who has been a part of any difficult and arduous negotiation knows that something ALWAYS comes up before signitures are put on paper.

  8. Never in the history of sports – at least as far as I can recall – and I only go back 60 plus years – has there been more hype/scrambling for headlines/pure manufactured BS than what we have seen/read/heard wrt to the negotiations for a new NFL CBA – aka – lockout/strike.

    So far – the Owners have accomplished one of their major goals – to get these negotiations out of the courts (specifically – the Federal District Courts in Minnesota) – and into the bargaining room and/or before the proper authority – the NLRB – National Labor Relations Board – which the Norris-LeGuardia Act compels.

    Once the 8th Ct of Appeals squashed rookie Judge Suzy’s completely out to lunch 89 page “decision” – the NFLPA has hopefully awakened and spit out the kool-aid that D Finger Smith was providing them about achieving their goals through the courts.

    Right now – the owners are toying with the Union and their much ballyhooed executive committee – (Drew – the mouth – Brees at the forefront) and the only real decision the owners are considering is:

    How much face do we – the owners – let them – the players – keep face – v. just breaking their backs.

  9. greatminnesotasportsmind says:
    Jul 15, 2011 11:18 PM
    Damn lawyers trying to “earn” that extra buck.
    ===================

    You do understand that this article isn’t based upon anything the lawyers have actually done, right? Only speculation on something that they could theoretically, possibly, hypothetically, not likely but just might try?

    This article contains no facts, just pure speculation that one of the two sides might try to do something again that they may or may not have done before, despite having no evidence whatsoever that either is planning any like it.

    Probably the most pandering, worthless article posted throughout this entire lockout nightmare.

  10. Any work thought the weekend, or they all heading home again? I’m really getting sick of this $hit.

  11. Besides, the owners already know the players aren’t giving more ground. They saw what happened the first time. They’re not going to try it again.

    Wouldn’t trust Kessler/Quinn as far as I could throw them. Still, I highly doubt they try to blow it up at this point.

    I wouldn’t worry about this.

  12. If those lawyers mess up all of this progress that has been made, they will be more hated then Casey Anthony is right now!

  13. Welcome to the Hotel NFL… where we are all prisoner’s of our own device…

    I need my fix…. my NFL fix…

    js

  14. I’m digging the Eagles references, and not like the Demaurice Smith dig, I actually like em

  15. What’s the difference between a dead lawyer in the road and a dead snake in the road?…There’re skid marks in front of the snake…

  16. Hard to imagine that either side is stupid enough to go through this many hours of negotiations, and achieve this much progress to now scuttle the deal over ANY single issue.

    Talk about a public relations disaster…

    Nah, they’ll make it. Might have a last minute argument but they’ll get it done soon.

  17. Click “like” if you are aware that this entire lockout is a giant publicity pageant for the NFL.

    An essentially pre-ordained dispute that was along going to end on a specific day right in time for the season….but guess what…the ratings will be ALLTIME HIGH this fall.

    Anticipation sells. We’ve all eaten it up–just be aware that were the puppets here.

  18. Officially done with all articles related to the lockout until it’s 100% been resolved.

    Don’t care, moving on, nothing to see here. Thanks for trying to keep us informed PFT but it’s gotten quite stale.

    I’ll stick to the other articles until I see one that says it’s done and what date things attempt to go back to normal.

  19. As long as they just keeping stabbing with their steely knives……

    Nice Eagles reference at the end of the article.

  20. aka…
    The lockout will be over in 4 days. or the lockout will linger on into the unforseable future. or we have no realistic idea of when football will resume and should reserve judgement until we have our facts strait.

  21. “Mildly concerned”……Words uttered on the Titanic five minutes after it hit the iceburg. It ain’t over til it’s over.

  22. Ownership has no reason for a bait-and-switch. The next scheduled owners’ meeting is July 21 (Thursday), and if there is no deal in principle by then to vote on, then there will be no way to avoid missing regular season games, which would cost the owners hundreds of millions of dollars.

    This labor standoff proves that the owners aren’t losing money. If they were, they’d be willing to take a short term financial hit in order to secure a fundamentally better deal. But the truth is that they weren’t even willing to sacrifice more than one preseason game, let alone, say, a half season. They were making plenty of money, and wanted a better deal in order to make even more. So, they were willing to endure a lockout and miss an offseason in order to try to make a little more. And they wanted to be able to tell Mike Brown/Ralph Wilson contingent “hey, we tried! … well not really but hey we can at least SAY we tried, ok?”

    In a lot of ways, this deal is better for the players – and worse for certain owners – than the last one. If the owners actually were hurting financially (and by this I mean collectively; some individual owners might legitimately have money issues), they would have never agreed to this deal, and certainly would have never agreed to it so quickly, after less than a month of actual negotiations. They wouldn’t have agreed to do more things to generate revenue (i.e. getting a team back in Los Angeles) and they CERTAINLY wouldn’t agree to a 10 year deal. And if the owners were oh so struggling to stay afloat, why on earth would they agree not only to large salary cap increases, but to significantly increase their minimum payroll each year? Even the rookie cap keeps teams from counting the prorated rookie signing bonuses towards the salary cap floor, which means that the rookie cap will result in teams paying more money to more players!

    Now you see why they wouldn’t open the books. The owners are making plenty of money, so they have absolutely no incentive to cost themselves hundreds of millions of dollars by missing regular season games.

  23. “And as one member of the media pointed out earlier tonight, another bait-and-switch by ownership could cause a major problem between the parties.”

    Well…sure. So could an out-of-the blue decision by either side not to sign the new cba cause problems. So could dropping a bomb on the hotel conference room where they’re doing the negotiating.

    But are there any actual *signs* that the owners are poised to make a bait-and-switch move? If there aren’t, then why bring it up?

    The first concern you raise, that NFLPA* lawyers have been playing rope-a-dope, and might blow this thing up yet, is understandable, because the owners are concerned that something like this might be on the horizon.

  24. true, but as others have reported d smith may have finally stepped in an told nflpa lawyers to quit it like upshaw had done in the past. deal is imminent hof game may be cancelled but season should be on sched. let the crazy free agency begin!! pullin out fantasy draft boards soon

  25. Well, that’s more like it.

    I was starting to have withdrawl systems from the drug known as deal/no deal.

    Thanks for giving us another shot of deal/no deal.

  26. I thought the water was getting a bit too warm around here…. yeah that little bit of cold water makes it feel just about right 😉

  27. Just play Prevent on those POS lawyers. Let em dink and dunk until their time runs out.

  28. So in essence, you are worried about what we all have known for years. LAWYERS SCREW EVERYTHING UP!!!

  29. From the outset, Jeffrey Kessler has made me feel nervous about his commitment to a negotiated conclusion to this situation.

    Obviously, given that he’s currently a Global Litigation Chair, that would be the recourse with which he is most familiar. There’s the old maxim about the right tool for the job to be considered and while he is a tool, he was not necessarily the correct tool.

    The sooner this is signed and done with, the sooner I’ll be able to relax and not have to deal with seeing Kessler’s “just-released-a-massive-fart” smile on TV.

  30. STOP!!! No more posts til it’s done!! PFT style of lockout spin reporting as per exhibit A below: “it’s done!”…”maybe not”…”it’s done!”…”maybe not”. No one cares until there’s actual news to report. It’s maddening and insulting. PFT = PuppetFootballTalk.com.

    7/15, 11:14pm — There’s still a minor reason to be mildly concerned
    7/15, 7:10pm — Almost nothing can derail a deal now
    7/15, 9:33am — Get ready for a road bump or two
    7/14, 11:54pm — Talks end for the day with a deal closer than ever

  31. When there are hours to be billed, never count out a lawyer!!!

    BILLABLE HOURS…LIKE CRACK TO AN ATTORNEY!

  32. Nice Eagles quote. This is what lawyers do. They stall, stall and stall so they can keep racking up those billable hours. We just went through a very simple lawsuit and it took two years. Should have been about 6 months, but the lawyers (not ours) kept stalling. Even our lawyer expressed disgust for the practice of law based on what he says happens every time – they stall to collect more money from their deep pocket clients.

  33. only thing lower than eagle fans and those who think pit bulls are a worthless breed? LAWYERS!!!!

  34. Forgive me for asking what I’m sure is a stupid question, but why would ANYONE, including the lawyers, purposely try to blow up the deal? That doesn’t make sense to me.

  35. I wonder if lawyers are required to sell their souls to the devil before actually becoming a lawyer?

  36. @tradeassociation

    Nice post with good reasoning even though I don’t agree with the argument that the owners weren’t “losing money”. I don’t think any of them claimed they were actually losing money (as in “in the red”)…just that their profit margins were declining due to increasing expenses. Maybe that’s what you meant with that phrase though and if so, please ignore this. 🙂

    We shall see if the owners and players have negotiated something that addresses the profit margins the owners are making. I am not sure what happened to make them dump the “true up” piece of the bargaining with the mine off the top for owner expenses, but the conversion to a flat revenue split from those methods seems to suggest that the owners and players concerns were addressed better that way.

  37. Damn lawyers trying to “earn” that extra buck.
    ===================

    You do understand that this article isn’t based upon anything the lawyers have actually done, right? Only speculation on something that they could theoretically, possibly, hypothetically, not likely but just might try?

    This article contains no facts, just pure speculation that one of the two sides might try to do something again that they may or may not have done before, despite having no evidence whatsoever that either is planning any like it.

    Probably the most pandering, worthless article posted throughout this entire lockout nightmare.

    ===================================

    It’s just that it’s possible. There’s motive and opportunity for the lawyers, so to speak, and they wouldn’t mind making an extra several hundred thousand dollars.

    Businesses always deny something, even if they were planning it, until they announce the decision themselves.

    My attitude is “they’d better not.” But what am I going to do about it?

    I wouldn’t call the article worthless though. I think it’s just trying to add a little bit of caution to all the optimism — trying to keep things real until the deal is actually signed.

  38. Quinn/Keesler won’t make a move until DeMo says jump. They are not the problem, DeMo is and he’s the one everybody needs to worry about screwing this thing up.

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