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Players apparently are making a last-minute power play

threeleggedrace

When I left Hilton Head Saturday morning, it had been suggested that almost nothing could derail a new labor deal.

That attitude possibly has jinked the entire process.

Now that I’m back at PFT headquarters and catching up on the stuff I missed while driving 600 miles and stopping for a couple of meals (Florio Jr. strongly objected to waiting 35 minutes for a table at Cracker Barrel), it looks like the players opted — through their lawyers — to make a power play on Saturday, something that the owners had feared.

As ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported earlier today, the players want $320 million in benefits that weren’t paid during the uncapped year, as well as a one-year limit on the use of the franchise tag.  Also, if the “lockout insurance” case must be settled separately and apart from the financial package negotiated by the league and the players, it’s possible that another nine-figure sum could be demanded.  And to the extent that the Brady antitrust lawsuit needs to be resolved via something more than the contents of a new CBA, the players still could demand even more money and/or special treatment for the named plaintiffs, such as an agreement never to use the franchise tag on any of them.

With a deal now regarded by the media and fans and players and pretty much everyone else as a foregone conclusion, the NFLPA* has by all appearances opted to go for one last home run, possibly buoyed by the league’s decision to cave on the “right of first refusal” concept and the league’s significant concession on the rookie wage scale.

In theory, if the league calls the players’ bluff — and if it ends up not being a bluff — the whole thing could still blow up.

Given the dramatic progress that has been made on far thornier and challenging issues, we can’t imagine the talks crumbling now.  Instead, the players likely decided to roll the dice in the hopes of making the deal a little (or, as the case may be, a lot) sweeter, and if the parties can’t work out these remaining issues on their own, then U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan will go Alton Benes on anyone and everyone in the room.

Sure, there’s a chance that the NFLPA* lawyers are hoping that cooler heads won’t prevail, but the failure to wrap this thing up now would create a significant backlash for everyone involved.  Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith are in the home stretch of the ultimate three-legged race, and they’re smart enough to figure out what it takes to get to the finish line.

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172 Responses to “Players apparently are making a last-minute power play”
  1. possiblecabbage says: Jul 17, 2011 12:22 AM

    Boo! Hiss! Just get the damn CBA in place so we can have a full preseason and we don’t have to move any games!

  2. jebdamone says: Jul 17, 2011 12:23 AM

    wowzers…and
    uuuugggghhhh….

  3. david7590 says: Jul 17, 2011 12:25 AM

    and there goes the train off the tracks.

  4. SpartaChris says: Jul 17, 2011 12:26 AM

    This, my friends, is why you don’t lift the lockout until the deal is signed.

  5. trickbunny says: Jul 17, 2011 12:27 AM

    Don’t jink me, bro.

  6. Soulman45 says: Jul 17, 2011 12:28 AM

    Lawyers, lawyers, lawyers,lawyers
    At one time they was not in the room.
    Should have kept them out.

  7. duanethomas says: Jul 17, 2011 12:28 AM

    Quit crying wolf, its not going to happen the deal is done.

  8. tomstew43 says: Jul 17, 2011 12:31 AM

    More cold water

  9. sonic5abi says: Jul 17, 2011 12:31 AM

    That’s against the rules!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. raideralex99 says: Jul 17, 2011 12:32 AM

    If the players try to pull a fast one at the last minute … I think the owners should pull the plug for the season … teach them a lesson.

  11. mikel119 says: Jul 17, 2011 12:32 AM

    the owners need donald trump to negotiat for them. YOUR FIRED.

  12. MichaelEdits says: Jul 17, 2011 12:34 AM

    So maybe the Panthers won’t have to start losing again right away. Goooooo lockout!

  13. bangyourhead4 says: Jul 17, 2011 12:34 AM

    WoW! This is unbelievable!

  14. randysavage4ever says: Jul 17, 2011 12:35 AM

    favre 2011

  15. craggt says: Jul 17, 2011 12:37 AM

    Oh god. Let the pro-owner player bashing begin in 3…2…1…

  16. steelybills says: Jul 17, 2011 12:39 AM

    Everything was going much smoother when you were on vacation!

  17. trbowman says: Jul 17, 2011 12:41 AM

    Of course….through the lawyers. If they wreck this agreement.

    There’s more I want to say, but it wouldn’t make it through the comment approval

  18. bucwild05 says: Jul 17, 2011 12:43 AM

    Are you kidding me????? I really gotten to hate these players. They don’t deserve any more money. They sign a contract for many millions. Why should the owners give them any of their profits??? That’s why they are owners. I can’t ask the owner of my company for a portion of his profits, I’d be fired.

    This proves how much these players like their fans, the ones that ultimately pay their paycheck! Way to ruin the “progress” that we have had.

    Fire ALL of them. Get rid of the union. If they want to play out of this union, let them try out, if they don’t, let’s see how quickly they go broke. No one is forcing them to play. Hell, let any warm blooded American that wants to try out, let em. I’ll play for just $2,500 a game! That would match my current yearly income!

  19. bittersonicsfan says: Jul 17, 2011 12:43 AM

    Power play? Sounds more like a dick move.

  20. skoobyfl says: Jul 17, 2011 12:44 AM

    The guys that break news early are useless because it’s all simply sensational journalism until the story is written. I’m seriously considering stepping away from all the headlines sports news because it means nearly nothing until inked.

    Next thing Rupert M. will be hacking Goodell’s phone to try & write tomorrow’s early headlone.

  21. redwillie30 says: Jul 17, 2011 12:47 AM

    You’ve got to be two-hand fisting me. This has lawyer written all over it.

  22. customer909 says: Jul 17, 2011 12:49 AM

    What!? 9 billion and expected to grow to 18-20 billion over the next 10 years and the players are going to blow this over 320 million? 320 divided by how many players = what $ per player? Unbelievable!

  23. nonstory says: Jul 17, 2011 12:49 AM

    Sadly , this does not come as a surprise. Both sides of this dispute can suck it.

  24. philyeagles5 says: Jul 17, 2011 12:50 AM

    i wish i had a nine-figure sum.

  25. doctorfootball says: Jul 17, 2011 12:53 AM

    So close. Yet, so far.

  26. redbirdsrising says: Jul 17, 2011 12:54 AM

    Wow, shocker. Didn’t see this one coming.

    /end sarcasm.

  27. jbcommonsense says: Jul 17, 2011 12:55 AM

    I’ve been supportive of the players view in this process, so here is my advice to them: Don’t overplay your hand! Owners are not going to agree to a one-year limit on the use of the franchise tag. Accept this deal, nail this down and play football!!!

  28. goawayeverybody says: Jul 17, 2011 1:00 AM

    Ahem. Why is this being billed as a power play now? These are exactly the same player demands you wrote about yesterday.

  29. hawkdawg88 says: Jul 17, 2011 1:01 AM

    Funny, this information is being reported by several outlets, and has been for several hours, but in nowhere near such apocalyptic tones.

    Trying to increase hits again? Or just tired…

  30. illwillthemick says: Jul 17, 2011 1:01 AM

    i was waiting for sumpin like this.. so are the players being to greedy? hmmmm…

  31. ptritle says: Jul 17, 2011 1:02 AM

    I almost vomited after reading this post…NFLPA is a bunch of spoiled brats

  32. 1kcfan says: Jul 17, 2011 1:04 AM

    Wow — that is disappointing.

  33. pappageorgio says: Jul 17, 2011 1:05 AM

    Eh…I was pretty pro-owner in this case and I don’t see this as a true “power play”. The owners were always going to have to give something to settle the lockout insurance case……they’re going to end up paying in the form of insurance benefits and the lockout case goes away. They’ve already lost that one……now if they want 800 million for that and another 350 for insurance, there will be trouble.

    The franchise tag thing doesn’t seem too out of order. It was pretty much happening this way lately anyway. If I were the owners I’d settle for the one year thing, but include a clause that the franchise player has to participate fully in camp and the season for it to only be a one year deal…….in other words, no walking in a week before the season (or six games in). If not make it two years (which would be meeting in the middle from the three it is now).

  34. jacksaysfu says: Jul 17, 2011 1:05 AM

    I knew it was too good to be true

  35. suckittrebek76 says: Jul 17, 2011 1:08 AM

    Cracker Barrel? really?
    Did you see my grandpa?

  36. gimmeabruschi says: Jul 17, 2011 1:11 AM

    So now, the owners say, “ahhh, no, get back to me when you’re ready to sign the deal we negotiated.

    Hard to beat Cracker Barrel for good food and reasonable prices. But 35 minutes is an ordeal. Hey, you can always while away the time shopping for overpriced hick items in their store though.

  37. footballfanman says: Jul 17, 2011 1:19 AM

    Obligatory fire to douce the flames of excitement.

  38. sketchydave says: Jul 17, 2011 1:19 AM

    damn. stop teasin me, this is worse than the stripper in the “vip” hosin me for 100s. THOUGHT SHE LIKED ME.

  39. longislandcowboysfan says: Jul 17, 2011 1:20 AM

    You’ve got to be kidding me.

  40. CKL says: Jul 17, 2011 1:21 AM

    Special treatment for the named plaintiffs sounds unreasonable to me. How were they more harmed in any way than any other player in their situations?

    I was in favor of the owners dropping the right of first refusal. I have LONG been in favor of eliminating most of the tags and making the FT a one time deal per team for the same player. I have 0 issue with FA being 4 years either. It’s not fair for a team to keep tying up a guy one year at a time by making it extra prohibitive for other teams to negotiate with him. If you want him, pay him. If you aren’t willing to pay him, let him go somewhere that will. FT should be used in the spirit it was intended: to allow a team a year to negotiate a long term deal. Players don’t get to choose their initial employer and can’t play at a high level for a very long time. Let them pick their team and/or have a chance to get the most money they can.

    I can’t see why the players should get their workout bonuses etc., especially for guys who signed deals AFTER the owners opted out. If their agents weren’t savvy enough to protect them by negotiating different types of bonuses, shame on the agents. After all we’ve heard the battle cry of “They’ve (both sides) been planning this (lockout/decert.)for over 2 years”.

    Also, if having no problem waiting 35 min for a table @ CB makes is wrong, I don’t wanna be right. I already knew I was a redneck, Flo Jr. :)

  41. brownsfn says: Jul 17, 2011 1:23 AM

    I am so sick of these players and their “union”…this is just getting ridiculous…I hope the owners hold their ground on this and call their bluff…hold your ground owners…don’t give in to these idiots…

  42. db105 says: Jul 17, 2011 1:24 AM

    Take your time guys! We want you to cancel the overpriced preseason games.

    NFL Season Ticket Holders

  43. poisyourgod says: Jul 17, 2011 1:25 AM

    spleeeeeeennnnndid!

  44. txndave says: Jul 17, 2011 1:27 AM

    Texans win afc south.. Piss on the colts, jags and titans.. H-TOWN TEXAS!!!!!!

  45. kspec1982 says: Jul 17, 2011 1:29 AM

    Hey Drew Brees which side is it agian thats being greedy the owners or the PLAYERS?

  46. peanutbutter&jelly says: Jul 17, 2011 1:30 AM

    i swear to god i will NEVER watch or go to another nfl game again nor buy anything with an nfl logo on it if these greedy players & lawyers blow this thing up at the last second

  47. crunation says: Jul 17, 2011 1:30 AM

    Cue cold water comments

  48. polishkingski says: Jul 17, 2011 1:32 AM

    i go away from my desk for seven hours too go bass fishing and this is what i come home to read? you are killing me mikey, just killing me!

  49. hatethislockout33 says: Jul 17, 2011 1:34 AM

    How much money do these players want? Whos money hungry sounds like the players to me. Im kind of throwing in the towel this year i dont see football this season except college. Rich Eisen should be happy more vacation time!!!!!

  50. bucngator says: Jul 17, 2011 1:34 AM

    I’ve stated quiet for the past couple of weeks, (did ya miss me??) vowing not to let emotion dictate my desire to voice my displeasure and disgust for the whole situation….

    ….but this is over the top. The owners should insist, if the players want to be *icks about the last remaining issues….

    ….then next season includes a 18 game schedule. Take it or leave it…. and then the owners should simply walk out and tell them….. the season is in your hands now…. We’re DONE!!

  51. frenchmovietheme says: Jul 17, 2011 1:36 AM

    wow what a shocking turn of events. I would have never expected this

  52. bossmode says: Jul 17, 2011 1:36 AM

    “Players” MUST be a euphemism for “greedy lawyers.”

  53. colinsnooks says: Jul 17, 2011 1:37 AM

    Why did I decide to look at PFT this late on a Saturday night? I should of known nothing good could come of it.

  54. dstep24 says: Jul 17, 2011 1:39 AM

    Shocker.

  55. siggy00 says: Jul 17, 2011 1:42 AM

    April Fools.

    They are determined to kill the Golden Calf.

  56. billinlouisiana says: Jul 17, 2011 1:43 AM

    Of course they are! I can see the stop of consective use use of the franchise tag but 320mil in unpaid benefits from last year shouldn’t bve in the discussion. They should have actually tried to negotiate last year if they wanted that to be included.

  57. hawkjuice says: Jul 17, 2011 1:44 AM

    if this blows up now I’m never watching football again. Goodell, Smith and evey player can kiss my a$$ if they let this thing go now.

  58. kane337 says: Jul 17, 2011 1:49 AM

    Ugh….

  59. champgiff says: Jul 17, 2011 1:49 AM

    Unfreakinbelievable.

  60. justanotherdummy says: Jul 17, 2011 1:53 AM

    That would be surprising, but not totally shocking. I still figure D Smith is low rent enough to pull a trick like that.

  61. elleclouds says: Jul 17, 2011 1:59 AM

    Didn’t read this. Report when the deal is done.

  62. msclemons67 says: Jul 17, 2011 2:03 AM

    The $320 million in “lost” benefits were a negotiated part of the 2006 CBA. In return for no salary cap certain benefits weren’t paid in 2010. The players weren’t smart enough to realize that no salary cap = no salary floor and now they want to recover from that embarrassment.

    The players trying to get these benefits now is a complete joke. “We want $320 million that was never part of the deal”. This stinks of Kessler.

  63. keramidas21 says: Jul 17, 2011 2:05 AM

    Had a feeling it was too good to be true. Keep your fingers crossed.

  64. drindt says: Jul 17, 2011 2:09 AM

    Come on Boylan. Make it happen.

  65. pencilfart says: Jul 17, 2011 2:17 AM

    320MILLION!? CHUMP CHANGE!

  66. caliviking805 says: Jul 17, 2011 2:25 AM

    On the first day of Christmas a CBA was reached…

  67. speedel says: Jul 17, 2011 2:34 AM

    atleast there will be basketball to watch next year….

  68. jjrs89 says: Jul 17, 2011 2:38 AM

    Im blaming de smith

  69. tbbucs09 says: Jul 17, 2011 2:41 AM

    Ahahahahaha.

    If I’m not hear commenting when the CBA is done, it’s because I killed myself tonight.

  70. mikeyz6 says: Jul 17, 2011 2:43 AM

    yeah i am just too hammered right now to care …

  71. intenseg says: Jul 17, 2011 2:52 AM

    Get this done already, I’m sick of hearing about CBA’s, lawyer and all this crap. Lets get to the fun stuff like Free Agency, Training Camps and a Full NFL Regular Season. X’s and O’s and stuff like that this is getting sickening by the minute.

  72. pettergriffen says: Jul 17, 2011 3:08 AM

    Great News

  73. angrycorgi says: Jul 17, 2011 3:12 AM

    This whole thing started with the players opting not to negotiate and instead opting to decertify the NFLPA to push this to the courts and now it’s going to end with the same group of jack-a$$es trying to bully their way around after the NFL has done almost everything in it’s power to make the players happy in the new deal. If this blows up, it’s because the players couldn’t act professionally yet again. Personally, I wouldn’t blame the owners if they said “go f••• yourselves…” at this point. Both parties should be operating in good faith, or it’s not a fair deal, and now the NFLPA isn’t.

  74. vbe2 says: Jul 17, 2011 3:12 AM

    Screw the players, bring on the SCABS! This is BS and they need to pay a heavy price!

  75. boneyardbuc says: Jul 17, 2011 3:16 AM

    Good. The owners brought this on. Let them sleep in the bed they made.

    I know all you *Teabaggers *cough* Republicans will hate on me, but you don’t root for the billionaire baby’s club consisting of owners who inherited their money/teams or step all over the common man to acquire their wealth. You root for the coal miner’s kids, 2 brothers of 7 children who fought their way to the NFL, Thomas and Julius Jones. You root for the Derrick Brooks, the Charles Woodsons, the Warrick Dunns, the Larry Fitzgeralds, the Stephen Jacksons, the Tom Bradys, the John Lynchs, PAT TILLMAN, and the thousands of others throughout the NFL and College football that don’t paint the police blotter.

    These guys limp away from the game with bodies that are forever damaged. I’ve had 6 knee surgeries from my own cup of coffee and I will always side with the players, the product, the game.

    With that being said, get the deal done.

  76. spidey817 says: Jul 17, 2011 3:22 AM

    Meeeeeeeh.

  77. ialdrich1214 says: Jul 17, 2011 3:25 AM

    Oh Brother…

  78. mayfieldroadboy says: Jul 17, 2011 3:32 AM

    Greed is the worst cancer of all. It won’t let your life come to an end; it forces you to get up every morning to devour and destroy everyone and everything in your way, regardless of the pain.

    And we have a group of athletes battling a group of businessmen over an almost unimaginable amount of money, both groups screaming “mine! mine! mine!”

    I wonder how many owners have quietly discussed putting an end to the NFL as we now know it?

  79. evrybdyhas1 says: Jul 17, 2011 4:07 AM

    The owners are aware of other great industries such as steel and the American auto that were decimated by union wage and benefit demands extorted without regard for the long-term.

    Much like a parasite feeding on its host till their mutual death. The owners desire to compromise to their demise in the last CBA led to the opt out.

    This thing is not done until the owners vote. I believe the owners are willing to lose the season if they believe it may save the long-term future of the game.

  80. dangonavyboy says: Jul 17, 2011 4:30 AM

    wow..and the players say they arent bein greedy..just sign the new cba with your bigger half and the start gettin paid..gezz..at this point i wouldnt even care if the owners told the players no..then opened the league with dudes from the ufl..i bet after about 2 to 3 weeks you bein seein all those players coming back…hurts when you see people doin your job and for alot cheaper as well

  81. mvpanthersfan11 says: Jul 17, 2011 4:38 AM

    Not surprising!!!

  82. ishallcomment says: Jul 17, 2011 4:48 AM

    F*** my life…

  83. ishallcomment says: Jul 17, 2011 4:50 AM

    D-Smith wants to get one more bucket of cold water in before this is all over…

  84. bluepike says: Jul 17, 2011 4:50 AM

    The parasites (lawyers) and the greedy crybabies (players) risk sabotaging the entire process once again! Pitiful. Just pitiful. Let’s hope that the smart and good owners outnumber the stupid and bad owners.

  85. andyreidisfat says: Jul 17, 2011 4:53 AM

    Nothing to see here. Just a last min bluff. Though i do believe that being good shouldn’t take away a players right to free agency..

    I would say a one year limit of the franchise tag would be a good deal. That being that a Team could Franchise a player once but then couldn’t franchise the same player the next year. Thats fair and should be the deal anyway. Players being franchised year after year is unfair because they are losing for playing well instead of being rewarded. But i also believe the tag in it self is important to keeping some level of continuity on these teams.

    All in all no big deal. This gets done and is announced on tuesday with free agency beginning at the least by a week from tuesday.

    Go Eagles !

  86. acerockefellar says: Jul 17, 2011 5:03 AM

    Hopefully the owners dont cave on this too. But hopefully they get this done ASAP and the players cave.

  87. kindbass says: Jul 17, 2011 5:03 AM

    I refused to comment on this yesterday for fear of jinxing it.

    I fear my efforts were in vain.

  88. tjp2033 says: Jul 17, 2011 5:06 AM

    Both sides are so greedy it makes me sick.

  89. title13xtown says: Jul 17, 2011 5:13 AM

    And yet people still support the players.
    What issues have the owners won in this thing? Every article indicates the owners caving and giving in….

    Next time the owners should just toss the keys to the franchises on the table and walk out and let the players run the show…it’s what they want.

  90. davesbeard says: Jul 17, 2011 5:24 AM

    Just when we were starting to respect the players ability to make a fair deal they throw their toys out the pram and ask for more money to do less work. Bravo players, bravo.

  91. 0mattfrye0 says: Jul 17, 2011 5:28 AM

    Is today April Fools ?

  92. glynners says: Jul 17, 2011 5:30 AM

    Grrrr

  93. jeffperk says: Jul 17, 2011 5:41 AM

    Isnt this why we got to this point, because the owners felt like they got a bad deal the last time? Smith needs to kick these lawyers out for good & get the players back in line. The owners have given enough, what have the players given? I am just sick of this, get the damn deal done & get back on the field!

  94. krow101 says: Jul 17, 2011 5:46 AM

    Can we please finally dispense with all the ‘love of the game’ and ‘concern for the fans’ propaganda?

    Millionaires and billionaires fighting over the golden goose.

    Remember this next time you plop down $10 at the stadium for a Coors Light. Chump.

  95. zar21 says: Jul 17, 2011 5:46 AM

    If they do not reach a deal I SWEAR I will never buy a another POS NFL product in my life.

    Who’s with me? make them pay like baseball did.

  96. footballfanman says: Jul 17, 2011 5:54 AM

    I mean douse.

  97. ruggerlad says: Jul 17, 2011 5:57 AM

    NFL seems more like the GFL – Greedy F’s League. Both sides are ridiculous, nearly all of them are paid more than brain surgeons, there is a recession caused by the extreme greed of banks and corporations, the players and owners all say we do it for the fans this and the fans that, how about lowering the cost of tickets, the NFL Sunday Ticket, internet access to watching games so that everyone including the ones who have been screwed by banks, corporations and government and who have very little can enjoy the game to.

  98. dbo2020 says: Jul 17, 2011 6:21 AM

    Haha. Can you imagine this whole thing blowing up over $320 million of the, what, $9-10+ billion at stake? What’s negotiation without a little emotion and pettiness, right?

  99. wodae says: Jul 17, 2011 6:38 AM

    damnit.

  100. donttouchthedirtypenny says: Jul 17, 2011 6:42 AM

    I’ve never been to Cracker Barrel. Is it really worth waiting 35 minutes for?

  101. mneal69 says: Jul 17, 2011 6:43 AM

    Just like a freaking employee (players). You give them an inch and they try to take a mile! The owners gave in and some major concessions and now the players want their cake and eat it too. If I am one of the owners I would would be like screw this. Let the lockout stand and lets see how long these players can go with no paycheck!!!

  102. ohiodeerhunter says: Jul 17, 2011 7:09 AM

    I wonder if you have to negotiate the lockout in this year’s Madden game? I’m so sick of this crap.

  103. jaydub204 says: Jul 17, 2011 7:12 AM

    Just give us the punchline, because this HAS to be a joke

  104. typhilly21 says: Jul 17, 2011 7:21 AM

    Well the franchise tag prob isn’t a huge thing. and the 320 mil in unpaid benefits are only b/c of teams lack of spending without a salary floor.

    Hope all that underspending last year was worth it for the handful of ultra cheap owners.

    If I were one of the owners who actually tried to win I’d be pissed, only have themselves to blame.

  105. reidstinks says: Jul 17, 2011 7:25 AM

    I suppose this move is all about the fans too?!

  106. vetdana says: Jul 17, 2011 7:35 AM

    Ice water !! I have said for the last 2 weeks of eternal optimism that, this is not over until it is signed !They have to unravel and settle this anti trust lawsuit and also, have to get the retired players [Carl Ellers group and the Legacy Fund] to sign off on any proposed deal because, as I understand it, D Smith allowed them to enjoin the antitrust suit. Without their ok, the union cannot recertify. No CBA and lockout then continues. Judge Boylan is not going to like any of this and what he may interject into this mess may upset the apple cart even more. Pre season games are NOW at risk !

  107. ravenator says: Jul 17, 2011 7:35 AM

    Are you kidding me!!! NFLPA needs to sit down, shut up, and finish the deal already!!!

  108. 4ever19 says: Jul 17, 2011 7:44 AM

    35 minutes for a table at Cracker Barrel? What, there was no Shoney’s nearby?

  109. dempsey63 says: Jul 17, 2011 7:46 AM

    In the James Bond movie, “A View to a Kill,” psychopath Max Zorin (Christopher Walken) holds a negotiating session with a group of businessmen in a blimp high above San Francisco Bay.

    When one participant balks at Zorin’s demand for a $100-million-per-man-plus-50%-of-revenues buy-in fee, Max activates a trap door beneath the reluctant complainer–sending him to a certain death–and asks whether anybody else wants to “drop out.” (The remaining members quickly buy into Zorin’s scheme.)

    Where’s Christopher Walken when we need him?

  110. austinbrownsfan says: Jul 17, 2011 7:46 AM

    Someone please lock the NFLPA lawyers in a closet until this thing gets settled…

  111. kegowhisky says: Jul 17, 2011 7:49 AM

    As much as this dissappoints me, I can’t say it’s a surprise. I had the nagging feeling in the pit of my stomach that “someone” would try to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Sad for everyone.

  112. maddmaxx4200 says: Jul 17, 2011 7:55 AM

    Greedy Bastards

  113. jersey73 says: Jul 17, 2011 7:55 AM

    Sounds like the lawyers for the NFLPA* decided to get greedy and worried that a deal means the end of billable hours. When will the players realize, the lockout benefits only their lawyers. It is not in their best interest to fight for the players best interest.

  114. gbfanforever says: Jul 17, 2011 7:57 AM

    Uhh, this is news from last Friday you’re trying to pawn off as an update. This isn’t exactly a deal breaker

  115. Patriot42 says: Jul 17, 2011 8:12 AM

    Do you fans have any other interest in life except through watching the NFL. I enjoy watching the game too but I actually don’t care if they play again as they continue to divide up the money of the TV revenue and keep asking for more money from the fans. When will the fans get a union so they will be able to come to the bargaining table and demand fair treatment with ticket and concession costs? You guys are so willing to have football you are willing to sell your soul for the sole purpose of seeing a bunch of super rich athletes play football at the expense of other important issues in your life. The players are a bunch of spoiled individuals that care less about the fans or their own family as they parade themselves late at night in bars getting into trouble just being themselves.

  116. oldbyrd says: Jul 17, 2011 8:12 AM

    With the minnie commie Dunce Smith still in this, you better hold your breath for a season. I have never seen anybody in any occupation with less brain power.

  117. lowleadman says: Jul 17, 2011 8:20 AM

    The NFL owners counter by now demanding that the players lease their locker space, pay for water and soap for their after game shower and of course pay the same to park their car as the fans do. That should come out to, say, $320m.

  118. Exiled1 says: Jul 17, 2011 8:26 AM

    Nothing like a kick in the gut for breakfast.

  119. fcs34 says: Jul 17, 2011 8:28 AM

    On a related note, Plaxico Burress was seen lurking around the meeting wearing track pants.

    Better get that deal done. Just saying..

  120. bubbabart says: Jul 17, 2011 8:28 AM

    Ive said all along (Also said about the announcer mentioning the QB with 243 straight passes without an INT….jinx) that the players were acting like prima donnas. I hope the owners scrap everything and now go to a scorched earth policy!

  121. bronco1st says: Jul 17, 2011 8:36 AM

    Without choosing sides, how did $320 million (for one year) go un-discussed until the last minute – like there was a $320 million dollar bill laying on the floor with with 20 people in the room and no one noticed? Are the collective IQs of these people 13?

  122. geobh says: Jul 17, 2011 8:40 AM

    if my employees tried this crap, they would be fired on the spot. please all of you just go away.

  123. jcioffi1485 says: Jul 17, 2011 8:41 AM

    To quote the kid from “The wedding crasher”…….”Shut up clown and make me a bicycle!”

  124. suckittrebek76 says: Jul 17, 2011 8:45 AM

    Lets all freak the ef out!

  125. Rhode Island Patriots Fan says: Jul 17, 2011 8:46 AM

    I’ve argued this from day one of this labor dispute: The more the owners give the players, the more the players will demand. What’s next, the keys to the facilities?

  126. stairwayto7 says: Jul 17, 2011 8:55 AM

    Once again the media sucked all you people to think the deal was done! I BEEN SAYING SINCE MARCH..NO DEAL UNTIL SEPT 27!!!

  127. forthelove says: Jul 17, 2011 9:00 AM

    How many times in the past few months have we heard that a deal was close and the owners were making a power move, only to find out that a deal wasn’t even close and the full report was wrong.

    If the players power move even did really happen, my bet is it’s a preemptive strike to an anticipated power move by the owners. In the end, pretty much every demand in the “every trustworthy” Mort’s report will be dropped.

  128. childressrulz says: Jul 17, 2011 9:01 AM

    Go players. Squeeze them till they bleed.

  129. acieu says: Jul 17, 2011 9:01 AM

    Isn’t Cracker Barrel West VA only five star restaurant?

  130. bucforever says: Jul 17, 2011 9:02 AM

    As I have said before and here again it is not over until you see them on them back in pads and on that field.

  131. saints25 says: Jul 17, 2011 9:06 AM

    the owners have saved exactly 320 millon dollars from 2010…So now the NFLPA lawyers got wind of it. so they’re trying get more money(Exactly 320 mil) REALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! the players wont it all,but their not greedy?LMFAO

  132. mook68 says: Jul 17, 2011 9:13 AM

    So you’re saying that the season could still be canceled? Sweet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  133. ginojohn says: Jul 17, 2011 9:24 AM

    the greed and the disgust continues!

  134. varaider says: Jul 17, 2011 9:28 AM

    Sooooo, the players are wrong for wanting their workout money that was promised to them in their still CURRENT CONTRACTS? This money was promised to them for working out, which the majority of them WOULD have done had the owners not opted out of the last deal and/or enforcing a lockout… And you folks are going crazy on the players because they are at least TRYING to recoup that money… Wow…

    If your contract at work promised you $1000 for everyday you come to work early, and you show up early to see the doors are locked and don’t open until your regularly scheduled work time, wouldn’t you contest that?

    Its not the players fault they were locked out, some of these players have absolutely nothing to do with this sh*t, they are only guilty by association…

    Sounds more like an easy way fro the owners to save some money if you ask me… It wouldn’t be so bad if they hadn’t included this in their player CONTRACTS… these are the type of “incentives” that convince a player to sign with the team in the first place… the least the owners could do is honor their word…

  135. preludetosmack says: Jul 17, 2011 9:34 AM

    This it utter bull.

    The players are trying to get retribution for the owners opt-out. If the owners were doing the same they would be holding out for a deal that was as heavily swayed in their favor as the last deal was in the player’s favor. The $320mil is a sham, the owners should walk out and be done with these morons.

    The players are pieces of crap. They had their own ‘lockout insurance’ so there was no irreparable harm done to the players by the lockout, and the players arguably haven’t taken any steps to maximize revenues for the league (which is why the judge ruled that the owners couldn’t have lockout insurance).

    If the players are going to keep pulling stupid crap like this out, the owners should keep reneging on ‘settled’ aspects…

    Fine, you want $320mil, you now get a max of 47%.

    Fine, you don’t want to roll the settlement of the lockout insurance case into the CBA, you now have 6 years to free agency.

    Fine, the plaintiffs want special treatment, we now get 2 franchise tags and 3 transition tags per team per season.

    Fine, you want players to only get hit with the franchise tag once, players under contract and drafted rookies not yet under contract can now be fined $1M/day whenever they hold out.

    If the players are going to be d|cks about everything, the owners should be bigger d|cks.

    OR, the players could stop all their bullsh|t and put away this childish crap. So much for their “we just want to play football” crap.

  136. ejmat2 says: Jul 17, 2011 9:39 AM

    So now where are the pro-player groups? These guys are the greedy ones. The owners are greedy in their own way but at least they are trying. The players just want to take a mile when given an inch. It will never stop.

  137. rugdog100 says: Jul 17, 2011 10:15 AM

    So now the players take the owner’s place as villains, at the 11th hour. One thing is absolutely certain… neither side really gives a rip about the fans, so I wish they’d leave us out of their comments. We’re pawns – nothing more. We’re the people that finance their behavior and greed. Without us, both players and owners are nothing, but they know we’re sheep. The NFL should be a three-way partnership between the owners, players and fans… and we are silent partners with no voting stock and no respect.

  138. varaider says: Jul 17, 2011 10:28 AM

    No, the players just want what was PROMISED to them in SIGNED CONTRACTS… Not their fault the doors were locked… the owners could have at least allowed those players with those incentives the OPPORTUNITY to work out at the facility… Instead of keeping the doors locked… because most of these players would have BEEN there working out, upholding THEIR end of the contract…

  139. zinn22 says: Jul 17, 2011 10:36 AM

    I don’t blame the players. The owners have been bluffing all along. The players made an orginal offer of 50% of revenues made back in March. The owners walked out of discussions after the offer was made saying the offer ridiculous. Now they have accepted that offer taking 2% less in revenue. This whole thing could have been settled back in March if the owners had not been pig headed.

    Right now the players have all the chips. They have lockout insurance that will pay every player a salary this year if the lockout continues. They have a lawsuit they won that will pay them part of the TV revenues and they will recover the money they are due that was not paid last year. Why should they give that up. The owners owe them the TV revenue owe them the money from last year. If the owners would honor their contracts and play in good faith we would not have any of these problems.

    Screw the owners their greed caused this whole thing. The players made them essentially the same offer that is now the deal back in March. We would never had to go through this absent the owners greed and ego. The bottomline is the players have finally developed some balls, organization and leadership and they won’t just be bullied into a bad take or leave it deal like in 1987.

  140. pmars64 says: Jul 17, 2011 10:41 AM

    I’m pro-player and I’ve got no issue with this last minute ploy. It’s all part of the negotiations. The owners already pulled their bait-and-switch when they quietly reneged on issues that had already been negotiated a couple of weeks ago. And I wouldn’t be surprised if the owners have their own last minute ploy – and not out of retaliation but simply their own attempt to squeeze a better deal for themselves. Again, it’s all part of negotiations.

    Business negotiations are not pretty and there’s ALWAYS snags and back-tracking and under-handed ploys before all signatures are put to paper.

    So, relax, expect maybe a bit more, but the season will not be interrupted one iota.

  141. glac1 says: Jul 17, 2011 10:46 AM

    The owners must get tough, take their offer off the table and walk if this indeed is the case. It’s just another example of how all unions are corrupt, power and money hungry and could care less about the majority of their membership. Unions need to be reined in.

  142. backindasaddle says: Jul 17, 2011 10:54 AM

    So let me get this straight. The two sides essentially have worked out an agreement in principle and are ready to formalize it. Then the players representatives say hmmm…..let’s see if we can more! Is that not the very definition of GREED??? Take note everybody that it’s the PLAYERS making the last minute greed grab.

    This one reminds me of the many Israeli/Arab peace talks when Yasser Arafat was in charge. The two sides would work through all kinds of stuff and on the very threshold of an agreement Arafat would always make a grab for something else and cause the entire thing to go right down the toilet.

    In the case of Arafat, I believe he never really wanted an agreement at all. In the case of the players right now…..it’s just plain greed.

  143. rams2011 says: Jul 17, 2011 10:59 AM

    just stop all this crap. let us know when its done. we all know that greed is the one thing that could derail this thing then throw in a natual disaster, and suddenly baseball is the national pastime again

  144. marima07 says: Jul 17, 2011 11:00 AM

    The courts ruled in favor of the owners and everyone was worried that the owners would use it to squeeze the players even more.

    Now that the owners have not done that, and instead made concessions, it’s the players who want to threaten a deal by squeezing the owners for even more.

    Which side was labeled as the greedy one again?

  145. dragonfly99 says: Jul 17, 2011 11:06 AM

    IF this is true, I hope the owners tell Demoron Smith and his puppet players to get lost. If they can’t negotiate in good faith they don’t deserve their money and the fan’s support. I can survive without professional football for a year, but I would bet these overpaid cry babies cannot. IF the NFLPA is pulling this crap at the last minute, I say bring on the replacement players and sell tickets at half price. Tactics such as this show a total disregard for the fans.

  146. vmannj says: Jul 17, 2011 11:07 AM

    Lawyers still get paid by the hour. They want this to drag out as long as they can. As soon as the ink dries on this deal – and not one second sooner – they stop getting paid. That’s why I had such a problem with the players selecting a lawyer to represent them in the first place.

  147. jerlee7 says: Jul 17, 2011 11:14 AM

    surprise! the entitled want more! “we just want to get back to playing football” sure you do.

  148. georgiavol91 says: Jul 17, 2011 11:24 AM

    The owners need to tell Smith to shove it up his ass and walk out. And say nothing to the press. Let Smith and his buddy Kessler figure out how to tell the players they just cost themselves millions.

  149. pftstory says: Jul 17, 2011 11:27 AM

    Why do people comment with one word or one sentence responses like “Unbelievable” or “Great” or “wow” or “i cant belive this”?

    Then there is the great always hilarious “Queue the comments from…..”

    If you dont have something that even TRIES to ADD to the conversation, what’s the point?

  150. rayvenmad says: Jul 17, 2011 11:27 AM

    The players are getting too much. I’d like to see a fourth of the season missed and watch the players come crawling back begging and whining!!!

  151. tommyf15 says: Jul 17, 2011 11:27 AM

    Mike sure knows how to push everyone’s buttons.

    Use terms like “power play” and claim that the players lawyers are DEMANDING, and get over 140 comments overnight.

  152. gimmeabruschi says: Jul 17, 2011 11:34 AM

    This drama is more entertaining than most of the games are. I mean, except for the good teams.

  153. dylanmusicfane says: Jul 17, 2011 11:39 AM

    great hairy yarblockles to them

  154. bengalsfan says: Jul 17, 2011 11:58 AM

    Dont call my bluff! Its time for the owners to eat their peas!

  155. blaz0037 says: Jul 17, 2011 12:00 PM

    Unions, in all forms, are the scum of this country.

  156. tommyf15 says: Jul 17, 2011 12:04 PM

    blaz0037 says:
    Unions, in all forms, are the scum of this country.

    Even the union of the 32 men that own football teams?

    C’mon, you said “all forms”. Respond and say yes, even the Owner’s Union.

  157. FinFan68 says: Jul 17, 2011 12:35 PM

    Is this similar to the potential last minute power play that you blasted the owners for even thinking about?

  158. snnyjcbs says: Jul 17, 2011 12:37 PM

    I hope the owners stand firm on the Franchise Tag and they never should have given up the Right of First Refusal for this year.

    The owners really got what they wanted, THE MONEY, huge cut from the 52 to 54% they were receiving to 46% maxing out at 48%.

    It was great without the year round NFL, became involved in other sports such as NASCAR, Golfing and boating. Canceled all our Season Tickets and NFL Sunday Ticket and will not be renewing either.

  159. varaider says: Jul 17, 2011 12:46 PM

    Its funny how some of you still blame this on Smith and the named plaintiffs…

    DO YOU NOT THINK THAT MAYBE THE PLAYERS WHO GOT SHAFTED OUT OF THEIR WORKOUT BONUSES ASKED THEM TO BRING UP THE ISSUE???

    And being that that is what they were HIRED and/or ELECTED to do…. THEIR JOB… and bring up the issues players want addressed….

    you have to realize, some of these players could give a rat’s azz about this lockout, some of them TRULY want to get back to playing football, no matter WHAT kind of deal they agree to… THE MAJORITY OF NFL PLAYERS FEEL THIS WAY… Why??? Because the MAJORITY OF NFL PLAYERS don’t make the outrageous amounts of money that the big name plaintiffs make… For the Majority of them, these workout bonuses are the MEAT and POTATOES of their contracts, its like that overtime you put in at work to do something extra for your family or for yourself…

    A lot of you folks porblems are, you can’t categorize EVERY SINGLE NFL PLAYER by the decisions of a FEW NFL PLAYERS… They can only sit back and watch it play out… OR… they can ALL file their own SEPARATE lawsuits and drag this process to hell…. but they don’t… they just sit back and let it play out…

    IT COULD BE A LOT WORSE… EVEN AT THIS POINT ANY ONE OF THESE PLAYERS (OR ALL) CAN FILE THEIR OWN SEPARATE LAWSUIT AGAINST THE NFL AND END THE GAME AS WE KNOW IT IN ONE DAY…

  160. tommyf15 says: Jul 17, 2011 12:49 PM

    snnyjcbs says:
    The owners really got what they wanted, THE MONEY, huge cut from the 52 to 54% they were receiving to 46% maxing out at 48%.

    The the owners aren’t getting a billion dollars off the top. They’ll be getting a slightly higher percentage in the short term, but far lower than many figured it would be.

    It was great without the year round NFL, became involved in other sports such as NASCAR, Golfing and boating. Canceled all our Season Tickets and NFL Sunday Ticket and will not be renewing either.

    Wait a minute…you went golfing and boating instead of following off-season football stuff on the internet? That’s hilarious.

    None of us will be re-upping our NFL Sunday Ticket as it’s now part of Direct TV’s basic package, and someone else will buy the season tickets you left behind.

  161. TurdSandwich says: Jul 17, 2011 1:13 PM

    Make this last bit contingent on no players getting arrested in the next 24 hours. Woops…

  162. boisebob says: Jul 17, 2011 1:15 PM

    35 minutes for a table at the Cracker Barrel? Was it the only restaurant for 100 miles? I wouldn’t walk across the street for a free meal at a Cracker Barrel.

  163. packerzman says: Jul 17, 2011 2:03 PM

    to HELL with the NFL…ill just go watch every NBA GAME i can…ill show THEM!!
    wait..whats that..they’re not going to play till 2013??
    uhmmm never mind

  164. bjb2865 says: Jul 17, 2011 2:48 PM

    Like I said before…you’re just posting stuff just becasue you can. you one of those who would like to see this dragged out. Pessimism gets you nowhere. if you dont have anything good to say..dont say anything.

  165. thephantomstranger says: Jul 17, 2011 3:36 PM

    siggy00 says:
    Jul 17, 2011 1:42 AM
    They are determined to kill the Golden Calf.
    _______________

    I think the cliche you’re struggling for is “Golden Goose,” or more accurately, “the goose that lays the golden eggs.” The Golden Calf was an idol fashioned by Aaron for the Israelites to worship while Moses was receiving the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinai.

    Or perhaps I misunderestimate you? Has not NFL football become an idol for many of us? If they kill the golden calf, as it were, is it not our idol that is destroyed? Perhaps we would be better off without this idol?

    Well done, siggy00. Well done.

  166. clintonrb says: Jul 17, 2011 4:16 PM

    so the players are doing to the owners what they had been done to them earlier?

    its was despicable when the owners did it but its ok now?

    this proves the players never really gave a damn about the fans either…

    there was talk of this being done on tuesday
    and now this.

  167. smittydub says: Jul 17, 2011 6:26 PM

    And here we go with more predictable comments about how spoiled the players are and how exacerbated everyone is with the players’/union’s stance during this labor dispute. STUDY YOUR HISTORY…Who opted out 2 years early? Who demanded major givebacks from the other side? Who negotiated TV contracts to move $$ from prior years to 2011-2012 for “lockout insurance”? Who actually locked out the other side? Who belittled the other side during talks? Learn your history, or I guess you pro-owner shills are much like the far-right in the country and believe only what you want to believe and what suits your agenda…to hell with the pesky facts and reality….

  168. peanutbutter&jelly says: Jul 17, 2011 8:29 PM

    @-varaider- these players were informed of the lockout and lockout means well- lockout! and that means NO FOOTBALL no football means? you guessed it no bonuses. because? there is no football. to use your earlier post as an example,if you were promised 1000 dollars per day that you showed up to work early and came to work one day and found the doors locked well guess what? that means no work and when you dont work you dont get paid are you suggesting these players get paid for not working? i would hope not and if you are you really need to give some serious thought to what if it was you that had to come out of pocket to pay someone for NOT working?

  169. axespray says: Jul 19, 2011 6:44 AM

    sarah palin wouldn’t stand for this… durka durka

  170. raven4life21 says: Jul 21, 2011 8:52 AM

    Just swallow your pride players! you will make much more money if you sign the deal now and rack in the higher percentage of income from the much more profiting NFL in the next few years! look at the LONG TERM! and if you don’t it will effect WAY MORE than your own greedy lives! the fate of the Country depends on it! while my attitude wants me to boycott the NFL altogether… I can’t live without football… it’s ALL i do… GET IT DONE!

  171. cornersss says: Jul 23, 2011 7:17 PM

    Anybody else think its funny that the players whine about injuries for not having an 18 game season. They also cry about the nfl making this a flag football league with how they handeled head shots.

    Then they add they want less 2 a days in the summer and only 1 days a week of contact pad practice. How is any of this new stuff going to help with injuries?

    The players are full of it. This was never about injuries, but money.

  172. cornersss says: Jul 23, 2011 7:31 PM

    Please, enough with the politics. The last thing we need is someone bringing in the Israli palastinenian conflict into a nfl lockout discussion. It wont help the talk and if anything causes more conflict.

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