Biggest remaining issue: Players pursuit of lost benefit money

We’ve detailed the latest wish list from the players that they want addressed before a labor deal can be reached.  It appears that one issue could be trickier than the others to settle.

Albert Breer of NFL.com writes the players’ pursuit of $320 million for lost benefits last year has emerged as the biggest stumbling block.

Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal, appearing on PFT Live explained why it may be a thorny issue.

“The quote unquote lost benefit comps of 2010 . . . this is absurd.  You can’t lose something you didn’t have.  The players were not due that money.  That money as part of the old CBA was not due to be paid,” Kaplan told Florio. “They got an uncapped season and the owners saved $10 million-per-club in health care benefits.  I don’t get where that issue is coming from.”

Our guess: It’s yet another negotiating point with two lawsuits pending.  Perhaps the players want this money in exchange for dropping the Doty television case.

No one said watching the sausage get made was fun.

UPDATE: Here’s video from Kaplan and Florio.

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52 responses to “Biggest remaining issue: Players pursuit of lost benefit money

  1. The Players are trying to squeeze every last ounce of water from the towel. Some of the things they are asking for are ridiculous!

  2. At this point, gut feeling nothing stops this deal!
    10 mil per club is chump change…..
    How much will both sides lose if the season doen’t start on time? A hell of a lot more than 10 mil.

  3. Seems pretty simple to me. Both sides want the deal done by end of business Wednesday so it can be voted on and approved. So, that leaves a couple of days left to bargain. The owners need the players to drop one lawsuit and settle another that has already been ruled in the players’ favor. So, the players throw out some last minute items on their wish list to see if they can get some of them (or part of some of them) in exchange for dropping the anti-trust case and agreeing to favorable terms on the tv money case. Typical negotiation tactics, but nothing the players will ultimately allow to endanger a deal they already believe to be acceptable.

  4. Gotta agree with you Gregg, the players are using it as a chip to ‘settle’ the Doty case (which doesn’t actually have to be settled to have a new CBA

  5. i don’t even know if this will be all that big of a problem, after all Desmith has been cutting down on his demands which is how we got here are we sure he is the one really asking for this or are the lawyers because if what this article says is true either him or the lawyers are just trying to get one last bid to keep themselves on the payroll. Because if this money was not even promised i am sure they know that too they may just be trying to sweeten the deal even though there is little to no way that money which was not even promised will be given

  6. Bogus!!! Cmon players. You should have walked out on strike before LAST season if you felt any entitlement to that money. 100% correct that they don’t deserve no money from an old cba.

  7. Although I have generally tended to support the players position, on this matter I agree with the owners.

    Those were the terms of the deal, as negotiated in the prior CBA – the owners could opt out early and go back to the old rules. If the union didn’t like that they shouldn’t have made that a possibility.

  8. It’s always about the money with these players. Now they want money they weren’t even supposed to get.

    So much for “love of the game”……………….

  9. So the owners should agree to this if they are able to punish players for arrests…then fine those arrested players a total of $320 million dollars…problem solved

  10. Players could care less about the future, for me they can keep there jersey, signed pictures, signed helmets, rookie football cards and anything they are getting a cut on. They have become the modern day train robbers.

  11. The next quote we’re going to hear from Drew Brees and any number of other players is: “Hey fans, we just want to play football!”…. Really??? Then stop with the B.S. lawsuits and sign the darn deal already!!!!

  12. They are just being greedy now. The owners dont get a right of first refusal on guys who would have been restricted free agents under the old CBA, so the players dont get money that only existed under the old CBA.

    Fair is fair.

  13. No big deal. It’s all part of the negotiating process. The owners make up things that didn’t exist like “right of first refusal” and now the players are saying they deserve money they clearly don’t deserve. minor issue.

  14. IMO, once the legal matters go away, this will too. The lawyers can still screw this up guys. Don’t get too encouraged until the lawyers submit their final invoices.

  15. The wife and I made an accord this morning:

    1. NFL Sunday Ticket – CANCELLED
    2. No attending live games. We typically go to at least one per year
    3. No Apparel or other items bearing “the Shield” will be purchased, Christmas or otherwise.
    4. We will do our utmost to boycott every NFL sponsor, as practical.

    Basically, we are done feeding the greedy monster called the NFLPA*! These jackazzez want a % of every penny, and we as fans have control.

    I call for every fan to refrain from all expenditures which result in revenue to the league! We need to drive the prices down and reduce the size of the pie, organically!

  16. I was not a big supporter of eaither side while this lockout is going on.

    In recent light of whats been going on i’ve decided that the owners are right and that the players have gotten real greedy.

    I have to blame the players for this deal not being reached yet.

  17. pappysarcasm says:
    Jul 18, 2011 1:29 PM
    The wife and I made an accord this morning:

    1. NFL Sunday Ticket – CANCELLED
    2. No attending live games. We typically go to at least one per year
    3. No Apparel or other items bearing “the Shield” will be purchased, Christmas or otherwise.
    4. We will do our utmost to boycott every NFL sponsor, as practical.

    Basically, we are done feeding the greedy monster called the NFLPA*! These jackazzez want a % of every penny, and we as fans have control.

    I call for every fan to refrain from all expenditures which result in revenue to the league! We need to drive the prices down and reduce the size of the pie, organically!

    ———————————————–
    Couldn’t agree more! Everyone calls the owners and players greedy. don’t like it? Do something about it. As long as we keep paying outrageous ticket prices and consuming their product, the greed on both sides will just continue.

  18. The players are getting trucked in these negotiations, basically caving on nearly all of the significant issues. This feels like a desperate attempt by player negotators trying to get a “win” in order to save face with both the players and the media. At this point it appears that the players are going to settle for essentially the same deal they were presented in March.

  19. t16rich says:
    Jul 18, 2011 1:07 PM
    “Bogus!!! Cmon players. You should have walked out on strike before LAST season if you felt any entitlement to that money. 100% correct that they don’t deserve no money from an old cba.”

    “They don’t deserve no money”

    Does that mean they do deserve the money?

  20. What a joke. I’m guessing the negotiations on that issue will be in the same ballpark as this:

    “Oh my back! Oh, my neck AND my back! I want 320 million dollars! But we can settle out of court right now for twenty bucks. Two-fifty and a jawbreakers? A dollar and some envelopes?”

  21. ha! this is great. i hope they squeeze the owners for every penny they can get just to show them who had the real power all along. without the workers, there are no fatcat business owners.

  22. I am rather surprised by the anti-player sentiment that appears in what seems to be the majority of commentors on PFT. Since when does the “average” person side with management (the owners)? The players destroy both mind and body – literally shortening their life expectancy – for our amusement, yet so many are venemous in their comments re the players.

    The players are losing the negotiation and are going to end up with a worse deal than they had, all to the benefit of the Jerry Jones’ of the world – who are far less sympathetic figures in my opinion in comparison to the player labor force.

  23. If the players keep making stupid demands like this, they are going to lose out big in the court of public opinion. They are now the ones extending the lockout. And is the party at the end of this whole process that is causing football to be further delayed that will be barbequed in the media.

    Players: You decertified your union, which was a sham. Now you ask for benefit money you were never entitled to. Get your heads on straight and negotiate in good faith. Get the deal done.

  24. schemefactory says:
    Jul 18, 2011 1:42 PM
    ha! this is great. i hope they squeeze the owners for every penny they can get just to show them who had the real power all along. without the workers, there are no fatcat business owners.

    Tell that to the 9.2% of people that are unemployed right now, or the 17% who are underemployed. Yep. Those “fatcat business owners” are really struggling without workers…

  25. capslockkey says:
    Jul 18, 2011 1:41 PM
    What a joke. I’m guessing the negotiations on that issue will be in the same ballpark as this:

    “Oh my back! Oh, my neck AND my back! I want 320 million dollars! But we can settle out of court right now for twenty bucks. Two-fifty and a jawbreakers? A dollar and some envelopes?”

    ————————————

    hahahahaha, or send in Debo.. he’ll get the deal done.

  26. “The Players are trying to squeeze every last ounce of water from the towel. Some of the things they are asking for are ridiculous!”

    @gamecheck1: Clearly you know little about the larger issues on the table, and what compensation and rights the owners are asking the players to waive. What’s left is horsetrading, and nothing will derail a deal at this point.

  27. pappysarcasm says: Jul 18, 2011 1:29 PM

    The wife and I made an accord this morning:

    1. NFL Sunday Ticket – CANCELLED
    ——————————————————

    They are now giving away Sunday ticket.

  28. Much sound and fury signifying nothing.

    Last week it was the rookie pay scale that was going to screw the deal.

    Then it was the infamous “right of first refusal” that was going to screw the deal.

    Yesterday, ridiculously enough, it was Logan Mankins free agent status that was going to screw the deal.

    Now it’s phantom lost benefits that is going to screw the deal.

    And every time, hysterical chicken littles once again fire up the torches, grab their pitchforks and charge the gates.

    Pavlov, call the lab.

  29. When all is said and done, how pissed are all of you going to be to find that all this crap the past four months was basically to get about 90% of what the players already walked away from in March, and decertified over???

  30. richm2256 says: Jul 18, 2011 2:04 PM

    When all is said and done, how pissed are all of you going to be to find that all this crap the past four months was basically to get about 90% of what the players already walked away from in March, and decertified over???
    =============================

    I was pissed off around last October when the two sides were doing nothing to settle this. It’s not like it was hard to see this one coming.

  31. richm2256 says: Jul 18, 2011 2:04 PM

    When all is said and done, how pissed are all of you going to be to find that all this crap the past four months was basically to get about 90% of what the players already walked away from in March, and decertified over???
    ===================

    I know I am in the minority here, but as long as I turn on my TV Thursday night, September 8th and see two NFL teams playing football, I could care less.

    Didn’t cost me a thing.

  32. Couldn’t agree more! Everyone calls the owners and players greedy. don’t like it? Do something about it. As long as we keep paying outrageous ticket prices and consuming their product, the greed on both sides will just continue.

    Count me in !!I will not support these Greed Mongers either !

    Note…my neighbor took a second mortgage on his house last year…to buy Bear Season tickets and pay off some credit card debt…Was layed off…Lost the house !!

  33. silverhornet says: Jul 18, 2011 1:49 PM

    depends on who is holding the sausage.
    ————————————————————-
    No; it should read “…depends on who is holding whose sausage”.

    The greedy get greedier. I am no apologist for the owners or the players. But there just seems to be no common sense to these demands. Businesses should be allowed to prosper; and employees/partners have a right to their fair share. But what determines “fair”? Certainly judges and courtrooms filled with starch-shirted lawyers offer nothing more than a twisted interpretation of what is or isn’t, and neither making much sense. They speak in delphic riddles which allows more interpretation without ever settling problems.

    Lawyers feast on human misery. And theirs is the “greed” which is the catalyst of “greedier.”

  34. Mo does not subscribe to the adage “No use putting on an upside down smiley face over lost benefit money.”.

  35. It’s absolutely hilarious to read these idiotic comments about players’ being greedy. As if the owners aren’t? I have no doubt that if I owned a billion dollar business and could manipulate the media these owners have, I’d get you guys to buy sh*t in a box and then get you to kiss my feet for being allowed to do so!!!

  36. this all comes down to the NFL having a legitimate fear of being hit hard in the pockets for the lockout insurance the the NFL strong armed from the TV networks- the Brady lawsuit and retired players lawsuit and lost benefits is just posturing by the NFLPA- but the lockout insurance case and and the $$ attached to that is the real issue because the owners and Goddell got caught with their hands in the cookie jar

  37. vetdana says: “Note…my neighbor took a second mortgage on his house last year…to buy Bear Season tickets and pay off some credit card debt…Was layed off…Lost the house !!”

    You’re neighbor is an idiot.

  38. I’m glad somebody stupid enough to mortgage his house to buy tickets to football games lost his house. It’s not the owner’s or player’s fault this person is too stupid to prioritize his personal expenses properly.

  39. I have an idea… If the NFL and its players are so worried about “thier”fans why not give that 320 million to the fans in the form of cheaper tickets ect…. problem solved!! like they would give anything back to the fans!!!!!

  40. “without the workers, there are no fatcat business owners”.

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

    Without the fans, there would be no NFL.

    Think about that for a few minutes………………

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