Mediation to continue Monday in New York

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After a couple of days of confusion and conflicting reports as to where and when the NFL and the NFLPA* would continue their talks aimed at working out a new labor deal, it now appears that the parties will be back at it on Monday in New York.

According to the Associated Press, U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan will join the talks on Monday, not Tuesday.

Originally, the parties were expected to meet with Boylan in Minneapolis on Tuesday.  By the end of the day on Friday, it appeared that any further meetings with Judge Boylan would be perfunctory at most, given the widespread reports and belief that a deal was on the verge of being done.

But something happened on the way to a fresh 10 years of labor peace.  Collateral issues that one or both sides presumed would be easily resolved now that the truly hard work is done have become thornier than expected.  And so it should be no surprise that Judge Boylan has decided that it makes more sense to meet on Monday.

The remaining hurdles, as outlined Sunday night by ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, are as follows:

1.  The players want $320 million in unpaid benefits during the uncapped year to be restored.

2.  The players want the franchise tag to be limited to one year in use.  Currently, teams can apply it for two years before the price of the tag rockets to the average of the five highest-paid quarterbacks, regardless of the position that the franchise player normally plays.  (Obviously, if the player is a quarterback, it doesn’t matter.)

3.  The 10 named plaintiffs must sign off on the settlement of the lawsuit.  Some have speculated, possibly with more than speculation in their pockets, that Patriots guard Logan Mankins and/or Chargers receiver Vincent Jackson will want to be free agents, despite having been slapped with the franchise tag.  Other named plaintiffs not due to become free agents in 2011 could want similar consideration.  (I’ll elaborate and editorialize during Monday’s PFT Live, at 12:00 p.m. ET.)

4.  The owners want to close the California loophole for workers’ compensation claims.  Currently, a player can file in California, widely viewed as a very employee-friendly forum, if he has played only one game their during his career.  As a result, plenty do; the NFL wants to compel the players to file for benefits in the state in which they played their home games when injured.

5.  The “lockout insurance” case must be resolved.  In May, Judge David Doty held a hearing on the question of the damages the NFL should pay for leaving money on the table in rights fees in order to persuade the networks to commit to paying billions during 2011, even if there’s no football.  The players are entitled to 59.6 percent of whatever the league could have generated in 2009 and 2010 if the league had dropped the “lockout insurance” term.  Mort suggests that the players will use this claim as leverage to get the $320 million in benefits that weren’t paid during the uncapped year.

Despite these potentially challenging issues, a sense of optimism remains that a deal will be finalized in the next two days, primarily since the toughest part is now over.  As Mort pointed out Friday on Twitter, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones declared to negotiators on Friday that the process is now done to “circumcising mosquitoes.”

In unrelated news, Tim Tebow is joining the talks on Monday.

Regardless of who actually is or isn’t there, here’s hoping that they finally get this thing done by the time the sun sets on Tuesday.

Primarily because it’s a lot harder to do circumcisions in the dark.

22 responses to “Mediation to continue Monday in New York

  1. One of the greatest lines of all time – even if Jerry stole it from somebody else. 🙂 Great pic you had of a mosquito also.

    “As Mort pointed out Friday on Twitter, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones declared to negotiators on Friday that the process is now done to “circumcising mosquitoes.” ‘

  2. Judge Boylan has decided that it makes more sense to meet on Monday..
    Might take an extra day? NFLPA* might want a little payback? Glad the mediator is there to smack a few lawyers back to reality!

  3. Would you please explain to me” why do the players that were used for the lawsuit deserve anything at all?”. The union could have picked anybody and it was just part of the process. I’m not a lawyer (thank god) but please explain this to me.

  4. Why should the players get more money from the uncapped year? The owners were wise enough to safe with contracts last year due to the CBA uncertainty, they should not be punished for that.

  5. Got to believe circumcision of a mosquito to be nearly impossible if you give a damn about the patient. Not sure what this odd genital reference means.

    In the end the fans will take it in the end.

    End of story.

  6. If Mankins and Jackson try and cut their own special deals because they are named plaintiffs, they should be removed and banned from any NFLPA* leadership position for life. With 700+ players jobs in the balance, how could these two guys be that selfish?

  7. God sent Tebow to todays mediation? When god says it’s time for this to end, then it’s time for it to end.

    Get it done fellas!

  8. That’s 2 more billable days (12 hours/day) by the lawyers. If they charge $1000 per hour that amounts to $24,000 in 2 days of work.

  9. So, to sum up:

    1. Players want
    2. Players want
    3. Players want
    4. Owners want
    5. Players want

    It’s evident who’s holding this agreement up.

  10. 1. The players want $320 million in unpaid benefits during the uncapped year to be restored.

    They shouldn’t get it. The owners paid what was agreed to by the NFLPA in the past CBA. The CBA did not require that they pay those benefits during the uncapped year. It was one of the poision pill provisions included by both sides to induce a deal to get done before the expiration of the CBA. They should not be holding things up looking for a handout.

    2. Franchise tag limited to one year per team isn’t a bad idea. What are the players willing to give up to get it?

    3. If it turns out that the settlement is being held up due to the named plaintiffs, especially the ones who all they did is put their name on the piece of paper, asking for what amounts to extortion of a personal nature then even the fans who support the players should turn on those players.

    4. California is bankrupt for a reason.

    5. The lockout insurance case needs to just go away. I’m tired of the players thinking they have leverage with that case.

    The mutually agreed upon special master ruled it wasn’t a violation. Judge Doty ruled it was a violation (surprise). The 8th circuit is a wild card. Neither the players, nor the owners can be certain what the final ruling will be, all that is certain is that further litigation will take months and continue to line the lawyers pockets.

    Both sides lose with continued litigation as it is getting to the point where major chunks of revenue for both sides will start to be missed, regardless of who wins the case.

  11. If Arthur Boylan can get these two sides to stop squabbling over the petty stuff and get a deal done, finalized and signed by this week, he should be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize :).

  12. It ain’t over til the lawyers squeeze every last cent. It seems the players are gettin a bit greedy I don’t see a smooth finish to this.

  13. Thank God that Tim Tebow is finally joining the talks and bringing his wealth of personal and professional experience to the negotiating table. I feel better already.

  14. Remember the age old saying:
    Where there is a will, there is a lawyer waiting to take his cut.

  15. bite the bullet players, swallow your ridiculous pride cuz you AINT GETTIN NO MONEY AT ALL unless this lockout ends… and the world will go into criminal turmoil… sorry im def with Ray Lewis on this one… im already so disgusted with the greed that I wanna go commit a crime depite of it lol… just kidding law enforcement 😉 or am i?

    just get the deal done and don’t be jerks…. there is WAY MORE at stake then your stupid money

  16. mathsimillion says: Jul 18, 2011 8:35 AM

    If Arthur Boylan can get these two sides to stop squabbling over the petty stuff and get a deal done, finalized and signed by this week, he should be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 🙂 .

    Hey, if Obama can win the Nobel for doing nothing, then Boylan surely does 😉

  17. 1. Sorry, there were penalties against both sides in the last year of the deal that were in place to compel each side to reach an agreement. These unpaid benefits were part of the penalty against the players and should be gone.

    2. Limiting the tag to 1 year for the same player seems reasonable to me. It’s not fair that a player can be limited to below his perceived market value after his contract is complete.

    3. I don’t see why this is an issue. If the players vote for the new CBA, then it becomes the new agreement regardless of what Mankins or VJax want. They’ll probably have a tough time winning their lawsuit if the new CBA allows them to still be tagged.

    4. I’m mixed on this. Players, especially those drafted, have little say in where they will work. On the other side, I don’t think it’s right that the players can pick the most favorable states’ laws they want.

    5. This suit should continue regardless of the CBA. The owners took less money on TV contracts to get the lockout insurance. That has affected the cap in previous years and potentially future years depending on the future CBA. The players should get reimbursed for the damages that have incurred.

  18. How do Mankins and Jackson walk into a locker room and look any of their teammates in the face if they hold up this process for themselves? This is completely unbelievable at this point.

  19. Come on, what does God have to do with football. I’m sure God is sending Saint Tebow to resolve this. All I have to say, is if this is all God has to deal with then the Obama’s administration Armageddon is a pretty good bet.

  20. would somebody explain to me how a communist judge is given this much to say about anything. Whatever happened to fair and impartial. Boylan really.

  21. More and more info the fans get, the finger points harder and harder toward the players as the ones holding up everyone and everything. Owners are the ones taking all the chances on the product ( players) and should have more of the pie as well as rights to the product. When the product is bad or sour to the company the owners are still the ones stuck with this product.

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