The headline seems a lot more ominous than the content of Packers president Mark Murphy’s quote. The Green Bay Press-Gazette declares that Murphy said “NFL owners are done negotiating.”
The reality is a bit more tame.
“We’ve put our pens down,” Murphy said, per Kareem Copeland of the Press-Gazette. “We’ve negotiated in good faith with the union. We’ve reached an agreement on all the key points. . . . They know what we ratified and they’re voting to ratify the same thing.”
Yes, but the players contend that the league slipped some stuff in the deal that the players didn’t know about. (Of course, the players also said that they didn’t get the final deal in their hands before they were expected to vote on it.)
We’d be more concerned about Murphy’s comments if he’d made them today. He didn’t. They came last night. And as long as any further negotiation doesn’t involve key points, it shouldn’t be an issue.
Moreover, the deal that the owners approved contemplates further negotiation as to the matters necessarily reserved to the province of a union, such as the drug-testing program, the personal conduct policy, and other issues of that nature.
But the league must tread carefully from this point forward with the tough talk. Of all people, Murphy (a former player) should understand how players will react if they believe they’re being forced to do something.
Hell, they’ll react the same way that most of the rest of us would react.