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Work continues Saturday, quietly

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Despite a widespread belief, fueled by reports of an e-mail setting a Monday meeting that apparently never was sent, that the players are delaying this thing for the weekend because they can, the truth is that the two sides continue to quietly work toward striking a deal that many believe is inevitable.

Ravens cornerback and NFLPA* Executive Committee member Domonique Foxworth, who deserves $10 million far more than Logan Mankins or Vincent Jackson for the work that Foxworth has done to get this deal in place, has declared on Twitter that everything is happening by phone today.  Michael Lombardi of NFL Network reports that the owners will have a conference call today to discuss the situation.  Multiple reports, including one from Albert Breer of NFL Network and one from Adam Schefter of ESPN, indicate that the 10 named plaintiffs in the Brady case are getting out of the way.

The most daunting hurdle, apart from the players’ 12th-hour, seven-year opt-out request, is the process by which the NFLPA* will drop its asterisk and become a union again.  Setting aside for now the question of whether the players should do it their way or the way the league wants them to do it, both sides are at fault for not preparing for this moment.

“It’s like putting a man on the moon and worrying about how he’ll get back after he gets there,” one league source said earlier today.

And that’s an indictment on both parties.  Maybe it’s a consequence of kicking the lawyers out of the room.  Maybe the principals instead should have demanded that the lawyers, once kicked out of the room, get together and come up with an agreed flow chart for settling the claims and striking a new labor deal and reconstituting the union.

It’s hard not to point to the lack of urgency in May and June, once the parties realized that the time had come to start talking, as one of the primary causes of the current predicament.  Two days per week ultimately weren’t enough, and now that the plane is supposed to be landing, the pilots are circling the runway trying to figure out how in the hell to put the wheels down.

For two supposedly sophisticated parties poised to do a deal that, over time, will kick out well over $100 billion dollars, it’s worse than disappointing.

It’s embarrassing.

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49 Responses to “Work continues Saturday, quietly”
  1. tomsd1 says: Jul 23, 2011 12:54 PM

    Other than Kessler (who would bitch about being hung even with a new rope) – what says reconstituting the union is so “complex”.

  2. jw731 says: Jul 23, 2011 12:56 PM

    It would be embarrassing if either party cared, but they don’t, the money will be there and they know it…..Simple as that…

  3. phillyforlife says: Jul 23, 2011 12:59 PM

    “For two supposedly sophisticated parties poised to do a deal that, over time, will kick out well over $100 billion dollars, it’s worse than disappointing.
    It’s embarrassing.”

    Could not agree more

  4. truvikingfan says: Jul 23, 2011 1:02 PM

    This whole damn thing is the biggest joke that has been laid at the feet of fans since the magic bullet theory.

    Multi-million dollar players, billion-aire owners, and attorneys that charge hundreds of dollars an hour, spend 2 days a week for 2 months to iron this out, and than come crunch time, wonder why it won’t be done in time.

    They all should be flogged for incompetence. Seriously…..you didn’t know how to re-form the union when you de-certified? That was never brought up? You are either a liar, or completely incompetent.

    Owners…do you really think you can force these ego-maniacs to do what YOU want on YOUR timeline? Incompetent fools also!!

    Personally, fed up with the whole damn mess, and thinking college football might be my ticket. Now that is something that I can “dig”

  5. hobartbaker says: Jul 23, 2011 1:04 PM

    “It’s like being stuck on the moon, and when you turn on communication to the control room, all the guys in Houston have dropped their pants and turned their naked butts to the camera.”.

  6. chiefsmoke2424 says: Jul 23, 2011 1:04 PM

    Why would the NFL get in a huff about HOW the players end up re-certifying? The players and their counel have apparently suggested this can be done when reporting to camp by physically signing membership cards, after which the team player reps report on the number of signees.

    Electronically sigining would be more time-efficient, but whatever ensures a deal should be the option. If the players want to “sign cards” then let them!

    More and more stories are popping up that the PA seems to find the potential CBA favorable. I do not think owners have to be worried of having this shot down. The deal can be ratified before re-certification remember.

  7. ICDogg says: Jul 23, 2011 1:09 PM

    You can’t finalize the deal until you recertify the union.

    You can’t recertify the union until you finalize the deal.

    This Catch-22 can only be resolved if one party takes a leap of faith and trusts the other party not to go back on things informally agreed to.

  8. nflfan101 says: Jul 23, 2011 1:11 PM

    FWIW, even PFT ran an article some time ago wherein Mike stated what he thought would be the steps that have to happen to settle this mess.

    It is difficult to believe that they didn’t discuss how to actually end this debacle and reach an agreement on when the NFLPA/NFLPA* would recertify and that all law suits would be dismissed.

  9. eaglesfanxx says: Jul 23, 2011 1:12 PM

    Great post, Mike!

    You’re absolutely correct: it’s embarrassing.

  10. Mike Florio says: Jul 23, 2011 1:16 PM

    @hobartbarker . . . .

    Well played. As Joan Blondell would say, “Wonder who’s on the right?”

  11. winskins says: Jul 23, 2011 1:17 PM

    “Why would the NFL get in a huff about HOW the players end up re-certifying?”

    What the NFLPA* does here may set a precedent for the NBA and other professional associations in the sports industry. Particularly since the NFL has presented a claim to the National Labor Relations Board that decertification was a sham, the method of reconstituting the NFLPA might in fact be central to defending themselves in that case.

    Plus, it’s a fun way to wind up Jeff Pash.

  12. ICDogg says: Jul 23, 2011 1:27 PM

    It’s more than that…

    Unions have always formed by getting signed cards from the workers in person. To do so any other way might not even be legal considering our labor laws which were mostly written 50-80 years ago. Just because the technology exists doesn’t mean the law has caught up to it.

    I think the validity of an Internet vote might very well be in question if they just decided to set one up in a hurry now.

  13. banfootball4life says: Jul 23, 2011 1:27 PM

    For two supposedly sophisticated parties poised to do a deal that, over time, will kick out well over $100 billion dollars, it’s worse than disappointing.

    It’s embarrassing.

    you deserve the Pullitzer prize for this statement which reflects how nauseated I am of this mess.

  14. gtmann says: Jul 23, 2011 1:27 PM

    The union had the decert planned, voted on, and approved at least a year in advance. EVERYONE knew that a deal would eventually be done. EVERYONE knew that the union would have to reconstitute . Why was it not as planned out as the decert process ? If they insist on signed pieces of paper (which is incredibly stupid), fine. They should have been sent out, signed, and returned MONTHS ago and held on file,

    This just shows a complete lack of leadership on the players side. Smith is an idiot who should never have been elected.

    Futher, when this deal was pesented to the owners, and EVERYONE knew it was going to be voted on, Smith, the executive committee, and the player reps should have all been in the same room and prefersbly in the same building as the owners. Conferance calls don’t work for everything.

    Clearly the owners were prepared and the players side not!

  15. zinn22 says: Jul 23, 2011 1:37 PM

    It is a little silly to say the lack of meetings caused the delay. The deal in place now is almost identical to the initial offer the players made the owners way back in March when they offered to take 50% of revenues. If you recall the owners walked out of negotiations saying the offer was insulting. Now they have accepted a deal taking 2% less.

    The problem has and always been the Owners. If they wanted this deal they could have accepted it back in March.

  16. prmpft says: Jul 23, 2011 1:37 PM

    (sigh)…greedy bastards!!!

  17. TheDPR says: Jul 23, 2011 1:40 PM

    They SHOULD BE embarrassed but I haven’t seen any indication that they are. I never thought much of De Smith but Goodell had me fooled for awhile into thinking he was a competent commissioner.

    Pete Rozelle must be rolling over in his grave right now.

  18. mathsimillion says: Jul 23, 2011 1:45 PM

    Even continuing to work out these remaining issues, the players probably won’t vote until Monday at the earliest. Even if they get those issues resolved this weekend I doubt the players will have time to go over the 600 page proposal let alone understand what it says by Monday night. I don’t see a vote taking place until Wed at the earliest.

  19. thevet700 says: Jul 23, 2011 1:47 PM

    So What!

  20. bangyourhead4 says: Jul 23, 2011 1:48 PM

    This is what happens when you procrastinate. Both sides had plenty of time to have this deal done. It’s like your teenage kid having a school project and waiting until the night before it’s due to work on it.
    In the meantime us fans who support this league get hung out to dry like we never meant anything to them.

  21. bingocostello says: Jul 23, 2011 1:52 PM

    unions, another word for communism!

  22. deadeye says: Jul 23, 2011 2:02 PM

    Under normal circumstances, it really should not matter how the union certifies itself. That’s the players business as much as the revenue sharing is the owners business. The problem is that the union did a sham decertification and took the whole thing to court to avoid the lock out. And then in hypocritical fashion, the “non-union” continued to collectively bargain. I don’t really know why the owners care about how the re-certification occurs, but if it’s related to the lawsuits then the players deserve all the crap they are getting right now.

  23. eagiants says: Jul 23, 2011 2:08 PM

    I want so badly to stop caring about these clowns but I can’t. I feel like I’m in an abusive relationship. That’s why they do it to us bc they know it’s an addiction for so many of us. Screw u Nflpa* and NFL

  24. preludetosmack says: Jul 23, 2011 2:09 PM

    How about a win-win that both sides get their way.

    Lockout continues until players reform the union, but each team owner books and pays for 90 rooms at a the hotel nearest to where that team’s training camp is to be played. Players for each team report to the same hotel, have 1 day to get their update, 1 night to ask any questions, the next day they do the vote in person on paper, and are available for the league year to start the NEXT DAY.

    It doesn’t take 2 weeks, and it’s not hard to wrangle all the players together, they all have to report for training camp anyway.

    How the players can argue that it will take 2 weeks to get them together to get the vote done, but the owners should open up shop so that all the player can show up? If they can all show up, they can all vote.

    It doesn’t take 2 weeks, and it doesn’t have to be done electronically to be done in 2 days. These guys have millions, they can afford the plane ticket to get there tonight. The owners have billions, they can afford 90 hotel rooms for 2-3 days.

    Problem solved, nobody has egg on their face.

  25. insider7 says: Jul 23, 2011 2:15 PM

    It was undeniably a low-rent, dishonest move by the owners to approve a proposed CBA which contained terms that were never agreed to by the players and then play it publicly as though this is the deal that they had both worked out in private. Most people call this fraud.

    The players should do everything they can to highlight this fraudulent tactic and then approve their own version of the CBA which DOES contain the terms that were agreed to by both players and owners in private. This would place the ball in the owners’ court and the public blame squarely where it belongs: on the owners.

    Remember, the owners are the only ones who would really lose if preseason games are lost. So let them stew until they start being more honest in their dealings with the players and the public.

  26. willycents says: Jul 23, 2011 2:19 PM

    @winskins
    I agree totally with your second statement. Re-constituting the union AFTER spending months acting and talking like a union (and negotiating like a union) will certainly be a factor in any NLRB ruling on the NFL’s petition to the board. As I understand it, from my unionized employees, the NLRB has a wide variety of possible actions, from doing nothing to sanctions against the union ranging from fines levied against the union to prohibition of union leadership from holding positions in a union leadership role again. Again, that is just from my employees, who should know more about it than I do,

    Perhaps the solution is for the NFL to withdraw their NLRB filing, if they can, which would cure that problem. Seems that that item would be covered, or could be covered, under the settlement of the Brady, et al, lawsuit.

  27. bigbrave65 says: Jul 23, 2011 2:21 PM

    I am so tired of this lockout stuff. I wish there was a way to get every football fan in America to boycott football this season. Imagine the owners and players showing up at the stadium on game day only to find it empty(no fans). Then they might realize that without fans there would not be billions of dollars to fight over.

  28. slobmykolb says: Jul 23, 2011 2:22 PM

    upwards of 100 billion over 10 yrs for a game! this country is in the midst of defaulting on its loans and would love to have that money and we have all these shmucks being cry babies. I’ve never been a big college football fan but this seems like the perfect year to make the switch! to hell with the NFL and its players! they ALL are greedy and ungrateful!!!!!!

  29. frostymugobeer says: Jul 23, 2011 2:24 PM

    like it really matters now !
    the whole season is screwed…..we lost the “hall of fame game”….boo hoo
    but seriously folks, this is gonna be an awesome off-season.
    get ready for some fast and furious football news.
    next week is gonna be a trade war.
    i’m stoked !

  30. gtmann says: Jul 23, 2011 2:29 PM

    t is a little silly to say the lack of meetings caused the delay. The deal in place now is almost identical to the initial offer the players made the owners way back in March when they offered to take 50% of revenues. If you recall the owners walked out of negotiations saying the offer was insulting. Now they have accepted a deal taking 2% less.

    The problem has and always been the Owners. If they wanted this deal they could have accepted it back in March.

    ————————————————————

    I think you have it a little backwards. It was the OWNERS who made at least two proposals with no counters, The PLAYERS who walked out with De Moron calling it the worst deal in the history ofr pro sports

  31. eaglesfanxx says: Jul 23, 2011 2:34 PM

    insider7,
    what terms did the owners try to sneak in?

    You’re just an idiot. The players have lost the PR battle and the ball has been in their court since thursday.

    Why aren’t they working over the weekend?

    Keep trying to convince people that the players are the good guys.

  32. bobwhitequail says: Jul 23, 2011 2:41 PM

    How can the owners possibly be at fault for the NFLPA not being able to reform? That makes no sense at all. The NFL told them how they could do it many weeks ago. Saying the owners have any responsibility for the union reforming is like saying the players are responsible for Al Davis abstaining in the vote. That does not make sense.

  33. thetwilightsown says: Jul 23, 2011 2:42 PM

    insider7…

    This would start the whole process over again. The only thing more surprising than a non-player actually suggesting this is that the players themselves haven’t already tried it.

    Fansfirstnow .com!!!!!

  34. jikkle49 says: Jul 23, 2011 3:02 PM

    It’s not the owners responsibility for the players to reform as a union that should’ve been organized and planned well in advance by the union leadership.

    Everyone knew the owners wanted to save the preseason so it baffles me as how the players are shocked the owners already voted on this and mad they are pressuring them. There’s millions of dollars at stake so of course they want to get the deal done and want you to hurry up and decide.

  35. steel6times says: Jul 23, 2011 3:17 PM

    Foxworth sucks. Why is he even mentioned? Next!

  36. darvon86 says: Jul 23, 2011 3:22 PM

    Something is happening here….

    It is possible that something very unusual is happening in the NFL Labor mess. I don’t think the NFL is trying to settle the Brady suit. I think it is trying to win it, or at least dismiss it.

    First, let me define some terms. SSA as we all know is shorthand for Stipulation and Settlement Agreement, the settlement for a lawsuit, in this case, the Brady class action suit. Work rules are the set of company rules which define how employees are handled. For the NFL, Work Rules include things like free agency and salary caps. If there is a Union, then the union and the NFL define all the rules by agreeing to a CBA. If not, then the NFL sets them unilaterally. After the ’87 strike, the NFL set the Work Rules unilaterally, with the union decertifying in ’89. The NFL doesn’t have to have a union to make Work Rules, but if the union exists, then the NFL has to do it with the union in a CBA.

    In a class action suit, like the Brady suit, there is 1 or more named person and a definition of a “class” of individuals that received a common injury. The named plaintiff(s) are asking the court to approve that the class has a reasonable and legitimate description and that the plaintiff, and the “class” lawyers can represent said class. If a court agrees it can “certify” the class and thus validate the named plaintiffs/class counsel to represent the class.

    So let’s look at the timeline of the way the White v NFL case was settled. These are in chronological order.

    Sept 92 – White et al filed suit.
    Jan 93 – NFL and White reached a SSA and petitions court together.
    Jan 93 – Court certified the “class”, which makes things easier later.
    Jan 93 – NFLPA starts to recertify, mails out cards.
    Feb 93 – Court grant preliminary approval of SSA.
    Feb 93 – Plaintiff mails notices to class, advertises in USAToday. Objections to be heard in July court date.
    March 1 – NFL changes Work Rules to match those in SSA.
    March 26 – Vote over. Union lives. Union and NFL start drafting CBA to mirror Work Rules in SSA.
    …..and more.

    As you can see the first thing that happens after a settlement is agreed to is that both parties, the NFL and the named plaintiffs, write up and sign a petition to the court to certify the class for the purposes of settlement and give a preliminary approval to the settlement.

    So why is the Jackson/Logan/et al brouhaha bubbling up now? If the lawyers for the class don’t have the agreement of the named plaintiffs to file a SSA petition, then they don’t have anything.

    Also, look at what the Thursday NFL deal timeline is:

    * NFLPA exec council approve.
    * NFLPA recertification.
    * NFLPA approval of CBA
    * NFL establishes work rules after NFLPA approval of CBA.
    * NFLPA has 3 days to bargain with NFL on certain Work Rules, else the new Work Rules in this area are those of the 2006 CBA.

    There is no mention of anything having to do with the litigation nor the SSA. I don’t think the NFL is going to settle Brady.

    I think the NFL is trying to force the NFLPA to re-cert. Then the NFL will WIN Brady (or dismiss it) by using the anti-trust exemption the NFLPA union and approved CBA give them.

    The NFL isn’t trying to require the NFLPA to recert in an SSA. It is trying to avoid an SSA entirely and “Just win, baby”.

  37. richm2256 says: Jul 23, 2011 3:23 PM

    “the process by which the NFLPA* will drop its asterisk and become a union again.”

    You mean the “decertifcation” WAS a sham, all along????

    DAMN

    …. and here I believed those guys when they said in court that it WASN’T.

  38. saints25 says: Jul 23, 2011 3:29 PM

    The players have had this move planned from the word go,,Heath Evans tweeted around 2 months aga Ask if the fans how would they fill about missing 2 pre-season games,an I’m telling you now,there not playing but 2 pre-season games..Thrusday NFLPA come out an say,were not ready to vote and”were note under a timeline”NFLPA intention’s are to make the owners lose money,an thats is exactly what is going to happen.IMO its not in good faith,if I’m the owners I would have an agreement by This weekend…If not let it run it;s course thru the courts…..

  39. lionsfan14 says: Jul 23, 2011 3:38 PM

    if gene upshaw was still alive this deal would have been done weeks ago

  40. saturn1111 says: Jul 23, 2011 3:42 PM

    Yes, they should have thought about the re-cert process a long time ago. But they didn’t.

    But it’s spilt milk now. All the bitching in the world won’t change it.

    Many fans have derided both sides for not working on the weekends during this dispute and many assumed that the players intended to take this weekend off.

    At least both sides are working on getting it together.

  41. vmannj says: Jul 23, 2011 3:45 PM

    Those siding with the players, saying that the owners are the only ones who lose if there is no preseason, you are dead wrong. All revenue is shared revenue between the players and owners. $200 million in lost revenue per week during the preseason. Remember the 50/50 split? That means the players are losing $100M.

    And while we’re at it, let’s ask fans in Buffalo and Jacksonville if they want the preseason. Those owners have been the most vocal about the finances of their franchises simply not working. If this thing doesn’t get resolved soon, those cities could lose their teams, not just a few games.

    So do you still think the owners are the only ones losing money without the preseason?

  42. atmedic8daily says: Jul 23, 2011 3:46 PM

    I’ll smoke to…..wait, we’re still not done!??!

  43. wannabeqb says: Jul 23, 2011 4:33 PM

    ^ any criticism of the owners is immediately followed with a bunch of thumbs down. I know it’s hard not to root for the billionaire old white guys but come on, man!

    We know the owners voted on an incomplete/altered deal because there are still negotiating points. Clearly, it was a PR move to put pressure on the players. The fans want to see this lockout over and have been told the deal needs voting on, so the NFL has a completely pointless vote on an agreement that is likely to be changed. How is that not a PR ploy!?

    IF the players voted on an incomplete/altered document the same commenters jumping on the players now would be racing to call it a player sham aimed at sucking up to the fans!

    Yet PFT commenters are still gonna run around screaming that they can’t support the players because the didn’t “negotiate in good faith” 4 months ago! Is this what you would call good practice?

  44. igglesnut says: Jul 23, 2011 4:41 PM

    According to Peter King, Goodell and the labor committee have been authorized to negotiate changes to their ratified proposal with the NFLPA executive committe and the deal can be done without holding a new vote by the owners.

  45. markmckeeexp says: Jul 23, 2011 5:12 PM

    “For two supposedly sophisticated parties poised to do a deal that, over time, will kick out well over $100 billion dollars, it’s worse than disappointing.

    It’s embarrassing.”

    It is only embarrassing for the fans who lack the testicles to take control of the game via boycott. Much like the voters who refuse to vote out the Repub & Dem incumbents in Congress. It is we, the cowardly people, who should be ashamed, not the league, the players, or Congress.

    It works so well for all the robbers who run America. The people have all the power, the brave troops get killed and maimed every day to insure it, yet Americans are too lazy or frightened to use it. Now really, whose fault is that? It is embarrassing…

  46. patsandsox says: Jul 23, 2011 5:45 PM

    I very much hope this is true. I have grave doubts about any of these reports. Especialy of unnamed sources

  47. bigvinnyinjax says: Jul 23, 2011 5:47 PM

    Players are millionaire moron pigs. They’ll get to work the day before they miss their first paycheck. Owner should get the replacements on the field. That’ll get the millionaire pigs in camp.

  48. patsandsox says: Jul 23, 2011 6:24 PM

    The ignorance I read on these messages astounds me.
    The owners can are all angels that have everyones best interests at heart. They just want to do right by everyone.

    Its all the fault of the mean old gready players.
    If only we could replace them with low quality scabs that would forever water down the product on the field that would solve all the problems.

    Wow any of you genuiseswant to buy some waterfront property in genuises?
    I am sure as long as one of the NFL honest John owners are selling you fools will line up to buy.

  49. patsandsox says: Jul 23, 2011 6:30 PM

    NFL owners and players have tentatively agreed to a plan that would allow for the players’ executive committee to vote on Monday to recommend accepting the CBA and recertifying as a union, a source said Saturday.

    According to the source, progress in talks with the owners has put the 11-member NFLPA executive board in position to vote Monday to recommend the 10-year collective bargaining agreement the owners ratified Thursday.
    Under the plan, players would then begin reporting to training camps as early as Wednesday to physically vote on whether to recertify, with the hope that it will be done by Friday at the earliest, the source said.

    The players’ association’s plan calls for the NFLPA’s executive committee to meet in Washington, D.C., on Monday. If all agreements have been reached by then, the executive committee is expected to vote to recommend the CBA and recommend recertifying as a union, the source said. After that, the 32 player representatives also must recommend the CBA and recertifying.

    If the executive committee accepts the new CBA, the source said, players from certain teams would be allowed to report to training camps on Wednesday and players from other teams will be asked to report to camps Friday. The hope from both sides is there are enough votes to recertify the union by as early as Friday.

    The NFLPA needs a 50-percent-plus-one-vote majority of the players in order to recertify its union and accept the terms of the CBA.

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