NFL, NFLPA continue to work toward completing CBA

Reuters

Steelers safety and NFLPA representative Ryan Clark sounded an unexpected alarm on Wednesday regarding the completion of the new CBA.  Clark said that the deal may not be done in time for players who signed new or restructured contracts to practice on Thursday.

Clark blamed the delay on Commissioner Roger Goodell’s stance on player discipline.

Still, a subsequent Associated Press report paints a slightly more optimistic picture.  Per Barry Wilner of the Associated Press, Giants long snapper Zak DeOssie said it’s “looking very optimistic” that the deal will be done on time.

Clark echoed his Debbie Downer disposition to Wilner:  “De Smith is still working, and we’re trying to get this figured out.  But it’s not an absolute that guys will be at practice tomorrow.”

While HGH testing remains a point of contention, Goodell’s authority when it comes to fines and suspensions apparenty has taken center stage.  “[W]ith Roger Goodell having total control over the fine process, that’s a deal-breaker for us in this situation,” Clark said.  “We feel like someone else should be on there; there should be some . . . type of way — actually someone who’s not on the NFL payroll.  A big issue, for us, especially, as a team, is Roger Goodell . . . being judge, jury and appeals system.”

While Clark has a point when it comes to penalties imposed under the substance-abuse policy, the steroids policy, and the personal conduct policy, the Commissioner currently doesn’t have final say when it comes to discipline for illegal hits and other on-field conduct.  In reality, Art Shell and Ted Cottrell make the final call on these matters, and the two former coaches were jointly selected by and are collectively compensated by the NFL and the NFLPA.

Unfortunately, this paragraph from Wilner will perpetuate the misconception:  “Pittsburgh has been one of the most fined teams in the league, particularly star linebacker James Harrison. The Steelers have been vocal about what they perceive as unfair treatment by the NFL.”

Another potential sticking point comes from the stated intention of the NFL to hold players responsible for off-field misconduct during the lockout, a position that we continue to regard as ludicrous.

Either way, De Smith expressed optimism last week on PFT Live that the deal will get done.  And since many of you have made it clear that you don’t want to hear about CBA matters now that football is back, we’ll stop her and get back to football.

17 responses to “NFL, NFLPA continue to work toward completing CBA

  1. The only players worried about Goodell’s power of discipline are the ones dumb enough to get into trouble.

  2. How about you never post another article that has to do with the CBA? I think we’ve exhausted that topic this summer.

  3. jessieboom says:
    The only players worried about Goodell’s power of discipline are the ones dumb enough to get into trouble.

    Are you insane?

    That’s like saying that an officer making an arrest should also be judge, jury, and executioner, and that’s all fine and dandy if one just stays out of trouble.

    Does everyone understand how crazy it is that if a player wants to dispute a suspension handed down by Roger Goodell, it’s decided by…wait for it…Roger Goodell?

    There should be no problem with an impartial party hearing appeals, and if Goodell can’t see that it just serves as more evidence of how big an ego he has.

  4. there is no way the commissioner lets this happen. he already has to save face with the players and the fans. if the newly signed free agents cant practice with their team tomorrow then this guy has to resign!

  5. If they won’t agree to the CBA -as is- SEND THEM HOME. No paycheck and the PRIMADONAS will fold. It is still an employer vs employee relationship.

  6. Correct me if im wrong, but doesnt something like handing down punishment for players who break the rules fall right in line of the job description of a LEAGUE COMMISIONER??

  7. kom2k10 says:
    Correct me if im wrong, but doesnt something like handing down punishment for players who break the rules fall right in line of the job description of a LEAGUE COMMISIONER??

    Only because you asked to be corrected if you’re wrong…you’re wrong.

    Goodell is the ONLY commissioner in the history of unionized professional sports to wield the authority he had from 2007 until the CBA expired.

  8. jessieboom says:
    Aug 3, 2011 7:04 PM
    The only players worried about Goodell’s power of discipline are the ones dumb enough to get into trouble.
    ————————————————–
    And define trouble. No one can when it comes to fines and suspensions. It’s whatever his platoon of vice presidents decides looks too rough for that day.

    Save Football, Fire Goodell.

  9. He’s worried about appeals for substance abuse? Why? Those would seem to be the most straightforward ones to appeal. Commish-here’s a scrip from the doctor so it’s ok that was in my pee. Or not. If it’s coke or something, cry me a river. How can a guy even appeal that?? Don’t think there are false + for coke, weed, etc. unless the thing comes back + for a diluted sample.

    The one thing that does bother me about it is when the player reads the list of approved substances, his isn’t on it, he calls that hotline thing and they don’t say it’s bad but later the dude test positive for the thing he asked about and gets dumped. Hasn’t that happened?

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