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NFLPA will appeal Burbank decision

Bounties Saints Players Football AP

The NFLPA has issued a statement in response to arbitrator Stephen Burbank’s decision to reject the NFLPA’s argument that he should determine whether or not Saints players violated rules regarding whether players were paid as part of a bounty program.

The union will appeal the decision to the Appeals Panel provided under the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Per their statement, the union “believes that the players are entitled to neutral arbitration of these issues under the CBA and will continue to fight for that principle and to protect the fair due process rights of all players.”

It’s important to note that Burbank’s decision has nothing to do with how the players will be punished. As he wrote in his decision and the NFLPA quotes in its statement, “nothing in this opinion is intended to convey a view about the underlying facts or the appropriateness of the discipline imposed.” This is a procedural issue about who decides the penalties and Burbank’s opinion is that power should rest with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

A separate grievance still sits in front of another arbitrator asking whether the new CBA prevents Goodell from imposing any discipline on players for conduct occurring before it was signed. That grievance also asks whether the appeals should be handled by Ted Cottrell or Art Shell, jointly appointed by the NFL and the NFLPA to review discipline imposed by Goodell for on-field misconduct.

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24 Responses to “NFLPA will appeal Burbank decision”
  1. blondebombr says: Jun 4, 2012 11:46 AM

    Let me tell you how this movie plays out.

    The NFLPA lose the next appeal. So they appeal that.

    They lose that appeal.

    They then look to appeal that. Saints fan all scream that Goodell wants to take them down, he’s an evil dictator.

    They lose the next appeal and find out that no one else in the USA wants to hear them.

    The Saints go on to make the play offs, win the division and have a real shot at the Super Bowl.

  2. daknight93 says: Jun 4, 2012 11:49 AM

    more appeals, this mess is gonna drag on for a long time

  3. AlanSaysYo says: Jun 4, 2012 11:50 AM

    I’ve reached my “this is stupid” threshold. There were enough special masters and CBAs and appeals and grievances and issued opinions last summer for my tastes.

  4. granadafan says: Jun 4, 2012 11:55 AM

    So the NFLPA is going to appeal the appeal. What’s the point of an arbitrator if there will be appeal after appeal?

  5. eagleswin says: Jun 4, 2012 12:10 PM

    granadafan says:
    Jun 4, 2012 11:55 AM
    So the NFLPA is going to appeal the appeal. What’s the point of an arbitrator if there will be appeal after appeal?

    ————————–

    If they lose this appeal they will come up with some convoluted reasoning that Judge Doty needs to hear the case.

    Historically, everytime they get a decision they don’t like from the special master, they went over his head to Doty. It makes you wonder why they even agree to a “special master” given that the only time they expect his decision to be honored is if it is in their favor.

  6. christopher525 says: Jun 4, 2012 12:15 PM

    This is similar to asking your dad if you can do something and being told no, so then you ask mom hoping for a yes. That kind of thing is somewhat acceptable as a child, it is completely pathetic as an “adult.” Way to show maturity. Then there’s the whole issue about trying to get a ruling that punishment isn’t allowed on items that happened before the new CBA was reached. Try beating on your little brother then telling your parents they can’t beat your ass because that was before any kind of agreement. Accept that this team was busted doing something everyone but those punished and the fans of the team think is wrong, as a result they must take their pill and shut up.

  7. truthfactory says: Jun 4, 2012 12:20 PM

    The fans are the ones who ultimately pay for all these ridiculous lawsuits and lawyers.

    Sure the owners and the NFLPA may be the ones technically writing the checks, but typically all that means is a hike in prices and revenue to make up their rapidly increasing legal fees.

    And thats why fans shouldn’t be happy w/ DeSmith (a lawyer) running the union. EVERYTHING is a lawsuit… which the fans will ultimately be paying for in higher parking, concessions, and tickets… The arbitrators and every other method they agreed upon for coming to a resolution is a sham to them, the real goal is to get it to a lawsuit everytime so that DeMoron Smith can rack up bills for his buddies and look like a fighting hero to the NFLPA

  8. jpsoldier24 says: Jun 4, 2012 12:37 PM

    Once again GOD-DELL HAS TO SHOW PROOF right now GOD-DELL DOES not have hit and never did i mean how stupid can they be put the tape on Vilma will win period and as far as vilma is concerned they will drag this out and he will play !!!!

  9. CKL says: Jun 4, 2012 12:53 PM

    To think all they had to do was NEGOTIATE A DIFFERENT APPEALS PROCESS into the CBA when they had a chance. But no……

  10. bucfandango says: Jun 4, 2012 1:01 PM

    This has been stated before, but why is the NFLPA trying to take care of 4 players that blatantly broke the rules, instead of the hundreds of other players that were targeted with the Bounty hits? This is ridiculous that the NFLPA has completely disregarded the hits and injuries that occurred.

    Brett Favre was hit late so many times, it was so blatant the intent to injure. Kareem Huggins, RB in Tampa was hit in the knee while running out of bounds and had his career ended on the spot by the Saints. Why doesn’t the NFLPA represent these players?

    The NFLPA needs new leadership and players that aren’t under investigation or part of the Saints’ organization. They needs term limits, just like the US Congress needs term limits. Even Goodell needs a term limit. It solves incompetence.

    Tom Benson should man up and end this by firing Will Smith & Jonathan Vilma.

  11. northlawhodat says: Jun 4, 2012 1:02 PM

    I’m a VERY big Saints fan and even I don’t understand appealing a appeal. Let’s jus get onto some football. We’ll settle it on the field. Who Dat!

  12. thingamajig says: Jun 4, 2012 1:14 PM

    It’s CYA time for NFLPA now that they realize they gave the farm away when signing up for the CBA. No problem tho, it only lasts another 9 years when it will be a major bargaining point (if the NFL is still around).

  13. kane337 says: Jun 4, 2012 1:23 PM

    The NFLPA hired a lawyer in De Smith. Since that hire all they have is sue, appeal, cry foul, cry more. De Smith is a joke.

  14. rockthered1286 says: Jun 4, 2012 1:37 PM

    This reminds of white trash talk shows where the guy fails the lie detector test for sleeping with his sister, then calls the lie detector test a lie, then they say he did 3 tests that all failed, then he says they all lied, then the guy who administered the test calls him out, and he says he lied…

  15. dexterismyhero says: Jun 4, 2012 1:38 PM

    @jpsoldier24 says:Jun 4, 2012 12:37 PM

    Once again GOD-DELL HAS TO SHOW PROOF right now GOD-DELL DOES not have hit and never did i mean how stupid can they be put the tape on Vilma will win period and as far as vilma is concerned they will drag this out and he will play !!!!
    ==================================

    Ahhhhhh……..What?

    Drop the bottle of rum and take a nap please…..

  16. purpleguy says: Jun 4, 2012 1:48 PM

    It’s amazing the NFLPA, run by a labor litigator, would: (1) fail to collectively bargain a independent appeal process; (2) file a claim objecting to a penalty process that clearly would be denied under the process they agreed to in the CBA in the first place; and (3) initiated a collusion lawsuit when they signed a stip of dismissal already releasing the very claims set out in the lawsuit.

  17. mogogo1 says: Jun 4, 2012 1:54 PM

    It must be very frustrating to be a clean player who lives within the rules. Guys cheating by taking illegal drugs, getting paid to injure other players…the union can’t do enough to help the bad apples. But if a clean player loses his roster spot to a juicer, or has his career ended by a dude who was trying to collect on a bounty, it’s just his tough luck. What a weird system.

  18. booker1974 says: Jun 4, 2012 2:07 PM

    @bucfandango —

    The reason the NFLPA is defending them is because there’s no proof that they were actually targetting players for injury or paying each other to injure other players. Players have admitted they compensated each other for big plays (interceptions, fumbles, good clean defensive play); that’s a lot different than putting bounties on opposing players, of which there has been no evidence put forth.

    The leaked ledger, which was said to show that Saints were paid for injuring others, actually backs up the Saints claims as no opposing offensive player was injured in those games (unless you think a Saint was given a bounty when NYG OT Kareem McKenzie stepped on a loose football and suffered a groin injury).

    Also, you’re suggesting the Saints put a bounty on a no-name player like Kareem Huggins? Seriously? You talk about “bounty hits,” but go back and watch the Saints games over the last three years and you will see no difference from any other games — Vilma in particular is one of the least penalized defenders in the game. It’s like people have forgotten that the Saints were long criticized as a “finesse” defense until this all came up.

    And as far as the NFC Championship game, the Saints were clearly trying to hit Favre every chance they got, but hitting is still part of the game (at least is was in 2009). Go back and watch the Vikings-Cowboys game the week before — the beating Romo took was way worse.

  19. kidzaround says: Jun 4, 2012 2:36 PM

    @ booker1974

    They probably had a bounty out on Romo, too.

  20. eagleswin says: Jun 4, 2012 2:40 PM

    booker1974 says:
    Jun 4, 2012 2:07 PM

    The reason the NFLPA is defending them is because there’s no proof that they were actually targetting players for injury or paying each other to injure other players. Players have admitted they compensated each other for big plays (interceptions, fumbles, good clean defensive play); that’s a lot different than putting bounties on opposing players, of which there has been no evidence put forth.

    ———————————

    Saints fans are still clinging to that misconception? Really?

    The last paragraph from the Saints press release regarding the bounties :
    Just to cutoff the mindless drones who will still parrot that they still have not heard anyone admit to bounties, below is the last paragraph of the Saints press release regarding the bounties :

    To our fans, the NFL and the rest of our league, we offer our sincere apology and take full responsibility for these serious violations. It has always been the goal of the New Orleans Saints to create a model franchise and to impact our league in a positive manner. There is no place for bounties in our league and we reiterate our pledge that this will never happen again.

    Apparantly you and Drew Brees are the last 2 people who still need an explanation.

    Oh wait, Brees participated in part of the cover up per Pamphillon, maybe he doesn’t need an explanation anymore.

  21. porterhouse12 says: Jun 4, 2012 3:24 PM

    I want the NFL to hold a press conference and simply state the following:

    “It’s time for football. All lawsuits are frivolous and the NFL will be seeking recovery of attorneys fees from the NFLPA. That money will be donated to charity. The NFL will be holding seminars regarding the rules of the CBA for the NFLPA. The evidence the public is asking for will probably get leaked at some point, but you can blame the NFLPA for not negotiating that all evidence be given to players/public in disciplinary proceedings. We will not become the National Friviolous-Lawsuit League. We would also encourage the NFLPA to put player safety above challenging the CBA discipline process – that has already been determined. Thank you, have a great day”

  22. goodolebaghead says: Jun 4, 2012 3:59 PM

    All Goodell has to do, is show proof. Period. That’s it. If he has proof, just show it. Period. That’s it. Every ‘leak’ has been a bit of spun propaganda-double talk. The moment anyone looks into ANY of these so-called pieces of evidence, they turn into dust. With every piece of ‘evidence’ released, their case blows away.

    I think the Saints are somewhat guilty. My problem stems from the horrible job Goodell did with handling the situation. He should have taken his time, found out who he had actual evidence on, and taken the appropriate action once he had his facts straight. Instead he publicly defamed the entire Saints organization and just assumed everyone would be so outraged by his accusation the whole process would railroad itself. The second people called his bluff, he had no cards to show, but won’t fold because that would cost him everything.

    This is a dangerous precedent. If Goodell can make multi-million-dollar-consequential decisions based on heresay and circumstantial evidence, next year it’ll be your favorite player(s)/team getting the shaft.

    It’s not the punishment I’m against. It’s this horrible sloppy process he is forcing us to endure. He is no worse than the players you’re all accusing. This could all be over, if he would just show his hand. Until then, he’s going to be stuck in a PR nightmare for the rest of his days.

  23. gingerkid2000 says: Jun 5, 2012 7:15 AM

    And to think, all the Saints had to do was stop the “program” when the NFL asked them to, this could have all been avoided.

  24. goodolebaghead says: Jun 5, 2012 9:35 AM

    All infractions the NFL have cited have ALL been from 2009. I’m pretty sure it was post-09season that they were told to stop. Sounds like they did.

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