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NFLPA directs agents to retain evidence of 2010 contract negotiations

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As the NFLPA begins the active pursuit of evidence from the league to corroborate a claim that the teams colluded in 2010 to limit spending in the absence of a salary cap, the NFLPA is looking inside its own backyard for proof, too.

As mentioned last night on Twitter, the union has instructed NFLPA-certified agents to retain materials relating to contract negotiations in the uncapped-but-maybe-not year.  PFT has since obtained a copy of the memo that was sent Thursday to the agents.

The memo explains that the agents have an “obligation to take all steps to ensure preservation of all documents potentially relevant” to the collusion case, and that they also have an “obligation to retain all potentially relevant documents.”  Agents specifically are asked to keep any paper materials (like notes from calls and meetings), along with all emails and text messages.

The memo also mentions that some materials already have been received by the NFLPA from the agents.

It’s a smart approach, regardless of whether the 2011 CBA and litigation settlement documents cut off the ability to pursue the collusion case.  If the union gets past that first big hurdle, the union will have to prove its case, and the agents could have some very useful evidence in their files, phones, and computers.

Looking at the bigger picture, the more likely source of useful information may come from agents who communicated with officials from the Redskins and Cowboys during the hot-blooded moments after the two teams were stripped of a combined $46 million in cap space.  Our hunch is that, with the teams confident the NFLPA wouldn’t — and couldn’t — claim collusion two years after the fact, folks were likely a little too candid about what had really happened to the two teams that were being punished for refusing to comply with the apparent directive to not treat the term “uncapped year” literally.

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27 Responses to “NFLPA directs agents to retain evidence of 2010 contract negotiations”
  1. truthfactory says: Jun 8, 2012 8:10 AM

    Can the NFL counter-sue the NFLPA for not negotiating in good faith??

    This is mind boggling. They had an agreement that the NFLPA could not, and would not sue for any reason, and of course less than 1 year later DeMoron Smith is rackin up attorney bills for his buddies in ridiculous lawsuits which they’ve clearly already waived their right to sue.

  2. tomtravis76 says: Jun 8, 2012 8:12 AM

    I think everyone will be happy once Roger falls on his own sword.

  3. httr73 says: Jun 8, 2012 8:13 AM

    If Mara hadn’t pushed for the penalty on the Skins and Boys then the NFLPA wouldn’t have the ammo needed to pursue this claim. While this may get shot down early based on the NFLPA’s ability to pursue claims under the new CBA, the NFL still put themselves at risk for a potential collusion claim…and for what? To stick it to 2 teams? Not very well thought out by the league.

  4. bucthat says: Jun 8, 2012 8:32 AM

    Tom brady is a one inch warrior

  5. randolph32 says: Jun 8, 2012 8:33 AM

    Thank goodness this doesn’t get printed on paper, as it would be a real waste of a tree….

  6. ksm31311 says: Jun 8, 2012 8:41 AM

    Blah, blah, blah, lawyers, blah, blah, blah evidence!

  7. bartpkelly says: Jun 8, 2012 8:42 AM

    NFLPA has seriously ruined any goodwill that I had for them. This game was doing quite well and the players also. Now with all these lawsuits and allegations it appeas as if their desire for more money is clouding their perception of the future. They are slowly killing the game that provides them money and I suppose it won’t matter to current players but the next generation may have a game that is not #1 anymnore.

    Please NFLPA, leave the game alone: go deposit your checks and enjoy life. If you leave the NFL after only 1 yea becaus eyou got beat out by someone else, or injured, then please use the degree that the NFL wanted you to have before you entered the league.

  8. eagleswin says: Jun 8, 2012 8:44 AM

    It’s things like this that make me dislike the NFLPA. The same people who hate Goodell and the owners give the NFLPA a free pass for the chaos DeSmith causes.

    Doty, who they want to hear the case, seems disinterested and apparantly hasn’t even looked at the petition yet. My guess is that he’s sick of the NFLPA and wants to retire in peace. In response, DeSmith makes as big of a public mess as he can to pressure the judge.

    There is no lawsuit at this point and the court hasn’t ruled on his petition yet but he’s submitting court documents requesting evidence and telling the agents what they have to do.

    It seems like one large publicity stunt to justify his job. Something to show the players that he is fighting for them. A distraction.

    In the end, it’s just more billable hours for Smith and his partners.

  9. mjkelly77 says: Jun 8, 2012 8:49 AM

    … the 2011 CBA and litigation settlement documents cut off the ability to pursue the collusion case.
    ____________________

    Doesn’t that really say everything we need to know?

  10. nebster21 says: Jun 8, 2012 8:55 AM

    So the NFLPA agrees to screw the Redskins and the Cowboys but, when it comes to them than who lets break out all the stops. Unless this is the way the NFLPA is doing its best to get the salary cap back to these two clubs.

  11. dccowboy says: Jun 8, 2012 8:56 AM

    Two years after the fact is a tad late, I’m thinking.

  12. jimr10 says: Jun 8, 2012 9:43 AM

    In my opinion the NFLPA and Kessler are not really happy with the CBA they signed last year. I am convinced they intend to get rid of unrestricted free agency and the draft…thereby finding anything they can to upset things and get everything back into a friendly court…

  13. macwomack says: Jun 8, 2012 9:49 AM

    One of the best sources for information for the union is John Mara.

  14. macwomack says: Jun 8, 2012 9:53 AM

    @truthfactory

    May be the Union could likewise sue the NFL for not negotiating in good faith…

    Didn’t the NFL set up an uncapped year to provide incentive for a negotiation and renewal of the CBA. If the NFL never intended to really have an uncapped year. Then they did not negotiate the previous CBA in good faith.

    Your comment is not incorrect – I am just pointing out that no one is clean in this mess but I tend to think the Union has more of the high ground on this issue, even if they gave their right to sue away, they were totally decieved by the owners.

  15. eaglebobby says: Jun 8, 2012 10:00 AM

    THis is the NLFPA at its finest. Let’s not forget that among the countless agreements they’re trying to get out of is the one they put in the CBA which requires HGH testing–but because a lot of players I suspect are dirty, they’re trying to delay it as long as possible.

  16. CKL says: Jun 8, 2012 10:22 AM

    You know when a good time to gather evidence of that might have been? Maybe BEFORE they signed off on the penalties so they could get a higher cap. NFL=Now Full-on Litigation

  17. solomon151 says: Jun 8, 2012 10:30 AM

    bartpkelly says:
    Jun 8, 2012 8:42 AM
    NFLPA has seriously ruined any goodwill that I had for them. This game was doing quite well and the players also. Now with all these lawsuits and allegations it appeas as if their desire for more money is clouding their perception of the future. They are slowly killing the game that provides them money and I suppose it won’t matter to current players but the next generation may have a game that is not #1 anymnore.
    ————————————————–
    So, I guess its ok for the NFL to punish two teams for going over a cap, when there wasnt a cap to speak of. Right is Right and Wrong is Wrong. It doesnt matter what team you like, because if they can get away with this, then just imgaine what they will do next.

  18. mjkelly77 says: Jun 8, 2012 10:32 AM

    httr73 says:Jun 8, 2012 8:13 AM

    If Mara hadn’t pushed for the penalty on the Skins and Boys then the NFLPA wouldn’t have the ammo needed to pursue this claim. While this may get shot down early based on the NFLPA’s ability to pursue claims under the new CBA, the NFL still put themselves at risk for a potential collusion claim…and for what? To stick it to 2 teams? Not very well thought out by the league.
    _________________

    The Redskins and Cowboys cheated. If someone steals from you it’s not wise to allow them to get away with it, regardless of the circumstances.

  19. macwomack says: Jun 8, 2012 10:48 AM

    How juvinille is Smith in this — why did he never inquire – what cap rules were violated? Why did the Union agree without pursuing more infomation?

    Was it really so simple…

    Goodell: So we want to penalize two teams and redistribute the salary cap to all other teams.

    Smith: How will this help me, why would I agree?

    Goodell: It will allow you to claim the cap has gone up when in fact it hasn’t. Because the cap has just been redistributed.

    Smith: Sounds good, lets do it.

  20. nypd1056 says: Jun 8, 2012 10:52 AM

    You people keep blamming JOHN MARAh. All he did was propose a change. He is the owner of ONE (1) NFL (4 time SuperBowl champion) franchise. There were 31 other CLUBS (franchises) that voted. Stop blaming JOHN MARA amd ROGER GOODELL.

  21. qj1984 says: Jun 8, 2012 11:06 AM

    I have a little bit of a different take on this whole thing. I don’t really see how the penalty against the Cowboys and Redskins is evidence of collusion. Infact, I think the “rule” that was in place benefited the players more than it benefited the teams. The Cowboys and Redskins were slapped because they dumped a bunch of player salary in the uncapped year. The Redskins cap hit for dumping Haynesworth alone would have been more than 20 million dollars. If anything the rule protected many veteran players that were not living up to their fat contracts. It made teams think twice about dumping bad contracts.

    The NFL has in the wrong if it does and it if it doesnt. If they had allowed teams to freely dump bad contracts without any penalty what so ever, players would have been upset without that as well. And they probably would have claimed collusion when those overpaid players didn’t pull equal or greater contracts during free agency.

  22. macwomack says: Jun 8, 2012 11:21 AM

    @nypd1056

    FYI — Mara did an interview with ESPN where he revealed the secret caps existence. The union even used quotes from the interview in their court papers.

    Of course we are going to blame Mara … his mouth might have just blown up the labor peace.

  23. tommyf15 says: Jun 8, 2012 11:41 AM

    macwomack says: Of course we are going to blame Mara … his mouth might have just blown up the labor peace.

    Don’t blame Mara. That’s like blaming Shockey for the bountygate scandal. Blame the owners who colluded and stole money from the players.

    Luckily even if it’s determined that the owners colluded, they’ll just have to pay up. The current CBA guarantees that the games will be played for nine more years.

  24. jetropolitans says: Jun 8, 2012 12:13 PM

    Dear De Smith,

    You suck to the point that I had to give up my goal of being sports agent. The thought of working with you was so vile that I actually gave up a lifelong dream. Thanks, D-bag.

    Sincerely,
    Jetropolitan

  25. tommyf15 says: Jun 8, 2012 12:34 PM

    @Jetropolitan – if a collusion claim – Smith trying to get the players their for share of revenue – made you give up on being a sports agent, you wouldn’t have been a good agent anyway.

  26. usmutts says: Jun 8, 2012 12:45 PM

    The salary cap is collusion, whether it’s written in a contract or whispered behind closed doors. It was collusion before 2010, it was collusion after 2010, and it was collusion during 2010. It’s collusion because it “caps” what a man can earn regardless of the actual free market value of his services. It’s socialism. And it makes the owners richer and the players poorer.

    And if the union agreed to it before 2010 in writing, and after 2010 in writing, they shouldn’t be shocked to find out that owners were doing it with a smirk and a wink in 2010.

    Yet if the owners, in their contract negotiations with the players, hid the fact that there was silent collusion in 2010 while promising the players a fully uncapped year, then the union signed the waiver under a “mistake of fact” ( saying it nicely ) or a “fraud” ( saying it more accurately ) and a federal court might very well find that the waiver was null and void.

  27. davereckon says: Jun 8, 2012 4:08 PM

    Or………

    The union is trying to force a ruling that based on the new CBA, there can be no litigation or punishment for acts prior to 2011. Which means that the penalties for the Saints bounty are also invalid.

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