Derrick Brooks Plans To Play Football, And Labor Hardball

Former Buccaneers linebacker Derrick Brooks said Wednesday that he still plans to play football.
Until then, however, he’s hip deep in the coming Collective Bargaining Agreement battle.
Brooks talked about the situation during a Wednesday visit with Adam Schein and Solomon Wilcots of Sirius NFL Radio’s The Sirius Blitz.
“I was obviously involved in us finding a new [Executive Director],” Brooks said. “DeMaurice Smith obviously won the election to be the head and represent the players, most importantly, moving forward in the CBA agreements.
“What has transpired since then is I’m just trying to help him transition into office [in] a variety of roles.  I think the immediate role is to get his face, which he’s been traveling around to teams, to players, so they can see the voice that’s going to be behind the negotiations, and also give him the time to share his vision and leadership of the players.  And then, the next phase of that is to obviously reassemble the staff moving forward.
“And I think he’s just taking one thing at a time, addressing one need at a time, and it’s going to be a little bit change of business.  It’s not going to be business as usual in terms of the past history but it’s a few platform things that he wants to come in and insinuate [sic] and move forward in his vision.   At the same time, he wants to repair a lot of relationships that have been damaged over the last few years that we need repaired moving forward.”
As to the process for negotiating a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, Brooks seems to have the issues down pat.
First, he tried to curry favor with the retired players, who are the pawns in the looming tug-o-war between the league and the NFLPA.
Second, Brooks pandered to the non-players whose employment would be affected by the absence of football on Sundays.
Third, Brooks tried to paint the current system for paying rookies taken at the top of the draft as the league’s problem, and as something that is irrelevant to the coming CBA negotiations.
Fourth, Brooks banged the drum regarding the league’s refusal to share financial information.
Fifth, and finally, Brooks hinted that the players have a sufficient war chest to withstand a work stoppage.
So Brooks is doing a fine job of parroting the talking points. To get true unity, however, the NFLPA needs to persuade a lot more players to adopt these ideas.
And to pay no attention to the realities of the uncapped year — a topic that Brooks wisely avoided.

5 responses to “Derrick Brooks Plans To Play Football, And Labor Hardball

  1. I’m still not sure that i understand the Union’s stance that the rookie salary structure isn’t their problem. Are they saying that the owners could come together and decide amongst themselves that they’re going to set up a system without input for the union?
    I have a feeling the Union would take serious issue with that….If the owner’s came together and decided that from now on, rookies will only get the minimum salary with a signing bonus based on where they are selected for every pick in the draft, the Union would probably flip completely out. (The signing bonuses being MUCH less than they now are of course…)
    So like I said, I’m not sure I understand the Union’s stance on that….

  2. ERB,
    All the Union is saying that is the owners do and always have decided what they’re going to pay drafted rookies. The NFLPA has never had anything to do with the rookie pay scale. Think about it. Do you really believe that the NFLPA had any influence on what the Atlanta Falcons paid Matt Ryan? Or what the Dolphins paid Jake Long? Hell no.
    These owners need to police themselves when it comes to paying rookies. That’s why its not an issue for the Union.

  3. Obviously, Derrik Brooks is posititioning himself for a job in the NFLPA when he finally does retire. Obviously.

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