Rumors fly of a postseason strike

Before we go any farther with this one, we need to point out that the chances of it happening are ridiculously small.

That said, the NFLPA’s inability to coax the league into displaying a greater sense of urgency regarding the negotiation of a new labor deal prior to the start of the uncapped year in March 2010 has prompted new rumors that the union is considering the possibility of launching a walkout once the 2009 regular season ends.

The only problem?  The Collective Bargaining Agreement plainly states that a strike by the players or a lockout by the owners is not permitted during the term of the deal.  And since the deal currently lasts through the current season and the next one, the players simply can’t refuse to work.

Of course, they technically can go on strike.  But the strike would be illegal, and the players would face multi-million-dollar fines and damage awards, if the action ultimately were to disrupt the postseason and prevented playoff games from occurring.

The mere fact that the rumor is being floated — not necessarily by union leadership — speaks to the level of frustration that many of the players currently are feeling.  They’re now close enough to the uncapped year to see that it’s a mirage.  With the NFL showing no willingness to finalize a new CBA before the uncapped year arrives, those who are desperate to avoid it have begun the process of throwing reckless ideas against the wall in the hopes of finding something that might stick.

A postseason strike simply won’t.

Apart from being illegal, it would be a gigantic public-relations blunder for the players, who instantly would be viewed as villains by a public that has yet to cast blame upon either side.

Still, while it most likely will never happen, the talk is out there.  And the talk needs to go away as quickly as it bubbled to the surface.

52 responses to “Rumors fly of a postseason strike

  1. “Do you know how much insurance costs on a Ferrari, mother-f*cker?!”
    Quote from The Replacements. I hope it doesn’t come to that.

  2. I don’t know. This is the type of thing that is crazy enough to work. It’s one thing to have replacements playing from the start of the season. Imagine the Super Bowl full of Scabs? If the NFLPA does that think its members can survive a uncap year followed by a lock out, something drastic needs to be done.

  3. DeSmith is nothing more than a politician. He has someone throw something out there and gauges opinions and then releases a statement for it or against it. Seem it done time and again.
    Don’t see anything positive developing anytime soon.

  4. the nfl seldom enforces the post-season strike rule, the cowboys have been getting away with it for a generation.

  5. “And the talk needs to go away as quickly as it bubbled to the surface.”
    So let’s start a discussion about it! Wait What?

  6. Tell them to go right ahead. The fantasy football season will be over and most of the teams will be out of the playoffs anyway, so their fans won’t care. And, no one will have to worry about the Cowboys crossing the picket line en masse again since they’ll be on the golf course come January 4th.
    By the way, is there a liquidated damages provision in the CBA for striking in violation of the contract?

  7. Mike…I seriously had to laugh at your last comment:
    “And the talk needs to go away as quickly as it bubbled to the surface.”
    You actually expect us to believe that you want it to go away? You know you have a HUGE following, and by posting this, people will talk about it.
    If you honestly thought it was crazy, a bad idea, and didn’t want it to even be discussed to go away very quickly…then you simply would have passed on reporting the story…or ‘rumor.’
    At least be honest with us.

  8. …..and you Lord Florio are doing the absolute best job you can to help make sure the talk goes away by reporting it…….
    I asked this of a packer fan the other day, but I think you passed even tha person…….how stupid can one person be? I don’t think anyone can do better than the posting of this blog!

  9. I fell really bad for these guys. Nothing sadder than millionaires being taken advantage of by billionaires.

  10. How about the teams that don’t make the playoffs go on strike during the postseason? Their sacrifices will be noted.

  11. Wow, this article is basically no different than one of my farts… All hot air and no substance.

  12. “The only problem? The Collective Bargaining Agreement plainly states that a strike by the players or a lockout by the owners is not permitted during the term of the deal. And since the deal currently lasts through the current season and the next one, the players simply can’t refuse to work.”
    Somehow, I don’t think DeMaurice Smith cares.

  13. Well considering that the league is going to avoid negotiation until well into next year, during which a 2 tiered salary system will naturally appear disrupting the unity of the players, it doesn’t seem like such a bad plan. Better to preemptively force the conflict when you are strongest than to wait for when you are weakest. In fact I give Kudos to De Smith for thinking about it. Kudos, De Smith!
    Ok, so for something like this to work the PA would have to get the players educated on the realities of the uncapped year. Sounds like they’ve already done this at least at the rep level. They’d also have to broadcast their assessment about what this means in a sufficiently wide fashion so that the college players thinking about heading to the draft know exactly what they are in for. Calling fame-whoring economists and game theory academics, Bueller, anyone? This is step 1.
    Step 2 is then winning the PR war against the league in terms of who looks like the victim. This is an interesting one, but given that you’re dealing with billionaires on the other side a natural antipathy is engendered. Add in a dash of brain injury science. Then some employment law rhetoric about how the league is trying to stop reasonable states rights during a time when people are losing jobs while the elite plunder. Yeah. Hard sell there. And finally there’s just the record of who’s actually doing what to make a CBA happen. The league is dragging its heels here like a pony at an abattoir (sorry my metaphor software is broken). The only way the PA loses this battle is if they go out of their way to look like greedy radicals. Queue the hospital visits boys.
    So good move if they don’t screw it up. Also, if you’re reading this De Smith, my contract is up in Jan. If you’ve got a spot open in the battle lemme know. It sounds like fun. Also, the internet is your friend.

  14. Pathetic article.
    Reporters and journalists really are surpassing the bottom-feeding levels of lawyers and bankers.
    Take ’em out back and shoot ’em.

  15. For some reason, most of the support stems from the Lions’, Redskins’, Rams’, and Titans’ players.

  16. I hate to say this but I think I would have rather you wrote about Brett Favre. This strike can’t happen, won’t happen, and doesn’t deserve our time.

  17. Thanks Mike for being on the fan’s side. It is nice to have a level-headed, nationally renowned blogger on our side. You are 75% forgiven for posting twitter updates on PFT.

  18. It doesn’t surprise me that you would post a blog as stupid as this, then go to bed and not do any comment updates till morning…….
    Lord Florio you are such a tool!

  19. I am sooooooo confused. Why is the uncapped concept such a boogaboo. It seems some players and some owners will benefit going uncapped. What’s the connection to the NFL contributing to the disability pot for players??? Can anybody explain this mess? Anybody?
    Alice is Lost in Wonderland

  20. where did THIS one come from florio? obviously you have to have a source for this.
    it’s pretty idiotic of the nflpa to even consider something like this, but then again, the guy leading them now is an obama supporter, so who knows, he could be trying to destroy the nfl just like his idol is trying to destroy this great country we need to defend.
    this would be the equivalent of 1995 baseball and no world series … i was a huge baseball fan and have never quite forgiven selig and baseball for that …. you wanna destroy the game, go right ahead with that idea of boycotting! don’t think they’re quite THAT dumb yet florio are they???? where did you get this thought?

  21. The sad fact is, any stoppage of the NFL will do a HUGE amount of damage. Right now the NFL is beating out the NBA, NHL, and MLB…… this is the worst time for a strike/uncapped year/whatever else may occur. The people in places to make a difference better see this soon, or they are going to thwart an institution that is making itself decidedly an American pastime. The time for the NFL is now, fix it before this opportunity gets away.

  22. “the league into displaying a greater sense of urgency regarding the negotiation of a new labor deal”
    Maybe they should have selected new NFLPA president in less, than 7 months.


  24. NFL players can not be replaced with adequate replacements, a strike may be the players’ only hand they can play. Whether it’s legal or not, the players hold the power in this battle. The owners already have all of the power, non-guaranteed contracts are a slap in the face of the players we all know and love. While the post suggests fans would be hostile towards a players’ strike, I respectfully disagree. The NBA, MLB, and even NHL players make more than the average NFL player despite the fact that the NFL brings in far more money than those leagues. I understand that the NFL has larger rosters, but the top players deserve more money based on the size of the pie. And if Jerry Jones wants to get rid of revenue sharing, he can kiss the success of this league goodbye. The number one reason why the NFL is America’s number 1 sport, is the fact that every year, every team has a true chance. The NFL has a good thing going, they’d be smart to figure out how to make everyone happy by correctly splitting the pie, rather than risk the ramifications of a strike.

  25. The public is yet to cast blame because nobody cares about NFL labour deals unless it influences the ammount of football being played. It’s a media obsession us peons honestly couldn’t care less about.

  26. Who is saying anything about this? No quotes or sources on this seems more like something you thought up. But quite frankly, it’s too insane to have just been thought up out of the blue.
    It’s kind of like the Michael Oher movie story before Michael Oher really did it. No director would have ever thought of pitching it because it was too loony to be believable.

  27. Part of the reason that I follow this site is due to the willingness of the staff to openly discuss this coming situation at the “brass tacks” level. There is no way that you can sugar coat what is about to happen; though some organizations clearly are. You guys here at PFT aren’t and that’s what continues to set you apart.
    Job well done.
    On that note, however, I must say Florio.. you sure do know how to stir the pot! You may as well break out that kevlar suit with the bullseye on it because, even though you are correct in bringing this possibilty to light, you are about to get hammered by the haters here.
    PS: Don’t forget to bring the Nomex hood and gloves for the flames.

  28. Screw the multi-millionaire players we the fans should strike for all the shit the NFL has been up to recently. Sending Super Bowls over seas, sending NFL franchises overseas, touching the passer=roughing the passer.the worst officiating maybe ever over the last 2 years. Fire Goodells trator ass and send him over to Europe so he can continue to sell the game out for money.

  29. What if all players turn out to be injured?
    Or the players take the field and do the 60-stretch-(yawn) play from the Pepsi commercial over and over?
    Maybe the Raiders and the Bucs are already on strike …

  30. WOrd on the street says it will not be strike, but a protest by the non-playoff invitees at the first four playoff sites. The first four losing teams will dicuss only the BA situation after the game, as well. The other word on the street is STOP, some vandal must have spray painted it in block letters right in front of the stop sign at the end of my street.

  31. Not only is DeMaurice Smith a politician but he is an Obama dirty Chicago politician. They get what they want regarldess of rules, logic, theory and consequences. Notice the sweeping Republicans winning Governor last night. Smith is an idiot.

  32. Why would the players strike going into an uncapped year? The money will flow like water down the Nile. If it doesn’t it will only be because the owners get together and decide not to spend. That will cost them big bucks (just ask MLB) and jail time.
    The interesting part is what happens when the agreement ends. My guess, the union decertifies itself. No more draft, no more salary cap, no more uniform contracts, and owners on the hook for the existing contracts. It’s a dream come through for the players.

  33. How bad could it be having scabs, we have put up with Teams like the Lions, Browns and Raiders for years. Hell, those Teams might improve using replacements.
    No sympathy from me, I have a hard time feeling bad for the players when the worst one still makes a million a year. AS it is now they get 60% of every dollar.

  34. LOL, so in effect there would be a strike by the players of the teams that are in the playoffs because effectively the players that aren’t are already ‘on strike’.
    This is so weak a ‘threat’ balloon that I’m pretty sure all it has accomplished is giving the Owners a good laugh. If this is what the NFLPA new leadership is doing, they are a disaster for the players. They’ll be lucky if the new CBA doesn’t have the players paying the owners.

  35. …I guess as I get older I am realizing how valuable my time is. Especially living in a St. Petersburg Florida where the weather is a clear 75 degrees today and will be through the weekend.
    What’s my point?….I am/have finding better things to do than to care about 2 obese cows go after more cake. If the NFL owners and players don’t come down to earth then please tell me why I should care if there is a lockout?…maybe in bumf**k Wisconsin where there is NOTHING to do in the dead of winter you need this game. NOT me not here….later, enjoy your rich boy war.

  36. kappa08-
    Yeah there’s nothing to do here in Wisconsin in the winter, except ski, snowmobile, indoor waterparks, etc. What is there in Florida? Oh, yeah. That’s where people go and wait to die.

  37. You completely missed a good joke by not referencing the wildcat strike as the wildcat formation.

  38. Here are the facts…………..the owners are billionaires……….the players are millionaires, because the owners pay them. If the NFL all of a sudden ends, the billionaires will still be billionaires. They didn’t get that rich by accident or by being stupid. They will find other ways of making money. On the other hand, football players make their money playing football. Take that away and MOST of them are in the same boat the rest of are in……………looking for an average job. (Some would be flipping burgers) Now who has the advantage? That’s just the facts.

  39. akuehn713…..ummm yeah ok.
    Just sayin, The reason the Bucs aren’t selling out besides the team sucking is that…it’s a beautiful day outside, enjoy….could you say the same about Packer fan?…
    I know, I know… that whole “loyalty” spank. This whole thread is about loyalty. I guess we will find out who’s willing to be loyal to a bunch of rich brats regardless of of the fact that they could care less about said: “fan”….

  40. Why not start an article about how bad an uncapped year would be in reference to what to do with no collecting bargaining agreement, instead of pushing a rumor you say you dont want pushed.
    Read my article, but dont push the rumor this article is about and i hope it gets squashed. Is that really what you just said Florio…?

  41. Comment Submission Error
    Your comment submission failed for the following reasons: Registration is required.
    I had something more interesting to say… originally.

  42. let them go uncapped for a year and see who blinks first. The key to getting more money to the players that deserve it is a rookie pay scale, since the agents run the union, they don’t want one.
    is it that hard to have the rookies come in and for 2 years play under a rookie pay scale? they get experience, and exposure, and act like restricted free agents for the the next 2 before becomming vested veterans, seems simple to me, it gets the young players their money if they deserve it, restores competitive balance by not punishing the top 5 (hell, now 10) drafting teams by tying their hands in cap room, and opens more money up for players that have been around in the NFL for awhile. otherwise the teams simply need to say enough is enough for these rookies, but so long as you’ve got morons like al davis willing to pay big time bucks for “undrafted rookie free agent” level talent, it will never work.
    players won’t strike because it will just hurt them, if football isnt as popular as it is now, the owners will continue to make money off their other investments, the players will be the ones that suffer, baseball took 15 years and a ton of steroids and is still not back, football allready has the steroids, and if they strip the defenses any more, no one will watch anyway.

  43. The key to getting more money to the players that deserve it is a rookie pay scale, since the agents run the union, they don’t want one.
    A rookie pay scale would put NOTHING in the hands of anyone except the owners, who would pay everyone as little as possible, which is why there’s a floor on the salary cap. I back a rookie pay scale but not the kind that you or the owners envision because I’m a realist and know that the money would only go back into the owners’ pockets. If you wish to argue this point further then try this:

  44. First of all, most of all those Billionaires you all criticize were billionaires due to another source, NOT by owning a NFL franchise!
    If I had to spend 60% of my business on payroll alone, I wouldn’t be in business for very long!
    1) We must have a salary cap for parity!
    (parity = popularity)
    2) We must have a rookie cap structure to protect our teams against BUSTS like Jamarcus or duma$$es like Crabtree.
    3) And, finally keep the freaking government out of football…..anything these grandstanding congressmen do turns to sh(t

  45. “a public that has yet to cast blame upon either side”
    Eh? Really? It has seemed obvious to me that this is another money grab by the owners, trying to squeeze out more dimes. Along with overseas games, talk of having franchises overseas, extending the regular season, and making huge fancy soulless stadiums.

  46. I can’t wait until this gets out of hand. Players fighting over money, Owners fighting over money.
    If it attracts too much attention, the Government will take care of the money. They levied a 90 percent tax on Wall Street, why not the NFL? Players and Owners. It will make the fighting moot. After all, the sports-entertainment community doesn’t deserve the windfall millions, the ‘People’ do.

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