DeMaurice Smith: NFLPA needs more information

NFL Players’ Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith says that if a deal is going to be reached on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the owners are going to have to open the books and give the union real information about the financial status of the league.

As it stands, Smith told Mike Florio on The Dan Patrick Show, all the owners are saying is that they want the players to agree to take $1 billion less. Smith says that just about the only issue on which the league has given the union any specifics is that the owners would like to expand the regular season to 18 games.

“Although we continue to talk and I’m still hopeful that we get a deal
done, they remain firm on a $1 billion giveback and the only thing we
have heard from them since April in a constructive way is that they
want the players to play two extra regular-season games,” Smith said.

Smith stressed that if there is no football in 2011, that won’t be because the players don’t want to play — it will be because the owners shut the league down.

“The National Football League over the last two years has done nothing but prepare for this lockout,” Smith said. “This is not a work stoppage. This is a lockout.”

Although there have been some suggestions that Smith wants to force a lockout, Smith called that “probably the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard” and says he’s dedicated to keeping his union members working.

“I have a continued concern about the livelihood of our players,” Smith said. “It’s my job.”

Smith said he continues to be concerned about collusion among NFL owners, and he echoed the comments of NFLPA President Kevin Mawae about needing financial information about all 32 teams, and not just the Green Bay Packers, who are legally required to open their books.

“Let’s be real: It’s 1/32nd of the information we requested,” Smith said. “The owners want a billion dollars back from the players. They want to
do that and still want to not give us the financial information that
everybody would want.”

33 responses to “DeMaurice Smith: NFLPA needs more information

  1. I think 18 games is dumbest thing I’ve ever heard and I hope that is taken off the table.

  2. Playing two extra games is a money grab and too risky. Why go for two monetary based schemes (the giveback too)?
    I say let the giveback go through and if you want expansion, add an extra bye or two to stretch the timeline of the season.
    “I have a continued concern about the livelihood of our players,” Smith said. “It’s my job.”
    Does this moron have a clue? Your players are RICH! Even the benchwarmers and clipboard jockeys.

  3. I agree 18 games is too much. 16 is a perfect #.
    Let’s hope we don’t lose a down of regular season games due to lockout/strike. I won’t be watching anything higher then College Football again if that happens!

  4. SO WHEN WILL THE UNION
    START OFFERING SOME SOLUTIONS
    INSTEAD OF BEING MILITANT??

  5. The owners’ PR game would be up if they provided their financial information. Many people have complaints about the amount of money football stars receive, and the owners use this the same way our government has since the early 80’s to break the unions. Would public perception change if it was evident how much money the owners make?
    We can’t get an audit of the Federal Reserve, or even find out who owns this private institution that controls our country so it should be no surprise that the owners, like our government, will fight every effort to shed light on the subject.

  6. @Giant Squid
    It’s not like the owners are poor either. This is a war between two groups that make hundred’s of thousands, millions, and billions of dollars off of a game we all love. The owners are shrewd and selfish and the players got a hell of a deal they don’t want to give up.
    I wish someone would tell them that games are supposed to be fun, accept the fact that they are all richer than most of us will ever be and cut out the drama.

  7. 18 games are too many. I think 16, from an injury and a roster size standpoint, are bordering on too many as it is now.
    Go back to 14 and give each team two bye weeks.

  8. # Bob Nelson says:
    SO WHEN WILL THE UNION
    START OFFERING SOME SOLUTIONS
    INSTEAD OF BEING MILITANT??
    ********************
    They have offered solutions but you’re so anti-player that you’ve overlooked them.

  9. Did Florio ask him any tough questions or just softball him. Did he call him out on the misguided union statements about the money the league wants to take back.
    Did he ask him flat out if the rumor that the league offered to open the books if the union signed a non disclosure statement is true?
    Etc?

  10. How did they even know the old CBA was a good del if they do not know what monies they are getting 64% of?
    The NFL seems like it will be the most popular sport in the country for decades. They have by far the best TV deals. The most media coverage and so on. There has to be a fair way to divide the 10 Billion or so per year they generate.
    When you compare NFL players to other sports or comparable entertainment industry, they have the worst deal. Of course it does not compare to regular jobs, even dangerous ones if they are not on TV.

  11. @ Caldon
    If the owners receive any manner of taxpayer assistance, then they need to make their financial information available to the people who pay those taxes.

  12. First of all, there must be some posers posting on this site…
    There are ONLY 16 games…what true fan would not want two more games??? Baseball and Basketball have tons of games. More is better for the fans. Instead of 4 phony preseason games that fans pay full pop and still cause injury there would be just 2. Two more games will cause slightly bigger rosters and the players will get compensated or it probably won’t happen.
    Fans win!

  13. Even without the info from other teams, it shouldn’t take a genious to figure out overall NFL team revenues are down if the Pack’s published revenues are down. As a rival, I can trash the Pack all day, but there can be no doubt it is more successful financially than more than half of the other NFL teams. That alone should be enough to give the union a decent dose of the financial realities at issue.

  14. More on topic…
    What business institution in America do the workers demand the owners to pry open their books and make demands?
    The IRS are the ones that should be doing the prying open of books just like they do to most every business… Whoops, I mean only the meager ones that have no bigtime legal firepower and clout.
    If the owners don’t want to pay, they will not in the end. Good luck on building a collusion case as well, would be very hard to prove.

  15. where do the players get their paycheck if the owners pack up and go home….better yet what if the owners just say this is what we are offering, take it or leave it and lockout the players until they give in? Now where are those pay checks coming from?
    Their is a reason the owners are rich beyond insanity and its not because they are lucky.

  16. More on topic…
    What business institution in America do the workers demand the owners to pry open their books and make demands?
    The IRS are the ones that should be doing the prying open of books just like they do to most every business… Whoops, I mean only the meager ones that have no bigtime legal firepower and clout.
    If the owners don’t want to pay, they will not in the end. Good luck on building a collusion case as well, would be very hard to prove.

  17. Green Bay is still a small market team. The big market teams do so much better by and large.
    The trouble is that the bigger market teams that are ultra successful are reluctant to share with even their fellow NFL owners.
    It may end up being an undoing of sorts long term.

  18. Negotiations are all about comprimise. So here’s a suggestion. Goodell let go of the 18 games season and the players union accept a Rookie wage scale.
    Would anyone blame the owners for not wanting another J. Russell 40 mil. mistake???
    Get rid of revenue sharing. Small market teams that can’t sell out their stadium, should stand or fall on their own!
    The NFLPA has to realize that the Owners aren’t a source of unlimited resources! Stop with the collusion charges! It insults everyones intelligence. GreenBay lost money, stocks suck! The economy is bad. It’s not rocket science!
    Let’s get back to Football, get the players paid who are proven…ie Brady, Manning… Here’s a concept! Merit contracts! Bradford is worth 40-50 mil. ? Really…? Surely Smith can’t say it with a straight face! No wonder teams trade back so often.

  19. The players want the books open really, really? If they want books they should start their own league, run it how they want etc. In the meantime they are employees of a non public company/leauge they have no right to see books, since they are neither a stockholder or equity owner in any way.
    The owners however should not be holding cities hostage with threats to move unless taxpayer money is invested into a “factory” for theri business.
    They owners should negotiate their deal the union can take it or leave it. The owners need to establish a “new stadium’ fund to run their business.

  20. smith is an obama clone…unions good…private owners bad….watch obama get involved and force government into the issue

  21. Shadeknight says:
    More on topic…
    What business institution in America do the workers demand the owners to pry open their books and make demands?
    *********************
    Quite a few genius. It’s how the airlines won concessions from their workers. One company that I worked with it were able to get the union voted out by opening up their books to the employees. I’ve been with 3 companies that were asked to open their books and 2 did and those two got concessions and the third didn’t and they didn’t help their case when they gave upper management big bonuses after their refusal.

  22. GRpatriot says:
    Would anyone blame the owners for not wanting another J. Russell 40 mil. mistake???
    *************************
    JaMarcus is NOT the first nor will he be the last mistake that the NFL makes in the draft and he’s the least of their worries. Seriously, every time I hear someone whine about all the big money that rookies get and they should be paid for performance, there are 5 from people who are pissed because the high priced free agent that their owner paid for PAST PERFORMANCES has tanked for the last two years. More money is wasted on VETERAN busts than rookie busts and if you took the time to check it out, you’d see that. NO rookie has ever signed a $100+ mil deal and yet, there are several veterans that have.

  23. @PurpleNGold
    Good point, thats another problem I have. Next we’ll be taxed so someone can come in to build us a movie theater, or car wash, etc.
    I would have no problems with it if your either 1. paying me back or 2. letting me use the facility for free.

  24. Union leader needs to get on the first boat out of the country–he “Sucks”

  25. What causes the union to think that it DESERVES to see the teams’s financial books? They insist on trying to position themselves as business partners, even though they are nothing more than EMPLOYEES.
    The owners are not legally required or even morally obligated to prove NEED, which is the trap the union is trying to lure them into. The owners justifiably feel that the players are getting a disproportionate share of the profits. The players, nor their union, ponied up ANY money or take on ANY of the business risk of the teams, and yet they feel entitled to a majority of the profit.
    Granted, there is personal physical risk to playing the game of football, but all players KNOW this risk when they sign up and with few exceptions they are being GROSSLY overpaid for doing so.
    The teams need to tell the union to jam it, and that the players can play for what owners will give them or it won’t be hard to find a bevy of replacement players who gladly will. Some fans might be upset, but they’ll enjoy being able to park, buy a ticket and maybe even a hot dog and beer without having to take out a second mortgage.

  26. Let’s try this again:
    # airraid77 says:
    Their is a reason the owners are rich beyond insanity and its not because they are lucky.
    ******************
    Yes, there is – THE PLAYERS. The NFL owners put together NFL Europe and it failed – TWICE. The first time they shut it down so they could put together an all European league and the second time they shut it down because it was losing money and guess what, the PLAYERS were actually subsidizing NFL Europe for the owners.
    Then they got involved with the Arena League, which had existed for 17 years sans the NFL and within a few years, the league folded. They couldn’t get them any real deals for broadcast TV (a shared deal with NBC, which netted money but not NFL like money) and the best the NFL name could do was a spot on ESPN2.
    As for lucky, you damn right. NFL Films named Dallas “America’s Team” and that moniker boosted the team’s popularity and since that day, owning the Cowboys has been a license to print money, even when they got 1-15.
    When Rozelle was pushing for MNF, the owners resisted because they were afraid that too much exposure would hurt the NFL and that it would take away from ticket sales (What the geniuses at CBS would use to kill of MLB and NBA regular season broadcasts years later – the since disproved – starvation makes the people want it more theory). They went kicking and screaming to the table and guess what, it helped the league.
    When Rozelle wanted to add a second Thanksgiving game, every team but Detroit, which was already hosting on that day and Dallas, told him to go to Hell and now, they’re screaming to get Detroit and Dallas off to let them have a chance (and that’s why the NFL Network now has a telecast that night).
    The NFL owners have thrived DESPITE themselves and NOT because of themselves. Give these morons the talent of the UFL and let’s see them try to build stadiums or get NFL like money for themselves and you’d laugh your ass off at how badly they would fail.

  27. I’ve never understood the NFL/Union in this respect.
    IMHO, right or wrong, the owners are the employers and the players are the employee’s. What right do the players have to dictate how much of the pie they get?
    If you don’t like your pay, move on. Same choice every other employee in the country has to make. Players are no more important to the NFL as other employees are to their company. If either quits or “holds out”, the company is hurt or goes under.
    To me the owners caused the problem by paying the amounts they do to a few individuals and not as much to pay the rest of the team. Now everyone feels they should be getting those millions made by the few.
    They also caused the problem by having an agreement telling them how much they need to pay to the players.
    As an employer, I will pay you as much or little as I see fit. If you don’t like it, we can discuss it and try and work on a REASONABLE amount.
    Rookie contracts…….STUPID….no other word…
    Again, I may not know much, but I don’t know how NFL owners every became b/millionaires making these kinds of decisions.
    I can’t blame the players for not wanting to give up their gravy train, but I also don’t agree with their stance nor feel sorry for them.

  28. In this economy lots of people have taken pay cuts or work hour cuts and the companies didn’t show them their books. Collusion? The whole basis of unions is collusion.

  29. # Thingamajig says:
    In this economy lots of people have taken pay cuts or work hour cuts and the companies didn’t show them their books.
    ***************
    Most people don’t work for a company that has 48.6% of its revenue handed to them before they even open up for business every year like the NFL, right? Also, push comes to shove, a company with a very real problem WILL open up their books if they’re desperate to get concessions. Most that won’t are clearly being disingeniousness, especially if they turn around and continue to take big bonuses while denying their workers pay raises.

  30. Thingamajib…absolutely correct. Unions are nothing more than legalized collusion. And they need to be slapped down, and hard.

  31. BoltsFan says:
    The teams need to tell the union to jam it, and that the players can play for what owners will give them or it won’t be hard to find a bevy of replacement players who gladly will. Some fans might be upset, but they’ll enjoy being able to park, buy a ticket and maybe even a hot dog and beer without having to take out a second mortgage.
    *****************
    Seriously, you think that the players are the reason for the high salaries? Buddy, this isn’t MLB where ticket prices are making up for a lack of TV revenue. Each team suckles from an $118 million TV teat and if your team pays $165 million in all player expenses, that means that they have to come up with $47 million from the other sources to pay player expenses and the average team gets more than $230 million in total revenue and gate revenue accounts for $53 million or $6 million more than what you’d need to pay for the players. Players don’t get ANYTHING from concessions and in stadiums that are owned by the city, neither do the teams so blaming the players for the high cost of a hot dog is ridiculous. The players don’t get parking revenue, either so that’s also a ridiculous statement. You can’t blame the price of the stadium because if that were true then the Giants and the Jets didn’t have a reason to raise prices because the stadium was paid for long time ago. At what point do you understand that the greed of OTHERS is the reason for the rise in prices and not the players?

  32. @ BoltsFan
    We have been fed myths by our government since the early 80’s that blame the unions for hindering corporate progress. The unions brought us the five day workweek. Life was better for most of the people of this country when the unions were strong.

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