Kraft could be the man to get a labor deal done

MDS posted earlier this morning an item regarding the recent comments from Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who told the Boston Globe that he’s doing everything in his power to achieve labor peace by the end of the year.

Though Kraft is smart enough to figure out on his own the things that he should be doing, here’s what we think he could be — and maybe should be — doing to make it happen.

1.  Build consensus among owners.

It’s great that Kraft feels a sense of urgency to get a deal done.  He now needs to spread that vibe to at least 23 other owners, given that 24 of 32 must vote in favor of a new labor contract.  And that means working the phones and sending e-mails and text messages and otherwise wearing other owners down until they agree that the time has come to make it happen.

With time of the essence, Kraft needs to proceed in pyramid fashion, recruiting other influential owners as captains for the cause, who then would call other owners until all 32 have been pushed toward getting a deal done.

2.  Accept the union’s offer for a lock-in.

On Friday’s edition of The Dan Patrick Show, NFLPA spokesman George Atallah committed the union to a multi-week effort to meet in December in the hopes of getting a deal done before the end of the year.  In response, the NFL has been far less unequivocal.

Kraft needs to get Commissioner Roger Goodell on the horn right now and urge him to accept Atallah’s offer, and to immediately block out two or three weeks between now and Christmas in, say, Philadelphia — a neutral midpoint (sort of) between NFL headquarters in New York and NFLPA headquarters in Washington.

Why a neutral site?  It’s important that all parties be away from home during this period of intense bargaining, since it will supply not only the ability to focus on the situation but also the motivation to get a deal done so that they can embark on the process of meeting a man who lives in Tennessee, he was headin’ for Pennsylvania and some homemade pumpkin pie.

3.  Encourage both parties to drop the rhetoric.

Both sides should immediately agree to quit the juvenile — and, at times, infantile — efforts to score points with the public and with the politicians.  No one cares, and the rhetoric only creates roadblocks when the time comes to talk turkey at the table.

Even in the wake of a reportedly productive Monday meeting regarding the 18-game season, the two sides spent much of the past week sniping at each other.

It needs to end, or meaningful progress never will begin.

And how about this idea for a mutual gesture?  Both sides should shut immediately down their labor propaganda sites, and, and the league and the union should agree to strip all talk of labor strife from their primary websites.

4.  Come up with an acceptable revenue sharing plan.

The one issue that continues to threaten to throw a wrench into the talks is the manner in which owners will share, or not share, unshared revenues.  Some think that the league’s goal is to take enough from the players so that revenue sharing no longer presents a problem.  But it shouldn’t be that way.  If the owners can put the good of the game above their desire to maximize profits and/or protect their turf, less money will need to be taken back from the players.

For both sides, one question remains:  How much is enough?  When they already have a lot more than the rest of us, Kraft is accurate when he says that the failure to fix this situation would be criminal.  Indeed, the owners and players alike will believe that they’ve been victimized by Bernie Madoff once the Golden Goose starts shooting blanks.

10 responses to “Kraft could be the man to get a labor deal done

  1. Stop wasting your breath Florio, when this much money is involved, and both sides are absolute greed mongers, making sense isn’t an option for either side..

  2. Revenue sharing will be the main sticking point. And it will be between the owners themselves, not owners vs. union.
    The divide is pretty clear cut, and after Tagliabue ramrodded the last agreement through a handful of owners warned that it was not a good contract. This time the smaller owners are more steadfast and united.
    Kraft, Jones, Snyder, Johnson, Tisch, Lurie,Rooney,and Irsay will have a very hard time convincing Brown, Davis, Glazer, Wilson, Wilf, Adams, Hunt, Bidwell, Jaguars owner, and Mr. Kroenke(richest of all the owners) to vote their way if the deal makes no sense to the smaller market owners.
    Mr. Kroenke just may be the most underestimated owner in this whole negotiation process on whether a deal gets done or not.

  3. If you recall..the current labor agreement would not haver been accomplished prior to deadline…had Kraft not stepped in @ 12th hour.

  4. Kraft is the man to get anything done. I’ve been a Patriots fan since 1976. Before him we had a few playoff appearances and a hideous Super Bowl loss.

    Since he bought the team, five appearances and three wins in the big game, an undefeated regular season and more playoff appearances in the last ten years than the previous 40 combined.

    Go Patriots!

    P.S.: Bill Parcells, you are a fat, whiny bitch! What have you done without Belichick?

  5. Wrong conclusion based on pure speculation counselor Florio.

    Kraft, Jones and Snyder love money more than life itself, It defines them, It is the standard they use to measure their success and maintain their over-sized egos.

    Do you really believe there will not be a lockout?

  6. And this is exactly why the UFL is attempting to position itself as a competitor to the NFL instead of a compliment to them. Nothing would be better for the UFL than an NFL lockout, and they seem pretty confident, based on recent decisions, that it will come.

    The reason I still believe it’s going to happen, and I suspect I’m not the only one, is that as one reader has pointed out, the revenue sharing is not only going to be a fight between the Union and the league, but also between the owners. Some owners who run teams that aren’t struggling financially will want to agree to giving players a bigger piece of the pie, while other owners will not. Then once the owners come to an agreement, they still need the union to agree to it as well.

    It all seems very disorganized and poorly thought out considering the could’ve started bargaining the next CBA any time they wanted, but instead decided to wait until time was running out to do anything. Now they’re basically playing a game of high-risk “chicken” with each other while the clock gets closer and closer to the proverbial midnight.

  7. If the owners can put the good of the game above their desire to maximize profits and/or protect their turf, less money will need to be taken back from the players.
    Why should the NFL be unlike any other big-time corporation? They’d sell their own grandmothers if there was profit to be made. “The good of the game” is never top priority. Money will always be king.

  8. I’m not sure he may be distracted by Spygate II as it continues to garner attention. I guess it’s OK, the Broncos weren’t cheating as much as the Patriots were.

  9. Kraft was one of the four owners who pushed for rest of the owners to opt of the CBA. Citing him as a potential peacemaker is either rank idiocy or propaganda.

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