Michael Silver adds more details to the Richardson-Manning incident

When we last addressed the reports that Panthers owner Jerry Richardson disrespected Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and/or Saints quarterback Drew Brees during a day-before-the-Super-Bowl bargaining session, the firestorm seemed to have quieted.

Brees took the high road when given a chance to address the matter, prompting some to conclude (incorrectly,  we believe) that the situation was embellished at best, fabricated at worst.

Enter Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports, a veteran and respected journalist who previously covered the NFL for Sports Illustrated.  Silver brings the incident to life with specific details that paint a dark picture about the status of the current relationship between two entities who should be acting like partners but who are acting like mortal enemies.

“It was bad from the start,” one player who attended the session told Silver. “[Richardson] opened the meeting by describing how he was almost annoyed how we would ask for that meeting on their busiest weekend of the year. And I’m thinking, ‘Your team finished 2-14.  You shouldn’t be that busy.  Why are you worrying about how busy you are during Super Bowl weekend?’

Um.  Zing.

Then, after Manning questioned the league’s desire to take another $1 billion annually off the top of all revenues (currently, the league already claims the first billion per year before carving up the rest of the pie on essentially a 60-40 basis, with the bigger cut going to the players), Richardson became “agitated,” per Silver.

“He was condescending to Peyton,” a player who was at the meeting told Silver.  (It’s unclear whether it was the same player quoted above or a different one.)  “He tried to talk about P&L [profit and loss] statements and all these other risks that the owners assume, as if Peyton didn’t know anything.  Drew interrupted and said, ‘All we’re doing is just asking you to show us your books.  We want to negotiate in good faith.’”

Another player who was present told Silver, “We were so pissed. Peyton was breathing heavily, and some of us were about ready to jump across the table.”

Then former player Sean Morey, apparently trying to change the subject, began to talk about player injuries and the short duration of careers.  It’s a topic near and dear to Morey, given that concussions forced him from the game.  Still, Richardson, per Silver, gave a biting reply.

“You guys made so much [expletive] money – if you played three years in the NFL, you should own your own [expletive] team,” Richardson reportedly said.

Silver reports that other owners and Commissioner Roger Goodell “became visibly uncomfortable” after the remark.  Following a short break, several owners (including, per Silver, Robert Kraft of the Patriots, John Mara of the Giants, and Clark Hunt of the Chiefs) reportedly apologized to the players in the room.  One player who attended the session said that Richardson also apologized to Manning.

We’ll refer you to the rest of Silver’s hybrid reporting-commentary, which is well worth a close read.

In our view, it’s impossible to reconstruct with precision the events that occurred during the meeting, simply because the reality of human perception and recollection introduces flaws, gaps, and errors even if everyone is telling what they believe to be the truth.  It’s clear, however, that something ugly that way went on February 4, and it would be in the best interests of the process for Richardson to not be involved in the negotiating sessions.

The problem is that this quickly would devolve into a game of Red Rover, with the league wanting the union to send, say, Jeffrey Kessler home, and then the NFLPA asking the owners to park Jeff Pash.  This tit-for-tat process potentially would continue until only Roger Goodell and De Smith are the only ones left in the room.

And, frankly, that may be the only way at this point to get a deal done.

77 responses to “Michael Silver adds more details to the Richardson-Manning incident

  1. “You guys made so much [expletive] money – if you played three years in the NFL, you should own your own [expletive] team,” Richardson reportedly said.

    Richardson just became my favorite owner. Finally saying what everyone with a clear and logical frame of thinking has known for this entire time. I could understand the frustration of paying employees so much money to play a game and then being blamed for them running out of money after the are forced to walk away. With proper financial management most people should be able to never work again after 3 years of an average NFL salary (minimum salary may be a different situation).

    This is what I just don’t get. We see players playing football wearing huge diamonds in their ears, after the games wearing expensive clothing and jewelery that appears to be a waste. For some reason players feel they are obligated to waste money on materialistic pieces of junk that in no way, shape or form benefit them. Manning may not be one of them and I highly doubt that Richardson was actually talking to Manning in specific but his point is dead on.

  2. Things haven’t even reached the boiling point. Until that happens cooler heads won’t have an opportunity to prevail.

    I say we miss at least 8 games next season.

    Players got a sweet deal the last round. With owners struggling to sell out stadiums, fighting HDTV, and a bad economy there is no doubt they will stick to their guns and try to win this round.

  3. thank you so much for this one jerry…im sure this will only make the panthers even more attractive as a free agent destination…im really glad you’ve set fans like myself up for another 10 years of disappointment and underachievement…the real idiot in the room was you who doesn’t seem to have a clue and seems to be out of touch with everyone these days (including your own sons who you fired last year)

  4. The problem with Richardson leading these discussions is his team sux. Probably financially too. He sees these players making “so much” and he might be losing money on the Panthers. He’s obviously bitter and maybe ownership isn’t what he thought it would be. Especially if you lose money AND go 2-14!!!

  5. It really seems to me that the owners do not want to sign a deal or negotiate a mutual agreement. It makes me disgusted to be honest. In this particular case, I side with the players. They do not want to change the disbursement structure at all, while the billionaire owners want to take more money off the top to pocket. It is truly sad on so many levels.

  6. There will be no season next year after hearing this. To a point the owners are right, but I still believe the players hold the cards because where the talent goes so will the viewers, it may not be right, but thats what it seems to be.

    If there is a lockout and if it lasts the whole season, there will be a concern that the NFL as a business will just not be a business. You can’t have business or your place of business inoperable for more then a year and call it a “business”. I’ve argued with a few on here about “contracts” and what not. But so far, a few of them have been wrong. Contracts just don’t hold up forever, these owners are prepared to walk away from the game completely as if its a business decision thats best for them. Lets face the facts.

    From reports, Jerry Richardson speaks for the owners. The owners feel like their losing money or their cost of investing has outweighed the profit. The United States just had 2 bailouts, the economy faced a depression, for 3 years the owners lost billions. These guys have other investments and apprently those other investments are making them more money or perhaps the same. Real estate, stock, marketing firms have all gone up in the past year or so, but the NFL I guess is losing them money. I’m guessing the NFL is not their only investment by far of course.

    I’m also positive that the owners feel like they have lost their control over the NFL and no longer want players like Manning, Brees and Brady to decide the fate of their rosters or coaching staffs. They don’t to see players be this powerful.

  7. all you need to know about JR, check out his press conference when they announced John Fox would not be returning? The sexiest remarks he made towards 2 local female reporters should have been a red flag… he’s lost all touch with reality, almost as bad as al davis…

  8. Kick Richardson out and let cooler heads prevail. I for one have little sympathy for either group, but I love football and this guy won’t help getting a contract SSAD!

  9. Players should not be speaking during the negotiations. That should be handled by professional negotiators. The players should sit by, quietly listening, and then comment to their spokesmen in private. They are not trained in negotiation, and it will turn personal when their competitive nature kicks in. It is counter productive to have players getting into a pissing match with the owners. It is business, but they take it personally.

  10. Jerry has spent stupid money for underperforming players over the years and this is his way of getting back at them.

    I think Delhomme is still being paid.


  11. As a Colts fan I’m excited about the “W” that Richardson put on the Colts schedule this coming season.

    Its a testament to Manning that nobody doubts his ability to put up a beating on any team that irritates him.

  12. Go back 40 years. Pete Rozelle told the owners he was gonna go meet with the TV networks and try to sell a TV package. “Sounds good Pete. Let us know how it goes” they said. Upon his return, he told them “We did well guys. We got 50 per season.” To which the owners replied “Wow. Fifty grand is great Pete!” To which he replied…”I got 50 million per season.”

    NFL Network had a great documentary on him last year in which he told this story. My numbers are wrong but you get the gist…The owners had no idea what they had as far as a made-for-tv package.

    Now everyone is filthy rich and falsely entitled. When the average fan is leaving his house in the dark and cold at 5am just to feed the kids and make the mortgage, the players are just getting in from a night at the club.

    As Green Day sez…”Wake me up. WHen September ends”

  13. “This tit-for-tat process potentially would continue until only Roger Goodell and De Smith are the only ones left in the room.

    And, frankly, that may be the only way at this point to get a deal done.”

    I agree, I think there are too many cooks in the kitchen at this point.

  14. Man , if there is a strike. What the hell is Directv gonna do? I starting to beleive they are the most important entity in the league. MONEY,MONEY, MONEY. There is never enough for greedy people..

  15. obxastronaut: “Jerry Richardson is the worst NFL owner.”

    Richardson is a very bad owner. But it says something about the quality of NFL ownership when we see that sentence and think, “I don’t know there are some pretty bad owners.”

    A case can be made that one of 4 or 5 different owners are the worst. That’s like 1:6 owners (give or take) that’s a pretty bad ratio.

  16. Once more thing. Jerry Richardson is a blue collar old school player. My sense is, he certainly dispises today’s NFL player, I’m sure he has respect for Manning on the field, but probably gets pissed everytime Manning throws an interception, then a flag gets thrown for a defensive player touching a hand on the helmet, 15 yards, then he has to see during a commercial of Manning eating Oreos, then adverstise for Samsung TV….On top of that at the end of the day Jerry has to see his fellow partner Jim Irsay hand over a 30 million dollar check to the guy and wonder WTF has the NFL become.

    If the league continues down this path Quarterbacks will have flags around their wastelines and their left arm will bare a shield.

  17. I think this league will be a better place when Al Davis and Jerry Richardson are sitting together in the big owner’s box in the sky.

  18. The owners and the players are not partners. The players are employees. A partnership does not consist of one party that pays all the bills and another party that gets more than half of all revenue that comes in the door with no responsibilities for the operation of the partnership.

    The current CBA is untenable and the business trend for the owners unsustainable. End of story.

  19. good article…sounds as if Peyton and Drew are heads up on this…have their hearts in the right place. Hoping they wont televise the UFL or “replacement players” like the last strike….

  20. I wish the players union would stop with the silly request for the owners to show them the books. The NFL is a private entity and is under no obligation to open their books, they never have, and they never will. Part of the problem with these negotiations is all of the rhetoric – like open your books. The players can either accept the owners at their word that they aren’t making enough money (and since thats subject, it really doesn’t matter what the books say – its not like the owners said they are losing money) and agree to concessions or they can strike. Its really that simple. I know there are more complexities involved, but at the end of the day that is what it all comes down and ultimately how it will be resolved. (and of course I realize that the players have the option of decertifying and going the legal route versus a strike – but in that scenario the players will be accepting the concessions that owners unilaterally implement)

  21. Um… last time I checked, they are the OWNERS teams. They take the major risks, they run the business, they make all the pieces work.

    At what point in any business venture do OWNERS of ANY company need to justify 1) Making Money; 2) Having to share it equally with their employees.

    The players are the ‘show’, but they’re paid handsomely for their part, not even remotely underpaid or neglected. I don’t see them deserving more, more, more. Hey, if you want more part of the profit, buy your own team when you retire.

    Players like Morey have the best points – negotiate to take care of those situations.

  22. People continue to paint this as though it’s a battle between owners and players.
    This whole thing started as (and continues to be) a battle between the owners themselves.
    They’re divided over issues like revenue sharing and the salary cap.

    Rather than working out their own internal differences and deciding on a fair way to divide their windfall riches, they “invented” this “labor unrest” to squeeze more profits out of the players instead.

    After all, there really is “honor among thieves”.

    Think about that. The players aren’t asking for a single penny here. Doesn’t that tell you something?

  23. If the rest of the owners didn’t support Richardson, they would remove him as the chair of the negotiating team… truth is Richardson sounds like one of the only owners who has the balls to look guys like Manning and Brees in the face and tell them they’re wrong.

  24. all I know is if I went to employer and said I wanted more money, show me your books, I’d be looking for another job. I believe the players should be paid fairly,but, what right do the players have to know what the owners are making.
    I AM NOT PRO OWNERS, but I just think the players are for a bit too much.

    After all, how many employees can look at their employers books to judge if what they are getting paid is fair?

    The real problem is that everyone is comparing themselves to each other.

    What happened to be content with what you have not what everyone else has?

  25. Anyone who runs a business knows that it’s tough times right now. The risk workers assume is getting laid off and collecting money for not working via filing for unemployment . The owners assume all else.

    Just because the owners are wanting some evening up of revenue sharing doesn’t mean that the workers should be able to see their books. What job on earth do you get to see your boss’s books when you want a raise or they ask you to take a pay cut? ALL businesses are only as good as their workers and decision makers be it the NFL or anyone else. I realize that sports are a bit different than regular jobs but those basic facts hold true.

    Were I an NFL owner I would be tempted to say, “Hey we will open our books so you can see what our expenses are but all 1,000+ of your union members and officials have to do the same so we can see how much of your salaries you blow on ‘scrip clubs’, high end liquor diamonds, cars, furs, mistresses, etc. and how much is spent investing and planning for the future. You guys can reduce YOUR ‘operating expenses’ also.”

    BOTH sides have to stop focusing on “I WANT TO WIN!!! I RULE!!! I WILL DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO WIN!!! I AM THE KING OF TESTOSTERONE PRODUCTION!!!!!!” and start focusing on what’s good for the game. There’s no doubt that is is tougher when your profession requires that very mentality, but they have to do it.

  26. If the owners are arguing that they are losing money and its because of increasing labor costs, then they can certainly prove that by opening their books.

    They, of course, don’t have to open their books. But if what they say is true, they certainly can prove it rather easily.

  27. Assuming there is a season, I’m marking my calendar for the Colts/Panthers game. #18 might just break every record known to man against them. (and still make $23m a year doing it)

  28. This guy needs to sell the team (probably make a huge profit on the sale) – And let them play in LA.

    BTW, love the picture in the article – perfect.

  29. mick730 says:
    Feb 15, 2011 9:47 AM
    The owners and the players are not partners. The players are employees. A partnership does not consist of one party that pays all the bills and another party that gets more than half of all revenue that comes in the door with no responsibilities for the operation of the partnership.


    This makes no sense. They are a partnership. The owners contribute money and the players give the owners a product that gives them a huge return on their investment.

  30. Does anyone know the voting process for these negotiations?

    Do the owners have to be unanimous? or is the a majority rule?

    By the looks of it, there’s some friction, albeit a little, internally within both sides of the table and if it takes unanimous approval of the deal from the owners, there’s no shot of a deal getting done

  31. If this drags out to 2012, the Panthers can draft AJ Green this year with the first pick and Andrew Luck next year. Then they might score more than 11 points a game.

  32. “polegojim says:
    Feb 15, 2011 9:48 AM

    At what point in any business venture do OWNERS of ANY company need to justify 1) Making Money; 2) Having to share it equally with their employees.”

    The problem is that competent employees for this line of business are an extremely limited resource.

    So when people talk of “partnership” I’m not sure that they mean it in the technical business sense of the word. It’s more that the owners have to recognize that, in order to maximize their profits, they need these particular employees in this business (i.e. the players) more than they would need their particular employees in another line of business.

    That said, the numbers speak for themselves, and the owners point is valid. The structure needs to change. The players know they got a great deal last time because Tags thought it was in the best interest of the game to push a deal through. I find the players completely disingenuous when they demand to “see the books.” They know damn well that most teams are hurting, and as valuable as they are, no set of employees is entitled to say to management, “Show me how much you’re making and I’ll let you know how much to pay me.”

    The owners are coming off as a bunch of knuckle-heads, at best… complete a-holes at worst. Players are winning the PR battle, which is unfortunate since they don’t deserve to win the actual labor battle.

    What a mess.

  33. This whole situation is so out of control, and as a fan, it disgusts me. First off, an idiot like Richardson should not be at the table if he can’t control his temper. A smart businessman understands that voicing your opinion like he did might make him feel better(or empowered), but does not make the situation better. It only allowed him to get it off his chest, not gain traction in the negotiation. Not only that idiot, but you single handily put a bullseye on you and your sorry a$$ franchise by two of the best in the game(who you will also have to face in 3 games next season). I can assure you they will not take their foot off the pedal Jerry!! And by the way, doesn’t he look very much like a sleazy Southern Televangilist?

    Having said that, I’m sick of the players wanting more and more. They keep going to the “we have a short window to our careers” card. SO WHAT!! JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE AN NFL PLAYER DOES NOT ENTITLE YOU TO NEVER HAVE TO WORK ANOTHER DAY IN YOUR LIFE!! If you are smart, thats what should happen, but MOST OF YOU ARE NOT!! If you run out of money, go get a job when your playing days are over. You waste it on cars, booze, clothes, vacations and your posse. I love it when I read of NBA and NFL players going broke. Its sad, but I’m so over idolizing professional athletes.

    As for the owners, quit overcharging for everything. I go to most Colts games, but I refuse to buy a season ticket. I scalp for far less than face value minutes before kickoff, and this way can afford to take my kids. But when a family like mine, you have both parents making well into the 6 figures start to question prices, I wonder if the NFL will ever get it.

  34. FoozieGrooler says:

    “Think about that. The players aren’t asking for a single penny here. Doesn’t that tell you something?”

    It tells me the players already know they made a killing off of the last CBA. They actually came out and admitted it was too good of a deal.

    Players asking for more money would be a quick way to lose the PR battle they are putting on in the media.

  35. In a negotiation, it’s, uh, counterproductive to insult the counterparty no matter how you feel.

    Each side should simply state what they want and start haggling from there. Yelling, pouting, and insulting doesn’t help anything.

    Also, I don’t think you need “professional” negotiators who don’t have skin in the game. Get some players and some owners together but make sure they are professional enough to talk.

  36. I completely disagree with the notion that the players are employees and only employees and should be treated as such. The players are the PRODUCT of the NFL. Without them there is no NFL, which I view as football games between the BEST football players on the planet, and the players are among the best athletes on the planet.

  37. Dear players, nobody forced you to take this career path, if you don’t like it go do something else in life, you all went to college and I assume earned degrees, use them!

    The owners assume ALL the financial and legal risk that goes along with owning a team, the players should be grateful the owners are willing to pay as much as they do.

    The players should be able to parlay their on-field popularity in to bigger things off the field and instead of screwing up the game maybe they should exert their energies that direction. As is with racing, golf and tennis pro’s, the money they make “on the field” pales compared to what they make off the field.

    Honestly would the majority of ex-player sock puppets on TV have those jobs if not for their career as a player? I doubt it.

    The players would be wise to use the game to further their earning power away from it in the form of commentating, coaching, consulting and other business ventures than will opne to doors to them because they are “NFL Players”, not bleed it dry for the here and now.

  38. Something tells me that there will be a long holdout for whoever Carolina picks.

    Clearly Richardson doesn’t see who pads the owner’s wallets.

  39. “Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports, a veteran and respected journalist…”

    You kind of lost me right after that statement.

  40. I’da love to have seen Peyton’s face – I heard after Richardson said that Peyton starting running around in circles pulling an imaginary flag from his belt.

  41. How do the players get off asking the owners to open their books? No normal employee (that’s what the players are) could ask the owners of their company to open their books and actually expect them to do it.

    Not only that…If Manning isn’t the player rep for his team, why is he there? I don’t care if you’re the face of the NFL, the players on the Colts didn’t think enough of Manning to represent them to the Union.

  42. Manning can barely speak english what is he doing at the table? Guy might be football smart but the deliverance family manning bringing forrest gump to the table is really dumb. I wonder if he pouted the whole time.

  43. obxastronaut says:

    “Jerry Richardson is the worst NFL owner.”

    Have you aver heard of Mike Brown?

  44. What an arrogant jerk. I don’t suppose he realizes how little his billion dollar franchise would be worth without players.

    The average NFL salary is about $750K so a player playing three years would make $2.25M before taxes. Hardly enough to buy a team. Richardson made his money selling crap food to fat dumb Americans.

  45. Assuming what we’re hearing second or third-hand is mostly true, then I’d say Richardson needed to tone it down a couple of notches. I also think that management has a legitimate set of concerns, and unfortunately for labor, labor’s appointed frontman is not even negotiating in good faith. As if often the case with “unions”. And finally, Jerry was probably pissed about having to have this meeting, knowing darn well it meant nothing, and no one was going to open any “books”.

    Get real, stay real, and get it done. The players should worry about workout reps rather than trying to help their reps at the table.

  46. Or, to put it bluntly, management’s right, labor’s wrong, somebody get it done or the game suffers.

  47. nbaraie,

    I seriously doubt it. These young guys will be eager to receive a paycheck coming out of college where they are supposedly not paid.

    And it’s the fans that pads the owner’s wallets. It’s the players that constantly are making the owners wallets a little lighter.

  48. I think owners should make more money than players, because they are um, the OWNERS! Have you ever heard of a business where the employees (players) make the same amount or more than the owner? That said the owners need to open the books up for all to see and really put a fair deal on the table. As a season ticket holder for the hapless Bungles I feel like no one is being raked over the coles more so than the fans. The majority of NFL teams are playing in stadiums that were funded predominantly with tax payer money. Not to mention the face that ticket prices continue to go up up and away. The Owners and players forget that with out fans there is no TV Deal, no Endorsement deal, No MONEY! I think the NFL and NFLPA need to step back and ask themselves for a change what would be good for the fans? Most fans cant afford to drop $100.00 for a crappy seat, a hot dog and a coke at an NFL game. They need to not Freeze ticket prices for a year, but lower ticket prices by 20-30% across the board, lower the cost of concessions 40-50% across the board, and more importantly lift the stupid black out rule. In an economy as bad as ours has been the NFL and the NFLPA have thrived while many of us in the real world have suffered, with job loss, home loss, loss of health benefits etc etc… They need to split the whole pie 50-40 owners/players, with the other 10% going to a pool for the retired players.

  49. The players are great athletes, but they play football for the money. They want to play in the NFL because that is where the money is. Most probably could easily have chosen rugby or lacrosse over football, but there is no money to be made in those sports.

    Why is there money to be made in football instead of rugby or lacrosse? Not because of these individual players, but because of many decades of marketing, promoting, and building the BUSINESS of professional football by the owners. Athletes come and go, but the fan following had to be built from nothing.

    These luxury stadiums, lucrative marketing deals, and multi billion dollar television deals are in place due to decades of hard work by the owners and their organizations. Billions of their dollars, and years of their time, have gone into building the game, and the business, from what it was, into what it is. These television deals didn’t just drop from space into the players laps.

    These players step out of college at age 21 and are in a position to earn more in a couple of years than most of us earn in a lifetime. Then they can get on with the rest of their life……with a big head start. They have the opportunity, because of the business that the owners have built, to own a home, free and clear, before they are 25 or 30 years old. Playing sports for a few years in their 20s, does not entitle them to do nothing for the rest of their life.

    If you had invested over a billion dollars, had outstanding loans totalling hundreds of millions, and had worked for a lifetime building a business, would you feel entitled to a profit? I would.

  50. awdlmd,

    Yep a self made man who took his lot lower earnings of playing NFL ball into a company in which he then bought an NFL team. All with his whole NFL career making less then what players make in 3 even figuring in inflation and cost of living.

    Apparently he is saying it can be done.

  51. The players make the owners a lot of money? What? What would the millionaire players do without the NFL? First, they would never have the opportunity to become a millionaire. For the most part the 200o or so players have little or no skill that translates into the real world of work. They can run fast, jump high and hit hard. If it wasn’t for football they would be nothing.

    Most of the owners in The League are Billionaires (with a ‘B’). They have made their money elsewhere and usually owning a football team is either hobby or an ego thing. They don’t NEED the players to be rich. The players NEED the owners to be rich.

  52. Keep in mind that Jerry Richardson went through a heart transplant at the beginning of last year. He hasn’t been the same since that. He love the game but see it from the ownership side and a functional business model. Jerry is a former player from late 50’s & 60’s and he is former CEO of National Restaurant Chain known for making stupid moves. “DENNY”S” He has real world business that some of these owners don’t have.

    Is he the worst NFL owner? NO ! Did ownership make a deal with devil and their assigned agents back IN 2006 THAT WAS STUPID FOR BOTH SIDES! OH YES ! The NFL enjoys an exclusive labor agreement granted through THE US Congress. The owners are now having to pay up to improve the game long term & they are being forced to improve the quality of the game, rewarding top players, and it maintain better facilities league wide.

    Veterans need to get paid more even. WOULD YOU PAY A TOP ROOKIE guaranteed money when they haven’t taken a snap in the professional league? NO! Why should a rookie be guaranteed salary of $10M to $50 M for 4-6 years of service? It’s the AGENTS Folks?? NFL screwed up a great business model in 2006 and let all these agents screw it for the game too. Now the owners & the league must reline themselves for future continued success. I understand Jerry comments but don’t agree with his approach.

    NFL Owner’s need to install a new rookie salary cap, better rewards for veterans by spreading out the money more evenly to established players, redoing free agency model, establishing an overall hard salary cap, while now taking care of retired players of the past and keeping tickets prices reasonable. This is why the League planned this over 3 years ago for this lockout while the rest of league players knew these 2 YEAR AGO that a lockout was coming upon them! All owners now must deal with the facts of business and the players have been seeing triple growth in salaries in the past 10 years. Most fans have been footing some of the bills through several ticket prices and PSL seating increases that have raise anually along with increased TV revenue deals, and while outside brand marketing deals continue to cloud the issue for player compensation. There needs to be lockout to clean up the mess that is the NFL! Let’s hope it doesn’t take that long to achieve!

  53. It is literally true that “Without the players, there would be no NFL.” Very similar to “Without mechanics, there would be no auto repair shops.” NFL players–like mechanics–provide a service. How many mechanics have the ability (or right) to examine the company’s records and demand higher pay? Few, if any….that goes even for mechanics that have a loyal following and attract many customers to the business.

  54. I’d like to see a poll of NFL players who own side businesses (car dealerships, restaurants, etc.): Do you open your books to company employees and share equally in the profits?

  55. toe4 says: Feb 15, 2011 9:35 AM

    As a Colts fan I’m excited about the “W” that Richardson put on the Colts schedule this coming season.

    Its a testament to Manning that nobody doubts his ability to put up a beating on any team that irritates him.


    Unless of course, it’s a playoff game.

  56. A few responses to some very irritating commings:

    1. Very few of the owners are “Billionaires”. There is no billionaire owner of the Green Bay Packers, the McCaskey’s in Chicago are not billionaires, the owners of the Steelers are not millionaires, I doubt very much that the Ford’s are billionaires in Detroit; so pray tell, who are all these billionaire owners? And are they billionaires as measured by net worth, or by net income, or what?

    2. The players come and go, but this nonsense about the average career being only 3 years long is a canard. The NFLPA throws this number out knowing full well that the calculation they are using includes players who are drafted or signed as free agents, who never make it past the first cut. Also, since when does anybody feel it to be a right, that a career in the NFL, for however how long, entitles than individual to be free from every having to work again. For those of you who want to use the “3 year career”, that means the average NFL employee retires at 24 or 25. Do you mean to tell me that 24 or 25 year old should make enought money in the NFL to never have to really find a job, a real job?

    3. The players would be nowhere, and the majority would be penniless without the owners and the NFL that they have created. The current success of the league is built on decades of work, stadium construction, marketing etc and that what makes the league so successful. The league would not suffer one cent were Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, Drew Brees, or any other player to simply vanish. As individual players, they are irrelevant to the overall success of the league. Were the NFL to throw the whole lot of the current players out and start with a new bunch, the long term impact would be zip. Yes, the NFL players as a group are the best football players in the country, but college football is very successful with an overall lower talent level. So, the bottom line is, the players are not the league.

    4. The Green Bay franchise, whose books are open for anybody to see, even some of the nitwits posting on this site, have seen their bottom line, that means profit, morons, drop from over 35 million dollars in 2006, to just over 8 million dollars in 2009. During that entire time, the Packers were the youngest team in the league, but while their bottom line was falling over a cliff, their player costs rost by more than 15% per year.

    If the Packers, without a “billionaire” owner are experiencing this financial trent, what do you think the other owners, with higher paid veteran players are experiencing?

    The CBA needs to be reworked because the financial trends of the owners and the league are unsustainable. Where will all the NFL players be if there is nobody to pay the debt servive on the stadiums, to pay for the huge medical expenses of all the players, to pay for their uniforms, their hotels, their air transportation on chartered jumbo jets?

    The owners are not looking to make paupers out of the players, they simply want a financial arrangement where the can reinvest in their business and the league and still make a respectable profit.

    As it stands now, there are players on each and every team, who make more each season than do the owners of each team. Look at the Packers, several players make more than 8 million bucks per year.

    The players now get 56% of every penny that comes to each individual franchise while at the same time, they pay for no expenses. The owners are getting screwed.

  57. Mick730-

    Very well said. I’ll never understand the players mentality as “equals” in this whole thing.

    I’m not saying they should do this, but if the owners fired all the players and started from scratch with college players next season, the league would be back to where it was in less than 5 years.

    We would have new heroes and new faces to root for. Sorry, it’s a fact that most fans can’t get their heads around.

  58. jackbassett: I don’t know if you’re a business owner but most of your employees probably are expendable. They shouldn’t be, but that’s another story.

    A Peyton Manning or a Jerry Rice in their prime are not. Even a not very good offensive lineman is still miles better than the average big-time college player.

    Different rules apply to showbiz and talent; they just do.

    My side question is whether the average NFL team is now too big to be run as a family business; a lot of this drama would go away if it wasn’t about guys in suits thinking that the drama on the field somehow rubbed off on them and that they were all special and sparkly.

    As for Jerry Richardson I mostly just find him sad; just another old man who has hung around too long.

  59. jackbassett says:
    Feb 15, 2011 11:55 AM
    It is literally true that “Without the players, there would be no NFL.” Very similar to “Without mechanics, there would be no auto repair shops.” NFL players–like mechanics–provide a service. How many mechanics have the ability (or right) to examine the company’s records and demand higher pay? Few, if any….that goes even for mechanics that have a loyal following and attract many customers to the business.


    Mechanics aren’t highly specialized employees and 1500 of them don’t bring in billions of dollars.

  60. Whats the lawyers name that is representing the fans in all this? I demand lower ticket prices, free NFL Network, and cheaper merchandise.

  61. Nice to know that owners can so easily insult these star players who make the NFL what it is. Do fans turn on their TV every week for Richardson? No way. They turn it on for the Mannings, Brees, Brady, etc. These star players make the owners their money. Where would Richardson be without them? Oh yeah. 2-14.

  62. mick730: Good points, and I like the use of Green Bay as an example. Would that there be more Green Bays, as opposed to bloated family-owned operations lacking in business rationality.

    To me this points up the need for the owners to be more forthright in coming clean if they’re really in bad shape. If this is about protecting proprietary information there are ways to do this. Just remember that there are no permanent victories so there is no point in poisoning the well. If I was running one of the TV networks I would not be impressed. If I’m one of the electorate being asked to pay for a facility out of the goodness of my heart I’d also not be impressed.

    There seems to be a pack of the owners, if Jerry Richardson is typical, who need to stop copping the tough-guy attitude and come up with a process to get this done rationally. When the owners look less rational than the players you have a problem.

  63. It appears to me that Jerry Richardson is like so many ex NFL players who are jealous of the big money current players are making that he did not when he was a player. Personally I think Jerry is a greedy hypocrite. He set up his team for a bad season by letting go of Peppers and other big ticket players allowing him in an uncapped season to have a payroll below normal because the uncapped season also allowed for the payroll to have no floor to it. He probably pocketed 10’s of millions from this move now wants to more extra millions with the new CBA which he probably will get because as usual the owners hold most of the leverage in NFL negotiations. IMO the fans usually side with the owners because they have their own big time addiction to the NFL and dont care to see both sides of the argument.

  64. tompapp1,

    There are so many ways you can criticize the Panthers and have a legitimate case. You could criticize their decision making in giving Jake Delhomme a huge pay raise after the Ariz playoff game that never happened. You could criticize wasting back to back future 1st round picks to move up in that years current draft in which they turned around and picked a can’t stay on the field player (Otah) one year and a huge disappointment for what it cost us (Brown). You could criticize the Panthers for holding on to Fox too long when he proved he was too loyal to Delhomme and staff. Or for Fox not being able to develop a passing game his tenure with the team. One sided offense is bound to fail no matter how great the RB. You could criticize the owner for apparently being an ahole in these discussions.

    Instead you chose letting go of Peppers and “other big ticket players”. Strike and a miss.

    Peppers was offered a big contract the year before when they franchised him but he didn’t want to play for the Panthers. You can’t keep a guy around forever who just doesn’t want to play for you. But anyways, his replacement actually out produced him. Charles Johnson. Look him up. Of course we could of used Peppers on the other side too if I wanted to be greedy. The plays he showed up would be great then having Peppers and Johnson starting.

    Now, who are the big ticketed players we let go of besides him? Do you mean talent wise? Cause I’m going to come out right now and tell you, you’re going to lose that argument. Jake Delhomme, Mushin M., Brad Hoover, Diggs, Keamutoidontcarehowyouspellhisname, Chris Harris, Dwayne Jarrett, Vincent, Lewis, and I’m sure I’m missing someone. By the way, Mushin and Hoover retired so yeah. No one else wanted them anyways. I guess you could say big ticket as in big contract. Although almost all Panther fans I talk to on message boards were pretty happy about Jake Delhomme not being starter anymore. Possibly would of liked him still on the roster at the time of him being cut.

    It’s kind of funny. When people were defending J. Fox, they would say how he did so much with crap for players in past years but then turn around and say last season wasn’t his fault cause of all the good vets the owner cut. People pick and chose that when arguing against the Panthers. Personally, I don’t miss what we lost last off season. Our defense is great. Just got worn out after the O couldn’t get off the field and injuries piled up on the D. The O should have a strong running game. Better QB play last season and we wouldn’t even been having this discussion about the Panthers.

    Another thing about the uncapped year. Cutting all those players got us out of cap hell and not having to be strapped by them in future seasons. Seems like a decent move when considering all that money was tied up in declining past their prime players. Except Peppers but he wasn’t worth the 1.somthing million a game he was getting his final year with us anyway.

    So in conclusion, it’s easy to find ways to pick on the Panthers. Exodus of the Vets in 2010 probably isn’t the way you want to go though.

  65. Why is everybody giving Jerry such a hard time? The same people that bitch and moan about athletes being overpaid are the same ones slamming this old man mercilessly. Whether they tell the AP, ESPN, or whoever – League ownership is backing Richardson up all the way on this

  66. I wish people would stop comparing the NFL to their job situations. Unless you are in the sports and entertainment industry, you’re comparing apples and oranges.

    The fact that you can’t walk up to your employer and ask to see the books has nothing to do with the NFL or any other sports league. What happens in your particular industry doesn’t mean those same rules and regulations apply to every other industry.

  67. I don’t have sympathy for any of these guys….

    the owners make billions and do nothing but complain and jack prices and lower quality … I forgot the average price for 2 to go to an NFL game but I think after all is accounted for we are talking $450+…. on top of that their stadiums are subsdized by our tax dollars in a serious economic downturn.

    the players exhibit the worst behaviour and arrogance in our society while in the 99.999 percentile in income and whine constantly that they don’t make enough and don’t get the ball…

    I’m sick of this crap and I’m OK with the NFL getting whacked up side the head with a major work stoppage….. I’ll figure out something to do with my kids that is a better example for them and doesn’t waste thousands of dollars a year….

  68. “I wish people would stop comparing the NFL to their job situations. Unless you are in the sports and entertainment industry, you’re comparing apples and oranges.

    The fact that you can’t walk up to your employer and ask to see the books has nothing to do with the NFL or any other sports league. What happens in your particular industry doesn’t mean those same rules and regulations apply to every other industry.”

    Correct…on point 1…

    People in the entertainment industry live in Fantasy Land. They overestimate their own worth.

    Incorrect…on point 2…

    Show me…tell me about… ANY Business the is privately held where the employee’s have a right to examine the books. I’m not talking about publicly held companies…they must make their books available by law. I’m talking about closely held corporations, LLC, proprietorships…

    Still thinking?

  69. fence82246 absolutely NAILED IT! I dare anyone, anyone, out there to walk into their employer’s office asking them to open their books to see if they are getting paid fairly. They’d be out on their butt in two seconds. That is just stupid to even do so in the first place, stupidity on the players and union’s part. Football is only one aspect of these owner’s business interests and since they are the owner’s they have the right to run it the way they see fit. Expenses, insurance, lease agreements, etc., all come into play and don’t tell me the players give a crap about that. Too many people out there giving players too much credit. They’re employees just like you and me. Let’s see how they are come September with no game checks coming in.

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