Five days later, mediation resumes

After spending some time with today’s edition of PFT Live, Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal has joined the horde/throng/gaggle of reporters outside the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service in Washington as the NFL and players’ union meet for the first time since breaking at noon or so on Thursday.

The meeting, due to begin at 1:00 p.m. ET, finally features the presence of an owner.  Kaplan and others report that Giants co-owner John Mara joined the league’s contingent.

One-half out of 32 ain’t bad.

Wait, yes it is.

Though NFL general counsel Jeff Pash told the reporters that the league believes the mediation is serious, we’re serious when we say we no longer believe anyone.  The signs are pointing to the decertification/lockout scenario, and the vow of Pats owner Robert Kraft that failure to get a deal done would be “criminal” could soon come to fruition.

Albert Breer of NFL Network reports that NFLPA president Kevin Mawae continues to be absent from the mediation.  He’s due to finally arrive Tuesday.

The reasons for Mawae’s non-involvement aren’t known.  The league repeatedly has mentioned over the past several weeks Mawae’s radio comments that the players “got such a great deal” in 2006.  Though his presence could prompt the league to reiterate the remarks in the room as frequently as the league surely has, Mawae would be a constant reminder of the reality that the president of the union believes (or at least said he believes) that the players got a great deal the last time around, which means (from the league’s perspective) that a correction is justified.

Despite the absence of Mawae, a “huge contingent” of current and former players are attending the meeting, including Ben Leber, Brian Dawkins, Charlie Batch, Chester Pitts, Cornelius Bennett, Jake Scott, Jay Feely, Jeff Saturday, and Jim McFarland.

The broader question is whether the two sides will be serious about making real progress on one of the disputed issues:  (1) revenue split; (2) length of season; (3) rookie wage scale, with savings going to retired players; and (4) Judge Doty’s ongoing jurisdiction.  If they don’t, they can either waste their time, or they can do something productive.

Or, as the case may be given the intended courses of action, destructive.

Stay tuned.  Though we try to be optimistic, the glass is about 1/1000th full at this point.

21 responses to “Five days later, mediation resumes

  1. Why do we never hear any mention of the owners desire to scrap revenue sharing and the salary cap?
    After all, isn’t this what the owners really want, above all else?

  2. This is criminal. It is sad that the owners are going to get away with locking the players out. In 5 years the fans will be back. NFL will be making money and nobody will remember this lock out.

    The NFL owners have no idea how good they really have it.

  3. What I find funny is some of those players benefited from being some of the highest paid at their positions at a time when they weren’t worth it during the old free agency, yea….Something needs to change there. Of course they want the old system back. Brian Dawkins got a great contract so did an aging declining Jeff Saturday, its wonderful….Someone tell these jokers fans can’t afford to go to the games to jusify the bloated salaries no more.

    Gas is 4 dollars a gallon and what are ticket prices again??? Alot of these stadiums are in crap holes so I doubt many of the fans who can afford a ticket first are able to then turn around and drive 60 miles or more to the games. These are the issues the NFL and NBA are facing. They both say that attendance is up and they are doing so great, but it isn’t great is it? If it was so great there would be no problems. Sometimes during NFL and NBA games espn shows a camera shot at the attendance and its embarassingly empty. The attendance is up though I guess(sarcasism). Its up because you got these moran owners building huge stadiums in big market towns like Jerry Jones, of course attendance is up there, extra 10-20,000 per game to bloat the numbers is just one example. Then because of “owner competition” (Owners are competitive within the ranks) you get idiots like a Jim Irsay building a stadium in a small market town and if there’s no superbowl this year, but even if there is, the stadium was built only for that purpose alone….Fans gotta pay for that building and tickets…What does Irsay do….Well, he rewards his fans by raising ticket prices the following year. Hmm….No money coming in???Too much overhead??? Hmmm. They say attendance is up though. I guess show me the stat where the attendance is up in Detroit, Buffalo, Cincy, it seems those games are always blacked out, even the Colts struggled to sell out for their playoff game against the Jets. HMMM.

    These players are kinda clueless too. If the fans are in a recession or bad economic times, then how in the hell do the players think it shouldn’t effect them as well when we pay the salaries???

  4. “including Ben Leber, Brian Dawkins, Charlie Batch, Chester Pitts, Cornelius Bennett, Jake Scott, Jay Feely, Jeff Saturday, and Jim McFarland.”

    no wonder nothing gets done besides dawkins most of these guys are probably fighting for playing time instead of the CBA.

  5. Serious question here. If there is a lockout, what happens to the contracts that are due to expire at the end of the 2011 season? Would they still expire, or would everything be pushed back a year since there is no 2011 season?

  6. I have nothing against either side in this, but I work for a privately owned company and I can’t imagine asking my boss to see his books. He’d probably tell me to get lost. I guess I could see it with the Packers since the fans own the team. Anyway, sure hope this thing get’s resolved quickly.

  7. Why should the savings from a rookie pay scale go to the retired players. It should stay in the minium salary cap and go towards proven veterens. The retired players get a pension if they are vested. They didn’t want to talk about giving retired players anything when they were playing. I would like to go to my boss after I’m retired and tell him he should divert some of the money he is paying his current employees to me since I helped build the company.

  8. i got a solution, why don’t they have the rookie salary cap that everyone thinks is a good idea, also let the owners take a billion off the top like they want, don’t do 18 games, and lastly guarantee every player contract so you can’t just cut them and not pay them. This way everyone gets what they want.

  9. jasonculhane says: “Sometimes during NFL and NBA games espn shows a camera shot at the attendance and its embarassingly empty.”

    That does not mean the tickets were not sold. It just means the people didn’t come to the game. Weather, the opponent, the day of the week, and especially where the home team is in the standings – all impact whether or not there are “no-shows”. Remember, an awful lot of season tickets are owned by businesses or business owners that use them to entertain clients. If I give one of my clients my tickets to a game, it’s completely up to him/her whether they attend or not. But the ticket was most definitely paid for.

    “They say attendance is up though. I guess show me the stat where the attendance is up in Detroit, Buffalo, Cincy, it seems those games are always blacked out”

    Three cities with small populations that have been hit especially hard by the recession. Not surprising they are having trouble. Without profit sharing, those teams would would have to move to stay afloat.

  10. I’ve got a better solution:

    1. Each team in the league will need to accrue a negotiated amount for capital improvements each and every season. They could do a percentage of revenue or a given amount. The key here is there are FASB guidelines for doing this, so it would not be such a contentious issue between the players and the owners. This would replace the current flat 1 billion dollar set aside and the proposed additional billion dollar set aside. My guess is that between the 32 teams, it would be somewhere between the current 1 billion and the proposed 2 billion. Probably closer to 1 billion. Once this is done, then the players and the owners should split the net profits 50-50; not net revenue, or total revenue, but net profits. The players want to feel that they are partners, then let them be partners and no partnership would have a situation where one of the parties gets more than half of everything off the top and the other partner takes all the risk and only gets what is left over after expenses. So for example, the split and the salary cap for 2012, would be the 50% of net profits that the league experiences for the 2011 season.

    2. A rookie salary cap with the savings going to retired players from the pre 1987 days who have no generous pensions or health care benefits. Players like Willie Wood for example, who is in dire need.

    3. No 18 game season. Leave it as it is.

    4. Expand the roster size and change the way the injured reserve system works. Also, get rid of the ridiculous 45 man game day roster. Let teams activate the entire roster, be it the current 53 or an expanded 58 or 60.

    It isn’t that difficult and these should be the only changes that are made to the current CBA.

  11. 1. really the only issue
    2. it will stay 16 games. league introduced the idea knowing they could use it as an item they would give up
    3. Wage scale has already been agreed on, with money saved going to retired players fund
    4. Doty won’t have much to do with this in the end

  12. I laugh at all the Union haters on here; ever wonder why real wages in the United States have fallen with union membership ever since Reagan broke the Air Traffic controller union? I Don’t know if the purpose of this was to kill middle class wages, but . . . well it sure has.

    What I will say is, no one points to the fact that NFL owners have no ‘average’ ownership time in the NFL. They never get injured from a hit, never have to worry about being cut, and can pay their son’s, daughter’s, etc . . . millions to run a business most don’t have the legitimate credentials to run. (Talk about affirmative action!!)

    Most owners are examples of one of my favorite quotes (not exact): There are many people in this world who were born on third base and think they hit a triple.

  13. patmcrotch says: Mar 1, 2011 2:44 PM

    “Serious question here. If there is a lockout, what happens to the contracts that are due to expire at the end of the 2011 season?”

    I was wondering the same thing about he actual game schedules.
    Do they just push the 2011 schedule back to 2012, or do they go with what would have been the normal schedule rotation for 2012?

  14. FoozieGrooler says: Mar 1, 2011 1:58 PM

    Why do we never hear any mention of the owners desire to scrap revenue sharing and the salary cap?


    Because they don’t. Jones and Snyder would love it but most wouldn’t want to see either gone. I don’t think that even Jerry realizes how much of a disadvantage he’d be in if they stopped sharing revenue because while he’d be bringing in a lot of ticket money, New York would blow him away with television revenue and at least two teams would head to LA to pick up that money.

  15. John Mara is one of the reasonable owners. If the league can keep the buttheads out of the room (except, of course, for Roger) there is a chance. If they stay till late tonite there’s hope. If they leave in the next two hours it’s probably hopeless.

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