Jeff Pash, De Smith spar over commitment to negotiation

Getty Images

Well, we can only wonder how much information the two sides in the NFL’s labor fight would be feeding to the media if there wasn’t a media blackout.

As time runs out on the one-week extension, a dispute has emerged regarding the question of whether the union truly wants to do a deal.

Per Jason LaCanfora of NFL Network, Pash told the media after Thursday’s session, “I don’t know if both sides have an equal commitment” to working out a deal.  Pash was referring, undoubtedly, to the perception by the league that the union wants to push this matter to litigation in the hopes of getting a better deal in the courts, not at the bargaining table.

Smith disputed the notion that the players aren’t committed to the process, and he then pointed to evidence from the “lockout insurance” case proving that the league wanted to ensure ongoing cash payments from the networks during a lockout.  (The video is embedded in the link.)

But a lockout hasn’t started yet, and based on everything we’ve seen and heard, we firmly believe the league wants to do a deal.  Sure, the league wants the deal to be done on its terms or something close to them, but the league wants to do a deal.

The question is whether the NFLPA wants to do a deal before launching the litigation option.  The league currently thinks they don’t.  And there’s some evidence that would support the league’s suspicions; on Wednesday night, for example, De Smith characterized the gap between the two sides as $800 million per year, even though it was already under $700 million.

It doesn’t matter who’s right or who’s wrong.  If the two sides want to do a deal, now is the time to show their commitment.

29 responses to “Jeff Pash, De Smith spar over commitment to negotiation

  1. I find it incredibly odd that D Smith would call for a full player update at 2p tomorrow – on a neogotiation deadline day

    How about neogotiate all day – update the players on Sat – ridiculou

  2. What kills me is that now that the players smell blood the owners are saying the players don’t want to do a deal. When two weeks ago the owners were looking to “knockout” the NFLPA.

    I say let the players expose the owners books and really get s fair deal

  3. “Jim, do you hear that?” hear what? “the fans yelling for the heads of both Goodell and De Smith”

    and take al davis’ and jerry jones heads too please

  4. That idiot doesnt want a deal he wants it all his way or nothing. He is going to end up screwing the players in the end.

    It wouldnt bother me at all if the players were locked out and they had replacements.

  5. There’s gotta be a favre story out there somewhere. I never thought I’d ever say that.! This is getting silly. Rumors, rumors. Noone really knows.

  6. Again, the players never wanted a deal. They have been wanting this dispute in Doty’s court all along because they know they will win there.

  7. Sadly, Litigation is the only way to get the owners to agree to a fair deal.

    It’s pretty clear that they want more money, a rookie wage scale and additional games and aren’t willing to give up anything.

    How is that fair?

  8. I hear there is a train, ferry and expanded 747 flights bringing in lawyers to the feeding frenzy……

    This is not looking good……a Nuclear Winter is about to start!

  9. Methinks the NFLPA is disingenuous. They have planned to decertify and litigate from the outset, just like last time in 1992. This would serve to show that they are not a legitimate union in most courts, other than Doty’s.

  10. I was told by a nfl coach just this week that if a deal wasn’t done by friday night its gonna be a long wait so we r running outta timeespecially if these reports r accurate

  11. No, 411dooleybug, Pash didn’t break the media silence first. Player reps Jeff Saturday and Scott Fujita broke the silence first on Tuesday, when they both ripped the figures the league gave the players. I said in a previous post, Smith and the NFLPA don’t want to negoitiate a deal–with a friendly judge like Doty in their back pocket, they’ll gladly go to court because all of the court judgements have gone against the owners. You now have some media people calling into question the imparitiality of Doty–you cannot tell me that EVERYTHING would have gone the players way had they been in front of another judge–Smith has his own political agenda and wants to be the one who says he forced the owners to open their books, if indeed they do so. The thing is, if they go to court, or when they go to court, this judge might say that the figures their asking for are highly confidential and shouldn’t be shown to the players. After all, would you trust players who broke the media silence first to keep their traps shut about any financial figures they might see???

  12. Looking at these posts the votes are split here as well. I hope am I wrong but this is going to get long and ugly.

  13. Not much is heard from Goodell these days. Pash is doing all the talking for the owners. If the union decertifies, and Smith is removed from the NFLPA leadership, shouldn’t Goodell be removed as well? They both failed. I think this process deserves to go to litigation, and create so much pain for both sides that this will never happen again. In the meantime, fans will develop a renewed interest in college football. Once profootball fans rechannel the exhorbitant dough they pay to go to a game/games to other interests, the NFL may have a hard time filling stadiums again without slashing prices. I wonder if they figured that loss into the 9billion.

  14. Recently the Player Union has just come across as the real problem in all of this. It sounds like the NFL has given a bit their end but the Union in all the reports ive read from here and elsewhere havent seem to move from their initial demands. And dont even think Rookie wage scale is them giving anything because (a) they know the Fans hate the rookie payouts, so they will never win on that one and (b) even most players hate the huge rookie contracts, so this was always a given.

    Every since Smith took over the NFLPA its been nothing but a pain in the ass to the NFL and NFL Fans in general and not even all the players agree with their stupid demands.

    I hope the NFLPA get screwed if this doesnt get sorted out in CBA.

  15. DeMaurice Smith is a shakedown artist. You know how to tell when one side in a dispute is acting in bad faith? When they dissemble and distort. And that’s what DeMaurice has been doing from day one. Calling this thing a “war” and inflating the amount of money at issue from 700 mil to 800 mil. He’s a clown.

    I hope the union gets crushed on this one. Bring on the replacements if that’s what it’ll take.

  16. Being a lawyer Smith obviously wants this to go to court. As a typical union boss he doesn’t realize that even though he will keep receiving paychecks during that 6+ months the players wont. I don’t see one shred of evidence that he has any of the players interests in mind here.

  17. tednancy says: Mar 11, 2011 6:00 AM

    DeMaurice Smith is a shakedown artist.


    You mean as opposed to NFL owners who threaten to take their team and leave town if the local populace doesn’t build them a new stadium?

  18. My favorite is the owner’s are afraid their books look rosy now but that they’re worried about 2015. Make it a 5 year and revisit then.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!