John Mara says union wasn’t serious about negotiating


In a rapid-fire press conference outside the offices of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service in Washington, Giants co-owner John Mara bluntly but respectfully accused the union of failing to proceed in good faith during the recent stretch of bargaining.

“This obviously is a very disappointing day for all of us,” Mara said.  “I’ve been here for the better part of two weeks now.  And essentially during that two-week period the union’s position on the core economic issues has not changed, one iota.  Their position has basically been ‘take it or leave it,’ and they’ve in effect they’ve been at the same position since last September.

“We made an offer to them today to basically split the difference between the two sides.  We made that approximately at 12 o’clock, and at 4 o’clock they came back and said that it was insufficent and they apparently have decided to decertify.

“One thing that became painfully apparent to me during this period was that their objective was to go the litigation route.  I think that they believe that that gives them the best leverage.  I never really got the feeling during the past two weeks that they were serious about negotiating, and it’s unfortunate because that’s not what collective bargaining is all about.  I think eventually we’ll be back at the table, but unfortunately now we’re going to have to go through this process now, where we’re in court.”

The fact that an offer was made at noon and a response came only four hours later suggests one of two realities.  First, the union may have intentionally delayed responding in order to back the owners into a corner late in the day.  Second, the union may have seriously considered the offer, possibly with plenty of tension and disagreement in the room.

If it’s the latter, look for cracks to quickly emerge among the players, some of whom may be regretting the decision not to accept the offer — or to continue to talk.

That said, talking may continue.  But the offer made today may not be back on the table any time soon.

66 responses to “John Mara says union wasn’t serious about negotiating

  1. Riiiighhht, Mara. The players weren’t serious about giving back a billion a year without looking at the books. Duuuh! Can you blame them? Mara, maybe you can look into a camera and pretend you believe what you say publicly, but you probably have to shave blinfolded, you horse’s arse!

  2. abolish the union and hire players on a case by case basis. if they don’t like the deal they get, they can go dig ditches or flip burgers somewhere.

  3. If the Hall Of Fame committee doesn’t want to concede to transparency of the voting the process, then the owners seem to be doing the exact thing for not want to have a transparency for their pocket books.

  4. Seems like the player’s were never interested in negotiating in good faith and wasted everyone’s time for 2 weeks just to not look greedy and yet they look worse now then ever.

  5. I agree … Screw the players … Let them take a job in the real world and see how quickly they come running back for their million dollars to play a game jobs!

  6. It would be nice if you came off that extra BILLION off the top that should go to owners..

    For those that dont know, NFLPA got 60 percent of gross after 1B was subtracted in last CBA. NFL has never gotten off wanting them to give up 2B then get 60 percent.

    NFL is 9B business: NFL wants players to get 60 percent of 7B.. last CBA gave them 60 percent of 8B..

    NFLPA said NEVER. NFL has said F.U. You are giving us the 2B.

  7. When the 2012 season starts, fans should be happy with tickets and concessions prices being half off to lure the fans back

    F–k Tyrone the linebacker who’ll have to learn how to better manage his $10mil/year salary. He deserves no pity for having to sell 4 of his Bentleys during the lockout.

  8. The owner’s position begs the question of whether 1/2 way from their position and the existing CBA is in fact reasonable. It’s not like the players came to the table asking for a bigger piece of the pie. They simply want the pie cut the same way it was under the current CBA.

    I’m sure the players’ discovery requests are going out today and are requesting the same financial information they have already been requesting. I wonder if the owners will cave if the judge compels them to turn over that information.

  9. good! go pay for your unneeded stadium you ripoff artist! your daddy is the only reason you are even spoken to. glad to see youve aged 20 years since 2007 – looks so good on you silver spoon in mouth seat license son of mara.

  10. The league overplayed their hand. They’ve relied on their anti-trust exemption and now they are about to have it challenged in court, where they will surely lose.

    Anti-trust exemptions are only legal when a CBA exists. Once the union decertifies, the league loses it’s right to act as a single entity and any rules they impose across the franchises are unconstitutional and unenforceable.

    An anti-trust suit by the players also opens the door to congressional involvement.

    And while the owners may have been able to hide their books from the players, they can’t hide them from congress, which has subpoena powers.

  11. if this is true, i just went from leaning towards the players to leaning towards the owners.

  12. Trust us you don’t need to see our books. We’re losing money and need 1 billion to make a profit. 3 days later ok really trust us this time. We only need half of 1 billion to make a profit. Would you believe this person and or organization?

  13. The owners want the players to negotiate against themselves. Give 1 billion back without any information to verify you’re losing or not making as much money. Does that make sense?

  14. Here comes the “try to win the battle of public opinion” drivel.

    Owners: “We’re great and they suck”

    NFLPA: “They suck and we’re great…”

    Both sides failed.

    However it’s hard to believe the owners wanted to be taken seriously when half of them were showing up at 11:00 am on Thursday and Friday like Pat Bowlen. Why wasn’t he actually there on, I dunno, MONDAY?

    So now we’ll go to court and ancient Judge Doty will make the owners open their books anyway, just like they should have done since the beginning.

    You can’t come in and tell your partners, (the players are more partners than employees) to take a pay cut claiming hardship when you’re dealing with a 9 billion dollar pie without being willing to show them proof.

  15. @matt..

    NFL in no way wants to hire players on case by case. Thats unlimited FA. Brady would get 25M. Manning too.

    yeah abolish the cap and become baseball..

    No thanks

  16. One word describes the outcome of this situation….GREED!

    Consider the following article:

    Any NORMAL working person has the right to stand of for their rights. I don’t think that this is any different. However, both sides are stuck in GREED to get what they want. Look at the impact on others for once.

    I don’t want to hear another thing about NFL players whining about their “league minimum” salaries or the fact that they are broke. I think anyone in this current economic climate would take the league minimum as a salary. You don’t like your job, do what the rest of us have to do, reinvent and find another career.

    The NFL on the other hand, its all about GREED as well. Two evils trying to make a right.

    Quite frankly, this makes me sick. Sick I tell you! But then again, I’m just sayin…

  17. The owners were never serious about the negotiations. First the TV lockout close then the refusal to open the book. Why would an entity give up 1 billion without any proof that it is warranted. The whole fault is in the owners camp, no matter how you try to spin it.

  18. Everything I’ve read up to this point is really making me side with the owners in this whole thing.

    The organization formerly known as the NFLPA didn’t seem to want to compromise at all like a bunch of spoiled brats.

    Good luck with getting a similar paying job now you ungrateful sh*ts!

  19. mattsffrd says:
    Mar 11, 2011 5:57 PM
    abolish the union and hire players on a case by case basis.

    This is exactly what the PLAYERS want. If you hire players on a case by case basis, each team is allowed to offer any contract they want without even consulting the league.

    Because without a collective bargaining agreement, the league can’t enforce rules on teams, which means a team like the Cowboys can offer players whatever they want, with no salary cap or floor, or any other restrictions.

    If the league tried to impose rules across their franchises as it applied to hiring individual players on a “case by case” basis, they would be violating FEDERAL ANTI-TRUST LAWS.

    I’m sure you don’t understand that, so maybe you should Google it.

  20. I wonder if a compromise on opening the books could have been reached. A “Special Master” appointed by the mediator or by the Judge could review the books to the extent requested by the NFLPA without giving the NFLPA actual access to the financials. He could cull for them pertinent information that they wanted.
    I feel for the players, but this country’s economy is founded on the principle that a person who puts a large amount of money at risk (owners) to create a business with the opportunity for many to earn a living, that owner is entitled to a just reward. He doesn’t have to justify how much reward.

  21. The Players have been shaming the Fans. They have never wanted to work at a deal. With the huge movement by the owners today it was time for some movement by the players.

    These players are GREEDY as they come. With the World falling apart in a hand basket and many normal people not even able to keep a roof over their heads I am done with this kids game.

    The minute society started trying to make these idiots playing a game Hero’s for kids we were done. Just as I left Baseball years ago NEVER to return this Family which spends a ton on Season Tickets, gear and such is finished.

  22. *****Lets get a vote*****

    Thumbs up if you are for the NFL

    Thumbs down if you are for the NFLPA

  23. @wryly1

    Did you read the final offer by the owners? They split the difference and added an 82 million dollar legacy fund for the benefit of the players who have retired! The owners may be greedy but the players are just delusional. They had a great offer to build upon. They could of went another week and gotten to an even better compromise but the players didn’t want to. Kind of like what Mara said, right? I believe your mistaken in who the “horse’s arse” is.

  24. De. Smith was a GOV. Trial Lawyer…. for all those who hated gene upshaw, he was an EX-player & knew what was at stake… Goodell & De. Smith are bascially businessmen/lawyers = slimmey politicians, low-life scum, who don’t care about anything but the almighty $9 BILLION….

  25. This is unbelievable. I hope the owners don’t lock them out and set their own rules. These players are employees, if they don’t want to play football for millions of dollars, I’ll trade jobs with them. They can come to STL and arrest crackheads, get shot at, put their life in danger every night for 30,000 a year and I’ll go run around throw and catch a ball, and tackle people with pads on. I’ll even do it for much less than millions of dollars.

  26. Like my kids….this union does not know spoiled they are. You are privegded enough! Go back to work and get rid of this clown of a rep. you have…

  27. Mara is most likely right. De Smith can’t wait to get to litigation.

    He hopes it will prove his approach to labor relations was the right one. Plus, if he wins, it will be a watershed moment in player rights. He will have arrived as a de facto kingmaker.

    In the meantime, look to the NFLPA (?) to stir animosity between NFL teams playing in smaller cities like Jacksonville, whose local economy is more influenced by pro football than a larger, 24-hour city like New York. He was clearly on a fishing expedition with some of his requests for information. I have no doubt that he would like to crater as many stadium agreements as he can, as additional leverage against the owners.

  28. Whenever I wasted money going to games, I always took notice of those around me. By and large, you see people making great sacrifices to attend games and support their team. Without the NFL, those same people can now tend to getting their teeth fixed, fix their car, buy clothes and food for their kids. Don’t get me wrong-this post is not an attack on fans…it’s just the opposite. Fans have been far more giving and forgiving for far too long. At the end of the day, no one cares about you and what you have to give up just to be a fan. As far as I’m concerned, the NFL, the owners, the self-entitled players, agents, and municipalities that divert my tax dollars for stadium projects can all kiss MY COLLECTIVE A**

  29. ckm3169 says:
    Mar 11, 2011 6:12 PM
    This is unbelievable. I hope the owners don’t lock them out and set their own rules. These players are employees, if they don’t want to play football for millions of dollars, I’ll trade jobs with them.

    Umm……yeah. No one would ever pay you 5 cents to play football.

    So…… there’s that.

  30. “Are scabs out of the question?”

    Probably, always remember that the TV money is king. Everything else comes far below that. And scabs are not good television.

    Your 15.0 rating would become a 5.0 rating (don’t have the ratings by the last stoppage but I’d think they were that low).

    So take the TV money and reduce it by 66% as that’s how many viewers you lost.

    Plus, take into account that many advertisers wouldn’t be willing to pay a 2010 season rate when the product is so wildly inferior. Just like an SEC game gets a better rate than a America East game.

    It would be stupid…so who knows, maybe they will do it!

  31. fastrichie says:
    Mar 11, 2011 6:00 PM
    I agree … Screw the players … Let them take a job in the real world and see how quickly they come running back for their million dollars to play a game jobs!

    I would be willing to bet that whatever you do for a living is 10 times less physically taxing than playing professional football.

    Tell us all what you do that will leave you more physically incapacitated than an NFL player in 20 years.

    Don’t lie.

  32. “abolish the union and hire players on a case by case basis.”

    That guarantees we have MLB level of competition. 6 teams would fold within a year of that happening.

  33. Ok so correct me if I’m wrong but the owners are people that have worked hard in their lives and were smart enough to acquire wealth to buy the NFL teams. They are the ones who have made this league this profitable. Now due to the economy and all the expenses that they have their profits have taken a hit and they want a piece of the pie back. Now the players mostly have not even graduated from college yet get a minimum pay of 400K a year, while players with larger roles on teams usually make millions. How much would these players be making in the outside world with no NFL that the owners created. The players are the greedy ones, not even listening to the owners offers.

  34. “Ok so correct me if I’m wrong but the owners are people that have worked hard in their lives and were smart enough to acquire wealth to buy the NFL teams.”

    Why don’t you look and see how Jeff Lurie made his money.

    Then get back to me.

  35. DeMaurice Smith (or “D-Smith” as the uber-hip NFL Network insists on calling him..) started the ball rolling months ago by screaming they were going to WAR against the owners.

    He’s done some good things, too, but if rage & class warfare is essentially where he’s coming from…. yeah, I bet it was never a clear negotiation.

    People forget, the “billionaire” owners didn’t get there by failing to close the deal!!

  36. @cowboyaggie

    I will correct you if you are wrong. Jerry Jones is 30 years older than Dave Duerson. Players give more to the game than owners do.

    And if you havent noticed, The RICH arent affected in this economy. look at wall street.

    the NFLPA gave them some of the pie back. What is the NFL doing except crushing labor like everyone else these days.

  37. with the ratings on this site.. it sure looks like the NFL is buying the PR.

    this country is going to hell in a handbasket.

  38. I’m kind of tired of hearing about the $1B figure. The league has 32 owners. Splitting that is only a little over $31 million more a year per team. If the owners made down a little, then it is obviously less than that. In the grand scheme of things, that is close to what Tom Brady and Peyton Manning will make this next year. Using one big figure makes it sound worse than it actually is.

  39. There are MILLIONS of good athletes that could do what these players do. It’s too bad the NFL can’t abolish the league and set up a “new” league with realistic salaries and benefits. If these players wanted to play under those terms, fine, if not…get a real job and shut the hell up.

  40. Frankly, the owners weren’t serious about negotiating either.

    If they were, they’d have kicked Jerry Richardson out of the room as soon as he started insulting the opposing side’s negotiators instead of trying to make a deal.

  41. In this corner……the owners….a greedy, dysfunctional, tyrannical, self-centered, nepotistic group that, for the most part, never actually “played” a sport in their entire lives… least in Snyder’s case…..just look at him!!!…..ya think he got his a%% kicked a few times growing up?!! Also, what are Jerry Jones kids gonna do if daddy doesn’t hand them a job title?

    And in this corner……the players…..also greedy, self-centered and dysfunctional, oftentimes lawbreaking, mostly overpaid and pampered morons that would have us believe that they are “victims” in this “struggle” to maintain the benefits they have strived so hard to achieve over the past 30 or so years. Pardon me for not being able identify with your “struggle” as compared to the “actual” sacrifices made by the original players that brought the union into being. That was a lot different than whining about already exorbitant salaries and demanding an expansion of a benefit system that is already one of the best on the planet.

    What a country. I guess I’ll go with the nepotists…..kind of leaning toward free enterprise, capitalism… know…..laissez faire. Isn’t that what made America the land of opportunity?

    And a note to the NFLPA… might want to consider hiring a more effective union head. And consider contacting Ed Garvey, one of the original organizers of the players union to refresh your memories on what the orginal vision was for the Players Association. This isn’t it!!!!

  42. @ericrmusic I totally agree. Not only is the $1B inflammatory but it’s wrong. The last numbers had it down in the $700M range, which continued a downward trend that had begun last Friday.

    This is yet another example of key figures that are putting words in other people’s mouths, trying to get the public riled up. De Smith challenges us, “I dare any one of you… to show NFL has ‘fallen on hard times'”. Of course, no one has said anything of the sort. But it sure makes a great sound bite.

    Why did the housing bubble burst? It burst because home ownership went from being a privilege to something that made a lot of money for a lot of people. It burst because the incentives changed from “holding onto an asset and making it grow” to “fix and flip”. Likewise, the NFL isn’t broken, now. But all it takes is for a few things to change — an owner to fall onto hard times; a few more years of a tough national economy; etc — and it could set off a chain-reaction, just like dominoes. Taking money off the top reduces available capital which in turn reduces a businesses’ ability to withstand crises.

    Judge Doty may insist that the owners be fiduciaries to the players in their dealings. But nothing that the NFLPA has provided suggests that the players have any interest in being fiduciaries to the long-term health of the game.

  43. To me it just seems like the owners dont get it. Everyone knows that the NFL takes in a huge amount of money. But they claim there profits have been down. Which might be true who knows. But thats the problem no one knows. They just want the union to take it on faith and take a paycut bc they are told to.

    Now the owners are trying to get the public on the side by saying they split the difference with the union and they said no. Anyone with half a mind can see right through that. You cant ask someone to take a $10 paycut orginally with no proof that its justified and then say you know what you only have to take a $5 paycut and expect them to except that and be happy with it.

    It says alot about the NFL that they believe we are so dumb that they can say well we split the difference with them and expect us to believe that they are doing everything they can to get a deal done. Open the books and prove the deal needs to be adjusted or stop acting like your trying to be fair and admit your just the greedy bastards we all know you are.

  44. “There are MILLIONS of good athletes that could do what these players do. ”

    Nope, not even 200.

    That’s like saying WalMart can put Barney’s or Nordstrom out of business.

    Inferior product, lower ratings, less money, fewer franchises.

    How is this hard to understand?

  45. Seriously, if you can watch SEC football or C-USA football…which do you watch?

    If you are an advertiser, would you pay as much for an ad on NEC basketball games as you would Big East games?

    Then again, most of you have shown awful business sense / intelligence in discussing this situation, so maybe you would do precisely these foolish things.

  46. ffootballontwitter

    Call me when a franchise folds, which will never happen since they can always be sold (for much more than the purchase price).

    The owners want a bailout, and they are not even hurting.

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