NFL statement regarding end of mediation

[Editor’s note:  The NFL has issued a statement regarding the events of March 11.  The entire text appears below.]

The fastest way to a fair agreement is for both the union and the clubs to continue the mediation process. Unfortunately, the players’ union has notified our office that at 4pm ET it had “decertified” and is walking away from mediation and collective bargaining, presumably to initiate the antitrust litigation it has been threatening to file. In an effort to get a fair agreement now, the clubs offered a deal that would have had no adverse financial impact upon veteran players in the early years and would meet the players’ financial demands in the latter years.

The union left a very good deal on the table. It included an offer to narrow the player compensation gap that existed in the negotiations by splitting the difference; guarantee reallocation of savings from first-round rookies to veterans and retirees without negatively affecting compensation for rounds 2-7; ensure no compensation reduction for veterans; implement new year-round health and safety rules; retain the current 16-4 season format for at least two years with any subsequent changes subject to the approval of the league and union; and establish a new legacy fund for retired players ($82 million contributed by the owners over the next two years).

The union was offered financial disclosure of audited league and club profitability information that is not even shared with the NFL clubs.

The expanded health and safety rules would include a reduction in offseason programs of five weeks (from 14 to nine) and of OTAs (Organized Team Activities) from 14 to 10; significant reductions in the amount of contact in practices; and other changes.

At a time when thousands of employees are fighting for their collective bargaining rights, this union has chosen to abandon collective bargaining in favor of a sham “decertification” and antitrust litigation. This litigation maneuver is built on the indisputably false premise that the NFLPA has stopped being a union and will merely delay the process of reaching an agreement.

The NFL clubs remain committed to collective bargaining and the federal mediation process until an agreement is reached.  The NFL calls on the union to return to negotiations immediately.  NFL players, clubs, and fans want an agreement.  The only place it can be reached is at the bargaining table.

62 responses to “NFL statement regarding end of mediation

  1. Hit them where it hurts.

    Personally, I will not be purchasing any NFL licensed merchandise until an agreement is reached.

    I encourage everyone to do the same.

  2. It’s official: Both Rodger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith have failed. Completely and utterly failed. They’ve let down the fans, the former players, and the sport of football. What shame money and greed have rotted the greatest sport in the world.

  3. EPIC FAIL for both sides – pissing away the most successful sport in the US. Dumbasses.

  4. The union lost a ton of backing today…I am officially in the corner of the owners….who’s with me???

  5. Seems like the players had something to work with at the bargaining table and still walked away. Pretty clear Owners wanted to get a deal done but players wanted to go to court all along. If you were on the side of the players before this it is hard to stay on their side knowing what they walked away from.

  6. I always try to find an entrepreneurial slant to things. I have not seen this written about.

    Since the NFLPA decertified and the NFL will lock them out then can the UFL or some other “new” pro football league have a draft of all players (if they are willing). How much would a UFL or “new” team owner be willing to give up as a percentage of revenue to get these guys playing for them?

    Instead of NFL with replacement players it is NFLPA with replacement owners. There may be some major reason that this cannot happen. I don’t know, but I really want to see good pro football.

  7. If this is truly the nuts and bolts of the latest offer from the owners then I just switched from the players’ side to the owners’ side.

  8. If the NFLPA wasn’t going to do a deal without seeing 10 years of owners audited financial statements, then why did they drag out this nonsense for an extra week?

    Was De Smith just grandstanding for the last 2 weeks? No, De Smith, I do not “dig” your game!

  9. Both sides wanted to go to court from the get-go.

    They couldn’t say it because it would have been toxic in terms of PR.

    But they did. We are. Let’s just hope it gets settled quickly.

  10. Wow sounds fair to me??? Wonder what other sport is on Sundays to help fill my bar? Guess I will just have to lay off some Sunday workers. No big deal right??? How many small businesses are in the same vote?

  11. Should’ve just given them what they asked for. If you claim financial hardships, then prove it.

    I wonder how many people will join me in canceling their NFL Ticket subscriptions…boy I feel bad for DirecTV.

  12. Didn’t take them long to get that out, did it? Neither side is bargaining in good faith. It’s all about winning. It was never about making a deal. Whatever eventual deal comes out of this mess will be unsatisfactory to one side or the other and we’ll have this again a few years down the road just like MLB did in the 80s and 90s.

  13. I hope the litigation process rakes the NFLPA over the coals and they end up with a deal that pales in comparison with the offer they just turned down. What a bunch of asshats.

  14. If it’s true that the owners are opening their books in the final hour of negotiations and the Union decided to decertify instead of granting an extension to go through the numbers I’m going to be crazy pissed!

  15. Each and every one of them, from Goodell to D Smith, the teams and the players, should be ashamed of themselves. How they could possibly allow a $9 billion behemoth, with MILLIONS of fans around the world, to collapse like this is beyond words. The rich, it seems, do indeed get richer, while the poor, who made them rich, have to suffer. I have been a lifelong fan of the NFL, but this may just be too much for me to shrug off.

  16. 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?

  17. Please understand that this entire post is a press release prepared by the league and respond accordingly.

  18. the union sucks….have all the fans boycott three games and see where the money comes from. This union crap is killing this country, look at Wi,the teachers union is doing the same here!

  19. Better watch NFLPA… the players can vote to form a new union and all the current leadership would be out.

    Think of how many more back-ups and practice squad guys there are as opposed to star starters. They start signing cards, the NFLPA would get nervous VERY quickly.

  20. What if the Owners now do NOT Lockout the Players. Hold all the Players under contract to that contract. Pick the terms of one of the last acceptable deals and go with it. If it was 2006, or whenever, do it.
    Make the players Strike without a Union.

  21. Screw the union no one is forcing these guys to play….Get a real job !!! then go to Co and ask to see the books….What a joke….90% of these morons will be bankrupt in a year….Pawn shops don’t offer much for Gold Chains and earrings….

  22. Good for the NFLPA, way to stick to their guns and not let the owners strongarm them.

    The owners weren’t treating these negotiations seriously. Some of them were showing up around 11:00 AM and leaving early, making it hard to get any dealing done.

    Once this hits the courts Judge Doty is going to make them open their books anyway, then we’ll all see exactly how much loss and hardship the owners are suffering under.

    Then again Packer fans have it made, our team opens it’s books every year.

  23. If that was the offer on the table, the Union never had any plans for negotiating a new deal and planned to take this to court from the get go. It seems as though the league made all the concessions, and the union never budged from its position. I really hope the players take it in the shorts in court, you have people that are paid extremely well to play a GAME for a living playing the boo hoo, we’re getting screwed card.
    Yes football is a violent sport, but there are alot of jobs out there that are far more dangerous and people get paid a whole hell of a lot less to do them. Most people with REAL jobs would kill to make even the league minimum. So good job you selfish S.O.B.’s, you killed football.

  24. Both sides carry blame here. I think both management and the union have failed us their customers.
    So as a customer I have the ability to respond with my dollars and I will. I will not attend any games this year and that is a first in about 25 years. I won’t buy any logo merchandise from any NFL club. And I will not purchase the NFL Sunday Ticket again. I will keep my dollars for new Sunday afternoon activities. I will go to more movies, concerts etc, and spend my money at places where they at least act as if they are interested in my business.
    I will follow more college football this fall and the NHL starts in October so I will be spending my money on Sabres games and gear.

  25. What the heck? Why would they pass on this the money is good and 16 games! Both sides are to blame for this. I agree with giving the money to the bars and businesses that are gonna lose big money cause of there bing no football.

  26. All you guys are missing the general point.

    The NFL cries poor and opts out of the deal in 2008 but never once showed records of said loss. All the while, they were stabbing the union in the back by garnering lock-out insurance. Mind you, had Judge Doty ruled in favor of the league, the NFL would be locking out the players until they agreed to the additional 1 billion.

    Don’t get all caught up in this “state of the union” address from the league. THEY STARTED THE WHOLE THING!!! The players have continuously stated that they’d play under the current deal.

    Don’t be swayed, the owners are f*ckin’ greedy!

  27. Oh crap the world had ended. Oh wait damn i am still here. Ok her eis the UFL’s chance.

  28. Goodell is such a clown… i hate that chump. I’m no fan of DeSmith either. But i’m opposed to everything Goodell stands for. enjoy your litigation.

  29. Smith never wanted a deal unless he could have everything he wanted and not give anything. He reminds me of a crooked politation.

    This may be a dumb question but why does the NFL have to have a union?

  30. don’t forget – this is the NFL’s statement, of course it’s going to be worded in the best possible way for the league..

    if the union didn’t decertify by the end of today, they wouldn’t be able to dissolve the union for 6 months

    the nfl continued to sidestep the union’s request of audited financial information in order to make an informed decision regarding the $600+ million difference

    if the league/teams were truly losing money under the current cba, why not have full transparency?

    say so long to Sundays filled with football this fall..

  31. Owners just lost. Thanks to Judge Doty and the decision on the lockout monies by the network.

    Jerry Jones is gonna want to end this quick because those debt payments are gonna sneak up.

  32. The owners tried to push this deal onto the players at the last minute for 1 reason, and 1 reason only: they want to avoid court at all costs.

    After the Starcaps ruling, the league knows they are going to get their ass handed to them in court for antitrust violations, pure and simple.

    It’s unfortunate it had to come to this, but the owners forced the issue, IMO.

    As an aside, I think the players should come together and start their own employee-owned league.

    The NFL, regardless of what people want to believe, is a player driven league. Sure you root for a team, but that is based on your team putting together a cast of talented individuals to compete for your entertainment. Before you disagree with me, look at leagues like the UFL, Arena League, or the distantly defunct XFL. If all people cared about was just football, those leagues would be thriving. But the truth is people want to see great football. We want to see elite players, not has-beens and almost-weres.

    In closign, I don’t blame the players for not wanting to take a pay cut so they can fund the Jerry Jone’s penis extension known as Cowboys Stadium.

  33. 28purple4mvp says:
    Mar 11, 2011 5:44 PM
    F*ckem-im done with these clowns


    You’ll be back when they settle.

    Both sides know this, which is why they proceed without giving you one second’s thought.

  34. paulnoga says:
    Mar 11, 2011 5:54 PM
    What if the Owners now do NOT Lockout the Players. Hold all the Players under contract to that contract. Pick the terms of one of the last acceptable deals and go with it. If it was 2006, or whenever, do it.

    Boy, you really don’t understand what’s going on. The players would love that.

    The OWNERS opted out of the agreement. The players would love to continue under the current terms.

    Jeez… please do five seconds research before you post next time.

  35. damn the nflpa –
    Without the owners – the players would be semi pro or men’s league players AND would have to hold down a REAL job – good luck w/ that for most of them…that is the bottom line – if you want to play (and have an entourage, and &10,000 parties, and piss away money) – then you need to realize YOU HAVE A BOSS AND THE BOSS IS THE GUY WITH THE MONEY!!! If you were good enough to do that – then YOU would be the boss!!! If you don’t work for him – i assure you some damn body WILL!!!

  36. At first I was with the owners, then I was with the players. This would make me drift back to the owners, but now I’m just blaming both. You’ve ruined the best sport in America thanks to your greed and inability to work together. The extremism exhibited on both sides has resulted in this, and in the end the fan gets screwed the most.

    In an odd way this is simply a microcosm of what’s happening to our country as a whole.

    I’m glad I’m a baseball and hockey fan, at least I’ve got other sports to fill the void.

  37. Looks like the NFL and its owners got what they wanted with this press release. I can’t believe how many people commenting on this PRESS RELEASE aren’t smart enough to realize it’s coming from the owners.

    Are all you people really gullible enough to believe that the NFLPA walked away from a great deal, and that everything this PRESS RELEASE states is the complete truth? For instance, I don’t see anything about the owners demanding more money back from the players. Funny how “spin” works, and some of the idiots posting on this article are actually gullible enough to start slamming ALL unions over this.

    Unions are the one thing standing between you and minimum wage, regardless of what profession you work in. Without collective bargaining rights, we would return to the time of robber barons paying children $0.05/day to work, while charging them rent for the houses they live in, and only allowing them to buy food from the company-owned store.

    Sometimes I think Americans don’t deserve anything better, due to the overwhelming stupidity of the masses. And yeah, I’m an owner of a business. It just boggles my mind how stupid Americans have really become. Do any of you anti-union idiots seriously think the corporations and entrepreneurs you work for would give you health care, a 40-hour work week, and a livable wage if they weren’t forced to by labor unions and/or the law? Between the criminals on Wall Street, and the idiots buying Chinese goods and not supporting labor, our nation is doomed to economic failure and it’s going to happen a lot sooner than any of you geniuses think.

  38. I will be working the weekend to offer a new website for fans to officially claim decertification from the NFL.

    If they want us back, they will need to:
    A) Come to terms on a new CBA within 20 days
    B) Lower all costs to fans @ a rate of 25% including: Sunday Ticket, Season Tickets, PSL’s, Fan Apparel & Merchandise with the NFL label, Game Day tickets, concessions, & other charges fans incur. This will be for a period of 5 years, & any increases may only be in 6% increments.

    We will begin our decertification effective immediately & our terms will need to be negotiated.

    For once, corporate america needs to be taught a lesson. The lesson, don’t cut off your nose to spite your face. We will no longer allow these people to piss down our back & say it is raining. It is time for the smallest in stature to rise & show who is truely the most powerful because without our coin, their product is worth $0.

    They don’t call me Dr. Slipdadic2me for nothing. I want to perform that specific procedure on De Smith!

  39. Toby Grizwold leaves the room. Never mind he’s back. Just getting his beer. Cheers.

  40. juliusanonymous – aka union man –
    the time has come for the extortionists to find another way of making a living – no one holds a gun to anyone’s head to play professional football – and no-one should be exempt from GETTING SACKED if they are not producing what they are being paid to produce!!! The rest of us are in that position and – SURPRISE – it’s the REAL WORLD!!!

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