Source regarding final offer: “Part of me was glad they didn’t take it”

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As the NFL trumpets the offer that was made to the players on Friday, several hours before the NFLPA opted to decertify and pursue the litigation route, a high-level source with one NFL team expressed relief at the players’ decision not to accept the proposal.

“Part of me was glad they didn’t take it,” the source said.  “I can’t believe they walked away from it.”

The summary of the offer indicates significant concessions regarding player safety, an agreement to defer the debate regarding whether the regular season should be expanded, and an offer to use third-party arbitration for appeals of violations of the substance abuse policy and the steroids policy.

The summary doesn’t provide many details regarding the revenue split, which highlights that money was the primary sticking point — and that the league didn’t feel particularly compelled to boast about the specifics of the offer.

Still, how big of a sticking point was the money?  When De Smith says that the gap as to the extra $1 billion that the NFL wanted to take off the top had dropped to $650 million and that the league wanted to split the difference (presumably to $325 million), that number needs to be assessed while considering the fact that the union gets only 59.6 cents of every dollar.  Thus, if the owners would have been taking another $325 million off the top, the players would have been giving up only $193.7 million.

That money would have been easily recaptured via any of multiple strategies for growing the pie, such as selling the Thursday night package on the open market, adding two playoff teams per conference, or committing to the relocation of one or two teams to Los Angeles.

But the players became convinced they could get a better deal via litigation.  That’s their right.  And their strategy, if successful, allows football to continue.

That said, it sure seems like the two sides were a lot closer to working something out, if both sides really wanted to work something out.  We don’t think the players really wanted to.

69 responses to “Source regarding final offer: “Part of me was glad they didn’t take it”

  1. What employee group get 59.6 cents on the dollar ? In the past 48 hours I have moved to the side of the NFL.

  2. Agreed. The NFLPA had no intentions of making a deal all along and I wish they hadn’t wasted everyone’s time.

  3. “We don’t think the players really wanted to.”

    Yeah, now you finally come around, huh? Now you see the light of day?

    I know Doty has been in the pockets of the players lately, but if he had any integrity he would dismiss the lawsuit and order them back to the negotiation table.

  4. “[T]he players would have been giving up only $193.7 million….[they] became convinced they could get a better deal via litigation.”


    What more do people need to know?

  5. That’s an extra $325 million on top of the $1 billion the owners are already taking? Doesn’t sound like a good deal to me.

    TV networks and fans and sponsors and advertisers are not paying to see NFL owners sit in their luxury boxes with their families and corporate pals. They are paying to see players put their health and well-being and livelihood on the line. The players are the ones who should be getting most of the money, period.

    I have zero sympathy for the owners in this dispute.

  6. So sad. I worked two jobs so I could afford season tickets. Now, in this economy, work has been slow and I struggle to get by week by week. Now I can’t even afford health insurance…so goodbye season tickets. Some one else will fund your greed. These guys are making more in a year than I will make in my entire life. Guess that’s not enough for them.

  7. Shows how out of touch the owners are. They’ll get less at the negotiating table – and even less via court litigation. They brought this on themselves. Players were fine with the existing deal.

    Name me ANY business where you can demand a billion dollars a year from your revenue sharing partner without opening the books? Hellooo!

  8. Dang it Mike, you’re not helping my already sky high anger with the players union with these articles. The impending ‘PR battle’ might not be that much of a battle after all. Given that it appears the NFL really was making some last ditch efforts and the fact they have a somewhat popular TV network the union formerly known as the ‘NFLPA’ will have a tough time swaying everyday fans.

  9. It really seemed like the owners knew that the Union wasn’t going to accept the offer, so they threw out an offer that they will be able to point to in the upcoming sham hearing.

  10. It is pretty obvious very few of the players have ever owned their own business or had to make a payroll! This was a fair deal… I now hope they loose in court and have to accept a worse deal!

    Chuck A

  11. Well, of course the players never really wanted to work things out. This has always been evident to anyone possessing critical thinking skills.

  12. The Philadelphia “whatevers” are playing the Pittsburgh “guys” in the Arena Football League, on the NFL Network, right now. It’s ok. ….I’m…trying…to…keep…my…sanity

  13. Shocker: the players had no interest in any deal…I’ve been saying this for weeks…the players are delusional and believe they can drag the fans in behind them in tow…Smith’s comment about the players “putting their bodies at risk everyday” sounded like the words of a lost man who knows not what it means to put your body in harm’s way…pathetic all the way around…

  14. I agree. It certainly doesn’t look like the players wanted wanted to get a deal done.

    What a joke. The owners should take a hard line, and tell them to go find another job (which, for half of them, will be flipping burgers or bagging groceries)

  15. “We don’t think the players really wanted to.”


    You’ve captured the whole problem in just eight words.

  16. I dont think the players wanted to work it out either! Now that they have decertified, there’s no one to work it out with! If the owner’s offer was true, then this entire thing is the players’ fault!

  17. No, not the NFL, but take the way-back machine to 2000. Gene Upshaw and Jeffrey Kessler have “secret” meetings with Arena League players.

    Now, why would the head of the NFLPA and his top lawyer get involved with a minor league? Well, I had a source who was part of the telephone conference, and according to him Upshaw was pushing the AFL players to go after the Arena League Owners…in an anti trust suit! Both were pushing that it was in the AFL players “best interests” to side with their NFLPA brothers, especially if they had a chance to make an NFL squad.

    Guess what, the players DID take the league to court..for anti-trust!!! Here’s the link to the actual filing.
    Check out Mr. Kessler’s name at the bottom!

    At the time, AFL salaries were relatively low (players averaged about 40-50k, the top players made 80-90k). Teams could break even if they hosted a home playoff game, and you had small cities like Iowa (Kurt Warner’s old team) and Albany. The AFL owners initially were going to suspend the season, and started contracting their front offices and coaching staffs.

    However, the Arena League, Players Strike Tentative Accord. Link:

    What was the result? The League accepted a CBA where the players got 63% of the revenues…and no small market team would survive. All the teams were bleeding red ink, but the league managed to get rich owners like Charles Wang in NY to buy the Barnstormers, and bring them to Nassau Colisseum to be the NY Dragons. The Albany Firebirds became the Indiana Firebirds. Player salaries jumped to as high as $250k…but there were no real revenues from TV, sponsorships were meager, and paid attendance was usually under 10k per game.

    The league became a con game, where rich NFL guys might buy in for fun (Arthur Blank in Georgia, Ellway in Denver, etc), but the red ink continued. Franchises moved around as a result. At the end, the whole pack of cards collapsed. Now, the league has come back, but players only make $400-500 a game.

    Was Upshaw/Kessler’s game plan to set a precedent for a future anti trust suit against the NFL? Is today that day?

  18. This is about D Smith and his ambitions…and the players mistakenlhy puttign their faith in him

    he’s gettign what he wants.

  19. By no means do I understand everything thats going on with this issue, but it seems from everything that I have read, the owners really bent on the situation and made every effort to get the thing done.

    It sounds like the players union was influenced to try their hand in court by their lawyers. And I have a feeling that down the road when we look back on the situation, the lawyers will be the only ones who won today!

    Maybe as fans we should come together and ban football when it comes back. No tickets, no apparel, no games on tv, etc. Maybe we should holdout until tickets and concessions are a fair price where an average hardworking Joe can take their family to a game without breaking the bank!

  20. The players just took everybody on a ride.

    It’s non union now. The NFL should just make up whatever rules they want. If the players want to play they can, if not, PISS OFF!

    The players blew it.

  21. I am extremely frustrated with this resut. I have quickly moved from supporting the players (to a large extent), to being pissed and siding with the owners.

    Not a fan of D Smith. This deal was a good deal, he would have come out of it fine.

  22. “That said, it sure seems like the two sides were a lot closer to working something out, if both sides really wanted to work something out. We don’t think the players really wanted to.”


    Why should they?

    The owners cried poor mouth but would never prove it by opening the books. Its only logical that if you want to ask for concessions from your business partners (and yes they ARE partners and continue to refer to each other as such) you should be prepared to document your position. Why wouldn’t the league share ALL the financials if they were truly in trouble? I think any intelligent person knows the answer.

    Were the players supposed to just take their word for it? The whole “lockout insurance” scheme that was exposed in court showed that the owners were not to be trusted. And remember it was the OWNERS that forced the issue and not the players. The NFLPA was happy to continue on just the way things are now.

  23. Screw this…I’m never buying a single jersey ever again. I don’t want to wear a shirt with some a-hole’s name on the back. I’m sticking with NCAA football only from now on.

  24. cengelman93 says: Mar 11, 2011 8:51 PM

    Maybe as fans we should come together and ban football when it comes back. No tickets, no apparel, no games on tv, etc. Maybe we should holdout until tickets and concessions are a fair price where an average hardworking Joe can take their family to a game without breaking the bank!


    Thats been proposed whenever there is a sports labor dispute. I think I first heard some version of it back in 1972 when the baseball players went on strike.

    Sorry to tell you but nothing ever comes of it and nothing ever will. While some folks may actually quit their involvement, 99.5% will happily go back to following the home team.

  25. Nice point, angrycorgi. You can buy a jersey with John Mara’s name on the back and the number will be 1,000,000,000.

  26. The players weren’t being paid enough so now they can return to their more successful day-jobs…. Oh wait… Is it too late to get XFL season tickets?

  27. OH NO!!!!!!! Whatever are these millionaires going to do now? It’s so sad that now, chad johnson wont be able to afford that gold plated shark tank. Now he’s going to have to cut back and get the silver plated one. What a freakin Travesty!!! Give me an effin break. Seriously, I hope they screw this season up, go ahead, because I for one will not watch a single game of football, or spend any money on these overpriced babies if they so much as miss a single day of training camp.

  28. Players are wrong on this one. Smith says “show me a team losing money”. First of all, not the point. The League is saying gives us more money so we can effectively expand the game, improve infrastructure and deliver a better product. And by the way, you players will benefit right along side us. The owners offered enough transparency that should have satisfied the players. They think they will get more in a court of law. So what. Maybe some teams make enough to “expand” the league, probably a lot don’t. Not the point. After looking at what the players left on the table, Mr “D” has made the players the bad guys and I’m sure he won’t be invited to dinner by a lot of the players’ wives.

  29. What people don’t understand is that the players of an NFL team are more than employees they are partners. Yes, Lurie owns the Eagles but Vick is a small share holder.

    The owners want to divide a pie with the players that is not whole and all the players want is to see the entire pie divided not just what the owners are bringing to the dinner table.

  30. It’s pretty obvious that the NFLPA wasn’t negotiating in good faith. They had no intention of accepting any deal that required any measure of compromise on their part.

    Hey rubes, stop pointing your fingers at Goodell anytime now, and point them to Tagliabue, who himself said that the CBA was meant to be voided, and DeMo Smith.

  31. What a farce this whole thing has been. The owners had no intention of providing the union with their financial info and the union wasn’t dealing in good faith from the get go. What a waste on everyones part. Especially the fans.

  32. Screw the players! Owners at the only ones with anything one the line. The Players wanted only to get to court.

    Name any other business that the employees get 60 percent of the revenues.

  33. Don’t understand this debate about 59%, the owners never offered as much as 50% of revenue for players’ salary. The comments that state that this is greedy are nonsense. For players to expect that their salary accounts for the substantial part of owners’ expenses in a business where every single cent is ultimately generated by what they do on the field of play is completely reasonable.
    The comments above are in reaction to Roger Goodell’s description of arguments, which are little more than propaganda, no doubt the players will respond with their own propaganda but it is crazy to react on one side’s biased version of events and tough to support billionaire owners because the players are “greedy”.
    The owners have tried to impose on the players for two years since they started this confrontation. They have tried to add games, reduce salaries, change benefits and plead poverty. For two years they have rejected compromise, declined to provide evidence of their financial assertions and actively provocated and sought confrontation. The fact that they slightly modified their demands two hours before the final deadline and then hold up their hands in mock protest that the players did not gratefully accept this gesture should not fool anyone.

  34. Right now the NFL is more popular then ever and so is PFT. If NBC told you they wanted to give you less money bc there not making as much you would want proof. So how can you expect the players to give up any money without proof of it being needed. Its such an asinine stance to take that I dont see how anyone can side with the owners.

    Not a single person would take less money just bc there employer told them too every one of you would want a reason for it. And you deffinitely wanted take less money from your parner which is the case here.

  35. I think the owners should start to for new teams. I guarantee some quality players would play for what the owners were offering.

    It might take a few years, but the NFL would be right back to where it was.

    The current players need to try and get a REAL job. Who in the HELL do they think they are?

  36. Mike you buried the lead. School’s out. There is no union to lockout. All the anti-union people out there and in the NFL ownership, you have your prayers answereed. No more union to deal with. So, ding dong the witch is dead, but as St. Thersa said, “More harm comes into the world from answered prayers than unanswered ones.”

    Draft day is gone for ever! Standard contract clauses? We don’t need no skinking stardard contract clauses. Let’s the health and safety lawsuits begin! I wouldn’t be an NFL official for all the tea in China once the lawsuits start and name them.

    So, ding dong the union’s gone, but the triple damages begin.

  37. I will call Direct TV in the morning and tell them NOT to renew my subscription. I urge everyone to to $pend a nickle with these greedy ba$tard$. No shirt$, jer$sey$ no nothin’. With the whole country struggling these guys are unbelievable.

  38. screw these players. it’s none of their business what the teams make. they work for the teams, if they don’t like the pay, then buy their own team and take the risks to reap the rewards.
    get a life or a job a mickey d’s

  39. The players can kiss my A#&.

    I don’t begrudge them of negotiating. And while they’ll make more in a year or two than I’ll make in my lifetime, I don’t begrudge them of that. They are the best in the world at what they do, and what they do pays a lot of money because there is support from the fans, TV, etc.

    But this crap about their health, well-being? C’mon. I injure my knee two months ago, and won’t get my MRI result until tomorrow. They get the best doctors, the fastest service … If they’re in the NFL, they probably had their college paid for.

    And, on top of that, they take zero financial risk. Owners are making money, no doubt, but they’re taking all the financial risk. They should be the ones to cash in the most if times are good.

    I’m not going to stop the NFL. It’s the best. It’ll just be hard to throw my support to this group of whining, spoiled players.

  40. “I think the owners should start to for new teams. I guarantee some quality players would play for what the owners were offering. ”

    You can have your own show! We can use my uncle’s barn!


    You’re gonna be a millionaire, slappy!

  41. How many times have we seen owners take millions of dollars in public funds to refurbish their stadiums and make themselves more millions…then complain about paying THEIR taxes!?

    How ANYONE can support the owners in this is beyond me.

    I can honestly say I’ve never once paid a dime to watch an owner throw, catch, run or tackle. I do NOT own a Jerry Jones or Dan Snyder jersey.

    The players are the best at what they do. Should the best surgeon in the world be making minimum wage? Should the best writer in the world be making peanuts? If you were the best at what you do…in a business with LESS THAN 200 PLAYERS…would YOU be happy some dude that never even dreamed of picking up a football…MAKES THE PROFIT?

    You people are idiots. Flat out.

  42. The players need to remember they are employees. I think they forgot that a long time ago. If they loose, they might get far less than they were getting. Endorsements will take a huge hit.

  43. If the owners are willing to go that extra mile and even willing to let it go to court. According to most, in the courts the players will get a better deal.
    If they will go that far to not have to show their books, there must be some pretty crooked stuff in them books.
    I don’t blame the players at all. Unlike the jobs most of us have where we have a set pay. They are all getting a piece of a pie. Yet the owners are saying our piece isn’t big enough we are loosing money, we need 1 billion of your money to even it.
    Oh you want to see what the total pie is before the split, no you are just going have to take our word we are loosing money.
    I wouldn’t trust Jerah Jones no farther then I could throw him. I believe the last super bowl proved what he is all about.

  44. I agree with gregt13: Look this whole talk of how the nfl players are partners is total cr@p. players are employees…bottom line. This business is so unique that, as a union man, understand their rights. (and i say “they” b/c there are no other other unions close to this besides professional sports leagues) I dont have the intricate details, but on one side, many feel that if the owners “open the books” they will find that owners have paid themselves and recorded it as a “team expense” However, the whole point of a union is to have a “voice”. Profits can easily be hid as “team expenses”( Mike Brown) I will love these players till they day I die, but come on, youre an employee. You should never make more than the owner; however, if the owners are being untrustworthy, fuc# ’em all. But players, just as I dissed Mike Brown above, dont ever think that you deserve as much as your boss. If the NFL is in a recession, like the rest of America, then play ball for 3-5 years for a little bit less….thats just how it goes. But if the owners are just being greedy…..which, unforuntately, might wait to come out till litgation, then refer to what I said above. I’m all for the NFLPA, even after the bullheaded moved of decirtifying, so I hope you’re not just trying to make a name for youtdelf De Smith!

  45. lostsok has said it perfectly. I watch the CFL. Those guys are pathetic to watch. We have trouble filling stadiums with 30 000. More people in Canada watch the NFL, and its because of the players. They are what drive the league, the success, the media, the press conferences, the merchandise, EVERYTHING. And YES they are partners. Even the NFL says it’s so.

  46. Let me get this straight…

    2 years ago the owners opted out of the CBA. They then quick made a deal with TV for less money, but guaranteed money in case of a lockout, which they wouldn’t have to share with the players (or so they thought). They then hired the lawyer that over saw the NHL when the NHL decided to lock out their players…

    And somehow I’m to believe that it’s really all the players’ fault?

    Gosh, I was born at night, but I wasn’t born last night.

    And don’t get me wrong, I don’t think since Doty ruled against the NFL in that TV contract debacle that the players ever intended to sign a deal.

    But after that TV crap deal it would have been in the best interest of the league to have opened their books. Heck, the Pack opened their books, why can’t all the rest? The players believe the owners aren’t being honest. Show ’em yer honest.

    Cause after that TV deal where you guys took less money, I gotta say I don’t believe they’re honest either. And they’re partners.

  47. First of all, please cut the partner crap! While I realize this situation is not your typical workplace, they are not partners. Partners are equal and they wouldn’t have to ask to see the books, they would be part of it. The owners are paying the players, that is the very definition of an employer/employee relationship. I had no opinion at the beginning of this mess but now it seems that the former union really didn’t want to get anything done.

    If this deal is legit, then I will be perfectly content to watch a random John play the game as opposed to these. I hope the owners say this is your offer, take it or leave it. While that won’t happen everyone has a dream right?

  48. Ridiculous that they even elected this man who cares far more about the legal intricacies of this case than he does about football. Almost every NFLPA leader before Smith had ties to the NFL, either as a former player or an executive. How they decided to elect a DC lawyer over 2 players (I believe it was Troy Vincent & trace Armstrong) AND give him a standing ovation upon his being elected is BEYOND ME. Wonder if they’re all ready to stand up & cheer for him now? Again, he cares far less about football than any of his predecessors & I feel that shouldn’t be brushed under the rug. He has less incentive to make it work than would a former player; he merely wants to feel HE WON, as all lawyers do (i.e. whether they’re defending a guilty party or not).

  49. The source was probably Jerry Richardson. One of the biggest welfare recipients of the salary cap. Wish he would just shut up already.

  50. In a sense, it is THE players that make the league…that in no way means THESE players. Team rosters change every year due to injury, retirement, trades, free agency and because players can’t make the cut. How many fans change their favorite team because a player got traded? How many switch allegiance because a player retired? Not many? Why? Because fans root for their teams and the players that happen to be on them. I see many comments saying the players deserve the money because they are the best at what they do…based on those comments, STOP bitching about your QB since he must be one of the best in the world. There are MILLIONS of guys that would love a shot at replacing these guys for a fraction of what they get paid. Sure, we will miss Brady, Manning, Peterson, etc…just like we miss Marino, Payton, Lott, etc. Bring on the “scabs”. I will root for my team, it does not matter whose name is on the back of the jersey because they will soon be as popular as the current group of players that are too stupid to realize how good they had it.

  51. no union thank god hope it stays that way. now they can truly become free agents and earn what they deserve. nothing. dont sign any of them, owners make them get real jobs and earn their money like the rest of us. then when they lose their homes and cars they will realize how good they had it. i will miss football allot but they will miss it more i promise i can wait, can they?

  52. Are you people kidding? Why should the players give in anymore? The owners are the greed not the players. Show me an owner in financial trouble please.
    The owners want 18 games and take more of the pie. Players are right!

  53. “That’s an extra $325 million on top of the $1 billion the owners are already taking? Doesn’t sound like a good deal to me.”

    “Taking.” Don’t you mean earning? When did it become a crime to earn a profit? What the hell country did I wake up in lately?

  54. Now everyone wants to blame the players for the lockout? What about the selfish lying owner’s who say they front all the cost and claim they don’t make any real money? Why not just open your books and give truth to what you say?
    Even after the decertification, I still ride wit the players. The players are why this game is the juggernaunt it is.

    I will never blame someone for fighting for their worth. They literally break their backs for this brand, but can be tossed aside at a moments notice. BS contracts, that almost never play out, 2 more games, yet safety is key, extreme fines? Get ur money NFLPA, I’ll coach my kids soccer team on Sunday……

  55. @Steelersgold

    You mean what employee gets 49.4% on the dollar? Because if revenue is $9B and you take $1.5B off top then you split the rest 40/60 that 60% in actuality is only 49.4%

    And also we need to stop thinking of this as employer/employee. Employee’s don’t get revenue sharing. This is more of a partnership w/ the owners being the majority owners and the players being partial owners.

    That is the way sports in America is setup (except in baseball). Players are partial owners b/c they split revenue w/ the (majority) owners!

  56. 5 or 6 years ago everybody laughed at Ralph Wilson and I believe one other owner for being out of touch when they voted no for last cba….he said it was a bqd deal and we would be in worse shape now …..hmmmm, guess he wouldn’t have been so wrong after all…and that was after the NFL bent over backwards for the players again……moral of this story…..the nflpa wants the owners to give give give without conceding to anything..
    The whole negotiation was nothing more than a ploy to see if the owners would cave….what proof do I need? The fact that the teams decertified months ago

  57. Millionaires and billionaires fighting on how to split my money. For the greater good and to help end this fight I’ll just keep my money in my own pocket. They can fight over someone else hard earned money.

  58. LOL No sweat, now all you loyal followers can pay higher ticket, beer, hot dog, popcorn prices to finance their mega-billion dollar empires, both players, and coaches, cause lets see, what’s the minimum salary for a rookie, $350k? per year.

    LOL, how much do you make?

    Disclaimer: Not a sports fan at all, haven’t spent my money “directly” on any sport in 35 years. Most all are overpaid, from players, to owners, but I understand, some people have to have something to believe in, and pay dearly for.

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