Pete Kendall says owners’ statements are “completely false”

Owners consistently have accused the players of pushing the negotiation process toward decertification and litigation.  And one former player who has been involved in the negotiations disagrees.


“I’m incredibly disappointed,” Pete Kendall tells Tom Curran of  “It’s completely false.  The outcome we have today is outcome the owners sought starting in 2007 when they hired Bob Batterman.  Owners started talking publicly about a lockout in 2008 and evidence in the [“lockout insurance” case] made it clear owners planned to do a lockout in 2011.  No other conclusion can be drawn.

“The people on the players’ side were more than willing to sit down with ownership and be convinced of the real problems,” Kendall said.  “The only way the owners could convince the players was to demonstrate it.  Not just say it.  The owners said, ‘Trust us.’  After everything revealed in the lockout insurance case, how could we do that?  Now we have a lockout.  So who got what they were positioning for?”
Well, Pete, both.  The players were positioning to decertify and sue, and the owners were positioning to lock the players out.  Each side got what it wanted, and now each side is trying to blame the other.
Something else Kendall said caught our attention.  With the union supposedly insisting on nothing less than audited financial statements, Kendall indicated that the union would have taken something far less than that.
“We were more than willing to agree to confidentiality in that,” Kendall said regarding the possibility of financial disclosure.  “The results could have been blinded so we didn’t know which teams were declining in profitability.”
In other words, the players apparently would be willing to consider team-by-team profitability information without the teams being identified.
The good news?  NFLPA* executive director DeMaurice Smith’s public demand for audited financial statements apparently was, as it appeared to be, grandstanding.  If/when the negotiations resume, hopefully the two sides will find a middle ground as to the issue of financial transparency, so that they then can find a middle ground as to the challenge of figuring out how to share more than $9 billion per year.


48 responses to “Pete Kendall says owners’ statements are “completely false”

  1. A deal will be reached in June or July…and I’m very confident of this. After all…do the players really want to play football in Canada??? Owners can afford a year off, the players can’t… Who’s ready for the draft??? Does it start on Thur again??…I liked it better when it was 2 days….

  2. anybody else tired of this back and forth. the good thing is we only have 28 more owners and 2000 more players opinions to get through….yawn….lmao

  3. I’m still trying to figure out how the NFL trying to keep $4 billion aside to help them survive a lockout is flat out wrong but the NFLPA telling players to save up to weather a possible storm is fine. Seems to me it’s just common sense on both sides.

  4. One good thing that will come out of the decertification is that we don’t have to hear from that IDIOT Demaurice anymore…

  5. superfbfan says:
    Mar 12, 2011 8:48 PM
    A deal will be reached in June or July…and I’m very confident of this. After all…do the players really want to play football in Canada??? Owners can afford a year off, the players can’t… Who’s ready for the draft??? Does it start on Thur again??…I liked it better when it was 2 days….
    With no deal, there is no draft.

  6. Lets play some baseball . Leave these losers to themselfs . Why is it so hard to tell the truth you want the money . They both want the money. Be honest , I would have more respect for them it they would only tell the truth but when going to court ,, they can’t say it how it is. Losers .They lost my bus. and i hope a lot more.

  7. Most of these stadiums, particularly the newer ones. are being funded by taxpayers dollars. Presumably this funding is an investment by the government for a return in the way of increased revenue from fans during the season. If there are lost games, then there is no revenue generated. In a time where government workers are being laid off and seeing their benefits and union rights being reduced, is there any way for the millions of tax dollars which were to be allocated for stadium mortgage payments to be directed to other more serious needs? Also, is there a way that city or state governments can sue the league for lost revenues?

  8. I highly doubt that any of you will walk away from football if there’s a strike. I mean, look at you, you’re posting on a football forum!

    Just do what any sensible person would do and stop buying their product. No season tickets, no merchandise…just watch from home. Football is completely FREE if you let it be. If everyone had the guts to do this you’d all see a big difference in fan pricing.

  9. @brownsfn

    Until you graduate from UVA law, work for some of the best law firms in the country, I think it wise for you not to call someone who’s clearly smarter than you an idiot.

  10. sorry Mr. Kendall but I don’t believe you or anything your group led by MEmaurice says

  11. “They’re all in it for the money”

    Of course they are. But I have to side with the owners here. They are the ones after all that invested in the team sometimes spending in excess of half a billion for their team. If any of you on here that are siding with the players don’t think it’s right for a private owner of business to turn a profit, then go live in China. Besides their talent, no player stands to lose financially no matter what the F$#@ they’re paid. Owners on the other hand do. Each team has to pay out in excess of 100 million dollars in salary and benefits (probably closer to 200 million) to their players, coaches, and staff. What do the players pay out? Well, um, nothing. Unless you count in their 3 kt diamond earrings or the mansion and Escalade, or fleet of cars in some cases. Bottom line is they’re hired guns. Period.
    For all that side with the players, let’s say your yard maintenance guy got in to a dispute with you over how much you were paying him. And his argument was that you could afford to pay him more. He then sues you to see your bank account to prove it, how would your stance change? I suspect it would change drastically because I don’t think you would take kindly to someone with no vested interest in your finances peeking through your bank accounts. And only to prove that you could afford to increase their salaries. The players actions in my mind are selfish and despicable. These clowns are multi-millionaires and are crying for MORE money. It’s disgusting since most of us are making many hundreds of thousands of dollars less for working 12 months out of the year and not just 5.

  12. Except the league did offer profitability information. Isn’t that what every other union head has complained about? Also the league said they were willing to go further and Kendall still doesn’t say any counter offer the league made in general.

  13. P.S. Pete, your opinion is no longer relevent. The union is disolved. Only current players who bargain for their own interest are involved now.

  14. Al Davis for commissioner! I’d like to see the players argue with undead Al. They wouldnt be able to do it

  15. spectre14 says: Mar 12, 2011 8:50 PM

    I’m still trying to figure out how the NFL trying to keep $4 billion aside to help them survive a lockout is flat out wrong ….


    Thats easy. Read Judge Dotys ruling.

    The short version is—- Since the players are (per the CBA) PARTNERS in revenue sharing with the league, the owners have a fiduciary responsibility to generate the maximum amount from all the deals they negotiate. Sponsorships, naming rights, AND TV deals. Everything.

    In the lockout insurance deal, the owners took less money (and then the players would get less money) than they could have gotten normally to insure THEY would be paid in a lockout.

    The Judge ruled correctly that the owners sold their partners (the players) down the river. And the fact that the owners cut this deal and tried to hide it is the root of the “lack of trust” issue folks keep talking about.

  16. @windowace …

    Hi, I’m a football fan. And like most people who are so into pro football they comment on PFT, I’m not going anywhere. I won’t watch scabs, but when NFLPA players are back on the field, I’ll be there and so will 99.9 percent of the people claiming they’re leaving. So if you’re not going to follow the events as they unfold, please spare us the dramatic good-byes … and just go.

  17. Can you really not see the difference between the owners negotiating “lockout insurance” through the TV contracts and the players being told to “save money from their paychecks”? Really? Is it that hard to understand that the owners had a contract were they had promised to maximize revenues and then spend a certain percentage of revenues on players salaries. Then, rather than have the TV networks pay market rate during the contract term, they told the networks to pay them less during the time the owners were sharing the revenues with the players and instead pay them the revenue during the time that a lockout might occur, when they would not have to share it with the owners. SIMPLY, the owners did not honor their contract with the players, through which they promised to act in good faith (as we all have to in every contract) to maximize the revenue they had both agreed to share. The real comparison would be: the players should save from their paychecks and the owners should save from their profits in case of a work stoppage!

  18. Mike, thank you for giving equal time to players. The NFL has a Web site and television network to present its uninterrupted message. Fans have been told repeatedly that players acted in bad faith. Most already think football players should work “for love of the game” though they wouldn’t work without compensation–especially if they generated billions their employers could not earn without them.

    The owners aren’t pitiful people whose businesses are hounded by greedy workers. They’re men who signed a contract then abandoned it. They’ve stopped free agency and will stop the draft, spring training, and the 2011 season if successful. We can trust them as much as we would our own company if it demanded we take pay cuts while execs received bonuses.

  19. Well, DUH!!! This was all planned from day 1. There was no intention of either side to come up with a new CBA. Now it’s all about posturing. Their ALL guilty, fill up the jails.

  20. Deb:

    Do you have a job?
    Do you and your coworkers get over 50% your company profits?

    The players VERYwell paid.
    Receive top notch FREE health care.
    Have a free ride at their disposal if too drunk to drive.
    Did I mention WELL paid?

    Save us the poor player pity party.

  21. Oh;
    i forgot.

    The players would not be earning the multi millions of dollars without the owners who created the positions for them to be able to be overpaid.
    The NFLPA has it’s own propaganda website. And BTW, spring training is for baseball.

  22. Silly Solution: Have games with two coaches playing Madden broadcast. Don’t need stadiums, players (just need to make up new personalities) and I bet even witha reduced TV revenue, they would make more money they they do now. Of couse that opens another lawsuit on where electronically generated players are ‘replacement’ players that were banned in the last CBA.

    More seriously, each of the 32 teams declare bankrupcy and disband the NFL and the next day the UFL goes from 5 to 37 teams as the owners buy into the cash strapped league.

    Most seriously, The reason the union wanted into the books is that they think there is a lot of unshared money being hidden and would result in them demanding more than the previous percentage. The owners don’t want this, so no books.

  23. If you want to complain about players being taken advantage for monetary gain from the employers, may I suggest you direct your venom at the NCAA

  24. Good point Deb. For some reason everyone seems to forget about the banking and wall street executives who just ripped off America while giving themselves huge bonuses. Or, perhaps Enron executives who were paid huge bonuses while forcing their employees to leave their retirement accounts filled with Enron stock. I am saying all of this as an owner of a company that employs 125 NON-UNION employees. I understand the difference between taking a risk as a corporate owner and my employees receiving a guaranteed pay check. But I also understand that I don’t get to ignore antitrust laws while running my company. I can’t go to my competitors and say “let’s agree to a limit on how much we will spend on our employees!”… Instead I treat my employees with honesty and integrity and for the most part, I get that back in return. I also never get to say to an employee, “sorry Mr Mankin, you can’t go work for another company because I just designated you as my FRANCHISE EMPLOYEE, so you have to sign this ONE YEAR contract”! BTW, I fully suspect the NFL is seeding the comment section of this web site as the strong commitment to the NFL owners doesn’t seem to equal what I am hearing in public life.

  25. Hey Deb, when you regret signing an unfair contract, you can renegotiate it when it expires. I admit it was stupid for the owners to agree to a revenue based salary scheme years ago. The owners opted out at the end of the contract, and the players would not negotiate a new deal in good faith.

  26. The players say” The owners are lying”,The owners are saying” The players are lying” If you ask me, they are both lying and don’t care about the fans or the game, just the money. Now thats the truth! This could have been settled months ago, so now.. WHO’S REALLY LYING?

  27. Kendall was an ass clown in Seattle, Arizona and the Jets! If both sides say the others are lying, they should have put the negotiations on TruTV or CNN so everyone could what was really said! I do not believe owners or players!

  28. Lmao, how was the nfl succesful before the current crop of players was playing? They had another crop of players and before that, etc. Go away players bring on some new blood, just like what happens every year.

    You are a court jester and if you dont want to entertain me anymore move to the side, someone else is there to take your place.

    Without the NFL, players make nothing, without the NFL the owners continue to make money. Who needs who?

  29. “The players actions in my mind are selfish and despicable. These clowns are multi-millionaires and are crying for MORE money.”

    FALSE. They’re asking to keep the system the same. The BILLIONAIRES are crying for MORE money.

    Get your facts straight.

  30. Pete Kendall has zero credibility. He’s always been an ownership basher – the only player i know that got cut twice for being politicily unstable – trying to drive existing players against current mgmt.

    Class I Cancer- he’s a loser

  31. clintonportisheadd says:
    Mar 12, 2011 10:12 PM

    The Judge ruled correctly that the owners sold their partners (the players) down the river. And the fact that the owners cut this deal and tried to hide it is the root of the “lack of trust” issue folks keep talking about.

    Mr headd, with all due respect….Who really cares about the players “lack of trust”. Do you think any of the people posting here, “trust their employer”. Trust is not necessary to cash a man’s check!! (Well, only the trust the funds are in the account).

    As for the Partner statements….They CAN NOT be partners in a business, where they do not share any financial risk!!

    Generational wealth and a sense of entitlement, is what the players are asking for, and now that they’ve chosen to litigate…….. I hope ALL their rights are stripped!!

    The owners wanted to REDISTRIBUTE funds from the rookies to the vets and retirees under your own terms……. and this wasn’t good enough??

    And, most of us are making less than we did several years ago, because we either accepted the cuts, or looked for another job, in the interest of keeping the company healthy and most importantly….. IN BUSINESS!! If the owners are only asking you to “roll back” salaries for 4 years, you should consider yourselves lucky.

    If the players are insistent on working under the current CBA, then the owners should exercise their rights to work your butts into the ground, and play as many games as the CBA permits!!

    You’ve LOST the PR battle, and now, you don’t have any venue’s (other than Twitter…snicker) to try and squeeze the toothpaste back into the tube…… Pat Kirwin didn’t mean to do it, but Winston came off looking like a complete idiot yesterday, ….. and THAT is how the public views most players in this disgusting mess!!

    YOU hired a “litigator” instead of a “negotiator” to lead your now defunct union, so YOUR intentions were apparent from day one as well!!

    Do you think Vincent would still be talking??? I do too!!

    De Smith, now has “a bowl full” of noses…….. and you willfully cut them off to spite yourselves…

    …you DESERVE the uncertanty of the US justice system, and everything else that “bad karma” brings!!

  32. Bottom line…

    This is America. Once known as a “free country”. Therefore, it should also not be uncommon that a man or woman purchases a business and decides to keep a vast majority of the profits to him/herself. What right does an employee have to demand anything from said business owner, especially when they are being paid far better than their average fellow Americans? The owners will all be labled “evil” because they are old white males and billionaires and the statist media and government run schools all indoctrinate us to believe that stereotype is somehow the source of all evil in this world, but the truth is each of the 32 NFL franchises belong to an individual who, with their lawfully purchased controlling interest in their given clubs, have the right to do with their business whatever the bloody hell they damn well please! That includes paying their employees whatever they like, and the players, also enjoying their American liberty, have the right to quit and go earn a living elsewhere or accept the terms of the employer the choose to disagree with.

    It is all very simple regardless of the smoke any psuedo-intellectual would like to blow up your stink hole. This is America, not some commie banana republic (yet anyway). The owners might be repugnant to you, but they have the right to do as they choose with that which belongs to them.

  33. Hey Pete….. Now’s the time to shut up and listen. Oh, thats what they didn’t do during negotiations.

  34. iknowfootballandyoudont says:
    Mar 12, 2011 10:52 PM

    Do you have a job?
    Do you and your coworkers get over 50% your company profits?

    The players VERYwell paid.
    Receive top notch FREE health care.
    Have a free ride at their disposal if too drunk to drive.
    Did I mention WELL paid?

    Save us the poor player pity party.

    I wish the players and fans would stop trying to compare NFL employment with that of the everyday joe. They’re not even close.

    One thing I’d like to point out in your post iknowfootballandyoudont is that the players get %50 of all REVENUE not PROFIT. There is a rather huge difference between the two.

    Now back to my point. NFL players are able to demand %50 of revenue because of various reasons. Among them being they are key cogs in a multi billion a year industry where in a free market only about 2000 of the best individuals in a nation of 350 million plus can perform.

    Secondly…In order to maintain the anti-trust exemption the NFL currently enjoys….the same anti-trust exemption that played a part in making the NFL the $9 billion behemouth it currently is……in order to maintain that the owners must deal and negotiatiate with the player’s union in a partnership relationship rather than pure employer-employee relationship. The owners and Union are revenue sharing partners. This is exactly why owners don’t want a decertified union. It puts in jeopordy their anti-trust exemption.

    All this and more are reasons why players are able to negotiate %50 revenue goes to players and your average joe isn’t at his job.

    The NFL player/Owner employment structure is nothing like the structure of most employment structure in this country and we could save ourselves a lot of misplaced anger and rightous indignation if we keep that in mind.

  35. Mr. “Bottom Line” vomitingliberals staes that the owners “have the right to do with their business whatever the bloody hell they damn well please!” and wraps them up lovingly with the American Flag while blowing the horn of Free Enterprise. The problem with your analysis is that you and the owners want free market capitalism while operating and illegal trust by conducting a draft, limiting wages through the cap and restricting player movement through the draft, RFA’s and franchise tags. The American Needle case showed how much the owners wanted to be seen as single entity rather than 32 private businesses. I am all for free enterprise but when you bring in the need for revenue sharing and competitive balance, you throw free market capitalism out the door. It is a case of wanting two diverse goals to be attained at the expense of the players. It is also why the players rightly went to court. The owners lost the right to be trusted when they opted out of the CBA once they had extorted lockout insurance from the television networks. There is a reason for the Sherman Act, perhaps you should read some American History before you bash others’ viewpoints.

  36. Every time I read through the comments on this topic I’m amazed at how many idiots post on this site.

    If even one owner gave a damn about the fans or the players they wouldn’t be suggesting 18 game seasons, $1 billion give-backs, etc.

    They’d also finance their own stadiums. Which a vast majority do not.

    Face it, the owners are out to squeeze every last drop of blood out of the golden goose and the fans are part of that.

    Also face the fact that if they bring scabs in as some of you morons suggest then most of the football will be below major college quality and nearly unwatchable.

    Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face…..

  37. Of course the owners don’t want to reveal their total income and total expenses to the union. There is no such thing as confidentiality, there are NO secrets, and anything the owners offer WILL become public knowledge.

    Roger Goodell destroyed the spygate tapes in part because even though they were supposedly locked in a safe in his office, one of them was leaked out and aired on TV. He knew that if he didn’t destroy them, tapes would be leaked out on a regular basis and would keep the spygate scandal a perpetual open sore and a boil on his legacy.

    As the administrators of this site can attest, no one can keep anything secret. Teams’ financial information would be leaked out in bits and pieces with certain owners being vilified, ridiculed, or heralded depending on the writer’s understanding of how to interpret audited financial statements and maybe even his political leanings.

    There’s no way on earth the union can claim it NEEDS 10 years of these statements to negotiate.

  38. @iknowfootballandyoudon’t …

    Actually, you don’t seem to know anything about what’s happening here. For instance …

    I’m self-employed and paid according to the terms of contracts that I negotiate with my clients. Occasionally the work turns out to be more than I expected and I’d like to renegotiate terms. However, I can’t just toss a signed contract if the client chooses not to renegotiate. I have to live with it. The owners negotiated a CBA, decided they didn’t like it, and tossed it–forcing the players into this renegotiation. The players have made no attempt to extract additional money from the owners. The owners are demanding additional money from the players. Usually when you demand additional money, you need to show cause.

    Spring training, by definition, means training that occurs in the spring … such as training camp and OTAs.

    The labor costs associated with these negotiations include pensions and benefits. Human resource costs in all labor-intensive organizations run 50-70 percent of all operating costs. The NFL is not unique.

    Historically, the owners built their wealth off the labor of their players, worked the players for insignificant salaries until their bodies gave out, then dumped them without any pension or benefits if they became injured. They weren’t even allowed to profit from the merchandising of their names. Spare me the “pity the poor owners” routine.

  39. @georgeblanda …

    Excellent comments about your business and the owner shills working the sites 😉

    @txchief …

    The CBA was still in effect. The owners forced the NFLPA to renegotiate. And before doing so, they positioned themselves for a lockout, indicating that’s what they intended to do all along.

    @plumber52 …

    No, you focus too much on what these “guys” are paid to “play a game.” These are elite athletes being paid commensurate with the revenue they generate. They can’t be replaced by a cattle-call job fair or an ad in the classifieds. That’s why they’re paid as they are. And their salaries were driven into orbit by owners like Jerry Jones and Paul Allen who used their vast personal wealth to skirt the salary cap by paying enormous signing bonuses. They created the current pay scale. These men are partners in an enterprise that would not exist without them just as a publishing company could not exist without its authors or a movie studio without its actors. And they are not trying to get more money–the owners are.,0,5359904.column

  40. @iknowfootballandyoudon’t …

    BTW, you made a good point on the NCAA … and I direct plenty of venom their way on the subject of compensating college players.

  41. Solution –

    The owners get to keep the extra 1 B$.
    Player concession by owners –
    Players can wear an endorsement insignia on their uniform, and reap the endorsement rewards.

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