Goodell wants to re-start mediation: “You call me, I’ll be there”

The NFLPA* may have no intention of negotiating before the April 6 court date on the players’ motion to end the owners’ lockout. But the owners say they’re ready to negotiate, right now.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was asked by Rich Eisen on NFL Network how soon he’d be ready to return to mediated talks if the players indicated that they were willing. Goodell said he’d be ready right now.

“Rich, with all due respect, I couldn’t get off this show fast enough to get to the mediation,” Goodell said. “We didn’t push away from the table. We were still at the table when they walked out of mediation. So for us to get back to mediation? You call me, I’ll be there. It’s a decision the mediator would have to make, but we would certainly be there, and I expect we will be there.”

Goodell’s comments continue what has been the owners’ essential P.R. message: They want to sit down and talk to see if they can settle things themselves, while the players are refusing to talk and prefer to let lawyers and judges settle things.

“There’s unfortunately been very limited contact,” Goodell said. “That litigation strategy is ongoing. That will have to play out for the next couple weeks, but I’ve said repeatedly that this will come back to negotiations and the sooner that happens, the sooner we’ll all get this resolved.”

Eisen said after his interview with Goodell that NFL Network reached out to the NFLPA* offering equal time for someone on the players’ side, and that the NFLPA* never got back to them. The players may have decided that while the owners are locking them out, they’re not going to cooperate with the owners’ television network.

57 responses to “Goodell wants to re-start mediation: “You call me, I’ll be there”

  1. How is it humanly possible for anyone to be as completely stupid and devoid of even the smallest SHRED of common sense like DeIdiot appears to be??

  2. With statements like this its only a matter of time before all public favor is on the side of the NFL and the owners. It went from David vs Goliath to children fighting their parents and people never like a spoiled brat.

  3. The thing about negotiations, the first thing you need is a willing party. Im afraid, Mr Goodell, you dont have that. Rather you have someone who wants to make sure this stepping stone pays off for him personally no matter what the consequences.

  4. More smart and reasonable actions from the league. Getting clearer and clearer who’s making this harder than it already is.

  5. Roger… PLEEEASE quit posturing. You don’t have the authority or power to close the deal, or you already would have done so. I kinda like and respect you, but you do serve at the pleasure of the owners – over whom you have ZERO control and very little influence.

  6. Owners are business people. They have experience negotiating.

    Players are…well… football players. Not as skilled or experienced at negotiation. I think the NFLPA doesn’t like that perception. So they want to appear to have no weakness and pull crap like this.

    There’s a manager of another department like that at my work. When you provide hard data and studies… she shuts down, gets upset, and starts yelling. She doesn’t understand using data. She wants to go buy what “feels” right. Not what logic dictates.

    Players are being like this. They are not sure what to ask so they go for decisions based on emotion.

  7. That picture says it all, Richardson has his hand in Goodell backs telling him what to say. He will be there along with Jerry “we need to get your attention” Jones. Jerry ” we have to take our leaguge back!” Richardson, Mike ” the floor of the cap was put in for him” Brown and the rest. Give it a break and lets wait until April 6th.

  8. “Goodell wants to re-start mediation: “You call me, I’ll be there”

    How about you get off your ars and earn your multi-million dollar paycheck and call THEM if you want to restart talks, don’t use the media. Patheic. Where did these guys learn to negoatiate. Seriously.

  9. Goodell is all public relations all the time. The laughable ‘$1 per year salary’ canard tells anyone paying attention all they need to know about this empty suit. He’s an embarrassment to his dead father’s good name.

  10. Jeffrey, Mo, and Curly George aren’t going to meet the big bad bully without their Mom, Susan there to protect them.

  11. The boys aren’t stupid. Well, at least some of them aren’t. They know Raj wants their lunch money. If Great GranDoty isn’t there to give them their way, the player feel confident that Mrs Nelson will help them. She seems nice.

  12. Of course the Owners want to negotiate. They are going to lose their arses in court. The best deal they can get is what they had. Didn’t Upshaw handpick Smith? I’m sure he had his reasons.

  13. It’s very clear the owners are trying to get a deal done, and the players are not. The owners have made a few proposals, and they players just sit back and say “NOPE!”. How about making a counter-proposal for starters!?!?!

    It’s sickening to hear these spoiled players who aren’t satisfied with their millions of dollars to play a game 5 months out of the year. They seem to think that if someone plays football for 3 years, they should never have to worry about ever making another dollar or providing insurance for themselves or their families for the rest of their lives.

    Thats not the case!!! If you play football, you get a great head start in life. If you manage your money wisely, you may never have to work again. If you don’t, then you may need to apply that free education that you got and get a job that offers you insurance as well. The players want it to be automatic that if someone plays in the NFL, they never have to worry about anything else for the rest of their lives… complete B.S.!

  14. I don’t get the pro owner stance among the majority of fans. Seems the interests of the players are more aligned with the fans than those of the owners. But the idiots on this site continue to bow to their corporate maste

  15. What is with all of you lemmings? “The Owners are really trying to get things done! The players are just being petulant children!”

    Of COURSE the owners want to “get something done” because they already know what they want and they have the power to sit around and wait for it to happen. That’s like the king telling his subjects that he wants to negotiate how many peasants get thrown to the lions… how many peasants are going to step to the table and start the discussion?

    If the players and owners are truly partners in this, then simply open up the books and show everyone how poorly the NFL is doing since the CBA was signed in 06. If it is such a clear case that the owners are going under, why would they resist this? Easy.. because they aren’t going under. Jim Irsay is the second richest person in our state, worth 1.4 billion…. you think he’s going to stay on as an owner if he’s in the red? These guys are stupid… in fact, they are so NOT stupid that they know they can just squeeze the vice on the players who they know ARE mostly stupid when it comes to business negotiation.

    Squeeze vice… wait… squeeze tighter… wait. The players know their only chance is through the courts, that is their *only* move.

    The idiot fans need to stop making this such a black and white issue… this isn’t as simply as “Oh hey look how nice the owners are!”

  16. tnckid says:

    I don’t get the pro owner stance among the majority of fans. Seems the interests of the players are more aligned with the fans than those of the owners. But the idiots on this site continue to bow to their corporate maste


    Way to finish a sentence, tnckid. Did the pot wear off?

  17. I’ve absolutely hated Roger Goodell since day 1, and have been completely against him every step of the way on everything he has done while serving this post. That’s because the NFL is more important to me than any sports organization or entertainment medium in the world, but for the first time I actually have some respect for the man for stepping up with a classy and brilliant statement.

    Fantastic play Roger, congratulations! Now, seize victory and go for the knockout punch, it’s time for a glorious finishing move to decimate the evil empire while they are dazed and confused, OFF WITH THEIR HEADS AND LET’S PLAY SOME FOOTBALL!

  18. Lock em both in a room with some bad take out food, a bunch of beer, and don’t let them out until they get a deal done!

    We gotta get these teams into OTA’s and get playbooks into the hands of Free Agents and Rookies.

    The thought of Sunday without pro ball is inconceivable.
    What are we supposed to watch if there’s no season??? Reruns of The Golden Girls?

  19. Then Raj dated himself by continuing….
    “Winter, spring, summer, or fall, all you’ve got to do is call…I’ll come running, to see you again…Yeah, ain’t it good to know you’ve got a friend…Ain’t it good to know….Yeah, yeah…..”.

  20. @ canyonero

    You are one of the idiots who actually believe that the owners have your best interests at heart. They will cut a penny in half at every turn and you continue to blindly support them. Morons

  21. @thestrategyexpert …

    Really? You love football above all else, yet you never posted on this site–at least not under that username–until decertification and suddenly you’re here to tell us you’ve seen the light and Roger Goodell is a good guy after all and he should vanquish the Evil Empire of players so we can get back to football.


  22. motownlion says: Mar 15, 2011 9:45 PM

    “The thought of Sunday without pro ball is inconceivable.
    What are we supposed to watch if there’s no season??? Reruns of The Golden Girls?”

    I guess I’m just lucky then because I actually have a life outside of football.
    I won’t have any trouble at all finding something else to do.

  23. How the hell can anyone be backing the Ahole players and their despicable “Union”?

    Screw the players! BRING ON THE REPLACEMENTS!!!!

  24. ok here’s a question. If the players are as smart and professional of businessmen that they are pretending to be, then why do they need agents? if they were that smart of businessmen wouldn’t they be smart enough to negotiate their own contracts? and if they aren’t smart enough to negotiate their own contracts, what makes anyone think they are smart enough to decide how $9 billion gets split up? just curious

  25. I cant wait till the league and goodell get their clocks cleaned in court that should take care of their arrogance
    you just arent listening jerry jones I guess the judge will have to SHOW YOU that you and your fellow owners went way to far in your greed and will get waxed in court

  26. The longer this goes on, the worse it looks for the players. They screwed up big time walking away from the table last friday. Smith is the cult leader, and all those dumb players are following. They’re all drinking the koolaide! it’s a damn shame.

  27. @Deb

    I used to post under TSE, and I haven’t been an active poster cause I don’t like chatting on this site cause it’s not user friendly. I’m “TSE” and “TheStrategyExpert” on RealGM and Goallineblitz and a a few local Detroit sports forums, i’m pretty well known and definitely not a fake!

    I just get excited during draft time so I’m on this site everyday until the draft comes and goes, and then I’ll probably back away again from chatting beyond that, again because I don’t like how this site is set up and there are too many mistakes and unprofessional articles here that scare me away.

  28. tnckid says:

    @ canyonero

    You are one of the idiots who actually believe that the owners have your best interests at heart. They will cut a penny in half at every turn and you continue to blindly support them. Morons


    Not at all. I simply don’t buy into the dramatic class warfare struggle thing. Fact is, there would be no NFL without the owners.

    You really think a guy like Adrian Peterson –who couldn’t tell slavery from a box of Thin Mints– can run a billion-dollar franchise year after year?

    Like many things in the messy world of capitalism, everyone plays their part. Most of the time the owners make more money. I don’t claim to know why that always is, but it always is.

    If you can figure out how to make owners earn less than everybody else, but still do what they do, you’ll be the first in history.

    Sorry to hurt your feelings. You should know it’s dodge ball here.

  29. permiepoo says: Mar 15, 2011 9:24 PM

    If the players and owners are truly partners in this, then simply open up the books and show everyone how poorly the NFL is doing since the CBA was signed in 06. If it is such a clear case that the owners are going under, why would they resist this? Easy.. because they aren’t going under.
    I don’t think I’ve heard the owners claim they are “going under”. Their profit margins are declining.

    If any financial data is made available it should be only since 06 anyway not the ten years the players want. Who cares what numbers the other deal generated? Those numbers are not germane to the discussion of why the owners opted out of THIS one. The fact the players want 10 years makes me suspicious of their motives and need for the data.

    They are indeed partners due to the compensation structure. But exactly why they feel they should be 50/50 or more partners after 1 bill. for costs is removed is beyond me. I am inclined to agree with Cornwell that a new compensation model entirely should be used so this type of debate can be avoided.

    I am completely on the players side on 18 games and the rookie wage scale (with the savings diverted to the proven producers) that most vets seemed to be in favor of publicly before all this blew up. I have long thought that the franchise tag has been abused by teams and should be restricted to ONE time per player while they are on that team, there should be limited (if any) RFA tags maybe 2/team/year and guys should be able to hit FA earlier if they agree to a rookie wage scale. It would be interesting to see projections of how much deserving players’ pay could increase with just those tweaks.

    I’ll say this as a Pats fan: much as I love certain players and admire their skills and agree they are rare and unique in this world and have no quibble with their being compensated at the highest level someone will offer them…I root for the laundry. I would rather have 53 new players on the roster next year and BB as the HC than a new coaching staff with the current players. If you don’t have a good owner, GM and HC your team will absolutely not be competitive consistently. If you have 10 (or whatever) great players/talents , your team is not guaranteed to be competitive every year and likely won’t be. Look at the teams that win consistently…what do they ALL have in common? AT LEAST good talent evaluators and an owner who hires/inherits good football people and stays out of the football decision making side of the business.

  30. It seems to me like you have one side (the owners) who want to push for a pre-trial decision, and one that wants a court decision. That would seem to indicate that they both believe the players will win in court.

    The owners might get to look like puppies being beat up by the big bad players, but if they were the ones who had the upper hand in court I highly doubt they would be doing this. They all want to maximize their profits, and if the way to do that was through the courts they would push that.

    Also where was this rush when they thought they had the insurance of the TV contract money.

  31. This all makes me so dam mad!! Like MLB did years back ( think it was 94) Not once did they give a flying flip about the fans. The NFL is no different! So for the same reason!!!! I’m putting my Saints season tickets up for sale!!! I’ve had enough. And like I did with MLB will never watch or attend another game!! Now you can take that to the bank for sure!!!!

  32. tnckid says: Mar 15, 2011 8:47 PM

    I don’t get the pro owner stance among the majority of fans. Seems the interests of the players are more aligned with the fans than those of the owners. But the idiots on this site continue to bow to their corporate masters.


    How exactly are the interests of the fans more aligned with the players? Maybe in the short term because that will mean games will be played…but in the long term…not so much.

    Look, people can tell me I’m “pro-owner” all day long…and yes, some of my views do align with that of the owners. But the reality is I’m “pro-fan” more than anything else. You have ego-driven, win-at-all-cost owners paying exorbitant salaries to greedy, pampered professional athletes. And who pays for it? The fans. We’re the ones that are slowly being priced out of the game we love.

    The owners have recognized that the current financial model is not working, and you have the Green Bay financials to show that profits are declining. Pat Bowlen has offered up his financials, and I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t make that claim if the Broncos profits weren’t down as well. Jacksonville and some other teams have had blackouts over the last few years left and right…that means ticket sales are not maxed out (less profits). Do the owners probably tweak some of their money? Sure, most business owners give themselves and their family perks. But it doesn’t take away from the overall picture that the system is flawed. And at least the owners see it….the players just don’t.

  33. Get serious. The NFL Network (owned and operated by the NFL) is neither unbiased, nor would it ever give “equal time” to the players when the owners own the channel.

    It’s as ridiculous for Roggy Goodell, (the senator’s son), and Rich Eisen to sit there and have a “discussion” about Roggy’s goals for mediation, like they are just having a chat. That baloney is completely scripted, Rich Eisen says what HE is supposed to say, and Roggy says what he told Rich Eisen he would say.

    Whay anyone would pretend, or believe, that the NFL Network is “just another TV network” with no built in bias, is beyond me.

  34. This is really simple to sort out.

    Players litigated and the first court hearing is 4/6. Now owners want to negotiate more to hopefully avoid going to court. Players want to see what the court says before resuming negotiations.

    Conclusion, both sides think the players have the better legal case. Owners figure their only chance to avoid adverse legal ruling (i.e. an injunction blocking their lock-out) is this PR campaign to make the players look unreasonable.


  35. @TheStrategyExpert …

    I apologize if I’ve mischaracterized you. A lot of new people have registered in the last few days taking a pro-owner stance. Obviously, I’m a little cynical on these things 😉

    Now I’m curious about your other comments. What don’t you like about how the site is set up, the user-friendliness? And what mistakes, etc., put you off? I stumbled in here one day and was soon addicted. But I’m a writer/editor and if something matters to me, usually research it independently of anything I read here.

  36. @jerseydevil856 …

    Player salaries aren’t jacking up your ticket prices. The owners are doing that because they can. Players command what the market will pay for their services. Owners command what the market will pay for their tickets. If they slashed player salaries in half tomorrow, your ticket prices wouldn’t go down.

    When gasoline prices soared a couple of years ago, a lot of companies raised their prices blaming the high cost of shipping. Eventually gas prices went back down. Did you notice the price of goods relaxing? No. Corporations took advantage of the gas hike and when gas prices went down, they pocketed the difference. Now as gas prices go up again, so do the price of goods. But wait a minute–they’ve already done that, haven’t they? They should have a surplus from the last time they raised prices to cover a gas hike, then gas prices dropped.

    Doesn’t work that way.

    Big Business is not your friend. They will never cut you a break. They will argue for tax breaks and bailouts, claiming they need them to help consumers. They will say they need to take another billion dollars from the players’ revenue pie (which also goes for health care and to cover the retired players they totally screwed) implying that will mean cheaper tickets and parking for you. But if they get what they want, they’ll likely raise your ticket prices anyway. No matter what the players make, the owners make far, far, far more. All this poor-mouthing is a ruse.

  37. Incorrect, Deb, and as you own your own business – as do I – I don’t understand how you cannot see the inequities and flaws in the current business model.

    Let’s do a little exercise here. Let’s say you and I were going to start a business partnership. You are the actual owner of the business and will handle the organizational side of everything, and I’m a “non-contributing partner” on the talent side and one of the ones the clients pay to see.

    Now let’s say that we agree that myself and my team (lets say 9 other people for simplicity sake) were going to get 60% of the revenues. You and your staff (equivalent to the coaches, staff and all the front office people including the ticket salespeople & secretaries) were going to get 40%. But because you were going to pay for all of the expenditures of the business, I was going to allow you to keep a percentage “off the top” equivalent to that $1 billion the owners get. Most people will say that it’s 1/9th of the pie, or 11%…but not so fast. That billion is split between 32 organizations; we need the amount for just our organization. So 11% divided by 32 is 0.0034%, which is what we’ll use for our calculations here. Let’s assume we had a good year in business; we did $10 million in sales revenues. So right from the start, your 0.0034% is $34,000 (hold onto that figure, we’ll visit it later).

    Now, myself and my “team” get 60% of the remaining $9,966,000, so we’re pocketing $5,979,600 between the 10 of us – a cool $597,960 each. Not too shabby…we’re over halfway to being millionaires.

    You, on the other hand, have to take your share and deduct those pesky little expenses. But don’t forget to add that whopping $34,000 back in…so you now have $4,034,000 to work with. And to make sure we’re doing this correctly, let’s make sure to use the actual percentage amounts that were allocated towards each expenditure, which I pulled from the public Green Bay filings. Those expenses include:

    – Game expenses (think of this as building costs, rent, operations & maintenance)
    – Team Expenses (Anything else related to the team OTHER than salaries, such as benefits, travel expenses, etc)
    – Marketing (the staff and operational expenses for this department)
    – General & Administrative (your office staff, coaching staff, plus any other expenses – like the taxes Uncle Sam wants – that don’t fit into one of the categories above)

    Now according to the 2010 Packers financials, these expenses were shown to be 96% of the Total Operating Income of the Green Bay Packers. Now, as football fans, I think we can agree that the Packers are not regarded as one of the more frivolously spending organizations. And since they are a public entity, their books are wide open for all to see, so I don’t expect them to be throwing money around carelessly. And even though they’re a small-market team, they are one of the more popular teams out there. So we’ll use that figure here and consider it to be a pretty realistic baseline. As such, 96% of your $4,034,000 is $3,872,640 that goes bye-bye to pay for all of the expenses.

    This means you, Deb – as the owner of our little venture – have made an overall profit of $161,360 – or approximately 0.016% of the $10 MILLION dollar revenue that your company made this year.

    Congratulations – this means that as the owner of the business, you’ll make in just under four years what I made in one. But don’t count that money so fast, little lady, because the trends are showing that while we expect revenues to grow 5.5% annually we also expect that costs and expenditures will grow at 11.8% annually. But hey, that doesn’t matter to me or the rest of my “team”, because most of us only expect to be here 3-4 years on the average.

    So, Deb…I only have one question for you…when are we going into business together, cause I sure as hell love what I’m seeing.

  38. @jerseydevil856 …

    Soon because I’m a writer and have always been on the talent end of contract negotiations. Your lovely attention to detail suggests you’re on the organizational side LOL

    Okay … you make a good argument. But we also know the market value of NFL teams has exploded in the last two decades. The men buying into the league wouldn’t make the investment if they didn’t expect a solid ROI. For generations club owners abused players, paying them a pittance and treating them with less respect than the equipment. If they became injured and unable to perform, they were dumped without health care or pensions. It’s only been since the 1990s that player salaries have begun to boom–and that’s largely due to owners who deliberately ignored the constraints of the salary cap.

    My point is that they created the current system for dividing the wealth, and it’s difficult to believe they would have created a system that puts them at an ongoing disadvantage. It’s also difficult to believe those who didn’t inherit their teams but who knowingly bought into them–savvy businessmen like Jones and Paul Allen–would have taken on a losing proposition.

    Because it does have a different ownership structure, I think we have to be wary assuming Green Bay’s books mirror those of other teams. I’m just not very trusting of corporate bosses who claim hardship when I know the worth of their corporate assets. And they did turn down a good offer from players a few weeks ago that dropped the request to see the books and put their slice of the revenue back to 2002 levels.

  39. Yep, I am on the organizational side, which is why I can see the bigger picture. As far as a couple of your points:

    – Yes, the market value of teams HAS exploded over the last two decades. But it’s almost like the real profitability of the owners these days comes when they sell the team – NOT in yearly revenues. That may be fine for some, but what about the owners who’s family have no intention of selling? Are they supposed to like declining yearly profits? My guess is no.

    – I agree wholeheartedly that owners in decades past abused the players. But that was no more “right” than the opposite end of the spectrum we have now, where the players salary demands are “abusing” the owners. Two wrongs does not make a right.

    – The system that they bought into was flawed. No way around it. And you have billionaires who have been successful, and they think that success can translate to owning a team. I think a lot of them see that now.

    – I respectfully disagree with you about the Packers finances not matching those of the other teams. Let’s face it…there are a few prime teams in the league…the biggies. Dallas, Philadelphia, New England, Washington, Indianapolis, and both NY clubs. Maybe Chicago. That’s 8 out of 32, Deb. That means the majority of the teams in the league are what most people would call “small-market” teams. I’d argue that the majority of those clubs expenses are not much different than what you see on the Packers financials, especially since a lot of the costs associated with doing business are standard. My point is that if Green Bay – who probably doesn’t cook the books or have frivolous expenses like most people think the owners of the other clubs do – is having problems….why would you think that the other clubs aren’t?

    The NFL model as it is today is doomed to fail. Not if…when. If both the players and the owners were smart, they would realize that the pie IS going to shrink, and BOTH have to bear the burden if they want the league to exist in the future. I mean, we see teams in other leagues going bankrupt…why does everyone think this cannot happen in the NFL? It’s short-sighted.

  40. @jerseydevil856 …

    Okay … let’s say I’m not as entrenched in the left as it seems. My ideology may be there, but I inherited a lot of left-brain practicality.

    Why didn’t some of the calmer, more eloquent owners sit down with some of the more intelligent players and lay this out for them? All I’ve heard for months is threats of lockouts. And Goodell’s BS about European expansion doesn’t help. The owners took a bath with the World League. All the grandstanding and bizarre fining during the season didn’t set the stage for a friendly negotiation. It just seems that the owners were more interested in getting the players to fold than in getting them to understand.

  41. @ Deb….

    Yeah, that ‘s the million dollar mystery it seems. You would think that a few of the owners would be able to articulate their points, as well as listen.

    At the same time, remember that owners are thinking long-term with their investment. The players obviously care most about what happens during their time in the league. That right there is two different schools of thought.

  42. Goodell is a big part of the problem, too. He doesn’t seem interested in what fans or players think on any subject. Negotiations seemed poorly handled on both sides from the get-go.

    Hate to use the catchword of the day, but I felt the owners–through Goodell and their reps–disrespected the players throughout the process leading up to the last week. They were more interested in playing hardball than negotiating. That was an unfortunate choice with experienced litigators on the other side of the table. As someone else pointed out to me, Upshaw would avoid litigation because it wasn’t his comfort zone. The owners may have mistakenly believed Smith would back down as well–but as a litigator, he has a different mindset.

  43. Just make sure both sides take care of the bench warmers!! They work just as hard as the elite players!!!!

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