Bears will open books, if needed


Though guys like Cowboys owner Jerry Jones continue to insist that the players don’t need to see financial information to verify the league’s claim that profits are down, other teams have expressed a willingness to open the books.

The Broncos have said they’ll do it.  And now the Bears have joined the two-team chorus.  (Three counting the Packers, who are publicly owned and thus must disclose their financial information.)

“If the league feels, to get a deal done, they need to release [financials], we’re on board,” team president Ted Phillips told Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times.  “I’m actually proud of how we operate our club.  We think we do a good job, revenue-wise and expense-wise.”

This potentially implies that other teams may not be proud of their generation of revenue or their management of expenses.

And that’s potentially the truth.

39 responses to “Bears will open books, if needed

  1. No, the truth is what the NFLPA* has been doing for over two years – they get something, they respond by blowing it off. The Packers opened their books and the PA blew them off; other teams have offered the same, the PA has blown them off. The PA has done nothing but blow people off. The PA toadies like Ron Borges (who actually thinks people will believe his story of overhearing NFL lawyers in a mens room) want to portray it as the owners stalling, except they have zero to gain from it – only the PA can gain from stalling. The Bears can open their books and it will change nothing until the PA stops taking DeMaurice Smith seriously and starts actually caring about getting the game back on.

  2. This potentially implies that other teams may not be proud of their generation of revenue or their management of expenses.


    That’s exactly it. The players shouldn’t have to take a pay cut because some owners are wasteful spenders and are hindering their own profits.

  3. If the NFLPA feels it can tell the owners how to spend their money, sure they won’t mind it if the NFL ask the players to open THEIR “books”.

    Personally I’d love to know how much NFL players personally blow in Bling each year.

    Expenses on wives and mistresses must be a big portion too.

  4. This couldn’t be simpler.

    Owners are saying, “We need to double our expense account”. Player’s reply, “Okay, if you want me to consider that, show me why that’s necessary at this time .Where are the billions in revenue we’ve been generating for you been going since we negotiated or prior agreement”. Owners respond, “Oh puleez, we don’t want anyone to know that.”

  5. …”This potentially implies that other teams may not be proud of their generation of revenue or their management of expenses….”

    It also implies that the NFLPA* won’t find the information that they are fishing for and that the financials provided will make a strong case to tilt some revenue back toward ownership.

  6. Woo Hoo, two clubs agree!

    Of course, saying it and doing it are two things. I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t fall in line with the rest of the NFL when the time came to open up or shut up.

  7. This is all well and good, but you have teams like the bangles… 50 mil in salary goes to folks related to Brown. It is easily one of the top worst 5 run franchises.

    But it seems even the bears in this instance can’t be sitting around patting themselves on the back. They’ve been one of the prime teams that have driven up player prices. Urlacher is paid top dollar along with the blockbuster deal for Peppers.

    Kinda hard to make the claim that players need to take a cut when you’re a team setting the market by driving Brinks trucks up to player’s doors.

  8. DeCertifyin’ Smith wants ten years worth. But even if he gets that I don’t see how it’ll will help get a deal done. He either can’t parse numbers (turned $350M into $0 somehow) or is fond of twisting the truth to suit his purposes. The teams can call his bluff but then there’ll be some other reason.

  9. Owners will fall like dominoes. Mostly because they are wrong. If you’re going to claim you need a bigger slice because profits are down, just show the docs if you’re telling the truth. Breaking ranks.

  10. The Bears have always been the enemy, if the enemy is proud of the way they operate expenses and is willing to show it, I for one am proud of the enemy. Hate to admit it but Lovie Smith seems like an outstanding individual. It is hard to hate the enemy when you beat them in the NFCCG and they showed class, credit Lovie.

  11. It seems as if some of the owners might be as careless with their money as some of the players are. Huh.


    If the League and some Teams are that “strapped” financially then why are they so hesitant to prove it?

    Regardless of Past and Future CBAs, it is a Revenue Sharing and % Revenue Split System that they are working under. All Sides should be able to have a transparent view of the Revenues to determine the best possible Financial Action. IF the Teams can prove that they deserve a bigger share then why not do it?

    When the Pirates Balance Sheet leaked last year (granted a different sport) people realized that even the poster child for pro franchises that were “crying poor” were still pulling in 30 Million Plus in Net Profit annually.

    Hard to imagine ANY team in the NFL not doing well financially. Could be they don’t want their numbers revealed because it doesn’t help their case.

  13. With the Packers books being public and now the Bears and Broncos bassically offering to open their books, that should be enough to give the NFLPA a good reflection of the NFL finanaces. That is 1 small market team, 1 mid market team and 1 large market team. How each individual team spends their money isn’t really relevant, what is relevant is how expenses are growing in relation to revenues. The owners are trying to say that expenses are growing at a greater rate than revenues, if that is the case for all 3 of these teams then one could easily assume that it would be the case for most if not all of the other teams.

  14. geniusesq: Packers’ books, online. Profits are down 76% since the 2006 CBA due to higher player and insurance costs.

  15. geniusesq – how are the owners wrong? The burden of proof is on the players, not the owners. The owners don’t have to prove anything because of the reality of sports economics – owners have to spend money to make money and the cost of doing business has gone up as shown by the salary cap; there’s also the economic reality that players will never lose what they think they will (if they “lose” anything) in a revamped CBA. And the players group has already admitted they tricked the owners into signing that flawed CBA in 2006.

    scudbot nails it – Smith wants to parse numbers.

  16. “…to verify the league’s claim that profits are down,”

    That’s it in a nutshell.
    The owner’s aren’t losing any money, their profits just aren’t as large as they used to be.
    But they’re still making profits.

    The players are right in telling them to go pound salt.

  17. The players are overlooking the most critical part of the owners argument about reducing the players cut from the last deal.


    The 49ers have a new stadium deal, an the NFL committed to pay 90% of the cost to build and NOT ask the citizens to come up with a billion dollars to pay for it. The NFL wants to pay to upgrade the L A Coliseum and help the city by paying for part of the renovation.

    They want to avoid teams from moving if the city don’t want to pay for a new Stadium. Ask the citizens of Minnesota why should they pay for a new stadium if the team keeps threatening to move? They want to avoid owners from moving with out the complete authorization from the NFL.

    Basically, the NFL wants to absorb most of the cost for these stadiums so the citizens don’t have to pay more taxes to fund a new stadium or maintain it.

    I will be paying taxes to fund the new 9ers stadium and I hate the 9ers. But since I live in the city of San Fran, I am forced to pay taxes for it. I can move but I don’t want to drive 2 hours to work.

    (Last line just incase some of you asked why not move out of the city)

  18. packfntk says: Mar 26, 2011 11:11 AM

    “Greedy players.”

    Here we go with that again.
    How are the players “greedy”?
    They’re not the ones looking to take an additional $1 billion from the other side.
    The players haven’t asked for one additional cent.

    In fact, they haven’t even refused to give back the $1 billion the owners are asking for.
    They just want to know why first.

  19. 3octaveFart – the players are not being greedy, they are being unreasonable. They ask why, yet have done nothing but blow off offers of proof. They keep asking why, yet have made no case that they would lose any money if another $1 billion went to stadium upkeep etc. The burden of proof is on the PA, not the owners, yet the PA remains in denial.

  20. 3octaveFart – and when profits keep dropping, that means they are on a path toward outright losing money. So the owners have the facts on their side here.

  21. “I just want to say that as am employee of this fine company, I am PROUD to take a pay cut, even though my company is earning money. By doing so I guarantee that my sacrifice ensures my CEO’s bonus will reach above $100M again, (it’s been below that the last four years).”

    Signed: Fred the Janitor

  22. I am pleased to see that my Bears have nothing to hide. However, Jerry gives off the aura of someone who would crap in his pants if all of his financial doings were made public. Maybe he bought illegal parts from Asia to get his monster monitor built. Jerry Jones is probably as shady a character with money as some our Illinois politicians.

  23. monkeesfan says: Mar 26, 2011 1:03 PM

    “the players are not being greedy, they are being unreasonable. They ask why, yet have done nothing but blow off offers of proof. ”

    Define “offers of proof”.
    I don’t either, because I wasn’t there.

    Whatever was offered, they weren’t buying it.

  24. the Players aren’t owners…
    they didn’t take investment risk…
    they don’t manage the business…
    they are employees……

    Should Players get 50% of a businesses revenue when we Fans, on average in the US, get about 20% of our employers revenue?

    Should Players demand that they see the financials of private businesses that employ them when Fans can’t?

    Should Players liken themselves to slaves, say that they are workers like us Fans, etc.?

    The Players are really, really arrogant.. and they are counting on a quick resolution…

    My bet is that they will rue the day they let a lawyer dissolve their union thus making them ‘at-will’ employees and leading them into litigation

  25. @monkeensfan – How is the burden on the players?? The owners opted out of the agreement citing financial woes. It’s their burden to substantiate that claim.

  26. Why is it that so many of you morons still can’t figure out that the players are NOT ASKING FOR A RAISE!?!?! These owners are asking their product to do more work for less money.

    Open your eyes and at least try to see the forest through the trees…

  27. If you can read this, thank a teacher.

    If you’re reading it in English, thank a soldier.

    If you’re reading this on your day off, thank a union.

  28. @dallasc228

    You don’t live in San Fransisco otherwise you would know the new 49er stadium is to be built in Santa Clara.

    And nobody in San Fransisco is on the hook for taxes to pay for it.

    Like most commentators here this morning, you’re a fake.

  29. Jurry Jones owns one of the most profitable franchises in the NFL and he got OTHER folks to pay for his new stadium.

    He doesn’t even own it.

    The NFL claims it is one business with 32 parts when it wants to set limits on players pay that would be illegal in the rest of American business.

    So if it’s one business, ALL teams have to show their books to get a complete picture.

    Not 3.

  30. The players will only ask for more. It’s called obstenant.
    No matter what the owners offer the players will continue to ask for something else.

  31. @oldhamletman – The players are both the essential employees AND the PRODUCT so YES, they deserve 50% of the pie. They don’t even really get 50% now anyway since a billion is already taken off the top for team expenses before the current split.

  32. Of course, this is coming from the team whose owner paid George Blanda a bonus that later turned out to be a loan AND while the rest of the league paid for kicking shoes, the Bears made Blanda pay the $33 dollars for his shoes. Of course, back then players had to buy their protective gear and since they didn’t make a lot of money, they scrimped and paid for their efforts many years later with injuries that may have been prevented or lessened by quality equipment. Yes, these are the folks that many of you choose to defend and who talk about the “good old days”, which is owner code for “when we made money hand over fist and didn’t have to give any of it to the players, even if it meant sacrificing their safety.”

  33. The problem is these new owners more concerned with making as much money as they can as opposed to what’s best for the game like that buffoon, Ross or Jerry Richardson.

    I think if you took a vote between the owners, those new owners, who unfortunately outnumber the old school guys like Al Davis, Mara, the Phillips family, and the Rooneys, are the ones who are trying to strong arm the players..

    they’re going to destroy football as we know it.

  34. oldhamletman, do you think that you live in China or in US in the 1890s? Seriously, you believe that most people only get on the average 20%. Really? Serious? You’re not even close and I don’t mean that you should lower your estimate.

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