Aiello discusses NFL’s position pending further court rulings

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell canceled his appearance of Thursday’s ProFootballTalk Live, given that he otherwise was dealing with the aftermath of a pair of rulings from Judge Susan Nelson, both of which have plunged the NFL into a cavern of uncertainty and/or perched the league on a contempt-of-court highwire.

But NFL spokesman Greg Aiello did a little pinch-hitting for the Commish, joining the show to unveil the league’s plans moving forward, while the legal gears continue to grind.

Unless and until the Eighth Circuit intervenes, things will get very interesting.  Or, more accurately, they’ll continue to be very interesting.

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22 responses to “Aiello discusses NFL’s position pending further court rulings

  1. Looks like Goodell doesnt care that his ruling for a stay was denied by judge Nelson.
    He has said there will be no player trades in the draft, and free agency will be laid out tommorow.

    They are walking a thin line between contempt of a federal court order by not starting trades and free agency immediately. It is very possible that if the 8th circuit were to deny their stay, they would be guilty of Contempt if they already arent guilty of it.

    PFT has mentioned that there is a possibility of owners being sent to the slammer for denying players access to facilities today. If they go to jail i find it very hard to believe Goodell and the NFL executives would get off scott free since they are issuing directives to the owners.

    This strategy goes against common sense as does the term “Chaos” which will only magnify every day we get closer to the season.

    What does the league want?? Do they want to lockout players till they cave before the season is about to begin or already into the season?One problem presently is “what the hell are owners and GM’s going to do when you open the floodgates within a month or into the upcoming season?”

    You will have free agency with no time for proper evaluations or to weigh offers, no Time for training camps, then there is the process of negotiations to sign draft picks which often takes months.

    I say if they dont have an agreement before the first preseason game, go ahead and scrap the rest of the 2011 schedule

  2. I predict a deal will get done rather quickly once the Owners get their butts kicked in court again.

    I envision FA after 4, Franchise tag applied only once, Rookie Salary cap, No change in drug testing, and potentially a neutral appeal board on fines.

  3. jasonfinfan says: Apr 28, 2011 3:14 PM

    “Looks like Goodell doesnt care that his ruling for a stay was denied by judge Nelson.
    He has said there will be no player trades in the draft, and free agency will be laid out tommorow.”

    What intrigues me about this “no trades in the draft” comment is that it obviously handicaps some teams. For instance, the Eagles are more harmed by this ruling than others who may not have such a desirable player such as Kolb to bargain with.

    Even the Redskins may try to squeak out a fourth or fifth rounder with McNabb, and that would be valuable for a team with no 3rd or 4th round picks currently.

    It seems to me that this edit doesn’t just affect the players but also messes with the competitive balance of the league by denying some teams the flexibility to trade players for picks tonight.

  4. I am just getting the feeling the league is attempting to shutdown the season and mess up the system in place.

    A draft without player trades is like an amusment park closing the rollercoasters but still open, Takes away some of the excitment.

    sorry to make my comment longer then the article. lmao

  5. jasonfinfan says:
    I say if they dont have an agreement before the first preseason game, go ahead and scrap the rest of the 2011 schedule

    The judge’s order was to end the lockout. Ergo, the NFL can’t cancel games.

    What concerns me is that there is a possibility that there CAN’T be a deal. The union has de-certified, and they can’t just flick the switch back.

    I’ve said this before but things really could get crazy. Imagine this NFL:

    • No draft. “Why should there even be a draft?” said player agent Brian Ayrault. “Players should be able to choose who they work for. Markets should determine the value of all contracts. Competitive balance is a fallacy.”

    • No minimum team payroll. Some teams could have $200 million payrolls while others spend $50 million or less.

    • No minimum player salary. Many players could earn substantially less than today’s minimums.

    • No standard guarantee to compensate players who suffer season- or career-ending injuries. Players would instead negotiate whatever compensation they could.

    • No league-wide agreements on benefits. The generous benefit programs now available to players throughout the league would become a matter of individual club choice and individual player negotiation.

    • No limits on free agency. Players and agents would team up to direct top players to a handful of elite teams. Other teams, perpetually out of the running for the playoffs, would serve essentially as farm teams for the elites.

    • No league-wide rule limiting the length of training camp or required off-season workout obligations. Each club would have its own policies.

    • No league-wide testing program for drugs of abuse or performance enhancing substances. Each club could have its own program—or not.

    Oh, and don’t think the NBA, NHL, and MLB unions aren’t keeping close tabs on this. If the NFLPA can de-certify there’s no reason those unions couldn’t, with the same results.

    I cannot fathom why the NFL owners took on this risk.

    Don’t shoot the messenger, my friends. It isn’t the weatherman’s fault there were severe tornadoes in the south.

  6. I may be wrong, but I think the no-trades thing might simply be an effort to avoid violating anti-trust laws if the NFL is held strictly to those.

    Free agency is one of the things being attacked, and while the 2011 draft was specifically protected under the old CBA, free agency is not. It’s one of the things referred to by Judge Nelson as “alleged”-violations.

    So enjoy the fruits of the anti-trust suits Eagles fans! LOL

  7. What is the justification for preventing player trades? That almost certainly goes against the court’s ruling.

    Absolutely no reason for such a course of action…. I wonder if individual players like Kolb or Palmer could bring suit. There is no question Kolb is being harmed by that action by the league, and that the league is colluding to implement the “no trades” rule.

    The league would not lose anything by allowing trades.

  8. NFL is putting all their eggs in 1 basket…….the 8th Circuit Court.

    Its a huge risk, but they’re anticipating a judgement in their favor. If so, they’re home free……..

    If not, they’re screwed…..

  9. This no-player trade thing is a blessing in disguise for the Eagles. If and when Vick goes down (and he will go down), they’ll still have Kolb instead of having to dig up a Detmer.

  10. As I predicted the NFL in this day and age couldn’t lock out its players under the U.S constitution and what they were doing was indeed neglecting a person’s right to a better living. Today is different then 87 folks…Sorry espn, like I said before you can’t compare the two eras because the NFL relies on public funded arenas, public money wayyyyyy too much. You can’t rely on public income as a primary source of income with Stadiums and then say….”It’s a Lockout”.

    Many of you thought I was nuts, called me stupid, saying ESPN Adam Schefter is the man, he is always right….NOPE…But these owners are so out of touch they don’t realize that the NFL is an investment from fans first, players and then owners for entertainment purposes. An Owner gets a loan to buy a team, then the loan from the public to buy the stadium, then raises fan seats to play for its players. NFL, if your going to close shop, then Jim Irsay should put a for sale sign on Lucas Oil and promise to pay back the money he stole from his fans to build that pile of crap.

    The NFL will get turned down in the 8th district too. I don’t even listen anymore to these idiots on TV, I’ve been right about this whole thing since day one…Like the NFL things they will overturn the previous Judge…Nope, that hardly never happens…Once a Judge makes a ruling there has to BE a miracle for the next judge to over rule. Good luck

  11. tommyf15 says:
    Apr 28, 2011 3:30 PM

    I cannot fathom why the NFL owners took on this risk.


    That is an easy one: money and greed.

    The owners saw the revenue going up to $12-$13 Billion in 5 years and they didn’t want half of it going to the players, they wanted it all to themselves (minus the 4% they would give to the players – so generous).

  12. Perhaps some of you should look at the transcripts. not having immediate free agency or trades is not contempt of court! Nelson stated nothing in the orders forces the league to do anything with the players other than allow them the use of facilities, and such if they are already under contract. She has left it up to the league as to when all other aspects happen. She is only stopping the lockout itself

  13. Again the fans come last. We don’t really care about players being allowed to work out at the facility but we DO care about free agent signings and trades. So the lip service continues but the actions speak louder.

  14. “Looks like Goodell doesnt care that his ruling for a stay was denied by judge Nelson.
    He has said there will be no player trades in the draft, and free agency will be laid out tommorow.”

    The judge said the NFL did not have to enter into contracts with players, that would include free agency. With the unknown concerning a CBA it would be highly unwise to trade players. hence the NFL is following the judges orders as she laid them out.

  15. I don’t understand why PFT should be an extension of as a league propaganda platform.

  16. This weekend’s draft is going forward because it was agreed to by the league and the union in the old CBA including if either party opted out, which happend.

    Beyond that, trades between teams could be considered an anti-trust violation. One, it would be two or more independent businesses conspiring to determine where an individual has to play. How is that different than a player being drafted?

    My guess is, and maybe if there is really a anti-trust lawyer among the posters, and not just a pretend one, they could comment, but if the league is truly forced to operate, and I’m not sure that is the case, they will certainly do everything possible to avoid ant-trust actions that could end up costing them hundreds of millions of dollars.

    I also think the NFL is banking on the 8th circuit, but if they have a backup plan than doesn’t include suspending operations indefinetly, it will most likely be a plan of operations that will have as few rules as possible so as to avoid anti-trust liabilities. So maybe their anti-trust lawyers are advising them in the development of this backup plan, that teams in the league will not be able to trade players any more than they will be able to draft players. No draft, no trades, no franchise tags, no restricted free agency; nothing.

  17. “@ Jakek2 – except they’ll move Kolb anyway, but for 2012 picks instead”

    Really? Would you trade a player for a draft pick in a draft that might never take place?

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