Jason Snelling wants negotiations to resume, now

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At a time when the NFL continues to call for negotiations to resume and the players continue to resist, one player has made his wishes known.

He wants negotiations.  Now.

Falcons running back Jason Snelling, a four-year veteran who may or may not be an unrestricted free agent when the labor dust settles, recently told Tim Ryan and Pat Kirwan of SiriusXM NFL Radio that he thinks it’s time to try to work out a deal.

“My thoughts on it really is that we need to get back to the bargaining table,” Snelling said.  “I’ve actually spoken to one of my reps . . . . We kind of feel like at a point like this, you know, with everything that’s going through the courts, that all these court dates and everything but nothing’s getting resolved.  We kind of wonder at some point, what are we really fighting for?  Do we want to play, do we want to just keep these things through the courts?  I know that a lot of guys may feel like going through the courts and taking it to the end and waiting for a judge to make a ruling may work, but after they make another ruling, we still don’t have a Collective Bargaining Agreement.”

As the interview proceeded, Snelling became more candid.  “The best thing for this league is to get back to the table and make this happen together, and take this thing out of the courts,” Snelling said.  “Because with this being in court I don’t think any of us are going to win.”

Ryan and Kirwan eventually focused on an extremely pertinent question — if the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals upholds the lockout, will a deal be negotiated at that point, or will progress be delayed until the next step in the litigation effort is resolved, which necessarily would eat into the 2011 regular season?

“Nobody wants to take it to that,” Snelling said.  “I feel like this situation has gone on long enough.  Everyone is anxious to get back and play football.”

That said, there are reasons to believe that NFLPA* leadership plans to indeed “take it to that,” with ultimate failure to lift the lockout in the Eighth Circuit followed by a likely fruitless appeal to the Supreme Court and/or some other effort to get leverage via litigation before meaningful talks will occur.  Even if a full season is lost before that ever happens.

The conversation later turned to the question of whether Snelling and other players in his situation — men with four or five years of service and expired contracts who possibly will be unrestricted free agents — are being adequately represented by the NFLPA*.  “I know [DeMaurice Smith] represents us, but when you look at it personally, I’m wondering if he’s going to looking out for my best interests as a free agent,” Snelling said.  “Not intentionally not doing it, but if I have no voice then how can he ever be really looking out for my best interests?”

Snelling also hinted that, at some point, the players whose paydays have been delayed by two-plus months and counting may attempt to be heard.  “That would be ideal,” Snelling said, “[for] guys in my position to come together and be our own voice.”

It should never get to that point, because if that happens the NFL will be even more likely to emerge from the process with a favorable labor deal.  Instead, the players should work hard to stick together until the Eighth Circuit rules.  If the lockout isn’t lifted, then the players should commit to working out the best deal possible.

Snelling believes that such an effort should begin now, before the Eighth Circuit rules.  And his position has merit.  If the appeals court eventually will allow the lockout to continue, the players necessarily have more leverage before that ruling is issued.

Still, if the NFLPA* is committed to pursuing ultimate leverage in lieu of making the most out of some leverage, nothing will be happening — either in the coming weeks or in the coming months.  Regardless of how it all plays out, Snelling comments indicate that this approach will soon be facing growing opposition from certain segments of the rank and file.

36 responses to “Jason Snelling wants negotiations to resume, now

  1. I applaud Mr. Snelling’s sentiment and his candor. If the NFL ends up winning on appeal on the 8th circuit, and the NFLPA* leadership insists on pushing for maximal leverage everything else (even the season) be damned… then rank and file players should rise up and put pressure on their team reps and their leadership to just get a deal done. After all, it’s not like the argument at hand is “should the players in 2013 be paid more than the players in 2012” the argument is simply “how much more should the players in 2013 be paid than the players in 2012.”

    Actually missing football for that would be the height of absurdity.

  2. Jason and some of the other FA’s are starting to realize they are going to be the big losers. With no FA period and a limited time to learn a new playbook they have little advantage over a rookie. The rookie will be cheaper. De Smith will sell them out.

  3. It’s easy to see that Jason Snelling has far more common sense than the ambuilance chaser D-bag Smith. The NFLPA needs to show Smith the door, and get back to the negotiating table ASAP, and get ‘er done–NOW.

    The last offer from the NFL would make a great starting point. Perhaps since the players do not want the owners to have extra cash to finance new stadiums and grow the game, then the NFLPA should solely finance the stadiums?

    Whatever, we need footbal–NOW…!

  4. I dont see how it changes anything for the better if there are cracks in the players unity. Suddenly they wont be just fighting the NFL, but they will begin fighting among themselves. It could make whole thing even worse and take even longer to resolve.

    Remember…there is no union anymore.

  5. why not get a group of scabs and form a NEW players union… there can be ONLY one… per nfl law. Then have THAT union negotiate… screw DE smith.

  6. Jason Snelling, the voice of reason. Negotiations is the best way to get things done. Why doesn’t everyone see this.

    (Click my name to check out my sports blog. If you don’t wanna just don’t click)

  7. Finally a player that realizes that D Smith is only “in it to win it” for himself. I hope D Smith is reading this and realizing that players aren’t as stupid as he thinks and are catching onto him. And lastly the NFLPA is constantly saying the owners don’t hand over enough financial information. Well just when was the last time the NFLPA was audited? Just how much money does D Smith steal from the players and in return gives them this crap representation?

  8. At some point reality has to kick in the owners have the leverage so the deal will be made before reg season!

  9. Can MF, MDS, GR or any other of you gurus please tell us how many Restricted Free Agents there are awaiting to be Unrestricted Free Agents with new CBA?

  10. You didn’t really think Smith was fighting for the rank and file did you? The rank and file have no idea what’s going on and most of them don’t care.

    This is all about Manning, Brady, Brees, etc. The top end of the pay scale. You must’ve thought it was a good idea for the top end players to get more money, you voted for decertification. What did you think Smith was fighting for?

  11. Translation: ” I was expecting a big payday so end this thing no matter the longterm damage so…..I can get paid!” Calm down Jason and stick with your union. Besides, who are you?

  12. I get the feeling DE Smith would be fine with a full season being lost if he could claim a victory for himself at some future date. I think its all about his ego at this point.

    What kind of person tries to start a “you suck” chant at a commencement address anyway? All you have to do is watch peoples actions and they’ll quickly tell you what they are all about.

    I’d say the players need to fire this guy now but how do you fire someone from the head of something that doesn’t exist?

  13. As a person who has supported the players during this whole situation as i still believe the owners had planned this whole deal for years, if they don’t get to the table and get a deal done right after the court rules then they should fire Smith.

    That being said i have also said the whole time they should fire Smith. Having someone who isn’t a football player or even a football guy rep the players wasn’t a very good idea. They should have not been conned into picking this Smith guy in the first place. The best choice was PHilly’s own Troy Vincent. Troy would have been more in tune with the players needs than Smith is. And though I think the players are right, they have made many mistakes via Smiths obvious need to make a name for him self.

    I think that guys like Smith and Goodell have no place in sports. Neither are sports guys. They are both lawyers out to make a name for them selves. Both have taken turns during their reins to hurt the league (more so at this point from Goodell with his god complex, but Smith is qucikly catching up)

    The smartest thing that can happen is both sides get rid of these EGOS that are running the show right now and bring in people with the games best interest and not their own.

    Lastly, to the players. If you do not return to the table after the 8th rules NO ONE will be on your side. You will look bad and at that point you will be the ones hurting the league. While I don’t agree with the path you have chosen to go on, I do think as a union you have every right to do what has been done and i personally hope you win. But, if you don’t please don’t ruin the game. You won’t win in any other court anyway. If you lose here just take the best deal you can get.

  14. mississippibred says:
    May 25, 2011 1:49 AM
    why not get a group of scabs and form a NEW players union… there can be ONLY one… per nfl law. Then have THAT union negotiate… screw DE smith.

    I was thinking, “how stupid of a comment”, then I read where you were bred and it all made sense.

  15. andyreidisfat said this >>> “I think that guys like Smith and Goodell have no place in sports. Neither are sports guys. They are both lawyers out to make a name for them selves.”

    Goodell is not a lawyer (degree in economics) and is a ‘sports guy’ having worked for the NFL for 30 years.

    You are correct on D Smith (lawyer and not a sports guy)

  16. Isn’t it funny that for all the bad-mouthing that Smith and the rest of the bumbling fools running the NFLPA (and Mike, you can drop the *…we all know it’s still in existence) have been lobbying against the owners, Roger Goodells words are the truest to come from any of them…”the only way to get this thing done is to sit down at the negotiating table and get to work”. Finally, some of the rank and file are beginning to realize this. These guys act like the next CBA will be for minimum wage for the players and them being forced to have mandatory practices for 50 weeks a year (you know, like most people have to work). Give us fans all a break and GET BACK TO THE NEGOTIATING TABLE…..

  17. Players need to start applying pressure on other players, especially the players with their names on the law suit. I don’t think Brady and Manning are going to be hurting for money come September. The players should be looking to the veterans who were in the league for a while, but who do not make the big bucks. These are the guys who will have a better grasp of what is important, like retirement pay and health care.

  18. One has to wonder how many players truly feel the same as Jason??? That being said it’s high time they get together and rebel against DeDumb Smith get their own rep and negotiate with the owners.

    From what i’ve seen from De and Daboys they aren’t showing any real sign(s) that they want to negotiate and just about every name on the court filing i.e. Manning, Brady, Brees etc., they have big money already so what do they really care the others on the filing who have yet to get a big pay day may be wise to join Jason and his crew.

  19. He’s right. They’ve been at this for months now and we’re no closer to a resolution than we were when it started. How hard is it to see that this isn’t working?

  20. Instead, the players should work hard to stick together until the Eighth Circuit rules. If the lockout isn’t lifted, then the players should commit to working out the best deal possible.

    Impartial to the end

  21. Finally a voice of reason. This is starting to look less and less like NFL vs. players and more and more like Elite NFL players vs. players and the NFL.

    I guess that 15 mil a year plus another 50 mil in endorsements just aren’t enough. No cap, no min. salary, no max salary, guess who are the only winners in that situation? It isn’t the NFL. It isn’t the fans and it certainly isn’t 95% of the players.

  22. I do not see how more negotiatins can help. The sides have made thier positions abundantly clear in 2+ years of talks, mediations and proposals.

    It is now all about what each side is willing to settle for.

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