League, players agree the time to do a deal is now


To the untrained eye affixed to a head featuring a mouth inclined to bitch simply for the sake of bitching, today’s simple statement from the NFL and the NFLPA* that talks are continuing could cause plenty of frustration.  To the folks who get it, the 21-word joint quote represents the cherry atop the whipped cream that decorates the hot-fudge-and-justified-optimism sundae that the owners and players have served to the football-following world.

The two sides are talking.  The lawyers have been left out of the process.  No one is running to the media to bicker or snipe.  And, as Albert Breer (not Brooks, Rosey, Breer) of NFL Network reports, both sides realize that the time to do a deal has arrived.

That said, getting there will take some time.  An NFL source told Breer that four-to-six weeks will be needed to progress from “serious negotiations” to the drafting of a formal document.  An NFLPA* source said that there’s a 30-day window to get a deal done.

Breer pegs the date for a deal to be reached and a “normal” preseason to occur at July 15.

Also, Breer mentions something we’ve previously heard regarding the initiation of the current talks.  Even though it has been reported that the mediator, Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan, requested the negotiations, the talks actually commenced at the behest of the NFL, which has been pushing the “kick out the lawyers and let’s make a deal” concept for months.  And despite an ill-advised remark from NFL appeals counsel Paul Clement on the courthouse steps following Friday’s hearing before the Eighth Circuit, a league source has vowed to Breer that the owners won’t contend that the negotiations constitute collective bargaining.

“Both sides feel the pressure now,” another league source told Breer.  “There’s risk on both sides legally here.  Neither side is completely comfortable with its legal position.  So it’s imperative to work now before one side or the other potentially gets the upper hand.”

Amen.  And we saw that not because that’s exactly how we’ve analyzed the situation, but because it’s exactly the right approach.  (OK, and because that’s exactly how we analyzed the situation.)

Of course, there’s still a long way to go.  But these issues are going to be resolved eventually.  Evidence of a clear commitment to resolve them sooner rather than later is the best birthday gift I could have gotten.

As to the issues, we’d be remiss not to plug the opening segment of today’s PFT Live, in which the main sticking points were summarized.

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57 responses to “League, players agree the time to do a deal is now

  1. This is good news, but it’s kind of depressing that there’s a minimum of four weeks needed to get this done. If talks break down at some point, that means there would be no avoiding a delay in the start of the season.

  2. “the 21-word joint quote represents the cherry atop the whipped cream that decorates the hot-fudge-and-justified-optimism sundae that the owners and players have served to the football-following world.”

    I smell Pulitzer Prize!

  3. Finally it looks like maybe some real (good News) maybe this thing will get worked out after all. Then sometime in November or December I will have a quick thought of this and as fast as it comes into my head it will leave, unlike now when it never seems to leave

  4. It’s so sad that this all could have been finished three months ago… they treat now as if the negotiations are just actually starting – I would love to know what the hell they even talked about during the countless hours since February

  5. I’d love to be optimistic about this, but optimists are the people who drafted Jamarcus Russell.

    Both sides will have to show some tangible ability to be reasonable before I’m doing any backflips.

  6. As long as the 8th circuit does not put their finger on the scales of justice, giving the owners or players an advantage, maybe the progress will continue.

    Whatever Judge Kermit Bye told the owners and players last week, about neither side liking the 8th circuit’s ruling…it seems to have started a fire under both sides, to get a deal done.

    Let us hope the leverage remains as is for now and the talks continue.

  7. NO Lawyers. This should include D-Smith, if Gene Upshaw was still alive the deal would have been done. He is not a Labor Lawyer. He is a trial attorney.
    Where is the National Labor Relations Board? It is there job to settle labor disputes. The next time the UAW wants a new contract will it go straight to court?

  8. Please get a deal done!!!!!!! I was starting to get used to the fact that I wont see my Dolphins lose–err I mean play on Sunday.

  9. There was never a chance- zero, zip, nada, that there was ever going to be a regular season game missed. I have been saying this since March.

    Unlike other people on here, I don’t claim to be some sort of super genius for predicting this nor do I claim to have some nefarious inside connection.

    I simply applied my background in business and law to the set of facts in this case, and came to two simple realizations:

    1) There was too much to be lost, and…

    2) They were never really that far apart. Despite the dramatic proclamations coming from both sides, the actual numbers being disputed were not that disparate when compared to the total pie.

    The two sides chose their respective strategies two years ago, and those strategies have converged here, exactly where they knew they would.

    The hearing before the 8th circuit has convinced them, one way or the other, that neither of them is going to gain significant leverage and that the time to do the deal is now.

    I was slightly off because I thought that one side or the other would gain leverage from the 8th, but my premise that this hearing would be the lynch pin was accurate.

    Again, unlike some other posters, I don’t expect any of the chicken littles on here who attacked and insulted me for having the gall to say that this wasn’t actually the end of the world to apologize to me now. Frankly, I could care less.

    I would hope, however, that all of the people who fell hook, line, and sinker for all of the doomsday predictions being cranked up by people who needed you to be angry and take a side to serve their own purposes, whether it be PR or web hits, will try to be a little more analytical and a little less hysterical the next time they are confronted with a serious issue.

  10. The world will end tommorow
    realitypolice: I knew that! I predicted that a long, long time ago

    The Panthers will win the Super Bowl this year.
    realitypolice: I knew that! I predicted that a long, long time ago

    Starbucks will start selling shoes and stop selling coffeee
    realitypolice: I knew that! I predicted that a long, long time ago

    Lady Gaga will be the next Prersident
    realitypolice: I knew that! I predicted that a long, long time ago

    Always that one annoying person that knew everything, AFTER the fact

  11. Now that genius realitypolice used his business training to come up with a model for predicting events.

    WOW, what a professor!

    Show us all where you posted this back in March

  12. uhh, nahhhh, u’ve waited this long, wait another 4 months, whats the rush, you’ve caused the fans pain, i wanna see someone suffer on the other side, no gamechecks, empty stadiums on game day. cmon, keep playing chicken, no one is chicken here right?
    ………this is all crap, dont beleive anything till deal is done. progress needs to be made but progress does not mean they r close or deal iminent.

  13. If the player’s attorneys are still committed to blowing up the NFL via anti-trust lawsuits, these discussions are meaningless. Remember that De Smith and Jeffrey Kessler’s goals are not to reach an agreement but to continue to generate millions in legal fees (25 mil for kessler 2006-2010) and to gain fame by blwoing up free agency, salary cap, and all the other rules that make the NFL the NFL.

    Thus they want to keep pushing the lawsuit track until that is totally exhausted. Look at everything they have done so far. They have never even diverted slightly from the anti-trust lawsuit track. That is their goal, not reaching an agreement.

    The only way an agreement can be made is if the players get them off this “nuclear option” track. That is going to be tough to do with the likes of Kessler and Smith. I hope they can do it but it would be really tough.

  14. gregjennings85 says:
    Jun 8, 2011 4:29 PM
    Like I said a week ago:

    “Within the next 2 weeks. Book it.”

    So that means we have a week left, but the story said it will take four to six weeks. I’m glad I didn’t run to my bookie.

  15. I hope the NFL realizes it’s pissing the fans off with all of this bantering back and forth. Get the freaking deal done! How hard can it be to split up 9 BILLION dollars!?
    The thing that really gets to me is that that number of 9 billion is expected to rise up to 11 billion dollars in the next few years due to TV contracts etc.
    Maybe the NFL has become too big for itself.. I don’t know.. All I know is that they better get this thing done. I want to sit in those meetings just see what they’ve been doing this whole time… seems like something should have been hammered out by now.

  16. myballsmyrules says:
    Jun 8, 2011 4:43 PM
    Now that genius realitypolice used his business training to come up with a model for predicting events.

    WOW, what a professor!

    Show us all where you posted this back in March

    Keep posting this crap, waterhead. You’re just showing your stupidity over and over and over.

  17. Other than the fact that the two sides are talking……what has happened to generate all of this eternal optimisim? DeMo is still in the room[a litigator ] and the financial issues are still there too.There remain many points of contention that could result in a breakdown of the talks.We also have the 8th Dist.Court. A decision could swing leverage and further delay negotiaions. This is not over until we have a CBA signed and delivered !! Its not over” till the fat lady sings” !!

  18. I believe Mike’s opening lines were for all the pro-owners fluffers on here. Bitching for the sake of bitching….LoL.

    DeMaurice Smith this…….

    DeMaurice Smith that…..

    Kessler this…….

    Shut up and enjoy the fact that there will be football this year.

    A fair deal for owners and players to continue to grow the game.

  19. reality police – please stop patting yourself on the back – no one likes an ‘i told you so”

    myballsrule nailed it (and it was funny – admit it)

    just shut up and take it like a man, sometime if you say nothing you are better off, now myballsrules knows he got under your skin and
    you dont have to start name callling

  20. Of course anyone with two grey cells to rub together knows that the union could have had a deal over 2 Months agao. (if they had wanted to negotiate in good faith,which they never wanted to do !).

  21. Fans all agree Deal should’ve been done a long time ago!

    @realitypolice -I think I speak for all waterheads, it is not very nice to catogorize us with that myballsrule character, you being a PFT prophet so to speak should already know that you comments would offend us.

  22. @realitypolice: Don’t engage that fool “myballsrule-because my stick is too small”. He is slow so his lame comebacks are posted as his dinosaur brain can come up with them. Watch. He will response then think of something even dumber and post that moronic thought.

    Also he has a unhealthy man crush on all NFL owners. I suspect he works at a stadium and they speak to him as they head to the suite. That makes his day, week and life.

    So ignore him….but watch how slow he is as he tries to respond to you, now me in about 4 different post’s. LOL.

  23. If you are a FA & there actually is a FA period of a couple of weeks… That person is going to have a busy few weeks to get to his physical, contract signed, press conference, move to area, find a place to live, & oh yeah, don’t miss the first day of training camp July 25 – Aug 1st. Furthermore, won’t be no time to really negotiate, better come strong with that first offer if your a GM.

  24. this is SOOOOOOOOOO frustrating!!! this is the first off-season in 3 years not drowned in Favre talk! Finally an off-season to focus on the other 1,600 players who DO practice all summer and DO want to be with their teams thru ALL of mini camp, and we’re stuck talking greed!!!

    :/ smh

  25. If significant progress is made in the negotiations, is there a possible chance that the league would lift the lockout in good faith so that the players would have enough time to get into a decent training camp or to at least get free agency rolling?

    Then again, I suppose if they get the deal done by July 15th, then they probably would be ok.

    This is at least positive news though!

  26. I know the real reason why this is happening now!

    Most of the fantasy sites are open now. Goodell is drooling to tell some DeSmith mama jokes on the smack talk page of his fantasy web site!!

  27. 4 to 6 weeks to draft the document????? what a joke. you have the previous CBA to work off of as a base… the basic changes could be input into it in a day….. i guess the lawyers need to squeeze in as many billable hours as they possibly can… what a hoax.

  28. I nearly pissed myself when I saw “League, Players agree to do a deal now”

    Too bad I missed words 🙁

  29. I don’t see how they could expect to (in time for a full pre-season) sign the 100s of free agents which usually include multiple club visits and get all the rookie contracts done if the deal isn’t signed until July 15.

  30. I see dashed hopes and broken dreams, a dreary fall with nothing but chocolate thunder dunks and throwin’ up treys to watch. The outlook from here is bleak.

  31. “NFLPA* and Owners say that the regular season will only have 8 games this year.”

    realitypolice: “I have been saying this for months now. I simply used my background in law (that American history class I took my second year of at Chico State) and business (that personal economics class I took at Missouri Community College) to figure out the very complex idea that this involves a lot of money.

    “World to end in 7 days due to recently discovered nuclear radiation coming form comment that appeared near Earth two weeks ago.”

    realitypolice: “I have been saying this for years. Due to my background in nuclear physics (that special on NOVA that I read about in TV Guide), astrology (I like astrology) and the Earth (Wikipedia).”

  32. To me, all this so called “talking” between the NFL and players is all bogus. Remember, back in March, the NFL and NFLPA/NFLPA* were talking when D. Smith walked out and had certain players file the lawsuit which started this legal mess.

    Until we hear that D. Smith has made a counter offer or made some concessions, it is all empty talk that leads nowhere.

    PS. Just what has D. Smith done that leads anyone to think that he is willing to negotiate instead of litigate?

  33. nflsucker says:
    Jun 8, 2011 4:23 PM
    I’d love to be optimistic about this, but optimists are the people who drafted Jamarcus Russell.
    …and it was the pessimists that passed on Tom Brady (several times each)

  34. So apparently Mr. F is pushing all his chips to the table with the snarky attitude of this post.

    I’m more willing to believe this is just for p.r. purposes for both sides and no deal will come of it, as a way to bide time for the court decision. Neither side wants to be seen as waiting on the court decision, so they engage in this dog and pony show.

    Mr. F better be right or he owes quite the apology for his attitude of you’re all dumb and I’m not attitude.

  35. NFLFAN101..as someone else stated..they finally doing it right.. Talk to each other and not the press. You will be hard pressed to find a more anti-DeMoron SHts person than me, but even I have to believe both sides are making moves toward the middle. Still don’t trust him, think he is a nasty little weasel and he is only in it for himself, but maybe he fools us all and gets a fair deal done.

  36. Dear NFL, please get a deal done before we all die of boredom.

    Please!!!! The NBA Finals will be over soon and then there will be NOTHING to watch.

  37. WingT says: Jun 8, 2011 5:28 PM

    Maybe the players will counter offer…shouldn’t that be the next logical step?


    After all the “lawyering” thus far, I find it hard to accept that logic will be the prevailing factor in reaching a deal…

    I do agree that the players need to make a reasonable counter offer…

    And oh by the way, I know nothing about the law or business…./heavy sarcasm

  38. Strange, once the stinkfist sucking lawyers are out of the group things start to come together?



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