Onus falls on owners to get deal done


We painted earlier today a fairly rosy picture of the current status of the labor negotiations, based on the four straight days of talks with no players or owners present — and the decision of the two key figures in the labor dispute to behave like old friends, not mortal enemies, via their trip to Florida for Roger Goodell’s appearance at the seminar for the rookies organized by DeMaurice Smith.

Since then, we’ve learned from a source with knowledge of the dynamics on both sides of the table that the process remains, relatively speaking, far from over.  And the blame for the delay is being placed on the owners.

Per the source, a deal could have been done a week or two ago, but the owners have been playing games with some of the numbers, possibly relying upon the emergence and strengthening sense that the players are ready to get a deal done in order to squeeze the players on some of the smaller issues.

So what’s going on this week, featuring four days of talks without owners and players?  It could be that Goodell and Smith have opted to take full charge of the process in the hopes of ironing out all of the things on which the parties agree, and then to generate a list of the things on which they still disagree.  Then, the owners and players can return next week and knock out the remaining list of issues to be resolved, with Goodell and Smith pushing hard for their respective constituents to be fair.

If that’s the case, those issues need to be identified worked out by the end of next week, in order to then allow the various approvals to be obtained in time to have meaningful free agency before the first of the training camps open.  Even then, a one-week lag between striking a deal and obtaining approval from the court in Minnesota would leave the Bears and Rams roughly a week to sign their rookies and free agents before opening camp in advance of the Hall of Fame game.

Though we’ve got no problem with the two sides trying to get a good deal, we’re hoping that the sense of trust and friendship that has emerged between Goodell and Smith will infect the entire process, and that the owners won’t take advantage of the perception of inevitability in order to take advantage of the players as to various details that could derail a deal.

That responsibility on the owners ultimately lands on the lap of Goodell, who now must show true leadership in persuading the folks to whom he answers to not push so hard on the minor issues to possibly prevent a deal from being finalized.

54 responses to “Onus falls on owners to get deal done

  1. All this stuff about the Bears and the Rams. Eff the Bears and the Rams. They need to work out a deal that both sides can live with long term, and they’re not going to force it for the Bears and the Rams. They can push camp back and forgo the HOF game for one year. It’s not a big deal.

    Sounds to me like they’re getting there just fine. It’ll happen in the next week or so before the middle of July, which always seems to have been the drop-dead date.

  2. Onus is on owners – Sounds like some something a reporter would say. I don’t worry about Goodell getting consensus, Owners will trust him and fall in line

    I do worry about D-Smith trying to get the players lined up behind him

  3. “And the blame for the delay is being placed on the owners.

    Per the source,”
    Sounds like the “source” is likely on the players side. I’m sure another source would paint a different picture. This is the problem with anonymous sources… everyone has skin in the game so their angle is skewed. And when you as a reporter fail to mention that, the entire article loses credibility.

  4. How much longer can they negotiate. Just get it over with already or cancel the season. This has gone on too long. It makes no sense either. Arguing over 48% or 50%. Sick of hearing about it. Media just don’t report on this stupid crap until it’s settled.

  5. Keeping up with this is worse than being married to a schizophrenic. One minute a deal’s almost done; the next minute it isn’t. Talk about stretching the udder to milk a story!

  6. OF COURSE!!! It couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the players!

  7. “Onus falls on owners to get deal done”

    NO ONE CARES!!!!! Owners, players, Goodell, D Smith blah, blah blah. Get the thing done already so we can read the header “Deal’s Done, Are U Ready For some Football?”

  8. It’s not surprising.

    Stupid posters at PFT were always predicting that the thousand plus players “inability to act as one” would be their ultimate undoing.

    Yet we have seen that while they have stayed united it’s the greedy billionaire owners that can’t act with unanimity. So much for “conventional wisdom”.

  9. How can you say it’s all on the owners now? The owners have made 2 offers already. Not one counter-proposal or legitimate offer from the players has been published yet. What if D. Smith stops TALKING and starts WORKING? Negotiations are supposed to be back and forth. So far, it’s been nothing but the owners.

  10. @ clintonportis

    It is clear by your comment that you are the unnamed source in this article.

  11. Every time there’s a positive post about a deal getting done soon, it’s always followed up by a post that says not so fast. I’m sick of getting jerked around.

  12. Of course the onus is on the Owners. Once you accept $9B from your paying customer…, you kinda need to deliver the product.

    It’s been on them the whole time. If a single game is missed, they can kiss that guaranteed money goodbye forever. I’m sure the next TV Contracts will have built-in fail-safes should any labor disputes come up, so that monies get reimbursed for any drop in quality or quantity.

  13. The onus has always been on the owners.
    This is a lockout of the owners,by the owners and for the owners. At a time when every team is profitable and franchise values increase yearly how anyone blames the players for this mess is beyond reason.

  14. I am happy they are talking about a time a deal will be done rather than if a deal will get done.

    Now just finish it so we don’t miss any games and my team can get the players they need before the season starts

  15. Can’t wait until we stop getting into heated about owners vs. players but my team vs. your team.

    After this mess is done, I don’t ever want to hear anything about the lockout again. Don’t mention it during games broadcast, don’t ask players to look back on it, don’t ask owners about it, don’t analyze it, don’t discuss it!

    Free agency and real football talk is ALL I wanna hear after this lockout!

  16. The heading of this article may as well have been the Bat Signal to all the pro-owner dopes.

    When will you tards start to believe that your hero billionaires are negotiating in bad faith?

  17. clintonportisheadd says: Jun 29, 2011 11:01 AM

    It’s not surprising.

    Stupid posters at PFT were always predicting that the thousand plus players “inability to act as one” would be their ultimate undoing.

    Yet we have seen that while they have stayed united it’s the greedy billionaire owners that can’t act with unanimity. So much for “conventional wisdom”.
    Conventional wisdom says you’re an idiot.

  18. its their business, not their job, id rahter the owners be sticklers and comb over everything, they are the boss in the picture, not to be raked over by some partial union and their grandstanding lawyer.

  19. Get this thing done!! Before all the fans say the hell with the NFL!! This thing has gone long enough!!!

  20. Another smart tactical move by the owners. If the players are showing they’re eager to get a deal done, perhaps they’d be willing to concede a few more points first. Making them wait it out is a brilliant move.

  21. “t16rich says:
    Jun 29, 2011 11:27 AM
    get the deal done!!! or seahawk fans are going back to vancouver to riot”

    Haha, sounds like a plan. Let’s all just go take out our frustration in the streets of Vancouver. Seahawks fans, 9ers fans, Eagles fans, Cowboys fans, Steelers fans, Pats fans, the works. Let’s go set some stuff on fire.

  22. I just set up my fantasy football league. I don’t care who finishes the deal anymore as long as it gets done.

  23. 100 days of negotiation went by the wayside because the players wanted to litigate this as a matter of “anti-trust” and perform a “sham de-certification.

    I will accept that owners have possibly delayed 2-3 days but this Pales in comparison to the 100 days that the players have delayed/stalled negotiations – how about a little perspective in this article?

    Fair and balanced? I think not.

  24. The onus is to get a deal done period. If billionaires and millionaires want to split hairs on 48% vs. 50% fine. But realize this, the more you piss off fans, it won’t be long before you’ll be arguing over 0%.

  25. I bet if you were to asked the players if they felt like they have the power and are in control of this situation 99.9% would say mannn @#&% no!

    Why? Because the power remains with those who sign the checks.

    Meaning: A deal won’t be made until the owners say so.


  26. I am really really P…ed now.

    Here we have a group of people that produce nothing for the economy and are complaining the billions/millions aren’t enough. These people do a good job taking money from the economy and put their money in frivols use. Not helping the country .

    Many won’t see it my way. Let those guys go broke and see what they will do; most have proven they will turn to whatever means to get them money.

    I am totally turned off by all those creeps. Let them cry the blues while I may have another year without a raise; getting close to dog food time for me. GEES

  27. The majority of the owners will be in memory care facilities within a couple of years, having no recollection of the new CBA one way or another, nor having the slightest idea whether they have had lunch yet, or not.

    It might be that some of the owners are out to lunch already.

  28. Did you see the walkoff homer Evan Longoria hit last night? The Rays won in a pretty excitng game . Won’t be long now for the college games to start. I was really disappointed in the USA ‘s loss to Mexico in the Gold Cup match too. Well nothing much more worth commenting about since I can’t stand golf and tennis. Oh by the way , please get the deal done ,please!!!

  29. I love my pro football, but I think I’ll be watching more of the college game this year. Maybe buy some arena league season tickets. At least they don’t treat their fans like they’re irrelevent.

  30. The owners should just give the players the majority of the money. I mean really, what do the owners do but sit on their asses while the players risk life and limb. The owners are nothing but a bunch of money hungry jerks that live vicariously thru the players. The owners proved what they are by hiding money that was received. I say start another league by the fans…We could all contribute money and if that happened and seemed serious enough the owners would settle faster than you could say “Goodell”.

  31. This is supposed to be a ten year deal right?

    I would rather wait an extra week and maybe inconvenience the Hall of Fame game teams to gaurantee that for the next ten years that there is nothing to mention about this at all.

    One week of hot in the morning and they are real close to being done and cold in the afternoon they still have a long way to go blog posts is worth ten years of nothing at all.

  32. “Can’t wait until we stop getting into heated about owners vs. players but my team vs. your team. ”

    How about a compromise? My owner is better than your owner.

  33. I’m sure the Rams and Bears would love it if they only have to play four preseason games like everyone else. Most of the players for both CHI and STL that night would be fourth-fifth stringers who will be backups for the Edmonton Eskimos in October anyway. Just make sure we have the rest of the preseason intact, if need be, which I’m fully confident will be the case!

  34. This is from Liz Mullen on Twitter oh, 22 seconds ago… 2 NFL rookies at NFLPA event said Goodell, Smith indicated there could be full NFL preseason if everything goes perfectly in on-going talks.

  35. The overall lameness of the vast majority of posters regarding this topic on this site just boggles my mind. I can only conclude from this one of two things or perhaps both that football fans are the most selfish boorish least intellectual of all fan bases and or that this site is simply overrun with posters who get a paycheck or are friends with those that get a paycheck from the NFL league office and or the NFL owners.

    From the beginning the owners picked this fight and approached it like a fight not a negotiation. All appearances are that certain owners probably the Jerrys are still the biggest obstacle to a settlement. The wanted to break the union now their egos need something to massage the pride at not getting what they wanted.

    BTW the lamest of the posters are thse who waste everyones time with lets get this over with post. Is it really necessary to post that at this time? Not if you have heart and a brain just keep that junk to yourself. The pro owner posters are either the biggest fools are have a personal stake in this matter.

    I say lets get over with the lame posts and try something that has some intelligence behind that isnt clouded by an extreme case of memememe.

  36. @tompapp1-

    It cracks me up that you, and people like you, can’t seem to fathom that some people like me side with the owners just on sheer principle. I don’t know anyone who works for or draws a paycheck from the NFL, but I agree with their stance on sheer principle alone.

    Yes, the owners picked this fight, but let’s not forget the early termination of the CBA was AGREED TO in the last CBA by the players.

    The players knew they took it to the owners last time. They’ve admitted as much numerous times. This time the owners are choosing to take some back, and frankly, there’s nothing wrong with that. Besides, just who in the hell are you to tell someone who owns something how much money they can make off their investment?

    See, you morons who choose to blindly support the players fail to look at the long term health of the league. The players are only interested in NOW, TODAY, what can I get over the next three to five years? Meanwhile, the owners have to be concerned with tomorrow, the next 10 years.

    It’s to everyones best interest to come to a mutual agreement both sides can live with for the next 10 years. That way we don’t have to go through this crap again in two more years.

  37. This is oh so typical a response from a pro owner except there does appear to some intelligence behind it. First off I do not blindly support the players I have read tons about this before jumping to any conclusions. However it appears to me to be the pot calling the kettle black affair in that you seem to blindly follow the owners who clearly were willing to go to great length. This bit about the owners not the players are the ones really interested in the long term health of the NFL. That’s sheer comedy. The players to my mind appeared willing to give up some of their win from the last CBA but they didnt want to be played for fools and simply wanted some proof from owners who have shown they are not trustworthy in so many ways so often. So yeah they wanted proof and God forbid proof would sink this titanic ship according to the fat cat owners for some lame reason or another. If you were a player and you believed you could trust the owners word for anything you would be a laughing stock among your fellow players. You side with the owners because very likely you believe it is in your selfish interests to do so. Who cares if the players that risk life and limb on the field get a good or even fair deal or not. Of all the CBA’s the last one was the first one the players got a good deal from. That is irrefutable fact. So now because of that the whole thing is going to fall apart. That is complete BS. Yet somehow many if not most of the teams still made money. Not because of the owners not because of the players but because the fans love the product. These owners could screw up a one car funeral if left to their own devices and greed.

  38. I forgot to ask exactly what principle is it that you and the owners are standing on. Maybe its the one that says owners have the right to make more money than the players and the right to have the most power to screw up a sports league that so many have come to love more than any other element of said sports league.

  39. Please, spare me the “Players risk life and limb” crap. Having played football most of their lives, they know full well the risks associated with playing professional football. Yet they willingly CHOOSE to continue to do so for a living. Sorry, but any argument featuring that as a bases automatically loses credibility.

    Second, I side with the owners over the principle that employees should not now, nor ever run the ship. No one should tell a business owner how much money they can make, and no one should be allowed to micro-manage their business practices. In asking for full disclosure for the past 10 years, that’s precisely what the players were asking for- the right to micro-manage team operations. Sorry, but they do not, nor should not ever have that right.

    Lets not forget, the owners did in fact offer financial data. They offered up more data than at any time in the history of negotiations, data they don’t even share amongst themselves. The players refused this information.

    I have no doubt this upcoming deal will be a good one for both sides. It’s in their best interest to continue to be patient and work at it to get it right.

  40. @SpartaChris:

    It’s a little different when the employees are also the product and there are only 1,500 of them in the world that can help the league generate 9 billion dollars. We’re not talking about people sewing the buttons onto dungarees.

  41. Except the players aren’t the product. As I’ve correctly pointed out numerous times, The TEAM BRAND itself is the product. This is evidenced by every former player for Fans didn’t stop rooting for their favorite team when stopped playing/got traded/whatever. They went on to root for that player’s replacement.

  42. I just want the damn free agency period to start up already its gonna be crazy nuts to see where everyone goes and with a good third of the league up on the board i’m excited to see who goes where and all. Leave the lawyers out, and get a deal done lets go

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