Football people not reacting well to new CBA rules

Getty Images

It’s widely believed that NFL owners agreed to overhaul practice and safety rules, cutting the offseason workout program and eliminating two-a-day practices, because it was a cost-free way to strike the financial deal the owners craved.

And now it’s for the football people to figure out how to be as competitive possible in a world with reduced contact and practice time.

One source who attended today’s labor seminar in Atlanta was blunt.  “The only thing the players didn’t get is someone else to play for them,” the source said.


It remains to be seen whether similar opinions come from those who have spent Friday digesting the new rules.

75 responses to “Football people not reacting well to new CBA rules

  1. I have a good idea of the collective bargaining process so let me explain and offer my opinion of what happened:

    (The media speculation on this has been horrible and sad at the same time.)

    1. Almost all of the 1800 players really DON’T have any idea what is going on. They werent part of any negotiations. (So Stallworth and Evans giving phone interviews talking about this is absurd. Those two were not involved in anything and they are not even player representatives. They have no idea what they are talking about and should be muzzled by D. Smith.)

    The only players who really know what is going on and know the inter workings of the CBA proposed are the ones on the negotiating team (Jeff Saturday, Dominique Foxworth, Charlie Batch, and the few others.) Thats it!

    It appeared that D Smith and this negotiating team got what they thought was a fair deal this week and called the 32 player reps in to look at it and vote on it on Wednesday. (If D Smith and the negotiating team thought they had a good deal then this shouldve been a no brainer to pass. These guys wouldnt have been called in to vote otherwise IMO.) For whatever reason the 32 reps did not vote “yes” on it despite it being presented to them as a “good deal.”

    I am sure this stunned the owners because they were under the assumption from the NFLPA negotiating team that both parties thought they had a fair deal. It obviously ticked the owners off too as they carried forward with their plans to ratify the agreement Thursday. It appeared that the phone conversation between D Smith and the Commish yesterday D Smith trying to get more things changed in the CBA. Obviously the owners and the commish refused being they thought both parties had agreed to a fair deal, so they ratified it.

    That is essentially what happened. That is why you have player reps saying they were hoodwinked or didnt get what they wanted,etc……because the owners passed the deal that D Smith and the negotiating team thought was fair, not the ones the player reps wanted to be passed (It is really shocking the player reps did not listen to D Smith on this. It clearly indicates there is in house fighting going on now. It seems these reps have a problem with league discipline issues, which to have this brought up at this point is unbelievable). Nevertheless, this debacle ultimately falls on D Smith and the negotiating team because they failed to convince the player reps to accept this deal.

    So like I said, the negotiating team knows everything , but that is only a handful of guys. The 32 reps know the main parts of the new CBA proposed by the owners. The rest of the players really do not know anything other than what their buddies may have told them……that is why Heath Evans really needs to be quite!

  2. “The only thing the players didn’t get is someone else to play for them”

    And the owners didn’t either.

    It works both ways.

  3. Uh, I’m fairly sure there will be some players who find that they do indeed have someone on their roster set to play for them.

    In fact, with rosters increasing to 46, at least one player from each team will learn this, on cutdown day.

  4. Tackling is going to be atrocious now, worse than it already was…. That is better for people who play fantasy football but that is about it…. These new soft rules are ridiculous, Dick Butkus is probably laughing at this new “safer” rules

  5. “The only thing the players didn’t get is someone else to play for them,”

    BUT BUT….The owners are evil and pulling one over on the players!

    Someone didn’t get the memo!?

  6. Well James Harrison…………what’s your opinion on these new “soft” rules that many of your union brothers seemed so hell bent on?

  7. One source who attended today’s labor seminar in Atlanta was blunt. “The only thing the players didn’t get is someone else to play for them,” the source said.

    That made me laugh…Thank you!

  8. That’s actually a fantastic idea – the players should get someone else to play for them, and then when those players start to make lot’s of money, they can hold out, hit their girlfriends, get arrested for DUI, get tv shows, etc and the whole cycle of life (as we’ve created it) can start…all over…again.

  9. I was pro player when this thing started, but the last 24 hours has put me firmly on the owners side.

  10. I wish the players would have the cajones to actually strike to stick it to these jerk owners.

    but they’re morons- no money savings whatsoever.

    Roger Goodell, Jerry Jones, > bad for football.

  11. The source is pretty much right. This really is a player friendly deal and yet they are the ones still talking things out.

  12. I wonder if guys like Maurice Clarett and Charles Rogers are reading these articles thinking their NFL careers are about to be resurrected as replacement players…

  13. Break out the flags.

    Bart Scott is right, the NFL is getting soft but this time he has to blame his own union* who made the owners agree to these terms.

    I personally agree with Scott in that training camp pushes and prepares the body for the tough season ahead. Seems like we may have to expect more players on IR during the season b/c they weren’t pushed physically in OTAs & TC.

  14. Sounds like your typical meathead response…let me guess, it was Ditka ???

  15. Pampering washed up Vets even more!….another thing I see happening ….that no else is mentioning … what motivation do these player reps have to get into camp??? Later to camp + later to sign rookies and free agents=job for another lazy vet.

  16. this can’t be good. bart scott was right- the conditioning level of fb players is ridiculous compared to how it was 20 years ago, making recovery time much shorter. letting players get flabby in the offseason ain’t gonna help nobody. just ask the vikings.

  17. Wow the owners PR machine is fully rolling now isn’t it ? Seem’s to be working too since most of the posts on here are now squarely anti-player.

  18. The risk of the game is part of the reason you get paid so much. People in the real world get paid more money when there is more risk to their health to do a job.

    Apparently that is not how it works for football players. Bring on the flag football and 2 hand touch. Well someone might break a nail snagging it on the flag.

  19. One source who attended today’s labor seminar in Atlanta was blunt. “The only thing the players didn’t get is someone else to play for them,” the source said.


    Well all that’s left is to call them a bunch of sissies and slap’em around!

  20. All of that plus a 99% floor, among other things, yet they have to think about it, and don’t appear to be in a great rush to do so.

  21. “The only thing the players didn’t get is someone else to play for them,”

    How can you not love that quote?

    Sign the damn deal players!

  22. Interesting post. The first thing I thought yesterday when the players started having hissy fits was how the league should portray in a more clear light how much they gave in to the players.

    I may even have considered rigging the owner vote for public consumption to show that there were like 5 or 6 dissenting owners. A 31-0 vote probably flickered in the dim witted collective brains of the players as if to say “…All owners say yes…we must be getting screwed…”

    The players at this point need to hear how much the league gave in…apparently they can’t read or comprehend what has been negotiated on their behalf.

  23. I said it before – owners made a great move here. It looks like the deal is a fair comprimise financially and if anything outside of that looks like a huge win for the players. If they delay this any more – there is only one side myself, and im assuming the rest of the fans will blame – and thats the NFLPA. Someone has been trying to win the PR battle for months, the owners just did.

  24. Just one more reason why the players are getting the better part of this deal. There should be no reason for them to be holding up the process.

  25. fcs34 says: Jul 22, 2011 2:23 PM

    Wow the owners PR machine is fully rolling now isn’t it ? Seem’s to be working too since most of the posts on here are now squarely anti-player.

    They have no need to try to make them anti-player, they are just reporting things as they happen. The situation is anti-player, nothing can change that right now besides them voting on this thing now. Otherwise, the smart fans are rightfully angry.

  26. If I want to watch a non contact sport…I could watch soccer or tidily winks, I love smash mouth, tough football…that’s why I watch…..pansies should stay out of the game and get behind a desk. Players know this and get paid for the short time they play….it’s a compensated risk.

  27. “The only thing the players didn’t get is someone else to play for them”


    This is the point.
    The players made out like bandits in this, financially and professionally, and everyone knew the owners were going to vote on the deal that both sides negotiated on Thursday, but all of a sudden the owners were the bad guys for doing what everyone knew they were going to. A bunch of players took to Twitter to complain in as vague of terms as possible, because the one person who doesn’t want this lockout to end sent spurious emails around “anonymously” and got everyone riled up.
    None of the players who have come out and screamed “switcheroo!” seem able to explain in clear or direct terms what got switched, and how they are getting short changed.
    Its clear the players got a lot more out of this than it looked like they were going to a couple of months ago, but the genius club is having difficulty even realizing it.
    Sure is a shame both sides couldn’t have put the nose to the grindstone and worked more than a few hours a day two days a week all through May and June and early July, so that this could have been ironed out already.
    But both sides thought they had plenty of time and that they were negotiating in good faith.
    Turns out they were wrong on both counts.

  28. Wasn’t it the players’ idea to cut down on practices? Now they’re worried that it’s going to be detrimental? The players are looking REAL bad right now…

  29. Between the players and Goodell, I fear that flag football is right around the corner — NFFL (National Flag Football League). They don’t want to wear pads in practice, pretty soon they won’t need ’em for games either.

  30. “The only thing the players didn’t get is someone else to play for them.”

    I have a better idea, why don’t the owners get someone else to play for the players and we wouldn’t have this issue. I bet there are a ton of CFL, UFL, NFL rookies, undrafted free agents, etc… to get enough good players for a league. Why exactly do we need THESE players? Do they think they are that special that football won’t happen if they aren’t on the field? By the time this CBA expires, 95% of the people who are voting to approve it will not be in the league. All but 5% will be replaced, lets just replace them now.

  31. I hope my fantasy NFL replacement squad can land Duante Culpepper or Jeff Garcia with the first pick. I don’t want to get stuck with Pat White or Eric Crouch…

  32. Guys. This deal is horribly owner friendly…. I mean even Mike Brown and Ralph Wilson voted yes…

  33. No Two A Day Practices in pads?
    10 OTA’s?
    48% of the Gross Revenue?
    Retirement benefits?
    Show up for work 6 months/year?

    As a former small college football player, I can’t believe how wussified they want the league to become.

    We had 3 a Day practices in the SoCal smog and desert and had OTA’s of our own that came in the form of a “mandatory” conditioning class. Oh, and we took out loans to pay for the $30,000 tuition.

    “They ratified a proposal that we haven’t even seen!” Where have you idiots been for the last five months? Quit playing dumb, quit crying and sign the damn deal.

    If the NFL wasn’t like crack to me, I’d drop the season tickets that have been in the family for 35 years.

  34. Players are just waiting for this current heat wave to end before they sign any deal.

    I don’t blame them – it’s over 100degrees today and tomorrow in Philly.

  35. I’m sorry, but did anyone not know this was going to happen? The entire point of a union is to work less and get paid more. This cycle continues until the business is no longer profitable.

  36. To every NFL player (and professional athletes in general) that maintain a twitter account: “Better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

  37. fcs34 says:
    Jul 22, 2011 2:23 PM
    Wow the owners PR machine is fully rolling now isn’t it ?

    I’m not saying either side is without guilt in this whole ordeal…BUT I think the PR machine for the owners is probably taking time off right now.

    The players are doing a pretty good job on their own of making themselves look bad.

  38. After a lockout full of players illegible tweets, modern day slave references, beatings, shootings (with Moms), gay obsession, and commish hate I’m easily on the owners side. Unfortunately it’s not just a few idiots, it’s many idiots.

    I think some (if not a lot) of this player hate of the Commish comes from the long overdue personal conduct policy. Just behave, no worries.

    I used to like to watch the NBA, not anymore! Will the NFL follow?

  39. NFL free agents, every day that goes by without this deal getting done is one more day without your signing bonus, and more money being paid to your lawyers. I’ll guarantee that their clock is running 24/7.

  40. (paraphrasing) “Wah wah wah, anti-player posters are NFL schills! No way can the be anything else but!!!”

    ^^ Won’t miss these kinds of posts at all.

  41. You know, Rothlisberger could pull this off. Opening coin toss vs. Baltimore. Ravens captains walk to the center of the field. Steeler captains, including Ben, walk to the center of the field…except…

    Ben is wearing a skirt over his uniform.

    This is not knocking Ben. This is just suggesting an absolute drop dead FUNNY scene…with the distinct possibility that Ray Lewis might lose it and try to cream Ben, during the coin toss.

    This would also work between the Pats and Jets, with Brady in the skirt (think of the selection he’d have, given Gisele’s wardrobe) …except Hoodie would never allow such a thing.

    Lets get the fun back in football.

  42. The owners aren’t fools in this either because mark my words this is setting up for a push for the 18 game schedule.

    In a couple of years with all these new rules they’ll be touting how much safer the game is with less practices and safer rules in game as a justification of having a longer schedule.

    As far as less practices are concerned I’ll wait and see how the quality of play on Sundays is effected before I say this is good or bad. All the teams are under the same restrictions and it just forces players to be more diligent themselves in keeping in shape rather than depend on the team to babysit their conditioning.

    With that said I think you’ll see a slight shift in draft philosophies with teams maybe now leaning more than ever on the blue collar hard working type of player rather than the riskier talented but needs babysitting kind.

  43. So can you imagine the amount of replays we are going to have when we have to decide if the defender had 2 hand touched the QB before he released the ball?

  44. Classic case of fools making wholesale changes to a bulletproof brand that people couldn’t get enough of.

    Kind of like Starbucks deciding to stop charging 8 bucks for a cup of coffee.

    All the commish, owners, players, and union had to do was get out of the way. Unfortunately for all of us they couldn’t do that.

  45. I believe that some teams will seek a competitive advantage by having more practices with pads than allowed for in the agreement. As usual, those who follow the new rules will be at a disadvantage…

  46. Players are nothing but lazy & a bunch of wimps. It’s obvious they want this to drag on & lose preseason practices. They don’t get paid for pre season games, so they don’t care if any are cancelled. Now they don’t have to have 2 a days.
    What’s their next demand? Maybe a mandatory manicure, pedicure & bikini wax for all players twice a month. Bunch of fairies!

  47. Did anyone hear tiko spikes on espn radio today what said has made me really rethink weather I want to remain a pro football fan,I mean I dont think I can get behind people that make millions and then cry about it. Guess what I am saying is to all of you who can do that is have fun being taken for granted by people who without the game would be serving you fries at Wendy’s and Mc D’s.

  48. These rule changes likely have as much to do with the owners wanting to protect their multi-million dollar investments as it does with the players wanting to extend their careers. No fan, owner, coach, or player wants to see the star of their team go down for the season because of some arbitrary tackling drill. If these new rules mean fewer pre-season injuries, I’m all for it, because it means that we’ll get to see the best possible lineups during the regular season.

  49. This comments in this thread are so uneducated and disjointed, it’s laughable.

    The FACT (and it’s amazing how many don’t even know this stuff) is that professional football players have NEVER been as busy during the off-seasons as they are now.

    In the so-called “good ole’ days” of the 1960’s players didn’t do crap from February until late July. Half of them smoked for pete’s sake. The idea of “working out” 12 months a year was laughable.

    Do fans and this old school “football person” really still buy into the only way to prepare a team is two-a-days in August heat like Bear Bryant did? Really?

    My god, that’s like saying the only way to communicate is picking up a rotary phone or writing a letter with a stamp on it.

    The NFL has been increasing OTA’s, off-season workouts, training camp time for YEARS. To have a modest adjustment to give these players a break is not going to ruin the game or increase injuries. Far from it.

    In fact, an MIT study said 71% of brain injuries in football happen in PRACTICE! There should be less physical practice, not more.

    Wake up people and do a little research before opening typing. My gosh.

  50. The whole reduction of practices thing is the only thing that I don’t like about this because there are other ways of keeping player safety and physicality at a level balance like better equipment or having some of the more respected players of the game e.g. Ray Lewis and others have a say on the competition committee to determine the rules which they do in the NHL. I think this is just selfishness on the players behalf because they are apart of the entitled generation that wants to be lazy and rich and to me thats sad. And I understand the previous commenter with the MIT study but there is such a thing as using technology to your advantage and I think the NFL and NFLPA hasnt done it yet because if they had better technology with the helmets then we could reduce brain injuries.

  51. I am Boycotting the NFL this year, and probably perminantly. I know I will get a lot of thumbs down, however, the NFL is not the same anymore, everyone can admit that, especially with these Money Hungry Players. Its not a sport to them, its a business.

    The passion is gone. Look at the NBA, many stopped watching that, it will happen to the NFL now. I have switched to College football now, they actually like to play the game!

  52. This is ruining pro football. I’ve never looked forward to a college football season as much as I am now. At least this will make me appreciate college and grade school sports more.

  53. How are less practices and only 16 full contact practices for the enire regular season good for football? This stipulation must come from veterans who want to do as least as possible and still get paid millions. And they were whining about a 18 game season and the head shot fines.

    Can you imagine walking into work and demanding when and where you do job training?

    Only more injuries will come from less practice. I cant beilive the players even asked for it.

    Since when do players of any sport dictate when and for how long they practice for?

  54. ” If these new rules mean fewer pre-season injuries, I’m all for it, because it means that we’ll get to see the best possible lineups during the regular season.”

    You are crazy if you think players will be healthier and in better shape with less practices. Its obvious after last year more and more pro players cant/wont tackle correctly.

    What good does only one pads practice a week do? Who does that help? All these rules only support the starting veterans who are trying to leglislate their job security in writing. Those vets always say the average carrer of a player is less then 3 years. Sure, for maybe the people who gfet cut and never start. Most of those veterans play double if not triple that in years. Even star RB’s last 5 years, the most physically demanding postion.

  55. “Do fans and this old school “football person” really still buy into the only way to prepare a team is two-a-days in August heat like Bear Bryant did? Really?

    My god, that’s like saying the only way to communicate is picking up a rotary phone or writing a letter with a stamp on it.”

    Horrible and bad analogy. vAnd its obvious you ARE NOT an old skool football person.

    Do you really beilive letting the players decide when and how hard to practice is good for sports?If that was the case many wouldnt have made it to te nfl with that logic in high school and college. I guarentee it.

  56. Those 2 a days and ota’s and long practices made those players the nfl players they are today.

    Though we all hated it, it helped in the end.

  57. “The NFL has been increasing OTA’s, off-season workouts, training camp time for YEARS. ”

    Not true. In fact i think the last cba limited a lot of those and set limits on how much teams could practice.

    Players may do more stuff in the offseason, but its not all practices and workouts liek you make it out to be. And of course players do more now a days to prepare then in the past. They also get paid millions of dollars as motivation. Whats your point? Id work harder to if i got paid more

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.