New NFL Players Association president, and Browns center, JC Tretter needs to create a sense of unity in the union. And he knows it.
In a March 30 letter to NFLPA membership, Tretter addresses the importance of moving forward together after the contentious and close vote regarding a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
“Regardless of where you stood on this deal, it is important that we as players come together,” Tretter writes. “Unity does not mean that we are all in agreement on all issues. What it does mean is that, however the dust settles, we will be there standing shoulder to shoulder with our brothers to continue the fight.”
Tretter admits that the deal isn’t perfect, but he accurately points out that, in a labor negotiation, there is no perfect deal.
“Any compromise, by definition, is inherently imperfect,” Tretter writes. “I personally made those imperfections known throughout the process, but it is important to highlight the increases we earned at the negotiating table, especially as we consider the current worldwide pandemic, the uncertainty it causes and its effect on our economy.”
Tretter explains that the union has “secured a larger percentage of a growing pie,” that the deal made “core players . . . a top priority,” and that pension eligibility has vested or expanded for more than 10,000 former players.
“I have and will continue to spread a message of unity to our members,” Tretter writes. “There are many other issues that we will continue fighting for, and if we show the same energy and commitment as we did through our negotiations, we will earn the gains that we deserve as players.”
The letter makes no mention of the recent claim from free-agent safety Eric Reid that the final version of the CBA contains language that was not included in the version on which the players voted. It’s possible that Tretter’s letter was written and/or posted before the letter from Reid’s lawyers was published.
The NFLPA has said that it received the letter from the law firm of Geragos & Geragos, and that it is reviewing it.