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BlitzburghRockCity
02-10-2011, 12:09 PM
With the CBA at the forefront of all NFL talk right now, this seemed like a good time to make an official thread so we can all stay on top of what's going on.

A second day of negotiations in Washington between the NFL and NFL Players Association has been canceled, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
The sides, working to reach agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement by March 3, when the current CBA expires, canceled Thursday's planned talks after an extended session Wednesday.

The sides met Saturday in Dallas, and future talks are planned. Such setbacks are not out of the norm, but hopes of building momentum through multiple sessions this week will not be met.
Neither side would comment on what was discussed or how fruitful the talks were in Wednesday's session.


NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Sunday morning that this past weekend's bargaining session (http://www.nfl.com/goto?id=09000d5d81e289f3) with the players' union in Dallas was "beneficial."
In an interview with "Fox News Sunday" that aired the morning of Super Bowl XLV, Goodell called drug testing a key issue in labor talks.
Goodell said "a number of" individual players and owners participated in a two-hour meeting Saturday, the first formal bargaining session since Nov. 22.
"It's always a positive when both parties are talking," Goodell said.
Outlining major sticking points, Goodell talked about revenue division, rookie salaries and benefits for retired players.
"We want to continue on with the integrity of the game, which is my No. 1 issue," Goodell said, adding the league wants to make sure "we have the best drug program in sports."


The NFL and NFL Players Association issued a joint statement following Saturday's session at a Dallas hotel.


"The NFL and NFL Players Association met for two hours today in a continuing effort to narrow the differences and reach a fair agreement that will benefit the players, teams and fans," the statement read. "We plan to increase the number, length and intensity of bargaining sessions so that we can reach agreement before the (March 3) expiration of the current CBA."
The union has said it expects owners to lock out players if a new CBA isn't reached by the deadline.
Among the major issues are how to divide about $9 billion in annual revenues; the owners' push to expand the regular season from 16 games to 18 while reducing the preseason by two games; a rookie wage scale; and benefits for retired players.
The league estimates there would be a cut in gross revenues of $120 million without a new agreement by early March; $350 million if there's no CBA by August, before the preseason starts; $1 billion if no new contract is in place until September. And if regular-season games are lost, the NFL figures the revenue losses would amount to about $400 million per week.


The old deal was agreed to in 2006 and could have been in place until 2012, but owners exercised an opt-out clause in 2008.

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d81e3b1a2/article/nfl-union-meet-in-dc-cancel-thursdays-bargaining-session?module=HP_headlines

BlitzburghRockCity
02-12-2011, 10:44 AM
Adam Schefter Tweeted last night sighting a source deep inside the NFL that " These CBA talks don't have a chance, the owners don't want to barter. Go away for a month and come back, you won't miss anything"



Not a good sign :(

Nolrog
02-12-2011, 02:25 PM
This is idiots like Jerry Jones trying to slaughter the goose that laid the golden egg, just because he doesn't want to share. Very stupid of the owners.

Steelersfan
02-15-2011, 08:39 AM
This is going to get ugly. I don't see any chance of a season with the way things are going.


WASHINGTON -- The NFL filed an unfair labor practice charge against its players' union with the National Labor Relations Board on Monday.
The league's filing says the union "consistently has failed to confer in good faith" during negotiations for a new contract and the union's "conduct amounts to surface bargaining and an anticipatory refusal to bargain."
A statement e-mailed to The Associated Press by union spokesman George Atallah says the NFL's "claim has absolutely no merit."
The NLRB is a federal agency that enforces the nation's labor laws and referees labor-management disputes.
The current collective bargaining agreement expires at the end of the day March 3. The NFL Players Association has said it expects the owners to lock out players; the NFL's filing with the NLRB says that the union wants to "run out the clock" and, essentially, avoid reaching a new CBA so it can decertify and file an antitrust lawsuit.
Players already have voted, team by team, to authorize decertifying their union if a new CBA isn't reached by the deadline.
The NFLPA already decertified in 1989, then returned as a union in 1993, when a contract was reached with the league that provided for free agency. That landmark CBA was renewed or restructured several times since 1993, including in 2006. The owners opted out of that most recent deal in 2008.


http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=6121861

jpele
02-15-2011, 08:48 AM
NFL files unfair labor charge against union


WASHINGTON -- The NFL filed an unfair labor practice charge against its players' union with the National Labor Relations Board on Monday.

The league's filing says the union "consistently has failed to confer in good faith" during negotiations for a new contract and the union's "conduct amounts to surface bargaining and an anticipatory refusal to bargain."

A statement e-mailed to The Associated Press by union spokesman George Atallah says the NFL's "claim has absolutely no merit."

The NLRB is a federal agency that enforces the nation's labor laws and referees labor-management disputes.

The current collective bargaining agreement expires at the end of the day March 3. The NFL Players Association has said it expects the owners to lock out players; the NFL's filing with the NLRB says that the union wants to "run out the clock" and, essentially, avoid reaching a new CBA so it can decertify and file an antitrust lawsuit.

Players already have voted, team-by-team, to authorize decertifying their union if a new CBA isn't reached by the deadline.

The NFLPA already decertified in 1989, then returned as a union in 1993, when a contract was reached with the league that provided for free agency. That landmark CBA was renewed or restructured several times since 1993, including in 2006. The owners opted out of that most recent deal in 2008.

Under the heading "Basis of the Charge," the NFL says in yesterday's filing with the NLRB that during current negotiations, the union delayed the scheduling of bargaining sessions; failed to "respond in a timely and/or meaningful manner" to owners' contract proposals; and insisted on "disclosure of financial data to which the NFLPA has no legal right and then suspending negotiations unless and until such data is produced."

The league's filing also accuses the NFLPA of "engaging in other actions demonstrating that the union has approached these negotiations with no intent to reach agreement through good faith collective bargaining."

Atallah's e-mailed statement said: "The players didn't walk out and the players can't lock out. Players want a fair, new and long-term deal. We have offered proposals and solutions on every issue the owners have raised."

The biggest issue separating the sides is how to divide about $9 billion in annual revenues; under the old deal, the owners receive $1 billion off the top, and they want to increase that to $2 billion before players get their share.

Among the other significant points in negotiations: the owners' push to expand the regular season from 16 games to 18 while reducing the preseason by two games; a rookie wage scale; and benefits for retired players.

Read more: NFL files unfair labor charge against union - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_722930.html#ixzz1E20COAke

BlitzburghRockCity
02-15-2011, 10:06 AM
NFL Notebook: Owners will gather on final day of CBA
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
The Associated Press
NFL owners will meet March 3, the final day of the current collective bargaining agreement.
It is possible the owners will call for a lockout of the players if negotiations with the union are not progressing sufficiently.
All 32 owners are expected to be at the meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., that follows two days of committee meetings that were previously scheduled.
NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith repeatedly has said he expects a lockout. Talks broke down last week in Washington.
The owners opted out of the CBA in 2008.
Also, the NFL filed an unfair labor practice charge against the union with the National Labor Relations Board.
The league's filing says the union "consistently has failed to confer in good faith" during negotiations for a new contract and the union's "conduct amounts to surface bargaining and an anticipatory refusal to bargain."
Union spokesman George Atallah said the NFL's "claim has absolutely no merit."
The NLRB is a federal agency that enforces the nation's labor laws and referees labor-management disputes.
The NFL's filing with the NLRB says that the union wants to "run out the clock" and, essentially, avoid reaching a new CBA so it can decertify and file an antitrust lawsuit.
Players already have voted, team by team, to authorize decertifying their union if a new CBA isn't reached by the deadline.


Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11046/1125485-66.stm#ixzz1E2JmSh8X

BlitzburghRockCity
02-16-2011, 09:12 AM
On the Steelers: CBA negotiations play major role
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Peter Diana/Post-Gazette
The Steelers could place a franchise tag on linebacker LaMarr Woodley.


The Steelers apparently are standing pat for the most part and will not push to sign any of their top potential free agents before their contracts with the team expire with the end of the NFL's calendar year March 3.

Of the 15 players who could become unrestricted free agents under the old rules of a collective bargaining agreement set to expire at midnight March 3, only one could be found who has had any type of talks about a new contract. That includes their top three free agents to be -- linebacker LaMarr Woodley, cornerback Ike Taylor and offensive tackle Willie Colon.

They have held some "brief talks" for a new contract with offensive tackle Jonathan Scott, according to agent Jordan Woy, but have discussed no numbers. Scott started the final 11 games, including three in the postseason, at left tackle for injured Max Starks. He signed a one-year contract in 2010 as a free agent from Buffalo.
It also is possible they will put the franchise player tag on Woodley before the deadline to do so a week from Thursday. That designation would, under the old rules, guarantee that Woodley plays for the Steelers another season with his salary determined as the average of the top five linebacker salaries in the league in 2010. A year ago, that was $9.68 million and should reach $10 million in 2011. The Steelers did that with Starks in 2009 and were able to sign him to a new long-term contract that June. They would hope to do the same with Woodley, who earned only $550,000 last season, his fourth and the third as their starting left outside linebacker.


The teams, however, do not even know if there will be a franchise tag included when the owners and players agree to a new CBA. Still, teams have been designating franchise players over the past week, and the Steelers may follow suit with Woodley.
Before last year, players could become unrestricted free agents after four seasons, provided their contracts expired. They became restricted free agents after three years. That changed last year when the NFL entered the final year of the CBA as an uncapped year in 2010. Instead of four years needed to become a UFA, it turned to six, and that affected Colon. He lost millions in a potential long-term contract as an unrestricted free agent. Instead, Colon was restricted and signed a one-year tender for $2,198,000, then was lost for the season when his Achilles ruptured in June.

Woodley also was affected monetarily by the uncapped year, in which he earned a salary of $550,000. Under normal circumstances, with one year left on his contract entering 2010, the Steelers would have signed him to a multi-year, multi-million contract extension with a big signing bonus. But because of the rules changes in the final year of the CBA, any new contract would limit salary increases of no more than 30 percent annually, and 30 percent of $550,000 was not in the neighborhood that Woodley had since resided. The alternative was to give him a huge signing bonus but that might have cost anywhere between $25 million and $40 million.

So, Woodley played at a bargain-basement salary and, provided there is a new collective bargaining agreement this year, will make up for lost time either as the Steelers' $10 million franchise player or with a new multi-year contract.
The following are the Steelers free agents, assuming the old rules apply, making players unrestricted after four years and restricted after three:

Unrestricted -- Willie Colon, Nick Eason, Trai Essex, Keyaron Fox, Chris Hoke, Anthony Madison, Mewelde Moore, Shaun Suisham, Ike Taylor, LaMarr Woodley, William Gay, Jonathan Scott, Daniel Sepulveda, Matt Spaeth, Greg Warren.
Restricted -- Dennis Dixon, Tony Hills.
Exclusive rights -- Doug Legursky.


Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11047/1125666-66.stm#ixzz1E7wnsVCW

BlitzburghRockCity
02-16-2011, 09:14 AM
WASHINGTON -- The NFL filed an unfair labor practice charge against its players' union with the National Labor Relations Board on Monday.

The league's filing says the union "consistently has failed to confer in good faith" during negotiations for a new contract and the union's "conduct amounts to surface bargaining and an anticipatory refusal to bargain."

A statement e-mailed to The Associated Press by union spokesman George Atallah says the NFL's "claim has absolutely no merit."
The NLRB is a federal agency that enforces the nation's labor laws and referees labor-management disputes.

The current collective bargaining agreement expires at the end of the day March 3. The NFL Players Association has said it expects the owners to lock out players; the NFL's filing with the NLRB says that the union wants to "run out the clock" and, essentially, avoid reaching a new CBA so it can decertify and file an antitrust lawsuit.
Players already have voted, team-by-team, to authorize decertifying their union if a new CBA isn't reached by the deadline.

The NFLPA already decertified in 1989, then returned as a union in 1993, when a contract was reached with the league that provided for free agency. That landmark CBA was renewed or restructured several times since 1993, including in 2006. The owners opted out of that most recent deal in 2008.

Under the heading "Basis of the Charge," the NFL says in yesterday's filing with the NLRB that during current negotiations, the union delayed the scheduling of bargaining sessions; failed to "respond in a timely and/or meaningful manner" to owners' contract proposals; and insisted on "disclosure of financial data to which the NFLPA has no legal right and then suspending negotiations unless and until such data is produced."
The league's filing also accuses the NFLPA of "engaging in other actions demonstrating that the union has approached these negotiations with no intent to reach agreement through good faith collective bargaining."

Atallah's e-mailed statement said: "The players didn't walk out and the players can't lock out. Players want a fair, new and long-term deal. We have offered proposals and solutions on every issue the owners have raised."

The biggest issue separating the sides is how to divide about $9 billion in annual revenues; under the old deal, the owners receive $1 billion off the top, and they want to increase that to $2 billion before players get their share.

Among the other significant points in negotiations: the owners' push to expand the regular season from 16 games to 18 while reducing the preseason by two games; a rookie wage scale; and benefits for retired players.


Read more: NFL files unfair labor charge against union - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_722930.html#ixzz1E7x8COCk) http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_722930.html#ixzz1E7x8COCk

BlitzburghRockCity
02-16-2011, 03:43 PM
"We need an agreement that both sides can live with and obtain what they need, not simply what they want,” Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote in an op-ed that is appearing in newspapers across the country.
"Today’s collective bargain agreement does not work as it should from the standpoint of the teams,” he continued. “If needed adjustments are made, the NFL will be better for everyone. The first step is making sure a new collective bargaining agreement is more balanced and supports innovation and growth.”
Following is the complete op-ed column:


The time has come to make a deal




By Roger Goodell
One of the best NFL seasons in history is now over. We salute NFL players for their extraordinary talent and we deeply appreciate the tremendous support of the fans.
The hard work to secure the next NFL season must now accelerate in earnest. We are just weeks from the expiration of our collective bargaining agreement. There has been enough rhetoric, litigation and other efforts beyond the negotiating table. It is time for serious negotiations.

The current agreement expires on March 4, and I cannot emphasize enough the importance of reaching agreement by then. If we as a league — the teams and players’ union — fail to fulfill our shared responsibility to the fans and game, everyone will be worse off — players, teams and fans — starting in March.

This is an opportunity to create a better future for the NFL, to improve the game for our fans, and to expand the economic benefits for the players and teams.
Staying with the status quo is not an option. The world has changed for everyone, including the NFL and our fans. We must get better in everything we do.

The union has repeatedly said that it hasn’t asked for anything more and literally wants to continue playing under the existing agreement. That clearly indicates the deal has moved too far in favor of one side. Even the union’s president knows this — as he said on national radio on January 27: “I think what really happened is in 2006 we got such a great deal. I mean, the players got a good deal and the owners felt they got it handed to them.”

We need an agreement that both sides can live with and obtain what they need, not simply what they want.

Today’s collective bargain agreement does not work as it should from the standpoint of the teams. If needed adjustments are made, the NFL will be better for everyone. The first step is making sure a new collective bargaining agreement is more balanced and supports innovation and growth.

The NFL clubs want to move forward, improve the system, and secure the future of the game for the benefit of players, fans and teams.
The status quo means no rookie wage scale and the continuation of outrageous sums paid to many unproven rookies. In 2009, for example, NFL clubs contracted $1.2 billion to 256 drafted rookies with $585 million guaranteed before they had stepped on an NFL field. Instead, we will shift significant parts of that money to proven veterans and retired players.

The status quo means 16 regular-season and four preseason games — even though fans have rejected and dismissed four preseason games at every opportunity. We need to deliver more value to our fans by giving them more of what they want at responsible prices. This can be achieved if we work together and focus on more ways to make the game safer and reduce unnecessary contact during the season and in the off-season.

The status quo means failing to recognize the many costs of financing, building, maintaining and operating stadiums. We need new stadiums in Los Angeles, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Oakland and San Diego; and the ability for more league investment in new technology to improve service to fans in stadiums and at home.
The status quo means players continuing to keep 60 percent of available revenue, in good years or bad, no matter how the national economy or the economics of the league have changed. From 2001 to 2009, player compensation doubled and the teams committed a total of $34 billion to player costs. The NFL is healthy in many respects, but we do not have a healthy business model that can sustain growth.
Companies with far more revenue than the NFL have gone bankrupt because they mismanaged their costs and failed to address their problems before they became a crisis. The NFL has a track record over many decades of making good decisions that have led to unprecedented popularity. Negotiating a fair agreement will result in billions in pay and benefits to current players, improved benefits for retired players, and a sustainable business model for our teams.

The current deal does not secure the best possible future for the game, players, clubs and fans. The next few weeks must be used to negotiate with intensity and purpose so we can reach a fair agreement by March 4. If both sides compromise and give a little, everyone will get a lot, especially the fans.

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d81e56a03/article/goodell-we-need-an-agreement-both-sides-can-live-with

BlitzburghRockCity
02-20-2011, 10:48 PM
NEW YORK — Two weeks before a potential lockout, the NFL and its players' union are asking for help in their stalled negotiations.

Both sides agreed Thursday to mediation as they discuss a new collective bargaining agreement. The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, an independent U.S. government agency, will oversee talks in Washington beginning today.

After holding separate discussions with representatives from the league and the union, FMCS director George H. Cohen said both sides agreed to have the agency mediate. Mediation is not binding.

"Any time that both sides of negotiations can get together, whether through conventional means of bargaining or mediation, to come to an agreement that can benefit all parties, it is a good thing," NFLPA president Kevin Mawae told The Associated Press in an e-mail.

Negotiations broke down last week, leading to the cancellation of one planned session. The players are expecting the owners to lock them out if the CBA expires March 3 without a new agreement.

"Due to the extreme sensitivity of these negotiations and consistent with the FMCS's long-standing practice, the agency will refrain from any public comment concerning the future schedule and/or the status of those negotiations until further notice," Cohen said.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told The Associated Press in an e-mail: "We are now in mediation."

The league also switched an owners meeting from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on March 3, to Chantilly, Va., on March 2-3. In a statement, NFLPA spokesman George Atallah said: "The NFLPA has always focused on a fair collective bargaining agreement through negotiations. We hope that this renewed effort, through mediation, will help the players and owners reach a successful deal."

The biggest issue separating the sides is how to divide about $9 billion in annual revenues. Among the other significant points in negotiations: the owners' push to expand the regular season from 16 games to 18 while reducing the preseason by two games; a rookie wage scale; and benefits for retired players. "Our ultimate goal is a new CBA," Atallah wrote yesterday on his Twitter feed. Cohen said in a statement that the negotiations will be conducted "under my auspices." He is no stranger to sports mediation. He was involved in Major League Soccer talks with its players' union and a work stoppage was avoided last year. Cohen also has worked with the players' associations for Major League Baseball, helping end the 1994-95 strike as a consulting attorney, and the NBA, and was an advisor to the NHL players' union before joining the FMCS.

Aiello told The AP the mediation would not have an effect on the NLRB complaint.
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay recalled the last CBA negotiations in 2006, a deal the owners opted out of in 2008. "Since the last time, things have broken off and guys have gone their separate ways," Irsay said. "I remember that happened the last time and (then-commissioner) Paul Tagliabue ended up texting (union chief) Gene Upshaw and said, 'Why don't we get back together.' So you never know when something positive can happen and something good can get done.
"I don't have a strong anticipation something will get done before (March 3), but I think it's possible."


Read more: NFL sides agree to mediation - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_723469.html#ixzz1EYeQZ1ae) http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_723469.html#ixzz1EYeQZ1ae

Black@Gold Forever32
02-21-2011, 12:50 AM
If a lock out happens then I really will consider not following the NFL for some time....Probably not for good but will take a break if there is a lock out and the season is missed.........I don't fault the players at all but just tired of BS owners like Kraft, Jones, Synder, and of course *** clown commish himself Roger Goodell.....

acero
02-21-2011, 01:07 AM
If a lock out happens then I really will consider not following the NFL for some time....Probably not for good but will take a break if there is a lock out and the season is missed.........I don't fault the players at all but just tired of BS owners like Kraft, Jones, Synder, and of course *** clown commish himself Roger Goodell.....

i agree with your take on this 4 guys haha

the nfl could use another 4 or 5 owners like the rooneys

BlitzburghRockCity
02-21-2011, 09:08 AM
WASHINGTON -- Federally mediated negotiations toward a new NFL labor deal lasted about eight hours Sunday, the third consecutive day the league and its players' union met to try to find common ground before the current contract expires.

NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith didn't stop for questions as he left the Washington office of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, a U.S. government agency, shortly after 6 p.m. He and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell arrived within minutes of each other, shortly before 10 a.m.

Sunday was the third consecutive -- and, so far, longest -- day of face-to-face communication after months of slow and sometimes contentious bargaining. The sides have met for a total of more than 20 hours since Friday in front of George Cohen, director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.

Because both sides agreed to Cohen's request that they not comment publicly on these negotiations, it's not clear what, if any, progress is being made.
"You know we're not going to give you any information," NFL outside lawyer Bob Batterman said as he left with three league executives. "I can't say anything, other than the fact that we are meeting."

Batterman, who represented the NHL when it lost its entire 2004-05 season to a lockout, then referred to Cohen as a "first-class mediator."
The NFL's labor deal expires at the end of the day March 3. The union has said it believes team owners want to lock out the players as soon as the next day, which could threaten the 2011 season.

On his way into the talks yesterday morning, Jeff Pash, the NFL's general counsel and lead labor negotiator said, "We are working hard, and we're following the director's playbook, and we'll see what we come up with."

Lawyers Jeffrey Kessler and Richard Berthelsen, current players Tony Richardson of the New York Jets and Charlie Batch of the Steelers, and former players Pete Kendall and Sean Morey were among those representing the union yesterday. They began arriving before 9 a.m.

"Conversation is good," Richardson said when he left.
The sides met for about six hours on both Friday and Saturday. Cohen announced Thursday the groups agreed to the mediation, which is not binding but is meant as a way to spur progress.

The plan calls for several days of negotiations with Cohen present. The mediation could be seen as a positive sign after several months of infrequent negotiations -- and frequent rhetoric, including charges from each side that the other was hoping for a work stoppage.

The league and union went more than two months without any formal bargaining until Feb. 5, the day before the Super Bowl. The sides met again the next week but called off a second meeting that had been scheduled for the following day.
The most recent CBA was signed in 2006, but owners exercised an opt-out clause in 2008.

The biggest issue separating the sides is how to divide about $9 billion in annual revenues. Among the other significant points in negotiations: the owners' push to expand the regular season from 16 games to 18 while reducing the preseason by two games; a rookie wage scale; and benefits for retired players.
No team owners have been seen at the mediated sessions, but they're surely keeping up with what's happening -- and at least one indicated optimism about the 2011 season in a roundabout way.

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay tweeted yesterday: "T Minus 351 days 2 Sup Bowl kickoff in Indy...early predictions 4 participating teams???"


Read more: Mediated NFL talks wrap up 3rd day - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_723870.html#ixzz1EbA8NC00) http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_723870.html#ixzz1EbA8NC00

BlitzburghRockCity
02-21-2011, 09:09 AM
I think it will leave a bad taste in the mouth of all fans if there is a lockout. After all this is the NFL,not the MLB, NBA, or NHL; we don't have lockouts. The reality is though that greed is present in all sports and we all this is about greed and nothing else.

I couldn't say that I'd stop following the NFL if there were a lockout but I would be as upset as everyone else, and then some.

BlitzburghRockCity
02-21-2011, 03:26 PM
WASHINGTON -- The NFL and NFLPA have started Day 4 of negotiations before federal mediator George Cohen at the Federal Media and Conciliation Service.
NFL general counsel Jeff Pash was first to arrive Monday, going through the doors at around 8 a.m. ET. Outside counsel Bob Batterman arrived at the FMCS at 8:50 a.m., and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was right behind him at 9:12 a.m.

NFLPA officials met at their 20th Street offices in the morning, before making the two-block walk over to the federal mediator's office just before 11 a.m. Executive director DeMaurice Smith arrived with Browns linebacker and executive committee member Scott Fujita (http://www.nfl.com/players/scottfujita/profile?id=FUJ296636). General counsel Richard Berthelsen, outside counsel Jeffrey Kessler, permanent player rep Pete Kendall, and executive committee members Sean Morey, Charlie Batch (http://www.nfl.com/players/charliebatch/profile?id=BAT039161) and Tony Richardson (http://www.nfl.com/players/tonyrichardson/profile?id=RIC389026) were among the union contingent.

Sunday's meetings lasted over eight hours (http://www.nfl.com/goto?id=09000d5d81e654a5), the longest day of negotiations since the NFL and NFLPA arrived in Washington on Friday.
On the way out of Sunday's meeting, Richardson said the "conversation is good." Pash said earlier in the day that, "We are working hard and following the director's playbook. We'll see what we come up with."

But both sides, per Cohen's request, have been operating under a cone of silence on the details of the meeting. The NFL and NFLPA agreed to the federal mediation on Thursday, and logged a total of more than 20 hours of meetings on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The current collective bargaining agreement expires on March 3.
The plan is for this set of meetings to go right through Thursday, with the clock ticking to the expiration of the CBA. Union chiefs will meet with player agents at a mandatory summit at the scouting combine on Friday, and the league has meetings scheduled on March 2 and 3 in Northern Virginia near D.C.

The players believe that team owners are preparing to lock them out as soon as March 4, which could threaten the 2011 season.

News of the start of mediation could be a positive sign after several months of infrequent negotiations -- and frequent rhetoric, including charges from each side that the other was hoping for a work stoppage.
The league and union went more than two months without any formal bargaining until Feb. 5, the day before the Super Bowl. The sides met again last week but called off a second meeting that had been scheduled for the following day.

The most recent CBA was signed in 2006, but owners exercised an opt-out clause in 2008.

The biggest issue separating the sides is how to divide about $9 billion in annual revenues. Among the other significant points in negotiations: the owners' push to expand the regular season from 16 games to 18 while reducing the preseason by two games, a rookie wage scale and benefits for retired players.
Cohen was involved in Major League Soccer's negotiations with its players' union last year, when a possible work stoppage was avoided.

He was the baseball players' association's lead lawyer in federal court in 1995, when the National Labor Relations Board obtained an injunction against owners from then-District Judge -- and now Supreme Court Justice -- Sonia Sotomayor that led players to end their strike, which lasted more than seven months.
The FMCS was involved in negotiations during the 2004-05 NHL lockout and in a 2005 dispute between the U.S. Soccer Federation and national team players.

BlitzburghRockCity
02-22-2011, 11:03 PM
An very good resource to follow, this particular page has the full, most recent, CBA, between the NFL and the NFLPA.

http://nfllabor.com/current-cba/

bensshoes
02-23-2011, 02:21 AM
this whole thing sucks. the owners couldn't get on the same page and now there trying to negotiate with the players association? What crap!:cope::cope::cope:

Deviouz1
02-23-2011, 03:11 AM
personally i think its bs from both sides. yeah the owners are greedy schmucks but the players are just as bad. the one thing i keep hearing from them is "oh player safety<whimper>, they dont care blahblahblah" and i understand where theyre coming from(sort of) considering the BS this last season with helmet to helmet fever, but seriously, what does changing 2 preseason games into competitive games really change? people get hurt in preseason all the time. its not like they play two hand touch during it so wtf? theyre just doing it because of how the league was acting last year.

to be completely honest i think that rule about hitting defenseless recievers while theyre in the air is a crock of boiling poo too. dont want to get slaughtered while youre in the air? dont catch a ball over the middle when the defense is in a zone just waiting for it. if you want to blame anyone for the safety of those receivers, blame the QB's that put them in the position to get hammered. as The Great One said "I believe the game is designed to reward the ones who hit the hardest. If you can't take it, you shouldn't play". HEAR HEAR! dont neuter the defense because QB's dont give a damn about their receivers and just put the ball wherever the hell they want.

start fining QB's for that kind of thing instead and you'd see a drastic drop in the amount of broken ribs and concussions their receivers get. if they can catch the ball but in doing so put their very lives at risk then guess what? theyre NOT FREAKING OPEN! just seems to me that within the next 10 years or so we're gonna be watching the National Twohand Touch League where the players get fined if anything but their hands touch the other players.

Jack Lambert says theyre all a bunch of SISSIES!

:rant2:

hit 'n run
02-23-2011, 10:13 PM
start fining QB's for that kind of thing instead and you'd see a drastic drop in the amount of broken ribs and concussions their receivers get.

Jack Lambert says theyre all a bunch of SISSIES!

:rant2:

That's a good idea.

P.S.
Did Jack say that recently?

Deviouz1
02-23-2011, 10:51 PM
That's a good idea.

P.S.
Did Jack say that recently?

not that i know of but you know he would if asked. that or something similar. then again if he broke your arm he would tell you to stand up, rub some dirt on it and get back out there, theres more football to be played.

chuck norris aint got **** on Jack Lambert.

http://www.gifsoup.com/view/372487/jack-lambert-o.gif

hit 'n run
02-23-2011, 11:03 PM
Oh I love Lambert. Always.
Norris, not so much. Van Damme in Bloodsport - YES!

Deviouz1
02-23-2011, 11:25 PM
ive always loved his attitude. believe it or not it had quite the impact on me, especially in my teen years. that "you may not like me, but you WILL respect me" thing just gives me the warm fuzzy happys every time.

BlitzburghRockCity
02-25-2011, 07:00 PM
Watching ESPN at work today over lunch, I heard them about some progress continuing to be made in the talks but that the major issues are still far from resolved at this point.

BlitzburghRockCity
02-27-2011, 10:17 AM
INDIANAPOLIS — NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and the league's top labor negotiator used this week's annual scouting combine to update owners on the collective bargaining negotiations.


In an e-mail to The Associated Press, league spokesman Greg Aiello confirmed Saturday that Goodell and Jeff Pash met Friday with the owners' labor committee at the Colts' team complex. Colts owner Jim Irsay, Aiello said, did not participate because he was out of town.


"There was a meeting yesterday at the Colts' offices of the ownership's labor committee for another update from the negotiating team," Aiello wrote.
The NFL Players Association and league owners are trying to work out a new collective bargaining agreement before the old expires at the end of Thursday.
The two sides spent seven straight days negotiating in front of federal mediator George Cohen in Washington before talks ended Thursday. They are scheduled to resume Tuesday.


Both sides have abided by Cohen's request to stay quiet about the negotiations, but it's becoming increasingly clear that everyone involved is bracing for the NFL's first work stoppage since 1987.


"Everyone is building their team the same way. You'll have the draft, you'll have free agency, none of those things are going away," Kansas City Chiefs general manager Scott Pioli said yesterday. "It all is going to be there at some point, and you're going to build your team the way you build your team."


Agents also expect a salary cap to be part of the eventual deal.
The latest meeting in Indy was another odd twist on one of the NFL's biggest and busiest offseason events. Suddenly, all that talk about big-time picks like Cam Newton and Nick Fairley has been overshadowed by the continual meetings about the looming lockout.


On Thursday night, league officials met with head coaches and general managers. Jacksonville Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio described the meeting as "informational."
On Friday, NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith took his turn. He spent two hours updating agents on the negotiations, then the union put four prominent agents — Tom Condon, Ben Dogra, Drew Rosenhaus and Joel Segal — side-by-side in a show of unity for Smith and the players.


Three blocks away, at Lucas Oil Stadium, the site of next year's Super Bowl, prospective rookies were working out at the same time agents began tweeting that potential rookies would not be allowed to talk with team officials if the CBA expires. Union and league spokesmen quickly said that was untrue.


Yesterday, word leaked about Goodell's meeting on the city's west side. Aiello did not provide details of the most recent discussions which included the labor committee co-chairman — Pat Bowlen of the Denver Broncos and Jerry Richardson of the Carolina Panthers — Dallas' Jerry Jones and New England's Robert Kraft.
The most recent CBA was signed in 2006, but owners exercised a clause in 2008 that let them opt out.
League owners want a greater percentage of the roughly $9 billion in annual revenue that is shared with the players. Among the other significant topics in negotiations are a rookie wage scale; the owners' push to expand the regular season from 16 games to 18 while reducing the preseason by two games; and benefits for retired players.
But the threat of a lockout has sped up the pace of negotiations.


After months of infrequent and sometimes contentious talks, the sides went more than two months without any formal bargaining until Feb. 5, the day before the Super Bowl. The sides met again once the next week, then called off a second meeting that had been scheduled for the following day.
Cohen said Thursday that the two sides had made "some progress" but "very strong differences remain."


"We want a deal and our hope is it will get done as quickly as possible," Smith said Friday. And so does the city of Indianapolis, which is set to host its first Super Bowl next season.


"I hear that they expect to get it done," Mayor Greg Ballard said during a visit to the stadium. "I'm glad that they're talking, that they're talking seriously. We feel that they'll get it done."


Read more: NFL owners receive labor update - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_724916.html#ixzz1FAWjZ8eK) http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_724916.html#ixzz1FAWjZ8eK

hit 'n run
02-28-2011, 08:50 PM
INDIANAPOLIS — NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and the league's top labor negotiator used this week's annual scouting combine to update owners on the collective bargaining negotiations...

...Both sides have abided by Cohen's request to stay quiet about the negotiations, but it's becoming increasingly clear that everyone involved is bracing for the NFL's first work stoppage since 1987...

...After months of infrequent and sometimes contentious talks, the sides went more than two months without any formal bargaining until Feb. 5, the day before the Super Bowl. The sides met again once the next week, then called off a second meeting that had been scheduled for the following day.
Cohen said Thursday that the two sides had made "some progress" but "very strong differences remain."

.. "We want a deal and our hope is it will get done as quickly as possible," Smith said Friday. And so does the city of Indianapolis, which is set to host its first Super Bowl next season...

"I hear that they expect to get it done," Mayor Greg Ballard said during a visit to the stadium. "I'm glad that they're talking, that they're talking seriously. We feel that they'll get it done."


Underneath all the content-free verbiage - what's really going on?

BlitzburghRockCity
03-02-2011, 08:27 PM
It's about 30 hours before D-Day or Crunch Time or whatever you want to call it. The CBA expires at 11:59pm on 3/3/2011. The owners and players have been talking today and will continue to talk. The owners are actually just leaving the mediating room now but the talks will continue.

There may still be a lockout but after the owners met today there has been no action as of it.

BlitzburghRockCity
03-03-2011, 07:25 PM
http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d81e95bf8/article/league-players-union-agree-to-24hour-extension-in-labor-talks?module=breaking_news

WASHINGTON -- The NFL and NFL Players Association agreed Thursday to a 24-hour extension of the negotiating window for a new collective bargaining agreement, sources told NFL Network's Kara Henderson.

Momentum to approve the idea of "stopping the clock" built throughout Thursday as the sides met for over eight hours in front of federal mediator George Cohen.
The original expiration date for the current CBA had been 11:59 p.m. ET Thursday. Now the union's deadline to possibly decertify is 4 p.m. ET Friday, according to NFL Network's Albert Breer.

The 24-hour extension could very well lead to a longer extension, according to a league source.

U.S. District Judge David Doty was in his chambers in Minnesota, prepared to review whatever was put his way. However, Todd Winter, one of Doty's law clerks, said the office wouldn't comment on anything regarding CBA negotiations at this time.
Doty would have to sign-off on any extension before it becomes valid.

"We're going to keep working," NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith said Thursday.

The terms of the extended deadline were open to negotiation, according to a league source. The amount of time, how it corresponds to the league year (can teams still sign existing free agents or cut players?) and the enforceability of the league's drug policy were eligible to be worked out between the sides.

The NFLPA isn't willing to take decerification -- as definied by the rights in the current CBA -- off the table, according to sources, just as the NFL is certain not to rule out the possibility of a lockout.

A time extension or "stopping the clock" occured during the 2006 labor negotiations, and a deal ultimately was reached. The NFLPA was prepared to decertify Thursday if no deal or extension was reached.

If the union eventually decertifies, sources told Breer that quarterbacks Tom Brady (http://www.nfl.com/players/tombrady/profile?id=BRA371156), Peyton Manning (http://www.nfl.com/players/peytonmanning/profile?id=MAN515097) and Drew Brees (http://www.nfl.com/players/drewbrees/profile?id=BRE229498) would serve as the lead plaintiffs in any potential antitrust lawsuit filed against the league.
The union has been asking league owners to open their books and reveal more economic data about expenses and revenue. After meeting with Cohen on Wednesday night, a source said, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and his negotiating team were in a position where they would be inclined to reveal more financial data at Thursday's session.

The labor talks even have drawn the attention of the nation's first fan -- President Barack Obama.

"You have owners worth close to a billion, players making millions. The parties should be able to work it out," Obama said in a statement Thursday. "I'm a big football fan. For an industry making $9 billion, I'd hope they can figure out how to divide it up in a sensible way. ... I hope they can come to an agreement without me having to intervene."
Goodell and the NFL's negotiating team arrived at the mediator's headquarters about 45 minutes ahead of NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith and his group.
Staring at the first pro football work stoppage since 1987, Goodell said Thursday morning, "We're working hard."

Also on hand for the NFL were lead negotiator Jeff Pash, outside counsel Bob Batterman, New York Giants (http://www.nfl.com/teams/newyorkgiants/profile?team=NYG) owner John Mara, Green Bay Packers (http://www.nfl.com/teams/greenbaypackers/profile?team=GB) president Mark Murphy, Washington Redskins (http://www.nfl.com/teams/washingtonredskins/profile?team=WAS) general manager Bruce Allen and several other league executives. Mara and Murphy are members of the league's labor committee, which has the authority to call for a lockout if a new agreement isn't reached.
"We'll stay at it as long as it takes," Pash said before the 10th mediation session at Cohen's office.

The owners didn't spend much time Wednesday discussing where the negotiations stood, cutting their planned two-day meeting to a three-hour affair at a suburban hotel. New England Patriots (http://www.nfl.com/teams/newenglandpatriots/profile?team=NE) owner Robert Kraft and Dallas Cowboys (http://www.nfl.com/teams/dallascowboys/profile?team=DAL) owner Jerry Jones, also members of the labor committee, headed home rather than stick around for further talks with the union.


There was a flurry of activity Wednesday: a four-hour mediation session attended by all 10 members of the owners' labor committee, NFLPA president Kevin Mawae and New Orleans Saints (http://www.nfl.com/teams/neworleanssaints/profile?team=NO) quarterback Drew Brees; the three-hour owners meeting at a hotel 25 miles away in Chantilly, Va.; a one-hour meeting of the league's labor committee immediately after the owners broke up; the cancellation of another planned gathering of owners Thursday; and a private visit with Cohen starting at 8 p.m. by Goodell, two top league lawyers, Mara and Murphy.

The biggest sticking point in negotiations has been how to divide the league's revenues, including what cut team owners should receive up front to help cover certain costs, such as stadium construction. Under the old deal, owners received about $1 billion off the top. They entered these negotiations seeking to add another $1 billion to that.

Among the other significant topics: a rookie wage scale; the owners' push to expand the regular season from 16 games to 18 while reducing the preseason by two games; and benefits for retired players.

BlitzburghRockCity
03-04-2011, 11:34 AM
Sides will be talking all day today and either reach an agreement, approve another extension, or just stop talking all together.

Most of the experts seem to feel there will be another extension approved.

TampaSteelGirl
03-04-2011, 11:49 AM
:popcorn:

Rampage
03-04-2011, 01:04 PM
Sides will be talking all day today and either reach an agreement, approve another extension, or just stop talking all together.

Most of the experts seem to feel there will be another extension approved.

Yeah, everything I've seen is a ten day extension for them to work this out. No way they'll come to an agreement on the whole CBA today; however, the extra two weeks of negotiation will probably end in a new CBA/season.

BlitzburghRockCity
03-04-2011, 01:48 PM
They've done this extension thing before and it's usually worked out into a new deal that everyone can agree on. Another week or 2 of talks is always a good sign. Hell, a month ago neither side would speak at all.

BlitzburghRockCity
03-04-2011, 04:42 PM
http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d81e9a6e6/article/sides-to-resume-talks-monday-as-cba-deadline-extended-a-week?module=HP_cp2

WASHINGTON -- The NFL Players Association and the league have agreed upon a seven-day extension of talks on a new collective bargaining agreement, one day after the sides agreed to a 24-hour extension of the expiration of the current CBA.
Negotiations are set to resume Monday, with the sides taking the weekend off. The seven-day clock would not stop in that case, meaning both parties will have five more days of negotiations, lasting through Friday, March 11.

The NFLPA informed the league during Thursday's bargaining session that it would begin the decertification process on Friday, according to sources, unless the league agreed to a 10-day extension of the talks. The sides have compromised on seven days.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters Friday that the existing differences between the league and union are best addressed through continued communication.
"This is going to get resolved through negotiations, not through litigations," Goodell said. "So, talking is better than litigating.


"We're going to continue to work as hard as we can. I promise."
Lead NFL negotiator Jeff Pash credited federal mediator George H. Cohen and his team for bringing structure, discipline and a seriousness of purpose to the labor discussions.
"There's been tremendous amount of discussion," Pash said of the extension. "It's time for us really to dig deep and try to find solutions and try to be creative and try to compromise in a way that will work for everybody.

"If both sides give a little, everyone can gain a lot. And that's what we have to try to do next week. It's a challenge. We've got very serious issues, we've got significant differences, but we are committed to collective bargaining."

The extension allows both sides the weekend to determine strategy and decide who should join the negotiating sessions for the final week that will run from Monday to Monday, most likely back with Cohen in Washington. Sides indicated Cohen's schedule would allow him to be a part of the process for that period of time.

During Friday's one-day extension, teams were instructed to operate as if the CBA has expired, meaning they no longer can cut, re-sign players or make any player moves until a new CBA is bargained. The terms would remain the same under the new seven-day extension.
Friday's 24-hour extension was, in essence, to allow Goodell and the league's lawyers sufficient time to determine if the owners were willing to push the deadline back and "stop the clock" on the collective bargaining agreement for a longer period of time.
The NFL gathered with Cohen on Friday morning to discuss terms of an extension of talks that would allow for an additional 10 days of negotiation before the expiration of the current CBA.

Smith and Kansas City Chiefs (http://www.nfl.com/teams/kansascitychiefs/profile?team=KC) guard Brian Waters (http://www.nfl.com/players/brianwaters/profile?id=WAT054642) arrived at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service about two hours after league representatives. Then, after a two-hour stay, Smith left the building at 1 p.m. and refused to answer questions about another extension.
"We want to continue to thank our fans for still being patient as we work through this," Smith said.
Each side had been expected to meet separately with Cohen before any negotiations would be held.


A union source told NFL Network's Albert Breer on Friday morning that "we've made more real activity in the last 24-48 hours than we did in two years." A second union source acknowledged the forward motion, but emphasized that major issues remain in the negotiation.

Pash said earlier that Friday's goal was to extend the deadline.
"If we can make the kind of progress that you needed to make to have a further extension, that's where we'd be looking," Pash said. "Hopefully, we can make some progress and keep this thing going. That's obviously in everybody's interest. It's been our goal all along and we're going to just keep at it."
Goodell said, "We're going back to work hard again," but gave no indication what he expects to happen.

The NFL believes smaller groups in the meeting room are more conducive to striking a deal, according to sources. On Wednesday there were 47 people in all involved in negotiations, which can be an unwieldy number.

The sides hope to avoid the first work stoppage since 1987 for a league that rakes in $9 billion annually. The labor unrest comes as the NFL is at the height of its popularity, breaking records for television ratings: This year's Super Bowl was the most-watched program in U.S. history.

The CBA was extended during the 2006 labor negotiations, and a deal ultimately was reached.

Sources said the NFLPA still isn't willing to rule out decertification, which is not unheard of, as the NFLPA decertified in 1989, then formed again in 1993.
If decertifies occurs, sources say quarterbacks Tom Brady (http://www.nfl.com/players/tombrady/profile?id=BRA371156), Peyton Manning (http://www.nfl.com/players/peytonmanning/profile?id=MAN515097) and Drew Brees (http://www.nfl.com/players/drewbrees/profile?id=BRE229498) would serve as the lead plaintiffs in any potential antitrust lawsuit filed against the league.

The union has asked league owners to open their books and reveal more data about expenses and revenue. After meeting with Cohen on Wednesday night, a source said, Goodell and his negotiating team were more inclined to reveal additional financial information at Thursday's session.

But Washington Redskins (http://www.nfl.com/teams/washingtonredskins/profile?team=WAS) player representative Vonnie Holliday (http://www.nfl.com/players/vonnieholliday/profile?id=HOL229554) cautioned earlier in the week that both sides are "still apart" on a pact to replace the current CBA.
"I don't see how we can be that close right now unless somebody is going to pull a rabbit out of the hat," he said. "I just don't see it."
Even President Barack Obama weighed in Thursday when asked if he would intervene in the dispute.

"I'm a big football fan," Obama said, "but I also think that for an industry that's making $9 billion a year in revenue, they can figure out how to divide it up in a sensible way and be true to their fans, who are the ones who obviously allow for all the money that they're making. So my expectation and hope is that they will resolve it without me intervening, because it turns out I've got a lot of other stuff to do."
The biggest sticking point all along has been how to divide the league's revenues, including what cut team owners should receive up front to help cover certain costs, such as stadium construction. Under the old deal, owners received about $1 billion off the top. They entered these negotiations seeking to add another $1 billion to that.
Among the other significant topics: a rookie wage scale, the owners' push to expand the regular season from 16 games to 18 while reducing the preseason by two games and benefits for retired players.

Since the 1987 players' strike that shortened the season to 15 games -- with three of those games featuring non-union replacement players -- there has been labor peace in the NFL. The foundation of the current CBA was reached in 1993 by then-Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and union chief Gene Upshaw. It has been extended five times as revenues soared, the league expanded to 32 profitable teams, and new stadiums were built across America to house them.

The contract extension reached in 2006 was the final major act for Tagliabue, who then retired, succeeded by Goodell. An opt-out clause for each side was included in that deal, and the owners exercised it in May 2008 -- three months before Upshaw died.

Smith replaced Upshaw as the union's leader in March 2009.

hit 'n run
03-04-2011, 06:06 PM
http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d81e9a6e6/article/sides-to-resume-talks-monday-as-cba-deadline-extended-a-week?module=HP_cp2

WASHINGTON -- The NFL Players Association and the league have agreed upon a seven-day extension of talks on a new collective bargaining agreement...

The NFLPA informed the league during Thursday's bargaining session that it would begin the decertification process on Friday, according to sources, unless the league agreed to a 10-day extension of the talks....

...NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told reporters Friday that the existing differences between the league and union are best addressed through continued communication.
"This is going to get resolved through negotiations, not through litigations," Goodell said. "So, talking is better than litigating.

... "We're going to continue to work as hard as we can. I promise."
Lead NFL negotiator Jeff Pash....
"There's been tremendous amount of discussion," Pash said of the extension. "It's time for us really to dig deep and try to find solutions and try to be creative and try to compromise in a way that will work for everybody.

"If both sides give a little, everyone can gain a lot. And that's what we have to try to do next week. It's a challenge. We've got very serious issues, we've got significant differences, but we are committed to collective bargaining."...

... Pash said earlier that Friday's goal was to extend the deadline.
"If we can make the kind of progress that you needed to make to have a further extension, that's where we'd be looking," Pash said. "Hopefully, we can make some progress and keep this thing going. That's obviously in everybody's interest. It's been our goal all along and we're going to just keep at it."
Goodell said, "We're going back to work hard again," but gave no indication what he expects to happen.

Sources said the NFLPA still isn't willing to rule out decertification, which is not unheard of, as the NFLPA decertified in 1989, then formed again in 1993.
If decertifies occurs, sources say quarterbacks Tom Brady (http://www.nfl.com/players/tombrady/profile?id=BRA371156), Peyton Manning (http://www.nfl.com/players/peytonmanning/profile?id=MAN515097) and Drew Brees (http://www.nfl.com/players/drewbrees/profile?id=BRE229498) would serve as the lead plaintiffs in any potential antitrust lawsuit filed against the league.

The union has asked league owners to open their books and reveal more data about expenses and revenue. After meeting with Cohen on Wednesday night, a source said, Goodell and his negotiating team were more inclined to reveal additional financial information at Thursday's session....

..Smith replaced Upshaw as the union's leader in March 2009.

In a perfect world, Pash and Goodell would still be choking on their words.
Jerry Jones & Company had no "good faith" intention of reaching an agreement.

And then they were confronted with the gutsy prospect of a class action lawsuit against them with front-men Brady, Manning, and Brees leading the charge.

Way to go, Smith and NFLPA!

BlitzburghRockCity
03-04-2011, 08:42 PM
Now that the owners don't have that 4.5 billion dollar treasure chest in their corner, things seems to be moving more quickly.

From what we've heard and read too, the NFLPA is still fighting the 18 game schedule with everything they have.

75Steeler
03-04-2011, 09:13 PM
I just want to know if we are going to have a football season next year. It really sucks not knowing.

Black@Gold Forever32
03-05-2011, 03:18 AM
I still think games or the entire season will be wiped out....Really I don't care....lol If a lock out happens there is plenty of other things I can do Sundays....lol I'm just a common working man and wouldn't miss rooting for billionaires/millionaires...lol That is how I look at it......

JensK
03-05-2011, 06:34 AM
I still think games or the entire season will be wiped out....Really I don't care....lol If a lock out happens there is plenty of other things I can do Sundays....lol I'm just a common working man and wouldn't miss rooting for billionaires/millionaires...lol That is how I look at it......

I agree, but on the other hand I do enjoy be entertained, and football brings my family together every Sunday, which usually never happens; We're all too busy on week-days. A lockout would not be the end of the world, but come September I believe most, or at least I, would miss it more than expected.

Callax
03-05-2011, 05:14 PM
It seems the owners got scared when the judge disallowed thier little trust fund of only 4 BILLION dollars and now that has to be shared with the players!!!
They are feeling very vunerable and want to make a deal before things fall apart !

BlitzburghRockCity
03-06-2011, 07:20 PM
Players and Owners will resume talks tomorrow morning; 5 days left until either an agreement is reached or the union decertifies.

Black@Gold Forever32
03-07-2011, 01:15 AM
I agree, but on the other hand I do enjoy be entertained, and football brings my family together every Sunday, which usually never happens; We're all too busy on week-days. A lockout would not be the end of the world, but come September I believe most, or at least I, would miss it more than expected.

Football brings my family together as well.......The only time I really see my Brother on a consistent basis is during football......:lol: My parents are originally from Western, PA not far from Pittsburgh and most of my family is passionate about Pittsburgh sports (mostly the Steelers).......But I'm just sick of all this BS from the owners and if games are missed or the entire season is wiped out due to the lock out then I'm walking away from the NFL.....I won't say I never will be back but would take at least a 3-5 year break from it......Fans need to take a stand and the only we can make an impact is by not watching any or attending games along with not purchasing merchandise......

BlitzburghRockCity
03-08-2011, 03:01 PM
NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith, right, with Charlie Batch and other players walk to negotiations with the NFL involving a federal mediator Monday in Washington.

The NFL's labor negotiations resumed Monday with the league and the players union close to $800 million apart on the central economic issue of how to divide the sport's annual revenue, according to sources familiar with the deliberations.

If there is to be a settlement this week, it probably would have to involve a tradeoff between the two sides on the revenue split under a salary cap system and another key issue: whether a federal court judge in Minneapolis would continue to oversee the sport's labor deal, said sources from throughout the sport, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the discussions are at a sensitive stage.

A settlement, if it is to be completed by the new bargaining deadline Friday, also would be likely to include an 18-game regular season that would be accompanied by reductions in offseason workouts and perhaps other concessions to the players, and a version of a rookie wage scale less restrictive than the NFL originally sought, the sources said. They cautioned that all the elements of a potential deal still could change as negotiations progress this week.
They also said that because the league and union remain so far apart on the major issue of how to divide revenue, there remains a significant possibility that the two sides will be unable to complete a settlement this week. That could result in a confrontation, with players decertifying the union and filing antitrust litigation against the sport's franchise owners, and the owners locking out players. The two sides also could extend their deadline again.

Some bargaining progress was made Thursday, according to sources. The league and union, negotiating under the supervision of federal mediator George Cohen, agreed to postpone by 24 hours their original bargaining deadline of 11:59 p.m. Thursday, then agreed Friday to a seven-day extension of talks.

Talks resumed Monday afternoon at the downtown Washington offices of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. Cohen is the agency's director.
"Players will work their butts off -- same as past [two] years -- to get this done," George Atallah, the union's assistant executive director of external affairs, wrote Monday on Twitter.

Participants in the bargaining have adhered to Cohen's request that the negotiators refrain from public comments about the details of the talks. But sources with knowledge of last week's developments said over the weekend and Monday that the optimism sparked by last week's postponements resulted mainly because there was some bargaining movement, not because that movement was particularly substantial.
Various sources said there was modest movement on the revenue-split issue. They put the remaining difference at between $750 million and $800 million per year.
Under the current labor deal, owners are credited with about $1.3 billion per year for expenses before the players' portion of the sport's approximately $9 billion in annual revenues is calculated. The league originally sought another $1 billion annual credit for owners before the players take their cut. The union rejected that proposal, saying it would amount to a pay cut for players not justified by the sport's economic conditions.
That gap was narrowed a bit last week but remains sizable, according to sources. Another major stumbling block this week, the sources said, is that the union continues to seek extensive financial data about team finances, while NFL negotiators remain reluctant to provide it.

Several sources said the two sides probably cannot reach a compromise on the division of revenue unless they couple it with another bargaining issue. That issue, the sources said, could be the continued oversight of the sport's labor situation by U.S. District Judge David Doty.

Doty has overseen the labor deal since 1993. Last week, Doty ruled that the structure of the league's television contracts violated the settlement agreement and wrote that he would hold a hearing to determine damages and remedies, including an injunction. That could jeopardize the owners' ability to receive their approximately $4 billion in TV rights fees from the networks next season if there is a lockout.

The owners view the exclusion of Doty from future involvement as a major issue in these negotiations and would be unlikely to agree to any settlement that includes his continued oversight of the collective bargaining agreement, sources said.
One possible tradeoff this week, multiple sources said, was for the league to essentially buy off the future exclusion of such oversight by making a major concession to the players on the revenue split.


Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11067/1130425-66.stm#ixzz1G2Ivxc89

coldrolled
03-09-2011, 09:46 AM
The Rooneys are in the talks today....

Talks are scheduled to resume at 9:30am ET.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports the owners will gain a voice in the negotiating room, with Pittsburgh Steelers President Art Rooney joining Clark Hunt (Kansas City Chiefs) and John Mara (New York Giants) as owners in the room.

The Rooney, Hunt, and Mara families have been true stewards of the game, and the NFL is smart for recognizing their roles in the history of the league and having them in the room for these mediated talks, which are now focused on financial transparency.

On Tuesday, the union rejected an NFL offer to disclose audited profitability data, and appear steadfast in their request for owners to "open the books".


OK.. Great..

Can someone answer me one question? if the nfl owners have to show their books and profits, what money does the NFLPA Union collect from all the players and what do they do with the money?? The agents get paid to make the players contracts, the nfl owners run their businesses and pay the players... what does the NFLPA do?

Mike Webster was broke and Bradshaw helped him out with medical things right? isnt the union supposed to collect monies and make sure the players have a pension and health coverage? what do they do with all the money? do they only pay out when the player hits 65? how many nfl players even hit 65? What is it that they are collectively bargaining? The Players need more healtcare and pensions right? im confused here...

BlitzburghRockCity
03-09-2011, 05:30 PM
WASHINGTON -- The NFL and the NFL Players Association commenced their 14th day of labor talks Wednesday morning at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service building on the heels of their longest session, a 9˝-hour meeting on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, the NFL made an offer for more financial transparency and it was rejected by the NFLPA. The dispute comes down to the inability of the sides to agree on what should and shouldn't be available to the union, putting the ongoing negotiations in peril.


According to league and union sources, the NFL offered the NFLPA top-line info -- an aggregate of profitability over a five-year period at the league level. The union pushed for more information at the individual club level, and the NFLPA's belief is having the numbers for each of the 32 teams is vital to justifying the additional cost credit the NFL is looking for, because that data contains financial information very specific like stadium and overhead costs.

The NFL currently receives a $1 billion cost credit from the NFLPA and has asked for more to "grow the game" as part of this negotiation. The league initially asked for an addition $1 billion, but has come down on that figure since.

Additionally, the NFL offered to illustrate the effect of economic conditions, the number of clubs who have experienced a shift in profitability over the aforementioned five-year period, 2005-09, and a third-party auditor to assess all information.
The union declined the offer to view the information.

According to a league source, the NFL's feeling was that it had made a major concession to reveal information on profitability that isn't even available to its clubs. The union's feeling, according to a players association source, was that it was important not to accept any offer to see additional information until it felt the information was sufficient to make decisions on how the $9.3 billion in revenue will be split up going forward, which remains the biggest issue in these labor talks.
The union had an auditor in Washington on Tuesday to evaluate the NFL's offer of additional financial information, and it subsequently rejected that offer. The NFLPA has also retained an investment bank to advise it in this process.

Indianapolis Colts (http://www.nfl.com/teams/indianapoliscolts/profile?team=IND) center Jeff Saturday (http://www.nfl.com/players/jeffsaturday/profile?id=SAT652599) said on his way from the FMCS building Tuesday that having the bank involved now "was to help judge how helpful the material they were offering to give us -- how worthwhile it was in helping us make a decision."
"We've made more information available in the course of this negotiation than has ever been made available in decades of collective bargaining with the NFLPA," NFL general counsel Jeff Pash said Wednesday morning. "Far more information. And we've offered to make even more information [available], including information that we do not disclose to our own clubs."

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was joined at Wednesday's meeting by NFL Pash, league outside counsel Bob Batterman, Washington Redskins (http://www.nfl.com/teams/washingtonredskins/profile?team=WAS) general manager Bruce Allen, Pittsburgh Steelers (http://www.nfl.com/teams/pittsburghsteelers/profile?team=PIT) president Art Rooney II, New York Giants (http://www.nfl.com/teams/newyorkgiants/profile?team=NYG) owner John Mara and Kansas City Chiefs (http://www.nfl.com/teams/kansascitychiefs/profile?team=KC) owner Clark Hunt. More members of the NFL labor committee are scheduled to arrive in Washington on Wednesday night.

The NFLPA team included executive director DeMaurice Smith and president Kevin Mawae.

"When we're talking, we have a chance at making progress," Pash said. "Every day, even days that have been difficult, we have good discussions on important issues.
"There is a long way to go, but as long as we stay at it, we have a chance to get an agreement done."

The CBA expires Friday at 11:59 p.m. ET. It originally was scheduled to expire this past Thursday, but that deadline was extended 24 hours. The deadline was pushed back another week after Friday's meeting. The league and the union met for seven consecutive days starting Feb. 18, then for four days in a row last week. The plan now is to meet every day this week.

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d81ead445/article/union-wants-more-financial-information-than-nfl-has-offered?module=HP_headlines

BlitzburghRockCity
03-09-2011, 05:34 PM
Can someone answer me one question? if the nfl owners have to show their books and profits, what money does the NFLPA Union collect from all the players and what do they do with the money?? The agents get paid to make the players contracts, the nfl owners run their businesses and pay the players... what does the NFLPA do?

Mike Webster was broke and Bradshaw helped him out with medical things right? isnt the union supposed to collect monies and make sure the players have a pension and health coverage? what do they do with all the money? do they only pay out when the player hits 65? how many nfl players even hit 65? What is it that they are collectively bargaining? The Players need more healtcare and pensions right? im confused here...


NFL players pay annual union dues $5000.00 from what I understand. The NFLPA also does a lot of charity work and helps players after their NFL career. They normally work together with the NFL itself in many areas even though the 2 sides are against each other during CBA talks.

This link might help you out too..

http://www.nflplayers.com/about-us/FAQs/

coldrolled
03-10-2011, 12:29 PM
NFL players pay annual union dues $5000.00 from what I understand. The NFLPA also does a lot of charity work and helps players after their NFL career. They normally work together with the NFL itself in many areas even though the 2 sides are against each other during CBA talks.

This link might help you out too..

http://www.nflplayers.com/about-us/FAQs/


really, only 5k per player, times 1300 players? And they have the power to shut down football operations and to change football into another MLB pile of crap.. so one day we will have the Pats and Giants being the top dogs every year... like the yankees and red sox...

everyones small town hero will end up a Pat or Giant or Jet...

sad...

DIESELMAN
03-10-2011, 12:59 PM
what does the NFLPA do?
Basically what every other union is supposed to do. Protect the rights of their union members. Make sure they get fair pay, health insurance, retirement benefits etc..... The owners want the work stoppage (lockout) not the players. All that gets negotiated into the CBA.

coldrolled
03-10-2011, 02:42 PM
Basically what every other union is supposed to do. Protect the rights of their union members. Make sure they get fair pay, health insurance, retirement benefits etc..... The owners want the work stoppage (lockout) not the players. All that gets negotiated into the CBA.

Ok.


Make sure they get fair pay -----
Well this is covered 500 fold :yellowthumb:

Make sure they get health insurance -----
Maybe the owners should buy insurance for a veteran players lifetime and lower their annual salaries?

Make sure they get retirement benefits -----
Maybe they should all get Charles Schwab's Brochure and Number.
If you cant retire on these salaries... give me a break... their salaries are like generational salaries.....

DIESELMAN
03-10-2011, 04:11 PM
I hear ya bro.....I am with you on the waaaaaaaay over paid argument. I've always said, what could these athletes not buy if they made 1 million per year, crazy ****!!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

BlitzburghRockCity
03-10-2011, 08:35 PM
The talks ended for today around 3pm; both sides are waiting to hear if they are going to be called back tonight for more talks or wait till tomorrow and try for a marathon meeting to reach a deal.

SteelDad
03-10-2011, 10:48 PM
Most of the tweets pouring out of the talks are not encouraging. My optimism of the past few days is dying rapidly. This could get really nasty if it goes to court. 'De-certify' might be the new buzz word for awhile.

BlitzburghRockCity
03-11-2011, 07:04 PM
NFLPA Union decertifies as talks breaks down...

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d81eb6e46/article/union-decertifies-after-failing-to-reach-labor-deal-with-league?module=breaking_news

WASHINGTON -- The NFL Players Association announced Friday that it has renounced its status as the collective bargaining representative of the players after failing to reach a new labor deal with the league.


The NFLPA said it will become a professional trade association that supports the interests and rights of current and former players.


NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said at 4:45 p.m. ET -- 15 minutes before the deadline for the union to decertify -- that "significant differences" remained after the league's latest proposal.


Smith said the league must agree by 5 p.m. ET to provide 10 years of audited financial documents for the union to agree to a third extension of the CBA deadline.
The union had until that time to decertify.


The NFL can impose a lockout of players, if it chooses, after 11:59 p.m. ET, when the CBA officially expires.

http://static.nfl.com/static/content/catch_all/nfl_image/d_smith_110311_IA.jpg
Union executive director DeMaurice Smith arrives at Friday's mediation session in Washington. (Alex Brandon/Associated Press)
"The union left a very good deal on the table," the NFL said in a statement. "It included an offer to narrow the player compensation gap that existed in the negotiations by splitting the difference; guarantee reallocation of savings from first-round rookies to veterans and retirees without negatively affecting compensation for rounds 2-7; ensure no compensation reduction for veterans; implement new year-round health and safety rules; retain the current 16-4 season format for at least two years with any subsequent changes subject to the approval of the league and union; and establish a new legacy fund for retired players ($82 million contributed by the owners over the next two years).


"The union was offered financial disclosure of audited league and club profitability information that is not even shared with the NFL clubs.


"The expanded health and safety rules would include a reduction in offseason programs of five weeks (from 14 to nine) and of OTAs (Organized Team Activities) from 14 to 10; significant reductions in the amount of contact in practices; and other changes."
Before Friday's meeting, Smith told WJFK-AM that the union was looking for "the exchange of information so we can make a fair deal."


Under the about-to-expire CBA, owners receive an immediate $1 billion to go toward operating expenses before splitting remaining revenues with players. Owners initially tried to add another $1 billion to that, and while they have lowered the up-front figure they want -- at least down to an additional $800 million, according to the union -- Smith has said it's still too much.


The NFL, meanwhile, said the union was offered unprecedented financial data, including some the league doesn't share with its teams.


The CBA originally was supposed to expire last week. The sides agreed to push that deadline to Friday.


The NFL hasn't lost games to a work stoppage since 1987, when a strike shortened the season and some games included nonunion replacement players. The foundation of the current CBA was reached in 1993 by then-Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and union chief Gene Upshaw. It has been extended five times as annual revenues soared above $9 billion, the league expanded to 32 teams and new stadiums were built.


The 2006 contract extension was the final major act for Tagliabue, who then retired, succeeded by Roger Goodell. An opt-out clause for each side was included in that deal, and the owners exercised it in May 2008 -- three months before Upshaw died. Smith replaced Upshaw as union leader in March 2009.


Two months later, Smith wrote Goodell a letter, asking for detailed financial statements from each of the 32 teams and the league as a whole. The NFL offered to turn over other economic data this week, and the NFLPA rejected that proposal (http://www.nfl.com/goto?id=09000d5d81ead445), calling the information "utterly meaningless."

================

Sounds to me by reading this, and we don't know all the details, that the NFLPA now has the tables turned on them and have become even more greedy than the owners. Neither side is without blame, they both are ridiculous for not being able to get past this. Now it has to go to court to figure it all out.

A few key points on this

The NFLPA can no longer negotiate on behalf of the players.
The NFLPA is no longer a union, but now a trade organization; which can now sue the NFL.
Players can also sue for anti-trust violations.

BlitzburghRockCity
03-11-2011, 07:48 PM
A work stoppage is more real a possibility than ever now folks. If you read the above article, there were a lot of things the owners gave into but ultimately it wasn't enough in the eyes of the NFLPA. So right now, technically an agreement could still be reached between the 2 sides before it goes to the courts. However assuming it does not, this thing could drag out for a month or perhaps as late as August or September. We just don't know that much right now since it just happened this afternoon.

We do know that:



There will be a draft: There will always be a draft no matter what each year.
Teams can not sign their players or any player from any other team until a deal is reached.
Free agents can not talk to their own teams or other teams about contracts.
Undrafted Rookie Free Agents can not be contacted by teams or signed until a deal is reached (this happens as soon as the draft is over, every NFL teams drafts multiple rookies that weren't taken in the 7 round official NFL draft.
The owners can technically lock out the players at 11:59pm tonight.

A Pac
03-11-2011, 08:25 PM
Both sides look extremely greedy at this point. De Smith should be canned. He neve wanted to strike a deal and wanted to decertify from the beginning. He has been trying to make a name for himself from day 1. He's a prick.

hit 'n run
03-11-2011, 10:21 PM
Both sides look extremely greedy at this point. De Smith should be canned. He neve wanted to strike a deal and wanted to decertify from the beginning. He has been trying to make a name for himself from day 1. He's a prick.

The players want to play.
Interrupting precious time from their limited career span is a bold demonstration of courage. A full, audited financial disclosure of the League's past ten years is a legitimate request by the NFLPA.

-> What does the League have to hide? Open the *#)* books!
The Supreme Court has ruled in the past that the NFL is a Trust, and therefore subject to anti-trust scrutiny.

The owners who lined up billions for tv rights - in preparation for their planned lock-out - couldn't have cared less about reaching an agreement. Fortunately, Judge Doty in Minnesota shot that plan down...
Jerry Jones & Jeff Pash are ideal poster boys for GREED and HYPOCRISY.

Yes, the players make $$$, but they have the scars to show for it.

igor0190
03-12-2011, 12:07 AM
I am completely on the players side in this... How can the NFL justify reducing salaries of the players when the league is so successful? They can't, which is why they won't open the books and show the financials. The NFL is extremely successful and when Upshaw and Tagliabue were in charge of their respective sides a deal got done. Both sides were extremely happy with the deal including the owners... Now they're saying that deal was crap?

Roger Goofball and De Smith better get their sh*t together, because if a dollar is lost by either side because of them trying to make a name for themselves, both should be fired immediately. It is completely unnacceptable for the NFL to not have a deal... There is more than enough money to go around.

SteelerDave74
03-12-2011, 02:04 AM
This whole thing is completely worthless. I am seeing a totally wiped out 2011 season. Really disgusted.

Black@Gold Forever32
03-12-2011, 04:26 AM
Really I hope the NFL crumbles.........I would laugh my *** off that these idiots ruined the greatest pro sport going.....I don't care if only 1 week is missed and if happens that one week of regular season games is missed then I'm done with the NFL.....Plenty of other things do on Sundays in the fall/winter......

airbrake 1
03-12-2011, 06:04 AM
The only good union is a broken union, these thugs have been putting the strong arm to american businesses for far too long...it's really beautiful that city and state goverments are finally standing up to these thugs (e.g. wisconsin)...i really think the owners need to drop the 18 game schedule but that is about it.... If these fools don't want to play for the deal that the owners had on the table ...screw them, go flip burgers or drive a taxi you big babies
unions do nothing but cover the asses of slackers and the people who actually do good work have to make up the slack for these lazy bastards

coldrolled
03-12-2011, 07:54 AM
I am completely on the players side in this... How can the NFL justify reducing salaries of the players when the league is so successful? They can't, which is why they won't open the books and show the financials. The NFL is extremely successful and when Upshaw and Tagliabue were in charge of their respective sides a deal got done. Both sides were extremely happy with the deal including the owners... Now they're saying that deal was crap?

Roger Goofball and De Smith better get their sh*t together, because if a dollar is lost by either side because of them trying to make a name for themselves, both should be fired immediately. It is completely unnacceptable for the NFL to not have a deal... There is more than enough money to go around.

WOW... the players get paid millions and the nfl owners are giving this offer to the union.. see below

screw the union... what else should the owners do.. start a new league without the union really sounds good..... the players and union are killing the golden goose, the players and union actually spend zero on marketing, stadiums, day to day feeding, coaches, trainers, flying, rooms, losing millions on loser players, players lost to injury and then the guaranteed money is just vaporized, i dont see the players complaining about all this.. but they want half the pot??? well at least holmes does :imho:..



Summary of NFL's Proposal to the Union
The NFL has provided a summary of their latest proposal to the union, which was rejected.

1. We more than split the economic difference between us, increasing our proposed cap for 2011 significantly and accepting the Union’s proposed cap number for 2014 ($161 million per club).

2. An entry level compensation system based on the Union’s “rookie cap” proposal, rather than the wage scale proposed by the clubs. Under the NFL proposal, players drafted in rounds 2-7 would be paid the same or more than they are paid today. Savings from the first round would be reallocated to veteran players and benefits.

3. A guarantee of up to $1 million of a player’s salary for the contract year after his injury – the first time that the clubs have offered a standard multi-year injury guarantee.

4. Immediate implementation of changes to promote player health and safety by:

* Reducing the off-season program by five weeks, reducing OTAs from 14 to 10, and limiting on-field practice time and contact;
* Limiting full-contact practices in the preseason and regular season; and
* Increasing number of days off for players.

5. Commit that any change to an 18-game season will be made only by agreement and that the 2011 and 2012 seasons will be played under the current 16-game format.

6. Owner funding of $82 million in 2011-12 to support additional benefits to former players, which would increase retirement benefits for more than 2000 former players by nearly 60 percent.

7. Offer current players the opportunity to remain in the player medical plan for life.

8. Third party arbitration for appeals in the drug and steroid programs.

9. Improvements in the Mackey plan, disability plan, and degree completion bonus program.

10. A per-club cash minimum spend of 90 percent of the salary cap over three seasons.

Bucsfan4ever
03-12-2011, 08:41 AM
Got this this AM...

Dear NFL Fan,

When I wrote to you last on behalf of the NFL, we promised you that we would work tirelessly to find a collectively bargained solution to our differences with the players' union. Subsequent to that letter to you, we agreed that the fastest way to a fair agreement was for everyone to work together through a mediation process. For the last three weeks I have personally attended every session of mediation, which is a process our clubs sincerely believe in.

Unfortunately, I have to tell you that earlier today the players' union walked away from mediation and collective bargaining and has initiated litigation against the clubs. In an effort to get a fair agreement now, our clubs offered a deal today that was, among other things, designed to have no adverse financial impact on veteran players in the early years, and would have met the players’ financial demands in the latter years of the agreement.

The proposal we made included an offer to narrow the player compensation gap that existed in the negotiations by splitting the difference; guarantee a reallocation of savings from first-round rookies to veterans and retirees without negatively affecting compensation for rounds 2-7; no compensation reduction for veterans; implement new year-round health and safety rules; retain the current 16-4 season format for at least two years with any subsequent changes subject to the approval of the league and union; and establish a new legacy fund for retired players ($82 million contributed by the owners over the next two years).

It was a deal that offered compromise, and would have ensured the well-being of our players and guaranteed the long-term future for the fans of the great game we all love so much. It was a deal where everyone would prosper.

We remain committed to collective bargaining and the federal mediation process until an agreement is reached, and call on the union to return to negotiations immediately. NFL players, clubs, and fans want an agreement. The only place it can be reached is at the bargaining table.

While we are disappointed with the union's actions, we remain steadfastly committed to reaching an agreement that serves the best interest of NFL players, clubs and fans, and thank you for your continued support of our League. First and foremost it is your passion for the game that drives us all, and we will not lose sight of this as we continue to work for a deal that works for everyone.



Yours,
Roger Goodell

jpele
03-12-2011, 09:23 AM
NFL owners have locked out the players, signaling the start of the league's first work stoppage since 1987.

Two people with knowledge of the league's decision told The Associated Press that the owners made the move at midnight, capping a Friday in which labor talks broke off because the league and the union couldn't decide how to divvy up $9 billion a year.

The people spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information.

Hours earlier, the union decertified, and 10 players, including MVP quarterbacks and Peyton Manning, sued the owners in federal court. The players also requested an injunction to block the lockout - even before the league imposed it.

BlitzburghRockCity
03-12-2011, 12:00 PM
NFLPA Renounces Union Status: What Does This Mean? (http://www.nfllockout.com/2011/03/11/nflpa-renounces-union-status-what-does-this-mean/)



March 11th, 2011


• Because a fair, new Collective Bargaining Agreement was unable to be reached by the expiration of the current contract, the NFLPA, to best serve its members, has renounced its status as a union in order to block the impending lockout by the owners of the NFL.


• By disclaiming interest, the NFLPA no longer represents the players in collective bargaining with the NFL. The collective bargaining process proved futile due to the owners’ desire to implement a lockout, and the players must take new action to fight to keep the 2011 season on track.


• As shown by a March 1 ruling by Judge David Doty, the NFL has been actively strategizing for a lockout of the players for more than two years. The NFL negotiated contracts with TV networks to provide over $4 billion in 2011to the NFL even if the owners shut down the League and no games are played in 2011. A federal judge decided that the purpose of the NFL’s deliberate actions was to “advance its own interests and harm the interests of the players.”


• The NFL left the players no choice. The protections afforded by federal anti-trust laws that prohibit illegal corporate behavior now offer the players the best chance to prevent a lockout and protect themselves and their families. Under federal law, the players understand that they must relinquish union affiliation to pursue their anti-trust case.


• Any agreement reached from this point forward with the NFL will be as a result of the court system, not a collective bargaining agreement.
• Disclaiming interest is the last ditch effort by the players to save the 2011 season.

steelersbabex25
03-12-2011, 04:33 PM
I'm speechless.

igor0190
03-12-2011, 05:26 PM
Seems as though everyone is listening to the propoganda put out by the NFL Network (owned by the owners). Why on earth would anyone expect the players to take a 15% pay cut when the league is so successful???

coldrolled
03-12-2011, 08:12 PM
Seems as though everyone is listening to the propoganda put out by the NFL Network (owned by the owners). Why on earth would anyone expect the players to take a 15% pay cut when the league is so successful???

Take the 15% cut and buy them insurance for their lifetime....

Why do you need a union? The owners are not criminals they are businessmen..
They created the NFL.. The Rooneys made good business for generations to be able to buy this franchise. now some cigar smoker union guy is telling them what they have to do and pay and give up? i dont get it. i bet there are 1300 other players who would play for millions of dollars and not complain..

Black@Gold Forever32
03-13-2011, 07:48 AM
The owners are the ones that are responsible for the lock out not the players..........The players have stated all along they want to play and just want to see the poor owners show their books to prove how much money the owners say they're losing......Don't get me wrong I think the players are over paid but that pandora's box was opened long ago and its way to late to try to strong arm the players in this.......We as fans watch the NFL because of the players not the 32 NFL owners......

If the owners want to be so stubborn and stupid to kill this golden calf then so be it.....I will just laugh my *** off........Crumble NFL crumble for all I care.....Players should start their own damn league.....

Bucsfan4ever
03-13-2011, 10:04 AM
As coldrolled posted, the owners are businessmen...and the players are employees. I don't think most workers have access to their employer's books. I don't know how it works if you belong to a union. Does any other corporation have to open their books to their union workers? I don't know. All I know is I want some football next year and I think they're both being greedy. It's just a lose, lose situation.

Scorp
03-13-2011, 06:57 PM
Lockout? Hey, c'mon guys let me in this isn't funny. WILMA!!!!!!!!!!

coldrolled
03-13-2011, 08:44 PM
The owners are the ones that are responsible for the lock out not the players..........The players have stated all along they want to play and just want to see the poor owners show their books to prove how much money the owners say they're losing......Don't get me wrong I think the players are over paid but that pandora's box was opened long ago and its way to late to try to strong arm the players in this.......We as fans watch the NFL because of the players not the 32 NFL owners......

If the owners want to be so stubborn and stupid to kill this golden calf then so be it.....I will just laugh my *** off........Crumble NFL crumble for all I care.....Players should start their own damn league.....

The players should start their own league... ?? You need money to back up your new nfl business... the players cant even control their wallets to pay for their own health care after making millions when they retire, and you think they will start a nfl football league?? :lol:

Dude.... Business and business people make everything go around... Their will be 1300 new non union football players before you will see the players make thier own league....

why doesnt the union start their own steel mill, auto compnay, football team.. because they suck out money, they dont create wealth.... :banging:

Black@Gold Forever32
03-13-2011, 11:30 PM
The players should start their own league... ?? You need money to back up your new nfl business... the players cant even control their wallets to pay for their own health care after making millions when they retire, and you think they will start a nfl football league?? :lol:

Dude.... Business and business people make everything go around... Their will be 1300 new non union football players before you will see the players make thier own league....

why doesnt the union start their own steel mill, auto compnay, football team.. because they suck out money, they dont create wealth.... :banging:

Ok let me explain further since you didn't seem to get it....I'm not saying Ben Roethlisberger as an example starting a league......I'm talking a player like Roethlisberger contacting somebody say Mark Cuban or somebody with deep pockets like that to get talks going on a new league.....

My point all along is the players are needed more then the owners.....There is plenty of other rich people out there that would probably wouldn't mind starting a new pro football league.....

**** the NFL owners and I hope the NFL crumbles......

--- Added 3/13/2011 at 09:30 PM ---

and for the ****ing last time stop mentioning the ****ing Rooneys....lol Jerry Jones, Dan Snyder, Robert Kraft are nothing like the Rooney family......Those three *** clowns are the biggest problem regarding this lock out.....

BlitzburghRockCity
03-14-2011, 12:29 AM
Seems as though everyone is listening to the propoganda put out by the NFL Network (owned by the owners). Why on earth would anyone expect the players to take a 15% pay cut when the league is so successful???

That's a good point, the NFLN is owned by the NFL, and it's a pretty fair bet they are monitoring what is going on with every show they put out.

I have no doubt both sides want to get this done; but the owners don't want to let out how much money they really make. We all know they could run a small country on the worth of any NFL franchise but I'd bet if we really know how much money they make we would be blown away.

coldrolled
03-14-2011, 09:50 AM
......I'm talking a player like Roethlisberger contacting somebody say Mark Cuban or somebody with deep pockets like that to get talks going on a new league..........

So this Mark Cuban will want only 20% of the profits and give the players 70% and the union and charitys like 10%? Then the players can can build their own training facilities and stadiums and will the doctors be on the field at the ready during practices and games, or will it be more like pop warner where you just send them to the local general when they get hurt.

whos going to pay the massive support cast on the field? or will it be more volunteer?

logic on this is crumbling..:imho:

nuclearchihuahuas
03-14-2011, 10:43 AM
I don't understand why the players "union" would think it is entitled to look at each and every teams books for the last 10 years. They are employees, not owners and certainly not equal partners (as they seem to be insinuating they are). Unions were created to guarantee fair pay and treatment, not equality with ownership. It seems to me, they have been offered fair/livable wages and health care. So imho, they are being greedy and unreasonable.

On the other hand, why are the owners so adamant about NOT opening their books. It truly makes it seem like they are hiding something and not being truthful with the players 'union'. They have made offers to the players, but why did they back out of the original CBA? If they really are not as profitable as they could be, why not show the books to the players? My guess is (IMHO) that they are and have been extremely profitable. Much more so than they have told the players about and are trying to increase that profit level now rather than waiting for (what was the) current CBA to run its course. They are being greedy and unreasonable too.

In short, the fans are being screwed by both parties who are both greedy bastards. I think the fans should demand an equal partnership (form a union of NFL fans) in the new agreement and should receive a share of the profits too. Hey, we should be greedy too since neither of them exists without us! :imho:

nuclearchihuahuas
03-14-2011, 01:03 PM
ESPN Just announced the owners have put aside enough money in case the season is cancelled. What are they putting the money aside for? Where did they get the money since the TV monies were declared illegal? Is this a scare tactic or practicality on the owners part because they really are going to push even if the season is cancelled?

Black@Gold Forever32
03-14-2011, 01:35 PM
So this Mark Cuban will want only 20% of the profits and give the players 70% and the union and charitys like 10%? Then the players can can build their own training facilities and stadiums and will the doctors be on the field at the ready during practices and games, or will it be more like pop warner where you just send them to the local general when they get hurt.

whos going to pay the massive support cast on the field? or will it be more volunteer?

logic on this is crumbling..:imho:

I'm not saying over night a new league will happen......But its possible for other wealthy sports owners like Mark Cuban who currently don't own an a NFL team to get the ball rolling on a new league.......Especially if this lock out happens and the entire season is wiped out....At this point that is what I'm rooting for........**** the NFL owners......and the NFL.......

XFL didn't work since it was poor quality football and the USFL didn't work since they bankrupted themselves into trying to compete with the NFL........If there was ever a time for a new league to work then this is the time really.......That is all I'm saying......You might not think its logical but who the **** are you really....Just another poster on a message board....Don't think you're special......:lol:

BlitzburghRockCity
03-14-2011, 02:41 PM
The federal antitrust lawsuit (http://www.nfl.com/goto?id=09000d5d81eb9269) filed by players against the NFL has been reassigned to a third judge, NFL Network confirmed Monday.


The case first went to U.S. District Judge Richard Kyle in Minnesota last Friday. Kyle recused himself for unspecified reasons and it was reassigned to Judge Patrick Schiltz. On Monday, Schiltz cited a conflict of interest because he represented the NFL in several cases as a private practice attorney. The case then went to Judge Susan Richard Nelson.

The motion for a preliminary injunction that would block an owners' lockout of players is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. CT on April 6, according to Nelson's office.
Deb Bell, interim division manager in the court clerk's office in Minneapolis, says cases are randomly assigned by computer.

The case may still be reassigned. The players want the case before Judge David Doty, who has overseen NFL labor matters since the early 1990s. Bell says that would be up to the judges to decide.

Scorp
03-14-2011, 05:29 PM
Maybe loans or something. Saved it for a rainy day.

coldrolled
03-15-2011, 09:35 AM
I'm not saying over night a new league will happen......But its possible for other wealthy sports owners like Mark Cuban who currently don't own an a NFL team to get the ball rolling on a new league.......Especially if this lock out happens and the entire season is wiped out....At this point that is what I'm rooting for........**** the NFL owners......and the NFL.......

XFL didn't work since it was poor quality football and the USFL didn't work since they bankrupted themselves into trying to compete with the NFL........If there was ever a time for a new league to work then this is the time really.......That is all I'm saying......You might not think its logical but who the **** are you really....Just another poster on a message board....Don't think you're special......:lol:

just trying to make a point that a new NFL without the union and collective bargaining would be the best thing....

:cope:

steeldoc
03-15-2011, 07:03 PM
Bullshit posturing...that's all it is. They are trying to break the players. They will break the players. Walking away from the table was a very stupid and arrogant move. I once sided with the players, but not so much now.

BlitzburghRockCity
03-15-2011, 07:12 PM
It's been widely rumored, and really fact at this point, that the owners have been preparing for a lockout for the last 2 years. It would seem at this point that the owners were going to do a lockout no matter what. According to Art Rooney II though, and what the proposal was on NFLLABOR.com that they did make some concessions but ultimately the paycut for players and other key areas were not going to be budged on and that was the downfall IMO.

BlitzburghRockCity
03-15-2011, 09:16 PM
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON -- Had enough of the he-said, he-said rancor between the NFL and players? Don't expect it to go away anytime soon.

The outcome of the league's first work stoppage since 1987 could be decided in court; the first hearing on the request for an injunction to block the lockout was scheduled for April 6.

Because the NFL Players Association says it no longer is a union, but rather a trade association, its lead spokesman George Atallah said any decision to return to negotiations would be up to the lawyers representing the players, rather than NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith. Asked whether there would be talks before the April 6 hearing, Atallah replied: "As of now, no."

The league, meanwhile, would prefer to return to the negotiating table immediately.
Kevin Mawae -- president of the NFLPA -- accused the league of spreading "complete falsehoods and complete lies."

Jeff Pash, the NFL's lead labor negotiator, said in a telephone interview that Friday's proposal contained an offer of a 10-year deal.

"If they were saying they were not going to negotiate, under any circumstance, after 4 p.m. on Friday, don't you think you have to ask yourself: Who was it who was in Washington putting on a show?" Pash said.


Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11074/1132056-66.stm#ixzz1GiVtZrIS

jannypan
03-19-2011, 03:18 AM
These CBA talks don't have a chance, the owners don't want to barter. Go away for a month and come back, you won't miss anything"

airbrake 1
03-19-2011, 09:19 AM
Both sides have some valid arguments...the players should vehemently oppose the 18 game schedule...which it seems the owners are already backing off on...the owners own the business and entitled to make a generous profit, that how businesses work in america....the players don't have guns to their heads forcing them to play there is the arena league, canadian league and if these don't meet their needs nothing is stopping them from starting a competing league....but with their history of money management that would be a fools folly...but the arrogance on both sides is starting to boil over this last week..heres a beautiful little quote from adrian peterson which was seconded by none other than rashard mendenhall...


It’s modern-day slavery, you know? People kind of laugh at that, but there are people working at regular jobs who get treated the same way, too. With all the money … the owners are trying to get a different percentage, and bring in more money. I understand that; these are business-minded people. Of course this is what they are going to want to do. I understand that; it’s how they got to where they are now. But as players, we have to stand our ground and say, ‘Hey — without us, there’s no football.’ There are so many different perspectives from different players, and obviously we’re not all on the same page — I don’t know. I don’t really see this going to where we’ll be without football for a long time; there’s too much money lost for the owners. Eventually, I feel that we’ll get something done.

.i'm sure the rooney's like being compared to slave traders...i think rashards days in pittsburgh may be numbered after that little faux pas

if making the money adrian petersen and rashard mendenhall make is slavery...by all means enslave me

and here's another little gem by ryan clark


“The difference between us and the owners is, my daddy didn’t give me this job. . . . When I leave this game, I can’t give my jersey to [son] Jordan and tell him to play,” he said. “There are going to be [the Giants’] Maras and Rooneys and all these guys forever who own these teams.”

wow...this is special stuff...i think he is heading in the direction that when dan rooney dies the goverment or some other entity should come in and sieze the PITTSBURGH STEELERS because it's not fair that the rooney family should get to pass their good fortune on down to their decendents...i'm sure he'll donate all his money to charity when he dies...I thin the deviouz1 would like the idea of the NFL being run by the goverment

ryans days with the steelers may also be numbered after this...the rooneys don't appreciate this kind of stuff

and since i want to be FAIR AND BALANCED here i will not leave the owners arrogance out...yesterday in the mail i got my 2011 season ticket invoice in the mail...i understand that the world doesn't stand still and the rooney's still have operating costs but i believe they should have said in the unfortunate events of the lockout the pittsburgh steelers will postpone season ticket holders from having to pay for games which may not occur...now with this wonderful invoice..i can either pay it or lose my seat license....the owners faux pas...FAIR AND BALANCED

BlitzburghRockCity
03-30-2011, 12:13 AM
The NFL Players Association this week began contacting players found eligible to receive payments from its lockout fund. Those payments will begin April 15.
The NFLPA established the fund to help players in need, and its accounting department has begun sending out notification letters and direct-deposit slips. The letters and forms going out to players -- copies of which were acquired by NFL Network/NFL.com -- include information on receiving payments.

According to an NFLPA source, the maximum payments to an individual player would total $60,000, to be paid out this offseason during the lockout. The fund was created via player dues and right's fees during 2009 and 2010. If a player was on a 53-man roster for all 34 weeks of the regular season during those two years, then he would be eligible for that maximum, $60,000 payment, which would be distributed in six projected increments.


The e-mail to players reads as follows:
"We are e-mailing you to inform you that the NFLPA Board of Player Directors approved the payout from the Lockout Fund to begin on April 15, in six installments or until the lockout ends. In order to start receiving your payments, please fill out the attached direct deposit enrollment form and return it to us with a voided check from your checking account or bank letter verifying the account information. We will e-mail you at the address that you provide on the form when payments are sent to your bank account.


"Please note that any other future payments that you may receive from the NFLPA or NFL PLAYERS Inc (for example player marketing deals or royalty payments) will be deposited into this account and you will be notified via email of the deposit."
During a recent press briefing at the NFLPA annual meeting, executive director DeMaurice Smith acknowledged the organization had a fund established to help players in need but declined to divulge any details about specifics of how deep it is or how much individuals could receive from it.


While $60,000 is more than the yearly household income for many Americans, and, in this case, is meant to help locked-out players make mortgage and car payments and provide a form of income at a time when they aren't being paid, it pales in comparison to the level of compensation to which most players are accustomed.


NFL minimum salaries -- paid over 17 game checks (and not including any bonuses or incentives) -- range from roughly $340,000 per season to just less than $900,000 per season. Many players earn substantially more than $1 million per season in annual compensation. The average NFL salary exceeds $2 million per season; a player making $2 million per season would receive nearly $118,000 before taxes, per game check.
Hundreds of players would have been eligible for free agency in March, and many had significant roster bonuses and/or offseason workout bonuses due to them. Those bonuses can range from approximately $25,000 to several million dollars.


For the past two years, NFLPA officials have been educating players on saving money for a lockout and stressing the importance of living on a budget and setting aside money to cover monthly living expenses for at least the spring and summer of 2011. Structuring short-term investments around the 2011 offseason also was a point of emphasis.


The lockout-fund payments will help, but if a player has lived beyond his means, it certainly won't be a financial panacea in and of itself.

(http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d81efe853/article/nflpa-to-pay-players-from-lockout-fund-starting-april-15?module=HP_headlines)
Article here (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d81efe853/article/nflpa-to-pay-players-from-lockout-fund-starting-april-15?module=HP_headlines)

BlitzburghRockCity
04-05-2011, 11:17 PM
Preliminary arguments will be presented to Judge Susan Nelson, in Minnesota. It's unlikely a ruling will be handed down tomorrow however. More than likely about 1-2 weeks before we know.

The goal of these proceedings to see whether or not the courts will block the NFL Owners lockout. There is a possibility as well that she could mandate that both parties go back to mediation.

http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-network-total-access/09000d5d81ec2f63/Importance-of-April-6-court-date

jpele
04-05-2011, 11:24 PM
I would like to see the judge say, " you will work under the old CBA until you work out a new deal."

DIESELMAN
04-07-2011, 08:45 AM
Even though the judge has been on her job for only 4 months, she has got her act together. She let all the parties involved talk for as long as they wanted to make sure everyone got their point across. Even with the time she allowed, the attorney for the owners was not prepare and couldn't get her to understand what the owners were doing. The best part IMO, she told everyone involved, it would be in everyones best interest to get back to the bargaining table, not the owners table and not the players table but the courts table.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

BlitzburghRockCity
04-07-2011, 09:30 AM
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- U.S. District Court Judge Susan Nelson said Wednesday that she will take the NFL and NFL Players Association's arguments "under advisement" but that she'll need "a couple of weeks" before she issues a ruling on the players' request for an injunction to lift the league-imposed lockout.


Nelson also advised the sides after the five-hour hearing that they should resume negotiations in the setting of federal court, where she said the risks presented because of the pending National Labor Relations Board case would be eliminated.
"It seems to me both sides are at risk, and now is a good time to come back to the table," Nelson said.


Nelson said she'd be "glad to facilitate" further negotiations to settle the matter out of court and create a setting that would "protect both sides from the consequences" of what could be ahead.


"Litigation settlement discussions have been something that the Brady plaintiffs, the class counsel, have said they'd be willing to do from the beginning," NFLPA outside counsel Jeffrey Kessler said. "That's 'litigation settlement discussions,' that's what the judge is talking about, not collective bargaining, not collective bargaining mediation in Washington -- entirely different animal. That's up to the NFL. That's what she told them they should do.


"We're settling antitrust claims in a lawsuit, which could (lead) to a new system, like the Reggie White settlement did (in creating unrestricted free agency in 1993). But it's not collective bargaining."


The NFL said it prefers to return to the Federal Conciliation and Mediation Service office in Washington, D.C., where the sides went through 16 days of mediated talks before they broke down, leading to the March 11 union decertification and March 12 lockout.


"(A resolution) can happen, if we just get back to bargaining," said NFL outside counsel David Boies, who spoke before the judge for more than three hours in Wednesday's hearing. "The Federal Mediation Service, as I said before, these are the people who do it for a living, they do it in industry after industry. We ought to be taking advantage of that."
Nelson heard the cases of Brady et al v. the National Football League et al and Eller et al v. the National Football League et al, and she approved a motion to consolidate both. Hall of Famer Carl Eller, the lead plaintiff in the second case filed by retirees, former players and rookies, was present, and his group's attorney, Michael Hausfeld, took turns with NFLPA outside counsel James Quinn arguing against and rebutting Boies.


Many of the biggest names in the dispute didn't make the trip to Minnesota, with Commissioner Roger Goodell and general counsel Jeff Pash absent on the league side and named plaintiffs Tom Brady (http://www.nfl.com/players/tombrady/profile?id=BRA371156), Drew Brees (http://www.nfl.com/players/drewbrees/profile?id=BRE229498) and Peyton Manning (http://www.nfl.com/players/peytonmanning/profile?id=MAN515097) not in attendance for the players.


Five of the 10 named plaintiffs in the Brady case did appear: Mike Vrabel (http://www.nfl.com/players/mikevrabel/profile?id=VRA088990) of the Kansas City Chiefs (http://www.nfl.com/teams/kansascitychiefs/profile?team=KC), Ben Leber (http://www.nfl.com/players/benleber/profile?id=LEB506360) and Brian Robison (http://www.nfl.com/players/brianrobison/profile?id=ROB744810) of the Minnesota Vikings (http://www.nfl.com/teams/minnesotavikings/profile?team=MIN), Vincent Jackson (http://www.nfl.com/players/vincentjackson/profile?id=JAC627460) of the San Diego Chargers (http://www.nfl.com/teams/sandiegochargers/profile?team=SD), and Texas A&M linebacker Von Miller were joined in court by veterans Tony Richardson (http://www.nfl.com/players/tonyrichardson/profile?id=RIC389026) of the New York Jets (http://www.nfl.com/teams/newyorkjets/profile?team=NYJ) and Charlie Batch (http://www.nfl.com/players/charliebatch/profile?id=BAT039161) of the Pittsburgh Steelers (http://www.nfl.com/teams/pittsburghsteelers/profile?team=PIT), members of the union's executive committee before dissolution.
NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith also attended the hearing, and the players, lawyers and officials arrived and departed together in a bus.
Nelson listened to arguments from lawyers for the players and the league, asking questions often and speaking politely but directly while acknowledging her difficulty discerning which components of the laws apply to this complicated case.
Nelson expressed some frustration trying to understand some of the arguments, mostly those made by Boies, but she oversaw a cordial process, telling the sides they did an "outstanding job." Both sides praised Nelson afterward for her thorough approach and intelligent questions.


As she began the hearing, Nelson urged both sides to stick to the issue of the injunction and not delve into the evidence previously presented in their briefs since all parties are up to speed on the information.
"You can assure that the court has done nothing else in the last few weeks," Nelson said.

Although the players' claim of suffering "irreparable harm" in a lockout is central to consideration in the injunction ruling, two other subjects -- the role of the NLRB and the interpretation of the Depression-era Norris-LaGuardia Act -- were predominant in Wednesday's hearing.
The league argued that the NLRB's ruling on whether union decertification was a sham should come before Nelson decides on the injunction and that the Norris-LaGuardia Act prevents a federal court from granting an injunction in a case "growing from a labor problem."
"They're financing this lawsuit," Boies said of the NFLPA. "They're saying, 'We're no longer a collective bargaining agent, but we're going to continue to do all these things.'"
The players tried to refute that by, first, defending the validity of the decertification and, second, arguing the Norris-LaGuardia Act was meant to protect employees, not employers.
"It's not some kind of tactic. It's the law," Quinn said of decertification, pointing to the players' unanimous participation in voting to approve the move. "It's what we're allowed to do."
Quinn pointed to the irony of owners using the Norris-LaGuardia Act to defend a lockout, and Nelson agreed. She sounded firm in her belief that the decertification is legal, pointing to court precedent in the last antitrust suit filed by players in the early 1990s.
"It's a big risk on their part, and they lose a lot by doing it," Nelson said.
But Boies cautioned afterward against reading too far into the scrutiny.
"I've been doing this for 45 years, and I've never been able to figure out from a judge's questions exactly where they're coming from," he said.
So now the sides wait, with the injunction ruling likely the next domino to fall. A ruling in favor of the players would force the NFL to open for business, but the league's argument is that it would be anything but business as usual in that scenario.
"One of the problems, as the court indicated, even if there was an injunction relating to the lockout, that wouldn't solve the problem of how you operate the league," Boies said. "So that really just delays the process. The underlying issues have to be resolved by collective bargaining.

"The fastest way for this to get resolved is for the parties to get back to good-faith negotiating."

Either side could appeal whatever Nelson decides.


Much of Nelson's ruling will come down to subjects covered in briefs filed by the league and players. Primary among those is the claim that the lockout is causing irreparable harm to the players.


Quinn, in closing, asked Nelson for a "quick ruling" to prevent more of that.
"We laid it out in our papers," Quinn said after court. "The fact is we have almost 900 players who are without contracts. They need to find jobs, they need to get on rosters, and every day they can't do that, they're suffering irreparable harm."
Nelson also could defer a decision until after the NLRB rules, which could take months, or declare the need to schedule another hearing to consider the evidence in the case before she rules.


That would be a loss for the players.


"All of this is delay, so they want to put pressure on us," Quinn said.
Boies said factual disagreements -- regarding the existence of the union, for one -- prove the necessity of another hearing. Boies took roughly double the amount of time to talk than the lawyers for the players did, partly because he was pressed so much by Nelson as she tried to grasp the argument that she has no jurisdiction in the case.


http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d81f1d6c1/article/judge-says-her-ruling-on-lockout-will-take-couple-of-weeks?module=HP_headlines

SteelDad
04-07-2011, 04:06 PM
What bothers me is that the judge had roughly 4 weeks to research and gather information regarding both sides, yet is still going to take 'several weeks' to come back with a decision. Granted, she would have been presented with some new information during the hearing, but rolling that into what she already should have researched would be a week at best. Both sides lose the longer this goes, especially the players, but I would have liked this judge to be more pro-active and wish she would have 'ordered' not 'suggested' they go back to the table.

BlitzburghRockCity
04-11-2011, 04:52 PM
A Federal District Court Judge Monday ordered the NFL and the NFL players association to court-supervised mediation beginning Thursday in Minneapolis, Minn. Judge Susan Nelson, who is presiding over Brady et al v. National Football League et al, the players’ anti-trust suit against the NFL, issued the mediation order Monday afternoon. Judge Nelson has appointed Chief Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan to serve as mediator, and ordered formal mediation to begin in Boylan’s courtroom Thursday morning.


Nelson has ordered that both sides file briefs by 5 p.m. CT Monday. She will meet in person with the Brady class Tuesday in Minneapolis at 9 a.m., and with the NFL on Wednesday at 9 a.m.


Nelson said at the end of last week's five-hour hearing, regarding the players' request to lift the NFL lockout, that she'd take "a couple weeks" to rule on the injunction, and she urged the two sides meet in the meantime.


The NFL campaigned in a series of letters to return the negotiations to the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service in Washington, D.C., where 16 days of negotiations were staged under the auspices of federal mediator George Cohen, and offered legal protection to the players in light of their concerns that such talks could be used against them in a separate case before the National Labor Relations Board.
The Brady class, in its letters, said it desired to take Nelson up on her offer to facilitate the hearings in Minnesota and, according to sources, was against returning to the FMCS because of the poor way talks ended there on March 11, and lack of binding power wielded by Cohen.


Nelson's involvement won't be binding, but she would have more ability to control talks than Cohen could, while overseeing an appointed mediator.


First, with Nelson overseeing the talks, only she and Boylan could declare an impasse. Second, as the sides agreed on individual issues, she or the appointed mediator could move each one off the table, making for a more efficient process, without allowing one side or the other to go back on something that was already agreed upon.
On Friday, in advance of Monday's order, the Brady class filed paperwork to add NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith to its counsel, and the NFL added Robert M. Cooper, a partner in league outside counsel David Boies' firm, to its counsel. The maneuvers allow Smith and Cooper to take part in any and all mediation proceedings.
The motion to add Smith has been granted.


Boies, a recent addition to the league's legal team, was the lead attorney for the NFL during the injunction hearing.


In any case, if mediation fails and Nelson rules, no matter which way that ruling goes, an appeal would be a near certainty, taking this case to the eighth circuit.
The NFL lockout reached the one-month milepost on Monday.


http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d81f3289f/article/judge-orders-nfl-players-to-try-mediation-again-in-minnesota?module=HP_headlines

BlitzburghRockCity
04-11-2011, 09:00 PM
So after all this now, the courts tell them to go back and do what they couldn't before...actually talk and work something out. Ugh...

Nothing like continuing to drag out an already bad situation.

connecticutsteel
04-12-2011, 01:16 PM
This is idiots like Jerry Jones trying to slaughter the goose that laid the golden egg, just because he doesn't want to share. Very stupid of the owners.

this has very little to do with the big market teams its clear that the small market teams like buffalo ,carolina green bay etc are making money but the cowboys giants washington are making more so instead of revenue sharing they want to level the field amonst the owners by taking money away from the players the nflpa said that they would sign the same cba that was in place last year the one that made the league 9 billion dollars the is a vulgar display of :evilshake:greed by the owners i wish there was a way to effectively boycott the games but someone will always go to the games always remember the owners dont care about the fans or the players they dont own the teams to care or to entertain themselves they own the teams to make money periodhttp://www.steeleraddicts.com/forum/images/smilies/evilshake.gif

BlitzburghRockCity
04-13-2011, 12:00 AM
http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d81f36293/article/judge-players-counsel-hold-4hour-premediation-session?module=HP_headlines

MINNEAPOLIS -- The process of federally mediated settlement talks between the NFL and the NFL Players Association opened Tuesday morning in the chambers of U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan as counsel for the Brady and Eller classes met with him.

Judge Susan Nelson, who heard the Brady class' request for an injunction to lift the NFL lockout Wednesday, ordered the mediation Monday (http://www.nfl.com/goto?id=09000d5d81f3289f) and consolidated the cases, known as Brady et al v. National Football League et al and Eller et al v. National Football League et al.

"The mediator was very open, it was a very constructive session, he heard from the Brady plaintiffs and the Eller plaintiffs as to what issues they considered that need to be addressed during mediation," said Michael Hausfeld, lead attorney for the Eller class. "The mediator intends to have the same type of session tomorrow with the league (counsel), and then hopefully to bring everybody together on Thursday to see what areas of agreement can be achieved, and how quickly."


The players' contingent included three lawyers from the Brady class and a six-man team, including Hall of Famer Carl Eller, from the Eller class. The Brady class was represented by NFLPA outside counsel Jeffrey Kessler, outside counsel Jim Quinn and local counsel Barbara Berens.

The session began at 9 a.m. CT, with staggered 45-minute lunch breaks for each group. The Brady class counsel left at 1:45 p.m., and the Eller class counsel departed at 2 p.m. In total, the Brady class counsel spent four hours in Boylan's chambers, and the Eller class counsel was there for 4 hours, 15 minutes.

One issue broached, in light of Nelson granting an order to consolidate the cases, was helping Boylan understand how the two sets of plaintiffs were aligned.
"What happened today at mediation was, again, for the mediator to become knowledgeable about the positions of the Brady plaintiffs and the Eller plaintiffs, and understand their overlap and their positions on the respective issues," Hausfeld said.
The plan has been for Boylan to catch up on the particulars of the issues between the parties Tuesday and Wednesday before bringing the sides together Thursday morning.
Thursday's talks will represent the first negotiating sessions between the league and the players since 16 days of discussions at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service before mediator George Cohen ended March 11. That also was the day the the NFLPA decertified itself as a union and NFL imposed the ongoing lockout.
At a hearing about the players' lockout injunction request last week, Nelson urged the sides to get "back to the table" and said negotiations should take place at "not the players' table, not the league's table, but a neutral table, if you will."
The next day, the league and the players both expressed a willingness to talk, though they disagreed on where and how they wanted to do it. The players said they were willing to engage in mediation overseen by Nelson. The NFL said it wanted to resume talks with Cohen in Washington.


The players got their wish, with the talks held under court supervision and not in the collective bargaining setting. Nelson's order referred to the mediation "as a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution," a legal term for the revival of negotiations.
Nelson said at the hearing she would take "a couple of weeks" to rule on the injunction. On Monday, she noted that her order to resume mediation "will not have the effect of a stay on this litigation," and that she would rule "in due course."
Nelson's order called for legal counsel for the parties "as well as a party representative having full authority" to attend. She also said that participation in the mediation "and any communications conveyed between the parties in this process, shall not be admitted or used against any party in any other proceeding or forum, for any purpose."
That would appear to address the players' concern that any talks held after the dissolution of the union could be construed as collective bargaining -- and thus bolster the NFL's claim that the dissolution was a "sham" merely intended to strengthen the players' position at the bargaining table.

Last week, Pash sent a letter to Quinn, with a copy going to Nelson. Pash wrote that the league is "prepared to give reasonable and appropriate assurances" that the players' legal position -- not a union protected by labor laws but a group of players suing under antitrust laws -- would not be compromised through any new talks.

DIESELMAN
04-13-2011, 08:58 AM
I've got a feeling that through these federal mediations, we will have NFL football this year, without missing any games. It might seem like it's dragging out but there has been a lot of fact finding with previous cases and decisions that could pertain to this situation. The last thing the judge needs is for a attorney to bring up a previous case that might have set some kind of precedent and her not knowing what it's about. She has to
know all the details, no matter how insignificant they may seem. She has to be thorough and that in it self is time consuming.

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BlitzburghRockCity
04-16-2011, 11:46 AM
Day 2 of NFL mediation ends; talks resume Tuesday
Saturday, April 16, 2011
By Dave Campbell, The Associated Press


MINNEAPOLIS -- Negotiators for the NFL and its locked-out players wrapped up a second day of court-ordered talks Friday with no signs of significant progress. They plan to sit down again next week.


The two sides left the federal courthouse in Minneapolis after about four hours of talks, following nine hours of meetings on Thursday. They will meet again Tuesday.
Hall of Famer Carl Eller, who is representing retired players in the antitrust lawsuit against the league, said he thinks the two sides are "moving forward" but the process "slowed a little bit" Friday.


"There is progress, but it wasn't like we're right around the corner," Eller said. "We could resolve it if we had met on the weekend, but maybe not."


U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan, who is overseeing the sessions, assigned some weekend homework, according to Michael Hausfeld, an attorney for the players.
"The judge has asked us to provide answers to over a half-dozen questions that he's asked," Hausfeld said, declining to provide details. "There's a lot of work."
With the 2011 season in jeopardy, Boylan is overseeing this round of talks after 16 days of mediated sessions in Washington failed to secure a new labor pact.
"We need to have some productivity," Eller said. "We need to come out of here with something, and I think that there is a sense of realism on the judge's part. It's not just talk. Just getting together to talk is not productive."


U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson, who ordered the mediation, is still considering a request from the players to lift the lockout imposed by the owners. After an April 6 hearing, she said she planned to rule on the injunction request in a couple of weeks -- which would mean next week.


Players including MVP quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning filed the request along with a class-action antitrust suit against the league. The lawsuit has been combined with two other similar claims from retirees, former players and rookies-to-be, with Eller the lead plaintiff in that group.


NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, four team owners and several league executives and lawyers left the building without speaking to reporters. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello, via e-mail, declined to comment.


DeMaurice Smith, the NFL Players Association executive director, also refused to talk. He left the courthouse with lawyers and linebackers Ben Leber and Mike Vrabel, two other plaintiffs in the antitrust suit filed March 11 when the last collective bargaining agreement expired, the union dissolved and the lockout began.


Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11106/1139918-66-0.stm#ixzz1JhJFCpNV

Black@Gold Forever32
04-17-2011, 06:28 PM
Games or the season better not be wiped out or I'm done with the NFL....Never say I will never comeback but will take some kind of break from the NFL if the lock out drags out and if games or the season is missed........

BlitzburghRockCity
04-17-2011, 07:45 PM
If the lockout does end up affecting games for the upcoming season there will be many that will swear off football entirely or to some degree. I too would be soured and upset at not having training camp, preseason, and all the games in the regular season and beyond.

I still say for most fans right now that while it does suck the real affect of the lockout is not felt. Yes we don't have free agency right now and believe me I hate it. I hate not knowing what the status is going to be of our players. I hate not being able to get ensure that we get all of our draft picks under contract before camp starts. Wondering if any of the rookie free agents that will get signed will be a diamond in the rough and make it in the NFL.

Once the draft comes and goes and all those players are left sitting back home in their living rooms waiting for a CBA to get signed, that's when the reality really begins to set in. Every day that goes by after draft weekend is one day less that these guys have to prepare for their careers. Teams rely on this offseason time to get these players into the off season workouts, into meetings, and start learning their playbook.

Black@Gold Forever32
04-17-2011, 08:34 PM
In the past I was never worried about there being no football when the season started.....Since I knew the two sides would come together with an agreement eventually......But this year it seems different and there is to much of pissing match going on between the owners and players.....I'm sick of it already....Just get it done and move on.....

BlitzburghRockCity
04-17-2011, 11:29 PM
I'm still holding out hope that a deal will get done before we actually risk the start of training camp. Actually before we loose too many chances for the players to start doing OTA's. Atleast if the courts overturn the lockout they can go back to atleast being with the team and starting to work under the old CBA. Then again if that happens the NFL will appeal it and God knows how long that will take.

BlitzburghRockCity
04-19-2011, 05:50 PM
MINNEAPOLIS -- The NFL and players began their third day of court-ordered mediation Tuesday morning in the downtown chambers of U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan.
The NFL group was led by Commissioner Roger Goodell, general counsel Jeff Pash, outside counsel Bob Batterman, Dallas Cowboys (http://www.nfl.com/teams/dallascowboys/profile?team=DAL) owner Jerry Jones, Carolina Panthers (http://www.nfl.com/teams/carolinapanthers/profile?team=CAR) owner Jerry Richardson, Denver Broncos (http://www.nfl.com/teams/denverbroncos/profile?team=DEN) owner Pat Bowlen, Green Bay Packers (http://www.nfl.com/teams/greenbaypackers/profile?team=GB) CEO Mark Murphy and Atlanta Falcons (http://www.nfl.com/teams/atlantafalcons/profile?team=ATL) president Rich McKay. Bowlen and Richardson co-chair the NFL's 10-man labor committee, and Jones and Murphy serve on it, as do New England Patriots (http://www.nfl.com/teams/newenglandpatriots/profile?team=NE) owner Robert Kraft, Kansas City Chiefs (http://www.nfl.com/teams/kansascitychiefs/profile?team=KC) owner Clark Hunt and Pittsburgh Steelers (http://www.nfl.com/teams/pittsburghsteelers/profile?team=PIT) president Art Rooney II, who were at last week's mediation.

http://static.nfl.com/static/content/catch_all/nfl_image/goodell_jones_110419_IA.jpg

The Eller class counsel also was represented, and the group's lead attorney, Michael Hausfeld, took exception with the idea that the sides involved in Minneapolis aren't taking this round of mediation seriously, and rather are waiting for court rulings to determine the battlefield. Hausfeld produced, as evidence of the work, a 100-page paper that the Eller class prepared in response to the questions that Boylan asked the sides to answer over the weekend.

"Over the weekend, we consulted with numerous individuals to prepare a response," said Hausfeld, who added that his team worked well into the past few nights to have it ready. "It has been given to the court to assist the court in making that evaluation, and in having the parties understand the differences in position so that they could engage in a meaningful dialogue to reach these serious issues.
"This is no charade, this is no illusion. This is going to come to a resolution, either by the parties compromising and agreeing, or by a judgment. And even with a judgment many times, there is then a discussion on how to compromise the judgment so there's not a winner-take-all situation. This takes time, and the court is doing everything within its power to get the parties to realize that."

Hanging over this week's talks is the prospect of a ruling from Judge Susan Nelson, who ordered this mediation, on the players' request for an injunction to lift the NFL lockout, which the league imposed March 12.

On April 6, Nelson said she'd take "a couple weeks" to rule. On Wednesday, it will have been two weeks since she said that, and Nelson emphasized that the ruling would come in "due course" and wouldn't be stayed by the ongoing mediation.
Hausfeld acknowledged the perception that Nelson's ruling is likely just one step forward in what could be a very lengthy process.

"There's no question that any ruling that Judge Nelson makes would be a first step," Hausfeld said. "It will be taken on appeal. There will be a request probably, if it's in favor of an injunction, to stay the ruling. And if she grants the injunction, it goes up to the (U.S. Court of Appeals for the) Eighth Circuit. The Eighth Circuit has to decide whether to stay the ruling, if she doesn't stay the ruling, and then you have to wait for the Eighth Circuit to make a decision.

"Most likely, there'll be a request by parties for an expedited hearing before the Eighth Circuit. It's up to the Eighth Circuit to grant that. In the interim, between Judge Nelson's decision and the Eighth Circuit's decision, there's still more room to mediate and compromise and reach a resolution."
Hausfeld said he sensed seriousness within the owner's group last week: "I think the owners fully appreciate the significance of the structural changes that would need to be made."


But the rhetoric was toned up during the days off from mediation.

Goodell emphasized, during a series conference calls with fans of individual teams, that the players' stance on the average length of a career was misleading. In turn, on Monday, the NFLPA wrote a letter to fans shifting their slogan from "Block the Lockout" to "Lift the Lockout", a reference to the injunction, while starting a petition as part of that effort.

Hausfeld called for the sides to remember people beyond those in the mediation room who will be impacted by what happens in the coming weeks and months in this case.
"I hope everyone in the room -- owners, active players, the rookie representatives and the retiree representatives -- understand that this is a situation that not only involves their interests, but also the interests of many fans and other people who depend upon the game being played," Hausfeld said. "And if everyone seriously approaches the issues in the manner in which the court has, then hopefully progress can be made."

connecticutsteel
04-19-2011, 06:06 PM
i belive the judge lifts the lock out and they start the season with the existing cba until a deal is reached

bensshoes
04-21-2011, 03:40 AM
i belive the judge lifts the lock out and they start the season with the existing cba until a deal is reached

that would be bad for the Steelers, we would not be able to sign free agents or give a signifigant upgrade to our own ouch that would suck!

coldrolled
04-21-2011, 07:19 AM
now imagine a NFL with Unions and Judges running things and add in some hearings in congress like baseball had over hgh, this league would be toast... A bunch of money grabbers running everything. wow... dont forget everyone the media tells us to hate capitalism, but were would all the money grabbers grab money from without it. we would be third world... look at china, all communist except for the main towns that produce everything, their pure capitalists.. one feeds the other. the main chinese people on the outside of this circle pick rice.

BlitzburghRockCity
04-21-2011, 09:15 AM
http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d81f5bd25/article/mediation-between-league-players-adjourned-until-may-16?module=HP_headlines


MINNEAPOLIS -- Court-ordered mediation between the NFL and locked-out players lasted another five hours Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan adjourned talks until May 16.

The sides met for 26 total hours over four days, trying to settle the consolidated Brady et al v. National Football League et al and Eller et al v. National Football League et al antitrust cases. It was the first set of face-to-face talks between the sides in 34 days, and the next break is set to encompass another 26 days.


"We're going to be back here on May 16 to continue the mediation, and I think everybody thinks it was helpful," NFL Players Association outside counsel Jim Quinn said. "And that's really where we are.

"When asked for the reason for the almost-monthlong break in talks, Quinn responded, "That's what the judge wanted, and we follow what the judge wants."
The next step in the process should come shortly, with Judge Susan Nelson due to rule on the players' request for an injunction to lift the NFL lockout. Also scheduled before the resumption of mediation is the May 12 hearing on the fate of the television-revenue case (http://www.nfl.com/goto?id=09000d5d81f09371), over which U.S. District Judge David Doty will preside.
"There are a lot of uncertainties right now," NFL general counsel Jeff Pash said as the league-imposed lockout hit its 40th day. "When we're back together, we'll know more. People's legal positions will be clearer. The network case is not a major factor, has never been a major factor, as far as our thinking goes.

"But we'll be back here ready to make a deal, because that's the only way that we're going to solve this problem, by having a comprehensive labor agreement, by setting out all the terms, addressing all the issues and getting it wrapped up so we're not spending all our time in court."

Nelson emphasized April 6 that she will rule on the players' motion for an injunction to lift the NFL lockout in "due course," and that decision has loomed over these talks. She said at the time that she expected to rule in "a couple weeks." It now has been two weeks.

Over the four days of mediation, seven of the 10 members of the league's labor committee made appearances, with co-chairman Jerry Richardson of the Carolina Panthers (http://www.nfl.com/teams/carolinapanthers/profile?team=CAR) and Pat Bowlen of the Denver Broncos (http://www.nfl.com/teams/denverbroncos/profile?team=DEN) joined by Dallas Cowboys (http://www.nfl.com/teams/dallascowboys/profile?team=DAL) owner Jerry Jones and Green Bay Packers (http://www.nfl.com/teams/greenbaypackers/profile?team=GB) CEO Mark Murphy the last two days. Commissioner Roger Goodell also was part of the league's contingent, as were Broncos president Joe Ellis and Atlanta Falcons (http://www.nfl.com/teams/atlantafalcons/profile?team=ATL) president Rich McKay.
NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith returned to the talks Wednesday after tending to a family emergency Tuesday, and current players Mike Vrabel (http://www.nfl.com/players/mikevrabel/profile?id=VRA088990) and Ben Leber (http://www.nfl.com/players/benleber/profile?id=LEB506360) also were in attendance, as they have been throughout this mediation.

Goodell said all parties involved remain committed to ending the league's first work stoppage since 1987.

"I think fans want solution. I want solutions," he said. "I think the players want solutions, and I think the teams want solutions. That's why we have to be working at it in negotiations and figuring out how to get to that point."

Pash wouldn't delve into the condition of talks between the league and players.
"You can't measure this like a stock table, what's going up or down on any given day. But it's always a positive to be able to talk to people," Pash said. "I don't think it's ever too early to talk, I don't think it's ever too early to state positions, and sometimes you have to state them multiple times and you have to really listen to the other side multiple times.

"I think this was a valuable process, I don't think a single minute of it was wasted time, and I think the effort and the sincerity and the creativity that the chief magistrate judge brought to the process was exemplary and is going to be very helpful to us down the road."

The NFL released its 2011 regular-season schedule after Tuesday's mediation session, and Goodell has maintained an optimistic tone. He spoke to New York Giants (http://www.nfl.com/teams/newyorkgiants/profile?team=NYG) season-ticket holders Wednesday in a conference call during a break in mediation, telling them, "We're planning to play a full season, and we're going to negotiate as hard as we can to get that done."

The NFL's season is scheduled to open Sept. 8, with the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers hosting the New Orleans Saints (http://www.nfl.com/teams/neworleanssaints/profile?team=NO), and that's less than five months away, with free agency, trades and other roster decisions still up in the air with the lockout in place.

"We have to identify the solutions and get it done," Goodell said. "It is tough for me to project. We're going to continue to make the preparations for the season and work as hard as we can to solve those issues in advance so we can play every game and every down of the season."

Hall of Fame defensive end Carl Eller, the lead plantiff in one of the antitrust cases against the league, echoed Goodell's optimism, even with talks now shelved for nearly a month.

"I do feel very positive about the 2011 season, and I think everybody has come here with the idea of having a 2011 season, and it's just not been easy to get to that point," Eller said. "I think everybody is working hard to that goal, and seeing them work to that end makes me much more optimistic. I would certainly say we're going to have a 2011 season."


There could be a fourth set of lawyers and players at the mediation table next time, with a Philadelphia law firm talking to another group of players about joining the fight.
"We've had discussions about representing some additional players who want to have a voice in the matter," said Bryan Clobes of Cafferty Faucher.

The Sports Business Journal reported that a group of about 70 "mid-tier" players was considering hiring a law firm and upset that the talks broke off last month. But Clobes said the number is "nowhere near 70" and that it doesn't indicate any dissatisfaction with the way things are progressing.
"The players have extremely capable counsel," Clobes said. "If we were to get involved, it would be so we could add and lend our expertise, not because we thought the current lawyers were not doing a credible job. They're doing an incredible job."
Smith said he was unaware of the report, and Vrabel said he hadn't heard of it, either, although he did say that players "do have a seat, with Ben and me."

"That's why we're here," Vrabel said. "... We're players here to represent the players, and De works for us. They do (have a seat). And I think if they're unhappy with that seat, we have to vote in a new executive committee and a new board of reps."

BlitzburghRockCity
04-23-2011, 12:20 PM
Loss of full NFL season would cost $2 billion
Saturday, April 23, 2011
By Donna Eyring, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


NEW YORK -- The loss of a full NFL season would cost the league and its 32 teams $2 billion, a burn rate of $40 million a week as they maintain the staffing and readiness necessary to play should the league and its players reach a new collective bargaining agreement, an NFL official said Friday.


"We're going to maintain a readiness to play a full season, and there's a cost to it," Eric Grubman, the league's executive vice president for business operations, said in a meeting with members of the Associated Press Sports Editors at the NFL headquarters. "It is incredibly expensive to maintain the state of readiness without the revenue coming in." That includes a general slowdown in season ticket sales and uncertainty on the part of sponsors and advertisers to commit to spending with the league or teams during the lockout.


He declined to say, however, what the latest date would be that a full 16-game regular schedule could still be played.


"We don't have a date by which the season is lost. Our intention is to play a full season and we will pull every lever to make that happen," Grubman said.
He noted areas of elasticity in the schedule: the open week, the two weeks between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl, and the possibility that the Super Bowl could be pushed back one week.


"We have the additional flexibility with Indianapolis to move the Super Bowl one week later," Grubman said.


Ray Anderson, executive vice president of football operations, said it is possible to play fewer than four preseason games, but probably not less than two.


"The coaches, GMs and even the players would tell you that they could go with fewer than four preseason games. We'd prefer at least two."


The league and the players concluded four days of mediation Thursday before U.S. Judge Magistrate Arthur Boylon in Minneapolis and likely won't resume talks until mid-May.


Meanwhile, each team is free to determine its own staffing and pay levels for its employees as long as it is prepared to quickly resume the season, Grubman said. The Steelers said recently that they have no plans to cut any positions or lay anyone off during the lockout.


The league office has instituted an across-the-board salary cut, with rank-and-file employees earning 12 percent less for now and commissioner Roger Goodell and lead negotiator Jeff Pash each cutting their salaries to $1 a year.


Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11113/1141417-66.stm#ixzz1KMNdBzy8

BlitzburghRockCity
04-24-2011, 01:58 AM
Billy Devaney worked in a little due diligence with dinner last year when the St. Louis Rams general manager and the team's then-offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur met with Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford prior to the NFL Draft.


While the three dined in a Pensacola, Fla., restaurant near where Bradford was training, Devaney slipped away and sought out the eatery's owner. "I asked him what kind of guy (Bradford) was, how does he mingle with people, how does he act when people ask him for his autograph, how does he act with the waiters," Devaney said. "We checked every possible person that we could that knew anything about Sam Bradford."


If the NFL has its way, executives like Devaney might no longer feel the need to go to such extremes. The league is pushing for a reduction in guaranteed money paid to first-round picks like Bradford, who commanded $50 million after the Rams took him No. 1 overall — before he had thrown a pass in the NFL.


Reduction of rookie wages is part of negotiations between owners and players on a new collective bargaining agreement. Those talks resumed Tuesday with court-ordered mediation, and compensation for unproven players might be one issue on which the sides fundamentally agree — or can at least find common ground.


The NFL would limit financial risk for teams near the top of the draft but also take money that is saved — the league estimated $300 million per draft class — and redistribute it via performance-based bonuses to veterans and to retired players.
"It is long overdue and something that should have been instituted back in '93 when free agency started," said agent Ralph Cindrich of Carnegie. "It is something that I think players, the NFL and fans agree that it is close to a travesty when there is a high amount paid to a young guy and he's a total bust, whether it's a lack of skill, or worse, it's because of attitude and the like."


The escalating money guaranteed to first-round picks has not impacted the Steelers much for two reasons: They have picked higher than 16th only twice in the past 11 years, and they haven't whiffed on a first-round pick during that span.
A document obtained by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review illustrates the rise in guaranteed dollars from 2000-10.


In 2003, the Steelers guaranteed Troy Polamalu $5.489 million after taking the Southern Cal safety with the 16th pick. Last year, the Steelers gave center Maurkice Pouncey, the No. 18 pick, $10.67 million in guaranteed money as part of his five-year contract.


That represents an almost a 100 percent increase in what the Steelers guaranteed to players selected with nearly the same pick.


Guaranteed money given to first-round picks league-wide has increased 223 percent since 2000. Nowhere is the spike more exaggerated than with No. 1 picks.
The past two top picks, Bradford and Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, are guaranteed nearly $92 million between them. That's almost $60 million more than top picks David Carr and Carson Palmer were promised following the 2002 and '03 drafts, respectively. That steep price tag makes it almost impossible for teams to trade the No. 1 pick.


The $50 million Bradford is guaranteed is almost $20 million more than what Ben Roethlisberger received after signing his second contract with the Steelers in March 2008. It was the most lucrative deal in franchise history, and Roethlisberger got it after he had become the first NFL quarterback to start his career 13-0 and the youngest signal-caller to win a Super Bowl.


"Where in the world does a kid coming out of college go into his first job making as much as the top people in the organization? That's ludicrous," said CBS analyst and former NFL general manager Charley Casserly. "(The issue) seems to be one of the priorities of the owners and also the players' association. The question is: How do you structure it so that there really is savings? That's the concern of the clubs. The concern from the union is that the money really does get redistributed and doesn't just get lost."


Andrew Zimbalist, an economics professor at Smith College in Massachusetts, said there are other industries in which college graduates are guaranteed large sums of money before they have proven their worth. Harvard graduates, for instance, often have companies bid for their services, driving up their value.


But Zimbalist said scrapping the draft and allowing rookies to enter the league as free agents — like the Harvard graduates in their fields — wouldn't work in the NFL because the league's success is predicated on a level playing field for small- and large-market teams.
"Professional sports is not a normal business," said Zimbalist, a frequent commentator on sports economics. "The reason why there can't be competition like other labor markets is you've got to have balance across the league."


The NFL estimated that the money saved and redistributed through scaling back rookie earnings would exceed $1 billion by 2016. Among its proposals are limiting first-round picks to five-year contracts and capping what a first-rounder can make in his first contract if he holds out during training camp.


The union has long insisted the NFL provide a detailed plan of how the savings will be given back to players — not just a guarantee that it will do so.


"I sort of have mixed feelings about this thing," said Joby Branion, an agent representing Texas A&M linebacker Von Miller, who is expected to be a top-five pick when the 2011 draft begins Thursday. "I think it's a mistake to just jury-rig something that imposes a hard-and-fast sort of penalty on the guys coming into the league when, in fact, there are many more hits than misses. For every JaMarcus Russell, there are three guys who go to multiple Pro Bowls."


Branion said he supports the initiative as long as players receive the money that is saved.


Former NFL coach Jon Gruden agreed.
"Hopefully they get this resolved," said Gruden, an analyst for ESPN's "Monday Night Football." "The guys that perform and play the best, I think, are entitled to the highest salaries."


Read the full article (http://www.steeleraddicts.com/forum/Owners,%20players%20eye%20rookie%20wage%20reductio n%20-%20Pittsburgh%20Tribune-Review%20http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_733737.html#ixzz1KPhBfzyv)

BlitzburghRockCity
04-25-2011, 07:30 PM
http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d81f77c4f/article/judge-nelson-rules-for-players-lockout-to-be-lifted?module=HP_headlines

MINNEAPOLIS -- Judge Susan Nelson Monday granted the plaintiffs' request for an injunction to lift the NFL lockout.
But perhaps the biggest development is that Nelson has decided not to stay the decision, which could force the league to open for business immediately. The NFL now must seek a stay with the Eighth Circuit, where the appeal would be heard, in order to prevent a potentially chaotic beginning to the 2011 league year.


Nelson's decision in the Brady et al v. National Football League et al case comes on the heels of the mediation she appointed going into a nearly-month long recess, with U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan making the decision last Wednesday to adjourn the session until May 16.


The league will likely appeal Nelson's decision swiftly, wanting to avoid the beginning of free agency and offseason programs with the potential that, if the Eighth Circuit rules in its favor, the lockout could be reinstituted in the coming weeks or months.

airbrake 1
04-25-2011, 08:02 PM
incredible some judge is going to tell them they have to start the season...i hope the owners start the season WITH REPLACEMENT PLAYERS....there is no more union to deal with they disbanded... the owners should tell all their former players they have one chance to rejoin the team and if they choose to not rejoin...the owners should blackball every one of them ...let these punks go find real jobs with their 2 and 3 years of college where most of them screwed off

But we know the owners would not have enough solidarity to employ this blackballing when there is a player sitting home that could help their team they will go calling...within 5 years the league would look exactly like it did last season

I truly believe that if there were a player who could run for 3,000 yards and 40 touchdowns per season who was caught dead to rights on video as a child molester but got off on some type of loophole with the help of some slick POS lawyer...there would be a line of owners saying that he still deserves a second chance and we know who these owners are...i'd gaurantee one of them wouldn't be the rooneys

steelersbabex25
04-25-2011, 08:53 PM
The ball is in the owners' court now.

cmerrifield
04-25-2011, 10:00 PM
Right before the draft, that could be significant

coach
04-25-2011, 11:24 PM
incredible some judge is going to tell them they have to start the season...i hope the owners start the season WITH REPLACEMENT PLAYERS....there is no more union to deal with they disbanded... the owners should tell all their former players they have one chance to rejoin the team and if they choose to not rejoin...the owners should blackball every one of them ...let these punks go find real jobs with their 2 and 3 years of college where most of them screwed off

But we know the owners would not have enough solidarity to employ this blackballing when there is a player sitting home that could help their team they will go calling...within 5 years the league would look exactly like it did last season

I truly believe that if there were a player who could run for 3,000 yards and 40 touchdowns per season who was caught dead to rights on video as a child molester but got off on some type of loophole with the help of some slick POS lawyer...there would be a line of owners saying that he still deserves a second chance and we know who these owners are...i'd gaurantee one of them wouldn't be the rooneys


Interestingly, to take that stand would be against the anti-trust laws. I am actually watching this whole thing play out with interest. The union was decertified by players because the anti-trust laws are not applicable if there is a union advocating on behalf of players. Once the union was out, the owners now have to be wary of breaking the anti-trust laws. The league is actually better off with the players being represented by a union and even the owners know this. I think this strategy was genious on the part of the players and the players union. It's a rare day that the union strategizes with the players to decertify.

Whether the owners win or lose the appeal, they will have to come to the table with more than a ridiculous claim that they are losing money and that the union should "take the owners word for it, we are losing money" without showing them the books.


The previous agreement they collectively bargained was good enough for both players and owners for a long time. I hope they go back to that deal and get down to football. Since both sides argue that they have the interests of fans in mind, lets see some football.

--- Added 4/25/2011 at 09:24 PM ---

If you have questions about today's decision, there are a bunch of stories out there and things are as clear as mud.

This was a pretty good story and depending on the depth of legal arguments you want, or the secondary or tertiary concerns involved, you can follow the links to additional stories.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=jc-cole_league_has_no_real_plan_in_place_042511

connecticutsteel
04-26-2011, 12:40 AM
incredible some judge is going to tell them they have to start the season...i hope the owners start the season WITH REPLACEMENT PLAYERS....there is no more union to deal with they disbanded... the owners should tell all their former players they have one chance to rejoin the team and if they choose to not rejoin...the owners should blackball every one of them ...let these punks go find real jobs with their 2 and 3 years of college where most of them screwed off

But we know the owners would not have enough solidarity to employ this blackballing when there is a player sitting home that could help their team they will go calling...within 5 years the league would look exactly like it did last season

I truly believe that if there were a player who could run for 3,000 yards and 40 touchdowns per season who was caught dead to rights on video as a child molester but got off on some type of loophole with the help of some slick POS lawyer...there would be a line of owners saying that he still deserves a second chance and we know who these owners are...i'd gaurantee one of them wouldn't be the rooneys

first of all the union can reorganize in a day all they have to do is say were a union again and i dont no how anyone could be on the owners side the players said all along they would continue with the same deal this is a gross money grab by the owners and its pretty much over they wont get a stay they are wrong:stirpot::2cents:

Black@Gold Forever32
04-26-2011, 01:11 AM
Still don't understand the blame on the players for the lock out since they didn't opt for the lock out the owners did.....lol I'm not saying the players are perfect in this or over paid.........But the owners long ago gave way to much power/money to the players and for them to expect the players to give it back now is foolish........Owners like Jerry Jones, Dan Snyder, Robert Kraft is who I blame mostly for this mess......

coach
04-26-2011, 01:56 PM
first of all the union can reorganize in a day all they have to do is say were a union again and i dont no how anyone could be on the owners side the players said all along they would continue with the same deal this is a gross money grab by the owners and its pretty much over they wont get a stay they are wrong:stirpot::2cents:

Not only can they organize in a day, the league will insist that they do. The league couldn't function without the union. They need and want the players to be represented. What the owners want to do though is to insist that they benefit from having the players represented by a union, but not have to "negotiate" with them in a meaningful way (in other words a weak company union).

There are meaningful issues to be decided in this negotiation:
http://ca.shine.yahoo.com/top-5-reasons-nfl-players-wont-sign-cba-20110306-210000-761.html

But, things haven't progressed for various reasons and neither side can be faulted for taking the poitions they do in most of the issues. That is what bargaining is for.

But, most notably, the owners are making claims that they can't prove by opening the books to either the union, players or a third party and only they can be blamed for this:

http://radiojunkee.com/2011/03/01/10-nfl-lockout-facts-fans-need-to-know-for-next-season/

I am actually neutral in deciding some of the issues that are on the table and I am a big fan of collective bargaining. Whatever both sides agree to is likley the best option. But, the owners don't really appear to be bargaining here. They think the players should take the owners word for it; they are losing money; or they need more money to finance new Dallas like stadiums all over the country to charge fans more money so the owners can increase revenues.


I just posted this article elsewhere and it makes me feel like the fans and the taxpayers are the biggest losers in this whole mess (again):


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/07/AR2011020705610.html


Lets assume that the owners get everything they want. Is what is described in the above article what fans want the end result to be?

If the owners get everything they want, who could actually challenge them in the future? Certainly, the leverage they gained by negotiating sweetheart deals for stadiums and TV bargaining rights would put them in a place to collect cash while the game was not being played and that leverage would forever be used against the future union by telling them that if they don't like the deal, they will be locked out. That is not what collective bargaining is. More importantly, it guarantees future work stoppages. That is also not the protection any fan wants. We would be at the mecry of the owners' greed and anytime they wanted another cool billion off the top, they would tell the players to settle during a sham of a collective bargaining process or get locked out; without giving a second thought to fans.

I am certainly not pulling for individual players to get more money. However, I am firmly pulling for the players in this ridiculous mess because I want football to go on without future interuptions and I want that football to look more like the football I grew up with than what it looks like in Jerry's world.

Enjoy the draft and lets hope that football is back soon and stays back for a long time.

BlitzburghRockCity
04-26-2011, 05:57 PM
The NFL is a long way from playing football. (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d81f7b5fe/article/judge-gives-league-a-day-to-refile-ruling-clarification-request?module=HP_headlines)


One confusing day after a federal judge ended a 45-day lockout, small groups of players showed up (http://www.nfl.com/goto?id=09000d5d81f7b5fe) at team facilities Tuesday -- let inside but told they would not be allowed to work out. Most left in a matter of minutes on a strange day with more questions than answers and the judge said she will take at least another day to consider whether she should put her order on hold.


U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson in Minneapolishas given the league until 6 p.m. ET Wednesday to resubmit a request for a clarification on her ruling Monday that lifted the lockout. The league previously had filed expedited an motion for a stay. The stay would put Nelson's decision on hold pending further appeals. Nelson also gave the players until 10 a.m. ET Wednesday to respond to the stay request.


Nelson lifted the lockout on Monday (http://www.nfl.com/goto?id=09000d5d81f77c4f), ending the NFL's work stoppage in its 45th day.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Tuesday morning that the league will continue operating as is.


"We are going to proceed in an orderly way that is fair to the teams and players and complies with court orders," Aiello said. "Players are being treated with courtesy and respect at club facilities.


"We do not believe it is appropriate for football activities to take place until there are further rulings from the court. Under the last set of proposals made to the NFLPA, teams wouldn't even be into offseason programs yet. We need a few days to sort this out, as NFLPA attorney Jim Quinn indicated last night."
Little was clear as both sides essentially made up the rules as they went along.
"It's very chaotic for the teams right now," agent Drew Rosenhaus said. "It's not chaotic for the players. Our position is the lockout is over, free agency should begin, signings should begin, offseason workouts should begin, everything should be going on. The longer the NFL doesn't do that and drags this out, the more there are concerns of collusion and violations of antitrust."

After Nelson lifted the lockout Monday, writing in an 89-page order that she believed it is causing "irreparable harm" to the players, the NFL questioned whether she had exceeded her jurisdiction, and said it would seek an immediate stay of her ruling as well as relief from the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis. But if her injunction is upheld -- by the judge herself or the appellate court -- the NFL must resume business in some fashion.


It could invoke the 2010 rules for free agency, meaning players would need six seasons of service before becoming unrestricted free agents when their contracts expire; previously, it was four years. The requirement for restricted free agents would be four years rather than the three years before 2010. There also was no salary cap in 2010, meaning teams could spend as much -- or as little -- as they wanted.
"We're evolving as a league," Dallas Cowboys (http://www.nfl.com/teams/dallascowboys/profile?team=DAL) owner Jerry Jones said at his team's pre-draft news conference Tuesday afternoon. "We've asked for some hearings, asked for some rulings from the exiting judge ... as well as anticipating going to the appellate area, and that might make a difference in how we look to sign free agents in the immediate future.


"I can't answer (how we'll approach free agency) in relation to the specific ruling yesterday. At some point we'll play, and we'll have had the opportunity to sign veteran free agents and college free agents."


All of this was in the background for the NFL draft, which begins at 8 p.m. ET Thursday night. The draft has a decidedly weird feel as teams prep for picks without free agency or the ability to swap personnel.


Jim Quinn, an attorney for the players, said the pressure is on the league.
"They better act quickly, because as of right now there's no stay and, presumably, players could sign with teams," Quinn said. "There are no guidelines as of right now, so they have to put something in place quickly."


Nelson's ruling was another rebuke of the NFL in the federal courts in Minnesota, which was established years ago as the venue for the league's collective bargaining system. Three weeks ago, NFL attorney David Boies suggested to Nelson that she shouldn't have jurisdiction over a dispute with an unfair bargaining accusation against the players pending with the National Labor Relations Board.


In her ruling, Nelson rejected that contention and recognized the NFLPA's decision to "de-unionize" as legitimate because it has "serious consequences" for the players.
Nelson even referenced her colleague, U.S. District Judge David Doty, who has frequently ruled for the players in the past. Not only did she declare that players are likely to suffer harm from the lockout, a legal requirement for granting the injunction, Nelson wrote they're already feeling the hurt now.

Nelson cited their short careers, arguing that monetary damages wouldn't be enough relief.


What Nelson didn't do, however, was tackle the issue of the antitrust lawsuit filed last month when the union decertified. That, she wrote, "must wait another day."
In an opinion piece posted late Monday (http://www.nfl.com/goto?id=09000d5d81f7cb30) on the Wall Street Journal's website, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote that Nelson's ruling "may significantly alter professional football as we know it. ... By blessing this negotiating tactic (recognizing the players' right to dissolve their union), the decision may endanger one of the most popular and successful sports leagues in history."


Owners imposed the lockout after talks broke down last month and the players disbanded their union.


Nelson heard arguments on the injunction at an April 6 hearing and ordered the two sides to resume mediation while she was considering her decision. The owners and players, who failed to reach consensus after 16 days of mediated talks earlier this year, met over four days with a federal magistrate but didn't announce any progress on solving the impasse.


They aren't scheduled to meet again until May 16, four days after Doty holds a hearing on whether players should receive damages in their related fight with owners over some $4 billion in broadcast revenue.


With appeals expected, the fight seems likely to drag on through the spring. The closer it gets to August, when training camps and the preseason are normally in full swing, the more likely it becomes that regular-season games could be lost.
In a statement, the NFL expressed confidence in its appeal.


"But we also believe that this dispute will inevitably end with a collective bargaining agreement, which would be in the best interests of players, clubs and fans," the NFL said. "We can reach a fair agreement only if we continue negotiations toward that goal."


NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said players were eager to resume court-ordered mediation to resolve the fight.


"My hope is really is that there's somebody on the other side who loves football as much as our players and fans do," he said.

coach
04-27-2011, 05:18 PM
Pretty concise article on main points the players made:

http://www.newsique.com/sports/nfl_players_dont_want_lockout_ru/

BlitzburghRockCity
04-27-2011, 07:55 PM
MINNEAPOLIS -- (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d81f81ffa/article/players-request-1-billion-bond-if-judge-grants-nfl-a-stay) The plaintiffs' counsel in the Brady v. the National Football League case on Wednesday filed a 23-page brief to argue against the NFL's motion to stay U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson's decision to grant the players an injunction and lift the lockout.


In the filing, NFL Players Association local counsel Barbara Berens argues that NFL players should "not be prevented from working one day longer" and that the league should be forced to post a $1 billion bond -- a figure derived as "roughly 25 percent of the amount that the players were compensated last year" -- in case a stay is granted.


The NFL filed its response to the request for the $1 billion bond just before 5 p.m. ET, asserting that the players would be properly compensated, if the final result called for it, in damages and that there was "no basis" for the bond. The argument continued that the players' request was "inconsistent with the argument that they made in support of their request for an injunction that the harm they suffer from the lockout is not compensable in monetary damages."


The NFL also responded to the players' request for clarification on Nelson's ruling to lift the lockout, which the league argued is actually a "motion to reconsider." As part of the court filing, the NFL included the players' proposal, which was an order to be signed by Nelson that would immediately lift the lockout and prevent the NFL from using a similar action again for the period of a year.


The NFL argued that the proposed order was broader than the original ruling and was to include franchise tags, free agency and the draft, which made it more than a clarification. The league cited Nelson's ruling, which read that "the Court is not presently addressing the merits of the antitrust claims regarding player restrictions."
Commissioner Roger Goodell, meanwhile, said owners are preparing for every contingency.


"You have to react to the judgment and make sure it's done in an orderly process," Goodell said Wednesday during a predraft event in New York.


The league has until 6 p.m. ET to file its response to the players' request for a clarification on Nelson's ruling on the injunction, which would define when the league year would be ordered to begin. Also, NFLPA general counsel Richard Berthelsen filed a "declaration of support" on Wednesday morning.


The 23-page brief also included the players' argument that the owners are "unable to meet their burden to justify a stay" for four reasons.


First, the players contend that the "defendants are unable to demonstrate any likelihood of success on the merits on appeal" as a result of Nelson's rejecting the league's chief arguments in its case against the injunction.


Second, the plaintiffs argue that the defendants "fail to show they will be irreparably injured absent a stay," using Nelson's finding that the players are suffering irreparable harm as a result of the lockout to that end.


Third, the players argue that "the grant of a stay is not in the public's interest."
And fourth, they argue that the "granting of the preliminary injunction did not involve 'substantial and novel legal questions,'" citing the strength of the court's points against the NFL's arguments that the Norris-La Guardia Act prevents a federal court from granting the injunction, and that the National Labor Relations Board maintains primary jurisdiction over the antitrust case.

Berens also argued against the NFL's claim that it is now facing the dilemma of either opening an unfettered type of free agency or risk violating antitrust laws. She wrote: "There is no dilemma because the NFL Defendants have a viable third choice: implement a new player system that does not violate the antitrust laws."
The filing concluded with this from Berens: "Based on the foregoing, the Brady Plaintiffs respectfully request that this Court deny the NFL Defendants' motion for a stay of this Court's Order granting the Brady Plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction. If, however, the Court were inclined to grant the stay, the Brady Plaintiffs ask the Court to require the NFL Defendants to post a bond pending appeal in the amount of $1 billion."


Berthelsen's filing centered on the NFL's ability to start business quickly with the injunction granted.


The NFLPA's lead lawyer argued that the issuing of restricted free-agent tenders to players going into their fifth and sixth seasons showed an intention to move forward with the 2010 "Final League Year" rules in the case of an injunction. Berthelsen also said that any issues arising would be "self-inflicted" and cited the league's stance that it would lose money during the lockout as an example that the stay would "actually be a detriment to NFL clubs."


Berthelsen's filing included the NFL's lockout letter, the letter containing lockout rules that was sent to clubs, USA Today stories with Goodell taking aim at the players' legal maneuverings and the league saying it would lose money in a lockout, the entire NFL schedule, and NFL.com stories detailing the release of that schedule.


There was no immediate response from the NFL or its attorneys, but the league has said it needs the stay to make sure any rules it puts in place are fair, clear -- and legal.


If Nelson denies the league's expedited motion for a stay, the owners will ask the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis for the same thing. They're also asking the appeals court, viewed as a more friendly venue to the league than the federal courts in Minnesota, to overturn Nelson's decision.


The NFL draft starts Thursday night, but it will be far from normal. The lockout has prevented teams from adding free agents and adjusting their rosters, so their strategy this year is more complicated, not knowing exactly when they will have a chance to sign or trade for veterans to stock various positions.


The players argued that the nonexistence of free agency this offseason has hurt them greatly.


"Players should be marketing their services to find the right team in which they have the best chance to make a roster, be a starter or otherwise advance their careers," attorneys for the players wrote. "This process requires an extended period of time to play out in a fair manner for all players, and any elimination or compression of this free-agency period will lead to a set of scrambled outcomes and harms to different players that cannot be undone."


The NFL has said it expects a hearing from the 8th Circuit by early June, although the players said the length and outcome of the appeal is unknown and every day "players will continue to suffer significant harm."


Some players tried to go back to work Tuesday, but most who did were told they couldn't work out at team facilities (http://www.nfl.com/goto?id=09000d5d81f7c26e) once they entered the building in one of the oddest days in league history.


Most left in a matter of minutes with more questions than answers.
"It drives me insane, that's what it does," said J'Marcus Webb (http://www.nfl.com/players/j%27marcuswebb/profile?id=WEB210365), who was told he and a handful of other Chicago Bears (http://www.nfl.com/teams/chicagobears/profile?team=CHI) couldn't use the team's weight room. "I'm trying to eat healthy and work out, do my job and right now I'm just stuck at home working out and watching cartoons all day.


"What's up with that? Let me get back to what I do best."


That could take a while. The 2011 season, and the business between 32 teams and their thousands of anxious players, are in a holding pattern. The NFL said Tuesday that it needed "a few days to sort this out" and provide some rules for everyone to follow.
"We are in the process of determining throughout the league as to just how we'll proceed and when we'll open the new year across the league, the new football year," Dallas Cowboys (http://www.nfl.com/teams/dallascowboys/profile?team=DAL) owner Jerry Jones said. "We have not done that."

In a question-and-answer memo distributed by the NFL Players Association Tuesday and obtained by NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora, free agents were told they can contact teams (http://www.nfl.com/goto?id=09000d5d81f7e463) and shop their services, putting pressure on the NFL to set up a free-agency system that complies with antitrust laws.


The document also told players that teams are responsible for care of any football-related injury, meaning it's "safer for players to work out on club property."
NFL lead negotiator Jeff Pash said it was too soon to say exactly when free agency would begin and which players would be eligible. He expressed optimism and confidence about the league's case -- and the appellate court.


"On these issues in particular, the history of appeals court rulings has been quite different from how trial courts have looked at this," Pash said. "We feel we have very credible legal arguments to assert, and we'll know in a short period of time whether we're right or not."

connecticutsteel
04-27-2011, 09:27 PM
pash is a moron if he thinks they will win in court

BlitzburghRockCity
04-29-2011, 02:48 PM
Welcome back, players.

The NFL cleared the way for some basic football operations to begin at 8 a.m. ET Friday, five days after a federal judge declared the lockout illegal and nearly seven weeks after it began.

And the players immediately took advantage.
"From the players' standpoint I think everybody is pleased we're not locked out anymore, especially the rookies," Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (http://www.nfl.com/players/tombrady/profile?id=BRA371156) said on CNBC in his first public comments about the dispute since he became a named plaintiff in the antitrust lawsuit filed against the owners.


In a conference call with New York Jets (http://www.nfl.com/teams/newyorkjets/profile?team=NYJ) season-ticket holders, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league will hold a conference call later Friday morning to address player transaction rules. The guidelines for free agency, trades and other roster moves have been uncertain in the absence of a collective bargaining agreement. That expired March 11, the same day the players' union was disbanded to clear the way for a court fight.
"What we're doing right now is having to adjust, obviously, to court decisions," Goodell said. "We are opening our gates this morning to the facilities. ... The most important things for us is to obviously respect the decisions of the court, and secondly, make sure we proceed in an orderly fashion and inform all 32 of our clubs, to make sure we're doing it in a responsible fashion."

Players all over the league started reporting to team facilities in the morning, from Tony Romo (http://www.nfl.com/players/tonyromo/profile?id=ROM787981) in Dallas to Chad Greenway (http://www.nfl.com/players/chadgreenway/profile?id=GRE573953) in Minnesota and DeAngelo Hall (http://www.nfl.com/players/deangelohall/profile?id=HAL268837) with the Redskins.

About a dozen Carolina Panthers (http://www.nfl.com/teams/carolinapanthers/profile?team=CAR) players were spotted entering Bank of America Stadium, where a voluntary meeting was planned and players were expected to receive their playbooks from new coach Ron Rivera.
NFL.com's Steve Wyche reported Friday (http://www.nfl.com/goto?id=09000d5d81f90fa3) that Panthers quarterback Jimmy Clausen (http://www.nfl.com/players/jimmyclausen/profile?id=CLA709185) was first to arrive, followed by backup quarterbacks Tony Pike (http://www.nfl.com/players/tonypike/profile?id=PIK566472) and Matt Moore (http://www.nfl.com/players/mattmoore/profile?id=MOO551757) and offensive linemen Ryan Kalil (http://www.nfl.com/players/ryankalil/profile?id=KAL275632) and Duke Robinson (http://www.nfl.com/players/dukerobinson/profile?id=ROB407250).
"It's like Christmas," said Robinson, adding that he planned to work out following the meeting.

Wyche reported that Moore, a free agent who is rehabilitating from shoulder surgery, was not given a playbook, because he might not be back with the team.


A team official told Wyche that Moore is permitted to work out with the Panthers as part of his supervised rehabilitation, following guidelines for free-agent players recovering from injury.

"I don't know what's going to happen when I walk in the door," Moore said, "but I'm happy to be here."

Kalil said the lockout has been good in some ways because he's been able to rest more and spend more time with his family. But Kalil was eager to reunite with his teammates.
"I don't think anyone thought it was going to get to this point and it did. It got uncomfortable I think for everybody," Kalil said. "It's nice there's a little light at the end of the tunnel, and we get to come back and get out of that funk. We'll see what happens moving forward."

For the first time all offseason, players have been cleared to talk with coaches, work out at team headquarters and get playbooks. All were turned away from team facilities in the three days after U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson's decision Monday to lift the owner-imposed lockout.

The chain on the Tennessee Titans (http://www.nfl.com/teams/tennesseetitans/profile?team=TEN)' main gate was off, and the gate was open Friday morning. Guard Jake Scott, the team's player representative, was among three players who arrived. Scott was turned away on Tuesday and Thursday, when he was met at the locked gate by two armed security guards.

The owners and players have been embroiled in a bitter battle over how the NFL's $9 billion pie is sliced, a fight that has been taken to the courts.
The rhetoric has been venomous at times, but Brady said that has not compromised the close relationship he has with Patriots owner Robert Kraft.


"I think our relationship is much deeper than that," Brady said. "I don't think it's Tom Brady suing Robert Kraft. ... It's certainly not personal. He was at my wedding. We have a great relationship. We've always had (one). And I'm sure that's going to continue."

But the legal fight is far from over despite the halting steps back toward football. The league has asked the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis to restore the lockout as soon as possible, hoping for a friendlier venue than the federal courts in Minnesota.

The league wants the appellate court to put Nelson's decision on hold so it can argue that it should be overturned altogether. The players were told to respond to the league's motion for a stay by midday Friday, and the NFL's reply to that is due on Monday morning.

Goodell, who was roundly booed by passionate and impatient fans at Radio City Music Hall on Thursday, said he feared the fight could last for a while.
Friday morning, he said he gets why fans booed him: "It's the fans' frustration, and I understand that."

At least now, football activities can take place.
Mandatory minicamps and voluntary offseason practices can begin under rules of the old CBA. Team-supervised workouts will count toward bonuses in player contracts, and players also can work out on their own at team facilities if they have health insurance in place.

The league also will arrange for substance abuse and drug programs to start back up, and players can participate in team-sponsored community and charity functions.

Romo and top targets Jason Witten (http://www.nfl.com/players/jasonwitten/profile?id=WIT559021) and Miles Austin (http://www.nfl.com/players/milesaustin/profile?id=AUS467198) were among several Cowboys doing conditioning work on the practice field Friday morning.

Austin, the team's No. 1 receiver, showed up at 7:30 a.m. and left about two hours later. On his way out, he exchanged high-fives with Igor Olshansky (http://www.nfl.com/players/igorolshansky/profile?id=OLS331314) as the defensive lineman entered the Valley Ranch facility.

At least 11 Redskins showed up at the practice facility at Redskins Park in Ashburn, Va., including Hall, Kedric Golston (http://www.nfl.com/players/kedricgolston/profile?id=GOL705804), Graham Gano (http://www.nfl.com/players/grahamgano/profile?id=GAN308500) and Lorenzo Alexander (http://www.nfl.com/players/lorenzoalexander/profile?id=ALE509608), who was turned away from the workout room the previous three days.

Players also started trickling in with the Giants, Chiefs and Dolphins, including receiver Brandon Marshall (http://www.nfl.com/players/brandonmarshall/profile?id=MAR370922) who recently was hospitalized following a domestic dispute. Marshall's wife, Michi Nogami-Marshall, was charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon after authorities said she stabbed him with a kitchen knife.

The Detroit Lions (http://www.nfl.com/teams/detroitlions/profile?team=DET) already have scheduled organized team activities for Wednesday, and the Bears have set a rookie camp for next weekend. Cleveland Browns (http://www.nfl.com/teams/clevelandbrowns/profile?team=CLE) linebacker Scott Fujita (http://www.nfl.com/players/scottfujita/profile?id=FUJ296636) said his team is ready to get to work.

"I consider us one of the organizations that will legitimately do the right thing with all this," Fujita said. "Guys who choose to report right away just have to be flexible and realize that if a stay is granted from the appellate court, then we're locked out again."
The longer the lockout is lifted, the better for a rookie class that enters the league with unprecedented uncertainty surrounding their arrival. Getting as much work in as possible, especially for the four quarterbacks taken in the first 12 picks, is paramount as they make the adjustment from college to the NFL.

"Yeah, it's going to be huge and for me as a rookie quarterback," said Florida State's Christian Ponder after being drafted 12th by the Minnesota Vikings (http://www.nfl.com/teams/minnesotavikings/profile?team=MIN) on Thursday. "It's all about putting in my time and getting myself prepared for whatever role I'm going to have this coming season.

"So I know I'm going up there (Friday) and I already asked coach if I was going to have a playbook. And he said yeah, there will be one ready for me and we're going to talk some ball once I get up there so I'm excited about it."

Rampage
04-29-2011, 07:51 PM
Just heard the lockout is back on. Way to go, a**holes!

JensK
04-29-2011, 08:01 PM
Just heard the lockout is back on. Way to go, a**holes!

At least Cam Newton had enough time to get the his playbook :evilshake:

connecticutsteel
04-29-2011, 08:24 PM
[QUOTE=Rampage;421062]Just heard the lockout is back on. Way to go, a**holes![/QUOT WELL AIRBRAKE1 WILL BE HAPPY THE LOCK ISN ON FOR A FEW MORE DAYS

BlitzburghRockCity
04-30-2011, 11:45 PM
NEW YORK (http://www.nfl.com/draft/story/09000d5d81f9d537/article/with-draft-in-rearview-mirror-nfl-looks-toward-uncertain-future?module=HP_headlines) -- One fourth-round draft pick won't be ready to run until August. Another wasn't ready to talk to his new team because he was in the middle of his graduation ceremony.

Those were the least of the complications Saturday at the NFL draft, which completed its three-day run at Radio City Music Hall against a backdrop of a restored lockout. Right now, no one is sure when clubs will be ready to let any players walk back in to team headquarters.

"With the lockout, there's so much uncertainty," said tight end Kyle Rudolph, a second-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings (http://www.nfl.com/teams/minnesotavikings/profile?team=MIN). "I'm just focused on getting myself in the best shape as possible and being ready whenever we are allowed to" show up.
A total of 254 players were selected over seven rounds. But only a few lucky first-rounders were able to pick up playbooks Friday during a brief time when the lockout was lifted.


The Carolina Panthers (http://www.nfl.com/teams/carolinapanthers/profile?team=CAR) opened the fourth round by selecting West Virginia cornerback Brandon Hogan. The 5-foot-10, 192-pounder not only has off-field issues, but he's recovering from ligament surgery on his left knee. Hogan won't be able to begin running full speed until August.

"My knee is ahead of schedule," he insisted. "It's getting stronger and getting used to doing things."

The Panthers, who chose quarterback Cam Newton with the No. 1 overall pick to open the draft Thursday night and added a pair of defensive tackles Friday, are hoping Hogan recovers and stays out of trouble to bolster a secondary in need of depth.
The Seattle Seahawks (http://www.nfl.com/teams/seattleseahawks/profile?team=SEA) went next and picked Mississippi State linebacker K.J. Wright. General manager John Schneider gave Wright a call in Starkville and was puzzled why the player had so little to say. Well, it turns out Wright was just about to receive his diploma at his graduation ceremony.

"As soon as I got off the phone, two minutes later I had to go up there and walk across the stage," Wright said.

Day 3 of the draft was the first full day that players were locked out again after a brief respite Friday. That night, however, an appeals court decision allowed the league to reinstate the lockout that had been lifted earlier in the week.
But the draft carried on because it is protected under the old collective bargaining agreement, which expired March 11.

Dan Lauria, who stars as Green Bay coach Vince Lombardi in the Broadway show "Lombardi," ended the sixth round by making the Packers' pick -- Arizona linebacker Ricky Elmore.


The draft concluded with the Houston Texans (http://www.nfl.com/teams/houstontexans/profile?team=HOU) picking Rice linebacker Cheta Ozougwu. As the final pick, he will be honored as "Mr. Irrelevant," a weeklong celebration in Newport Beach, Calif., that began in 1976.

The Arizona Cardinals (http://www.nfl.com/teams/arizonacardinals/profile?team=ARI), trying to improve their pass rush, selected Texas linebacker Sam Acho in the fourth round. The 6-1, 257-pounder in December won the Campbell Trophy and a $25,000 scholarship given by the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame as the nation's top scholar athlete.

Acho's parents emigrated from Nigeria, and each summer he returns to the country with his father and brother on a medical mission.

Another Matthews joined the NFL when Oregon linebacker Casey Matthews was picked by the Philadelphia Eagles (http://www.nfl.com/teams/philadelphiaeagles/profile?team=PHI) with the 19th pick in the fourth round. He's the brother of Packers All-Pro linebacker Clay Matthews. The Eagles are well aware of Clay Matthews -- they had a hard time handling him last year.

"Clay had some success against them," Casey Matthews said. "At the conclusion of my visit when I was out there, Coach (Andy) Reid said, 'Tell your brother we're going to get him next year with you on the team.' And I told Clay that. I don't think they have the Packers on the schedule, but hopefully we get them in the playoffs."
Minutes later, the Eagles made Nebraska All-American Alex Henery the first kicker taken with the 23rd pick of the fourth round. Henery hit 18-of-19 field goal attempts (10-of-11 from 40 yards or longer) and all 54 extra points last season. He also punts.

Eagles longtime kicker David Akers (http://www.nfl.com/players/davidakers/profile?id=AKE551610) is a free agent, but the team has placed a transition tag on him and would have a chance to retain him.

The Cleveland Browns (http://www.nfl.com/teams/clevelandbrowns/profile?team=CLE), with a pick from Atlanta, chose Stanford fullback Owen Marecic, a two-way player who also played linebacker. He won the inaugural Paul Hornung Award as the nation's most versatile player.

The 6-0, 246-pound Marecic ran for five touchdowns and had two interceptions last season. In a 13-second span against Notre Dame in 2010, he scored on a 1-yard TD plunge and returned an interception 20 yards for a score.

The Browns plan to use him on offense, but special teams might work, too.
"Hopefully I can find big ways to contribute on special teams, which is a little bit of defense in itself," Marecic said.

The Washington Redskins (http://www.nfl.com/teams/washingtonredskins/profile?team=WAS) were wheeling and dealing again Saturday after collecting 10 picks for rounds 4-7 by the end of Friday night. They made a five-pick swap with the Texans and took Nebraska running back Roy Helu Jr. early in the fourth round.
Redskins coach Mike Shanahan has a knack for finding productive running backs. Maybe he's got another in Helu, who ran for 1,245 yards last season.


"History is proof for itself, all the running backs and the offensive lineman that have worked under him and the success that they've had," Helu said.
Three quarterbacks were taken in the fifth round -- the Kansas City Chiefs (http://www.nfl.com/teams/kansascitychiefs/profile?team=KC) went for Iowa's Ricky Stanzi, the Texans took North Carolina's T.J. Yates and the Chicago Bears (http://www.nfl.com/teams/chicagobears/profile?team=CHI) picked Idaho's Nathan Enderle.

The Baltimore Ravens (http://www.nfl.com/teams/baltimoreravens/profile?team=BAL) went for Virginia Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor in the sixth round. He had a 34-8 record as a starter and last season was voted ACC player of the year after throwing for 2,743 yards and 24 touchdowns with five interceptions.
The 12th and last quarterback picked in the draft was Alabama's Greg McElroy, taken by the New York Jets (http://www.nfl.com/teams/newyorkjets/profile?team=NYJ) in the seventh round -- No. 208 overall.

One notable player who went undrafted was Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich, who was diagnosed with cancer after being chosen ACC player of the year in 2008. He missed the 2009 season, was declared cancer free and played last season.

BlitzburghRockCity
05-03-2011, 07:36 PM
(http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d81fa8779/article/arguments-in-nfl-appeal-scheduled-for-june-3-in-st-louis?module=HP_headlines) The NFL's motion for an expedited appea (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d81fa8779/article/arguments-in-nfl-appeal-scheduled-for-june-3-in-st-louis?module=HP_headlines)l was granted by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday, with the date for oral arguments set for June 3 at the Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse in St. Louis.

The NFL's opening brief is due May 9, with the players' response brief due on May 20, and the league's response to that due May 26.


The case will be heard by Judges Kermit Bye, Steven Colloton and William Duane Benton. Bye, a President Clinton appointee, was the dissenting judge of the three when the NFL was granted a temporary stay of the injunction Judge Susan Nelson granted to lift the NFL lockout. Colloton and Benton are President George W. Bush appointees.


The judges still have yet to rule on the full stay of the injunction, which would allow the owners to maintain the lockout -- keeping players from working out at team complexes, free agents from being signed or trades from happening -- until the judges rule on the appeal.


The order said that on June 3 each side will have 30 minutes to present their oral argument.


This hearing schedule is extremely swift for the 8th Circuit, and the date for oral arguments is one that’s not on the normal hearing schedule -- a concession made to move things along. Clerk Michael Gans said that a case taken now “normally wouldn’t be heard until October or November and, for a Court of Appeals, that’s pretty quick.”
Expediting the hearing is all-encompassing, meaning the ruling will be made as quickly as possible -- maybe as early as mid-June. Gans said that when the ruling actually comes is “anyone’s guess,” but “my understanding is we’re giving every aspect of this priority.”

BlitzburghRockCity
05-16-2011, 09:20 PM
MINNEAPOLIS -- (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d81fda71b/article/appeals-court-grants-nfl-motion-for-stay-pending-appeal?module=HP_headlines)The NFL has won another round in the court fight with its players.
The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday decided that the league's lockout of players should stay in place until a full appeal is heard on whether it is legal, which means until at least the first week of June and possibly much longer.

The 2-1 decision mirrored the panel's earlier decision granting a temporary stay, including a lengthy dissent from the same Judge Kermit Edward Bye.
The appellate court said it believed the NFL has proven it will "likely will suffer some degree of irreparable harm without a stay." It also cast doubt on the conclusions of U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson, who ruled April 25 that the lockout should be lifted -- only to have the same 8th Circuit panel put her decision on hold four days later.

"In sum, we have serious doubts that the district court had jurisdiction to enjoin the league's lockout, and accordingly conclude that the league has made a strong showing that it is likely to succeed on the merits," the majority wrote.
The NFLPA released a statement Monday after the stay was granted.
"The NFL's request for a stay of the lockout that was granted today means no football. The players are in mediation and are working to try to save the 2011 season. The court will hear the full appeal on June 3."

The June 3 hearing is scheduled to hear arguments on the legality of the lockout.
The decision came on the same day that NFL owners and their locked-out players resumed court-ordered mediation behind closed doors. It was the fifth day of talks in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan, but the first since April 20.
"It is now time to devote all of our energy to reaching a comprehensive agreement that will improve the game for the benefit of current and retired players, teams, and, most importantly, the fans," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in a statement. "This litigation has taken the parties away from the negotiating table where these issues should be resolved. We remain confident that the appellate court will determine that this is a labor dispute that should be governed by federal labor law. But the league and players, without further delay, should control their own destiny and decide the future of the NFL together through negotiation."

Hall of Famer Carl Eller, representing retired players in the Brady & Eller et al v. National Football League et al anti-trust lawsuit, said as he left the courthouse that his side was waiting on a proposal from the owners.
"It's been a long day, and we're still working on it," Eller said at the seven-hour mark of the fifth day of court-ordered mediation in Boylan's chambers.
NFL Network insider Albert Breer reports that Michael Hausfeld, the lead attorney for the retired players in the Eller class, later said that the players did receive a proposal from the league.

"Probably not one that's acceptable as is," he said. "...But it breaches the stalemate."
A new collective bargaining agreement or guarantees of a full 2011 season seemed unlikely, however.

"We'd like to make progress, but it'll be hard to do. We have to wait to see what happens June 3," Pittsburgh Steelers (http://www.nfl.com/teams/pittsburghsteelers/profile?team=PIT) president Art Rooney II said on his way into the federal courthouse here.

The 8th Circuit's decision had been anxiously anticipated and even though it kept the lockout in place -- in effect, leaving situation between the NFL and its players unchanged -- it is a potential signal of how the two sides will fare once the full appeal is heard.

Judges Steven Colloton and Duane Benton sided with the NFL while Bye again dissented in favor of the players.

"The district court reasoned that this case does not involve or grow out of a labor dispute because the players no longer are represented by a union," the majority wrote. "We have considerable doubt about this interpretation ... (the Norris-La Guardia Act) does not specify that the employees must be members of a union for the case to involve or grow out of a labor dispute."

steeldoc
05-16-2011, 11:19 PM
The owners will win this just wait. They want to beat the players down and have the resources to do so. Fans will lose out this year because I believe the deal will get done late, pre season will be nonexistent, rookies will be clueless, vets will be fat and slow and half of the season will just suck....but a deal will be done so they all will get their money and we, the fans will get crappy football until late October.:imho:

connecticutsteel
05-17-2011, 12:55 AM
If the owners win it will be the end of the NFL the league will slide into passionless pile of do-do until we have complete turn over because anyone who played under the old cba won't like playing under the new one mainly because they will eventually lose roughly 2 billion 3years into the new deal if it is anything like the current offer this could effect the 2012 season as well

Real Deal Steel
05-17-2011, 01:16 AM
My opinion is that the Owners are trying to break the players union. And they will succeed to the detriment of the league.

Greed by owners like Jerry Jones and Daniel Snyder have slowly grown tenticles throughout the league and now that they taken full hold, the league is going to be on a slippery slope downward.

connecticutsteel
05-17-2011, 06:34 AM
N EW F ***ING L OW = NFL Damn conservative republican Judges lookin out for the super rich they should have one dem one rep and one neutral judge not 2 gop and 1 dem that's a bias panel there is no way the players will win they have to make adeal soon if there is going to be football this season or next season if this gets tied up in court it might take 2 seasons to clear up so let hope d smith's ego deflates a bit or this chould take a while

BlitzburghRockCity
05-17-2011, 06:57 PM
MINNEAPOLIS -- (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d81fdfb5e/article/mediation-ends-with-fourth-round-set-for-early-june?module=HP_headlines)NFL owners and players have wrapped up another round of court-ordered mediation without any sign of a new agreement.


Officials and attorneys for both sides left the federal courthouse in Minneapolis on Tuesday afternoon and said they'd return before U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan on June 7. That's days after an appeals court hearing on the legality of the ongoing lockout.


Neither side discussed any specifics, though Hall of Famer Carl Eller said he believes this was the most productive week yet because the players received something tangible from the owners in the form of a bullet-pointed outline. Eller represents retired players.


On Monday night, the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals issued the NFL a stay-on-appeal, which preserves the league's right to lock the players out until there's a ruling on the league's appeal of Judge Susan Nelson's decision to issue the players a lockout-lifting injunction. But more damaging to the players was the language in the ruling, which might foreshadow the three 8th Circuit judges ruling against the players after the June 3 hearing in St. Louis.




The parties arriving on Tuesday morning were chiefly the same as Monday. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, executive vice president Jeff Pash and labor committee members John Mara, Art Rooney II, Jerry Richardson and Mike Brown led the league contingent. Mara is the owner of the New York Giants (http://www.nfl.com/teams/newyorkgiants/profile?team=NYG), Rooney is the Pittsburgh Steelers (http://www.nfl.com/teams/pittsburghsteelers/profile?team=PIT)' president, Richardson is the Carolina Panthers (http://www.nfl.com/teams/carolinapanthers/profile?team=CAR)' owner and Mike Brown is the Cincinnati Bengals (http://www.nfl.com/teams/cincinnatibengals/profile?team=CIN)' owner.


NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith was the most notable name on the players' side, and he was joined by Kansas City Chiefs (http://www.nfl.com/teams/kansascitychiefs/profile?team=KC) linebacker Mike Vrabel (http://www.nfl.com/players/mikevrabel/profile?id=VRA088990), who was scheduled to be in Minneapolis on Monday, but had his flight canceled.
Also there was Michael Hausfeld, the lead lawyer for the Eller class in Brady & Eller et al v. the National Football League et al, who said that the players got a proposal from the league on Monday night. A source later described it as nothing more than a few pages of bullet-points providing a framework for a new collective bargaining agreement. So the June 3 hearing date continues to loom over these talks.
"We obviously hoped that the circuit would not grant the stay and that football would come back for our fans and our players," NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said on Monday night. "Right now, our guys are out there working out for free, because they dig the game. The case will be heard by the appellate court on June 3, we look forward to the argument. But look, this is something the players are prepared for. It's a disappointment, obviously."


The 8th Circuit's ruling supported the NFL's interpretation of the Norris-La Guardia Act, saying "We have serious doubts that the district court had jurisdiction to enjoin the League's lockout." And it also that the NFL's appeal had a likelihood of succeeding, saying, "Our present view is that Judge Nelson's interpretation is unlikely to prevail."
The decision could move talks along.

The ruling makes it a certainty that the NFL will refuse to enter litigation settlement talks, which backs the players into a corner. Engaging in collective bargaining, which the owners favor, would constitute union activity, make the NFLPA's decertification invalid, and finish the players' lawsuit. The players are unlikely to surrender that leverage yet, so the mediation in Minnesota is one forum where they are protected against the argument that their decertification is a "sham," and the lawsuit is therefore baseless.


"You don't resolve things through litigation," Pash said. "We've been clear on that. And what we need to be doing is focusing all our attention on the process that's going on here in this building, with the assistance of the chief judge and in serious discussions with the players.


"We have an opportunity to resolve this matter and get the game back on the field, and that really should be our exclusive focus -- not litigation, not stays or injunctions, things like that. That's not gonna solve anything. I'm glad that it came out the way that it did. But it's just one step in a process and we need to focus on negotiation. That's the only way we're going to resolve this."


The parties from the league and the Brady class declined comment on the way in on Tuesday, citing respect of the court's request to refrain from comment.
"We've got a mediation process where Judge Nelson ruled that it should be confidential," Smith said. "We respect the court process. And I think when a judge of these United States asks the parties to sit down, and try to mediate their differences and resolve them without litigation -- that's the way our process works, that's the way our system works."


If the next step in the process comes June 3, then that much hasn't changed since the parties arrived in Minneapolis with the expectation that would be the case.
"We would like to make progress, but it'll be hard to do," Rooney said on his way into the building on Monday. "We have to wait to see what happens June 3."

connecticutsteel
05-17-2011, 09:50 PM
the owners got what they wanted no football i get the feeling this coming season is a goner:banging:

LatrobePA
05-17-2011, 09:57 PM
F the NFL / owners! This is the time of year I start getting pumped for the new season and with the doubts of a season I have nothing football related to look forward to!

F'n pricks!!

connecticutsteel
05-21-2011, 02:17 PM
Today the players submitted there documents for there appeal calling the NFL a cartel-like business the players argue that the lock-out is damaging the careers of the older players by losing days and possibly the season and for many veterans it could mean retirement

airbrake 1
05-21-2011, 03:02 PM
Today the players submitted there documents for there appeal calling the NFL a cartel-like business the players argue that the lock-out is damaging the careers of the older players by losing days and possibly the season and for many veterans it could mean retirement

there's always the arena league or the canadian league if the NFL doesn't meet their needs

BlitzburghRockCity
05-21-2011, 03:04 PM
Today the players submitted there documents for there appeal calling the NFL a cartel-like business the players argue that the lock-out is damaging the careers of the older players by losing days and possibly the season and for many veterans it could mean retirement

Link here (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d81fede88/article/players-appeal-for-end-to-nfl-lockout-in-latenight-court-filing?module=HP_headlines)

MINNEAPOLIS -- Players who sued the NFL for alleged antitrust violations liken the league to a "cartel" in their latest court filing, again urging an appeals court to lift the lockout.


In arguments filed in the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, just minutes before Friday's midnight deadline, attorneys for the players reiterated their argument that the NFL has violated antitrust laws. They also argued the lockout has imposed immediate, career-ending threatening harm on players and could deprive the public of the 2011 NFL season.





"The players face immediate, continuing, severe irreparable injury from unlawful conduct orchestrated to force them to re-unionize against their will and make immense financial concessions," the players' attorneys wrote. "The NFL, by contrast, claims only a temporary loss of leverage by members of a cartel that is no longer entitled to any exemption from the antitrust laws."
The longer the fight over how to divvy up $9 billion in annual revenue drags on, the closer the league and players come to missing games. The first preseason game is scheduled for Aug. 7, and the regular-season opener between the New Orleans Saints (http://www.nfl.com/teams/neworleanssaints/profile?team=NO) and Green Bay Packers (http://www.nfl.com/teams/greenbaypackers/profile?team=GB) is set for Sept. 8.
In Friday's filing, the players reiterated that the decision to dissolve their union was their lawful right, and the absence of a collective bargaining agreement shouldn't stop the NFL's ability to "conduct professional football." And, the players argued, the harm they would suffer isn't comparable to the league's argument that it would suffer an "intangible blow to their 'negotiating position' and 'leverage.' "
"The overwhelming inequity in that imbalance is patently obvious," the players' attorneys wrote.


The players have argued all along that their careers are being harmed by the work stoppage -- they can't work out, or sign contracts with any of the 32 teams while the lockout persists. A federal judge in Minnesota agreed and lifted the lockout April 25, but the league appealed.


The appeals court reversed U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson's decision just four days later. And on Monday, the appellate court ruled the lockout can stay in place until a full appeal is heard on whether it is legal. That hearing is set for June 3.
The players received some support Friday from other professional players and fans. The unions for baseball, basketball and hockey players filed a legal brief saying the lockout should be lifted because athletes' careers are short, and the loss of even part of a season causes personal and professional injuries for which they can't be compensated.


In their filing, the unions for Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League wrote, "there is no off-season in professional sports -- only the portion of the work year during which no games are played." The unions said that part of the year brings opportunities -- such as the option to change cities, teams or the trajectory of one's career.


Also Friday, a nonprofit group that has been fighting sport work stoppages said the lockout should be lifted. The Sports Fans Coalition, which says it gives fans a voice on public policy issues and fights for fan access to games, said in a legal brief that the lockout isn't in the best interest of fans, who pay billions of dollars to see their teams perform.


The players' attorneys argued: "The NFL does not suffer irreparable harm from operating the game of football -- especially at a profit."
"Here, there is no question that the interest of the public -- the fans, stadium workers, parking lot attendants, sports bars and restaurants, and local governments -- favors an injunction to allow football to proceed on whatever lawful terms the NFL Defendants collectively impose," the players' attorneys wrote.
The group of players suing the league -- including star quarterbacks Tom Brady (http://www.nfl.com/players/tombrady/profile?id=BRA371156), Peyton Manning (http://www.nfl.com/players/peytonmanning/profile?id=MAN515097) and Drew Brees (http://www.nfl.com/players/drewbrees/profile?id=BRE229498) -- have said the lockout is inflicting irreparable harm on their brief playing careers by preventing them from working out at team headquarters, holding full practices with teammates and coaches and jeopardizing games.


Their attorneys wrote that suggesting monetary damages, even triple damages, would fully redress the harm to players "ignores the reality of the game."
The NFL has argued in its appeal that lifting the labor lockout without a new contract in place would allow better-off teams to sign the best players, tipping the NFL's competitive balance and damaging the league.


The league also said that lifting the lockout with no labor deal in place would cause chaos, with teams trying to make decisions on signing free agents and making trades under a set of rules that could change drastically under a new agreement.

The league says the union's move to decertify after the initial bargaining talks broke down is a sham; that Nelson doesn't have the jurisdiction to lift the lockout; and that she should have waited for a decision from the National Labor Relations Board before issuing that ruling.


The players disagree with all those points.


They argued that by decertifying, every player gave up many rights, including having union representation at grievances, and the right to collectively bargain and strike. Now, players seek the protections of federal antitrust laws that limit monopolies.
The players also have a federal antitrust lawsuit against the league pending before Nelson. And attorneys for the players filed documents in U.S. District Court on Friday, opposing a league request for more time to respond to the claim. The league has argued that it shouldn't have to respond to the lawsuit until the appeal over the lockout is resolved.


But the players say the lawsuit will go forward whether or not the lockout is lifted and that the NFL's request for an extension is "yet another deliberate step in their campaign to crush the players by extending the lockout for as long as they can."

connecticutsteel
05-22-2011, 03:52 AM
AIRBRAKE1 do you have Hbo? watch real sorts with Bryant Gumbel and then tell me the players have no right to sue for better benefits there is a segment about retired players and the fact that they get no benefits after retirement and these guys are tore up knees necks brains suicide and the owners could care less both side have valid arguements but tell me how the owners could sign a cba one year and then claim its a bad deal if it was a bad deal why did they sign it because it wasn't a bad deal they just want a better deal.

airbrake 1
05-22-2011, 10:26 AM
AIRBRAKE1 do you have Hbo? watch real sorts with Bryant Gumbel and then tell me the players have no right to sue for better benefits there is a segment about retired players and the fact that they get no benefits after retirement and these guys are tore up knees necks brains suicide and the owners could care less both side have valid arguements but tell me how the owners could sign a cba one year and then claim its a bad deal if it was a bad deal why did they sign it because it wasn't a bad deal they just want a better deal.

Wow are you serious BRYANT GUMBLE he's a real arbiter of objectivity...most of these players can afford their own health benefits after their playing days are over, and those who can't probably were foolish with the money they earned...and still most are in their late 20's or early thirties supposedly with a college degree...What the F**K is stopping them from getting a job that will provide their family with benefits...I see plently of former players who go into broadcasting or coaching after their playing days are over...but i guess you think the owners should be nannys for 30's years olds for the rest of their lives, so they can sit in front of the TV and play madden for the next 50 years of their life...beautiful watching *** sore union types seeing the walls closing in on their house of cards...The end is near

connecticutsteel
05-23-2011, 03:31 PM
Your mistaken if you think the owners will brake the players union im not talking about able bodied retirees im talking about the guys in there 40s and fifties that suffer from concucsion related als brain leisions from head impacts guys in wheel chairs from multipule knee surgeries guys struggling with addictions to pain killers and alcohol but thats not a real disease right im an recovering addict and i see alot of carnage created by employers who don't care

SundayForever
05-23-2011, 10:59 PM
Under the heading "Basis of the Charge," the NFL says in yesterday's filing with the NLRB that during current negotiations, the union delayed the scheduling of bargaining sessions; failed to "respond in a timely and/or meaningful manner" to owners' contract proposals; and insisted on "disclosure of financial data to which the NFLPA has no legal right and then suspending negotiations unless and until such data is produced."

coldrolled
05-24-2011, 08:03 AM
Your mistaken if you think the owners will brake the players union im not talking about able bodied retirees im talking about the guys in there 40s and fifties that suffer from concucsion related als brain leisions from head impacts guys in wheel chairs from multipule knee surgeries guys struggling with addictions to pain killers and alcohol but thats not a real disease right im an recovering addict and i see alot of carnage created by employers who don't care



How about... the players getting rid of the union and paying less commision to the agents...

then take 30% of their salary with the new contracts and buy health insurance for life, like regular people would do if they had the money. the team can buy the policy for them... im sure there is a health company out there that would take 20,000 a month for the plan. that would be like 6 "bad" hits in fines a year on the field in actual cost...

then we have this wacky attitude in america now..

"The NFL does not suffer irreparable harm from operating the game of football -- especially at a profit."

What is this in america with the hate on profit, capitalism and making money??
Socialism and Communism cant be paid for with out it.. Look at China...
pure capitalism in 4 major towns, then communism, poor people everywhere and social control all over there lives everewhere else in china, russia is the same..

We had it so nice before in the 40's-50's... a blend of making money and taking care of the old, disabled, with soup and shelter in churches and the salvation army, but now we have social welfare and we take care of more lazy people than the actual needy.

screw the unions and socialism.. socialism will always go bankrupt. it makes no money to support itself. IMO

connecticutsteel
05-24-2011, 08:12 AM
I don't speak of socialism im talking about what is right if you get severly injured at work are you going to say thats ok i will pay the bills myself hell no you wouldn't and if you would then thats foolish

coldrolled
05-24-2011, 02:50 PM
I don't speak of socialism im talking about what is right if you get severly injured at work are you going to say thats ok i will pay the bills myself hell no you wouldn't and if you would then thats foolish

i said...

then take 30% of their salary with the new contracts and buy health insurance for life

basically, the team and player would have in their contract insurance for life. lower their salary a bit, pay the agent less and get rid of the union dues. use it for lifetime insurance.??

JensK
05-25-2011, 06:15 AM
i said...

then take 30% of their salary with the new contracts and buy health insurance for life

basically, the team and player would have in their contract insurance for life. lower their salary a bit, pay the agent less and get rid of the union dues. use it for lifetime insurance.??

I kinda like this idea (probably because I'm from Denmark where the government rule this way more or less).

Phenomenal TJ
05-25-2011, 05:13 PM
I feel kind of bad for the coaches. They're stuck in the middle, having to support both the owners and the players to avoid stepping on too many toes.

BlitzburghRockCity
06-03-2011, 09:57 PM
ST. LOUIS -- (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d82026709/article/nfl-players-state-lockout-cases-court-to-rule-in-due-course?module=HP_headlines) Lawyers for the NFL and its players met before a three-judge panel Friday at the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, with the judges considering the league's appeal of an injunction lifting the nearly three-month lockout.


Kermit Bye, the presiding judge in the hearing -- and the lone dissenter in the appeals court's previous decisions to stay U.S. District Judge Susan Nelson Nelson's April 25 ruling -- said after the 90-minute hearing that the judges would rule "in due course."
Bye added that the panel "wouldn't be all that hurt if you go out and settle that case" and warned the decision will be one that neither party likes. That decision likely will come in 2 to 6 weeks.


Paul Clement, a former U.S. solicitor general representing the league, opened oral arguments by attacking the validity of the NFL Players Association's March 11 decertification. He maintained that, because of the non-statutory labor exemption, the league should have the right to lock out its players for at least one year. He also said the fact that this is the second time the NFLPA has decertified "ought to be a problem for them."
If the union's decertification is ruled invalid, the Brady et al antitrust lawsuit against the NFL would disintegrate and cost the players almost all leverage they have in the labor fight.
Players counsel Ted Olson, Clement's predecessor as U.S. solicitor general, defended the union's decertification by emphasizing it only recertified in 1993 at the league's request.
Judges Steven Colloton and William Duane Benton repeatedly referenced the Norris-LaGuardia Act, which bars injunctions in cases arising from a labor dispute, in asking Olson why the law wouldn't make Nelson's judgment wrong.


Olson responded: "The union is not in existence anymore. The players cannot engage in collective bargaining because it's against the law." Olson also defended the validity of the Brady suit by saying the league had been found in violation of antitrust law "15 times."


Friday's hearing followed three days of clandestine talks in suburban Chicago (http://www.nfl.com/goto?id=09000d5d82021cc4) between the league and players, who met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith in attendance, but without lawyers.
Clement was asked if those negotiations could hurt the validity of the union's decertification.


"I think what that underscores is that the union has not disappeared forever," Clement said. "Obviously, everyone can make their own judgment, but the problem with the argument on the other side is it assumes that the union is gone forever. I don't think many people who are a student of this game or a student of this industry really believe that's a fact."


Olson contended that the players' actions only were prompted by those of the owners, going back to their 2008 decision to opt out of the collective bargaining agreement that expired in March.


"We don't have much to say, other than to remind everybody that the National Football League cancelled the collective bargaining agreement that they negotiated and entered into," Olson said. "They prematurely and unilaterally cancelled the collective bargaining agreement. And then they unilaterally called a lockout, stopping football in its tracks. The players didn't do that. The National Football League did that."


Goodell was in Fort Bragg, N.C. (http://www.nfl.com/goto?id=09000d5d82028072), visiting troops during the hearing, and a league spokesman tweeted that the commissioner isn't a lawyer and "wouldn't have added much to the legal proceedings." NFL general counsel Jeff Pash also didn't attend.
No NFL team owners were scheduled to be there, but the New York Jets (http://www.nfl.com/teams/newyorkjets/profile?team=NYJ)' Woody Johnson came on his own accord.


Conversely, the contingent of active and retired players was over 20 deep. The active players included Jon Beason (http://www.nfl.com/players/jonbeason/profile?id=BEA530518), Jordan Black (http://www.nfl.com/players/jordanblack/profile?id=BLA028553), Matt Bryant (http://www.nfl.com/players/mattbryant/profile?id=BRY500226), Tyson Clabo (http://www.nfl.com/players/tysonclabo/profile?id=CLA004828), Craig Dahl (http://www.nfl.com/players/craigdahl/profile?id=DAH251407), Adam Goldberg (http://www.nfl.com/players/adamgoldberg/profile?id=GOL031003), Cullen Jenkins (http://www.nfl.com/players/cullenjenkins/profile?id=JEN173573), Brandon Moore, Jon McGraw (http://www.nfl.com/players/jonmcgraw/profile?id=MCG634887), Rudy Niswanger (http://www.nfl.com/players/rudyniswanger/profile?id=NIS786286), Chester Pitts (http://www.nfl.com/players/chesterpitts/profile?id=PIT260860), Tony Richardson (http://www.nfl.com/players/tonyrichardson/profile?id=RIC389026), Brian Robison (http://www.nfl.com/players/brianrobison/profile?id=ROB744810), Orlando Scandrick (http://www.nfl.com/players/orlandoscandrick/profile?id=SCA335249), Jake Scott, (Carolina's) Steve Smith, Andy Studebaker (http://www.nfl.com/players/andystudebaker/profile?id=STU396828), Osi Umenyiora (http://www.nfl.com/players/osiumenyiora/profile?id=UME444955) and Brian Waters (http://www.nfl.com/players/brianwaters/profile?id=WAT054642).


"I think it was a great turnout because it shows where our jobs are right now, not caused by the players, but caused by the owners," said Smith, the Panthers' wide receiver. "It was important to them, important to myself, important to other players who couldn't be here that have a responsibility as a player rep.
"Maybe a guy couldn't come because his wife just had a baby, or his wife was sick, and we'll relay the message and the information that we observed. That's our responsibility and our job as reps, and also our job as teammates to inform and give each other's input on what's going on."


Spokesmen for both parties declined to comment on the negotiations earlier in the week, citing a court-ordered confidentiality agreement, and a federal magistrate canceled scheduled mediation sessions for next week in Minneapolis because of the "confidential settlement negotiations."


But George Atallah of the NFLPA was adamant that the ongoing legal battle shouldn't stop the parties from attempting to find a long-term solution, which was the aim of the Chicago summit.


"Anybody that believed with litigation or a settlement, that there was a choice between the two, those people are wrong," Atallah said. "We're here today to try and lift the lockout so players can play football. At the same time, that doesn't mean the settlement negotiations couldn't continue. You saw that over the past couple days."
The NFL, in defending its right to lock out the players, maintained that any deal has to happen through face-to-face negotiation, not litigation.


"What we tried to make clear in there is that we think the lockout is actually the best way to get players back on the field," Clement said. "And you might say, 'Why do you think that?' We think that because that's what all the labor laws say, the way you get labor peace is you allow the sides to use the tools that labor laws give them. That means employees get the right to strike and, in certain situation, employers get to lock people out.

"There are other tools available to both sides. The idea is using those tools will accomplish labor peace."


At the very least, the league and players wanted to show the seriousness of their respective approaches Friday.


"Really, our only purpose here today was to show it's important to us, and to represent our players and to show both the court and the public that it's important to us," said Goldberg, the St. Louis Rams (http://www.nfl.com/teams/st.louisrams/profile?team=STL)' offensive tackle. "We want to get back to work. We want to play. We want to get back to work doing what it is we're trained to do, to put out a great product for you guys on Sundays."


Now the parties wait for the appeals court's ruling, with not much time to lose. Indianapolis Colts (http://www.nfl.com/teams/indianapoliscolts/profile?team=IND) owner Jim Irsay said last week that he believed some decisions on opening training camps in late July needed to be made by July 4.


"We can't just go from where we are now and jump into games," free-agent offensive tackle Damien Woody (http://www.nfl.com/players/damienwoody/profile?id=WOO708514), who last played for the New York Jets, told The Associated Press. "There has to at least be an abbreviated training camp to get us somewhat prepared for the season. If not, there are going to be a lot of injuries. ... Training camp usually starts in late July, and time is running out because it's already June. I think we have to get a deal done by late July at the latest."


Free-agent linebacker Ben Leber (http://www.nfl.com/players/benleber/profile?id=LEB506360), one of 10 plaintiffs in the antitrust suit against the league, said the players haven't discussed a specific drop-dead date for reaching an agreement.


"Both sides have a day, whether they want to make it public or not," said Leber, who played for the Minnesota Vikings (http://www.nfl.com/teams/minnesotavikings/profile?team=MIN) last season. "The biggest challenge is going to lie with whose day is going to come up first."

BlitzburghRockCity
06-14-2011, 09:55 AM
Adam Schefter reported alittle while ago that the NFL sent memo's to all the teams advising them to prepare to stay overnight at next Tuesday's meetings in Chicago.

Seems to be speculation among just about everybody that this is a good sign; that the NFL knows it's at a critical stage in the labor talks and wants to devote as much time as possible to it.

Perhaps they feel a deal could be in place by the time those meetings are over?

BlitzburghRockCity
06-14-2011, 06:36 PM
Promise has sprung from the latest round of talks between the NFL and players, who resumed clandestine face-to-face negotiations Tuesday on Maryland's eastern shore, the third such set of talks they've staged this month.

According to sources, both the NFL and NFL Players Association are evaluating and strongly considering concessions on all fronts, and that has led to a belief that a deal could be done in two to four weeks. In a sign of the progress made, the legal teams on both sides have returned to the meetings, after sitting out the sessions in suburban Chicago and Long Island. N.Y. the past two weeks.
The talks are expected to continue into Wednesday.

A person with knowledge of the talks told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the two sides are headed in the right direction. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because details of the meeting are not being made public.

Two other people familiar with the talks told The AP a framework for a new collective bargaining agreement could be in place before the owners' meetings next Tuesday in suburban Chicago. A memo went out to owners asking that they keep their schedules for next week flexible, in case the June 21 meeting spills into Tuesday night or even Wednesday.

Both sides entered the negotiations seeing a “window of opportunity” of roughly 30 days to resolve the labor situation. The owners are planning to meet once a month until the situation is resolved.

People familiar with the talks told The AP it would be premature to predict an imminent end to the lockout, but the atmosphere of negotiations has been more positive than it was previously, creating "a sense of movement."

Washington Redskins (http://www.nfl.com/teams/washingtonredskins/profile?team=WAS) player representative Vonnie Holliday (http://www.nfl.com/players/vonnieholliday/profile?id=HOL229554), appearing on NFL.com's "Cover Two Podcast" Tuesday, told hosts Steve Wyche and Bucky Brooks that he foresees an agreement that would allow for football to continue on schedule.
“All along we just needed to sit down together,” Whitworth said. “The problem we really had before was nobody could get around the attorneys and lawyers and all these kinds of things and just talk and figure this thing out. Finally we got a chance where you’ve got owners and players and (NFLPA Executive Director) DeMaurice Smith and all those guys sitting face-to-face and negotiating.

“That’s how you get a deal done. You don’t hire an attorney to get you a contract when you get drafted. You get an agent to negotiate. Once we got around the legal stuff, we started to make ground and I think we’re really close.”

The parties met for three days outside Chicago two weeks ago, in the days leading up to the June 3 injunction appeal hearing before the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and again last week for two days on Long Island (http://www.nfl.com/goto?id=09000d5d820375bc).

It's been 94 days since the NFL locked the players out, with this past Sunday marking three months. There are still 86 days until the 2011 NFL Kickoff on Thursday, Sept. 8 in Green Bay, but the league and players are working toward an agreement that would preserve training camps and the entire preseason.

The league estimates that the cancellation of the preseason could cost it as much as $1 billion. Whether that figure is accurate or not, both parties recognize that the major economic losses that would be incurred by this dispute dragging through the summer would make negotiations exponentially tougher.

Sources say internal deadlines to have some semblance of a "normal" preseason with the games preserved sit on or around July 15.

To this point, labor committee members Jerry Richardson (Carolina Panthers (http://www.nfl.com/teams/carolinapanthers/profile?team=CAR)), Robert Kraft (New England Patriots (http://www.nfl.com/teams/newenglandpatriots/profile?team=NE)), John Mara (New York Giants (http://www.nfl.com/teams/newyorkgiants/profile?team=NYG)), Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys (http://www.nfl.com/teams/dallascowboys/profile?team=DAL)), Art Rooney (Pittsburgh Steelers (http://www.nfl.com/teams/pittsburghsteelers/profile?team=PIT)), Clark Hunt (Kansas City Chiefs (http://www.nfl.com/teams/kansascitychiefs/profile?team=KC)) and Dean Spanos (San Diego Chargers (http://www.nfl.com/teams/sandiegochargers/profile?team=SD)), active players Mike Vrabel (http://www.nfl.com/players/mikevrabel/profile?id=VRA088990) (Kansas City Chiefs), Tony Richardson (http://www.nfl.com/players/tonyrichardson/profile?id=RIC389026) (New York Jets (http://www.nfl.com/teams/newyorkjets/profile?team=NYJ)), Domonique Foxworth (http://www.nfl.com/players/domoniquefoxworth/profile?id=FOX813566) (Baltimore Ravens (http://www.nfl.com/teams/baltimoreravens/profile?team=BAL)) and Jeff Saturday (http://www.nfl.com/players/jeffsaturday/profile?id=SAT652599) (Indianapolis Colts (http://www.nfl.com/teams/indianapoliscolts/profile?team=IND)), NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith and NFLPA president Kevin Mawae have taken part in the "secret" meetings.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan, who ran court-ordered mediation between the NFL and players in Minneapolis in April and May, also has been involved but is serving in a different capacity at these summits.

BlitzburghRockCity
06-18-2011, 12:11 PM
From the Tribune Review (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_742766.html?utm_source=twitterfeed)

Reaching a labor deal soon is hardly a done deal in the NFL.


Team owners will be updated on recent negotiations with the players when they meet in Chicago on Tuesday. They've been told to prepare to stay an extra day because of the complexity of the proposals both sides have discussed in sessions over the last three weeks.


Getting the required 24 of 32 owners to agree on anything can be difficult, let alone something as complex as a new collective bargaining agreement. And there has been enough pushback from owners familiar with those proposals that progress made recently might not lead to an agreement in the next few weeks.


Still, according to a person with knowledge of the negotiations, the faction of unhappy owners that exists isn't yet large enough to derail an agreement. That could lead to some heavy lobbying in Chicago at the first owners' meeting specifically scheduled to deal with the lockout.


The person, speaking on condition of anonymity because details of the negotiations are not supposed to be made public, said a new CBA is not imminent.
Owners, Commissioner Roger Goodell and lead negotiator Jeff Pash have been silent about recent developments, citing an agreement with U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan not to discuss mediated talks. Players association chief DeMaurice Smith and several players on hand for the negotiations also have avoided comment.

connecticutsteel
06-20-2011, 09:27 PM
I have a feeling that the lock out will be lifted tommorrow

BlitzburghRockCity
06-20-2011, 09:28 PM
If that actually happens I will send you an SA Tshirt or something from the store. I don't think it will be but hopefully we'll hear of some good progress made atleast.

BlitzburghRockCity
06-21-2011, 03:31 PM
2 days of talks begin in labor dispute (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d8206a2fc/article/colts-irsay-this-is-the-time-to-get-something-done?module=HP_headlines)

ROSEMONT, Ill. -- With the league and players in the midst of a critical juncture in negotiations, representatives from all 32 teams convened Tuesday for the first labor-specific meeting since the NFL lockout began more than three months ago.
The labor committee held a two-hour prep meeting on Monday afternoon, leading into the larger summit between owners and team executives Tuesday. At the top of the agenda is getting the clubs updated on the status of the clandestine player/owner talks that have taken place now on three separate occasions -- in suburban Chicago from May 31 - June 2, on Long Island, N.Y. on June 7 and 8, and on Maryland's Eastern Shore on June 14 and 15.

The talks are expected to continue after this owners meeting, through the end of the month and into July.

"This is the season to get something done, this is the time to get something done," said Colts owner Jim Irsay. "The energy has to continue from both sides, because it's always fragile and difficult. ... I think both sides really want to get something done at this point. In talking to people from both sides, I get that feeling."
This was designated as a "two-per-club" meeting and, as such, the large number of football people in attendance -- general managers such as John Schneider of the Seahawks, Scott Pioli of the Chiefs and Bruce Allen of the Redskins -- was notable. According to sources, there is logic behind that.

First, because such a small number of clubs have been involved in the "secret" meetings during the past few weeks, it was important for football people to stay updated on the process to preserve competitive balance, preventing teams entrenched in the talks from being able to anticipate things before those clubs that are more detached. And second, the plan for how the league year would begin after the resolution of the dispute with the players is on the table, and football people need to be involved in those discussions.

This isn't a sign that a deal is imminent, but it does reflect the critical juncture the players and owners have arrived at and the importance of timing as the window to get the league up and running in time to save the preseason shrinks.

"We're giving the clubs a briefing on the status of the labor discussions," said NFL general counsel Jeff Pash. "And we'll allow them to ask any questions, give them a legal update on the status of the various court actions, and just make sure they fully understand everything that's happened over the last month and they're fully informed as we proceed through the end of this month and into July."

The morning portion of the meeting allowed those involved to voice their concerns on the parameters being discussed between the owners and players. One owner said that the talks remain "fragile" but was confident that a deal could be reached within a couple weeks.

Also making an appearance was ex-Viking Carl Eller, a plaintiff representing retired players in the consolidated Brady & Eller v. the NFL antitrust case. Eller spoke with the owners in the morning hours to make sure the interests of retirees continued to be served as the talks between the league and players moved forward.

BlitzburghRockCity
06-23-2011, 10:39 PM
League, players acknowledge commitment toward new CBA (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d82073945/article/league-players-acknowledge-commitment-toward-new-cba?module=HP_headlines)




HULL, Mass. -- NFL owners and players wrapped up their fourth set of "secret" meetings Thursday, highlighted by a joint appearance from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith, who both pledged a commitment to reach an agreement in time to start the 2011 season on schedule.


According to league sources, Thursday marked the first time since the parties began meeting in clandestine sessions May 31 that the rookie pay system was broached, and some bumps were expected. But it was the first time Goodell and Smith appeared together to deliver a statement since the lockout began 100 days ago.


Goodell, standing outside Nantasket Beach Resort, where the talks were held, started by saying: "We are under court order, as far as what we can discuss, so our comments will be brief. Obviously, we're all working hard, the players and owners were here over the last few days, and De and I were here for the entire meetings also. And it's complicated, and it's complex, but we're working hard. We understand the fans' frustration, but I think both of us feel strongly that we're going to continue to work hard on it."


Smith followed by saying: "Someone asked me if I was optimistic -- I think we're both optimistic when we have the right people in the room. We know we're talking about the right issues, and we're working hard to get it done. It's extremely complicated. It requires a lot of hard work by a lot of people. But we're committed to getting something done. And we're going to keep working at it."


Also in the group from the league were New York Giants (http://www.nfl.com/teams/newyorkgiants/profile?team=NYG) owner John Mara, San Diego Chargers (http://www.nfl.com/teams/sandiegochargers/profile?team=SD) president Dean Spanos, New England Patriots (http://www.nfl.com/teams/newenglandpatriots/profile?team=NE) owner Robert Kraft, Carolina Panthers (http://www.nfl.com/teams/carolinapanthers/profile?team=CAR) owner Jerry Richardson, Kansas City Chiefs (http://www.nfl.com/teams/kansascitychiefs/profile?team=KC) chairman and CEO Clark Hunt, outside counsel Bob Batterman and other legal people. In the players group were Baltimore Ravens (http://www.nfl.com/teams/baltimoreravens/profile?team=BAL) cornerback Domonique Foxworth (http://www.nfl.com/players/domoniquefoxworth/profile?id=FOX813566), New York Jets (http://www.nfl.com/teams/newyorkjets/profile?team=NYJ) fullback Tony Richardson (http://www.nfl.com/players/tonyrichardson/profile?id=RIC389026), Indianapolis Colts (http://www.nfl.com/teams/indianapoliscolts/profile?team=IND) center Jeff Saturday (http://www.nfl.com/players/jeffsaturday/profile?id=SAT652599), former Pro Bowl guard Pete Kendall, outside counsel Jeffrey Kessler and general counsel Richard Berthelsen.


Kraft was asked on his way out about progress, but he deferred to Smith and Goodell while saying, "Everything's good in Beantown." Kendall, among others, declined comment.


The sides met May 31-June 2 in suburban Chicago, June 7-8 on Long Island, N.Y., and June 14-15 on Maryland's Eastern Shore. The talks are expected to continue next week, with the NFLPA staging its rookie symposium concurrently in Bradenton, Fla.
Asked about the symbolism of he and Goodell standing together in a downpour to talk to assembled media, Smith joked that "it means it's raining outside, and his car is right there." But Smith also wanted to calm any of those worried about the fate of the 2011 season.


"We're working hard," Smith said. "We understand the fans' frustration. I know our players' frustration, but we're going to keep working hard and try and make sure we get a deal done."


St. Louis Rams (http://www.nfl.com/teams/st.louisrams/profile?team=STL) wide receiver Mark Clayton told The Associated Press that "through our player reps, things sound really good," but that "we're kind of set with what we want."
"We pretty much agreed to what our (players association) was fighting for on our behalf," Clayton said. "It sounds like a lot of what we asked for, apart from the finances, they've been able to agree upon. At that point, we're just kind of waiting to get the final say-so and just roll it out."

DIESELMAN
06-24-2011, 10:08 AM
They are slowly getting it together. I read that the owners have offered the players a 48% cut of the revenue and the owners will take their request of the 1 billion off the top off of the table. Smith thinks he can get the players to agree to the 48% considering how much the leagues profits will keep growing. Another thing is that teams will have to use all of the salary cap for players, instead of a floor percentage like it was. Still a lot of work left to be done, rookie pay scales, retirement etc.....

Sent from my iPhone 3GS using Tapatalk

BlitzburghRockCity
06-25-2011, 11:01 AM
League, players to continue talks next week at unknown locale (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d82077f25/article/league-players-to-continue-talks-next-week-at-unknown-locale?module=HP_headlines)



The NFL lockout reached the 101-day mark Friday, but every indication remains that the league and players have built momentum toward resolving their labor conflict in the coming weeks.


The parties will return to the bargaining table next week for a fifth round of clandestine talks at an undisclosed location. Meanwhile, the NFL Players Association will concurrently stage its replacement for the NFL's canceled rookie symposium -- entitled "The Business of Football: Rookie Edition" -- in Bradenton, Fla.


Next week's talks follow sessions held in suburban Chicago (May 31-June 2), New York's Long Island (June 7-8), Maryland's Eastern Shore (June 14-15) and suburban Boston (June 22-23).


As has been the case throughout the last month, talks between the league and players haven't been limited to face-to-face discussions. And one person involved estimated that at least five hours of work go into each set of talks.


As they departed the latest meeting in Hull, Mass., on Thursday (http://www.nfl.com/goto?id=), NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith stood side-by-side and acknowledged the importance of gathering key people from each side under the same roof.
"Someone asked me if I was optimistic -- I think we're both optimistic when we have the right people in the room," Smith said. "We know we're talking about the right issues, and we're working hard to get it done. It's extremely complicated. It requires a lot of hard work by a lot of people. But we're committed to getting something done. And we're going to keep working at it."
Smith and Goodell have been joined by Carolina Panthers (http://www.nfl.com/teams/carolinapanthers/profile?team=CAR) owner Jerry Richardson, New York Giants (http://www.nfl.com/teams/newyorkgiants/profile?team=NYG) owner John Mara, New England Patriots (http://www.nfl.com/teams/newenglandpatriots/profile?team=NE) owner Robert Kraft, New York Jets (http://www.nfl.com/teams/newyorkjets/profile?team=NYJ) fullback Tony Richardson (http://www.nfl.com/players/tonyrichardson/profile?id=RIC389026), Baltimore Ravens (http://www.nfl.com/teams/baltimoreravens/profile?team=BAL) cornerback Domonique Foxworth (http://www.nfl.com/players/domoniquefoxworth/profile?id=FOX813566) and Indianapolis Colts (http://www.nfl.com/teams/indianapoliscolts/profile?team=IND) center Jeff Saturday (http://www.nfl.com/players/jeffsaturday/profile?id=SAT652599), as well as U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan (who's overseeing the talks), as constants.


One NFC team executive said Wednesday night that he believed the sides were "within striking distance" of a deal. However, another AFC team executive said: "There are enough legitimate issues to where it could all fall down still. They're dealing with that stuff."


One such issue is the rookie salary system, which was broached for the first time Thursday since the secret meetings began May 31. The parties have spent much of the last four weeks discussing the biggest issue, which is how to split revenue and account for growth in the players' take.


Trust had long been seen as an issue, but it might not be as much anymore. The "all revenue" model, which takes much of the guesswork out of calculating the split, has quelled many of the players' concerns. On the other side, league sources indicate Smith has won the owners' trust and respect over the last four weeks, a major development as the sides work toward a deal.

DIESELMAN
06-26-2011, 11:54 AM
If the players are going to approve the latest proposal from owners, they will have to consider the details of the revenue split. One percentage point means a multi-million dollar swing for both sides, as Howard Balzer explains in breaking down the dollars in the deal.

Tornado warnings were issued late Tuesday afternoon in Chicago, in what turned out to be a relatively tame day in the NFL world when so many had expected serious storm clouds to be present in the room where owners gathered at the Westin Hotel near O'Hare Airport.

It was supposed to be a day when some owners would voice serious concerns about where the negotiations were headed. Apparently, that wasn't the case. It was supposed to be a critical day for commissioner Roger Goodell, who has been working to keep his bosses somewhat happy and united.

On that front, he seems to have succeeded. While some owners have reservations about certain aspects of the deal's framework, it's apparently not a large enough group to scuttle the deal or slow momentum.

It was supposed to be a day when owners might have to stay another day to get their work done. Instead, the meeting adjourned after just five hours, and plans were confirmed to continue face-to-face discussions with the players the next day in the Boston area.

Finally, there is true hope. Finally, there appears to be enough momentum to get a deal done if not by the July 4 holiday, not long afterward.

As commissioner Roger Goodell said, "I speak to fans all the time and the anxiety level is very high. I think the best thing I can tell them at this stage is we're working as hard as we possibly can and we'll go the extra mile to try to reach that agreement. We know how important football is to fans, and we want to deliver on that."

The swords have been put away, and true compromise is on the horizon.

Added Goodell, "Our ownership continues to be determined to reach an agreement to make sure we play that full season. They're united. They believe that, in the best interests of the game, we need to correct various aspects of the collective bargaining agreement. But everyone is determined to get that done and still have the full 2011 season."

Originally, the league tried to do that by proposing to take an extra $1 billion off the top of all league revenues before the players shared in the 57.8-percent average from 2006-09. The actual percentage of all revenue for those four years was 51.5.

At one point prior to the lockout, the players proposed a simple 50-50 split of all revenue, an offer that received no response. How ironic then that what the league is apparently comfortable with is a 52-48 split, although it's possible the split could end up being 46.5 percent, but no lower.

While those percentage-point differences don't seem that significant, they obviously can be when billions of dollars in revenue is being shared.

For example 51.5 percent of $9 billion is $4.64 billion. The player share would drop to $4.32 billion at 48 percent and $4.19 billion at 46.5 percent. The per-team difference in the two percentages is $10 million and close to $15 million less.

However, if the league can generate close to $1 billion a year in a 16-game Thursday night package (accounting for a slight reduction for CBS and Fox for games lost), that would mean an additional $480 million for the players and no less than $465 million. The 48-percent model would mean an additional $15 million per team, more than making up for the lost revenue. Even at 46.5 percent, the per-team gain would be $14.5 million, nearly offsetting that $15 million reduction.

The players, of course, would also share in whatever revenue increases there are, especially when the TV contracts come up for new deals in 2014. That prime-time package could be worth more than what would have been received from all the networks for an extra two games.

It would also be likely that when the league starts the bidding process for the Thursday package, they could then seek to redo the final two years of the other networks' deals and extend them, knowing they didn't miss games this year, thus negating the need to collect the TV money in the lockout insurance controversy.

Another key component of the new deal is the mandate that all teams spend in cash close to the number that will be the salary-cap minimum for each team. That will benefit players on teams that consistently barely reached the minimum and often did so because of dead money (players no longer on the team), or by playing games with incentives that wasn't actual money spent.

Obviously, time is of the essence because of the time it will take once a verbal agreement is reached, to then communicate the specifics to the teams so they can begin planning while the paperwork is completed.

Said league attorney Jeff Pash, "We would have to make sure the documents were fully drafted and approved, then both parties would have to ratify the agreement. We would have to do it, and the players would have to do it. There is some litigation that has to be dealt with, and so we would have to go before the various courts, and that would obviously [need to happen] on a quickened basis, as the court would hear us and have those lawsuits disposed of and resolved. Then we could open up.

"I think both sides know what the calendar is and understand the consequences of delay, so we would move expeditiously. And I'm confident they [players] would move expeditiously. If both sides are going to commit to certain positions and clubs are going to be signing players, large sums of money are going to be changing hands and players are going to commit to multi-year agreements, you would want to have this confirmed – not just in a general way but down to some fairly specific details."

What's encouraging is that the league is talking about what it will take to conclude the deal. Now, they just need the players to sign off. Once the specifics of how the rookie pay system will work is finished, it appears to be smooth sailing.

As Goodell concluded, "I think it's a tremendous positive that the principals are talking, that players and owners are talking to one another and negotiating. The objective here is to get something that works for everybody.

"It's not what everybody wants; it's what everybody needs to reach an agreement that is fair and balanced and is going to work to make our game better and continue to grow."

By Howard Balzer
The Sports Xchange
Posted Jun 23, 2011



Just some more info.....

connecticutsteel
06-26-2011, 12:00 PM
im on the players side always will be but they should take this deal

BlitzburghRockCity
06-26-2011, 11:09 PM
Sides must reach resolution soon to preserve full preseason (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d8207eed2/article/sides-must-reach-resolution-soon-to-preserve-full-preseason?module=HP_headlines)

The clock continues to tick. And the NFL and players continue to work.
With the St. Louis Rams (http://www.nfl.com/teams/st.louisrams/profile?team=STL) and Chicago Bears (http://www.nfl.com/teams/chicagobears/profile?team=CHI) -- the teams in this year's Hall of Fame game -- scheduled to open training camp just three weeks from Friday, time is beginning to run short for negotiating teams as they look to preserve the preseason in its traditional form. The two sides return to the bargaining table later this week for a fifth round of "secret talks."


The owners and players have spent a total of nine days in four different locations -- suburban Chicago, New York's Long Island, Maryland's Eastern Shore and suburban Boston -- during this phase of negotiations. They've also communicated away from the table, and one source has said that about five hours of work goes into every hour of face-to-face talk.

The parties broached the rookie pay system for the first time during these clandestine sessions on Thursday, and it proved to be a difficult area to navigate. Last year's No. 1 pick, Sam Bradford (http://www.nfl.com/players/sambradford/profile?id=BRA101548), got about $50 million guaranteed in his rookie deal, and the owners have long looked to mark down those price tags drastically.


But the numbers aren't the only issues. Among the players' concerns are finding a way to replace the effect such contracts have on the veteran market, and also get those high picks to free agency quicker (As it stands, six-year contracts are allowable for the high first-round picks making big money).


The sides have largely spent the last four weeks discussing the revenue split, an issue that dwarfs all others. And it's not just the revenue now, but also how to account for the league's growth going forward, particularly when the 2014 television deals are done.


Last week, one club executive told NFL Network the owners and players are within "striking distance" of a deal, but that nothing was close or imminent. But another involved exec said, "There are enough legitimate issues to where it could all fall down still. They're dealing with that stuff."


After last week's meeting at a beachside resort in Hull, Mass., NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith emerged together and provided a symbolic moment in the joined effort toward a resolution.


"Someone asked me if I was optimistic -- I think we're both optimistic when we have the right people in the room," said Smith. "We know we're talking about the right issues, and we're working hard to get it done. It's extremely complicated. It requires a lot of hard work by a lot of people. But we're committed to getting something done. And we're gonna keep working at it."

Smith and Goodell have been joined by Carolina Panthers (http://www.nfl.com/teams/carolinapanthers/profile?team=CAR) owner Jerry Richardson, New York Giants (http://www.nfl.com/teams/newyorkgiants/profile?team=NYG) owner John Mara, New England Patriots (http://www.nfl.com/teams/newenglandpatriots/profile?team=NE) owner Robert Kraft, New York Jets (http://www.nfl.com/teams/newyorkjets/profile?team=NYJ) fullback Tony Richardson (http://www.nfl.com/players/tonyrichardson/profile?id=RIC389026), Baltimore Ravens (http://www.nfl.com/teams/baltimoreravens/profile?team=BAL) cornerback Domonique Foxworth (http://www.nfl.com/players/domoniquefoxworth/profile?id=FOX813566) and Indianapolis Colts (http://www.nfl.com/teams/indianapoliscolts/profile?team=IND) center Jeff Saturday (http://www.nfl.com/players/jeffsaturday/profile?id=SAT652599), as well as U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan (who's overseeing the talks), as constants in the room.


Some internal deadlines have July 15 as the date a deal needs to be done to save the preseason in its natural form. At any rate, the sides are working against time now.
"We are under court order, as far as what we can discuss," Goodell said on Thursday. "Obviously we're all working hard, the players and owners were here over the last few days, and (Smith) and I were here for the entire meetings also. And it's complicated and it's complex, but we're working hard. We understand the fans' frustration, but I think both of us feel strongly that we're going to continue to work hard on it."

Black@Gold Forever32
06-27-2011, 12:33 AM
Still would love to the NFL crumble....lol I would laugh my butt off if it happened......sorry its just rather stupid that its went on this long.......

BlitzburghRockCity
06-29-2011, 12:22 AM
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL Players Association (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d82085155/article/good-sign-goodell-smith-travel-together-to-rookie-seminar?module=HP_headlines) executive director DeMaurice Smith opened a four-day labor discussion in Minnesota, then hopped on a plane to Florida to speak to rookie players.


Spokesmen for the league and the players' association confirmed Tuesday night to The Associated Press that Goodell and Smith were on the same plane from Minnesota to address players at the NFLPA-run rookie symposium. Smith asked Goodell to speak to the players Wednesday morning at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Sarasota, Fla., and the commissioner agreed.


Goodell and Smith plan to leave Florida later Wednesday to fly back to Minneapolis and continue the labor talks, which have taken on a decidedly different look.


Goodell and Smith are accompanied only by their staffs, rather than members of each constituency, and owners and players aren't expected to directly participate, although they will remain apprised of any developments. The parties' legal teams are expected to trade proposals on the framework of a settlement, in an effort to move the process toward conclusion, and they will intensify their focus on the key issues, most notably the revenue split.



The four-day, face-to-face session will be the longest yet. The previous longest session was the first one, held May 31 through June 2 near a private airport in suburban Chicago. Subsequent meetings on New York's Long Island, Maryland's Eastern Shore and Massachusetts' South Shore each lasted two days.


The changing time frame surrounding this set of talks and the shifting cast of characters -- the first "secret" meetings only included Goodell, Smith, owners, players and U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan -- are seen as part of the process of negotiating a new agreement to end a lockout that's in its fourth month.
Boylan ran three two-day sets of court-ordered mediation between the owners and players in April and May, and he has been present for all of the more recent meetings. His chambers are located in Minneapolis.


A decision from the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, where the league appealed a district court's issuance of a lockout-lifting injunction, could come soon, too. The time frame on such decisions from an appeals court generally is 30 to 45 days, and the hearing was held June 3. However, the league and players have expressed a desire to work toward an agreement before the three-judge panel's ruling is announced.
The St. Louis Rams (http://www.nfl.com/teams/st.louisrams/profile?team=STL) and Chicago Bears (http://www.nfl.com/teams/chicagobears/profile?team=CHI), who are scheduled to play in the preseason-opening Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 7, are set to open training camp just three weeks from Friday, and time is beginning to run short on the parties' negotiating teams as they look to preserve the preseason in its traditional form. Some have suggested July 15 as the deadline for that to happen.


The parties have spent the past four weeks largely discussing the revenue split, an issue that dwarfs all others. It's not just the revenue now, but also how to account for the players' take in the league's future growth, particularly when the next round of television deals are negotiated for 2014 and beyond. The idea of an "all revenue" model, which would eliminate cost credits to the owners and limit revenue projections, has bridged some differences, but the issue still hasn't been settled.


The parties broached the rookie pay system for the first time during clandestine sessions Thursday, and it also proved to be a difficult area to navigate. Last year's No. 1 overall draft pick, Rams quarterback Sam Bradford (http://www.nfl.com/players/sambradford/profile?id=BRA101548), received about $50 million guaranteed in his rookie deal, and the owners have long looked to drastically mark down price tags like this.


The numbers aren't the only issue. Finding a way to replace the market effect those contracts have on veterans and getting those high picks to free agency quicker are among the players' concerns. Currently, six-year contracts are allowed for the high first-round picks making big money.


Last week, one team executive told NFL Network that owners and players were within "striking distance" of a deal, but that nothing was close or imminent. But another involved executive said: "There are enough legitimate issues to where it could all fall down still. They're dealing with that stuff."


After last week's meeting at a beachside resort in Hull, Mass., Goodell and Smith emerged together and provided a symbolic moment in the joint effort toward a resolution (http://www.nfl.com/goto?id=09000d5d82073945).

"Someone asked me if I was optimistic -- I think we're both optimistic when we have the right people in the room," Smith said. "We know we're talking about the right issues, and we're working hard to get it done. It's extremely complicated. It requires a lot of hard work by a lot of people. But we're committed to getting something done. And we're gonna keep working at it."


Said Goodell: "We are under court order, as far as what we can discuss. Obviously we're all working hard, the players and owners were here over the last few days, and De and I were here for the entire meetings also. And it's complicated and it's complex, but we're working hard. We understand the fans' frustration, but I think both of us feel strongly that we're going to continue to work hard on it."


Goodell and Smith have been joined by Carolina Panthers (http://www.nfl.com/teams/carolinapanthers/profile?team=CAR) owner Jerry Richardson, New York Giants (http://www.nfl.com/teams/newyorkgiants/profile?team=NYG) owner John Mara, New England Patriots (http://www.nfl.com/teams/newenglandpatriots/profile?team=NE) owner Robert Kraft, New York Jets (http://www.nfl.com/teams/newyorkjets/profile?team=NYJ) fullback Tony Richardson (http://www.nfl.com/players/tonyrichardson/profile?id=RIC389026), Baltimore Ravens (http://www.nfl.com/teams/baltimoreravens/profile?team=BAL) cornerback Domonique Foxworth (http://www.nfl.com/players/domoniquefoxworth/profile?id=FOX813566) and Indianapolis Colts (http://www.nfl.com/teams/indianapoliscolts/profile?team=IND) center Jeff Saturday (http://www.nfl.com/players/jeffsaturday/profile?id=SAT652599), as well as Boylan, as constants in the room.
NFLPA president Kevin Mawae, who has been in some talks, attended the trade association's rookie seminar Tuesday and said roughly 170 players were participating in the event. Mawae also addressed more than 40 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (http://www.nfl.com/teams/tampabaybuccaneers/profile?team=TB) players who are holding a three day minicamp at the vast IMG Academy campus, where the NFLPA event is being held.

coach
06-29-2011, 02:27 PM
Interesting article. I have no idea if all the details are correct, but I can't imagine the players would have an issue with these types of numbers. What I would find highly interesting, if below is accurate, is how the owners would put all of this on the table if they were actually losing money.

Let's hope that the optimism we are reading about today is a result of substantive agreement on the issues and possible resoltuions and that we get in a full season.


http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/06/22/SP6D1K0PC2.DTL&type=49ers

One person said that the players' share would approach the 50 percent the NFLPA has said it has received throughout the last decade, but the expense credits - about $1 billion last year - that the league takes off the top would disappear.

Also, there no longer would be "designated revenues" from which the players would share, the person said. Instead, the players would share from the entire pie, which they project will grow significantly over the course of the new CBA, which is expected to run anywhere from six to 10 years. So if they are taking 48 percent or more of a higher revenue stream - without the initial deduction for operating expenses - the players still would receive far more money than previously.

A salary floor keeping teams within 90 percent of the cap also would be included. The players have been concerned that some teams with smaller revenue streams would try to hold down salary spending.



Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/06/21/SP6D1K0PC2.DTL#ixzz1QgbQD5U2

BlitzburghRockCity
06-29-2011, 08:58 PM
Yeah that was mentioned by Chris Mortenson from ESPN not too long ago. It would appear things are getting closer, I mean seriously how you can gripe about nearly 50%!

BlitzburghRockCity
06-29-2011, 08:59 PM
NFL rookies struggle to make ends meet while locked out (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d8208b366/article/nfl-rookies-struggle-to-make-ends-meet-while-locked-out?module=HP_headlines)



BRADENTON, Fla. -- The NFL lockout has prevented Marcell Dareus from cashing in on turning pro, so he mows his godfather's lawn in exchange for a place to stay.
Other rookies are low on money, too. Von Miller sleeps in the same room he had in high school. Anthony Castonzo makes deliveries for his parents' restaurant. And Aaron Williams does ranch work, throwing hay and fixing barbed-wire fences.


"Acres and acres of land; you're always moving," Williams said. "But it's better than sitting on your butt playing Xbox."


These are odd times for rookies, and more than 150 of them gathered for an NFL Players Association-sponsored symposium that concluded Wednesday. This incoming class is unlike any other, because the lockout has indefinitely delayed that first pro paycheck.


"Guys are hurting for money right now," said quarterback Christian Ponder, a first-round pick by the Minnesota Vikings (http://www.nfl.com/teams/minnesotavikings/profile?team=MIN). "It's a crazy time, especially with the uncertainty of when we're going to start and get some money in our pocket."
To make the situation even more gloomy for players just out of college, the league is pushing for a rookie wage scale as part of a new collective bargaining agreement.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and players association executive director DeMaurice Smith spoke to the group Wednesday (http://www.nfl.com/goto?id=09000d5d82088f9e) but didn't offer any indication as to when the 4-month-old labor dispute might end. Negotiations are ongoing, but with training camps scheduled to open in about three weeks, the season remains in jeopardy.
"You come out of college with plans of making big money, and everything goes on hold," said Dareus, the third overall pick by the Buffalo Bills (http://www.nfl.com/teams/buffalobills/profile?team=BUF). "It grinds you."
Dareus, a 320-pound defensive tackle from Alabama, said he earns his keep while living in Birmingham with his godfather.


"Everybody calls him 'Sergeant,' because he was a sergeant in the Army," Dareus said. "At 6 o'clock in the morning, we're up cutting grass. He ain't playing. He's crazy about keeping his yard cut. He has kind of a big yard. We cut it twice a week and trim his hedges. It's an all-day thing."
When asked if Sergeant provides a push mower or a rider, Dareus groaned.

"He's old school."
Dareus hardly is the only extraordinary athlete settling for an ordinary summer job. Castonzo, an offensive tackle drafted in the first round by the Indianapolis Colts (http://www.nfl.com/teams/indianapoliscolts/profile?team=IND), is living with his parents in Chicago and making deliveries for their restaurant, just like he did growing up.


He's a bit bigger now, though.
"When I show up at someone's door, a 6-7, 315-pound guy, they're like, 'Oooooookay. Put the food over here, please,' " Castonzo said with a laugh. "I make basically whatever they tip me. With my parents, I'm on a volunteer basis. I'm living like I'm still a college kid -- there's no money to spend."


Detroit Lions (http://www.nfl.com/teams/detroitlions/profile?team=DET) wide receiver Titus Young is back with his parents, too. They live in Los Angeles, and because he played at Boise State, they appreciate the chance to see more of him lately -- up to a point.


"My mom is rooting for the lockout to continue," Young said. "But my dad is saying, 'Get out of the house, son.' He's looking up the latest on the lockout every day and telling me updates."


Miller and Ponder said they're getting by partly because they made money doing rookie-card signings.


"I saved it up, because I didn't know how long this lockout was going to be," said Miller, the second overall pick by the Denver Broncos (http://www.nfl.com/teams/denverbroncos/profile?team=DEN). "So I've got a couple of dollars in my pocket."


And then there's Carolina Panthers (http://www.nfl.com/teams/carolinapanthers/profile?team=CAR) quarterback Cam Newton, who's taking the biggest financial hit of any rookie. As the top overall draft pick, he might have commanded $60 million guaranteed under the old labor system. Newton was spotted Tuesday night in Bradenton grabbing a bite at a 7-Eleven.

BlitzburghRockCity
06-30-2011, 09:10 AM
The night before delivering a joint message to NFL rookies with commissioner Roger Goodell (http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/nfl-collective-bargaining-agreement-demaurice-smith-agreement-not-close-062911), NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith held an under-the-radar conference call Tuesday to update many of the league’s most prolific stars on the status of labor negotiations, FOXSports.com has learned.

Perrhaps the most important thing to emerge from the talks so far was this: While saying he was optimistic because the two sides were continuing to negotiate, Smith painted a different picture than that of a collective bargaining agreement being reached as soon as this weekend.

Smith began the call by informing players — 50 Pro Bowlers were given call-in information, but the number of participants is unknown — that recent reports by certain news outlets were way off. That is why Smith wanted to tell players they still haven’t gotten a good enough offer from the owners to bring to them just yet.
According to several sources, Smith took questions but prefaced that by saying he couldn’t get into specifics because of a court-mandated gag order.

The first question came from Baltimore Ravens (http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/team/baltimore-ravens/67065) All Pro linebacker Ray (http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/player/ray-lewis/71065)
Lewis (http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/player/ray-lewis/71065). He asked, "How optimistic are you that a deal will get done soon?" Smith insisted that any time the two sides are working together, as they are now, there is reason for hope. But later in the call when Jacksonville’s Pro Bowl running back Maurice Jones-Drew asked about the details of free agency once the lockout ends, players on the call were given examples of just how sticky these negotiations have become.

A few of the issues cited were the years of service required to become an unrestricted free agent, and money allocated for retired players — neither of which has been agreed upon yet.
It has been widely reported that both sides have agreed to restore parameters of the 2009 CBA that allowed unrestricted free agency after four seasons for players who weren’t under contract. But after Tuesday's conference call, that hardly seems to be the case.

Since this story was first posted, sources have told FOXSports.com the NFL would consent to four years as the unrestricted free agency threshold. However, that is contingent upon each team having a right of first refusal in 2011 on three named players entering their fifth or sixth NFL season who would now qualify as UFAs.

In 2010, unrestricted free agency was granted only to players with six credited NFL seasons. The NFL’s concern is a flooding of the 2011 unrestricted market.

The right-of-first-refusal labels would be in addition to the franchise and transition tags at each team’s disposal that are designed to limit player movement.

The NFL’s proposal will likely be strongly opposed by the players.
"At one point, we were asked if we could sell six years of free agency to our locker rooms, and we all said there’s no way," one player on the call told FOXSports.com.
Interestingly enough, another source close to the situation says the owners have always been willing to grant free agency after four years, as long as there is a salary cap. Thus, a discussion of six years is curious.

"We heard about that and the (issue of) retired players — and that is even before we start talking about splitting the revenue."
Another player said he was glad they had the call "because now I have a better understanding of what’s really going on before other guys in my locker room ask me. I was watching the news for updates, and judging from what I heard today, the updates didn’t seem to be close to what they were telling us during the call. Now we feel a little more informed."

League sources remain optimistic that a deal can be worked out in time to allow training camps to begin on schedule.

These are the first concrete details that a number of players (who participated in the group call) have been given regarding some of the sticking points in negotiations.
Optimism that a new CBA was within reach heightened this week as Goodell and Smith appeared together and spoke at the NFLPA rookie symposium in Bradenton, Fla., on Wednesday.

"We're taking a break because we felt it was important to be down here with the players," Goodell told media after speaking at the symposium. "We both have great respect for the players. This is an important few days. We're going to get back to work."

Presumably, that meant the four consecutive days of planned meetings that began Monday would yield tangible results. These discussion sessions in Minneapolis have included representatives from the NFL office and the NFLPA without owners, players or attorneys from either side present.

Owners and players are expected to re-enter the talks Thursday, according to an NFL Network report. The talks reportedly will include a "select" group of owners and players as well as Goodell, Smith and their respective attorneys.
Players and owners were left jostling for position after the prior CBA expired March 11, leading to an NFL lockout and litigation by players against the league. After several agonizing months of heated rhetoric, bitter accusations and expressed lack of trust on both sides, it seemed as if the NFL and its players were finally closing in on the framework of a new labor agreement, according to multiple media reports.

Among the details reportedly being finalized: revenue sharing among clubs, a rookie wage scale and a full season of Thursday night contests that would be sold in whole or in part as a new television rights package.
There is a heightened sense of urgency to strike a deal and resume NFL business because of the Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio, on Aug. 7, the league’s first preseason contest.


The Chicago Bears (http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/team/chicago-bears/67040) are scheduled to report to training camp July 23, pending a signed and court-approved labor agreement — one week earlier than most teams because of their involvement in the Hall of Fame game against the St. Louis Rams (http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/team/st.-louis-rams/67051).

BlitzburghRockCity
07-01-2011, 09:52 AM
NFL owners, players burn midnight oil in Thursday labor talks (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d8208dddb/article/nfl-owners-players-burn-midnight-oil-in-thursday-labor-talks?module=HP_headlines)

MINNEAPOLIS -- At one point Thursday, labor talks between NFL owners and players seemed to be in serious peril.

And then the parties negotiated for nearly nine more hours.

In the end, the owners and players -- who returned to the talks after their legal teams negotiated through the first three days this week -- logged nearly 16 hours before U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan, working into the wee hours. NFL general counsel Jeff Pash and outside counsel Bob Batterman were the last participants to leave the building, at just before 1 a.m. local time.

The parties will return to the bargaining table at 8 a.m. Friday.

The time spent into night was a sign of the seriousness of the juncture at which the parties have arrived during this fifth round of clandestine talks. At 4 p.m., the NFL Players Association held a conference call for all executive committee members and player representatives, painting a grim picture of where talks stood after seven hours negotiating with the league.

The largest issue was the revenue split and the willingness to commit to a true "all revenue" model. The subject caused a snag in negotiations between the legal teams Monday and arose again Thursday. But even after the conference call, which set off widespread pessimism following Wednesday's optimism, the parties were able to talk deep into the night.

Among the owners who joined NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in the talks Thursday were Robert Kraft of the New England Patriots (http://www.nfl.com/teams/newenglandpatriots/profile?team=NE), Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys (http://www.nfl.com/teams/dallascowboys/profile?team=DAL), John Mara of the New York Giants (http://www.nfl.com/teams/newyorkgiants/profile?team=NYG) and Clark Hunt of the Kansas City Chiefs (http://www.nfl.com/teams/kansascitychiefs/profile?team=KC). Kraft and Mara have been the two constants for the owners in these meetings.
NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith's team included outside counsel Jim Quinn, general counsel Richard Berthelsen, Indianapolis Colts (http://www.nfl.com/teams/indianapoliscolts/profile?team=IND) center Jeff Saturday (http://www.nfl.com/players/jeffsaturday/profile?id=SAT652599), Baltimore Ravens (http://www.nfl.com/teams/baltimoreravens/profile?team=BAL) cornerback Domonique Foxworth (http://www.nfl.com/players/domoniquefoxworth/profile?id=FOX813566), Chiefs guard Brian Waters (http://www.nfl.com/players/brianwaters/profile?id=WAT054642) and former Arizona Cardinals (http://www.nfl.com/teams/arizonacardinals/profile?team=ARI) special-teams ace Sean Morey. Foxworth, like Kraft and Mara, has been a constant presence at these meetings, the first of which was held May 31 and all of which have been held before Boylan.

The parties have spent the past four weeks largely discussing the revenue split. It's not just the current revenue, but also how to account for the league's future growth -- particularly when the 2014 television deals are done -- in the players' take. The idea of an "all revenue" model, which would eliminate cost credits to the owners and limit revenue projections, has bridged some differences, but the issue hasn't been settled.

The revenue split remains an explosive topic, despite some recent momentum, and as much as they've tried, the parties just haven't been able to solve it. If anything can jeopardize these talks, it's that issue. Conversely, if it's solved, the rest could fall into place.

Nonetheless, the legal teams have fought through that and spent time trading proposals, with an eye on pushing the process toward a deal and an end to a league-imposed lockout that's in its fourth month.
Part of the work for each party has been managing expectations that a resolution is on the horizon. The NFLPA has warned some players that the possibility of missing games remains real.
And time is running short as the parties look to preserve the preseason in its traditional form. The St. Louis Rams (http://www.nfl.com/teams/st.louisrams/profile?team=STL) and Chicago Bears (http://www.nfl.com/teams/chicagobears/profile?team=CHI), this year's Hall of Fame Game participants, are scheduled to open training camp in just three weeks.
Last Thursday, the parties broached the rookie salary system for the first time since starting the secret sessions, but it proved to be a difficult area to navigate. The numbers aren't the only issue. Finding a way to replace the market effect those contracts have on veterans as well as getting high draft picks to free agency quicker are among the players' concerns. As it stands, six-year contracts are allowed for high first-round picks making big money.

Goodell and Smith, who arrived in Minneapolis on Monday, took a break from talks Tuesday night to fly together to Sarasota, Fla., and speak to assembled players (http://www.nfl.com/goto?id=09000d5d82088f9e) at the NFLPA's rookie symposium the next morning. They returned to Minneapolis on the same plane.

Goodell was invited to the symposium by Smith, who said he was "thrilled" the commissioner accepted and participated. The men stood side by side after the event Wednesday morning and vowed to continue working on a deal.

75Steeler
07-01-2011, 10:09 AM
Thanks for the updates Matt. I really hope something happens within the next two weeks so our boys can start training camp on time!

BlitzburghRockCity
07-01-2011, 03:16 PM
Sides make progress on revenue split as talks wrap for week (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d8208dddb/article/sides-make-progress-on-revenue-split-as-talks-wrap-for-week?module=HP_headlines)


MINNEAPOLIS -- A day after NFL owners and players negotiated for nearly 16 hours, the two sides opted for a much briefer gathering Friday, with plans to reconvene next week.

Sources told NFL Network that players and owners made major strides on the revenue split Thursday night and Friday morning, to the point where if the rest can be worked out, they could be close to reaching a financial model.

Both parties held conference calls Friday morning with their constituencies. The sessions will resume with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith and their staffs meeting Tuesday and Wednesday in New York. Players and owners will then join the meetings Thursday and Friday.
"We'll continue to meet next week, and the goal is to get a deal done," Smith said as he exited Friday.

The two sides will build off an intriguing week of talks, which seemed to be in peril at one point Thursday before the parties negotiated for nearly nine more hours.
In the end, the owners and players -- who returned to the talks after their legal teams negotiated through the first three days this week -- logged nearly 16 hours before U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan, working into the wee hours. NFL general counsel Jeff Pash and outside counsel Bob Batterman were the last participants to leave the building at just before 1 a.m. local time on Friday morning.

The time spent into night was a sign of the seriousness of the juncture at which the parties have arrived during this fifth round of clandestine talks. At 4 p.m., the NFLPA held a conference call for all executive committee members and player representatives, painting a grim picture of where talks stood after seven hours negotiating with the league.

The largest issue was the revenue split and the willingness to commit to a true "all revenue" model. The subject caused a snag in negotiations between the legal teams Monday and arose again Thursday. But even after the conference call, which set off widespread pessimism following Wednesday's optimism, the parties were able to talk deep into the night.

Among the owners who joined Goodell in the talks Thursday were Robert Kraft of the New England Patriots (http://www.nfl.com/teams/newenglandpatriots/profile?team=NE), Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys (http://www.nfl.com/teams/dallascowboys/profile?team=DAL), John Mara of the New York Giants (http://www.nfl.com/teams/newyorkgiants/profile?team=NYG), and Clark Hunt of the Kansas City Chiefs (http://www.nfl.com/teams/kansascitychiefs/profile?team=KC). Kraft and Mara have been the two constants for the owners in these meetings.

Smith's team included outside counsel Jim Quinn, general counsel Richard Berthelsen, Indianapolis Colts (http://www.nfl.com/teams/indianapoliscolts/profile?team=IND) center Jeff Saturday (http://www.nfl.com/players/jeffsaturday/profile?id=SAT652599), Baltimore Ravens (http://www.nfl.com/teams/baltimoreravens/profile?team=BAL) cornerback Domonique Foxworth (http://www.nfl.com/players/domoniquefoxworth/profile?id=FOX813566), Chiefs guard Brian Waters (http://www.nfl.com/players/brianwaters/profile?id=WAT054642), and former Arizona Cardinals (http://www.nfl.com/teams/arizonacardinals/profile?team=ARI) special-teams ace Sean Morey. Foxworth, like Kraft and Mara, has been a constant presence at these meetings, the first of which was held May 31 and all of which have been held before Boylan.

The parties have spent the past four weeks largely discussing the revenue split. It's not just the current revenue but also how to account for the league's future growth -- particularly when the 2014 television deals are done -- in the players' take. The idea of an "all revenue" model, which would eliminate cost credits to the owners and limit revenue projections, has bridged some differences, but the issue hasn't been settled.
The revenue split remains an explosive topic, despite some recent momentum, and as much as they've tried, the parties just haven't been able to solve it. If anything can jeopardize these talks, it's that issue. Conversely, if it's solved, the rest could fall into place.

Nonetheless, the legal teams have fought through that and spent time trading proposals, with an eye on pushing the process toward a deal and an end to a league-imposed lockout that's in its fourth month.

Part of the work for each party has been managing expectations that a resolution is on the horizon. The NFLPA has warned some players that the possibility of missing games remains real.

And time is running short as the parties look to preserve the preseason in its traditional form. The St. Louis Rams (http://www.nfl.com/teams/st.louisrams/profile?team=STL) and Chicago Bears (http://www.nfl.com/teams/chicagobears/profile?team=CHI), this year's Hall of Fame Game participants, are scheduled to open training camp in just three weeks.

MattyVfromCT
07-01-2011, 04:16 PM
This whole thing is a goddamn disgrace. Billionaire owners fighting with millionaire players over 9 billion dollars revenue and neither side gives a **** who is hurt by it. Stadium employees, other organizational staff, bars and restaurants all over the country that draw huge crowds on gameday, businesses around the stadiums, businesses in the towns that hold training camps, etc. This lockout bullshit is why I haven't paid anywhere near as much attention to offseason nfl as I normally do. A complete and utter disgrace by both sides. Id love for these pricks to lose everything and have to work a real job trying to support a family on less than 50k a year.....

Sent from my DROID2 GLOBAL using Tapatalk

BlitzburghRockCity
07-03-2011, 11:36 AM
Sides make progress on revenue split with N.Y. talks on tap (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d82092fd4/article/sides-make-progress-on-revenue-split-with-ny-talks-on-tap?module=HP_headlines)



MINNEAPOLIS -- At 4 p.m. Thursday, the NFLPA conducted a conference call with its player reps and executive committee members that painted a grim picture as the labor situation made a turn for the worse.
Then everything changed.


As it turned out, the call, made after seven hours of negotiations at a downtown Minneapolis law firm, came less than halfway through the day's talks. And after those talks finished just before 1 a.m. CT and another set was staged on Friday morning, a different story was emerging.


The owners and players still have much work to do, but major progress was made to fix the revenue split, the overriding issue in the labor battle, on Thursday night and Friday morning. One source said that if smaller pieces connected to it don't shift the numbers too much, it "might not even be a stumbling block going forward."
In addition, the parties took strides to work out disagreements over how to define "all revenue" in the model they plan to use, and they also discarded some terms in the deal the other side found unacceptable.

So one set of critical talks now gives way to another. The legal teams for each side will meet in New York on Tuesday and Wednesday, with players and owners returning to the table Thursday and Friday. The format for the week follows the one set for this week's Minneapolis talks.


"We'll continue to meet next week, and our goal is to get a deal done," NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said on his way out. NFL general counsel Jeff Pash, again citing the gag order, simply said: "We'll be back at it again next week."
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello made it clear Saturday that both sides plan to work through the holiday weekend.


"Are the NFL-NFLPA negotiators 'taking the weekend off?' Most definitely not (http://twitter.com/#%21/gregaiello/status/87218605657300992)," he tweeted. "Lawyers are drafting language for potential agreement, sharing it with PA. All kinds of phone, email exchanges going on. Work continues (http://twitter.com/#%21/gregaiello/status/87219533588344832)."
U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan proved a pivotal figure when things were at their darkest Thursday. Boylan was able to rein the parties in, narrow their focus to what was important on the revenue split, and forge a very productive evening.


This was after issues that arose last week in Massachusetts (over the rookie salary system) and Monday (over what the players perceived as a deception play by owners on the revenue system) resurfaced and again proved explosive, with players and owners re-entering the room after legal teams handled the earlier part of the week.
Things went so well Thursday that Boylan implored the sides to keep going past 1 a.m. The players and owners convinced the judge -- who ran court-ordered mediation in April and May, but has no binding power in these talks -- that they were spent, but the positive momentum continued into Friday morning.


And realistic hope remains that the league will be able to stage the preseason in its natural form, without the cancellation of any games, which would save hundreds of millions of dollars. Internal deadlines to have a deal done in order to save the preseason sit around July 15, and part of the ratcheted-up sense of urgency is the acknowledgement by both sides that a settlement will be exponentially tougher to reach if significant revenue is subtracted from the equation.


NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell led a group that included Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Giants owner John Mara, and Chiefs owner Clark Hunt, with Kraft and Mara the two constants for the owners in the five sets of clandestine meetings.


Smith's team included NFLPA managing director Ira Fishman, outside counsel Jim Quinn, general counsel Richard Berthelsen, Colts center Jeff Saturday (http://www.nfl.com/players/jeffsaturday/profile?id=SAT652599), Ravens cornerback Domonique Foxworth (http://www.nfl.com/players/domoniquefoxworth/profile?id=FOX813566), Chiefs guard Brian Waters (http://www.nfl.com/players/brianwaters/profile?id=WAT054642), and former player Sean Morey. Foxworth, like Kraft and Mara, has been a constant presence at these meetings, which started May 31, over the last five weeks.


The four previous "secret" sessions over the past month took place in suburban Chicago, New York's Long Island, Maryland's Eastern Shore and Massachusetts' South Shore. The Chicago talks, the first in the series, started May 31 and lasted three days, with the Long Island, Eastern Shore and South Shore negotiations going for two days apiece.



The St. Louis Rams (http://www.nfl.com/teams/st.louisrams/profile?team=STL) and Chicago Bears (http://www.nfl.com/teams/chicagobears/profile?team=CHI), this year's Hall of Fame Game participants, are scheduled to open training camp in 21 days, so time is beginning to run short.
The parties have spent the past four weeks largely discussing the revenue split. And it's not just the revenue now, but also how to account for the league's future growth, particularly when the 2014 television deals are done, in the players' take. The idea of an "all revenue" model, which would largely eliminate cost credits to the owners and limit revenue projections, has bridged differences over the course of the discussions.
As for the rookie salary system, the numbers aren't the only issue. Finding a way to replace the market effect those contracts have on veterans as well as getting high draft picks to free agency quicker are among the players' concerns. As it stands, six-year contracts are allowed for high first-round picks making big money.
Goodell was invited to the symposium by Smith, who said he was "thrilled" the commissioner accepted and participated. The men stood side by side after the visit Wednesday morning to Florida.


Goodell and Smith, who arrived in Minneapolis on Monday, took a break from talks Tuesday night to fly together to Sarasota, Fla., and speak to assembled players (http://www.nfl.com/goto?id=09000d5d82088f9e) at the NFLPA's rookie symposium the next morning. They returned to Minneapolis on the same plane.


Goodell was invited to the symposium by Smith, who said he was "thrilled" the commissioner accepted and participated. The men stood side by side after the event Wednesday morning and vowed to continue working on a deal.

Real Deal Steel
07-03-2011, 10:02 PM
I'm thinking this thing will be over by July 18th at the latest. The owners should make the majority of money because that's what being an owner of any buisness is all about. But I don't want to see the owners go overboard in what they take back from the players.

DIESELMAN
07-04-2011, 05:55 AM
The greed of the owners will throw a wrench into the deal. Just a few weeks ago they offered the players 48% of the revenue plus the owners would take their demand of 1 billion before the split off the table. Last week the owners took back the 48% and offered the players 45%.


Sent from my iPhone 3GS using Tapatalk

RIVERS OF STEEL
07-04-2011, 09:41 PM
Not so fast ya all: "Retired Players File Complaint, Complicating the N.F.L. Talks": http://tinyurl.com/3bnsfwy Who get's screwed here? Us that's who. You gonna be willing to part with a 1000 dollars to see a pro footbll game during the regular season?.......

......."Retired players also want to be represented by their own organization — the Retired Players Association — that would be separate from the league and the current players association". Hey, that should really speed up the negotiations.

BlitzburghRockCity
07-05-2011, 02:12 PM
Nearing preseason puts pressure on parties to seal labor deal (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d8209c775/article/nearing-preseason-puts-pressure-on-parties-to-seal-labor-deal?module=HP_headlines)



At one point Thursday, the condition of the NFL labor talks -- or at least the perception of them -- had frayed to the point where word was the dispute could be "going back to the courts."


Then some dirty work by U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan led to a late-night negotiation session (http://www.nfl.com/goto?id=09000d5d82092fd4) that went until 1 a.m. CT. Boylan wanted the owners and players to stay even later, but they convinced him they were too tired and met Friday morning instead, and the talks were saved.


So, what can we learn from all of that entering this week's talks in New York?
First, there clearly is a deal to be done between these parties, because if there wasn't, then reasons to continue talking after five weeks would have dwindled. Second, that hardly means that deal will be done in time to beat the clock on saving the preseason, which means the parties remain in a very precarious spot with plenty of work left to be done.


The negotiations continued Tuesday morning in Manhattan. Legal teams and staff from each party are meeting Tuesday and Wednesday. They will be joined by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith, Boylan, owners and players Thursday and Friday.


And it appears that now, finally, the parties locked in a battle that has produced a fourth-month-old lockout are arriving at the 11th hour.
The reason why lies in the money that would be lost with the cancellation of the preseason. The owners project the number to be close to $1 billion. The players say that number is inflated. Either way, no preseason means a significant chunk will be taken out of the revenue pie, which the owners and players have proven unable to divvy up throughout this whole process.


Asked if it's likely that would affect the owners' offer to the players, one management source said: "No, not likely. It's automatic."
Conversely, in a league where the rank and file see their future as tomorrow, not next year, with the risk of injury and lack of guaranteed contracts, it's pretty unlikely that players would be willing to surrender money in 2012 -- when a down 2011 revenue-wise would hit the salary cap -- or even 2013 in exchange for prosperity for others down the road.


The bottom line: If we make it past July 15, and preseason games are taken off the calendar, the long-term deal the owners put on the table will start looking a lot worse in the short term, and the culture of the sport makes it so Smith would have an exponentially harder time selling the deal if it works only later and not now.
So, in that spot, each side would go looking for leverage, and that could mean this battle would, indeed, head back to the courts.


As one league source said, "The deal erodes as revenues erode." What has happened up to this point can be addressed. But the real damage is coming -- and coming fast -- which is why the next two weeks are critical.
The good news is that the parties left last week's talks seemingly ready to return this week in deal-making mode.


Boylan's efforts helped the parties come a lot closer on the revenue split, to the point where it's not nearly the issue it was last Monday or Thursday, and reach a real definition of "all revenue" in the "all revenue" model. Indications are that many of the "fringe" terms -- ideas pushed by one party and found unacceptable by the other (i.e. sneaking cost credits back in by owners, or players asking sales tax be part of "all revenue") -- were coming off the table by the time the parties left Minneapolis on Friday.


But there's still significant work to do, and a recognition that the process needs to speed up, and it needs to speed up now.

There's the issue of funding improvements on retirees' benefits, and pressure from the retirees (http://www.nfl.com/goto?id=09000d5d8209c937) that they not be sacrificed to help the owners and players strike a deal. There are details and language to work out as well.
There's also the question of who had their hand in the cookie jar over the weekend. The owners are still leery of the players' lawyers, most notably Jeffrey Kessler, and the players believed a "bait and switch" was pulled on them last week, with certain terms coming off the table after one weekend away from talks.
The hope is that the calendar will prevent that from happening again, with the stakes raised as the time before the scheduled opening of training camps dwindles. For those keeping score, the St. Louis Rams (http://www.nfl.com/teams/st.louisrams/profile?team=STL) and Chicago Bears (http://www.nfl.com/teams/chicagobears/profile?team=CHI) are supposed to report to camp July 22.


The mutual understanding that this is a very important time should help push along the negotiations. When one party looks at another's proposal with a month left, it's easy to believe there's a better one coming closer to a deadline, or that it might be able squeeze more out of the negotiation.


With time running short, that train of thought becomes less valid.


It all adds up to this being the time. Maybe it's this week. Maybe it's next week.
There will be ups and downs that might be blown a bit out of proportion, as last week's were. But everyone knows that if a deal is going to be done during this phase of negotiations, it has to happen soon.


The alternative would put much more than the preseason in peril.

BlitzburghRockCity
07-05-2011, 10:08 PM
Pressure mounts as legal teams return to labor negotiations (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d820a096b/article/pressure-mounts-as-legal-teams-reopen-labor-negotiations?module=HP_headlines)



NEW YORK -- The legal teams and staffs for NFL owners and players met for 7˝ hours Tuesday in Manhattan, with the pace quickening and deadlines approaching as the lockout nears its fifth month.


Among the headliners were NFL Players Association outside counsel Jeffrey Kessler and general counsel Richard Berthelsen, and NFL outside counsel Bob Batterman and senior vice president of law and labor policy Adolpho Birch.


The parties filtered in before 10 a.m. ET and left in the 5 p.m. hour, with league officials staying behind and working into the early evening to prep for Wednesday's meeting, which will take on a similar format to Tuesday's session. The idea is clear away some of the underbrush, taking care of details and language in a potential agreement, so the path to a settlement will be more defined when the principles agree on larger issues.


Players, owners, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell are scheduled to rejoin talks Thursday and Friday.

Time indeed is running short, and this set of discussions is crucial, following negotiations May 31-June 2 in suburban Chicago, June 7-8 on New York's Long Island, June 14-15 on Maryland's Eastern Shore, June 22-23 on Massachusetts' South Shore and June 27-July 1 in Minneapolis.


The widely held belief is that an agreement must be reached on or around July 15 to save the preseason in its natural form. The league projects the cancellation of the preseason would cost it nearly $1 billion in revenue, and although the players believe that figure is inflated, there's little question that significant dollars would be removed from the pie the parties have struggled to split. That in turn would affect the owners' offer to the players and could poison the negotiations.


Then there's the issue of rulings pending from U.S. Circuit Court Judge David Doty in the networks' rights-fees case and the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on the league's appeal of a lockout-lifting injunction. Lawyers involved in negotiations believe rulings and opinions in the cases have been finalized but that neither Doty nor the 8th Circuit judges want to issue them, preferring the league and players work out their differences independently. The failure of talks, this line of thinking goes, could lead U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan to inform the courts that negotiations have broken down and there's no need to wait.


If that's indeed Boylan's hammer, he has used it effectively, reining in the sides late last week and prompting major progress on the revenue split, the overlying issue in this entire dispute. In that time, many of the "fringe" demands -- deemed unacceptable by one side or the other -- fell off the table as well, clearing the way for more productive talks.


One remaining issue could be that of retired players' benefits. The owners and players hadn't settled the funding for such benefits late last week, and a group of retired players -- led by Carl Eller -- filed a lawsuit in a Minneapolis court Monday (http://www.nfl.com/goto?id=09000d5d8209c937) seeking to halt the ongoing negotiations and keep the active players from representing them in that setting.

BlitzburghRockCity
07-06-2011, 09:39 PM
Watching ESPN this evening, they are reporting that a framework for a new could and hopefully will be in place by close of business on Friday. If not, both the owners and players are committed to staying in New York to get a deal done this weekend. Both Goodell and Smith are returning to the table tomorrow or finalize a new revenue sharing agreement.

Things are moving along. by this time next week we could be back in full swing and looking forward to training camp.

BlitzburghRockCity
07-07-2011, 09:13 AM
Lawyers work on labor deal; owners, players to join Thursday (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d820a33a1/article/lawyers-work-on-labor-deal-owners-players-to-join-thursday?module=HP_headlines)


NEW YORK -- Staff and legal teams for NFL owners and players met for nearly 11 hours Wednesday, going into the evening with larger meetings looming.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith, owners, players and U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan will join the group Thursday, and the clock is ticking to reach a labor deal that would save the preseason -- and the hundreds of millions in revenue that come with it.

Among those in attendance at Wednesday's talks were NFL outside counsel Bob Batterman, NFLPA outside counsel Jeffrey Kessler and NFLPA general counsel Richard Berthelsen. Over the course of the day, new faces appeared. Four hours in, NFL senior vice president of law and labor policy Adolpho Birch, the league's drug czar, and senior VP of labor litigation and policy Dennis Curran arrived. Three hours after that, lawyers from the league's management council entered the Manhattan building.

According to sources, the parties took small, incremental steps necessary to completing a deal. Among the tasks were clarifying and discussing paperwork, and going over language and details. The idea is to get legwork out of the way to smooth the process for the owners and players, who will handle the larger issues. As one person in the room put it, "There's only so much we can do."

Boylan, a key in these negotiations over the last six weeks, is scheduled to go on vacation Saturday. But two sources said it doesn't make the next two days more vital, citing the preseason revenue as the primary motivator to quickly finish a settlement as the lockout, imposed by the league March 12, lingers into the summer.
Last week, the parties closed meetings in Minneapolis having made major progress on the revenue split, a central issue in these talks, and the focus will shift this week to smaller but still significant issues that flow into that larger one.
It has been estimated that it would take between 10 and 14 days to go from an agreement to a signed document, and the idea of this week's meetings is to cut down that time and have groundwork laid to quickly move things from a settlement to the opening of training camps. The Chicago Bears (http://www.nfl.com/teams/chicagobears/profile?team=CHI) and St. Louis Rams (http://www.nfl.com/teams/st.louisrams/profile?team=STL), who are scheduled to play in the Aug. 7 Hall of Fame Game, are set to report to camp July 22.

The deadline sits around July 15 to save the preseason schedule in its regular form and avert the possible loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. That loss would affect the owners' offer to the players and could poison negotiations to the point where the dispute would head back to the courts.

Two court rulings are pending -- one from U.S. Circuit Court Judge David Doty in the networks' rights-fees case and another from the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on the league's appeal of a lockout-lifting injunction.

Lawyers involved in negotiations believe rulings in the cases have been finalized but that neither Doty nor the 8th Circuit judges, who previously implored the league and players to work out their differences themselves, want to issue them. The failure of talks, this line of thinking goes, could lead Boylan to inform those courts that negotiations have broken down and there's no need to wait to reveal their rulings.
If that's indeed Boylan's hammer, he has used it effectively, reining in the sides late last week and prompting the aforementioned progress on the revenue split, the central issue in this entire dispute. In that time, many of the "fringe" demands -- deemed unacceptable by one side or the other -- fell off the table as well, clearing the way for more productive talks.

One remaining issue is retired players' benefits, one of the smaller issues that flows into the revenue split. The owners and players didn't settle the funding for such benefits late last week, and a group of retired players -- led by Carl Eller -- filed a lawsuit in a Minneapolis court Monday (http://www.nfl.com/goto?id=09000d5d8209c937) seeking to halt the ongoing negotiations and keep the active players from representing them in that setting.

BlitzburghRockCity
07-08-2011, 09:10 AM
Men at work: NFL owners, players meet for over 12 hours (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d820a672c/article/men-at-work-nfl-owners-players-meet-for-over-12-hours?module=HP_headlines)



NEW YORK -- NFL owners and players re-entered face-to-face negotiations Thursday, knowing they needed to quicken the pace to reach a labor deal and save the preseason.


And, at the very least, the parties turned up the intensity and put in the hours.
Three sources characterized Thursday as a very difficult day of negotiations. At times, it was tenuous, and there were frustrations for those involved.


But the owners and players stayed at it for 12˝ hours, meeting until 10:30 p.m. ET in Manhattan, with a few staying behind to complete wrap-up work and lingering until 11:30. The result, according to those involved, was a healthy amount of progress on the core economic issues that made the talks so difficult during another long session.
In addition, a conference call was held for the 10 named plaintiffs in Brady et al vs. National Football League et al antitrust case, to prepare them for upcoming logistics and contingencies with the negotiations in a critical stage.


The owners and players will return to the bargaining table Friday at 9 a.m. ET. The possibility of continuing talks through the weekend exists, although that hasn't been decided. U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan, who's overseeing the talks, is scheduled to begin vacation Saturday.


The possibility that Boylan might not participate if talks go into the weekend exists, but two sources said that doesn't make Friday's meeting more vital, citing preseason revenue as the primary motivation to quickly reach a settlement.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith each arrived Thursday with five representatives of their constituency, as has been the case at many of these meetings.


Goodell was accompanied by New England Patriots (http://www.nfl.com/teams/newenglandpatriots/profile?team=NE) owner Robert Kraft, Dallas Cowboys (http://www.nfl.com/teams/dallascowboys/profile?team=DAL) owner Jerry Jones, New York Giants (http://www.nfl.com/teams/newyorkgiants/profile?team=NYG) owner John Mara, Pittsburgh Steelers (http://www.nfl.com/teams/pittsburghsteelers/profile?team=PIT) president Art Rooney II and Kansas City Chiefs (http://www.nfl.com/teams/kansascitychiefs/profile?team=KC) owner Clark Hunt. Smith brought NFLPA president Kevin Mawae, former special-teams ace Sean Morey, Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch (http://www.nfl.com/players/charliebatch/profile?id=BAT039161), Indianapolis Colts (http://www.nfl.com/teams/indianapoliscolts/profile?team=IND) center Jeff Saturday (http://www.nfl.com/players/jeffsaturday/profile?id=SAT652599) and Baltimore Ravens (http://www.nfl.com/teams/baltimoreravens/profile?team=BAL) cornerback Domonique Foxworth (http://www.nfl.com/players/domoniquefoxworth/profile?id=FOX813566).


Mawae was asked what he hoped to accomplish.
"Getting a little bit closer to getting a deal done, hopefully. We'll see," Mawae replied. "The closer we get to the kickoff of the regular season, the more important it becomes that the sides come together. But, again, from the players' standpoint, we have to get a deal that's fair for everybody. We're working hard."


Said Smith: "We still have a lot of work to do. We spent all day working hard for a deal that is fair and in keeping with what the players deserve."
Legal teams and staff from each party met Tuesday and Wednesday in Manhattan, and although progress was made, there's only so much that could be done without owners and players present.


This set of talks is particularly critical for a number of reasons.
There's the issue of timing, with July 15 largely seen as a deadline to settle a deal and save the preseason in full. And there are many issues -- including rookie salaries and funding of retiree benefits -- on which the parties have been working to make breakthroughs.


Those issues flow into the larger issue of the revenue split. After last week's progress, larger concepts in that area, such as the all-revenue model, might no longer be stumbling blocks. But related issues still have potential to tear down what's in place.

It has been estimated that it would take from 10 to 14 days to go from an agreement to a signed document, and this week's meetings are designed to cut down that time and lay groundwork so things can quickly move from settlement to the opening of training camps. The Chicago Bears (http://www.nfl.com/teams/chicagobears/profile?team=CHI) and St. Louis Rams (http://www.nfl.com/teams/st.louisrams/profile?team=STL), who are scheduled to play in the Aug. 7 Hall of Fame Game, are set to report to camp July 22.


Saving the preseason would avert a possible loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. Such a loss would affect the owners' offer to the players and could poison negotiations to the point where the dispute would head back to the courts.
Two court rulings are pending: one from U.S. Circuit Court Judge David Doty in the network rights fees case and another from the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on the league's appeal of a lockout-lifting injunction.


Lawyers involved in negotiations believe rulings in the cases have been finalized but that neither Doty nor the 8th Circuit judges, who previously implored the league and players to work out their differences themselves, want to issue them. The failure of talks, this line of thinking goes, could lead Boylan to inform those courts that negotiations have broken down and there's no need to wait to reveal their rulings.
If that's indeed Boylan's hammer, he has used it effectively, prompting progress on the revenue split last week. In that time, many of the "fringe" demands -- deemed unacceptable by one side or the other -- fell off the table as well, clearing the way for more productive talks.


One remaining issue is retired players' benefits, which flows into the revenue-split debate. Owners and players didn't settle the funding for such benefits late last week, and a group of retired players -- led by Carl Eller -- filed a lawsuit Monday in a Minneapolis court (http://www.nfl.com/goto?id=09000d5d8209c937) seeking to halt the ongoing negotiations and prevent the active players from representing them in that setting.

BlitzburghRockCity
07-08-2011, 04:39 PM
Eighth U.S. Circuit Court rules lockout remains in place (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d820ab605/article/eighth-us-circuit-court-rules-lockout-remains-in-place?module=HP_headlines)


The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday threw out a judge's order lifting the NFL lockout, handing the league a victory as players and owners returned to negotiations.

The ruling was issued shortly after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith opened a second straight day of labor talks at a law firm in Manhattan.

The court vacated an April 25 decision by U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson that the lockout should be lifted because players were suffering irreparable harm. The appeals court had already put that order on hold and said in its ruling that Nelson ignored federal law in reaching her decision.

"While we respect the court's decision, today's ruling does not change our mutual recognition that this matter must be resolved through negotiation," the league and NFLPA said in a joint statement. "We are committed to our current discussions and reaching a fair agreement that will benefit all parties for years to come, and allow for a full 2011 season."

The appeals court ruling allows the players' antitrust lawsuit to move forward, but the court did take issue with the NFLPA's decision to decertify on March 11, a move that cleared the way for players to file their still-pending antitrust lawsuit against the league.

"The league and the players' union were parties to a collective bargaining agreement for almost eighteen years prior to March 2011," the appeals court said in its 2-1 decision. "They were engaged in collective bargaining over terms and conditions of employment for approximately two years ... Then, on a single day, just hours before the CBA's expiration, the union discontinued collective bargaining and disclaimed its status ... Whatever the effect of the union's disclaimer on the league's immunity from antitrust liability, the labor dispute did not suddenly disappear just because the players elected to pursue the dispute through antitrust litigation rather than collective bargaining."

Judges Steven Colloton and Duane Benton backed the league Friday, just as the two Republican appointees did in two earlier decisions. Judge Kermit Bye, appointed by a Democrat, dissented both times, favoring the players, and he did so again Friday.
Bye had urged settlement of the dispute to avoid a ruling "both sides aren't going to like."

The two sides have been meeting for weeks to try to reach a new labor pact. On Friday, NFLPA president Kevin Mawae and owners John Mara of the New York Giants (http://www.nfl.com/teams/newyorkgiants/profile?team=NYG) and Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys (http://www.nfl.com/teams/dallascowboys/profile?team=DAL) joined Goodell and Smith for more negotiations.

NFL Network's Albert Breer reported that sources characterized Thursday as a very difficult day of negotiation (http://www.nfl.com/goto?id=09000d5d820a672c). At times, it was tenuous, and there were frustrations for those involved.

But the owners and players stayed at it for 12˝ hours, meeting until 10:30 p.m. ET in Manhattan, with a few staying behind to complete wrap-up work and lingering until 11:30 p.m. The result, according to those involved, was a healthy amount of progress on the core economic issues that made the talks so difficult during another long session.

In addition, a conference call was held for the 10 named plaintiffs in the Brady et al vs. National Football League et al antitrust case, to prepare them for upcoming logistics and contingencies with the negotiations in a critical stage.
Some training camps are set to open in two weeks and the first exhibition game, at the Pro Football Hall of Fame inductions, is Aug. 7 in Canton, Ohio, between the Chicago Bears (http://www.nfl.com/teams/chicagobears/profile?team=CHI) and St. Louis Rams (http://www.nfl.com/teams/st.louisrams/profile?team=STL).

BlitzburghRockCity
07-09-2011, 08:20 AM
Latest talks accomplish little, but sides will meet again Monday (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d820ae1ca/article/latest-talks-accomplish-little-but-sides-will-meet-again-monday?module=HP_headlines)



NEW YORK -- Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said in January that a deadline "has to be real" to create the anxiety needed to push parties to the kind of deal that works for everyone.


And so it is.


NFL players and owners wrapped up a frustrating couple of days in Manhattan with 10 hours of talks Friday that didn't produce much. In fact, three sources, including figures on each side, said there was little to no progress on the core issues on which the parties had hoped to break through this week.


As a result, the lockout will continue into next week. There will be communication between the parties over the weekend -- it's not considered a "weekend off" -- but the next set of face-to-face talks won't occur until Monday. The legal teams and staff from each side will convene in Manhattan, with the players and owners expected to join them Tuesday or Wednesday.


"We're going to break for the weekend, get back to work next week. We continue to work hard to get something done," NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said. "I know our fans want us to get something done as quickly as possible."
Smith led a six-man group of players, with retirees Kevin Mawae, the NFLPA president, Sean Morey and Pete Kendall joined by active players Charlie Batch (http://www.nfl.com/players/charliebatch/profile?id=BAT039161), Jeff Saturday (http://www.nfl.com/players/jeffsaturday/profile?id=SAT652599) and Domonique Foxworth (http://www.nfl.com/players/domoniquefoxworth/profile?id=FOX813566). NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was accompanied by Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Steelers president Art Rooney II, Chiefs owner Clark Hunt and Giants owner John Mara.
Next week's talks will be critical, with the days waning before preseason games will have to be pulled off the schedule. The NFL estimates an entirely canceled preseason would cost nearly $1 billion in revenue, and although the players believe that number is inflated, there is little question the figure would be significant and take a serious toll on any proposal made by the league.
Smith conducted a conference call with players at 3 p.m., about six hours into the meeting, was thanked for his efforts by a number of players and told the group would stay united in a very important time.
Adversely affecting talks was the late-morning ruling from the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (http://www.nfl.com/goto?id=09000d5d820ab605), which overturned U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson's April decision to issue an injunction to lift the NFL lockout.
Although the decision enabled the lockout to remain in place, the players were afforded leverage as well, and NFLPA officials found solace in elements of the decision.
First, the appeals court allowed the players' antitrust litigation to move forward, meaning the owners are operating in treble damages liability as long as the lockout is ongoing.


Second, the court declined to rule on the legality of the owners locking out the league's unsigned players -- rookies and unrestricted free agents. The players can file for an injunction with Nelson's court to allow those players to sign with teams, something they're confident they'd be granted based on the district judge's earlier decision, and create a chaotic situation for the league.
Judge Kermit Bye dissented on the decision. He had said at a June 3 hearing that the decision would be one "both sides aren't going to like," and the panel certainly delivered that.



The idea, ultimately, is to place the parties in uncomfortable positions that encourage them to resolve the situation on their own, something they said in a joint statement that they'd continue to work to do.
One more outstanding court decision remains: Judge David Doty has yet to issue his ruling on the networks rights-fees case, which will determine the fate of more than $4 billion in television revenue.


Doty, like the 8th Circuit, said in court he would rather the players and owners work out their differences before he makes a ruling in his case.
Next Friday has long been seen as a deadline to get a deal and save the preseason in full. There are a number of issues -- including the rookie salary system and funding of retiree benefits -- on which the parties have failed to make breakthroughs.
Those issues flow into the larger issue of the revenue split. After progress June 30 and July 1 in Minneapolis, larger concepts in that area, such as the all-revenue model, may no longer be stumbling blocks. But the related issues have potential to tear down what's in place.


When talks resume next week, the lawyers will continue to hammer away at language and details, an area where they were able to make progress earlier this week.
It has been estimated that it would take between 10 and 14 days to go from an agreement to a signed document, and the aim of those sessions is to cut down that time and lay groundwork to quickly move things from a settlement to the opening of training camps. The Chicago Bears (http://www.nfl.com/teams/chicagobears/profile?team=CHI) and St. Louis Rams (http://www.nfl.com/teams/st.louisrams/profile?team=STL), who are scheduled to play in the Aug. 7 Hall of Fame Game, are scheduled to report to camp July 22.

BlitzburghRockCity
07-11-2011, 11:35 AM
Rookie salary system a major discussion point as talks roll on (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d820b3c8e/article/rookie-salary-system-a-major-discussion-point-as-talks-roll-on?module=HP_headlines)



NEW YORK -- There have been other big days over the last six weeks, as NFL players and owners have worked to resolve their differences and end a lockout that will reach its 122nd day when face-to-face talks resume Monday.

But this week, those days start to count in a whole different way.

The parties have been working against deadlines since starting this phase of negotiations in suburban Chicago on May 31. Those deadlines are no longer on the horizon, now, with July 15 -- this Friday -- long having been pegged internally as the date when a deal needed to be agreed upon in order to save the preseason in full. The Bears and Rams, combatants in the Aug. 7 Hall of Fame Game, are scheduled to open their training camps at the end of next week.

Lawyers will kick off this critical week of negotiations in Manhattan on Monday. Players and owners are expected to join them on either Tuesday or Wednesday.
It's the league's objective to present a completed proposal to the larger group at the July 21 owners meeting in Atlanta. At this point, that's a goal and not a certainty.
The biggest issue remaining on the ledger is the rookie salary system, according to sources on both sides of the table.

The current system has long awarded rookies at the higher end of the first round with the kind of payday many veterans will never see -- 2010 top pick Sam Bradford (http://www.nfl.com/players/sambradford/profile?id=BRA101548) copped $50 million guaranteed in his first deal -- and the league has always targeted an overhaul to that compensation model as an area critical to these labor talks. The players, too, have been open to restructuring rookie pay.

But the money alone isn't the problem. It's the give-and-take between the cash and the length of deals, and, in particular, the fifth year of such deals.
The NFL's disagreement with the players comes, primarily, with the top eight picks in the draft, where the dollars are biggest. Conversely, the players' issue stretches across the entire first round, with a desire to get younger players to free agency quicker, if their pay is going to be slashed significantly.

One league proposal would slash compensation for the draft's No. 1 pick from the six-year, $78 million deal we saw Bradford net in 2010 to a slotted five-year, $34 million.

Contracts for the top eight draftees would include triggers that push fifth-year earnings to 150 percent of the average starter’s salary at that player's position.
In what remains a sticking point with players, fifth-year numbers would be derived from the average starter's salary in the year the player was drafted -- not his fifth season.
Players don't want to see, for example, a player's 2015 market value -- and the final year of his contract -- based upon 2011 figures.

The league, which is open to making the fifth year an option year, proposes a $6 million floor and $12 million ceiling for fifth-year earnings. Naturally, the gap between old system and new shrinks by the pick, but just as important as the overall value of the deals is the structure.

As part of its proposal, the league is asking for a system setting the limit for length on first-round deals to five years. Under the old collective bargaining agreement, the NFL allowed six-year deals to the first 16 picks.

Meanwhile, the level to which players have been willing to cut rookie money is tied directly to the years on such deals. More significant economic changes are agreeable to the players if all rookie deals are limited to four years, which was the case for players selected in Rounds 2-7 under the expired CBA.

It's the fifth year where the disagreement arises. A proposal by the players allows a fifth year, but only as a team option year that would be fully guaranteed once exercised and pay players at the top of the market. The insistence is that players be treated as veterans in Year 5.

The parties agree on four-year deals for all other draft picks, the aforementioned term in the expired CBA. There's also basic agreement on new stipulations that would keep draft picks from renegotiating until after Year 3, and undrafted free agents (on three-year deals) from renegotiating until after Year 2. The hope is that the new mechanisms would also promote renegotiation for players outperforming their contracts.

This aspect of any new deal, of course, has a slew of other complexities that involve structure and guaranteed money as well that can further cloud what raw numbers tell you.

This isn't the only area where the players and owners need a breakthrough. But last Thursday and Friday, it was one that was largely responsible for the stalemate.
As the parties try to work those differences out, several key dates loom ahead as landmarks in this critical period, outside of just the deadlines to save preseason games and training camp practices.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan, who ran the court-ordered mediation in April and May and has overseen these talks the last six weeks, is on vacation this week, but has scheduled a meeting between the principles and their lawyers for July 19 in Minneapolis. Two days later, on July 21, the owners have a meeting scheduled in Atlanta.

Less certain, time-wise, is when a ruling will come from U.S. District Judge David Doty in the networks rights fees case, with more than $4 billion in television money at stake. That could be another significant event, as the 8th Circuit ruling on the injunction appeal was on Friday.

In any event, it's clear that time is running short. And once the preseason revenue starts coming off the table, everything starts to change.

BlitzburghRockCity
07-12-2011, 09:28 PM
Players, owners set to meet as sides set July 21 goal to reach deal (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d820bd398/article/players-owners-set-to-meet-as-sides-set-july-21-goal-to-reach-deal?module=HP_headlines)

NEW YORK -- Legal teams and staff for NFL players and owners met for a second straight day at a Manhattan law firm on Tuesday, setting the stage for the arrival of the principals in the league's labor dispute on Wednesday.

Sessions the first two days of this week were productive, as the parties worked to close out language for necessary elements of a potential deal to end the lockout, which reached the four-month mark on Tuesday. There were about a dozen participants in the over nine-hour sessions on Tuesday, including NFL outside counsel Bob Batterman and NFL Players Association outside counsel Jeffrey Kessler.

The league has set a goal of July 21 to have a completed deal to present to the larger group at an owners meeting in Atlanta. But the owners and players still have work to do in solving significant issues such as the rookie salary system and funding for retirees' benefits.

Representing the NFL will be commissioner Roger Goodell, Panthers owner and labor committee chair Jerry Richardson, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Chiefs owner Clark Hunt, Giants owner John Mara, and Steelers president Art Rooney II. The players group will include NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith, Colts center Jeff Saturday (http://www.nfl.com/players/jeffsaturday/profile?id=SAT652599), Ravens cornerback Domonique Foxworth (http://www.nfl.com/players/domoniquefoxworth/profile?id=FOX813566), retiree Sean Morey and others figures who've been vital to the process.

All of the above have been involved in the process since pre-lockout negotiations in Washington.

The parties have been ordered to meet at U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan's chambers next Tuesday, with counsel and figures carrying "full settlement authority" in attendance. The hope is that, by then, an agreement in principle will have been reached and the process of settling the outstanding litigation can be worked on.
To that end, the plaintiffs in the Brady et al v. the National Football League et al case took part in a conference call on Tuesday afternoon.

It is worth noting that last week's meetings between players and owners did not end well, and that there is still plenty of ground to cover.

The players and owners had a tough day of negotiations last Thursday, followed by a Friday in which almost no real progress was made. At the heart of the stalemate was the rookie wage issue, but that isn't the only outstanding problem to be solved.
Some internal deadlines have been set for July 15, this Friday, as the date to have an agreement in order to save the preseason in its natural form. The Rams and Bears are scheduled to open their training camps at the end of next week, though that seems unrealistic at this point.

The Hall of Fame Game between St. Louis and Chicago, however, has not yet been cancelled. That game, the first on the preseason ledger, is scheduled for Aug. 7.
A primary motivator in this set of talks has been the potential loss of preseason revenue, and it would start with the Rams-Bears game.

BlitzburghRockCity
07-15-2011, 09:19 AM
Owners, players see breakthrough on rookie wage scale issue (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d820c4ab6/article/owners-players-see-breakthrough-on-rookie-wage-scale-issue?module=HP_headlines)


When NFL owners meet next week in Atlanta, they hope to have a completed, proposed collective bargaining agreement on which to vote.

To that end, impressive momentum came out of a nearly 15-hour labor negotiation Thursday in New York, with the owners and players closing in on an agreement for a new rookie wage scale, according to a source. It appears the issue could be resolved soon if the parties can work out a few minor details.

Sources said the owners made concessions regarding the fifth-year compensation for rookies, marking the breakthrough in negotiations that failed to materialize over the last week of talks at a Manhattan law firm. Other sources said the players made concessions on rules preventing contract renegotiations by draftees until after their third year and undrafted players until after two years.

Sources cautioned that other important issues still need to be resolved to reach an agreement, ending the lockout that began March 12. One source characterized some of those issues as potential stumbling blocks.

However, the parties remain motivated by the idea of saving the preseason in full to quickly close a deal. The owners and players will meet again Friday, which some had set as an internal deadline to reach an agreement and play a full preseason schedule.
The preseason-opening Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio, is scheduled for Aug. 7 between the St. Louis Rams (http://www.nfl.com/teams/st.louisrams/profile?team=STL) and Chicago Bears (http://www.nfl.com/teams/chicagobears/profile?team=CHI), who are supposed to start training camp at the end of next week. But camps won't open without a new CBA in place, and disruptions to the preseason schedule would decrease the league's overall revenue pie by tens or hundreds of millions of dollars, depending on how many games are canceled.
Even with several issues left to resolve, a solution to the rookie wage scale will provide a critical step toward expediting the process before the parties can agree to terms and begin drawing up legal documents. One source estimated that if full closure on rookie compensation was reached Thursday, there was "a 50-50 chance" the parties could have a handshake deal in place to present to U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan, who's on vacation this week, at their scheduled mediation in Minneapolis on Tuesday, two days before the owners' meeting in Atlanta.

Any agreement also must be voted on by groups of players, including the named plaintiffs in the class-action antitrust lawsuit pending in federal court. Baltimore Ravens (http://www.nfl.com/teams/baltimoreravens/profile?team=BAL) defensive back Domonique Foxworth (http://www.nfl.com/players/domoniquefoxworth/profile?id=FOX813566) noted after Thursday's meeting that even after the framework for an agreement is established, "there's really no deal until our players approve it."

According to an involved source, the remaining issues between the owners and players are being dealt with collectively. The process isn't linear, and the parties aren't simply checking items off a list, with each issue affecting others.

Where the money for The Legacy Fund, which benefits retired players, will come from tops the list of issues needing to be resolved. And Thursday, a group of retired players sent the league a letter (http://www.nfl.com/goto?id=09000d5d820c98e5) asking to be a part of the negotiations.

Also needing to be settled is the owners' request for a right of first refusal on up to three veteran free agents in 2011, an issue on which the players won't relent, according to sources.

The parties must work on language to settle the Brady antitrust suit and any plaintiff damages, as well as address the looming decision by Judge David Doty in the television rights fee case. Issues of workers' compensation and injury guarantees also are still being negotiated. And no deal can be complete until the owners and players address the issue of whether now, and how, the NFL Players Association re-constitutes as a labor union.

But the major tenets of the deal are in place, and whether it's completed this weekend or next week, there's a prevailing sense for both parties that they finally are nearing an agreement.

The owners and players put several issues to bed Thursday before breaking for the night, according to sources with direct knowledge of the talks. Those issues included re-addressing the commissioner's power via discipline. A panel of former judges will oversee special master and other decisions, but specifically how commissioner discipline issues are appealed hasn't yet been resolved, though it's "trending" toward a decision, sources said.

Also, salary-cap details became clear -- the 2011 projected cap will be roughly $123 million, according to sources, but as a practical matter will "feel" more like $130 million to teams when cap credits and new cap exceptions are factored. And teams will have to spend, in cash, 90 percent to the cap minimum, and league-wide spending will be pegged at 99 percent to the cap.

Joining NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in the league's contingent Thursday were eight of 10 labor committee members, a group that was joined by Green Bay Packers (http://www.nfl.com/teams/greenbaypackers/profile?team=GB) CEO Mark Murphy and San Diego Chargers (http://www.nfl.com/teams/sandiegochargers/profile?team=SD) president Dean Spanos. Six ownership types participated in meetings Wednesday, including the Carolina Panthers (http://www.nfl.com/teams/carolinapanthers/profile?team=CAR)' Jerry Richardson, Dallas Cowboys (http://www.nfl.com/teams/dallascowboys/profile?team=DAL)' Jerry Jones, New England Patriots (http://www.nfl.com/teams/newenglandpatriots/profile?team=NE)' Robert Kraft, New York Giants (http://www.nfl.com/teams/newyorkgiants/profile?team=NYG)' John Mara, Kansas City Chiefs (http://www.nfl.com/teams/kansascitychiefs/profile?team=KC)' Clark Hunt and Pittsburgh Steelers (http://www.nfl.com/teams/pittsburghsteelers/profile?team=PIT)' Art Rooney II, which is one more than the five who typically had been part of the process during the six previous weeks.

The players' group remained largely the same Thursday, with NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith leading a group that included Foxworth, retirees Pete Kendall and Sean Morey, Atlanta Falcons (http://www.nfl.com/teams/atlantafalcons/profile?team=ATL) offensive lineman Tyson Clabo (http://www.nfl.com/players/tysonclabo/profile?id=CLA004828), Indianapolis Colts (http://www.nfl.com/teams/indianapoliscolts/profile?team=IND) center Jeff Saturday (http://www.nfl.com/players/jeffsaturday/profile?id=SAT652599), New York Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora (http://www.nfl.com/players/osiumenyiora/profile?id=UME444955), NFLPA general counsel Richard Berthelsen and outside counsel Jeffrey Kessler.

BlitzburghRockCity
07-15-2011, 03:31 PM
Owners, players reach agreement on economics of labor deal (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d820caaf6/article/owners-players-reach-agreement-on-economics-of-labor-deal?module=HP_headlines)


NEW YORK -- Following a breakthrough in negotiations between NFL owners and players, it now appears the economics of a new collective bargaining agreement essentially are done.

The parties closed in on an agreement on the rookie compensation system Thursday, the single biggest benchmark of progress over the last two weeks of talks. A lot of details remain, though it's hard to envision those left standing in the way of a labor deal.

The sides arrived for Friday's negotiations at 9 a.m., with an eye on building off momentum gathered during Thursday's marathon session. The date -- July 15 -- is significant because it's an internal deadline to save the preseason in its normal form that has sat for months. With the league's objective of presenting the full ownership group a completed proposal in Atlanta next Thursday, that deadline might be flexible, but the urgency has been turned up.

The plan is for talks to continue to chip away at some of the remaining issues throughout the meeting Friday, then work via conference call over the weekend before owners and players reconvene for their scheduled mediation before U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan in Minnesota on Tuesday, sources with knowledge of the situation told NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora.

While the institution of rookie compensation system is a concession in itself, the players' side gave a little more in allowing some rules preventing the renegotiation of draft picks' deals until after three years. The owners' concessions came on the price tag for the fifth-year option for first-round picks, which the players want paid at the top of the market.

With that hurdle cleared, two sources said, "We're not there yet," on Thursday night, and one referred to the remaining issues as "real stumbling blocks."
The remaining issues between the owners and players are being dealt with collectively, according to an involved source. The process isn't linear, and the parties aren't simply checking items off a list, with each issue affecting others.

Primary among the unresolved problems are the Legacy Fund (retirees benefits), player safety, the appeals process for player discipline, worker's compensation and injury guarantees in contracts. Litigation entanglements also must be addressed.

The parties must work on language to settle the Brady antitrust suit and any plaintiff damages, as well as address the looming decision by Judge David Doty in the television rights fee case. And no deal can be complete until the owners and players address the issue of whether now, and how, the NFL Players Association re-constitutes as a labor union.

But the major tenets of the deal are in place. Whether the full terms in principle are completed this weekend or next week, there's a prevailing sense from both parties that the sides are finally nearing an agreement.

Just as the owners need to vote on an agreement, the players do as well. It's a point that NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith made upon his arrival to Friday's meeting.

"I know our fans are frustrated and want to get it done," Smith said. "We'll get everything to the players when the time is right."

Based on Thursday's progress, which followed a tough Wednesday between players and owners and two difficult negotiation days the previous week, there is a feeling that the owners' goal of a July 21 vote is increasingly realistic.
With that push as the backdrop, the league group grew by one Friday with the arrival of Cincinnati Bengals (http://www.nfl.com/teams/cincinnatibengals/profile?team=CIN) owner Mike Brown. The league labor committee now has nine of 10 members present, with co-chair Pat Bowlen of the Denver Broncos (http://www.nfl.com/teams/denverbroncos/profile?team=DEN) still in Hawaii on Thursday. Bowlen was trying to arrange to reach New York and has been participating via conference call.

The players' group also grew by one, with Houston Texans (http://www.nfl.com/teams/houstontexans/profile?team=HOU) offense tackle Eric Winston (http://www.nfl.com/players/ericwinston/profile?id=WIN622404) joining.

The owners and players put several issues to bed Thursday before breaking for the night, according to sources with direct knowledge of the talks. Those issues included re-addressing the commissioner's power via discipline. A panel of former judges will oversee special master and other decisions, but specifically how commissioner discipline issues are appealed hasn't yet been resolved, though it's "trending" toward a decision, sources said.

Salary-cap details also became clear. The 2011 projected cap will be roughly $123 million, according to sources, but as a practical matter will "feel" more like $130 million to teams when cap credits and new cap exceptions are factored. Teams will have to spend, in cash, 90 percent to the cap minimum and league-wide spending will be pegged at 99 percent to the cap.

BlitzburghRockCity
07-16-2011, 03:29 PM
NEW YORK -- The week began with the NFL lockout reaching the four-month mark. It ended with a new collective bargaining agreement in clear sight. (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d820caaf6/article/owners-players-make-progress-aim-to-seal-deal-next-week?module=HP11_hot_topics)

"The discussions this week have been constructive and progress has been made on a wide range of issues," the owners and players said in a joint statement issued after Friday's meeting.



Several issues -- such as The Legacy Fund (retiree benefits) and drug testing -- will require the NFL Players Association to re-certify as a union or obtain a waiver to finalize, but they aren't considered stumbling blocks in a deal. Likewise, the lion's share of player safety issues and related items such as offseason programs were answered Friday.The owners also dropped their proposal to have one-time, right-of-first-refusal tags on free agents. Owners initially dropped their proposal from three tags to two before losing it altogether.


So, the bulk of what remains before a full agreement can be reached is settling the Brady antitrust litigation and the television rights fees case. That's considered procedural because of where the parties stand now. Although owners and players adhered to U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan's request that confidentiality be observed during talks, it was difficult not to notice the optimism while they left the building Friday.


"We made some progress," NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said. "We continue to have a lot of work to do. Our lawyers and other folks are going to continue to work through the weekend. (NFL Commissioner) Roger (Goodell) and I will either talk or meet starting tomorrow morning.


"I know everyone is frustrated and they want a definitive answer. I hate to disappoint you, but you're not going to get one right now. But we're going to continue to work, and that's a positive sign."


The most significant breakthrough of the week came Thursday, when the parties closed in on an agreement on the rookie compensation system.


While the institution of a rookie compensation system is a concession in itself, the players' side gave a little more in allowing some rules preventing the renegotiation of draft picks' deals until after three years. The owners' concessions came on the price tag for the fifth-year option for first-round picks, which the players want paid at the top of the market. It was learned Saturday that the fifth-year option must be picked up after Year 3.


One point of emphasis for the players in these talks was to take care of the rank-and-file. As such, across-the-board hikes in the league minimum, from rookies to veterans, are expected.

According to sources, it was agreed that the fifth-year option for rookie contracts would pay top-10 picks the average salary of the top 10 players at their position. For picks 11 through 32, the amount would be the average of salary Nos. 3 to 25 at a given position. All figures will be taken from the third year of rookie contracts, meaning that for top-10 picks, their fifth-year option amount would be equal to the transition tag number from the previous year.

It also was learned Friday that the parties discussed the issue of players who lost the chance to earn offseason workout bonuses because of the lockout. And while the issue hasn't been fully resolved, the NFLPA ultimately expects those payments to be made in full, sources within the players' camp told NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora.


Discussed have been proposals that would include eligible players receiving a lesser percentage of what they were due. The bonuses, frequently worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, are pegged to a player participating in a set percentage of his team's offseason sessions -- all of which were wiped out by the lockout this year.
Sources within the players' camp maintain they don't intend to take less than the full value of the bonuses, according to La Canfora. Still, it's a relatively minor issue -- and not one expected to cause a significant fight.


Now the parties are aiming to have a completed deal to present to their constituencies next week. The owners have had that objective for more than a week, wanting to conduct a ratification vote at their July 21 meetings in Atlanta.


It now appears that will happen following two furious days of negotiating that followed a very difficult session of talks Wednesday. It's now possible that the full preseason schedule could be saved, thanks to a rush at the finish line to beat internal deadlines that were focused on July 15. The preseason-opening Hall of Fame Game between the Chicago Bears (http://www.nfl.com/teams/chicagobears/profile?team=CHI) and St. Louis Rams (http://www.nfl.com/teams/st.louisrams/profile?team=STL) is scheduled for Aug. 7 in Canton, Ohio.


"Everybody involved here has gotten educated, and so it's just more knowledge, more awareness of all the issues probably makes everybody feel more comfortable to talk about it and try to make progress," Dallas Cowboys (http://www.nfl.com/teams/dallascowboys/profile?team=DAL) owner Jerry Jones said. "I don't know it's any more (urgency), because we all want to and should want to, because of the game and the fans, get this done with as little interruption as possible."
The league's labor committee had nine of 10 members present Friday after the arrival of Cincinnati Bengals (http://www.nfl.com/teams/cincinnatibengals/profile?team=CIN) owner Mike Brown. Jones, New York Giants (http://www.nfl.com/teams/newyorkgiants/profile?team=NYG) owner John Mara, Carolina Panthers (http://www.nfl.com/teams/carolinapanthers/profile?team=CAR) owner Jerry Richardson and San Diego Chargers (http://www.nfl.com/teams/sandiegochargers/profile?team=SD) owner Dean Spanos were involved in all three days of talks, and New England Patriots (http://www.nfl.com/teams/newenglandpatriots/profile?team=NE) owner Robert Kraft, Pittsburgh Steelers (http://www.nfl.com/teams/pittsburghsteelers/profile?team=PIT) president Art Rooney and Kansas City Chiefs (http://www.nfl.com/teams/kansascitychiefs/profile?team=KC) chairman/CEO Clark Hunt participated Wednesday and Thursday. Green Bay Packers (http://www.nfl.com/teams/greenbaypackers/profile?team=GB) CEO Mark Murphy arrived Thursday.
Smith led a players group that included retirees Pete Kendall and Sean Morey, Baltimore Ravens (http://www.nfl.com/teams/baltimoreravens/profile?team=BAL) cornerback Domonique Foxworth (http://www.nfl.com/players/domoniquefoxworth/profile?id=FOX813566) and Atlanta Falcons (http://www.nfl.com/teams/atlantafalcons/profile?team=ATL) offensive lineman Tyson Clabo (http://www.nfl.com/players/tysonclabo/profile?id=CLA004828), with Houston Texans (http://www.nfl.com/teams/houstontexans/profile?team=HOU) offensive tackle Eric Winston (http://www.nfl.com/players/ericwinston/profile?id=WIN622404) joining the team Friday.
The collaborative effort of those people has the sides on the brink of re-opening the gates to the league.
"Stay tuned," Jones said. "When we get here, or wherever we meet next, we'll report on that progress. But there has been some progress. I wouldn't dare speculate on where we are in that sense. But this has been as productive a time, and we've covered as much and worked as hard over these three days, spent a lot of hours and everybody's focused in."

BlitzburghRockCity
07-18-2011, 06:17 PM
From NFL.com (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d820d5c3d/article/nfl-players-open-critical-week-of-labor-talks-in-multiple-cities?module=HP_headlines)

NEW YORK -- The clock is ticking toward Thursday, the date league owners hope to vote and ratify a deal to end the four-month-old NFL lockout. And as a result, labor discussions are no longer limited to one location.

On Monday, legal teams and staff for the owners and players met again at a New York law firm to continue going over details and language in a potential settlement. Judge Arthur Boylan arrived at the meeting at 3 p.m. ET. Meanwhile, 226 miles to the south, in Washington, D.C., members of the NFL Players Association's executive committee began arriving in advance of a Tuesday meeting.

The goal for all is the same, to reach an agreement in the coming days and have a signed document by week's end.

But some obstacles stand in the way. Emerging as the primary issue has been the players' pursuit of $320 million in lost benefits that resulted from the 2010 uncapped year rules. The parties are also working to resolve injury protection for players, worker's compensation rights for injured players, and rules governing offseason workouts, according to sources.

The NFLPA's executive committee meeting on Tuesday is a precursor to Wednesday's larger meeting, which will include player representatives from all 32 teams. Those voices won't be enough to re-certify the union -- a vote of all 1,900 players is needed for that -- but the 32 reps could vote to recommend a settlement of the Brady et al v. National Football League et al case to the Brady class. The settlement to end the lockout would then be in the hands of the 10 named plaintiffs.

Three of those plaintiffs -- Peyton Manning (http://www.nfl.com/players/peytonmanning/profile?id=MAN515097), Logan Mankins (http://www.nfl.com/players/loganmankins/profile?id=MAN347391) and Vincent Jackson (http://www.nfl.com/players/vincentjackson/profile?id=JAC627460) -- are currently under the franchise-tag designation, and so the settlement could well include provisions over the tag itself, either for those three players, or the larger group. The aforementioned $320 million would also be a "settlement term."

That said, the economic model for the league going forward has been essentially agreed upon by the owners and players. So the biggest hurdle, splitting $9-10 billion in revenue and accounting for future growth in the players' take, has been cleared.
The NFL sent a memo out to clubs on Monday, readying for the potential of what could be ahead at the end of the week.

The objective is to have a completed deal to present to the 32 owners in Atlanta on Thursday. The memo said that if all this goes according to plan, the league will be staging a "labor seminar" on Friday at another hotel in Atlanta to educate clubs on the terms of a new deal. Each team will be allowed to have four reps at that meeting, plus its owner.

While the parties have been in touch, it is uncertain whether or not players and owners, or NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith will have any further face-to-face meetings. If Goodell and Smith meet, it's likely to take place in Washington, D.C.

BlitzburghRockCity
07-19-2011, 05:43 PM
Player reps convene in D.C. to work through labor details (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d820d9d73/article/player-reps-convene-in-dc-to-work-through-labor-details?module=HP11_hot_topics)

Legal teams and staff for the owners and players continued their meetings on Tuesday, hammering out details and language on a new agreement while also working through litigation settlement proceedings.

They also had a few new guests, with the retired player group that's part of the consolidated Brady & Eller et al v. the National Football League et al case in attendance. Attorney Michael Hausfeld led a group that included former Minnesota Viking Carl Eller and ex-Buffalo Bill Joe DeLamielleure.

"We were left out," Eller told NFL Network on his way in. "But it's good to be back. ... It's our position to be here. That's why we're here."

According to sources, between $900 million and $1 billion in improvements to benefits have been negotiated for retirees. Of that, $620 million is expected to go into the Legacy Fund, which will benefit the pre-1993 retirees. And the players and owners also solved the issue of how to fund that, with the club-to-cap breakdown being approximately 50-50, with teams taking on a bit more financial responsibility.
Presented with those terms, DeLamielleure said, "We've been to this show before. So we'll see."

Meanwhile, the other set of plaintiffs in Brady & Eller v. the NFL made some noise of their own.

According to a league source, one proposed settlement term has quarterbacks Peyton Manning (http://www.nfl.com/players/peytonmanning/profile?id=MAN515097) of the Indianapolis Colts (http://www.nfl.com/teams/indianapoliscolts/profile?team=IND) and Drew Brees (http://www.nfl.com/players/drewbrees/profile?id=BRE229498) of the New Orleans Saints (http://www.nfl.com/teams/neworleanssaints/profile?team=NO) being immune from the franchise tag for the rest of their careers. That would make Manning an unrestricted free agent when the league opens for business, presumably soon.
Also, New England Patriots (http://www.nfl.com/teams/newenglandpatriots/profile?team=NE) guard Logan Mankins (http://www.nfl.com/players/loganmankins/profile?id=MAN347391) and San Diego Chargers (http://www.nfl.com/teams/sandiegochargers/profile?team=SD) wide receiver Vincent Jackson (http://www.nfl.com/players/vincentjackson/profile?id=JAC627460) have asked for $10 million or to be set loose as free agents (http://www.nfl.com/goto?id=09000d5d820da4ea), as terms to agree to a litigation settlement. Yahoo! Sports first reported the demand by both players' respective agents.

Mankins and Jackson are under the franchise tag now, and each fell in the category last year of players who would have been unrestricted free agents in the pre-2010 system, but were restricted under the uncapped year rules.

Both players also had their tenders cut by their teams and held out deep into the season, with Mankins making about $816,000 in 2010 and Jackson bringing home just $583,000.

Meanwhile, members of the NFL Player Association's executive committee arrived at the trade association's headquarters in Washington, D.C., Tuesday, hoping to work through the latest round of settlement talks, NFL.com's Steve Wyche reported.
The mission is to "push through" to reach a deal now that the finish line is visible, a trade association source told Wyche. There were no certain time elements on how soon things could come together because settlement talks remain fluid, the source said.

"The grass is cut, but the hay is not in the barn yet. We've got a lot of work to do," NFLPA president Kevin Mawae told the Associated Press on Tuesday.

The meeting of the executive committee, which includes Brees, is a precursor to Wednesday's important meeting with representatives from all 32 teams.
Owners are then set to hold a special meeting in Atlanta on Thursday, when they could ratify a new deal -- if there is one by then. Executives from all 32 teams then would be briefed there Thursday and Friday on how the terms would affect league business. Clubs were told Monday that topics would include the 2011 NFL calendar, rookie salary system and guidelines for player transactions.

The team representatives can vote to recommend passage of the settlement to players, who would vote to pass or reject the proposal. A majority vote is needed and it is expected players would vote on the side of the team representatives' recommendation.

A vote by the players on a new deal could happen as soon as Wednesday evening, although that could be optimistic, a source told Wyche.
Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith spoke to each other on the telephone Monday and planned to stay in regular contact.
"Nobody cheers for you at Mile 25 of a marathon. You still have to cross the finish line," NFLPA spokesman George Atallah said Monday in Washington. "There still are things that can get you tripped up, and we're going to push through."
In addition to the Brady class settlement, is the pending TV networks case, in which players accused owners of setting up $4 billion in "lockout insurance."
Emerging as the primary issue has been the players' pursuit of $320 million in lost benefits that resulted from the 2010 uncapped year rules, sources said. The league's contention is that the players negotiated that money away in the 2006 collective bargaining agreement.

Owners locked out players on March 12, when the old collective bargaining agreement expired, leaving the country's most popular professional sports league in limbo. The sides are trying to forge a settlement in time to keep the preseason completely intact. The exhibition opener is supposed to be the Hall of Fame game between the St. Louis Rams (http://www.nfl.com/teams/st.louisrams/profile?team=STL) and Chicago Bears (http://www.nfl.com/teams/chicagobears/profile?team=CHI) on Aug. 7.

The regular-season opener is scheduled for Sept. 8, when the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers (http://www.nfl.com/teams/greenbaypackers/profile?team=GB) are to play host to the New Orleans Saints.

Philadelphia Eagles (http://www.nfl.com/teams/philadelphiaeagles/profile?team=PHI) quarterback Michael Vick (http://www.nfl.com/players/michaelvick/profile?id=VIC311467) tweeted Monday: "Sound like we gonna be back to work so soon!!!"

During lengthy negotiations last week, players and owners came up with the framework of a CBA that addresses most of their differences.
Areas they've figured out include:

» How the more than $9 billion in annual league revenues will be divided, with somewhere from 46.5 to 48.5 percent going to players, depending on how much the total take from TV contracts and other sources rises or falls;
» A structure for rookie contracts that will rein in soaring salaries for high first-round draft picks;
» Free agency rules that allow most four-year veterans to negotiate with any team;
» A cap of about $120 million per team for player salaries in 2011, with about another $20 million per team in benefits;
» Each team must spend at least 90 percent of the salary cap in cash each season, a higher figure than in the past.

BlitzburghRockCity
07-20-2011, 12:44 PM
Sides expected to review labor docs today as precursor to vote (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d820de123/article/sides-expected-to-review-labor-docs-today-as-precursor-to-vote)


It was in Atlanta where NFL owners in 2008 voted to opt out of the collective bargaining agreement with its players union. And it's in Atlanta where, maybe as soon as Thursday, owners could vote to agree to a new CBA that will end the lockout and restore the business of professional football.

Meanwhile, the players’ side would present the agreement to player reps for all 32 clubs, who would vote on whether to recommend the settlement to the plaintiffs in the Brady et al v. National Football League et al lawsuit. The player reps were meeting Wednesday in Washington, D.C., where a vote is expected to take place once they see a document to review. The next step could be the recertification of the union, which requires all 1,900 players to vote, a simple majority to pass, and could be done by e-mail or conference call.

The NFL's labor committee will gather at an airport hotel Wednesday to go over the final terms of a settlement that lawyers have been hashing out for weeks, with the final touches having been worked on through late Tuesday night. Members of the labor committee will discuss any concerns and go over any questions with lawyers and members of the players association, if needed.

From that point, the committee will explain the elements of what could be a new collective bargaining agreement to all 32 owners -- or team representatives -- who will arrive Wednesday night and meet en masse Thursday. If 24 of the owners agree to ratify the terms of the deal, a new labor pact should be finalized and the ugly standoff that eliminated most offseason activities, kept players away from their teams and created fan angst and frustration could be over.

However, two NFL Players Association officials emphasized Wednesday morning that the 32 player reps won't be rushed as they review paperwork that could lead to an end to the lockout.

NFLPA president Kevin Mawae, a retired player, and George Atallah, NFLPA Assistant Executive Director of External Affairs, spoke to reporters about the players' ratification process.

"Our goal today is to see what's on the table," Mawae said. "Make no mistake, the players are not in a rush and are not tied to the timeline of July 21 (Thursday). Our timeline is the timeline that gets the best deal for the players.

"Whether it's today or tomorrow, we're not going to agree to any deal unless it's the right deal.

"At the end of the day, when we strike a deal, there's going to be stuff we don't like ... stuff that the other side doesn't like. That's the sign of good bargaining."
Having all 32 player reps together in Washington is a positive, Mawae said.
"We're in a good place -- all our guys are here," Mawae said. "The process is what we need to worry about. Today's meeting with our board is not to OK a deal and move forward. Our board is here, (so) if the deal in its totality is the right deal, they will pass it on."

There is a chance that the players' vote actually could take place by the time the owners gather to ratify the deal. If so, the owners' decision -- it is expected to be ratified -- would be the rubber stamp of approval.

From there, operational members from each team -- up to four from each franchise have been invited to Atlanta -- will almost immediately be given a tutorial as to how the league will re-start. Issues such as when players can report to team facilities, free agency rules, training camp procedures and salary cap issues will be at the forefront of those discussions.

Several coaches and general managers said they hope to get players into facilities immediately to have players take physicals, gauge their fitness, get them in classrooms and get re-acquainted. Training camps will start as soon as next week if a deal is ratified, and teams would like a few days to iron out those details before taking the field.

A frenzy of player activity, maybe unprecedented, also is in store. Teams should learn soon how quickly they can sign draft picks, negotiate with their own free agents, sign undrafted rookies, make trades, cut players and sign free agents.

BlitzburghRockCity
07-20-2011, 06:15 PM
JasonLaCanfora just tweeted that there will be no player vote today.

Rampage
07-20-2011, 06:54 PM
JasonLaCanfora just tweeted that there will be no player vote today.


If it's like any other report from him, there is a 25% chance of it being true. :lol:

BlitzburghRockCity
07-20-2011, 07:52 PM
Been watching NFLN here this evening. The are all present for tomorrow's meetings when it's rumored that they will vote to ratify the new CBA. The players are not voting tonight according to everyone and their brother so we are stuck in limbo for yet another day.

If the owners vote and ratify a new CBA, then the players would have to recertify as a union before they can also vote to officially end the lockout.

BlitzburghRockCity
07-21-2011, 09:24 AM
OK Owners and Players, get this deal done TODAY!!!! We want some football!

LatrobePA
07-21-2011, 10:22 AM
OK Owners and Players, get this deal done TODAY!!!! We want some football!

No kidding this chit is OLD!! :cope:

BlitzburghRockCity
07-21-2011, 02:08 PM
Owners scheduled to vote and ratify CBA today, will the players also vote and approve? (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d820e3984/article/blank-optimistic-owners-will-approve-labor-deal-thursday?module=HP11_cp)
(http://www.nfl.com/teams/atlantafalcons/profile?team=ATL)

(http://www.nfl.com/teams/atlantafalcons/profile?team=ATL)
Atlanta Falcons (http://www.nfl.com/teams/atlantafalcons/profile?team=ATL) owner Arthur Blank told NFL Network that he is optimistic his fellow owners, who are meeting in Atlanta, will approve a new collective bargaining agreement with the players Thursday.

"I'm optimistic that we'll get a call for a vote today, and I'm optimistic that the ownership will approve a deal today," Blank said just before the owners began meeting at 10 a.m. ET in which they began reviewing the potential deal and how it would work. "Whether or not the players will have approved it before we vote, I'm not sure."
Meanwhile, NFL Network's Michael Lombardi reports NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith called all players reps Thursday to tell them to be ready for a conference call at 8 p.m. ET. The call could be simply to provide an update on Thursday's progress or to initiate a vote on the proposed deal.

On Wednesday, NFL lead negotiator Jeff Pash said he expected the league and its players to soon reach a deal that would end the four-month-old lockout.

"It's obviously a complicated agreement, but I think both sides are at the point where they can close, they should close, and we should be in a position to take votes," Pash said.

The 32 player representatives did vote Wednesday at NFL Players Association's headquarters in Washington, but it wasn't the type of vote that was expected. Instead of simply approving the draft that lawyers and staff had been working on for the last month, the reps conditionally passed it to the Brady plaintiffs, sources told NFL Network reporter Albert Breer.

In other words, the proposal will go to the 10 plaintiffs involved in the Brady antitrust case only if the league meets certain conditions in settling that piece of litigation, and also the TV rights fees case, in which players accused owners of setting up a $4 billion lockout-insurance fund.

"We still have a lot of work to do," Atlanta Falcons offensive lineman Tyson Clabo (http://www.nfl.com/players/tysonclabo/profile?id=CLA004828) told The Associated Press as he left the nearly 10-hour meeting.

The players also empowered NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith, their legal counsel and the 13-man executive committee to work out the remaining issues, according to sources. One is the players' pursuit of $320 million in benefits lost as part of the 2010 uncapped-year rules, which were negotiated in the 2006 labor deal.
Smith and commissioner Roger Goodell have stayed in close and regular contact throughout these negotiations and have maintained close conversations even at times when the sides were not meeting.

Throughout this week, for instance, numerous sources tell NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora, the men have held after-hours discussions of the remaining issues at night, or in the morning, trying to bridge the remaining gaps and forge a global settlement.

The good news is, outside of a few minor issues, the players were amenable to terms that would serve as a new labor deal, should the NFLPA re-certify as a union. The Brady plantiffs -- which include quarterbacks Tom Brady (http://www.nfl.com/players/tombrady/profile?id=BRA371156), Peyton Manning (http://www.nfl.com/players/peytonmanning/profile?id=MAN515097) and Drew Brees (http://www.nfl.com/players/drewbrees/profile?id=BRE229498) -- also would have to sign off for any settlement to be reached.
New England Patriots (http://www.nfl.com/teams/newenglandpatriots/profile?team=NE) guard Logan Mankins (http://www.nfl.com/players/loganmankins/profile?id=MAN347391) and San Diego Chargers (http://www.nfl.com/teams/sandiegochargers/profile?team=SD) wide receiver Vincent Jackson (http://www.nfl.com/players/vincentjackson/profile?id=JAC627460), two of the 10 plaintiffs, are holding strong to their request for $10 million as part of the antitrust settlement, sources told Breer on Thursday. That's one of a number of issues that relate to the plaintiffs in that case.
The NFLPA executive committee will not recommend that player reps vote on any deal until both lawsuits are resolved, multiple sources told La Canfora, and it's unknown when that will be.

"I think that's the healthy outcome," Pash said, "to have a complete, comprehensive, global agreement that settles all the disputes and puts us on a path where we are going forward together as business partners, the way it should be, rather that going forward with one hand and fighting over something that should be in the past."

Pash said he wasn't worried about the players' decision Wednesday. "It doesn't impact it at all," Pash said. "We're going to continue to work with the players. We'll find out if there are issues that still need to be negotiated, and we're going to work cooperatively with them through the evening and try to have something in place that both sides can vote on tomorrow morning."

Members of the NFL's labor committee will discuss any concerns and go over any questions with lawyers and members of the NFLPA, if needed. And a future vote by player reps could be taken via conference call or other means.

"I can't speak for what was going on in their caucus, but it's a long, complicated agreement, and there are a lot of issues," Pash said. "We're talking about entering into an agreement that would last for quite a few years, hopefully bring a lot of stability to our relationship for many years to come, and understandably, that is something that people want to take their time and think through."

Before Wednesday's meeting, NFLPA president Kevin Mawae cautioned not to assume the lockout will be over by the weekend, saying his group was "not tied" to a deadline for having a deal done by Thursday.

"We want to go back to work, but we will not agree to a deal unless it's the best deal for the players," Mawae said.

"Our goal today is to see what is on the table and discuss outlying issues," he added. "The players are not tied to a July 21 timeline. Our timeline is that which gives us the best deal for the players -- today, tomorrow or whatever it might be."

If the lockout is going to end in time to keep the preseason completely intact, the parties almost certainly must ratify the deal by Thursday. The St. Louis Rams (http://www.nfl.com/teams/st.louisrams/profile?team=STL) and Chicago Bears (http://www.nfl.com/teams/chicagobears/profile?team=CHI) are scheduled to open the preseason Aug. 7 in the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio -- leaving the league and players a timeline that Pash called "tight."
"It would be pretty challenging," Pash said when asked if the game will be played. "That's one of the things we'll have to focus on."

Goodell and nine of the 10 members of the labor committee gathered at an Atlanta airport hotel Wednesday to go over the final terms of a settlement that lawyers have been hashing out for weeks. The owners broke up for the evening, but Goodell, members of the NFL legal team and Dallas Cowboys (http://www.nfl.com/teams/dallascowboys/profile?team=DAL) owner Jerry Jones remained to continue talks.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who is on the labor committee, didn't participate in the five-hour meeting because his wife died Wednesday (http://www.nfl.com/goto?id=09000d5d820ddf15) after a battle with cancer.

Kraft's son, Patriots president Jonathan Kraft, will represent the family at Thursday's meeting, which is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. ET. Jonathan Kraft will return home Friday for his mother's funeral service, according to the team.
If owners do vote Thursday, at least 24 would need to OK the deal. If it's also passed by the players, team executives would be schooled later that day and Friday in Atlanta in the guidelines and how to apply them. Topics would include the 2011 NFL calendar, rookie salary system and new free-agency rules.

Several coaches and general managers have said they hope players can report to team facilities immediately to take physicals and get re-acquainted. Training camps would start as soon as next week if a deal is ratified, and teams would like a few days to iron out those details before taking the field.

A frenzy of player activity, maybe unprecedented, also is in store. Teams should learn soon how quickly they can sign draft picks, negotiate with their own free agents, sign undrafted rookies, make trades, cut players and sign free agents.

BlitzburghRockCity
07-21-2011, 03:50 PM
Demaurice Smith speaking right now on NFL Network. States that there are still some issues unresolved as of today. Says that recertifying as a union is a big issue yet to still be decided and acted upon.

Every player must decide whether they want to be in the union or not, and it's a very serious decision. That's all he said. No mention of a possible vote or any details on anything still outstanding. The interview took about 2 minutes or so and he left for a walk.

The players could decide not to recertify as a union...if that happens there is no deal.
No union=no deal.

So at this point essentially there is no timetable (although he didn't come out and say it in so many words).

Since all the players have to decide if they want to be in union and there has to be a 51% majority atleast to recertify, things are still up in the air. There are also rumors that it's unknown if the players can vote electronically or whether it will take an actual, physical, vote card for each person.

Even if the owners vote to ratify it a new deal it will be up to the players to decide when the lockout is over. When that does happen the ball is in the players courts and they will take their time. Once the owners vote on a deal there are no more talks to be had, it's either take the deal or don't take the deal for the players.

connecticutsteel
07-21-2011, 04:10 PM
**** THE PLAYERS THEY ALL SUCK FIRE THEM NOW i have been on there side from day one and yhere gonna pull this to hell with them they cant decide on a union yea right they are playing with fire the owner will hire replacment players to play for chump change then see how fast they want a union

Rampage
07-21-2011, 07:29 PM
I'm glad the players keep dragging their feet; really shows that they want a deal to get done.

RIVERS OF STEEL
07-21-2011, 10:11 PM
No dice. SI Totter 2 mins ago

0849pm "What "Real" fans need 2 know: Owners tried 2 slip many things n2 CBA "they" voted on that were NEVER agreed 2!" @HeathEvans NO Saints

--- Added 7/21/2011 at 07:55 PM ---

Revision to set one of the rules, #1. Replace the current commisioner. #2... and so forth.
Just sayin.

http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/2011/7/21/2287706/nfl-lockout-ending-vote-nflpa-news-update Players reactions minute by minute I guess.

--- Added 7/21/2011 at 08:11 PM ---

"What we have here is a failure to communicate" LOL

BlitzburghRockCity
07-21-2011, 11:18 PM
Owners OK new labor agreement; focus now on players' vote (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d820e3984/article/owners-ok-new-labor-agreement-focus-now-on-players-vote?module=HP11_breaking_news)

NFL owners voted overwhelmingly in favor of a tentative 10-year agreement (http://www.nfl.com/goto?id=09000d5d820e6311) to end the four-month-old lockout Thursday, pending player approval.

The vote was 31-0 with the Oakland Raiders (http://www.nfl.com/teams/oaklandraiders/profile?team=OAK) abstaining from the ratification, which came after a full day of meetings at an Atlanta-area hotel.

"We had profound philosophical differences of a football and an economic nature," Raiders CEO Amy Trask told NFL Network reporter Albert Breer. " ... We voted the way we thought was appropriate."

Players still had to sign off on the deal -- and they must re-establish their union, the NFL said. Players didn't vote on a full pact Wednesday because there were issues that hadn't been resolved. Sources told both Jay Glazer of NFL Network and Fox Sports and NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora that players won't vote on Thursday, though a players conference call is ongoing to discuss the proposal.

"Hopefully, we can all work quickly, expeditiously, to get this agreement done," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said. "It is time to get back to football. That's what everybody here wants to do."

The lockout is the NFL's first work stoppage since 1987. One casualty was the first game on the preseason schedule -- the Aug. 7 Hall of Fame game between the Chicago Bears (http://www.nfl.com/teams/chicagobears/profile?team=CHI) and St. Louis Rams (http://www.nfl.com/teams/st.louisrams/profile?team=STL) was canceled Thursday.

"The time was just too tight," Goodell said. "Unfortunately, we're not going to be able to play the game this year."

Team facilities will open Saturday, and the new league year will begin Wednesday, Goodell said -- assuming the players approve the agreement, too.
After the owners approved their proposal, NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith sent the following email to the players before their conference call:
"As you know the Owners have ratifified their proposal to settle our differences. It is my understanding that they are forwarding it to us. As you may have heard, they apparently approved a supplemental revenue sharing proposal. Obviously, we have not been a part of those discussions. As you know from yesterday, issues that need to be collectively bargained remain open, other issues such as workers compensation, economic issues and end of deal terms remain unresolved. There is no agreement between the NFL and the Players at this time. I look forward to our call tonight."
The owners locked out the players March 12. During that time, teams weren't allowed to communicate with current NFL players; players -- including those drafted in April -- couldn't be signed; and teams didn't pay for players' health insurance.
Chronology: How the NFL lockout unfolded:

May 2008: NFL says it will opt out of colective bargaining agreement with the NFLPA after the 2010 season, citing costs being too high and a need for givebacks from the players. 2010 season will have no salary cap.
Aug. 2008: Union leader Gene Upshaw dies.
March 2009: After six months without an executive director, the players elect Washington attorney DeMaurice Smith.
2010: No breakthroughs at negotiating table; season is played without salary cap.
Feb. 18, 2011: Federal mediator George Cohen begins working with the two sides in Washington.
March 1: U.S. District Judge David Doty rules that the NFL's contracts with TV networks to collect $4 billion even if no games are played in 2011 is "lockout insurance."
March 4: Two sides agree to extend the CBA for another week.
March 11: Talks collapse, the NFLPA decertifies and 10 players, including Tom Brady (http://www.nfl.com/players/tombrady/profile?id=BRA371156), Peyton Manning (http://www.nfl.com/players/peytonmanning/profile?id=MAN515097) and Drew Brees (http://www.nfl.com/players/drewbrees/profile?id=BRE229498), file an antitrust lawsuit against the NFL in federal court in Minneapolis.
March 12: League locks out its players, shutting down operations. Communication between the teams and current players ceases.
April 20: Two sides wrap up four days of court-ordered mediation in Minneapolis with U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan.
April 25: U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson issues an order lifting the lockout. NFL immediately appeals to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis. In the following days, with varying success, players try to work out at team headquarters.
April 28: League conducts its annual draft.
April 29: Appeals court stays Nelson's order, and with the draft still in progress, NFL reinstates the lockout.
June 2: Two sides wrap up the first of weekly sets of negotiations that continue into July. Locations around the country: Chicago area, Maryland shore, near Boston, Minneapolis, New York.
June 3: Attorneys for the players and owners argue before a panel of the 8th Circuit on the legality of the lockout.
July 8: With talks continuing in New York, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals throws out Nelson's order lifting the NFL lockout. The decision is a significant victory for the owners.
July 13: Brady, Manning and Brees issue a joint statement saying "it is time" to wind up negotiations and get a deal done.
July 21: NFL owners vote in favor of a tentative agreement to end the lockout, pending player approval.
-- The Associated Press

Key aspects of the proposal include (http://www.nfl.com/goto?id=09000d5d820e6311):


» An agreement that covers the 2011 through 2020 seasons, including the 2021 draft.
» Reducing the offseason program by five weeks and reducing organized team activities from 14 to 10; limiting full-contact practices in the preseason and regular season, and increasing number of days off for players.
» Rookie wage scale to include four-year contracts for all drafted players (option for five years on first-rounders), three-year contracts for undrafted free agents, and strong anti-holdout rules.
» Creation of a new fund to redistribute, beginning in 2012, savings from new rookie pay system to current and retired player benefits and a veteran player performance pool.
» Unrestricted free agency for players after four accrued seasons; restricted free agency for players with three accrued seasons.
» Over the next 10 years, additional funding for retiree benefits between $900 million and $1 billion. The largest single amount, $620 million, will be used for a new "Legacy Fund," which will be devoted to increasing pensions for pre-1993 retirees.
» Salary cap plus benefits of $142.4 million per club in 2011 and at least that amount in 2012 and 2013.
NFL.com senior writer Steve Wyche reported that a football operations meeting will start Friday at 8 a.m. ET, according to a league source, to brief teams on the new rules.
Now it's up to the players. Earlier Thursday, Smith said recertification is a serious issue that the players will consider individually.

"I certainly remember comments from some of the owners about how we may not even be a real union," Smith said. "Well, guess what? The decision to decertify was important because at the time we were a real union. And the decision for our players, as men, to come back as a union is going to be an equally serious and sober one that they have to make."

One of the things being discussed in terms of a settlement is how and when the NFLPA would recertify as a union. Player sources indicated to NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora that the NFLPA wants to use a system of signed cards and follow certain bylaws in order to recertify.

The issue between the parties is mainly one of time, specifically how long it would take to collect approximately 1,900 signatures. Getting those signatures takes time, and the league obviously is looking to open for business as soon as possible. There is the possibility the National Labor Relations Board could help speed things up, even if the recertification process is done by actual signature.

The parties also could come to a compromise, according to a source, whereby the lockout is lifted before a full global settlement is reached -- which would have to include recertification in order to have a full CBA -- to allow players to report in the interim.

That would make it easier to collect signatures and cards of players currently under contract since they would be centrally located at team facilities. If that takes place, in theory, then the signatures needed could be obtained over weekend and allow the league year to begin next week.

Jacksonville Jaguars (http://www.nfl.com/teams/jacksonvillejaguars/profile?team=JAC) running back Maurice Jones-Drew (http://www.nfl.com/players/mauricejones-drew/profile?id=DRE527472) told NFL Network the conference call likely will be to educate players on the details of the proposed deal.
"A lot of people have to understand, we're not extending the CBA from prior years or anything like that," Jones-Drew said. "This is 600 pages that we've created (through) negotiations with the owners. So we have to go through a lot of legal documents, a lot of things."

Jones-Drew added: "I've always told people on my radio show, the closer we get, the harder it's going to be. I think both sides have moved very far from where we had our sticking points. Things should be happening here pretty closely, but you can't rush anything like this because it's going to affect the game for years to come, for a decade hopefully."

The six-year veteran preached patience to those eager to see football activities resume.

"We understand fans want to see the game played, and as players, we want to see the game played as well. But we want everything to be correct," Jones-Drew said. "You don't want to rush anything like this, just because of the nature of the business, the money that's involved. A word like 'and,' and a word like 'or' can mean three different things and it could change the whole dynamic of the CBA. So we want to make sure everything is right, and one of the reasons we didn't vote (Wednesday) is because we had some issue that needed to be solved."

In other words, the proposal will go to the 10 plaintiffs involved in the Brady antitrust case only if the league meets certain conditions in settling that piece of litigation, and also the TV rights fees case, in which players accused owners of setting up a $4 billion lockout-insurance fund.

The players also empowered Smith, their legal counsel and the 13-man executive committee to work out the remaining issues, according to sources. One is the players' pursuit of $320 million in benefits lost as part of the 2010 uncapped-year rules, which were negotiated in the 2006 labor deal.

Smith and Goodell have stayed in close, regular contact throughout negotiations, even at times when the parties weren't meeting. Throughout this week, for instance, Smith and Goodell have held after-hours discussions about the remaining issues, trying to bridge the remaining gaps and forge a global settlement, numerous sources told La Canfora.

The good news is that, outside of a few minor issues, the players are amenable to terms that would serve as a new labor deal, should the NFLPA re-certify as a union. The Brady plantiffs -- which include quarterbacks Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees -- also would have to sign off for any settlement to be reached.

New England Patriots (http://www.nfl.com/teams/newenglandpatriots/profile?team=NE) guard Logan Mankins (http://www.nfl.com/players/loganmankins/profile?id=MAN347391) and San Diego Chargers (http://www.nfl.com/teams/sandiegochargers/profile?team=SD) wide receiver Vincent Jackson (http://www.nfl.com/players/vincentjackson/profile?id=JAC627460), two of the 10 plaintiffs, are holding strong to their request for $10 million as part of the antitrust settlement, sources told Breer on Thursday. That's one of a number of issues that relate to the plaintiffs in that case.



The NFLPA executive committee will not recommend that player reps vote on any deal until both lawsuits are resolved, multiple sources told La Canfora, and it's unknown when that will be.


Before Wednesday's meeting in Washington, NFLPA president Kevin Mawae cautioned not to assume the lockout will be over by the weekend, saying his group was "not tied" to a deadline for having a deal done by Thursday.


"We want to go back to work, but we will not agree to a deal unless it's the best deal for the players," Mawae said.


"The players are not tied to a July 21 timeline," he added. "Our timeline is that which gives us the best deal for the players -- today, tomorrow or whatever it might be."

BlitzburghRockCity
07-22-2011, 05:21 PM
NFL Players Association lawyers and officials have had time to begin digesting the league's proposal for a new deal, and several concerns remain regarding language contained in it and matters the players believe are unresolved, according to numerous sources with direct knowledge of the situation.



Conversations with player reps and NFLPA officials revealed no sense that a vote on ratification was imminent, instead indicating that more time will be necessary to reach an agreement on the deal ratified and proposed by owners Thursday.


"Player leadership is discussing the most recent written proposal with the NFL, which includes a settlement agreement, deal terms and the right process for addressing recertification," NFLPA president Kevin Mawae said in a statement released Friday morning. "There will not be any further NFLPA statements today out of respect for the Kraft family while they mourn the loss of Myra Kraft."


NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith is spent Friday morning in Boston to attend Kraft's funeral. The wife of New England Patriots (http://www.nfl.com/teams/newenglandpatriots/profile?team=NE) owner Robert Kraft passed away Wednesday (http://www.nfl.com/goto?id=09000d5d820ddf15) at age 68 after a long battle with cancer.


There is no player rep conference call set and no vote on ratification expected Friday within the NFLPA; that could change later in the day based on the ongoing discussions between the league and player lawyers, as well as the continued direct dialogue between Smith and commissioner Roger Goodell.


Meanwhile, over 100 team executives and general managers gathered in Atlanta Friday, where they were briefed on the rules for the upcoming league year (http://www.nfl.com/goto?id=09000d5d820e8b52). Officials were advised that team facilities will not be open to players Saturday, as was part of the proposal made to players, according to league sources. If the players were to ratify the proposed deal Friday then facilities would open on Sunday at the earliest, team officials were informed. The process would then move back a day each from there depending on if/when the NFLPA ratifies.


"We were told that the lockout was still in place; that's the way we handle it," Broncos executive vice president of football operations John Elway said. "We're just waiting."
Indeed, the language and league-year dates in the owners' proposal Thursday (http://www.nfl.com/goto?id=09000d5d820e6311) were "contingent upon ratification of the agreement by the players prior to these dates."
The issue of how, and when, the NFLPA would reform as a union -- a necessary step before any player vote can take place -- remains paramount. There is a difference between the players and owners as to how that process would occur. The NFLPA's lawyers and brass believe there are "major problems with the process of reforming the union and settling the lawsuits," as spelled out in the proposal presented by the owners, according to one source.


Complicating matters is the revelation that some players have been referred to an illegitimate website -- nflvr.com -- which is posing as a vehicle to help players to vote to reconstitute a union.


The NFLPA sent a letter to all players and agents Friday advising them to ignore the site and that it is not affiliated with the NFL or NFLPA.



There also remains a significant disconnect between the sides regarding how certain issues would be resolved that can only be formally drawn up once there is a CBA between the sides. These issues include drug policy matters (such as HGH testing), issues of discipline for off-field problems and some matters related to work-place safety.


Several NFLPA reps have advised their teammates that this process could take several days to reach a point where the NFLPA is comfortable agreeing to terms and beginning the recertification process. Again, that could change if major gains are made in these negotiations.


NFL owners overwhelmingly approved a tentative labor agreement Thursday (http://www.nfl.com/goto?id=09000d5d820e3984) that would end the lingering lockout, provided that players re-establish their union and sign off on the proposal. But the players didn't vote, leaving the country's most popular sports league in limbo for at least another day.


At about 7 p.m. ET in Atlanta, NFL owners voted 31-0 -- the Oakland Raiders (http://www.nfl.com/teams/oaklandraiders/profile?team=OAK) abstained -- to OK the labor deal, pending players' approval. Soon after, the league issued a press release announcing: "NFL clubs approved today the terms of a comprehensive settlement of litigation and a new 10-year collective bargaining agreement with the NFL Players Association."


Less than an hour later in Washington, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith sent an email to the 32 player representatives saying: "Issues that need to be collectively bargained remain open; other issues, such as workers' compensation, economic issues and end-of-deal terms, remain unresolved. There is no agreement between the NFL and the players at this time."


NFL Players Association general counsel Richard Berthelsen later detailed issues he had with the owners' proposal (http://www.nfl.com/goto?id=09000d5d820e6ed4) in another email sent to the player reps.
"In addition to depriving the players of the time needed to consider forming a union and making needed changes to the old agreement, this proposed procedure would in my view also violate federal labor laws," Berthelsen wrote.


Then the players held a conference call and decided not to take a vote, saying they hadn't seen the full proposal approved by owners.


Buffalo Bills (http://www.nfl.com/teams/buffalobills/profile?team=BUF) player rep George Wilson told NFL Network that there is "no timeline" for players to vote on the deal, and Cleveland Browns (http://www.nfl.com/teams/clevelandbrowns/profile?team=CLE) wide receiver/kick returner Josh Cribbs (http://www.nfl.com/players/joshcribbs/profile?id=CRI120494) urged fans to be patient.


"We hate that it's being put out there that the lockout is over when the reality is that we've just made significant progress," Cribbs said. "We don't want the fans to look at the players in a negative way, but it's a process."



That process led Goodell to speak on the phone with Smith several times Thursday, including filling him in on the results of the owners' vote before it was announced.
"Hopefully, we can all work quickly, expeditiously, to get this agreement done," Goodell said at a news conference at an Atlanta-area hotel, site of the owners' meeting. "It is time to get back to football. That's what everybody here wants to do."


But several players took to Twitter, expressing opposition to the proposal. Pittsburgh Steelers (http://www.nfl.com/teams/pittsburghsteelers/profile?team=PIT) safety Ryan Clark (http://www.nfl.com/players/ryanclark/profile?id=CLA544413) wrote: "The owners want u to believe that they have been extremely fair everywhere and this is their 'olive branch' to finalize it."


Some players claimed that owners snuck some items in the deal, but NFL spokesman Greg Aiello disputed that notion.


"It's really not true," Aiello said in an interview on NFL Network. "Anything that we put in this press release was discussed and negotiated with the players. And now the next step is for them to approve it.


"I'm not sure what it is they didn't know about or are surprised about. But again, there's certain details that the owners just found out today or don't even know yet."

BlitzburghRockCity
07-23-2011, 12:28 PM
No clear timeline for labor deal as players vet owners' proposal (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d820e913b/article/no-clear-timeline-for-labor-deal-as-players-vet-owners-proposal?module=HP11_cp)

NFL Players Association lawyers and officials are digesting the league's proposal for a new collective bargaining agreement, but there are several concerns regarding language and other matters the players consider unresolved, numerous sources with direct knowledge of the situation said Friday.

Conversations with player representatives and NFLPA officials revealed no sense that a vote on ratification was imminent, instead indicating that more time will be necessary to reach an agreement on the deal approved by owners Thursday (http://www.nfl.com/goto?id=09000d5d820e6311).

Some player reps have advised their teammates that it could take several days to reach a point where the NFLPA is comfortable agreeing to terms with the league and beginning the union recertification process. Of course, that could change if major gains are made in negotiations.

Meanwhile, over 100 team executives and general managers gathered Friday in Atlanta, where they were briefed on the rules for the upcoming league year (http://www.nfl.com/goto?id=09000d5d820e8b52). Officials were advised that team facilities will not be open to players Saturday, as was part of the proposal made to players.

"We were told that the lockout was still in place; that's the way we handle it," said John Elway, the Denver Broncos (http://www.nfl.com/teams/denverbroncos/profile?team=DEN)' executive vice president of football operations. "We're just waiting."

Indeed, the language and league-year dates in the owners' proposal were "contingent upon ratification of the agreement by the players prior to these dates."
According to one player rep, the NFLPA sent an email saying the next plan was to talk Monday. However, NFLPA spokesman George Atallah denied that such an email was delivered.

"There is no timetable for any conference call," said Atallah, who explained the players are going over the documents and lawyers are discussing the remaining issues.
Confusion about a Monday conference call spread among players and player reps after they saw a report about an email being sent by the NFLPA. It reached the point where some reps -- including two to whom NFL Network spoke -- assumed it was true and that they just hadn't received the email themselves.

It turned out the email wasn't official and came just between players, not conveying any official communication from the NFLPA.

NFLPA president Kevin Mawae issued an official statement Friday morning: "Player leadership is discussing the most recent written proposal with the NFL, which includes a settlement agreement, deal terms and the right process for addressing recertification. There will not be any further NFLPA statements today out of respect for the Kraft family while they mourn the loss of Myra Kraft."

NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith spent Friday morning in Newton, Mass., at Myra Kraft's funeral (http://www.nfl.com/goto?id=09000d5d820ea044). The wife of New England Patriots (http://www.nfl.com/teams/newenglandpatriots/profile?team=NE) owner Robert Kraft passed away Wednesday at age 68 after a long battle with cancer.

The issue of how, and when, the NFLPA would reform as a union -- a necessary step before any player vote can take place -- remains paramount. There is a difference between the players and owners as to how that process would occur. NFLPA lawyers and brass believe there are "major problems with the process of reforming the union and settling the lawsuits," as spelled out in the proposal presented by the owners, according to one source.

Complicating matters is the fact some players have been referred to an illegitimate website that is posing as a vehicle to help players vote to reconstitute a union. The NFLPA sent a letter to all players and agents Friday advising them to ignore the site and that it isn't affiliated with the organization or the NFL.

There also remains a significant disconnect between the sides regarding how certain issues would be resolved that only can be formally drawn up once there is a CBA between the sides. These issues include drug-policy matters (such as HGH testing), issues of discipline for off-the-field problems and some matters related to work-place safety.

The major economic framework for a 10-year deal was worked out a week ago. That included how the more than $9 billion in annual league revenues will be divided (about 53 percent to owners and 47 percent to players over the next decade; the old CBA resulted in nearly a 50-50 split); a per-club cap of about $120 million for salary and bonuses in 2011 -- and at least that in 2012 and 2013 -- plus about $22 million in benefits; a salary system to rein in spending on first-round draft picks; and unrestricted free agency for most players after four seasons.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and league owners expressed hope Thursday night that their 31-0 vote -- the Oakland Raiders (http://www.nfl.com/teams/oaklandraiders/profile?team=OAK) abstained -- would lead to a speedy resolution to the NFL's first work stoppage since 1987. They called it an equitable deal that improves player safety and allows the sport to prosper even more.
"It is time to get back to football," Goodell said.

But even when players decide they're OK with a final agreement, their approval process is more complicated than the owners' was. The 32 player reps will have to recommend accepting the settlement. Then the 10 named plaintiffs -- including Tom Brady (http://www.nfl.com/players/tombrady/profile?id=BRA371156), Peyton Manning (http://www.nfl.com/players/peytonmanning/profile?id=MAN515097) and Drew Brees (http://www.nfl.com/players/drewbrees/profile?id=BRE229498) -- in the players' lawsuit against the league must officially inform the court of their approval.

Eventually, all 1,900 players would take a majority vote to approve returning the NFLPA to union status. When talks broke down in March, allowing the old collective bargaining agreement to expire, the players dissolved the union, turning the NFLPA into a trade association. That's what allowed the players to sue the owners in federal court under antitrust law.

BlitzburghRockCity
07-23-2011, 09:32 PM
Source: Plan calls for vote at camps (http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/6796174/2011-nfl-lockout-nflpa-eyes-cba-vote-monday-recertification-vote-wednesday-source-says)

Major breakthroughs in Saturday's discussions between NFL owners and players have set up a timetable for both sides to resolve their 130-day labor dispute, sources said.
Owners tentatively agreed Saturday to a players-recommended plan for the NFL Players Association to bring players into team facilities starting as early as Wednesday to physically vote on whether to recertify the current trade association as a union, a source said. Progress in other talks with the owners has put the players' 11-member executive committee in a position to have a vote Monday to recommend accepting the 10-year collective bargaining agreement.

NFL Labor Talks Update

The NFL's 130-day labor dispute is inching towards a resolution.
A source told ESPN on Saturday that the NFL Players Association's executive committee has plans to vote to recommend the collective bargaining agreement Monday, followed by votes from player representatives and eventually a vote by players to recertify the NFLPA as a union.

The timeline, according to a source:
• Monday: NFLPA's executive committee votes whether to recommend approval of the CBA approved by owners on Thursday. Then, a player rep from each of the 32 teams votes whether to recommend approval of the CBA.
• Wednesday: Players from some teams report to facilities and vote whether to recertify the NFLPA as a union and accept the proposed CBA.
If the NFLPA has gotten the necessary vote, teams can also start contract talks with their own players, including free agents and draft choices.
• Friday: The remaining players report and vote whether to approve recertification and the CBA. If the NFLPA then receives the necessary 50-percent-plus-one-vote majority in approval, then it recertifies as a union.
• Saturday: Free agency starts and teams can officially sign players.
--John Clayton and Chris Mortensen, ESPN

The plan calls for the players' executive committee to meet in Washington, D.C., on Monday, a move that was not communicated to the NFLPA executive committee until Saturday morning in phone calls, according to a high-ranking NFLPA official.
If all agreements have been reached by then, the executive committee is expected to vote to recommend the collective bargaining agreement and recommend recertifying itself as a union, according to the source. Following that, a recommendation has to be made by the 32 player representatives, likely via conference call. As of late Saturday night, no time had been set for that vote, but it is expected to be on Monday after the executive committee votes to recommend approval, according to the high-ranking official.

If the executive committee accepts the new CBA, the source said, players from certain teams would be allowed to report to training camps on Wednesday and players from other teams will be asked to report to training camps Friday. The hope from both sides is there are enough votes to recertify the union by as early as Friday.
For that to happen, a 50-percent-plus-one-vote majority of the players have to accept the NFLPA as its union and accept the terms of a collective bargaining agreement.

The NFL announced Thursday it would open its doors to players under contract two days after the NFLPA executive committee accepts the CBA and settlement terms from existing lawsuits and free agency would start the day after the union is recertified.
Therefore, under this tentative schedule for recertification, the pre-league year buffer period could start Wednesday.

Under that scenario, teams could potentially open contract talks with their unrestricted free agents, restricted free agents and draft choices Wednesday. However, no contracts could be signed until July 30 at the earliest. In that scenario, teams would also be able to renegotiate contracts with players from their own team starting as early as Wednesday.

Upon recertification of the union, free agency could start at 2 p.m. ET on July 30 and rosters would be allowed to expand to 90 players.

It is still uncertain when teams would be able to sign undrafted free agents.
It was vital for the NFLPA to have enough time for recertification and have a period of time for the renewed union to work out final details of its benefit plans.
Summary of NFLPA's Negotiated Points

A 25-page power point summary of details the NFLPA presented of the CBA negotiated through Wednesday, all of which remain in the current pending deal. PDF (http://espn.go.com/photo/preview/%21pdfs/espn_summary_nfldeal.pdf)

Only a union can negotiate benefits for its members and the NFLPA feared a Tuesday deadline to recertify would not leave enough time to properly negotiate changes in the benefits packages. Under terms of the owners' agreement from Thursday, players would have reverted to the 2010 benefits plan if they didn't make adjustments within a certain time period.

A sign of the NFLPA's confidence at a vote to recommend agreement Monday, is that it is planning a major press conference to announce that agreement, according to a source. Smith and Goodell continue to work directly with each other as the sides near an agreement, and will continue to do so through this weekend to finish the resolution of details for the settlement and CBA.

Smith has pledged to Goodell to expedite the CBA issues before the first preseason game is played, which is one reason for optimism those games will be played rather than canceled. Smith himself has even taken on much of the work on the documents themselves, with his legal team, including Jeff Kessler, assisting. Smith did this as a show of trust, because the NFL management council executive committee had been skeptical because of its prior experience with Kessler as legal counsel.
With talks progressing, the sides removed one roadblock while making progress on another.

A league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter on Saturday that San Diego Chargers (http://espn.go.com/nfl/team/_/name/sd/san-diego-chargers) receiver Vincent Jackson (http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/profile?playerId=8475), one of the 10 named plaintiffs in the players' antitrust lawsuit against the NFL, is now willing to release his claim without compensation, meaning no money or lifting of the franchise tag, on Saturday morning. Jackson was the last of the 10 named plaintiffs unwilling to drop his claim.
The sides also got closer to settling the $4 billion network television insurance case, according to a source. That case, which is in the court of U.S. District Judge David Doty in Minneapolis, involved damages suffered by the players after Judge Doty ruled against the owners.