PDA

View Full Version : NFL union: Save your $ and prepare for pending lockout



hawaiiansteel
12-04-2010, 05:12 PM
Updated: December 4, 2010, 2:52 PM ET

NFL union: Prepare for pending lockout

Associated Press


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The NFL players' union has advised its members to prepare for a lockout it expects to come in March, telling players to save their last three game checks this year in case there is no season in 2011.

In a letter to the players that was seen by The Associated Press, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said the union had an "internal deadline" for agreeing to a new collective bargaining agreement.

"That deadline has now passed," he wrote. "It is important that you protect yourself and your family."

The letter was dated Wednesday, and copies were strewn across a table in the New England Patriots locker room during the media availability on Saturday.

After a reporter asked players about the letter, a Patriots spokesman flipped the copies face-down.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello called the union's deadline "disappointing and inexplicable, especially for fans."

"We hope this does not mean the union has abandoned negotiating in favor of decertifying and litigating," he said. "We are ready to meet and negotiate anytime and anywhere. But it takes sustained effort and shared commitment to reach an agreement. One side can't do it alone."

It was not clear when the union's self-imposed deadline was or what has changed now that it has passed. NFLPA spokesman George Atallah did not immediately return calls seeking clarification.

The NFL has not missed games due to labor strife since 1987, when owners responded to a player strike by continuing the season with replacement players. But the prospect of a lost season in 2011 intensified when owners opted out of the collective bargaining agreement in 2008.

Smith has said that he believes the owners opted out with the goal of locking the players out. The NFLPA's home page features a "Lockout Watch" that counts down the days, hours, minutes and seconds until the CBA expires on March 3.

The one-page letter on NFLPA stationery said the union expects the lockout on March 4, and that players should work with their advisers to prepare for an impending lack of income.

It also said the league threatened to cancel the players' health insurance.

The union said it is filing a grievance to contest a cancellation of health insurance, citing a section of the collective bargaining agreement that states: "Players will continue to receive the benefits provided in this article through the end of the Plan Year in which they are released or otherwise sever employment."

Patriots offensive lineman Matt Light, one of the team's player representatives, said players understand the nature of the business but the threat to cancel health insurance is different.

"You're going to cancel somebody's health insurance and maybe they've got a baby that's due in the offseason?" he said. "Yeah, it gets personal."

Aiello said that there would be no interruption of health care, because of the federal COBRA law that allows employees to continue coverage at their own expense.

"This means that no player or family member would experience any change in coverage for so much as a single day because of a work stoppage," he said. "The union surely knows this and there is no excuse for suggesting otherwise."

Light said he is doing his best to educate his teammates on how to prepare.

"They've got to look at it like they're going into a period in which they are going to change their financial situation," he said. "Nobody knows what's going to happen. But if you're going to go a year without getting paid, you need to prepare accordingly."

Under the deal agreed to in 2006, the players get 59.6 percent of designated NFL revenues. The owners opted out of that deal beginning next year, arguing they have huge debts from building stadiums and starting up the NFL Network that make it impossible to be profitable.

The two sides met last month and said they made "some progress" on proposals involving an 18-game regular season and limiting offseason workouts.

Players have taken their case to the public in recent weeks, briefing Congress on the job loss and other economic impact of a lockout and even drafting letters for lawmakers to send to the league.

Using many of the same studies the NFL relies on when trumpeting public subsidies for new stadiums, an economist commissioned by the union estimated an average of about $160 million in local spending and 3,000 jobs would be lost in each league city if the full 2011 season were wiped out.

The NFL called the figures "a fairy tale."

New England linebacker Tully Banta-Cain said he was already squirreling away his savings in case of a lockout. Banta-Cain said he was also working on his outside businesses, which include a clothing line and a music label.

"I'm trying to prepare," he said. "And I'm trying to establish my off-the-field businesses and make sure I can make money in the offseason."

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=5882717

Crash
12-04-2010, 06:24 PM
Welcome to Roger Goodell's legacy.

Mister Pittsburgh
12-04-2010, 07:38 PM
It the owner's are the ones that lock the players out, and the players on all teams vote to decertify their union....could all of the players declare themselves eligible for a monstrous Canadian Football League draft and in one swoop change the entire landscape of things where the owners are left holding their johnsons and the CFL is immediately a real legit league?

I know this would likely never happen, just wondering if it legally and technically could happen.

SteelBucks
12-04-2010, 07:51 PM
Welcome to Roger Goodell's legacy.

I'm all for a lockout if it costs him his job.

Worst....Commissioner....Ever

Shawn
12-04-2010, 08:01 PM
It the owner's are the ones that lock the players out, and the players on all teams vote to decertify their union....could all of the players declare themselves eligible for a monstrous Canadian Football League draft and in one swoop change the entire landscape of things where the owners are left holding their johnsons and the CFL is immediately a real legit league?

I know this would likely never happen, just wondering if it legally and technically could happen.


I don't believe that could happen. Even if the union decertifies, contracts still stand. The teams have rights to the players. A lock out doesn't nullify contracts, it's just the players don't get paid for games not played.

Starlifter
12-05-2010, 01:22 AM
I don't believe that could happen. Even if the union decertifies, contracts still stand. The teams have rights to the players. A lock out doesn't nullify contracts, it's just the players don't get paid for games not played.

I'm not so sure. it seems like a lock-out is just a fancy word for furlough. a man has a right to earn a living. if you ain't gonna pay me, I'll find someone who will.

Djfan
12-05-2010, 02:14 AM
Let's hope the players use the lock out to rebuild the league. Maybe a goodell-less future is in the making.

ALLD
12-05-2010, 10:30 AM
Before the season started I thought the players were out of line asking to keep the percentage of revenue the same despite the business dynamics. Now with the recent lopsided fines and the different messages coming from different owners, it is clear that the league cannot be trusted as a whole.

There are some old scool owners whom can be trusted because they keep their word, and then there are those type of people like the commissioner who never give you a straight answer and change the standards to fit his personal agenda.

I don't know if being firm on the sharing percentage is in anybody's long-term best interests, but it is clear that fans go to see the players even if it was in an obsolete stadium. The players should look at the entire package and protect themselves from arbirtrary fines among other things. The creepy issue is that the league is really targeting only one player and trying to divide the players on the issue.

Oviedo
12-05-2010, 10:34 AM
It the owner's are the ones that lock the players out, and the players on all teams vote to decertify their union....could all of the players declare themselves eligible for a monstrous Canadian Football League draft and in one swoop change the entire landscape of things where the owners are left holding their johnsons and the CFL is immediately a real legit league?

I know this would likely never happen, just wondering if it legally and technically could happen.

Until the players saw how much CFL player make and start playing Canadian taxes. Why do you think players in the NHL, even Canadians, don't want to play for Canadian teams?

Shawn
12-05-2010, 10:53 AM
I don't believe that could happen. Even if the union decertifies, contracts still stand. The teams have rights to the players. A lock out doesn't nullify contracts, it's just the players don't get paid for games not played.

I'm not so sure. it seems like a lock-out is just a fancy word for furlough. a man has a right to earn a living. if you ain't gonna pay me, I'll find someone who will.

That is an interesting thought. But, I know the teams would have some sort of legal recourse in that matter specifically about signing bonuses. Maybe if the players paid back a pro rated bonus they could get away with it.

With all of that said, it's just fun debating it. It would never happen.

hawaiiansteel
12-05-2010, 04:41 PM
Fines could strengthen players' solidarity in CBA negotiations

By John Harris, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, December 5, 2010


This is bigger than James Harrison.

Not to belittle Harrison's battle with the NFL over excessive fines, but the league's rank and file could play a significant role as players and management hammer out a new collective bargaining agreement.

Think of the possibilities.

Players around the league unite in their disapproval of how fines are levied and strategically use that solidarity as a bargaining chip in negotiations.

Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher and Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs questioned the league's decision to fine Harrison $25,000 for his helmet hit on Buffalo Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick — bringing Harrison's season total to $125,000.

If NFL players are unhappy because Harrison and other defenders are fined for "legal" hits that critics describe as borderline at best, what better way to express their frustration than to muck up negotiations?

In a show of frustration, Steelers defensive captain James Farrior called out NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith last week for not addressing players' concerns. Smith is the players' voice in negotiations.

"I think guys maybe just want an explanation,'' said Steelers free safety Ryan Clark, who's also the team player rep. "He does not have to come out here. He can call or whatever, but we'll see how it plays out."

Players already are unhappy over talk of an 18-game regular season. Excessive fines for questionable hits could push players over the edge and create a stalemate in negotiations.

Players need to feel they have a voice, that their opinion matters. If the current trend of dishing out fines continues, the NFL could have a real fight on its hands before a new deal is reached. If one is reached at all.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 12325.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_712325.html)

Djfan
12-05-2010, 04:44 PM
The more I think about this the more I think I just don't care. I can't stand the direction of the NFL right now, and if I get a year off I might just like it again.

I hope the players play hardball.

hawaiiansteel
12-09-2010, 06:23 PM
Goodell is so two-faced, out of one side of his mouth he is soooo concerned about player safety and out of the other side he makes it clear that it's really all about the money...


Updated: December 9, 2010, 4:29 PM ET

NFL 'focused' on having full 2011 slate

Associated Press

NEW YORK -- The head of the NFL's negotiating team says it will be much easier to reach a new labor deal if it includes an 18-game regular season.

In an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday, NFL executive vice president of labor and chief counsel Jeff Pash also says the league is "focused on a full 2011 season" and the owners want to have an agreement with the players' union "well before" the summer.

Pash believes the back-and-forth the sides already have had about an 18-game regular season demonstrates they are aware of that subject's importance to the talks. He says the NFL and union "exchanged detailed proposals" and had "detailed discussions" on that topic and adds that he thinks they'll "continue to do so."

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=5903310

SteelTorch
12-09-2010, 06:35 PM
Welcome to Roger Goodell's legacy.

I'm all for a lockout if it costs him his job.

Worst....Commissioner....Ever
Ditto. Between one lost season and many more ones like this current one...I'll gladly take the former. :?

hawaiiansteel
12-10-2010, 06:02 PM
this really could get very ugly...

Sources: NFLPA builds collusion case

By Chris Mortensen
ESPN
December 5, 2010


The NFL Players Association is on the brink of filing a collusion grievance against NFL owners based on a case it has been building since only one of 216 restricted free agents was signed to an offer sheet during the offseason, according to union sources.

NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith is reviewing the case that has been collected by his legal team and is expected to approve a collusion filing with the Special Master by Wednesday's deadline, as dictated by the current CBA. The Dec. 8 deadline is established as within 90 days of the regular-season opener, which was Sept. 8.

While many details have not been revealed, union sources concede that previous reports of a collusion case center on the lack of activity with the 216 restricted free agents, whose number quadrupled in size because of the uncapped-year rules in 2010. The union has gathered what it believes is similar dialogue that a variety of teams expressed when communicating with agents who represented the players, a source said.

Saints running back Mike Bell was the only restricted free agent to sign an offer sheet. The Philadelphia Eagles acquired his services when New Orleans declined to match the offer.

While Bell's signing represented less than 1 percent of the restricted free agent class in 2010, the comparison to 2009 is debatable, inasmuch as only four of 55 RFAs, or 7 percent, were signed to offer sheets with none changing teams.

Jeff Pash, the NFL's vice president of legal counsel/labor and point man, has previously stated that the uncertain labor future in 2011 accounted for the lack of restricted free agent activity.

The union's collusion charges, if filed, include other elements of what it considers illicit activity, a source said.

However, even while union and management are making plans in the event of a work stoppage on March 4 when the CBA expires, sources on both sides concede that negotiations will continue and could produce a new agreement before that deadline. Compromise on many issues, including the salary-cap formula, is still very possible, sources said. Pash told the SportsBusiness Journal in an interview last week that he expects a deal to be completed by March 3.

Until then, the rhetoric and activity have been cast as gloomy as the league and union negotiate over financial matters and an 18-game regular season.

If the union actually files collusion charges this week and Special Master Stephen Burbank allows the case to proceed, it could benefit the union's mission to gather discovery on management documents.

NFL owners and team executives will convene Dec. 15 in Fort Worth, Texas, next week to discuss labor matters.

Chris Mortensen is ESPN's Senior NFL Analyst.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=5887475

Sugar
12-10-2010, 06:22 PM
The more I think about this the more I think I just don't care. I can't stand the direction of the NFL right now, and if I get a year off I might just like it again.

I hope the players play hardball.


I'm actually thinking the same thing.

hawaiiansteel
01-05-2011, 12:58 AM
Comments from Jerry Richardson, Jerry Jones suggest lockout is coming

Posted by Mike Florio on January 4, 2011, 10:18 PM EST

http://nbcprofootballtalk.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/jerryjones.jpg?w=250


In two months, the current labor deal between the NFL and the players’ union will expire. Despite some optimism in November and December that the two sides were making progress toward a new agreement, the new year has brought a new sense that trouble is coming. Soon.

Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal reports that no negotiations are scheduled, a depressing reality with only 60 days remaining before the labor deal ends. Earlier today, Panthers owner Jerry Richardson expressed pessimism regarding the pace of the discussions. (Said the league in response to Richardson, via NFL spokesman Greg Aiello: “We understand and share Mr. Richardson’s disappointment in the lack of engagement by the union and the slow pace of the negotiations.”)

Perhaps the most telling observation in recent weeks drew far less attention that it deserved. In the web-only version of a 60 Minutes interview featuring Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, reporter Scott Pelley asked Jones if a lockout would be “disastrous” to the league.

“No. I do not,” Jones said.

He may be right, but it’s not something that any owner should be saying, in our view. It creates the impression that the owners are willing to force a lockout to get the concessions they want from the players. And it validates the rhetoric from NFLPA executive director De Smith that a lockout is coming.

The problem remains that, with the owners wanting the players to accept a smaller piece of the financial pie in the hope that a bigger pie will be grown, the players have no reason to blink until they start losing money. While the owners can point out that money will be lost by everyone during an offseason lockout, players won’t truly feel the pinch until they stop getting paid.

And they won’t stop getting paid until September.

So this one may not end until September. At the earliest.

The good news, if there is any? While Richardson claims that the owners remain united, divisions may arise regarding the urgency to get a deal done without a lockout that results in a reduced offseason and/or training camp. Teams breaking in new coaches won’t want to defer all contact between the new coach and his new team until the players cry uncle after missing two or three pay days.

Of course, that may be why so few teams have fired their coaches, and why those that have are looking hard at internal candidates, in an effort to enhance continuity. As more teams hire new coaches from outside the organization, more teams have a good reason to push for a deal to get done. For now, it appears that only four of 32 teams will fall into this category: the 49ers, Panthers, Browns, and Broncos. Richardson will bite the bullet for the greater good, which means that as few as three teams will be inclined to push for a deal to be done long enough before September to permit the new coach to have some sort of meaningful impact in 2011.

And that means that this dynamic won’t create any enhanced pressure on the league to get something done sooner rather than later.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... is-coming/ (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/01/04/comments-from-jerry-richardson-jerry-jones-suggest-lockout-is-coming/)

hawaiiansteel
01-05-2011, 07:46 PM
Dungy thinks full-blown lockout would be disastrous

Posted by Mike Florio on January 5, 2011


Wednesday’s edition of ProFootballTalkLive featured an extended discussion with former Bucs and Colts coach Tony Dungy, who now appears on NBC’s Football Night in America.

Before talking about this weekend’s games, Dungy addressed the possibility of a lockout. And it’s safe to say that Dungy doesn’t agree with the assessment of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones that a lockout would not be disastrous.

“[W]e’ve got to find a middle ground,” Dungy said. “And that’s where in the past the Dan Rooneys, Wellington Maras, those guys have been so good at doing that. At saying, ‘Hey, you know what, we’ve got to give a little. Let’s sit down at the table, let’s work. Let’s work together.’

“Gene Upshaw, you know, he got criticized for being too close to the Commissioner. But it was the same thing. We’ve got to find a middle ground that’s good for both sides. And my fear is that we don’t have enough Wellington Mara, Dan Rooney, Gene Upshaw-type people, and if that’s the case and if this does come into a full-blown lockout, I think it will be disastrous. I really do.”

We fear that Dungy’s fear is justified. No one currently seems to be putting the broader interests of the game above self interests. The closest anyone has come to doing so is Commissioner Roger Goodell. And while he said on the same edition of PFT Live that “I have to do what is in the best interest of everybody associated with the game, including our fans,” we’re not so sure that the owners will see it that way when it’s time to decide whether to lock the players out until they accept the owners’ terms.

Hopefully, Dan Rooney or Robert Kraft or someone else will stand up with Goodell at the proper time and persuade the rest of the owners to “give a little” in order to avoid losing a lot. Hopefully, someone from the players’ side of the equation will do the same.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... isastrous/ (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/01/05/dungy-thinks-full-blown-lockout-would-be-disastrous/)

fordfixer
01-06-2011, 08:05 AM
Farrior concedes 18-game sacrifices will be made
By Mark Kaboly, TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, January 6, 2011
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 16808.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_716808.html)

Although James Farrior doesn't particularly like the idea of the NFL adding two regular-season games, the veteran linebacker knows that the change is inevitable.

Reacting to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's mass e-mail to five million fans Monday stating that the impending lockout can be avoided if a couple key issues can be resolved, including a restructuring of their current 20-game schedule (four preseason and 16 regular-season games), Farrior wasn't particularly surprised by Goodell's mode of operation.

"Yeah, he was making his pitch to the fans," Farrior said. "You have to make it look like you are not the bad guy. We understand what's going on. We know it is going to be a sticky situation. Hopefully, we will have a season next year, if not, we have to stay strong."

Still, Farrior believes that the players are going to have to sign off on the proposed 18-game regular-season schedule being pushed by the owners and the NFL to get a new collective bargaining agreement in place for next season to exist.

"They want 18 games, and I know it is going to happen one way or the other," Farrior said. "There is nothing we really can do about that. We can fight it all we want to, but it is going to happen."

For the 18-game schedule to be approved, the players would demand an increase in roster size and game day actives with the biggest sticking point being benefits.

"I think our benefits should be a lot better than what they are," Farrior said. "Those guys really don't want to pay for our benefits after we are done. If you look at any job that you go on and you get injured on your job, you have to take care of that. The NFL doesn't seem to want to do that all the time."

Even if the NFL agrees to all the stipulations, it still doesn't mean the players will embrace the 18-game schedule.

"We are never going to be happy with the 18 games," Farrior said. "It is something that we are going to have to learn to live with it."

QUOTABLE

"I know the intensity is probably going to go up, but at the same time, it is still going to be the same people I played against last week and the week before. The talent level isn't going to change. The talent level isn't going to go up. The focus level is just going to go up."

Mike Wallace

Steelers receiver, on playoff football

DIGITS

43-21: Bill Cowher's regular season record in his first four years.

43-21: Mike Tomlin's regular season record in his first four years.