View Full Version : NFL, union exit from 4th day of mediation

02-21-2011, 08:31 PM
NFL, union exit from 4th day of mediation
By HOWARD FENDRICH, AP Pro Football Writer
WASHINGTON (AP)—The NFL and the players’ union have wrapped up their fourth day in a row of mediated labor negotiations.

NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith left the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service building at 6 p.m., about seven hours after Monday’s session began. NFL executives departed minutes after Smith did. None commented.

About an hour earlier, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch(notes) and two other current players left. Batch said the talks are “going well,” but did not discuss details.

The league and union agreed to try mediation after months of infrequent— and sometimes contentious—bargaining. The sides have met for more than 25 hours since Friday.

The current labor deal expires at the end of the day March 3.

02-25-2011, 02:03 PM
http://twitter.com/AdamSchefter/status/ ... 5488690176 (http://twitter.com/AdamSchefter/status/41181675488690176)

02-25-2011, 03:21 PM
Reference to September suggests union may not decertify soon

Posted by Mike Florio on February 25, 2011


MDS posted earlier in the hour Adam Schefter’s report, based on a text from an agent in the room, regarding the lack of progress on the key issues in the labor negotiations.

“Not close on one single issue. This WILL go into September,” an agent told Schefter via text.

For starters, it’s disappointing that Smith said anything remotely substantive to the agents about the status of the talks. Though Smith can now claims with a straight face that he did not directly and intentionally violate the vow of silence that the two sides took when meeting with mediator George H. Cohen, Smith surely knew that the agents would blab.

Some would contend that the agents have no reason to know about anything that’s happening. They’re not members of the union, and their job is merely to negotiate the contracts on behalf of the players.

That said, agents have considerable influence over their clients. If agents aren’t on board with NFLPA leadership, the agents can quickly ignite a revolt.

It’s also no surprise that big-name agents like Tom Condon, Drew Rosenhaus, Joel Segal, and Ben Dogra reportedly said during a break in the session that they support the union. Agents who represent first-round picks don’t want a rookie wage scale that would obviate the need for agent assistance when negotiating a player’s first contract. So in exchange for unconditional support from the agents, De Smith presumably will continue to fight against a rookie wage scale, even if a rookie wage scale in a system with a hard cap and a hard floor means that teams would have more money to spend on the veteran players who are currently the only members of the union.

The biggest point we gathered from the notion that the dispute “WILL go into September” (assuming Smith actually said that and it’s not the supposition of Schefter’s source) is that the union apparently doesn’t plan to decertify in the near future. After all, if decertification proceeds successfully, a lockout will be blocked and football will continue and there will be no need for planning for no football.

We’ve suspected for months that the union doesn’t really want to decertify, possibly due to fears that the union won’t be able to resist the NFL’s challenge to decertification this time around — and possibly due to fears that it will be harder to prevail in an antitrust lawsuit 20 years after the Reggie White case, which was based on a system that involved a halfhearted, at best, free agency system.

It’s also possible that Smith is merely projecting preparedness for a lockout in order to maintain leverage when the talks resume next week. For the same reason the league met with coaches and General Managers and read them the riot act about not contacting players during a lockout, the union needs to demonstrate readiness to hunker down.

It’s safe to say that, if details are emerging from the room during the meeting, more details will become available once the meeting ends. And those details could help us all better discern what exactly is going on as we sit less than one week away from the expiration of the current labor deal.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/20 ... tify-soon/ (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/02/25/reference-to-september-suggests-union-may-not-decertify-soon/)

02-25-2011, 03:27 PM
One agent told ESPN’s Adam Schefter via text that the NFL and the players’ union aren’t close “on one single issue,” and that the labor dispute “WILL go into September.”

Another agent told us via text that Schefter “got bad info” from within the meeting room.

At this point, we don’t know what to think. And we’ve got a feeling that every agent in the room will have a different take on the situation.

So look for various takes to emerge over the next few days. Hopefully, nothing said will disrupt whatever momentum has emerged between the two sides.

02-25-2011, 03:57 PM
Players will start to break ranks about June. It will get resolved early to mid July.