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View Full Version : Football Bottom line might not be bottom line in NFL talks


Tribal Warfare
03-07-2011, 01:00 AM
Bottom line might not be bottom line in NFL talks (http://www.kansascity.com/2011/03/05/2701067/nfl-union-taking-weekend-break.html)
By BARRY WILNER
AP Pro Football Writer

With five more days and nights - at least - to reach an agreement, the NFL and the players' union might find money off the top is not the bottom line.

The owners' request that about $2 billion of total revenues be deducted before they split the rest with the players has been a sticking point ever since 2008. That's when the owners opted out of the current collective bargaining agreement, which would have expired last Thursday if not for two extensions.

The deadline now is at the end of Friday, and a compromise on that figure - the owners already deduct about $1 billion for operating expenses from the $9 billion overall take - might be easier than reaching accord on expanding the regular season to 18 games or several other issues.

"We have made player safety our biggest concern, and we won't back off on that," said Tennessee Titans guard and player representative Jake Scott.

"There are so many moving parts, so much that goes on," added Saints tackle Jon Stinchcomb, also a player rep. "When you have these CBA negotiations, what we establish now will affect how we do business for years to come. It's more than just how to slash the pie. It's how you go to work, what your offseason will look like, benefits for former players, how protected are we when injuries come along. There are so many aspects being negotiated, it takes time to come to an agreement on all these different fronts."

One front that could have wiggle room is the owners seeking the additional $1 billion, which they say is essential for league and team operations because of the heavy debt many franchises have for stadium construction loans. Such numbers often are negotiable. Although the players aren't eager to take any sort of paycut, they might be amenable to a substantially reduced giveback that serves the owners well enough.

The rookie wage scale being proposed also shouldn't be too contentious as long as the owners plan to divert much of the money they save toward the veteran players and not their own pockets. All those players who wince when they see an untested rookie getting more guaranteed money than they've earned in their entire careers are firmly behind such a redistribution of those dollars.

Most dicey, as Scott suggests, is anything dealing with player safety and health benefits for current and retired players. That's where the proposed 18 regular-season games and two preseason games figure in.

The union is adamant, with so many injuries in a 16-game schedule - particularly brain trauma and major injuries that can have long-term effects - increasing the length of the regular season is not an option. The owners are just as adamant that the extra revenue 18 games would bring from league media partners and sponsors is necessary to keep the assets growing.

Commissioner Roger Goodell insists the preseason matches don't feature the quality fans deserve, so switching two of them for games that count is preferable.

For the players to agree on 18 games, they would want substantial reductions in offseason workouts, minicamps, and training camp. Should they get that, and if NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith can coax, say, five extra roster spots per team (160 more jobs), perhaps the league and union can find common ground in this area, too.

"To me, I feel like we were so far apart," Vikings defensive end Brian Robison said. "But they're trying to keep it out of the courts, which tells me that we're starting to agree on some things. I'm not saying that deal is going to be done real soon, but it's good to see that the guys on both sides are staying in the meeting room and making some progress toward our common goal, which is getting football back on the field when it's supposed to be there."

Chocolate Hog
03-07-2011, 01:03 AM
I don't see how this will work with the courts ruling on things.

DTLB58
03-07-2011, 06:50 AM
I don't see how this will work with the courts ruling on things.

It might be the only way to get these guys to "agree" to anything.

Thats how "plan B" free agency started.

Over-Head
03-07-2011, 06:59 AM
For the players to agree on 18 games, they would want substantial reductions in offseason workouts, minicamps, and training camp. .....

"To me, I feel like we were so far apart," Vikings defensive end Brian Robison said. ."

Yeah I can see how working harder for MORE money is such a far out concept, that only us common folk can understand it :rolleyes:

Cave Johnson
03-07-2011, 11:03 AM
Who are the Chiefs player reps (other than Waters)?

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/peter_king/03/06/mmqb/index.html#ixzz1Fvyd51Us

"On Tuesday of last week, two days before the initial deadline, three player reps for the Kansas City Chiefs e-mailed teammates to ask if they were still comfortable with decertification. Like every other team in the league, the Chiefs had unanimously authorized such a move in a vote during the 2010 season. Still, the threat of decertification was a speck on the horizon back then. Now it was a potentially foreboding monster. Within 24 hours, the reps received 35 responses. Each of them supported the move. By Thursday morning, eight more players reaffirmed their votes. Forty-three players, all with the same response."

Cave Johnson
03-07-2011, 11:04 AM
Yeah I can see how working harder for MORE money is such a far out concept, that only us common folk can understand it :rolleyes:

Where are the owners offering more money (as a percentage of revenue)?

Mr. Laz
03-07-2011, 11:07 AM
I don't see how this will work with the courts ruling on things.

that's how it will work ... pretty soon the courts will come along and rule in the players favor and force the owners to bend over. Only a matter of time unless the owners can squeeze an agreement out earlier.

it's bullshit tbh

Mr. Laz
03-07-2011, 11:09 AM
Who are the Chiefs player reps (other than Waters)?

Kansas City Chiefs
Rep: Rudy Niswanger
Co-Alt: Jon McGraw
Co-Alt: Andy Studebaker

Cave Johnson
03-07-2011, 11:12 AM
From the PK link above (and, very obviously, not written by PK). This is the best piece I've seen so far on the negotiations, at least from the player perspective.

WASHINGTON -- After extending the negotiating deadline twice in as many days last week, the NFL's owners and players will restart collective bargaining talks Monday afternoon in the downtown offices of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. While some consider this to be the most positive development in some time, the reality is the sides remain far apart when it comes to deciding how to slice a financial pie that generated $9.3 billion in revenues last season.

Before looking ahead to this week's negotiations and the new March 11 deadline, it's worth reflecting on what took place last week and how the sides were mere minutes from having the negotiations blow up. Consider:

With only five minutes to go before the union's deadline to decertify last Thursday -- a move that might have obliterated the NFL as we know it today -- a player walked into the negotiating room that included commissioner Roger Goodell, league attorney Jeff Pash, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith and union president Kevin Mawae and declared: "We're done! We're decertifying."

It had been three years since the league announced its intentions to void the current labor pact, yet 66 formal negotiating sessions had failed to bring the sides significantly closer. And as the decertification deadline ticked closer, members of the union's executive committee began to feel the owners were stringing them along in hopes that the players would miss the deadline. The players believed their only real leverage was to decertify because it would allow the players to sue the league for alleged antitrust violations if the owners locked them out, as expected. With the window to file closing fast, union officials and executive committee members sat in a room one floor beneath where the power brokers were meeting and weighed their options one last time. Then they decided it was time to act.

At that point the aforementioned player -- whose name is being withheld because of the sensitivity of ongoing negotiations -- walked into the room upstairs, tapped Mawae on the shoulder and made a quick hand-across-the-throat gesture while making his decertification declaration.

According to sources, the union had a member of its legal team on the phone with the clerk of the court in Minneapolis, where U.S. District Judge David Doty presides over the case. Cooler heads ultimately prevailed, and the league agreed to the first of two extensions. Still, if anything could be taken from that brief glimpse behind the curtains, it's that the players know the issues and are prepared to stand up to the men who run the country's most powerful sports league.

On Tuesday of last week, two days before the initial deadline, three player reps for the Kansas City Chiefs e-mailed teammates to ask if they were still comfortable with decertification. Like every other team in the league, the Chiefs had unanimously authorized such a move in a vote during the 2010 season. Still, the threat of decertification was a speck on the horizon back then. Now it was a potentially foreboding monster. Within 24 hours, the reps received 35 responses. Each of them supported the move. By Thursday morning, eight more players reaffirmed their votes. Forty-three players, all with the same response.

"I don't know that guys were itching for a fight, but we have been preparing for this so we're not at all nervous about pulling the trigger or stepping into that world," says one player familiar with the negotiations. "We all agree that if we can get a deal done that is fair, then it's best to do it between the two sides. But we're prepared to do it through the courts if we have to. We've been stalled by them for so long. For two years they've been jerking us around, to be honest with you. On Wednesday their owners came to a meeting and said they were going to go to Dulles and have another meeting among themselves, then we would get back together that night to discuss things. Then they all got on planes and all went home and didn't tell us anything. They left us sitting in the mediation room for the second time.''

Adds the player: "It just feels like we're always coming up with a new way to please them. It feels from our side like we've bent over backwards and made a number of creative proposals to them, all without getting the financial justification that they need a new system. Then they do things like hop on a plane and leave without telling us that they're leaving. We're not overanxious to pull the trigger on decertification, but we're definitely not hesitant."

Clearly the league views the proceedings differently. One NFL source said the owners have been "fully engaged and fully responsive for almost two years" and have made "numerous proposals and counterproposals." The players believe otherwise, and their willingness to go toe-to-toe with the owners stems largely from their belief that they are better educated about the issues than at any point in the past three decades.

Gene Upshaw, the Hall of Fame guard who led the union for 25 years before dying of pancreatic cancer in 2008, liked to centralize information and power. He was focused on the end result and believed it was best for the players to only know so much, partly because he feared information leaks could be used by the other side during negotiations.

Smith, his successor, ran on a platform of transparency. He told the players that if they weren't committed to taking responsibility for their careers and futures, then someone other than him needed to be the executive director. Smith has refused to participate in any formal negotiating session without at least one player by his side, and he has consistently pushed his player advocates and player reps to keep the membership informed.

His mission statement has helped create a one-for-all attitude that's illuminated by the selfless acts of veterans such as star quarterbacks Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Drew Brees. The three are among the league's highest-paid players, yet they have agreed to be the lead plaintiffs if there is a class-action antitrust lawsuit against the league. Also, veteran Chiefs guard Brian Waters suggested creating a pool in which higher-paid veterans could anonymously contribute funds that could help struggling young players meet their living expenses during a lockout.

"It's something that had been on my mind for months," Waters says. "I was thinking about which group would be the most vulnerable if there was a lockout, and I thought it would be the guys who had more to lose because they had fewer resources to pay things like healthcare and day-to-day expenses. Most of those guys really need the money that comes from the offseason workout checks, as well as the checks that come from training camp. I used to be one of those guys. I was a college free agent who was cut and played in the World League, and coming into that second season that money was an integral part of paying my bills. I knew there were a number of guys who didn't have the medical savings and reimbursement accounts, and I knew there were a number of guys who weren't high draft picks, but I also knew this number as a whole was a small number on every team's roster."

It's often said that the character of a man is how he performs in times of adversity. That reality is not lost on NFLPA executive committee members, some of whom have discussed possibly being blackballed by the league for standing up and being vocal about what they feel is right.

"I wasn't involved in the union early in my career, partly because my dad was a player rep and I saw how he got discriminated against," Seahawks co-alternate Matt Hasselbeck told SI last March at the union's annual meeting. "They had a player strike in '82, and the next year the Patriots -- really, all the teams -- traded their player reps to the L.A. Raiders. The Raiders ended up winning the Super Bowl that year, so it wasn't all bad; but I just remember my first year as a rookie in 1998, as a sixth-round draft pick in Green Bay, someone at the team, someone who would decide if I would make the team or not, said to make sure you're not one of those player reps. I was like, 'Yes, sir.' Now he was probably joking; he said it with a laugh and he's a great guy. But for me that was a lot of pressure on a kid who was willing to do anything to make that team."

The pressure on both sides is enormous at the moment. Revenues and ratings hit all-time highs in 2010, and even in the second-worst economy in this country's history the league negotiated lucrative new TV deals, and, according to Judge Doty, strong-armed some companies into deals that included lockout protection for the owners.

A player familiar with the negotiations reiterated over the weekend that the union isn't looking for a fight, but fairness and financial transparency. However absent that, the players are willing to decertify and try their hand in court.

"We're ready to go," the anonymous player said. "If this is what it's going to take for them to negotiate fairly and take us seriously as partners, then let's do it. Honestly, most players come from the background where if their backs are being pushed against the wall they're going to fight back. They're not going to turn and cower. That's just the DNA of most NFL players, because that's what got us here. It's that survival skill and that ability to fight in pressure situations that has got us to this level. That's what you're seeing right now and will continue to see as we go forward."

Cave Johnson
03-07-2011, 11:15 AM
that's how it will work ... pretty soon the courts will come along and rule in the players favor and force the owners to bend over. Only a matter of time unless the owners can squeeze an agreement out earlier.

it's bullshit tbh

Courts, interpreting our laws, and disputes between parties, and shit. Why can't they just go back to incarcerating criminals and deporting furrigners.

Mr. Laz
03-07-2011, 11:20 AM
Courts, interpreting our laws, and disputes between parties, and shit. Why can't they just go back to incarcerating criminals and deporting furrigners.
I think we should just let the courts determine worker wages for every business.

Dave Lane
03-07-2011, 11:21 AM
Yeah I can see how working harder for MORE money is such a far out concept, that only us common folk can understand it :rolleyes:

Actually its working harder for less money but then you seem pretty common so you may get it.

Cave Johnson
03-07-2011, 11:22 AM
I think we should just let the courts determine worker wages for every business.

Does every business have an anti-trust exemption?

MahiMike
03-07-2011, 11:34 AM
Soooooooo.....

How 'bout that NCAA basketball tourney?

InChiefsHell
03-07-2011, 11:38 AM
I wish someone would print a concise understandable presentation of both sides, so I could actually see what each side wants and why. To a Joe Blow fan like myself, I just can't figure out why either side would want to derail this cash cow. I have not decided who the villains are, players or owners or both or neither. I guess it must be a big convoluted mess but it seems ridiculous that they can't just figure this shit out.

Chiefnj2
03-07-2011, 11:41 AM
When the player came in to say they were decertifying immediately, I'm surprised the owners didn't jump up and say "great".

They could have went to the media and said the players decertified rather than ask for another extension, and they could have sat by while the players start to feel the pressure.

InChiefsHell
03-07-2011, 11:45 AM
When the player came in to say they were decertifying immediately, I'm surprised the owners didn't jump up and say "great".

They could have went to the media and said the players decertified rather than ask for another extension, and they could have sat by while the players start to feel the pressure.

Seems proof that possibly the owners are worried that the players are willing to take them to the mat, and maybe they don't want it to go that far.

Chiefnj2
03-07-2011, 12:09 PM
Seems proof that possibly the owners are worried that the players are willing to take them to the mat, and maybe they don't want it to go that far.

They all have plenty of money, independent money and family money to tide them over. 80% of NFL players don't have that luxury.

Over-Head
03-07-2011, 12:15 PM
Actually its working harder for less money but then you seem pretty common so you may get it.
Forgot the other quote Dave
..."For the players to agree on 18 games, they would want substantial reductions in offseason workouts, minicamps, and training camp. Should they get that, and if NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith can coax, say, five extra roster spots per team (160 more jobs), perhaps the league and union can find common ground in this area, too."

Ok, they want a bigger piece of the pie, but arn't willing to earn it.
Oh and LESS mini camps where they can learn NEW WAYS TO PROTECT THEMSELFS.
Sorry, just not buying it.

In the end the owners can and will use replacements like they have in the past. They won't like it, but they can!! What are teh players gonna do for a pay cheque? Play sunday touch in the park and charge $5 at the gate?

The players can either
A) Take what they can and like it.
or
B) Go work at McDonalds for a $395,652 sunday paycheque

Its all about teh golden rule...."The man with the gold, makes the rules"
And you can damn sure bet thast if the NFL union de-certifies, there's gonna be a few hundred or so players who are gonna hate them selfs for it in the long run

InChiefsHell
03-07-2011, 12:24 PM
It seems to me that the union really represents the majority of players who DON'T have the multimillion dollar contracts. I mean, I really can't bring myself to give a shit about the high dollar players, they are set unless they are stupid. But the league minimum guys who are one injury away from not having jack squat are the ones who probably have a legit beef, or at least those are the guys I'd have sympathy for. I mean, the average lifespan of a NFL player is what, 3 years? 3 years at league minimum, after taxes insurance and agent fees and the like, probably isn't really all that much.

Brock
03-07-2011, 12:34 PM
And you can damn sure bet thast if the NFL union de-certifies, there's gonna be a few hundred or so players who are gonna hate them selfs for it in the long run

Yeah, right. :LOL:

Over-Head
03-07-2011, 03:03 PM
Yeah, right. :LOL:
What so funny? If the union folds, now we start at ground zero, and you can bet teh farm the owners ain't gonna budge one freaken bit, especially if they can pull a half assed season off with replacement players, which they will and we all know it.
Plain and simple the owners are in the drivers seat players CAN be replaced by the owners, can the players do the same?

Brock
03-07-2011, 03:14 PM
What so funny? If the union folds, now we start at ground zero, and you can bet teh farm the owners ain't gonna budge one freaken bit, especially if they can pull a half assed season off with replacement players, which they will and we all know it.
Plain and simple the owners are in the drivers seat players CAN be replaced by the owners, can the players do the same?

You clearly don't understand the situation. At all.

Over-Head
03-07-2011, 03:46 PM
You clearly don't understand the situation. At all. Nope, havent got a clue as to how 32 BILLIONAIRE owners are about to out wait a bunch of over paid jocks.
The owners have an option, be it good bad or ugly, they can and will continue to run their clubs. What are the players gonna do, picket the damn stadiums, start their own back yard league, oh I know their gonna sit and wait for teh next million dollar a year job to offer its self to them...yeah thats it

Chocolate Hog
03-07-2011, 03:48 PM
Both sides have a point.

Owners- They are paying the players 60% of the budget. What other company do you know that does that?

Players- They are the most successful league in sports why should they have to take a 10% pay cut?

Brock
03-07-2011, 03:49 PM
Nope, havent got a clue as to how 32 BILLIONAIRE owners are about to out wait a bunch of over paid jocks.
The owners have an option, be it good bad or ugly, they can and will continue to run their clubs. What are the players gonna do, picket the damn stadiums, start their own back yard league, oh I know their gonna sit and wait for teh next million dollar a year job to offer its self to them...yeah thats it

LMAO

If the union decertifies, the players can sue the owners, in the court of David Doty. The owners know they'd lose and that's why they don't just lock the players out.

You really need to do some reading on the subject.

Molitoth
03-07-2011, 03:52 PM
Rookie salary cap = YES!
18 Games = HELL NO!
Extra money?? = Split it and shut the f*ck up

Cave Johnson
03-07-2011, 03:53 PM
Both sides have a point.

Owners- They are paying the players 60% of the budget. What other company do you know that does that?

Players- They are the most successful league in sports why should they have to take a 10% pay cut?

The players don't currently get 60% of revenue. It's basically 50%, after the owners' $1B deduction is factored in. And some revenue is excluded from the split.

Chocolate Hog
03-07-2011, 03:56 PM
The players don't currently get 60% of revenue. It's basically 50%, after the owners' $1B deduction is factored in. And some revenue is excluded from the split.

You sure? I read that the players get about 59% of the league revenue.

Over-Head
03-07-2011, 03:58 PM
LMAO

If the union decertifies, the players can sue the owners, in the court of David Doty. The owners know they'd lose and that's why they don't just lock the players out.

You really need to do some reading on the subject.
So they sue, wait a few months for a court date, wait a few years while the BILLIONAIRS laywers tie it up in court...Haggel, argue, fight, and the whole time the players are collecting what??? All teh while the Owners continue on buiisness as semi usuall
It's nothing more than a high priced waiting game, where the dudes with the most money can wait the longest

Cave Johnson
03-07-2011, 04:06 PM
You sure? I read that the players get about 59% of the league revenue.

Nope. Note the difference between "total revenue" and "all revenue".

http://www.nflplayers.com/Articles/CBA-News/Letter-Clarifying-the-Truth-About-the-Revenue-Split/

Brock
03-07-2011, 04:33 PM
So they sue, wait a few months for a court date, wait a few years while the BILLIONAIRS laywers tie it up in court...Haggel, argue, fight, and the whole time the players are collecting what??? All teh while the Owners continue on buiisness as semi usuall
It's nothing more than a high priced waiting game, where the dudes with the most money can wait the longest

LMAO Okay, dude.

philfree
03-07-2011, 05:35 PM
I don't understand how they can let the Union decertify itself so players can sue the league. Once they do that and the league starts back up they'll unionize again so to me it's bogus. The players are all still acting together regardless.


PhilFree:arrow: