Tag:NFL Labor
Posted on: July 22, 2011 6:53 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2011 6:55 pm

Advantage: Players

After scanning the details of the NFL owners' proposal for a new labor deal, I have some advice for DeMaurice Smith.

Race to get that thing approved.

Both sides will claim victory when the CBA is finally completed -- and it will get done since there are only some small issues left, according to a handful of players -- but that's not the way I see it.

The players scored a TKO.

With the exception of opening up the books, which was never going to happen, this deal would include almost everything the players wanted to get.

Smith, for all the criticism he has taken for being as defiant as he's come off, deserves plenty of praise for getting his players this deal.

The owners will spin it their way, but the issues all went the way of the players. 

Just look at them:

----The players wanted half the revenue without anything coming off the top while the owners wanted $2 billion off the top, and then would give up half. The owners will take nothing off the top and the players would get 48-percent of all revenues.

Advantage: Players

---The players wanted more time off. They would get  a lot more. There will be off-season workout limits.  They will limit OTAs. They will get more days off. 

---Advantage: Players.

---The players wanted teams to spend close to the cap, and they now would have to do so, spending cash to the cap floor.  They wanted free agency after four years, while the owners didn't. Free agency would be after four years.

---Advantage: Players.

---The players would get an enhanced injury protection benefit of up to $1 million of a player’s salary for the contract year after his injury and up to $500,000 in the second year after his injury.

---Advantage: Players.

The owners wanted the rookie wage scale, and that would be in play. But they also wanted rookie deals for drafted players to be six years, not four.  They would be four with an option for a fifth for some rookies.

----Advantage: Even.

So what exactly did the owners get? A new CBA. They didn't like the last one, so getting a new one is a win of sorts. They also get labor peace in a league that is the unquestioned sports leader for 10 years.

The NFL is an estimated $9-billion-a-year business. But projections are that it can become a $20-billion-a-year business. If that isn't reason to get labor peace, I don't know what could be the reason.

"Yeah, when you look at all the stuff, this is a good deal for us," one player told me. "There are just a few things that have to be tweaked."

Here's a guess that tweaking gets done over the weekend. And this deal will get done.

When it does, Smith should put on the championship belt. He knocked the snot out of the owners with a nasty right hook to the head.

This judge has a decision if this is the deal: Victory, players.

Category: NFL
Tags: NFL Labor
Posted on: July 22, 2011 3:28 pm

Plaintiffs anger some players

Whether some of the plaintiffs in he Brady vs. the NFL antitrust lawsuit actually asked for special compensation is still up for debate.

The perception that they did isn't exactly sitting well with some of their brethren.

"The idea that they would even consider holding up the deal is ------," said one player. "For what? For putting their names on the lawsuit. We all could have done that. If you're going to give somebody $10 million, give it to Jeff Saturday. He was in every meeting. He was part of it. What did those guys do? Put their names on the suit. Big deal."

The two players reportedly asking for special treatment -- see money -- were Patriots guard Logan Mankins and Chargers receiver Vincent Jackson. Both players have either denied that report or had their representatives deny it.

Even so, the idea of it isn't exactly appealing to some other players.

"They are going to put the whole deal at risk for themselves," said the player. "The whole idea of it is -----."

Category: NFL
Tags: NFL Labor
Posted on: July 21, 2011 8:05 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2011 8:34 pm

Players to get more time off

The NFL players have to be thrilled with the safety and health precautions that are in the new potential labor agreement.

Among them:

--Reducing the off-season program by five weeks, reducing OTAs from 14 to 10.

--Limiting on-field practice time and contact.

---Limiting full-contact practices in the preseason and regular season.

---Increasing number of days off for players.

--Opportunity for current players to remain in the player medical plan for life.

That means players will be at the team facility a lot less and be able to rest their bodies.

"One of the things that we need is time away," said one player. "It's what we've always wanted. They kept pushing and pushing. This is about taking care of the players."

The coaches might not be happy, but one coach I talked to about the cut-down of the off-season said it really will not be that big a deal.

"We've been expanding it all the time," the coach said. "Maybe we've pushed too hard. Maybe this will be a good thing."

I tend to agree.

Category: NFL
Tags: NFL Labor
Posted on: July 15, 2011 4:46 pm
Edited on: July 15, 2011 4:47 pm

Cut the contact

One of the last hurdles to finalizing a deal between players and owners is the putting on of the pads.

Yes, the pads.

One player told me that players want to limit the number of days of fully-padded practices during training camp.

"They have to look at our futures," the player said. "They have to cut back on it. We don't need it as much as they think we do."

I can hear coaches screaming right now. They won't any part of that.

But the reality is they don't need to hit as much as they do. Some would say it will hurt tackling, but teams don't tackle anyway.

I think it will be good to cut back on the contact.

More important: The players' bodies will feel that way when they retire.

Category: NFL
Tags: NFL Labor
Posted on: July 13, 2011 5:40 pm
Edited on: July 13, 2011 6:07 pm

Agent influence?

Stop negotiating for player agents, DeMaurice Smith.

That's what appears to be happening now. Why are the top 15 picks such a big deal in the rookie wage-scale part of the negotiations? It has no impact on veteran players, right?

So get it done.

The problem is the agents -- the power agents. Guys like Tom Condon, Drew Rosenhaus and others. They don't want any rookie wage scale, let alone one that slashes the signing bonuses for the top 15 picks.

So, in essence, Smith is putting the agents ahead of his players. Would a veteran vote no if that was the last hang up to an agreement with the league owners? I think not.

Forget the agents.

Do what's right for your players, DeMaurice.

Category: NFL
Tags: NFL Labor
Posted on: July 11, 2011 3:26 pm
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Posted on: July 11, 2011 3:25 pm
Edited on: July 11, 2011 3:41 pm

NFL player: Don't believe the hype

The call came from an NFL player Monday morning.

The message: Don't believe the hype.

He was talking about reports of a labor deal between the NFL owners and the league's players getting close to being done.

"That's not true," the player said. "All that is hype coming from the owners side to try and put pressure on us to do a deal. They want to make us look bad. It's simply not true. There is a lot of work to be done. They are not close."

Amid reports that a deal could be done by July 21, the player said that is far from the information he is getting from his representatives.

"Consider where that information is coming from, it's the owners," the player said. "Their reason is to try and create all this false hope to put more pressure on us."

The player said there are still a lot of hurdles to overcome to get a deal done. He has one wish to help make it come true: Get everybody out of the room, except for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith, the head of the players association.

"Do it one-on-one like their predecessors used to do," the player said. "When Gene Upshaw and Paul Tagliabue went into a room, they got it done. That's what needs to happen now. The players in there are smart, but they don't know how to close a deal. As for Goodell, he needs to drop his nuts. He needs to have the power to do a deal. It needs to be two guys in a room."

Asked if he expected a deal to be done by July 21, the player said, "I'd be shocked."

Category: NFL
Tags: NFL Labor
Posted on: July 11, 2011 3:25 pm
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