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Lockout back in Effect

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Post by The Mangler US_UK Sat 30 Apr 2011, 8:28 pm

First topic message reminder :

Well, this is annoying, but not unexpected. The 8th Circuit issued a stay, so the lockout is back on. The judges ruled 2-1 (2 Republican appointees versus 1 Democrat appointee if you're interested) in favor of the owners, who promptly told the teams to shut it down again. The dissenting judge said that stays are only really granted in emergency situations and the NFL had not proven it would be harmed in allowing the injunction to stay in effect till the court ruled on the case, but the other two obviously felt differently. This court is the most conservative appeals court and most of the judges are Bush appointees, so we'll see soon enough if the old boys network is in effect. I believe it will be the same 3 judges ruling on the appeal.

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Post by Grizzly Thu 16 Jun 2011, 8:02 pm

Good stuff Mangler.
Extrordinary comment that Billick thinks there's too much off season training, I mean the most players disappear in New Year, may attend voluntary sessions in May/June but compulsory training starts end July.
Jobs like that are hard to come by......

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Post by skins4ever Mon 20 Jun 2011, 11:28 am

They have post season meetings etc. in Feb and March, then OTA's etc. Then many teams have a mini camp in June. They then have camp in July which is pretty intensive through to the start of the season, all the while with many of them wondering if they will have a job come the start of the season. Not exactly a cake walk.

But I actually suspect Billick is mainly talking from a coaches POV. They have to work with management in the post season (re contracts etc.), carry out post season evaluations, prepare for and go through the draft and FA, OTA's, mini camps and then full camp.

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Post by Derbyblue Mon 20 Jun 2011, 12:29 pm

Roy Williams says the lockout is good for older players. http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2011/06/20/roy-williams-on-the-lockout-for-us-older-players-its-good/

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Post by Grizzly Mon 20 Jun 2011, 12:35 pm

Skins - valid points but Billick said there was too much off season training, the number of complulsory training days is very limited so whilst you're right it is not a 7 month holiday, the 'training' undertaken is very very limited.

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Post by skins4ever Mon 20 Jun 2011, 12:44 pm

I know what you mean, but also consider that many of the 'voluntary' team events are no more voluntary than me showing up for work every day! Smile

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Post by Leedscowboys Mon 20 Jun 2011, 12:50 pm

as they are pro Atheletes they should be able to keep themselves fit, but its the class room stuff that takes longer to learn where there are new head coaches/coordinators QB etc they are losing invaluable time to learn the system.
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Post by The Mangler US_UK Mon 20 Jun 2011, 6:41 pm

skins, Billick's comment was about the players -- in fact he said the other coaches would probably storm the gates and take away his coaching card for what he was going to say. His comment was in response to the suggestion that it would be helpful to keep a 70-80 man roster up through the exhibition season. He actually liked that idea for evaluation purposes of young players, but he then said they currently do too much stuff with the players as a whole and you're seeing the problem that some of the player organized workouts are currently having in getting some of the veterans to participate, which he experienced as a coach. What would help him out if he were still coaching is being able to evaluate younger players for a longer period. I think he's looking at it from the standpoint that with the veterans, you pretty much know what they can do.

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Post by Derbyblue Tue 21 Jun 2011, 9:02 pm

Some details of the proposed CBA: http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=6687485

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Post by Grizzly Wed 22 Jun 2011, 3:51 pm

Does anyone else share my enthusiasm for getting a deal done soon ?
Many of the owners that have been interviewed in the last few days have said that a deal is possible within the next couple of weeks.
What I find strange is that on every NFL.com story I've seen recently on the lockout there's a torrent of anger/abuse from the fans (in the comments) saying they'll boycott football, the season is dead already, every game will be a blackout etc etc etc, it seems the US fans, at least those who comment on NFL.com, plan on doing their talking with their wallets.

Is anyone over there, if so what's the general mood ?

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Post by Forward Pass Wed 22 Jun 2011, 4:21 pm

Grizzly wrote:Does anyone else share my enthusiasm for getting a deal done soon ?
Many of the owners that have been interviewed in the last few days have said that a deal is possible within the next couple of weeks.
What I find strange is that on every NFL.com story I've seen recently on the lockout there's a torrent of anger/abuse from the fans (in the comments) saying they'll boycott football, the season is dead already, every game will be a blackout etc etc etc, it seems the US fans, at least those who comment on NFL.com, plan on doing their talking with their wallets.

Is anyone over there, if so what's the general mood ?
It does seem for the first time in ages the mood is positive & i'm hopefull of a full season now
It's the same on fox sports a lot of anger
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Post by The Mangler US_UK Thu 23 Jun 2011, 8:45 pm

I'm positive. From all the talk circulating around on radio and TV, insiders seem to think that the NFL will announce an agreement in principal on the CBA that will let things move forward and then the lawyers will dot all the i's and cross all the t's.

I think it will get done within the next couple weeks in time for training camps to open end of July.

As far as angry fans, you get a lot of the haters who scream about millionaires and billionaires fighting and they don't know what it's like to have a real job and they're all overpaid while teachers and firemen are underpaid and they'll never watch another game blah blah blah. If the season kicks off as normal, I'm pretty sure there won't be any lingering effects, unlike in baseball when they went on strike and ended up scrapping the season. Same with hockey, which took an even bigger fall. Anyway, I think the NFL desperately wants to avoid that scenario at all costs.

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Post by Derbyblue Thu 23 Jun 2011, 10:09 pm

@AdamSchefter Adam Schefter
Labor talks did not go real well today. But bad from today could be good later. Because the sides are now dealing with the critical issues.

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Post by Derbyblue Thu 23 Jun 2011, 11:13 pm

@AlbertBreerAlbert Breer
And sorry for everyone I confused earlier. Again, deal is NOT "close" b/c there are hurdles left. But it is "within striking distance". ...

@AlbertBreerAlbert Breer
... I'd make the distinction b/w those 2 things in saying momentum is building, and light at end of tunnel is there. But nothing's imminent.

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Post by Derbyblue Tue 28 Jun 2011, 4:32 pm

@AlbertBreerAlbert Breer
Can confirm NFL and NFLPA have agreed to meet over next 4 days with a twist -- It'll be Goodell, Smith & their staffs. Not players & owners.

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Post by The Mangler US_UK Wed 29 Jun 2011, 9:30 am

Reported on the radio this evening that DeMaurice Smith invited Roger Goodell to fly to Florida with him to speak to the NFL rookies on Wednesday, sort of the NFLPA's version of the Rookie Symposium, and Goodell is going with him. You've got to think that's a good sign. Radio cited an NFL reporter, can't remember if it was Peter King or Peter Gammon.

Anyway, if they want to get training camps going on time, this weekend is the deadline to get a handshake deal done and then let the sharks put all the legal language on paper.

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Post by Grizzly Wed 29 Jun 2011, 9:55 am

Mangler - would a handshake be enough to get camps going ?
The real contention starts when lawyers start working, if players were allowed back into team facilities could we see constant 'all out brothers' calls until a deal is signed or would the lockout not end until the paperwork was signed and in place ?
I heard (a while ago) that the deadline for there to be no impact on any NFL season activities was 21 June which of course has come and gone and various influencial people are saying a deal is still 2 weeks away minimumm what this means I have no idea....

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Post by The Mangler US_UK Wed 29 Jun 2011, 6:28 pm

Grizz, from what I understand, once they get an agreement in principle and a majority of owners give it the thumbs up, that they'll move ahead while the final language is drawn up by the lawyers. But this is just info I've gathered from various news articles and sports talk shows, so who really knows.

One of the NFL 'experts' they had on the radio on my drive home yesterday afternoon (i didn't get his name) said that the July 4th weekend is D-Day to avoid any major schedule issues. Again, I guess we'll actually find out in due course.

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Post by GB1919 Wed 29 Jun 2011, 6:35 pm

To add a bit of further confusion Peter King on a recent ESPN podcast said that a big deadline would be around the 15th of July. If that deadline were missed preseason games could not take place, money earned by the owners would then be impacted and so when dealing with player wages amounts would come down and could create new stumbling blocks. Personally I feel if nothing is done by then we're in serious trouble and you'd have to concede the season would be delayed at least. Is it just me or has all the recent optimism started to wane?

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Post by The Mangler US_UK Wed 29 Jun 2011, 8:34 pm

Yes, I've heard on Pro Football Talk that July 15th is seen a dropdead date.

I don't think optimism is waning. In fact, Goodell and Smith travelling together, not even separately, to address the rookies is a great sign.

And let me clarify -- July 4th weekend is a key date so no (or not much) training cap is missed.

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Post by Grizzly Wed 29 Jun 2011, 9:38 pm

'July 4th weekend is a key date so no (or not much) training cap is missed'

True, but as there's been no FA, no contracts negotiation, no rookie inductions/rookie camp then I cannot see how the 2011 season can be a 'normal' one regardless of whether there are 16 reg season games or not.
Don't get me wrong I will be devastated if any football is missed but there's been enough damage done already to have an impact on this season.
Someone raised the point a while back that all those players who were injured/recovering at the start of the lockout have not seen their franchise medical staff, most will be able to afford their own advisers but none will be specialists in pro football fitness.
However upbeat we want to be I also acknowledge that some damage has already been done - I'm not expecting too many breakout offensive rookies in September....

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Post by The Mangler US_UK Thu 30 Jun 2011, 7:07 am

Little bit of cold water on any unbridled optimism

http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/nfl-collective-bargaining-agreement-demaurice-smith-agreement-not-close-062911

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Post by Grizzly Thu 30 Jun 2011, 8:35 am

Thanks Mangler, very informative if a little disappointing.
Rookies and Free Agents are the ones suffering most....

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Post by arizona_tom Thu 30 Jun 2011, 8:20 pm

been in malia for the week and i was actually expecting it to almost to be done by the time i was back. More disapointing news!!!

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Post by GB1919 Fri 01 Jul 2011, 9:46 am

So, unsurprisingly, the NBA locked out their players earlier today. If anyone in the NFL and NFLPA has any sense they should use this opportunity to quickly come to an agreement and dump the past 4 months of anger and disappointment on the NBA. Obviously the agreement still has to be good for both sides but surely they should view this as a brief window of opportunity and try to make the most of it.

Wishful thinking I know.

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Post by arizona_tom Fri 01 Jul 2011, 6:04 pm

Albert Breer reporting some positive news on twitter. claiming there were significant strides on revenue splits after talks almost broke down

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Post by Derbyblue Fri 01 Jul 2011, 11:08 pm

"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." http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d82092fd4/article/sides-make-progress-on-revenue-split-with-ny-talks-on-tap

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Post by The Mangler US_UK Tue 05 Jul 2011, 6:45 am

Well, hopefully this is a sign -- the Dallas Cowboys have set tentative plans to begin training camp on July 29 in the Alamodome.

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Post by Grizzly Tue 05 Jul 2011, 8:27 am

The set of talks starting today are now crucial, all talks have been crucial I guess but both sides need to make sufficient progress over the next 4 days on order to have a CBA in place for 15 July, failure to reach agreement by this date means loss of pre-season games, sponsorship monies and potentially regular season games.
I reckon by Thur/Fri we'll have a much better idea of whether we're getting ready for pro football or whether we need to brush up on the Ole Miss playbook...

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Post by GSC Tue 05 Jul 2011, 11:31 am

AF players are paid by the game I believe. Preseason games don't count, not sure about playoffs. Your yearly salary is guaranteed by your team if you are on the initial 53 man roster in week 1. Hence Randy Moss was picking up paychecks from the Vikings (who had to guarantee his salary as he was a Patriot week 1) and the Titans last year.
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Post by Derbyblue Tue 05 Jul 2011, 7:45 pm

"Despite a breakdown in communication and trust that boiled over last week, the two sides are closer to an agreement than many people realize perhaps than even some of the people involved realize. That the respective negotiating teams hung in amid the negativity and held a marathon session Thursday and a shorter one on Friday was a deceptively positive sign." http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ms-silver_new_nfl_cba_will_erase_fans_pain_070511

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Post by The Mangler US_UK Tue 05 Jul 2011, 7:46 pm

Okay, now the retired players are trying throw a wrench into the negotiations. They've filed a class action complaint to halt the court ordered mediation and stop the current players negotiating on their behalf.

http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/NFL-labor-talks-could-be-held-up-by-retired-players-complaint-070511

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Post by Derbyblue Tue 05 Jul 2011, 8:01 pm

What do the retired players want in the CBA?

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Post by GSC Tue 05 Jul 2011, 8:09 pm

More benefits and medical research I imagine. It won't come to anything, the retired players have no leverage here, they shouldve negiotiated what they wanted when they were active players.
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Post by Grizzly Tue 05 Jul 2011, 8:35 pm

Agree GSC - but the lure of the $$$ is the only consideration when an active player, this is why the league have been firm in trying to improve the deal retired players get throughout and it's the owners who have resisted.
I doubt their stance will carry any weight, why do this now and not last March ?

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Post by GSC Tue 05 Jul 2011, 8:44 pm

They did do this last March. The judge included their case with the players and invited them to mediation. Now the arent in mediation they feel left out and are trying to get mediation stopped until they turn up. They have no leverage since the NFLPA and NFL can simply agree a deal with or without them.
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Post by Grizzly Wed 06 Jul 2011, 9:41 am

Fair enough - hadn't realised that.

Seems to be some good vibes kicking around from yesterdays talks, players seem to have camp dates and everyone expects things to be resolved by then, apparently owners were keen that no pre-season games were lost which has kickstarted an accelerated timetable

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Post by GSC Wed 06 Jul 2011, 1:39 pm

1-2 preseason weeks missed could cost $600m I read. Also impacts on the pot of money the players would receive so, as I suspected, both sides were happy to play hardball while they weren't losing anything.

The players are wholely dependent on winng the court battle anyway. Who's more likely to crack without a source of income. 32 multi million/billionaires, or however many scrub players that earned minimum pay last year.
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Post by skins4ever Wed 06 Jul 2011, 1:52 pm

Graeme Swann's Cat wrote:The players are wholely dependent on winng the court battle anyway. Who's more likely to crack without a source of income. 32 multi million/billionaires, or however many scrub players that earned minimum pay last year.

Mill/Billionaires only keep that status by staying in business (many are reliant on their share values for their status, not their bank balance), but scrubs can get a job stacking shelves to at least put food on the table. Many of the owners main income is not derived from the NFL, so they are mostly in a stronger negotiating position, but once they start losing numbers like $600M over a couple of weeks, I dare say the shoe will be on the other foot.

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Post by Derbyblue Wed 06 Jul 2011, 1:57 pm

Graeme Swann's Cat wrote:More benefits and medical research I imagine. It won't come to anything, the retired players have no leverage here, they shouldve negiotiated what they wanted when they were active players.
Are they more or less hoping that if they make enough noise the current players will listen and realise they will be wanting the same things when they've retired?

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Post by GSC Wed 06 Jul 2011, 1:58 pm

That $600m comes out of the pool that will be split between the two sides also.

If you could earn 500k for 1 years work, or you could bag groceries, which one you going for?
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Post by GSC Wed 06 Jul 2011, 2:00 pm

Derbyblue wrote:
Graeme Swann's Cat wrote:More benefits and medical research I imagine. It won't come to anything, the retired players have no leverage here, they shouldve negiotiated what they wanted when they were active players.
Are they more or less hoping that if they make enough noise the current players will listen and realise they will be wanting the same things when they've retired?

I think its more making noise so they get thrown some extra scraps to keep quiet. The NFL and NFLPA were already intending to improve retirement compensation in any case. I doubt it comes to anything.
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Post by skins4ever Wed 06 Jul 2011, 5:08 pm

GSC - I'd rather earn some money bagging groceries than sitting at home earning nothing while the lockout goes on. The rookies are already feeling the pain. What about the vets on the roster fringes who may not even make a squad when this is all over? Some may already be resigned to their fate and planning a life after football. Sad

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Post by GSC Wed 06 Jul 2011, 5:21 pm

Aye, but remember the union only has power because it has the support of all the members. If some members want to end the lockout because theyd rather play football than bag groceries they can put pressure on the union.
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Post by Derbyblue Wed 06 Jul 2011, 5:30 pm

skins4ever wrote:GSC - I'd rather earn some money bagging groceries than sitting at home earning nothing while the lockout goes on. The rookies are already feeling the pain. What about the vets on the roster fringes who may not even make a squad when this is all over? Some may already be resigned to their fate and planning a life after football. Sad
The only rookies I can see feeling the pain are those who went undrafted the others know they have a job in the next few month.

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Post by The Mangler US_UK Thu 07 Jul 2011, 8:18 am

Was listening to the radio and Sal Paolantonio of ESPN was saying that both sides are committed to working over this coming weekend if necessary to get a deal in place (which is good since the judge is scheduled to leave on vacation on Saturday). He was saying they're hoping to have a framework in place by Friday. Smith and Goodell are coming in on Thursday.

One tidbit - players rejected teams having right of first refusal on offers for 3 of their own free agents.

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Post by GSC Thu 07 Jul 2011, 2:28 pm

Players were never going to accept that without the Owners giving them something good. The Owners had a chance to resign impending FA's prior to the lockout.
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Post by Pr4wn Fri 08 Jul 2011, 4:16 pm

The lockout is now officially legal and the Tom Brady case is going to start getting some steam.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=6748753

So much for progress...

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Post by The Mangler US_UK Fri 08 Jul 2011, 5:48 pm

Well, they're so close to an agreement that I think (hope) it won't derail the talks, though you know there are some hardcore owners who will say 'hey, we've got the leverage now - let's go for the throat.'

There was an interesting story on the Detroit Free Press website where the reporter was saying this whole labor unrest is not so much about player versus owner, but owner versus owner.

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Post by twelve283 Fri 08 Jul 2011, 6:17 pm

U.S. Court of Appeals For The Eighth Circuit Opinion - July 8, 2011:
http://www.ca8.uscourts.gov/nfl/ca8_live.11.cv.1898.3805522.0.pdf

General consensus seems to be that the ruling is unlikely to impact negotiations.

From ESPN’s Chris Mortensen via twitter:
Again, 8th Cicruit ruling not a total victory for owners. The antitrust case/damages lingers in this ruling, so leaves motive for settlement
The players’ antitrust suit remains intact so not a complete victory for the owners thus both sides should continue to work on a deal with a matter of urgency.


Joint NFL-NFLPA Statement on 8th Circuit Ruling:
While we respect the court’s decision, today’s ruling does not change our mutual recognition that this matter must be resolved through negotiation. 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.
http://www.nfllockout.com/2011/07/08/joint-nfl-nflpa-statement-on-8th-circuit-ruling/


ESPN’s Adam Schefter via twitter:
8th Circuit ruled NFL cannot lockout players not under contract -- i.e. rookies, free agents -- because there is no employment relationship.

Ruling does not allow unsigned players to start signing asap -- it kicks back to Judge Nelson for a hearing…
Chris Mortensen via twitter:
8th Circuit court basically says Judge Nelson needs to have specific evidentiary hearing on legality of lockout pertaining to free agents

twelve283

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Post by GB1919 Fri 08 Jul 2011, 6:26 pm

Albert Breer on NFL.com raised an interesting point that if the lockout is deemed illegal with regard to free agents and undrafted players then the owners would almost be forced to start signing them and doing deals as not doing so could/would lead to action under collusion legislation.

He seemed to think this was a nightmare situation and could actually drive the owners to get a deal done ASAP.

I don't think I've ever been more confused by this process than I am right now.

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