Brady, Manning, and Brees: “It is time to get this deal done” Posted by Gregg Rosenthal on July 13, 2011, 11:08 AM EDT
In yet another sign the next few days of labor talks are crucial, the biggest names in the Brady vs. NFL antitrust lawsuit are saying that “it is time” for a deal.
Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Drew Brees released a statement to the Associated Press:
“We believe the overall proposal made by the players is fair for both sides and it is time to get this deal done. This is the time of year we as players turn our attention to the game on the field. We hope the owners feel the same way,” the statement reads.
(There are undrafted players, not to mention fans, that felt like it was time a long time ago.)
This statement can still be seen as a positive because it further advances the notion that there is a deadline to this latest set of talks. Then again, the statement indicates the players may be tired of continuing to compromise and believe their latest offer is enough.
NFL responds to quarterbacks statement Posted by Gregg Rosenthal on July 13, 2011, 11:40 AM EDT
Well, that didn’t take long.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello quickly responded to the statement released by Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Drew Brees that said “it is time” to get a deal done.
“We share the view that now is the time to reach an agreement so we can all get back to football and a full 2011 season. We are working hard with the players’ negotiating team every day to complete an agreement as soon as possible,” Aiello wrote via Twitter as an NFL comment.
So that’s settled. Both sides agree it’s time for a deal.
And don’t worry guys: Both sides will get their share of the blame if it doesn’t happen.
Drew Brees will join labor talks on Thursday Posted by Mike Florio on July 13, 2011, 11:30 AM EDT
Coming on the heels of a joint statement from the three quarterbacks whose name appear atop the antitrust lawsuit against the league that the time has come to get a deal done, it looks like one of the plans to do more than talk.
Our pal Scott Kaplan of XX 1090 reports that Saints quarterback Drew Brees has said he’ll travel to New York on Thursday to join the labor negotiations.
Based on the statement from Brees, Peyton Manning, and Tom Brady, Brees’ presence suggests that the goal will be to get a deal done.
Brees has not been involved in negotiations since the talks fell apart in March, leading to the antitrust lawsuit and the lockout.
The Super Bowl XLIV MVP will join Scott Kaplan and Billy Ray Smith on XX 1090 at 11:40 a.m. ET to talk about his plans. You can listen to the interview at the XX 1090 website.
Drew Brees: “We’re very close to a settlement” Posted by Michael David Smith on July 13, 2011, 12:02 PM EDT
Saints quarterback Drew Brees sounded optimistic on Wednesday that a deal to end the lockout could get done very soon.
“We’re very close to a settlement,” Brees said on XX Sports Radio in San Diego. “We’re at that point in the negotiations where there’s just a few more details that need to be ironed out.”
Brees is in San Diego at the moment but said he might be headed to New York to get personally involved in negotiations. And he said the July 21 owners’ meeting looms large on the calendar.
“Obviously there’s a big sense of urgency, especially in the next week with the owners’ meeting on July 21,” Brees said. “I think we’re all optimistic and hoping we can finalize a deal for that time.”
As a named plaintiff in the players’ antitrust lawsuit and a member of the NFLPA* Executive Committee, Brees is one of the most knowledgeable players in the league when it comes to the ongoing negotiations. He confirmed the widespread reports that a revenue split and a rookie pay scale are the major issues in the ongoing negotiations.
On the revenue split, Brees said the players have already made concessions to the owners: “We’ve taken a significant setback as far as overall revenue.”
Regarding rookie contracts, Brees said the issues were “especially, really, the Top 15 picks.” And he said that he wants any savings from reduced pay to those high draft picks to go to the players, including improving pensions and health care for retired players.
“If their salaries are cut, where does that money go? Our standpoint is if that money is taken away from the rookies, it needs to go to the veteran players,” Brees said. “Proven veterans as well as retired players.”
Brees says the owners should be happy with the deal the players are willing to make, and now it’s time for the owners to reach across the table and accept.
“The fact of the matter is that we do have a very fair proposal on the table right now in front of the owners,” Brees said. “They’ve talked a lot here over the last week about how, ‘Wer’e going to get a deal done before the 21st, for the meetings.’ Well, now the ball’s in their court because we have a very fair proposal.”
According to Brees, the players are ready, willing and able to get back to work.
“Get us back on the field again,” Brees said. “That’s all we want as players.”
Report: Progress made on rookie pay scale Posted by Michael David Smith on July 14, 2011, 3:03 PM EDT
We’ve all reached the point in the NFL lockout where we’re kind of sick of reports about progress being made and we just want to see a done deal. But that doesn’t mean we’re going to ignore the reports of progress.
So we’ll pass along what appears to be good news from Jim Trotter of Sports Illustrated, who tweets that there’s been positive movement on both sides today regarding the rookie pay issue.
Frankly, even a small amount of positive movement today should have resulted in a meeting somewhere in the middle. As we reported on Monday, the two sides really weren’t that far apart in the first place. The differences between the owners and the players on rookie pay were about a relatively small amount of money and would affect a relatively small number of players.
So with one week to go before the July 21 meeting at which the owners are hoping they can vote to approve a new deal, let’s hope they can wrap up the rookie pay scale today.
Players considering seeking injunction for rookies, free agents Posted by Mike Florio on July 14, 2011, 10:58 AM EDT
In what could be proof that the two sides really aren’t (contrary to what Drew Brees said Wednesday) “very close” to a labor deal — or in what possibly could be confirmation that they are — a source with direct knowledge of the negotiations tells PFT that the players could soon be filing a motion to end the lockout as to players not currently under contract.
In Friday’s ruling allowing the lockout generally to proceed, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit concluded that, regarding the rookies and unsigned free agents, the lockout possibly could be prevented until they sign contracts. Though this ultimately is a distinction without a difference, the process of requiring the league to open the doors for the purposes of signing rookies and free agents before systematically locking each one out after giving them seven-figure-or-more signing bonuses would create, as the NFLPA* lawyers called it in a memo obtained by Sal Paolantonio of ESPN, a “bizarre chaos.” (Is there another kind?)
To trigger that “bizarre chaos,” the named plaintiffs in the Brady class action would be required to file a motion with Judge Susan Nelson, who would then hold a hearing as to whether the lockout should be lifted for players not currently under contract, until they are signed to new contracts.
The argument would specifically be advanced not only by named plaintiffs like rookie Von Miller and pending free agent Ben Leber, but also by Peyton Manning and Vincent Jackson, both of whom are named platintiffs and free agents — and both of whom have been restricted with the franchise tag. And so the “bizarre chaos” would include whether the Colts would be able to enforce the franchise tag, whether another team would try to sign Manning, and whether the players would claim collusion and/or contempt of court if Manning and other players receive no offers.
Bizarre or otherwise, it would indeed be chaos. And it’s the only real hammer that the NFLPA* currently have, short of walking away from the table and incurring the total and overwhelming wrath of the fans, and possibly enough current players to start a union of their own.
With the parties getting closer to an agreement, but also closer to an impasse on the remaining issues, it’s the one thing that could get the NFL to quit assuming that the players eventually will cave.
It’s unclear when the motion would be filed. Per the source, the tactic currently is on the radar screen.
“Bizarre chaos” from new injunction would cut both ways Posted by Mike Florio on July 14, 2011, 1:39 PM EDT
At one point in the current labor dispute, long before the union decertified and 10 players filed an antitrust suit and the league locked them all out, the NFLPA was toying with political strategies that would hurt everyone. Persuading Congress to attack the league’s broadcast antitrust exemption, for example, would have led to less TV money for the league — and thus less TV money that could be shared with the players. Likewise, an apparent disdain for the league office’s tax-exempt status could have been replaced with a structure that would have made it more costly for the league and its teams to process revenues and pay taxes — and thus giving them less total money that could be shared with the players.
Now, as the process possibly moves toward conclusion, NFLPA* lawyers could be unleashing a legal strategy on behalf of unsigned players that could hurt both the league and the unsigned players.
The possible filing of a motion for an injunction aimed at forcing the league to sign rookies and free agents before locking them out would, as an NFLPA* legal memo obtained by Sal Paolantonio of ESPN puts it, cause “bizarre chaos” for the league. But it also would create a potential mess for the free agents and rookies.
A source not tied to the union or the NFL but with knowledge of the situation broke it all down for us earlier today.
Apart from the fact that the unsigned players will be locked out as soon as they sign contracts, the players surely won’t get any money until the lockout ends. Yes, there will be signing bonuses. But no team in its right mind will make the money due at any point before the 2011 league year commences. And so the tactic still won’t get the players their money any faster.
Also, the magnitude of the contracts offered will surely be much lower before the lockout ends than after a deal is struck. Though some teams may splurge on the likes of Nnamdi Asomugha, the market will be much softer than it would be with a new labor deal in place.
As to the possibility that Peyton Manning would be a free agent, the source pointed out that the league would surely implement rules that would apply to the players for whom the lockout is lifted, at least until they sign contracts. The franchise tag would still be implemented, along with possible limits on restricted free agents.
On that point, the NFLPA* could argue while seeking the motion that the franchise tag and any other restrictions on free agency would violate antitrust laws and should be prohibited. But that process would make a complex process even more complicated. Besides, any ruling would be subject to another appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, delaying for weeks if not months the final outcome of the process.
The only group that would benefit in any way from the lifting of the lockout as to unsigned players would be the rookie draft picks, who presumably would be permitted to work out at team facilities and receive coaching — until they sign contracts. But with the calendar approaching August, there simply isn’t enough time to let all of that play out in a way that benefits anyone.
In the end, the NFLPA* lawyers may not care about the practical consequences of seeking an injunction for the unsigned players. Indeed, it may fit with their broader agenda of trying to string out the dispute long enough to miss the season and position the players for a big-money antitrust verdict.
Stunning momentum puts settlement on fast track Posted by Mike Florio on July 14, 2011, 10:09 PM EDT
With a deal in place on the rookie wage scale, the NFL and the players apparently are moving quickly toward a full and complete CBA.
Sal Paolantonio of ESPN (via Chris Mortensen’s Twitter page) reports that a settlement is now on the fast track. Chris Mortensen of ESPN (via Chris Mortensen’s Twitter page) reports that, at the current pace, a deal could come within the next 24-to-48 hours.
Per Mort,”[e]ven skeptical participants among negotiating teams are almost stunned at momentum resolving remaining issues.”
The remaining issues include the question of whether free agency with fewer than six years of service will be subject to a “right of first refusal,” whether judicial oversight will apply to the labor deal, and whether and to what extent league-imposed discipline will be reviewed by someone other than the Commissioner or his designee. As to the last two issues, Mort reports that a panel of three retired judges is being considered for the purposes of overseeing all discipline and disputes, which would address the league’s desire to keep the courts out of the process of interpreting the CBA — and which would address the players’ desire to keep the Commish from having final say over any discipline he imposes.
Regardless of how it all works out, it now appears that a deal is within striking distance. Just in time to save the preseason and all the money that goes along with it.
Talks end for the day with a deal closer than ever Posted by Mike Florio on July 14, 2011, 11:54 PM EDT
After smoking a cigar and drinking a beer for the first time in 15 years to celebrate the coming labor deal, I returned to the official PFT laptop to see if there’s any reason to temper the growing sense of optimism.
The closest thing to the latest cup of cold water came from Ravens cornerback and NFLPA* Executive Committee member Domonique Foxworth, who had this to say to Albert Breer of NFL Network as Foxworth was leaving the site of the negotiations: “All the reports that are floating around, there really is no deal until our players approve it.”
He’s right. The players must approve it. Specifically, at least 50 percent plus one must accept its terms by agreeing to reformulate the union.
But the reality is that, if even the terms of the March 11 offer were submitted to the players for a vote today, at least 50 percent of the players plus one would vote for it.
And so all signs continue to point to a deal being reached. But we’ll keep watching for the cold water. After another cigar, and a couple more beers.
“Right of first refusal” for free agents still a hanging issue Posted by Gregg Rosenthal on July 15, 2011, 8:40 AM EDT
With the rookie salary cap essentially in place, the NFL and NFLPA* can move on to other issues when they reconvene Friday morning. One of the trickiest items still on the table remains the concept of right of first refusal idea for this year’s free agent class.
Mark Maske of the Washington Post and the Breer/La Canfora team from NFL.com both write that the owners are still seeking the right of first refusal for up to three free agents for 2011.
NFL.com calls it an issue on which “the players won’t relent.” (And they shouldn’t.)
Perhaps ownership is still just using it as a bargaining chip, hoping to get something back for giving the issue up. (Florio believes that’s the case.) It appeared that it was the ownership’s turn to relent on closing the rookie wage scale, and that happened on Thursday.
We can only hope for Friday to bring similar progress.
Get ready for a road bump or two Posted by Mike Florio on July 15, 2011, 9:33 AM EDT
Last night, I smoked a victory cigar and drank a victory beer (and eventually took a celebration piss) after the NFL and the NFLPA* worked out the thorny problem of the rookie wage scale. With the most difficult issues now in the bag, it should be easy to work out all remaining disputes.
Key words: Should be.
The cork remains in the bottle of Dom Perignon because there’s no deal until there’s a deal. And every time the owners think a deal is inevitable, they tend to harden their position on the remaining issues, under the mistaken impression that the players will cave.
That’s precisely what could happen today. Albert Breer of NFL Network lists some of the remaining issues: the so-called “Legacy Fund” for retired players, the right-of-first-refusal tags for free agents in 2011, the issue player safety, and issues relating to litigation, both now and in the future.
If the owners — and now nine of the 10 members of the labor committee are present — cross their arms and wait for the players to blink, the process will bog down until the owners realize the players won’t blink. And then a couple more days will go by until the owners accept that the players won’t blink, and then they’ll finally work out the remaining issues.
Either way, the broader time line seems to be set in something close to stone. They’ll meet with the mediator, U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan, in Minneapolis on Tuesday, and the 32 owners will meet in Atlanta on Thursday, hopefully (as first reported by ESPN on Monday) to vote on the agreement in principle.
Whether and to what extent football fans will be celebrating that agreement in principle at any point over the coming weekend remains to be seen. But don’t be surprised if talks slow down again on Friday, as the owners hope that the players will agree to anything in the hopes of striking an agreement on everything.
Joined: October 20th, 2004, 4:16 pm Posts: 10396 Location: Where ever I'm at now
Re: 2011 CBA Thread
Also, salary-cap details became clear -- the 2011 projected cap will be roughly $123 million, according to sources, but as a practical matter will "feel" more like $130 million to teams when cap credits and new cap exceptions are factored. And teams will have to spend, in cash, 90 percent to the cap minimum, and league-wide spending will be pegged at 99 percent to the cap.
_________________ I will not put on blinders when it comes to our QBs performances.
July 15th, 2011, 12:05 pm
Joined: December 31st, 2004, 9:55 am Posts: 12458
Re: 2011 CBA Thread
Rookie wage scale details demonstrate that owners lost battle, won war Posted by Mike Florio on July 15, 2011, 12:45 PM EDT
On Thursday, the NFL and the NFLPA* struck a deal on the rookie wage scale. Based on the two positions that were detailed in a memo we obtained earlier in the week, it’s clear that the NFL adopted almost entirely what the players were seeking.
Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that, as expected, all first-round picks will be signed to four-year contracts, with an option for the fifth year. As to the first 10 picks, the fifth-year salary, if the team exercises the option, will equate to the average of the 10 highest-paid players at the same position. As to the next 22 picks in round one, the fifth-year salary will reflect the average of the third to 25th highest-paid players at the position.
The players, as of last week, had asked for the first half of round one to get a salary worth the average salary of the top 10 players at the same position. For the second half of round one, the number would have come from the top 20 players at the position.
In the end, the players got almost exactly what they wanted, with only six players left out of the top-10 average pay, and with the average pay figures for picks 11 through 32 omitting the top two players and adding in three more at the back end. This year, the teams that will be helped and the players that will be hurt by the final outcome are the Texans and defensive end J.J. Watt (pictured with James Harrison’s BFF), the Vikings and quarterback Christian Ponder, the Lions and defensive tackle Nick Fairley, the Rams and defensive end Robert Quinn, the Dolphins and center Mike Pouncey, and the Redskins and defensive end Ryan Kerrigan, respectively.
But the other 22 lose as well. The ultimate outcome of the rookie wage scale represents a major victory for the league, with the total pay of the top 10 picks dropping by anywhere from 40 to 55 percent. The money will now be shifted to veterans and retired players.
Players’ lockout insurance fund may have broken the ice on Thursday, or not Posted by Mike Florio on July 15, 2011, 1:30 PM EDT
So what prompted the owners to make significant concessions on the rookie wage scale Thursday? Some have said it was the threat of the filing of a motion to lift the lockout as to players not under contract. Jim Trotter of SI.com reports that the dam may have broken once the players unveiled a plan to fund the lockout during the season with $200,000 per player.
Specifically, Trotter reports that NFLPA* executive director DeMaurice Smith “secure[d] insurance” in the amount of roughly $200,000 per player in the event that the lockout wipes out the full 2011 season. Trotter also reports, citing only an unnamed source close to an owner, that the maneuver got the league’s attention.
This raises plenty of questions, and the balance of the report contains scant details.
First, where did the insurance come from? It’s hard to imagine many insurance companies underwriting a risk that is tied to the whims and will of 32 human beings, especially when the total payout would have exceeded $300 million.
Second, how much did the premiums cost, and who paid for them?
Third, who would have been covered? Plenty of players don’t need it. Rookies do, especially the guys who weren’t drafted.
Fourth, would it have mattered? When the league contains plenty of guys who make $2 million per year but live like they earn twice that amount, $200,000 won’t do much to finance the balance of 2011 and the first seven non-football months of 2012.
That’s the thing that everyone has overlooked. If the season had been scrapped, the players would have had to get through the football season without game checks, and then they would have had to make it to the next football season without having received game checks during the prior season.
So while it’s an intriguing detail, its impact on the owners possibly is being overstated, especially when considering the assumption that the $200,000 per player would have been coupled with, as Trotter explains it, “a large financial award from U.S. District Judge David Doty, who previously ruled the owners had illegally created a $4.3 billion lockout fund for themselves by renegotiating their TV deals at the expense of the players.”
Any award from Doty would have been subject to appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Given its conservative composition, the players’ ability to secure victory before that court would have been a toss-up, at best. Moreover, it’s highly unlikely that the appeals court would have resolved the issue during the 2011 season. Though the Eighth Circuit expedited the appeal of the ruling to lift the lockout, courts rarely if ever speed up the process of considering cases in which the only question is whether and to what extent money will change hands.
In other words, the players would have seen none of the money when they needed it the most. (That said, it could have helped them get through part of the 2012 offseason.)
Still, if the players think they pulled a rabbit out of the hat with the owners and scored one final coup, so be it. At the end of the day, the players need to feel good about their work, and in many respects they should. (Also, given that De Smith is up for re-election in March 2012, he needs the players to feel good about their leader.) The owners surely expected to finagle a much better deal than the deal that eventually will be done. To the extent, however, that the prospect of the players getting $200,000 each to tide them over until September 2012 scared the owners into bridging the fairly small gap that remained on the rookie wage scale, we’ll choose to be skeptical, for now.
Joined: September 5th, 2006, 12:30 pm Posts: 726 Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Re: 2011 CBA Thread
Nice to see they will be getting these rookie salaries somewhat under control. No mention of guarantee money though. I thought they were going to put language in there that would allow the team and the player to renegotiate the contract like after the third year, somewhat similar to what the NBA does.
_________________ "When you eat crow, if you put barbecue on it, it's not so bad."-Brady Hoke
July 15th, 2011, 4:08 pm
Joined: June 26th, 2006, 1:03 pm Posts: 13429
Re: 2011 CBA Thread
_________________ regularjoe12 - "You are crackin me up! really! HILARIOUS um let me quote some intellgent people in this coneversation: Steensn:"
July 15th, 2011, 4:10 pm
Joined: September 25th, 2007, 3:20 am Posts: 3207
Re: 2011 CBA Thread
No idea on guarantees, but total contracts for a #1 QB will be about $34 million with a 5 year contract. A dramatic drop from the last few seasons. The 5th year will be an option year at about 40-50% of what the amount was in the 4th year. I believe the slotted system will also be broken down further on the OL. Instead of just OL, its now broken down further with classifications for G, C and Tackle, where as before they always were categorized as OL. I believe there's some language that was discussed about rookies not being able to hold out until the final or 3rd year of a deal (not sure which), but not sure if that's included or not.
As to negotiating, I'm sure players and teams will want to renegotiate if someone is outplaying their contracts. Especially if the hold-out point is 3yrs in for a 5yr deal, and 2 yrs in on a 4yr deal.
Overall, all the financial aspects except retired players have been finalized, so its just the smaller details left. Agreement could be tonight or they could wait until Tuesday when they meet Boylan.
July 15th, 2011, 4:37 pm
Commissioner of the NFL – Roger Goodell
Joined: August 7th, 2004, 4:47 am Posts: 10980 Location: Sterling Heights, MI
Re: 2011 CBA Thread
Leave it to the lawyers to phuck things up:
Players apparently are making a last-minute power play Posted by Mike Florio on July 17, 2011, 12:17 AM EDT
When I left Hilton Head Saturday morning, it had been suggested that almost nothing could derail a new labor deal.
That attitude possibly has jinked the entire process.
Now that I’m back at PFT headquarters and catching up on the stuff I missed while driving 600 miles and stopping for a couple of meals (Florio Jr. strongly objected to waiting 35 minutes for a table at Cracker Barrel), it looks like the players opted — through their lawyers — to make a power play on Saturday, something that the owners had feared.
As ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported earlier today, the players want $320 million in benefits that weren’t paid during the uncapped year, as well as a one-year limit on the use of the franchise tag. Also, if the “lockout insurance” case must be settled separately and apart from the financial package negotiated by the league and the players, it’s possible that another nine-figure sum could be demanded. And to the extent that the Brady antitrust lawsuit needs to be resolved via something more than the contents of a new CBA, the players still could demand even more money and/or special treatment for the named plaintiffs, such as an agreement never to use the franchise tag on any of them.
With a deal now regarded by the media and fans and players and pretty much everyone else as a foregone conclusion, the NFLPA* has by all appearances opted to go for one last home run, possibly buoyed by the league’s decision to cave on the “right of first refusal” concept and the league’s significant concession on the rookie wage scale.
In theory, if the league calls the players’ bluff — and if it ends up not being a bluff — the whole thing could still blow up.
Given the dramatic progress that has been made on far thornier and challenging issues, we can’t imagine the talks crumbling now. Instead, the players likely decided to roll the dice in the hopes of making the deal a little (or, as the case may be, a lot) sweeter, and if the parties can’t work out these remaining issues on their own, then U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan will go Alton Benes on anyone and everyone in the room.
Sure, there’s a chance that the NFLPA* lawyers are hoping that cooler heads won’t prevail, but the failure to wrap this thing up now would create a significant backlash for everyone involved. Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith are in the home stretch of the ultimate three-legged race, and they’re smart enough to figure out what it takes to get to the finish line.
Hopefully, cooler heads will crush this nonsense, and an agreement will be reached in a few days.
I should add that it looks like I was right all along while nearly everyone else was in a state of panic. I knew that things would get worked out without the loss of any regular season games. There was just too much money involved on both sides for sensible people to forfeit. It was a lose-lose proposition and both sides knew it.
July 17th, 2011, 11:20 am
Joined: December 31st, 2004, 9:55 am Posts: 12458
Re: 2011 CBA Thread
Kessler’s last stand? Posted by Mike Florio on July 19, 2011, 10:04 AM EDT
As the NFL sees it, close inspection of the demands of Patriots guard Logan Mankins and Chargers receiver Vincent Jackson could very well reveal the fingerprints of Jeffrey Kessler, NFLPA* lawyer and architect of the Brady antitrust action.
It is currently believed by the league that only an effort by Kessler to overplay his hand will derail a new labor deal. The demands of Mankins and Jackson for free agency or $10 million each, could be exactly what the league feared.
Indeed, virtually every remaining issue as of Monday morning (with the exception of the league’s effort to close the California workers’ compensation loophole) represented a demand from the players, as developed and communicated by Kessler. Kessler wants $320 million in benefits that weren’t paid in the final year of a labor deal that was overwhelmingly favorable to the players, a claim that borders on the ludicrous. Kessler wants a lump sum for the “lockout insurance” case (something that, in all fairness to Kessler, the league should have expressly included when moving from its proposal regarding the revenue split to the final range of 46.5-to-48 cents). And now Kessler wants at least two of the named plaintiffs to be exempt from the rules that will apply to the rest of the 1,900 players. (Previously, Kessler wasted hours of negotiating time arguing for a franchise tag exemption on behalf of Peyton Manning and Drew Brees.)
This newest hurdle, advanced in part on behalf of a receiver who should be glad he’s still in the league after a pair of DUI incidents, could have been avoided in March, if Kessler had merely advised his ultimate client, NFLPA* executive director DeMaurice Smith, to ensure that any of the men volunteering to be named plaintiffs would leave their personal agendas at the door.
Kessler should have advised Smith to tell the men that, if they are going to want something other than the satisfaction of helping their “One Team” of NFL players, then they shouldn’t sign their name to the documents. By failing to ensure that such a commitment would be secured up front, Kessler failed his ultimate client, De Smith, and the men the NFLPA* represents.
Sure, maybe De Smith should have thought of this on his own. After all, he was a practicing lawyer before he was hired by the players’ union. But Kessler is the man at the wheel of this bus, and Kessler should have realized based on the precedent of the Reggie White case that some of the named plaintiffs would possibly want something for themselves, even if they had no role in the hard work done to settle the case.
If anything, Ravens cornerback Domonique Foxworth and Colts center Jeff Saturday should get the $10 million each, for spending countless hours out of their normal element for the benefit of their brethren. That contrast between Foxworth and Saturday and Mankins and Jackson makes the current behavior of the latter duo even more offensive.
And it makes Kessler’s failure to ensure that this wouldn’t happen even more unforgivable. No matter how this all shakes out, we believe it’s time for De Smith to get a new set of lawyers to represent the interests of the players.
Until then, we call on Mankins and Jackson to publicly drop their selfish demands and get out of the way. (As if anyone listens to what we have to say.) They’ve done nothing to help the process to its current point other than sign a piece of paper. They now need to be prepared to sign another piece of paper so that the process can finally end.
Joined: August 7th, 2004, 4:47 am Posts: 10980 Location: Sterling Heights, MI
Re: 2011 CBA Thread
Kessler needs to be used as a tackling dummy, then fired. Him, and lawyers like him from both sides, are the primary reason this thing isn't resolved yet.
July 19th, 2011, 1:14 pm
Joined: December 31st, 2004, 9:55 am Posts: 12458
Re: 2011 CBA Thread
Peyton Manning and Drew Brees request settlement terms Posted by Gregg Rosenthal on July 19, 2011, 12:58 PM EDT
Logan Mankins and Vincent Jackson aren’t the only Brady antitrust plaintiffs that will want a little sweetening of the pie.
Drew Brees and Peyton Manning both are requesting to be exempt from the franchise tag for the rest of their careers, according to Greg A. Bedard of the Boston Globe.
Bedard’s source says that would be effective immediately, which would conceivably make Manning an unrestricted free agent next week. (Now that would fun.) Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com confirmed Bedard’s report. This could slow the process down a bit, but we find it hard to believe the plaintiffs couldn’t be settled quickly, one way or another.
The NFLPA* appears sensitive to the P.R. of players looking like bad guys in the process.
“Rely on the process and rely on your player leadership to get you the right information. Don’t let ‘anonymous sources’ influence you,” NFLPA* spokesman George Atallah wrote on Twitter.
We think there is room for all of the above to be completely accurate. It is not a surprise Brees, Manning, Mankins, and Jackson are trying to get what they can.
That doesn’t mean the players will get what they want, but it’s part of the “process” that Atallah describes.