Blog Entry

Collusion in the NFL?

Posted on: June 15, 2010 8:45 am

Yesterday we mentioned that whispers about collusion against restricted free agents could be rising to the surface. Pro Football Talk originally raised the issue after noticing that a number of different teams wrote letters to unsigned restricted free agents warning them about the June 15 deadline (RFAs who didn’t sign their tender by midnight last night ran the risk of having their offer reduced).

The letters teams sent out were suspiciously similar in tone and timing, leaving one to wonder if teams might all be operating under a set of unofficial guidelines. Speculation is that teams could also be under pressure not to aggressively pursue RFA’s, due to the ongoing labor negotiations.

The NFLPA is said to be seriously looking into this matter. Collusion would likely be hard to prove, but you have to figure some form of it is going on, and not just in regards to RFA’s. Look at Kevin Mawae, for example. Though still one of the best centers in the league, the veteran unrestricted free agent’s phone has not rang this offseason. Mawae has even said he’d be willing to accept a backup role. Still, no calls. Could it have something to do with Mawae being the president of the NFLPA?

--Andy Benoit

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 4, 2012 10:39 am

Collusion in the NFL?

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 17, 2011 6:46 pm
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 7, 2011 10:10 am

Collusion in the NFL?

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Since: Oct 7, 2011
Posted on: October 19, 2011 9:25 pm

Collusion in the NFL?

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Since: Mar 23, 2009
Posted on: June 15, 2010 6:50 pm

Collusion in the NFL?

So, "The letters teams sent out were suspiciously similar in tone and timing ..."? How many different ways ARE there to tell the players that a deadline for accepting their tenders is approaching and listing the options if they don't sign? And the timing is suspicious? The deadline was immiment (after all, today is the 15th). When SHOULD the owners have sent out the warning letters - after the deadline passed? Benoit and the NFLPA are obviously trying to make a mountain out of mole hill here.

Why should owners be rushing to make offers to RFAs and other veterans who don't have jobs at this point, unless they see someone out there that definitely fills a glaring need? Wouldn't it make more sense for a team to use these mini-camps and OTAs to evaluate their current personnel and the players they picked up in the draft before shelling out big bucks for RFAs or veterans who might be over the hill? The owners are certainly no saints when it comes to business dealings, but the greed and shadiness of the NFLPA and the overpaid players is amazing.

Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: June 15, 2010 3:39 pm

Collusion in the NFL?

I suppose that is one way to look at it.
Besides we have Kevin's say-so he will play for less...but less than what?  Same with TO...he says he will play for less but give us a number.  They won't because they think less is a 20% paycut not the 50-75 owners feel comfortable with.
The other way to look at it would be the players are continually pushing for more which I would expect from an employee.  As an employer though I would be very careful about signing someone long term with guaranteed money when there is no guarantee there will even be a season next year.  that means I don't generate revenue.
The way bargaining works is both sides have interests to protect and the players union (if not the players) is throwing around alot of accusations which is side-tracking from the issue of bargaining towards an agreement.  They are trying to build a case against the NFL to increase their bargaining position which is smart whether it has any truth to it or not.  In the end I think the players have the power to end all these silly games and extend the current deal but they won't do that because they are after something they believe the owners are not going to give them.  They don't have the leverage to manipulate the NFL that way unless they can get a legal victory saying the NFL/Owners have practiced unfair business tactics which in any cases so far look to me like a prudent set of like minded business owners preparing for the storm the players union is inching towards.

Face it the deal could be done already but the PA is creating chaos and trying to gain leverage by swaying public sympathy and perhaps spending thousands trying to build a case to improve leverage in bargaining position.  BTW Chris Johson/Andre Johnson and others are not helping by trying to force teams into renegotiating their deals that have years left on them.

I don't view the owners as the big bad guy.  I mean they pay the players millions for something alot of us do for free (or pay to do) as we grow up.  I think any pitfalls of being an NFL player are far outweighed by the salary and the ability of getting paid in a few years (even for avg joes) what many people will make in a lifetime.

Quit barking and talk about getting a deal done.  My fantasy league depends on a season and I really want my Cowboys to defend their Superbowl championship.

Since: Jan 9, 2007
Posted on: June 15, 2010 10:55 am

Collusion in the NFL?

No way.  Every team in the league will do what they have to do to win.  The problem is pay.  Nobody wants to pay big money for someone who can't play like they're worth the money anymore, and these formerly great players don't want to admit that they aren't worth big money.

Since: Jun 16, 2007
Posted on: June 15, 2010 9:29 am

Collusion in the NFL?

I'll believe it.  The players know they can't play forever.  There are so many players who are deemed old and willing to play for less yet haven't signed with anyone.  Kevin Mawae is still very serviceable.  I believe he's got to be better than someone starting at center right now.  The owners are being far more aggressive than I ever imagined with this whole CBA standoff.  They refuse to take their foot off the neck of the players.

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