Blog Entry

NFL claims minor victory over union

Posted on: February 1, 2011 5:51 pm
Edited on: February 1, 2011 6:04 pm
Posted by Josh Katzowitz

After NFL special master Stephen Holder ruled today in favor of the NFL’s TV deals for 2011, the league was quick to claim victory.

“As we have said all along, a new CBA has to be hammered out at the negotiating table, not in the courtroom,” wrote NFL spokesman Greg Aiello on his Twitter page. “If union commits to invest as much time and resources in negotiations as it has in litigation, a new agreement could well be reached by 3/4. We understand the union intends to appeal Special Master’s decision, but we are confident his detailed ruling will be affirmed.”

The union, saying the fact the current TV deal calls for the networks to pay the owners whether or not there are games next year, amounts to lockout insurance.

Naturally, that would give the owners huge leverage in Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations, because, since they’re getting money regardless, they wouldn’t be nearly as desperate for a paycheck (though the league has said it would have to pay back the money to the networks, with interest, if games are missed). The NFLPA asked Holder to deny the owners those payments, a request he dismissed today.

But Holder also ruled, according to Sports Business Journal reporter Liz Mullen that Holder found violations of the agreement with respect to the league’s payment negotiations in its ESPN and NBC contracts.

Expect the NFLPA to appeal the ruling, although the union, in fact, was awarded damages today. Aiello quickly pointed out that the NFLPA sent twice as much on the case as it received in damages. Which isn’t really the point, but there you go.

Expect a statement from the NFLPA soon.

UPDATED (5:53 p.m.):
Here's the official NFLPA statement:

The Special Master, who is appointed by a federal judge, found violations of the Reggie White Settlement Agreement with respect to the NFL's negotiation of Lockout Insurance in its contracts with ESPN and NBC. Although the Special Master awarded damages, the players intend to file an immediate and expedited appeal before the federal court in Minnesota."And then

And then there's this tweet from George Atallah of the NFLPA: "NFL's reaction to the result of this network case is like a team popping champagne after a preseason game." Awesome.

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Category: NFL

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 9, 2012 8:40 pm

NFL claims minor victory over union

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 7, 2011 10:48 pm
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Since: Feb 1, 2011
Posted on: February 1, 2011 11:30 pm

NFL claims minor victory over union

As a small business owner I can somewhat sympatize with the owners needing to make slight adjustments to %s to make the business model work for them. That being said, they want to cut the players share from 58% to 47%??? That is a huge, huge change. I can't take ownership side when the cut is so aggressive. I can't believe they need this to make money, the change looks so drastic they would have had to have lost enormous amounts of money under the current CBA, which I don't believe is the case. 

These teams are part of the communities where they play. In some sense they are OUR teams, not just the owners. You can't go to a mall without seeing many people wearing team colors, you see team stickers on many cars in any large parking lot or as you drive on a major street, the local paper dedicates columns and reporters to team coverage, sports bars depend on the TV games to survive, local shops depend on sales of team apparel etc to run their business, there is a fantasy sports industry created around the NFL. Enormous amounts of people get hurt, some financially, some emotionally, by these owners if they lock out the players. My point is that like it or not, this game is part of the public trust. If these owners don't get moving to make sure the games are played, I would hope public opinion turns on them and people with power act. I don't see why an NFL team can't be taken using the principle of "eminent domain". Many cities have so much invested in these teams, and it's enought to be constantly held up for public funded to build plush stadiums, and to be threatened with moves. To have the owners feel it is OK to take TV money and lock out the players and screw the fans is the worst offense possible. 

The fans do have power. They need to use it and empower public officials to utilize the legal tools available to protect the good of their communities. 

Since: Sep 13, 2006
Posted on: February 1, 2011 10:39 pm

NFL claims minor victory over union

I would say rookies should have 3 year max contracts.  Slotted in pay to the position in the draft selection.
The teams would have the right to negotiate a longer contract after the second season.  The teams would
also have to agree to keep the amount of money spent on salaries above a set minimum in order to get
the money being spent now on rookies, spent on veterans with 3+ years of service.

The league would have to cave on the 18 game schedule unless they are able to provide medical insurance
for 10 years beyond the players last day in  the league instead of the 5 years that it is now.

Both could find that happy median on how much the players are going to have to kick back in percentages
as to what it is now.

The rest would be smaller items that could be hammered out without a work stoppage.  It will be amazing
that it will take 4-5 months or more before they come up with something similiar to what I have typed but
that is the way 2 pig headed sided do things and the fans are the ones that will be without.

Since: Jun 2, 2008
Posted on: February 1, 2011 8:04 pm

NFL claims minor victory over union

This is a joke.  The NFL needs to cave on 18 games, the NFLPA needs to cave on 58% of league revenue.  And they both need to come to an agreement on rookie salaries.  They need to do an NBA rookie salary, but amertize it per position.  RB's get more because they only last an average of 2 years, and so on for WR's, OL, DL, TE, LB, DB, K, P, etc.  I am sure they may and do have more than this on the table, but to fans, these are the hot button issues.  Should Matt Leinart be making more than Kyle Orton last year, he actually played.  Two year contract for rookies, with a max amount, bonuses included, if they do well, then you get a grab at a long term big deal, if you do not, the team needs to see your potential and sign you for whatever they deem necessary.  I am sure they have better deals in mind, then my simple solution.

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