Blog Entry

NFLPA files decertification paperwork

Posted on: March 11, 2011 5:06 pm
Edited on: March 11, 2011 9:07 pm
Posted by Will Brinson

At 4:45 p.m., DeMaurice Smith announced to reporters the NFLPA had rejected the owners' most recent offer on a new CBA and the union was demanding 10 years of audited team financial statements by 5 p.m. Friday in order to agree to an extension of the CBA.

The league apparently didn't blink, and Smith and the union followed through with their plan to apply for decertification, having faxed the paperwork to Judge David Doty's office in Minnesota.

"The NFL Players Association it has informed the NFL, NFL clubs and other necessary parties that it has renounced its status as the exclusive collective bargaining representative of the players of the National Football League," the NFLPA said in a statement. "The NFLPA will move forward as a professional trade association with the interest of protecting the current and former professional football players."

The union also faxed a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell , informing him of the decision. In addition, and were shut down, their home pages set to "404 Error" messages that featured a new URL --

This is relatively interesting, as the NFL hasn't actually decided to lock out the players yet, though they purportedly need to make a decision before midnight to either impose the last set of rules or lock the players out, the former which might result in free agency beginning right away .

Either way, mediation, for now, has ended.

"The parties have not achieved an overall agreement, nor have they been able to resolve the strongly held competing positions that separated them on core issues," mediator George Cohen said. "No useful purpose would be served by requesting the parties to continue the mediation process at this time."

This means the NFLPA is no longer a union, but rather a trade association made up of many individuals. And it also means there's a strong likelihood the players will file an antitrust suit against the league. In fact, reports are beginning to leak out that the players have already filed suit against the NFL, and included some pretty big names as plaintiffs.

The NFL carried some pretty hefty public relation's spin in a lengthy statement of its own .

NFL Labor

No one is happy where we are now," NFL lead negotiator Jeff Pash said. "I think we know where the commitment was. It was a commitment to litigate all along."

A league statement added: "The union left a very good deal on the table."

It said the offer included splitting the difference in the dispute over how much money owners should be given off the top of the league's revenues. Under the expiring CBA, the owners immediately got about $1 billion before dividing the remainder with the players; the owners originally were asking to roughly double that by getting an additional $1 billion up front.

Also in the NFL's offer, according to the league:
  • Maintaining the 16 regular-season games and four preseason games for at least two years, with any changes negotiable. 
  • Instituting a rookie wage scale through which money saved would be paid to veterans and retired players.
  • Creating new year-round health and safety rules.  
  • Establishing a fund for retired players, with $82 million contributed by the owners over the next two years.  
  • Financial disclosure of audited league and club profitability information that is not even shared with the NFL clubs.
As you can see, the NFL didn't pull any punches when it came to laying its full proposal (or purported proposal, at least) on the table for the media and the fans. Purported is important, too, because shortly after Pash addressed the media and said many of the same thing, a players' lawyer called him a "liar." 

Pash also said, surprisingly, that there has been no decision made on whether the league will lock the players out yet or not.

That's interesting from the perspective that no lockout would dramatically change the landscape of what we expect to see come down the pipe, but it also seems unlikely that the owners wouldn't take that stance.

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Since: May 7, 2007
Posted on: March 11, 2011 6:18 pm

NFLPA officially files decertification paperwork

I'm also sick and tired of all you that say "if I went to my boss and......"

Don't know if you are aware of this, but the NFL doesn't play by the same rules that "common" folk play by. The NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, Hollywood, Music Industry.... these are ALL areas that don't play by the same rules as the rest of us.

The elite athletes, entertainers, media types and politicians don't play by the same rules that you and I do.

You might not like that fact, but it's a REALITY!! So please stop with the if I went to my boss crap ok?!?!? I GUARANTEE if you were employed because you ran a 4.3 40 time or had a rocket arm that could throw a football wherever you wanted to, you could demand things that the normal person couldn't also....

Since: Jun 22, 2008
Posted on: March 11, 2011 6:13 pm

NFLPA officially files decertification paperwork

That the NFL would exist if the owners were not willing to risk BILLIONS of dollars in expenses EVERY YEAR to put on the games.
I'm sorry but in what fantasy world is owning an NFL franchise a risk?  It's easily one of the best investments you could possibly make.  The biggest risks an owner takes is building a massive new stadium and is saddled with huge mortgage payments, but why is it that the players should have to cover that risk?

Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: March 11, 2011 6:12 pm

NFLPA officially files decertification paperwork

I said it before and still would like to know.What stops the teams from cutting everyone (tearing up the contracts) and holding open tryouts?
no locking anyone fact the opposite.  Inviting all uncontracted players in.

Since: Mar 11, 2011
Posted on: March 11, 2011 6:10 pm

NFLPA officially files decertification paperwork

I can't believe Smith is the players' chief negotiator. He's an idiot, and so are the players that follow him down this path. Why would you need 10 years of financials, all you need is a 3 year average which they received.  If we take the owner's version of an offer, then the player's union is at total fault for any delay to this season. It's a good deal and start negotiating again by the summer to lay the ground work for 2 years down the road when this potential deal is done. Smith and his followers are messing up a great sport and will lose a lot of fans!

Since: Nov 26, 2006
Posted on: March 11, 2011 6:09 pm

NFLPA officially files decertification paperwork

I guess I am just fed up with the whole thing. Nothing I do or say will be considered in the final decision. I used to be a big Dodger Fan, until the fiascal that Baseball went through a few years back and I haven't watched a Baseball game since. I love football and will probably still be a fan, but I don't know if it will be the same. Both sides have their reasons. If I was a Owner I sure wouldn't want to open my books, but If I was a player and the owner told me, he needed a bigger piece of the purse and I should take less, I think I would like to see some proof of his/her loses. After all a player does help fill that purse. It is proven that a contract between a player and a team is just a piece of paper. If the player becomes a liability the team can let him go, regardless of how many years are left on the contract. Therefore the players want the best deal they can get up front. I think the players by a laymans standards make to much money, but that is the system set up and the Owners are the ones that let it get out of hand years ago, even before unions, a player would go to the highest bidder, much like a Unrestricted Free Agent today, so the greed started way before the Union was established. The big money teams got the best players, because there was no salary cap. So you can blame the Union all you want, but the greed started way before the Union was formed.

Since: Oct 26, 2006
Posted on: March 11, 2011 6:09 pm

NFLPA officially files decertification paperwork

OK, Millionaires VS Billionaires, Who will blink first?
I say the players will cave.
They may still lose part of the season.
What ever $ they lose they will never get back.

Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: March 11, 2011 6:09 pm

NFLPA officially files decertification paperwork

you see no greed on the part of the owners.  Remember, Labor creates all wealth!
Seriously comrad?  So a bunch of "labor" got together, said "hey, I know, we'll start playing football games and years from now some guy named Jerry Jones will own an NFL franchise worth over an billion dollars in an industry generating $9billion in revenue"?  Is that what happened, the "labor" built the stadiums, negotiated the TV deals, beer sponsorships, etc?  Do you really think the NFL would not exist if Dan Marino, or Walter Payton or Peyton Manning had never been heard of?  That the NFL would exist if the owners were not willing to risk BILLIONS of dollars in expenses EVERY YEAR to put on the games.

Now admittedly it is not all on one side -- yes  you need the players to play the games.  But ultimately it is telling that there are more people willing to play than there are positions every year.  The NFL is about to draft hundreds more who want to play NFL football so, current players --"don't let the door hit you on the way out".  Replace everyone that doesn't want to play for what the owners are willing to pay and in a few short years you have the same quality football for substantially less cost every year and those who don't want to play, well they can put those free college educations to good use and get "real jobs".

Since: Jan 16, 2011
Posted on: March 11, 2011 6:08 pm

NFLPA officially files decertification paperwork

The NFL might not be the same, but it will still exist -- the players on the other hand, well good luck finding another job that pays an average salary of $1.9 million per year.

I agree that it will still exist, just not in its current form or at nearly the same level of competition.  It's not that I'm totally on the players' side, it's just that I think everyone is getting more than a little greedy here.  Have you gone to a game lately? Costs an arm and a leg, right? The league and owners aren't going to lower ticket prices, merchandise prices, food prices, etc., just because they pay players less.  I don't have a problem with the players saying they want to see the books to justify the owners' request for the extra money off the top.  However, I do have a problem with the NFLPA at this point if the details of the league's newest offer are accurate. 

Since: Oct 31, 2009
Posted on: March 11, 2011 6:08 pm

NFLPA officially files decertification paperwork

Brees calls it that they are looking for a fair deal? What is fair? There is no way in h**l I could go to my bosses and say to them that I want to see all financial records not just the one's that they make public for stockholders and trade purposes. Fair? Shut up and sign a deal. I am one of the top 5 workers for a multi-billion dollar technology company and I don't get paid millions of dollars a year. You get paid millions upon millions upon millions and are demanding more by not allowing these owner's who fund your career to have what they want. I believe the split of the last CBA was 60/40 or maybe even 58/42, so with owners wanting an extra billion dollars off of the top that still leaves 7 billion dollars in which the NFLPA gets atleast 2.8 billion of that!!! 2.8 billion that is a 2 with 9 decimal places to the right of it!!! I know a lot of you players don't understand how much that is because you gave up your education for early entry into the draft, but that's a ton of money. So what do I say to the NFLPA and the Players? I say f**k you all because college football is more entertaining anyways. I hope the NFL locks all of you out and breaks down into multiple football leagues so you don't have a foot to stand on in court saying they are a monopoly...

The thing that is ironic is that the player's think they are going to hurt the owner's by decertifying, but the truth is most of them are billionaires already and they won't change anytime soon, but your age will continue to increase which will decrease your value and those near the ends of their career it may be over already. REALITY CHECK!!!

Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: March 11, 2011 6:07 pm

NFLPA officially files decertification paperwork

Not sure the player have much to gripe about.From 1994 (34.6M) to the last capped year 2009 (128M) it works out to approximately a 10% increase every year.  Not sure any of us are seeing that kind of salary compensation.  The players really need to look at each other.  Lets see in 1994 I was making 44K so now I am making a little under 200K right? BTW I am not or I wouldn't give a **** if they played or not
If as an owner have 128 million salary cap (2009) and I pay my superstar 20 million and 2 other players 7 million I have 92 million for 50 players.  So instead of a 2.5 million dollar avg the other 50 avg 1.84million.  Like any other free market financial system amount 95% of people are screwed by the top 5%.  The system isn't the problem the way teams and players have chosen to work within the system is a problem.
So basically the owners want another 30M off the top (1B/32teams).  Only affects the top tier guys because I don't see a league minimum decreasing.The old system with the owners taking the 1B if we continue with the cap increasing avg (10%in 2010/2011) salary cap becomes 154M(proj.2011cap) - 30M (back to the owners) =124M
So the players say they are taking a 30% pay cut when in reality it is more like a frozen year where nothing changes.  How many people got raises in the past couple of years and this year?  Hands. How many lost thier jobs?  Hands.Most of us are happy we have our jobs (reminder 10% unemployment) and these guys believe nothing is wrong with asking for their 10% more.
Problem is none of the players have NFL-type earning potential anywhere else.  The CFL/AFL?  So I understand that it is about principle but for the rest of us your principles are not comprehendable by many of us.
So players, I am but one small voice with nothing important or of value to say but even though I find it difficult to side with billionaires in a fight about money, it will come down to this.  Without them there is no NFL...without you it just isn't quite as good.  (and maybe my Sunday ticket price goes down ;))

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