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: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: March 11, 2011 5:40 pm

NFLPA officially files decertification paperwork

We're never going to get anywhere until people understand that we cannot compare our jobs to the jobs of NFL players. NFL players are paid from a shared revenue pool. They have a Union to represent their interests. The owners are saying that they want to add a billion dollars ( or $600 million now ) off the top of their shared annual revenues, and they refuse to provide financial need for said move. They're essentially saying "Yeah, you know that $1 billion we take off the top? We need that to be $1.6 billion. Trust us...we need it," which naturally is not going to fly with the Union. So, the Union said we'll talk about it when we can see why you need us to. The owners balked. Again and again and again.

And as far as why the Union decertified now, that's an easy one. If they didn't do it by 5:00 EST they would not be able to do it for six months. They took it as far as they could.

Since: Sep 16, 2006
Posted on: March 11, 2011 5:38 pm

NFLPA officially files decertification paperwork

There very well could be a problem with the decertification. Not one of the owners proposals has gone before the players for a vote, just the negotiators deciding they were not what the players wanted. Without the proposals being voted down by the union as a whole I am thinking a judge would have to disallow it untill the players have voted it down. My next question is upon decertification of the union the union no longer exists so now then where and what happens to all the money that is supposed to be there for the NFL Alumni, you know the funds the NFLPA has refused to allow the NFL Alumni to see the books on for the last 10 years, see those funds are the NFL Alumni pension funds. The NFLPA has demanded to see the NFL's books yet they refuse to allow its own members to see thier own books. The reason for all the problems here all goes back to the pension funds, somehow the NFLPA does not have those funds, and they were trying to have the NFL pay the pension plans for the players instead of the union doing so. The reason union people pay union dues is for the pension plans, most companies that have union employees do not have a company pension plan, that is all in the union dues collected. The rest is all a smoke screen, the 18 game schedule being the largest of the smoke screen fodder. The NFLPA could very well end up being sued by the NFL Alumni over the pension money that is not there and that will be a huge lawsuit since the players paid into that pension fund for thier entire career. To even qualify for the pension plan you had to play a minimum of 5 years and are fully vested in the plan after 10 years playing time. The union collects the union dues from every player to ever sign any type of contract with any NFL team which is about 40 million a year. One 15 year NFL Alumni has said he collects 3000 a month from the pension fund and that he collects the maximum any player can collect. I could very well be mistaken and those funds might actually be there but when reading between the lines and seeing exactly what the NFLPA has been asking for, it is quite evident to me this is what is the crux of the matter. 

Since: Dec 12, 2006
Posted on: March 11, 2011 5:38 pm

NFLPA officially files decertification paperwork

They are all greedy,nasty people who have no consideration for the fans who put their hard earned money into THEIR pockets.

Now,who said they play for the love of the sport????  Innocent

Since: Jan 16, 2011
Posted on: March 11, 2011 5:37 pm

NFLPA officially files decertification paperwork

@irregardless...yea, the players wouldn't be millionaires without the NFL, but the NFL wouldn't be a 9 BILLION dollar business without its players.  Do you honestly think if the teams brought in enough people off the street to play the games they would make nearly as much money? Of course not.   And while they are not partners in the legal sense, they are most definitely partners in the getting rich business.  Basically both sides are acting like children at this one won today.

Since: Apr 14, 2007
Posted on: March 11, 2011 5:37 pm

NFLPA officially files decertification paperwork

Like health care for occupants of one of sports most dangerous jobs?

That they had previously played for free their entire lives with the same risks, actually more risk because entire medical and training staffs were not at their beck and call?

How about to not play 18-22 games a year when most can't finish the season without severe pain?

How about understand they are employees and can go play in Canada for an average of $50,000 a year, or in other terms $38,000 less than NFL practice squad players make?

Or is it insane to ask to see the books when the other party claims it can't afford the current deal?

It is completely insane as they are employees, not partners. The aren't even regular employees, they are contract help, temporary workers.
They assume no risk. None. They are employees, they do not understand the business side.

It is absurd. Seriously, demand that you will not work another minute until your employer shows you their finacial records for the last 10 years, and repeatedly call yourself a partner while doing it.

Enjoy the unemployment line.

Since: Mar 11, 2011
Posted on: March 11, 2011 5:34 pm

NFLPA officially files decertification paperwork

Without the players the Owners are nothing. The players are the ones that risk future physical deterioration and should be compensated accordingly. 

Since: Feb 9, 2008
Posted on: March 11, 2011 5:32 pm

NFLPA officially files decertification paperwork

It's amazing the players decertify now.  If the owners offered to allow a mediator/arbritrator or third party to review the books, I would consider that a good faith offer, and acceptable.  I know my boss would not give me the okay to look at his books.  While I am not an owner of a business (or NFL Team), I do agree those owners should not have to answer to the employee (or players) about their finances.  Basically, if the employee is not happy or feels they are not appreciated, they have the right to take their talent or ability to another employer.  Maybe they should run to the CFL. 

Since: Jan 16, 2011
Posted on: March 11, 2011 5:31 pm

NFLPA officially files decertification paperwork

A union shown the door?? Ta ta losers? Well that was a great addition to the discussions.  I don't completely agree with the NFLPA but one side of this doesn't survive without the other. 

Since: Apr 14, 2007
Posted on: March 11, 2011 5:31 pm

NFLPA officially files decertification paperwork

I understand that the NFLPA wants to see the books to verify those claims, and they should have that opportunity.

No they shouldn't, they are not partners, the NFLPA assumes no risk. They never have, and never wanted to, they are a Union that just wants to leech money off of the players, and players too stupid to realize they never would have been millionaires without the NFL.

No other profession gives untested employees a 50 million dollar signing bonus.

Since: Nov 22, 2006
Posted on: March 11, 2011 5:30 pm

NFLPA officially files decertification paperwork

Greedy Players? Greedy Owners? Has anyone noticed the price of a ticket these days? The cost of a cheap knock off jersery? a hotdog?  Someone is paying for this greed and it's us. Screw both of them.

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