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Roger Goodell's letter to the players

Posted on: March 17, 2011 8:13 pm
Edited on: March 18, 2011 8:29 pm
 
Posted by Eye of Football Staff

The NFL apparently has decided its tired of dealing with the leadership of the NFLPA. Now, commissioner Roger Goodell is going directly to the players.

The NFL office sent out e-mails to the players and the player-agents today, suggesting the players get back to the negotiating table so the two sides can hammer out a deal. Also included was the owners’ last offer before the union decertified.

Here’s the text of the letter, obtained by CBSSports.com's own Mike Freeman:

Dear NFL player,

As you know, negotiations between the NFL Players Association and the clubs have not led to an agreement. Last Friday, the NFLPA Walked out of the federal mediator’s offices in Washington, told us that it had abandoned its right to represent you as a union, and filed a lawsuit. Some hours later, the clubs instituted a lockout.

The clubs believe that there is only one Way to resolve our differences, and that is through good faith collective bargaining in an atmosphere of mutual respect and open communication. We have said publicly, told the federal mediator, and say to you that We are prepared to resume those negotiations at any time.

We want you to understand the offer that we made to the NF LPA. The proposal was made to avoid a work stoppage. Each passing day puts our game and our shared economics further at risk. We believe the offer presented a strong and fair basis for continuing negotiations, allowing the new league year and free agency to begin, and growing our game in the years to come. Here are the key elements of the proposal:
  • A salary cap for 2011 that would avoid a negative financial impact on veteran players. We offered to meet the Union at the mid-point between our previous offer and the Union’s demand. Under our offer, 2011 salary and benefits would have been set at $141 million per club, and projected cash spending would have been as high or higher than in either 2009 or 2010. By 2014, salary and benefits would have been set at $161 million per club. In other Words, player compensation would increase by as much as $20 million per club by 2014.
  • Free agency for players with four or more accrued seasons and reduced draft choice compensation for restricted free agents.
  • Extensive changes in off-season work requirements that would promote player health and safety, encourage players to continue their education, and promote second career opportunities. The off-season program would be reduced by five weeks, OTAs would be reduced from 14, to helmets would be prohibited for the first five weeks of workouts, and rules prohibiting “live” on-field contact would be strictly enforced.
  • Changes in preseason and regular season practices and schedules that would reduce the number of padded practices, reduce the amount of contact, and increase the number of days off for you and other players.
  • Commit to retain the current 16-game regular season format for at least the next two seasons, and further commit not to change to an 18-game regular season without the Union’s agreement.
  • Expand injury guarantees for players. The clubs offered to guarantee up to $1 million of a second year of your contract if you are injured and cannot retum to play.
  • For the first time, players and families would be able to purchase continuing coverage in the player medical plan after retirement for life, and could use their health savings account benefit to do so.
  • Enhanced retirement benefits for pre-1993 players. More than 2,000 fonner players would have received an immediate increase in their pensions averaging nearly 60 percent, funded entirely by the owners.
  • A new entry-level compensation system that would make more than $300 million per draft class available for veterans’ pay and player benefits. The new system would preserve individual negotiations not a wage scale - and would allow players drafted in rounds 2 through 7 to earn as much or more than they earn today.
  • Significant changes in disciplinary procedures, including a jointly-appointed neutral arbitrator to hear all drug and steroid appeals.
Working together, players and clubs have made the game great. Our fans want us to find common ground, settle our differences, and come to a fair agreement. I have met with many of you since becoming Commissioner. You know of my respect and admiration for you as men and as players. We need to come together, and soon.

In that spirit, we are prepared to negotiate a full agreement that would incorporate these features and other progressive changes that would benefit players, clubs, and fans. Only through collective bargaining will We reach that kind of agreement. Our goal is to make our league even better than it is today, with the benelits shared by all of us.

I hope you will encourage your Union to return to the bargaining table and conclude a new collective bargaining agreement.

Sincerely,
Roger
Comments

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 9, 2012 9:18 am
 

Roger Goodell's letter to the players

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fghdfre
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 3, 2012 10:04 pm
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hgtrerte
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 7, 2011 10:42 am
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 11:15 am
 

Roger Goodell's letter to the players

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Since: Jan 22, 2007
Posted on: March 21, 2011 2:23 am
 

Roger Goodell's letter to the players

Why is 9 billion dollars held in escrow for the owners not to touch? Because they did not act in good faith and planned for this lockout all along, while holding the media outlets, fans, players and their families hostage. The issue is fairness not comparing the profession to others. IF ANYONE WITH HALF A BRAIN can say that the owners acted fairly to anyone of these parties, I would suggest this person is related or being paid off by an owner. They lie, cheat and reneg on "guaranteed contracts" all the time. I am a fan and don't want to see this stoppage and the owners are the ones who want anyone but themselves to take less than what was agreed to. They would not have taken the deal but that's not the point. The point is that they want all control of everything and the right to go back on their own words! Players don't make them make the wrong decisions? Who would say to any employer " I want to limit the amount of money you can give me and i'll even give some back based upon current agreements and i'll also let the fines continue for me or anyone of the coaches or players actully speak out and tell the truth about anything that makes Goodell or the owners look bad. Can the anyone really be so stupid? The owners caused and planned this lockout how can you take their sides? They have a history of not honoring what they agreed to. Why else is there a 3rd party involved? Did everyone forget that the owners agreed to the previous deal? Who searches for a worse deal for themselves? Would you?



Since: Jan 22, 2007
Posted on: March 21, 2011 2:17 am
 

Roger Goodell's letter to the players

How can anyone side with the owners in this one because they have already been found to have been less than scrupulous with this whole situation? Why is 9 billion dollars held in escrow for the owners not to touch? Because they did not act in good faith and planned for this lockout all along, while holding the media outlets, fans, players and their families hostage. The issue is fairness not comparing the profession to others. IF ANYONE WITH HALF A BRAIN can say that the owners acted fairly to anyone of these parties, I would suggest this person is related or being paid off by an owner. They lie, cheat and reneg on "guaranteed contracts" all the time. I am a fan and don't want to see this stoppage and the owners are the ones who want anyone but themselves to take less than what was agreed to. They would not have taken the deal but that's not the point. The point is that they want all control of everything and the right to go back on their own words! Players don't make them make the wrong decisions? Who would say to any employer " I want to limit the amount of money you can give me and i'll even give some back based upon current agreements and i'll also let the fines continue for me or anyone of the coaches or players actully speak out and tell the truth about anything that makes Goodell or the owners look bad. Can the anyone really be so stupid? I guess so otherwise there would be no debate........... Sad that fairness can be so obscured by people who just can't actually see right from wrong. The owners are wrong! The players are the product and will suffer more than anyone else either way. The fans won't get arthritic conditions long before they should, or suffer from brain disease's caused by concussions, or have to pick up and move themselves or family at the whim of an owner who plays with lives like chess peices. I'm not that selfish. The players are right and much more fair than the owners ever will be sadly some people are too stupid or greedy to just do what's right.




Since: Jan 6, 2008
Posted on: March 19, 2011 8:31 am
 

Roger Goodell's letter to the players

Really?  You must be an NFL player by the way you talk.  Spammer!!! The NFL owners gave you a fair proposal and you walked away from it.  Remember, you are an employee of a NFL team, not an owner.  It is a discgrace when Brady, Manning and Brees are leading the charge to the court room when these guys combined contracts are close to $300 million dollars.  Really!!! And you are still compaining.  99.9% of us will never see 1 milliion dollars in our lifetime.  You dont make enough.  I say go f_ck yourselves.  Bring in other players who really want to play the game.  There will also be another Manning or Brady.  So take the deal or find another carrer.  NFL owners, give the players 30 days to make a decision, and after that just start finding new players.  We will still support the league.



Since: Mar 19, 2011
Posted on: March 19, 2011 8:27 am
 

Roger Goodell's letter to the players

I forgot to address the issue of the owner's opening their books.

I am still trying to see the players point that the NFL is a public company. The only team I think that might ( and i say that loosely due to my limited knowledge) fall under this catagory is the Green Bay Packers. They are publicly traded (i believe) but I do not believe they are owned by the Governmental body in or around Green Bay.

The books are truely not the concern of the players. The players are the draw that brings people to the stands, NFL network and television markets but they have to understand that does not inherently give them rights to the revenue. They have been compensated by the owners in their contracts and huge signing bonuses. Then there are performance incentives, per diem, health care, security costs, transportations costs, stadium depreciation, real estate fees and many more expenses the owners incur from owning the team.

Instead of trying to get more money for their pockets the NFLPA should be fighting for owners to put massive ammounts of money into developing better gear to protect themselves. Concussion helmets, undergear shock pads, better lower leg protective gear for linemen etc. Then they need to fight for the commisioner and the NFLPA to get a weekly committee together for fines on excessive hits and illegal hits. One that will drop the hammer on players for making the hits and one that will fine and sanction referees for not calling them.

The owners have the right to gain from their ownership. They have the investment on the line. They stand to lose Billions and they take with them the cities that have markets in them. Loss of income to some of these cities will severly hurt the communities. Hotels will not be filled, food items at the stadium and local restraunts will go uneaten, parking attendants will be out of jobs, beer sales will drop, tourism dollars will plummet, stadium cleanup crews, maintenance workers and many other people in the communities will suffer. Lets not forget all the people who keep the players ready to play. Doctors, physical therapists, trainers, asst coaches, front office personnel, team security, scouts, equipment managers and many more unnamed people who help deliver the product. 

The worse part of this whole thing is that it will hurt the communities that have faithfully supported the game for decades. The players are about to see the same thing happen to football that happened to baseball. Its a shame when people have that much money they forget where they came from and hurt the very thing that really makes football what it is today.....the fans!



Since: Mar 19, 2011
Posted on: March 19, 2011 7:53 am
 

Roger Goodell's letter to the players

I find your view of player heath issues to be valid, but only to a point. I understand the speed and size of players and the g-force involved with the hits and everything. I also agree the majority of people can not sustain these hits and remain functional, let alone at the level players achieve.

The issues I take are really simple. Ask a steel worker in Pittsburgh how hard and dangerous their job is. Ask a fisherman in the northwest if their return is guaranteed from his next fishing trip. Ask a miner in West Virginia if they are concerned about a cave in during their decent into the mines. Ask Police, frie and EMS personnel across the country if they are guaranteed to came home tonight to their famies. The players in the NFL face no more risk of injury and permanent disability than any group listed above. Any given day, any given profession in the United States and world wide have catastrophies. The difference is that those workers aren't being compensated with million dollar salaries. The have to survive after the injury with no money in the bank. They have to feed families on a small fraction of the money the players are paid PER GAME!

The players chose this profession. Most of them have degrees from their college days (even though most of us know they were handed out from the college to get football revenue). I agree with the over whelming sentiment on the board, if you don't like your job quit and find something better. I would really love it if Goodell would take a page from Ronald Reagan and tell the players that the first day of work is (blah blah) and if you do not report you are fired or suspended. The draft is upcoming and you will be replaced. You will also face a mandatory 1 year suspension for violating league rules for each day you missed that is not approved by the league.

The common NFL fan is not a season ticket holder. They are like me and set in their living room and watch hours of football every sunday, monday and thursday. We yell, scream, rant and rave along with game and have parties for friends to come too. I really hope the players quit the "me" attitude and look at the impact it will have over their future because I know baseball used to be my favorite sport until they reared their ugly greedy unions head and stopped the game. Players remember one thing.......You are not above the game, you (individually) are not the game, and the game can and will continue without you.



Since: Feb 15, 2011
Posted on: March 19, 2011 1:01 am
 

Roger Goodell's letter to the players

You have a superstar rating??? Wow
One fact about this, Roger Goodell is the worst Commish in the history of the game.

Based on what? Revenue, attendance, sport popularity.... All time highs

Strike one......
It's obvious he sides with the owners and he's a total liar.

The commissioner represents the owners and league. Players come and go... the ownership provides our entertainment. Haven’t seen Darryl Lomonica  throwing the long bomb lately. Al Davis still gives many fans a reason to cheer –or boo

Strike two...

A liar?  The facts you provide show none... Forgot ...you know the facts. Please pass on that info.

If not and "Strike three" your already done 

If you've seen any live interviews with him, he can't even stop his face from turning colors when he's spinning his lies. Pathetic.

Buy a new TV and leave the basement - zero facts

I love how all the polls I saw said that NFL fans did NOT want a change to an 18 game season, yet he noted publicly many times that an OVERWHELMING MAJORITY of NFL fans favored the change to an 18 game season. Such a travesty it's beyond comprehension.

Really???? I voted yes....Are you a season ticket owner that had to buy preseason tickets?

Every ... and I mean every commentary in a preaseson game... brought up at least ....once... that players and fans had tired of these meaning less preseason games. The injury, the risk and we are ready to go after training camp.

I do think there should be a rookie wage scale without a doubt,

 Wow!!! A good and coherent point – although by all that you argue for... Why penalize these young superstars? Why give to the elderly NFL players.... that were too greedy and spent their money foolishly? They made many times over the average Joe... I vote for them.... you vote for a poor decision. Live with it ( like the selfish or stupid owner)

Whoops ... got ahead of myself and your posting  - see below

but the main problem with the NFL owners is that they can't help themselves when it comes to spending on free agents. They have their heads up their rears. Maybe if more teams spent their money wisely like the NEP do, than they wouldn't look like such fools.

Uhmmmm??? Cap the rookies and screw players that played hard – they signed contracts (this may be beyond you)  but ...wouldn’t that be the same reason as “having your head up your ass” and making a bad decision? To work at a game of risk and not have the compensation?

Also when it comes to this whole negotiating business, more of the owners should take a Robert Kraft approach and NOT a Jerry Jerry's attitude or that of that fool who owns Carolina.

That would be??  I don’t need a profit? I don’t care what happens to the league in 30 years....

Unless Robert has sent you a “special” e-mail ... have to bet he agrees with Jerry, just has a little less bravado than Jerry.

And I am sorry but any states taxpayers should NOT be paying for a BILLIONAIRES PRIVATE stadium, period end of story. With the money these guys make off the fans, a stadium could be paid for in virtually no time. Please do NOT even go there.

Wow ... Even better to show how much smarter you are than the rest of us. Do you know that Chamber of commerce’s – cities- and even our country will give subsides to have businesses come to your city???? Of course we will pay or help you... you create JOBS... not only at the stadium but airlines. Food, hotels, newspapers and the many more trickle downs.

There's only so many cities in the US that can actually support an NFL team and the "hey I'll move my team THREAT" is hypocrisy at it's best. Owners losing money, now that there's just funny.

How many times can I say Wow?...... The owners are in this to make money – the players are in it to make money – all of us ....(you included) ...need to make more than they spend... If not... it is a poor plan.



The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com