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Blog Entry

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: Aug 19, 2006
Posted on: March 19, 2011 12:09 am
 

What is the real issue??

The fact is that there are Million Dollar guys with little to no marketable talent outside of football who are wanting a bigger piece of the pie.  How many posters will make over 4 million in their lifetime???  The average NFL player makes that in 2 years of service.   The owners are not foolish, everything they do is based on a bigger plan.  The 18 game season talk was a misdirection to work down the revenue sharing.  The Owners did not get rich being NFL team owners, they made enough money outside of football to buy franchises.  The players deserve to make as much money as they can negotitate, but to call this scenario anything similar to slavery is an absolute disgrace to the past.  We are talking about the Millionaires complaing they don't get enough money for doing their job.  The players have not made the league, the media as well as a close eye being kept on the product being produced.  The NFL has been very careful in creating a familly friendly product that is rather Vanilla and will appeal to the masses.  Think about some of the rules around celebrations, how you wear your uniform, taking of your helmet on the field.  All of things were done to preserve that atmosphere.  If the inmates ran the asylum, the game may of ended up like the XFL.  The NFLPAs job is to get the best deal, just like all other Unions.  The owners want to protect their profit and continue to grow the game as that is in their best interest.  The owners have let the salaries get out of control because of their egos and their desire to win.  Ignorance and greed on both sides have caused this and will continue to cause issues.  Unbelieveably, the sports world looks closer and closer to the portrayl shown in 'BASEketball'.  I am ashamed to even list that movie in this rant.




Since: Sep 22, 2009
Posted on: March 18, 2011 10:07 pm
 

Roger Goodell's letter to the players

 seems like a lot of pro union people in here........the guys that are on the side of the player, answer these questions: who is going to go broke first?      
; Who needs who more? 




Since: Jan 7, 2009
Posted on: March 18, 2011 8:00 pm
 

Roger Goodell's letter to the players

One other thing, I hope the owners enjoy not having those pesky anti-trust exemptions. The owners are really desperate. They will try anything to make sure this doesn't get to court. Because in a court of LAW, they will get what is coming to them.



Since: Feb 9, 2011
Posted on: March 18, 2011 7:58 pm
 

Roger Goodell's letter to the players

Goodell is horrible, he's done nothing for the game but hand out confusing fines for hits, seemingly at random, then issuing convoluted explanations and logic when questioned on why one hit resulted in a fine and another one, exactly like the first one, was not fined. 

Exactly true, the owners hide behind their government protected monoploy, cry about declining revenues at the same time they can't control themselves and throw $100 million at a clown like Albert Haynesworth. They deserve everythng their own stupidity, arrogance and mismanagement has brought. Letter to the players, how weak.




Since: Jan 7, 2009
Posted on: March 18, 2011 7:57 pm
 

Roger Goodell's letter to the players

Do you owner fans understand why you haven't heard from the players? Because they don't want to negotiate in the press. The owners and their -dog- Goodell, were the first to say that they didn't want to negotiate in the press. So when it looks like it isn't going their way what do they do? They are greedy as well as classless.
They can't win in negotiation, so they try the old end around. Try going directly to the former union. If this was done in private I could at least see that it mighgt have been legitimate. But noooooooo, Goodell, Mr. Self Important, has to make sure the whole world knows.
Lets say for the sake of argument that the owners did give this offer to the players. They gave it to them so late that the players had no choice but to decline. Because they didn't have time to fully look it over. And the owners knew the only real power card the players had was to de-certify, which had to be done at a certain time. The owners tried to do the same thing Goodell did with Brett Favre. By the time the NFL rulled on what he did, the young lady in question couldn't take him to court because to much time had passed. And the NFL made sure that the ruling came after that. That is the real nice NFL some of you are defending. You should be so proud.



Since: Mar 18, 2011
Posted on: March 18, 2011 5:22 pm
 

Roger Goodell's letter to the players

Plus it's not like the owners are forcing the local governments to give them money. The states choose to give it to them.



Since: Mar 18, 2011
Posted on: March 18, 2011 5:18 pm
 

Roger Goodell's letter to the players

well before the completion of construction*



Since: Mar 18, 2011
Posted on: March 18, 2011 5:12 pm
 

Roger Goodell's letter to the players

I forgot to mention that Indianapolis will (hopefully) host the Super Bowl next season. There are two brand new hotels being built downtown just for that reason, and both were booked solid for Super Bowl week well beyond the completion of construction. Jobs for the construction workers and for the people who will work at the hotels would not have existed without the help from taxpayer money.



Since: Mar 18, 2011
Posted on: March 18, 2011 5:05 pm
 

Roger Goodell's letter to the players

Siding with billionaires over millionaires makes me a fool of epic proportion? Just because one side is wealthier doesn't mean you should side with the other. Most owners are wealthy because of reasons other than football. That's why they were able to buy the teams in the first place. The players are just employees who work for the owners who run the business. Most people think to look for a different job if they aren't happy with what their employer is offering them. Why should this be any different?




Since: Sep 12, 2006
Posted on: March 18, 2011 5:02 pm
 

Roger Goodell's letter to the players

One fact about this, Roger Goodell is the worst Commish in the history of the game.
It's obvious he sides with the owners and he's a total liar.
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.
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.

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

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.

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.



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