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'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.


Since: Oct 6, 2006
Posted on: March 18, 2011 4:44 pm

Roger Goodell's letter to the players

the NFL is given a government protected monopoly, so they should be forced to open the books to the public, and anyone siding with the NFL, over the players is a fool of epic proportion.  Billionaires versus millionaires...... and the billionaires are used to getting what they want from the sheep.
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Since: Mar 14, 2011
Posted on: March 18, 2011 4:39 pm

Roger Goodell's letter to the players

Since: Mar 18, 2011
Posted on: March 18, 2011 2:52 pm

Roger Goodell's letter to the players

The NFL is not a publicly held company.

Since: Feb 9, 2011
Posted on: March 18, 2011 2:51 pm

Roger Goodell's letter to the players

Donewithit, good points that the players seem to want a 50/50 split, and yes, of course it is ultimatley up to the business owner to determine what their employees should get. But two points

#1 - A lot of stars make a percentage of the gross for a movie or concert tour, so when the movie makes more money, the star makes more money
#2 - Absolutely true that a private firm doesn't have to open their books, again I was responding to the people saying "where else can an employee "see the books", the answer is, a lot of places. My thinking is simply, if the owners arguement is the players have to take a pay cut because revenue is declining, why the heck not "open the books" and prove that to be true? It would end the player arguement in a second, done.

Since: Nov 29, 2008
Posted on: March 18, 2011 2:50 pm

Roger Goodell's letter to the players

Way to proofread your article. Some parts of this make 0 sense. I had to go somewhere else to figure this thing out.

Since: Mar 18, 2011
Posted on: March 18, 2011 2:31 pm

Roger Goodell's letter to the players

For all those complaining about owners using money from taxpayers to build their stadiums, think about it. Most teams play in a downtown area. Think about how much the teams benefit the cities by bringing people into the cities and creating revenues for local restaurants, bars, and other businesses. This creates jobs. So if an owner has the ability to get some money from the local government, why shouldn't he? Most people think this is greedy, but there are other cities willing to pay teams to build a stadium there, so why wouldn't they take the money? It's a good business strategy. If you don't want your tax money to go towards a football team (or any other professional sports team), then you should be fine with your team leaving for a new city.


I live in Indianapolis, and I am NOT a Colts fan. To help pay for the new stadium, our sales tax on food and beverages in Marion County increased by 2%. Not a big deal. Without that money, the Colts might have left Indianapolis, which would have been devastating to the downtown area considering how much the Pacers struggle to fill Conseco Fieldhouse. I don't have a problem helping to pay that small amount for a new stadium for a team I don't even like, especially considering how much it has helped the local economy. Plus, the stadium is used for much more than just Colts games. It hosts other things like concerts, monster truck rallies/motocross events, the Final Four, and starting this fall the Big Ten football championship game.

Since: Jun 6, 2009
Posted on: March 18, 2011 2:09 pm

Roger Goodell's letter to the players

Too bad 90% of the players can't read.

Since: Nov 8, 2006
Posted on: March 18, 2011 1:42 pm

Roger Goodell's bullcrap letter to the players

What a shitty offer.  Got to give whoever wrote that credit though - they managed to make less money sound like more money

Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: March 18, 2011 1:39 pm

Roger Goodell's letter to the players - fans idea

Do not let the decertification and court stuff fool you,  the Players Association is still together and is and can still negotiate with the owners.    And in some way they still are negotiating, believe me they are be it in the media like this e-mail, court, phone, email, tesxting of playing a big game of Call to Action on the XBOX.   

Both sides believe negotiating in the media will help,  I suspect the owners will be better at it with only 32 owners to keep inline instead of 1500 players. 

As fans it is not helpful to trash one side and support the other.   It is important to make it clear as what point you will stop spending money, watching TV and otherwise being a fan.     For me it when they do not play a regular season game,  they can compress the off season, camp, preseason games and I really do not care.  For each missed game, I miss a half season.    

Since: Oct 4, 2007
Posted on: March 18, 2011 1:30 pm

Roger Goodell's letter to the players

Gunny,You're probably right in your assumptions.  I agree that the fans need to send a message that we don't agree with how this is going.  
The amount of money that is being discussed would take me a lifetime to earn and both (owners and players) deal it in years.  I have no sympathy.  Proper financial management and investing could have you set for life.  It took me years to go back to baseball after their similar situation as well as the last time the NFL went through this.  I love football and enjoy Sundays (non-stop football).  If this isn't resolved very soon, as far as I'm concerned football won't exist.  My family will have me for Sundays for a few years.  This is captialism at it's best and taking it out on the fans that made the NFL what it is today.  See you in a few years.

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