Blog Entry

NFL files appeal to keep lockout, players respond

Posted on: May 2, 2011 2:47 pm
Edited on: May 2, 2011 2:55 pm
Posted by Will Brinson

With the NFL Draft now over, it's back to the exciting labor chatter: on Monday, the NFL filed a brief with the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing for the lockout to remain permanently in place until the two sides sort out their differences.

In the middle of the Draft on Friday, we reported that the lockout was back on, thanks to a temporary stay granted by the Court of Appeals in St. Louis. The NFL's brief on Monday wants to keep the lockout going until the two sides can sort out their differences.

The two primary points of the NFL's brief are jurisdiction and the damages that would result in not having a lockout in place.

The NFL cited the Norris-LaGuardia Act in arguing that a federal court "may not interfere -- on either side -- in cases involving or growing out of a labor dispute." In other words, they don't want Nelson affecting the way the labor negotiations play out.

The NFL believes that the lockout would not, as Nelson ruled, cause the "the players no material, and certainly no irreparable harm."

The NFL also stated that, thanks to an expedited appeal, the issues between the two parties "could readily be resolved during the offseason."
NFL Labor

"The absence of a stay would irreparably harm the NFL by undercutting its labor law rights and irreversibly scrambling the eggs of player-club transactions," the NFL attorneys wrote. "Absent a stay, there will be trades, player signings, players cut under existing contracts, and a host of other changes in employment relationships" between hundreds of players and the 32 NFL teams.

The players responded with their own letter to the Court of Appeals on Monday afternoon, written "to correct a misstatement by the NFL Defendants in their reply brief."

The players' attorneys cite both "sworn declarations from their agents, who have more than 165 years of collective experience negotiating NFL players' contracts and have first-hand knowledge of the market for NFL players" and "multiple declarations from Richard A. Berthelsen -- an attorney for the NFLPA for almost 40 years who has witnessed previous occasions when the NFL Defendants operated without a collective bargaining agreement and suffered no harm."

In other words, the issue at hand in deciding whether or not the lockout stays or goes is who's being harmed the most right now.

The players argued that they are harmed irreparably in the immediate sense and Nelson agreed with them, lifting the lockout.

The NFL said that's an exaggerated claim. Players, the league said, would not lose their opportunity to play for the team of their choice once the league year begins, even if that's in late June or early July instead of early May. That process usually starts in early March.

The NFL complained that Nelson ignored evidence that many players, including two of the 10 plaintiffs, Vincent Jackson and Logan Mankins, skip team-organized workouts in the offseason. Jackson and Mankins both held out well into the start of the 2010 season, the league noted, "indicating that missing time in the offseason is not irreparable harm."

The NFL also cited comments by players Ray Lewis and Wes Walker about their appreciation of extra free time now with the lockout in place and no mandatory minicamps or other offseason activities allowed to take place.

Welker said, "Let's do a lockout every year," according to the league's court filing.

Those comments don't help the players' case of course, but it may not matter -- the Court of Appeals must find that Nelson (essentially) abused her judicial power if they overturn her ruling.

It's not simply enough to disagree with her decision or to find the players' comments about the lockout pithy enough to make them worth flipping a legal ruling.

Certainly the Court of Appeals could find that the NFL is more at risk for immediate irreparable harm, though, and that could result in the lockout remaining until a final ruling is made.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 8, 2012 11:23 pm

NFL files appeal to keep lockout, players respond

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 3, 2012 11:18 am
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 7, 2011 12:46 am
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 1:06 am

NFL files appeal to keep lockout, players respond

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Since: Nov 28, 2011
Posted on: December 1, 2011 9:22 pm
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Since: Sep 28, 2006
Posted on: May 4, 2011 9:54 am

NFL files appeal to keep lockout, players respond

redwings1969, Thank you for the good posts. I wish people would do a little research before posting comments as if they are facts.

Many of the owners are self-made billionaires.  I am not sure if there are any stadiums completely funded by tax payer money but I absolutely know that many are paid for by the owners along with tax payer money.

You are absolutely correct that the players can be replaced.  There are tons of college players that would love to play for the NFL that could become stars. Just look at the history of undrafted players that became great.

Players like Nick Harper Colts, Antonio Pierce Redskins, Adewale Ogunleye Dolphins, Ryan Grant Giants, Bart Scott Ravens, Brian Waters, Chiefs, London Fletcher Rams, Jason Peters Bills, Jake Delhomme Saints, Pat Williams Bills, Adam Vinatieri Patriots, Jeff Saturday Colts, Wayne Chrebet Jets, Jeff Garcia 49ers, Willie Parker Steelers, Wes Welker Dolphins, James Harrison Steelers, Tony Romo Cowboys, Priest Holmes Ravens, Antonio Gates Chargers, Rod Smith Broncos, Johm Randle Vikings, Dick Lane Rams, Kurt Warner Rams and Warren Moon Oilers all were overlooked and undrafted and had great careers. Some of them are or will be in the Hall Of Fame.

I tried to get the teams right that actually signed them first.

Well as you can see from the list there are plenty of gems in college that we almost did not get to see and there is probably lots of guys we never saw that may have been great.

The current players are replaceable.

Since: Jul 19, 2008
Posted on: May 3, 2011 3:28 pm

NFL files appeal to keep lockout, players respond

I really am trying to give a crap about all this, but I cannot seem to muster any fire inside me for NFL Football anymore.  Let's face it, it is not College Football.  The business side of the NFL has just seem to grey all the lines for me.  I have no empathy at all for rich people groaning and complaining about money.  Give me a beautiful Saturday afternoon in the fall, with the smells of tailgating and the sounds of college bands playing,  Sunday is for GOLF !!!!!

Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: May 3, 2011 2:41 pm

NFL files appeal to keep lockout, players respond

Really?Damages for what?  Anti-competition?  The ONLY place they make that kind of pay/living is in the NFL.  They can play football for money other places but not for as much.The damages are self-incurred by refusing to negotiate a deal to continue working.  The last offer was better than what they ended up with in 2010 so naturally you take it right? Instead they want to make it about principle...WTF?  It is a job.  It is not ethics or morality class/issue.  It is playing football for a career with the best company in the world to do it for.  Not the only one but damn sure the best one.  Be happy you are among the elite and lucky enough to have the opportunity to play a game you love for megabucks while the rest of us eke out a meager existence and try to afford getting to attend a game every now and then.They do pay the players the money they want.  The players want more because they think there might be more for them.  They want a "free-market".  Sorry fellas can't happen with any sort of competitive balance across the league and I think the fans and owners agree that is more important to the game than your "right" to go up for bidding wars whenever you think you had a good year.Absolute crap.
It would carry more weight if players didn't hold out when they thought they had "out-performed" their contract.  You know what happens to anyone normal employee who breaches a contract?

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: May 3, 2011 1:35 pm

NFL files appeal to keep lockout, players respond

WITHOUT THE PLAYERS YOU HAVE NO NFL. The owners are the ones who can be replaced while not affecting the product at all.

Yeah, ok stupid.  You make it seem like the players are from a planet NFL owners don't have access to and without them the league dies.  There are THOUSANDS MORE where they came from.  For the most part they came from U.S colleges for God sakes.....  and they will continue to come from the same places they've always come from.   What makes you think if these players quit the owners couldn't hire players right out of college to replace them?  Why can't that be done?  Sure, at first the quality would decrease some because you're probably tripling the number of rounds in the NFL draft but as time goes on and in no time at all they'll be right back where they are today.   Why you say? Because the public and football diehards will never stop watching.  They might complain but they'll still go to games and still watch on t.v.   Salaries would become entry level salaries and not these outrageous contracts and ticket prices would drop.  As time goes on and the quality improves everybody gets paid more and so would the players.... and ticket prices would reflect the quality of the league;
But to say the NFL owners can't survive without THESE PARTICULAR PLAYERS is idiotic.... no players no league you said and no need to have owners? Why again?  There will ALWAYS BE A LEAGUE, WITH OR WITHOUT THESE PLAYERS....  and for the record if the court system continues to favour the owners you're going to see players BEGGING to play football in 2011.... on their knees..... praying to God every day....
It was already reported 10 percent of NFL players have already acquired high interest loans from non conventional banks because they couldn't afford to live on starting salaries of 400 grand.  And another 20 percent of NFL players have already negotiated deals to do exactly the same thing if the lockout sticks....  That means 30 percent of NFL players are living paycheck to paycheck or worse... how pathetic is that??????  And you think these morons are in the driver seat????  HA !  Too funny !!

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: May 3, 2011 1:26 pm

NFL files appeal to keep lockout, players respond

Where did you get the notion that Owners are brilliant businessmen. A few yes, but many bought their franchise with loans leveraged against the fortunes that daddy & great grandaddy left them.

What? Where did you get your information from moron?  I hate people like you, talking out of your ass half the time.  Second of all almost every single one of these owners is having tremendous success outside of football.   It doesn't matter if they "inherited" part of their fortune or businesses because it takes more brains then you have to run those businesses.  I know morons like you think all big business owners have to do is hire people to run things while they do nothing themselves, but there hasn't been one successful business in history world wide run like that.   They bought their franchises with loans leveraged against their fortunes?? How do you know ?  Answer: You don't know.  You're just another stupid wannabe billionaire bitter at the world because you aren't them... you don't live their life so their success annoys you. 

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