Blog Entry

NFL players ratify new CBA: We have football

Posted on: August 4, 2011 6:40 pm
Edited on: August 4, 2011 8:00 pm
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Posted by Ryan Wilson

After a brief scare Wednesday, when it appeared that the new collective bargaining agreement wouldn't be ratified on time, CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman reports that the players ratified the agreement with the owners as planned Thursday afternoon, which (theoretically) guarantees labor peace for the next decade.

"While Roger Goodell had some of his on-field control curtailed, a high ranking union official told me, he maintains his power over the personal conduct policy," Freeman wrote Thursday.

"Also, the two sides agreed to implement an [human growth hormone] testing policy making the NFL the first professional American sports league to test for HGH with union consent. It is expected that testing will begin once the season starts."

We mentioned previously that the league was on board with HGH testing even if NFLPA spokesman George Atallah said as recently as Tuesday that “The players have not agreed to any comprehensive drug testing proposal.”

Clearly, the two sides found middle ground.

In terms of what a ratified CBA means for actual football, those players who signed contracts on or after July 26 (and were subsequently forced to watch practices from the sidelines until the new league year officially began with the ratification), finally joined their teammates on the field Thursday afternoon.

Also worth noting: the Steelers voted "no" to CBA ratification "to make statement," according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ed Bouchette, and it wasn't a complete surprise. On Wednesday, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Scott Brown reported that "Steelers players, frustrated over the lack of movement on the NFL conduct policy, may not ratify" the CBA due to "several issues, including the latitude NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has in levying fines, which could not be negotiated until the players re-certified as a union."

The Steelers player representative, Ryan Clark, was outspoken on the matter Wednesday.

"A big issue for us is Roger Goodell having absolute control over the fines system, judge, jury and appeals," Clark said. "I think for a lot of teams it wouldn`t be as big a deal but for us it is. We`re the team that gets fined the most and we play a brand of football that, sometimes, subjects us to his opinion. That`s something that really hasn`t been talked about this. "For us, with Roger Goodell having total control over the fine process, that`s a deal breaker for us in that situation."

And if the CBA hadn't been ratified today? "The settlement of the players’ antitrust lawsuit against the owners would have been voided and the owners could have shuttered the league again," writes Bloomberg's Curtis Eichelberger.

So, yes, welcome back, football. We missed you.

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Comments

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 17, 2012 1:50 pm
 

NFL players ratify new CBA: We have football



fghdfre
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 1, 2012 9:17 pm
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hgtrerte
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 27, 2011 12:38 am
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tomlye
Since: Nov 28, 2011
Posted on: November 29, 2011 10:51 pm
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Since: Dec 20, 2006
Posted on: August 5, 2011 10:59 am
 

NFL players ratify new CBA: We have football

So you mean maybe someday teams will be hitting Ben Roethlisberger late?  Hitting him in the head?  And no penalties are called?  Guess what, Mr. Observant.  That has already happened. Numerous times.  Game after game, the refs let Big Ben take hard deliberate hits after the whistle without penalty.  The problem has never been big hits-- it has been blatant double-standards.  And if there is no oversight committee then there is no opportunity to address the blatant and on-going double-standard.

The Steelers hit guys hard, but legally, within the parameters of the play, and get exorbitant fines against them-- frequently when no penalty is even called on the field because even the refs know it wasn't a penalty.  Players on other teams make blatantly illegal hits and rarely is anything said.  Big Ben gets slaughtered after the whistle and there is no call.  Someone's little finger passes within an inch of Tom Brady's helmet and there is a penalty and fine.  There is even video evidence of refs pulling out flags on James Harrison two steps before he even makes contact with the quarterback.  Is THIS the fairness you are talking about?  What game have you been watching?

Your argument only holds water if the penalties are being consistently applied.  You must be imagining a world where hard hits are being called evenly and fairly and the Steelers get more calls because they are deliberately ignoring the rules.  You must be laboring under that impression.  It is a false impression.  The problem the Steelers have is that if you were to take any big hit by a non-Steeler last year, digitally put the hitter in a Steelers uniform-- then Goodell would give the hitter a huge fine.  Take almost any big hit by a Steelers player that drew a fine, digitally put other uniforms on the players-- and Goodell would not have fined them. 

That's called a double-standard.  And all the Steelers players want is a means to make sure Goodell cannot apply penalties with an obvious and unfair bias.  Without even a chance that ANY person-- lawyer, owner, player, etc-- could question whom Goodell fines and how much, how can the players hope for fair play?  Especially when it is clear that hits by the Steelers are not being called the same as hits against the Steelers (or hits by other teams in general).

(This is not to say that no Steelers player ever makes an illegal hit.  Chris Kemoeatu has a tendency to do that and it drives fans nuts.  Keyaron Fox made a stupid and blatant illegal hit in the Super Bowl.  Those SHOULD be called-- but note that they were penalties called by refs, not fines by the commissioner.  But those calls are made according to some clear rationale, not randomly, which what we have now with the Goodell fine system.)



Since: Nov 2, 2006
Posted on: August 5, 2011 10:10 am
 

NFL players ratify new CBA: We have football

Why are only the Steelers and Steelers fans complaining? Maybe the other 31 teams know how to play and know how to win without cheap shots.

Maybe one of these days someone else will knock Big Ben out for a whole season and we'll see how you much you like a season without your quarterback. Or better yet, an offensive lineman will knock out your James Harrison. Unless Goodell does something to stop this, what goes around could come around.


htgfver
Since: Aug 5, 2011
Posted on: August 5, 2011 8:58 am
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Since: Feb 16, 2007
Posted on: August 5, 2011 8:25 am
 

NFL players ratify new CBA: We have football

Anyone wanna give odds on Clay Matthews being the first player who is busted?   I think if you injected his sweat into you, you could probably add 20 pounds of muscle per sweat injection.


zhongilo
Since: Aug 5, 2011
Posted on: August 5, 2011 6:13 am
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Since: Nov 1, 2006
Posted on: August 5, 2011 2:58 am
 

NFL players ratify new CBA: We have football

Yeah their brand is "real football". I'm just guessing that you didn't watch a single Steeler game last year when a player was fined. They were all jokes. The first fineable hit on MM of Cleveland was a big joke. He made the catch, ran to his right and got lit up by a linebacker. JH did not lead with his head, MM tried to duck under the hit and they went helmet to helmet. Sh!t happens. The same week BM of the Pats launches himself helmet first into a defensless WR who just caught (or made contact) with the ball. The guy left his feet and went crown first, yet he gets half the fine. The JH hit may have looked dirty but it wasn't, BM's hit was dirty and it looked really dirty, yet he got half the fine JH did. After that JH was picked on, what kind of league fines someone for landing on an opposing player when it isn't even a penalty in the game? Sorry the games a little rough for you Schmuck but last I checked it wasn't two hand tab. And this for a guy who had BDawk on his team for what 10 years? Sad. Oh and Reggie White is laughing at you somewhere.


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