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
Posted by Ryan Wilson

After a brief scare Wednesday, when it appeared that the new collective bargaining agreement wouldn't be ratified on time,'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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Since: Feb 18, 2011
Posted on: August 4, 2011 11:56 pm

NFL players ratify new CBA: We have football

HGH testing in the NFL?!?!  Looks like a good time to be a practice squad player because about 90% of the players are going to pop.  

Since: Sep 12, 2007
Posted on: August 4, 2011 10:19 pm

NFL players ratify new CBA: We have football

If physical football is too rough for you, go watch badminton and quit your whining.

Since: Nov 2, 2006
Posted on: August 4, 2011 10:10 pm

NFL players ratify new CBA: We have football

The Steelers play "a brand of football"? What brand is that, dirty hitting? Trying to knock the opposing QB and/or offensive stars of the opposing team out? Maybe Goodell is doing is job to protect players from injuries you Steelers want to impose. If you can't win without playing dirty, you don't deserve to win. I want to see Peyton and Tom throw passes, not James Harrison jack them up. 

Since: Jun 3, 2011
Posted on: August 4, 2011 9:09 pm

NFL players ratify new CBA: We have football

Leave it to football to be the only sport to do what many have said can't be done, level the HGH playing field with blood tests.  Blood testing is the only definitive way to detect these cheating techniques and the NFL is hoping the threat of the testing will be enough.  If not for its poor leadership baseball should be right on board behind football, there's only one way to catch cheaters and the NFL has the vision to go for it.

Since: Aug 1, 2008
Posted on: August 4, 2011 8:40 pm

NFL players ratify new CBA: We have football

Can we still shoot up pain killers at half time?  What a joke if they are worried about HGH and yet we can inject players with whatever they need to get through the secong half of a football game.

Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: August 4, 2011 6:51 pm

NFL players ratify new CBA: We have football

The players union is a joke. They publicly stated the CBA might be in jeopardy if there isn't an appeal policy for suspensions Goodell issues, a policy that would have somebody else hear the appeal.  Guess what? That didn't happen. Goodell is still in FULL CONTROL with the only exception being the players can appeal suspensions that come from the new drug policy, a drug policy by the way the players said they would NEVER accept. They would NEVER accept blood tests....  well, they accepted that as well.

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