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Tag:NFL Lockout
Posted on: March 28, 2011 2:08 pm
Edited on: March 28, 2011 3:10 pm
 

Dolphins still trying to get ready for next year

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

While the NFL owners and the NFLPA continue to go round and round – in letters that both sides write and send out – a handful of Dolphins players are trying to prepare themselves for next season.

While they can’t work out at the team facility (the lockout and all), they’ve been lifting weights at a regular gym where mere mortals work out in their mere mortal ways.

The Miami Herald’s Jeff Darlington was there one day to capture it all on video (which you can see below). Included among the Dolphins are WRs Davone Bess and Roberto Wallace.

It’s a behind-the-scenes look at how NFL players build size, strength and speed.



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Posted on: March 28, 2011 12:18 pm
Edited on: March 28, 2011 12:19 pm
 

Arthur Blank pens another letter to fans

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Another day, another letter from an NFL owner trying to win the PR battle during the lockout.

This one comes from Falcons owners Arthur Blank and appears on the team website.

Writes Blank, in part:

During the last day of our mediated discussions on March 11, the NFL clubs put a balanced and fair proposal on the table in a good-faith effort to resolve our differences. The proposal included payments to players of approximately $19-20 billion over the next four years, including a 14 percent increase from 2011-2014. In addition, there would be no pay-cut for our players – only a slowing in the growth rate of their compensation. The proposal also included a wide range of other improvements for both current and retired players. Further, we offered to share financial information that goes far beyond the requirements of federal labor law.

In my opinion, the NFLPA walked away from a deal that was more than fair, but I also recognize that they did it in order to file a lawsuit. So instead of working productively through collective bargaining, we are being stalled through the legal process. I can speak for the NFL and its owners in telling you that we all want a quick resolution of the current labor dispute, and we are ready to get back to the negotiating table at any time.

These are the kinds of letters that get the NFLPA riled up and forces the association (in its own mind, anyway) to respond about how the deal the owners offered was the WORST DEAL EVER.

It’s like the dog who chases its tail in a circle until it keels over from dizziness. It’s not getting anybody anywhere. And all we feel is a sense of nausea.

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Posted on: March 28, 2011 9:53 am
 

In new CBA, players don't want courts involved

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

If there’s anything on which the NFL owners won’t compromise during labor negotiations, assuming they and the NFLPA actually get back to the bargaining table, it’s the agreement in past CBAs for federal court oversight. Basically, the owners want that provision stricken from any future CBAs.

NFL Labor
This, according to Sports Illustrated’s Peter King in his Monday Morning Quarterback column.

It’s been well-documented that the owners have a problem with U.S. Circuit Court Judge David Doty. Though Doty – who the owners believe has favored the players for the past two decades whenever he’s heard appeals from the two sides – won’t be the one hearing the April 6 injunction hearing in the Brady v NFL case, the owners want to get away from the courts altogether.

You hear that just about every day when commissioner Roger Goodell or some other owner says the only way to end the NFL lockout is to return to the negotiating table and forgo litigating. Now, the owners want to make it a reality.

Said one of King’s sources: "They don't want to leave their fate in the hands of a judge, period. After having the last two decades, basically, with federal oversight in the Eighth Circuit, their attitude basically is this: No other leagues have the courts lording over them. Why should we?''

According to King, the players might be OK with letting go of that provision in the next CBA, because the issue so rarely comes into play.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: March 26, 2011 2:02 pm
Edited on: March 26, 2011 2:56 pm
 

NFL Alumni not happy with NFLPA

Posted by Andy Benoit

One of the ancillary issues in the ongoing labor strife is the treatment of retired players. The popular thing for both sides to say is that they’re deeply concerned about retired players’ benefits. Most retired players beg to differ.

George Martin, president of the NFL Alumni, has met with both the NFLPA and NFL owners. A few weeks ago, it was a story that Martin was unable to even get a meeting with the NFLPA. That has since changed.
G. Martin (US Presswire)
But Martin has still not received the one-on-one meeting with DeMaurice Smith that he requested. And from his last meeting he’s not exactly thrilled with the NFLPA’s attitude towards NFL Alumni.

Pro Football Talk obtained a memo that Martin sent to the NFL Alumni’s Board of Directors and 32 chapter heads in which Martin describes his meeting with the decertified union. PFT writes:

Martin said the “atmosphere was very defiant, accusatory, and outright disrespectful.”

“Regrettably, the long awaited and greatly anticipated one on one meeting with Mr. DeMaurice Smith never materialized as I had hoped,” Martin wrote.  “Although he was present during my two hour interrogation, no accommodation of my request for the private meeting was ever addressed.”

Martin had a much better experience with the NFL, according to the memo.

“On Tuesday morning, I had the pleasure of addressing NFL owners, executive staff, and head coaches as the NFL Annual Meetings,” Martin said.  “The genuine support and enthusiasm for our organization exhibited by these distinguished individuals was both exciting and overwhelming.”

NFL Labor

In its last CBA offer to the union before the lockout, NFL owners offered to contributed $82 million over the next two years to a new legacy fund for retired players. The NFL claims it has contributed over $350 million in pension funds for retired players over the past two years. There are still issues over the timing of these benefits (and, of course, the extent of them). Regarding the timing, players’ coverage currently covers the years immediately following their career, rather than decades down the road, when most of their health issues that were fomented by playing the violent sport actually show up.

The NFL Alumni is upset that the union refused to continue negotiating with owners in the first place.

"Although (the $82 million sum) is not where we want it to be, it was a first start," Martin said at the league meetings earlier this week. "If the (negotiating) process had been allowed to continue, perhaps we would have gained those improvements in pension benefits."

UPDATE 2:57 p.m. EST: George Atallah, NFLPA spokesman, tweeted Saturday afternoon: "It is upsetting that George Martin would make the details of his meeting with the NFLPA public. We tried to have a private dialogue."

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Posted on: March 25, 2011 4:25 pm
 

Next Media Animation takes on NFL lockout

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

To see the latest animated video from the wizards at Next Media Animation on the NFL lockout, all you have to do is click the video below.

It features Tom Brady and Peyton Manning vacuuming up money and Hines Ward dancing, so that should be reward enough.



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Posted on: March 21, 2011 11:15 pm
 

Everybody needs to watch their language

Duerson Posted by Mike Freeman

In a briefing of NFL reporters at the owner's meetings in New Orleans on Monday a league official described the union's decertfication as a sham calling it a "fake suicide."

"The fake suicide was a fake," said the official.

The official wasn't trying to be offensive but he forgot a few things in making such an insensitive remark.

The official forgot that in February former Chicago player Dave Duerson committed suicide with a gunshot to the chest.

The official forgot that police suspect former Denver player Kenny McKinley of committing suicide.

He forgot about the suicide of Andre Waters, a former Philadelphia Eagles player.

Or how Hall of Fame center Mike Webster tried several times to kill himself before falling to a heart attack.

The official wasn't trying to be insensitive but it's another sign of how ugly the impasse is getting between players and owners. I heard a tape of the conversation and almost fell out of my chair.

Maybe we should all watch our language as this battle moves forward.

This post was cross-posted from Mike Freeman's Freestyle blog. For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: March 21, 2011 6:12 pm
 

Jaclyn Fujita presents another side to story

S. Fujita and his wife, Jaclyn, after the New Orleans Super Bowl win (Getty).

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Browns linebacker Scott Fujita has been one of the most outspoken supports of the players during labor negotiations (hint: that’s probably because he’s a union executive member). Now, his wife, Jaclyn, has something she wants to say.

She’s written a letter, as posted on thenation.com, and in it, she pleads for the owners to give the players adequate lifelong health care so that when the players’ bodies begin to break down as they enter middle age, they won’t have to bankrupt themselves in order to manage their pain and symptoms.

Here’s some of the letter:

Honestly, though, I don't know that we were fully aware of the ultimate reality of the National Football League. We learned the hard way that he would work his ass into the ground, playing every defensive down and special teams, and would be the lowest paid man on the roster. That he would experience multiple concussions, but remain on the field. That he would suffer full ligament tears and shouldn't have been walking, but team doctors would tell him it was a "minor sprain" and should still play. That even though you have given your heart and soul to a team, they can easily replace you with a rookie who has never played in the NFL before. …

Now I know many don't want to hear our complaints: we made our bed and now we have to lie in it. But what about the pro football players of tomorrow who have no idea what they are stepping into?  Boys who are playing football because they love it and have found something they are really good at? They see the pride on their family's faces every time they strap on that helmet, but these young men have no idea of the pain they will endure or the true uncertainty of their career choice. They have no idea how long they will work or when their bodies will say "no" to the abuse. What these men need to know is that as they step on the field and risk major injury—while generating billions of dollars for this industry—the billionaires who write the checks are not looking out for them. They need to know that they are going to be lied to. They need to know that when they suffer an injury they will be told they should buck up and play. ..

And here they are, simply asking the men who profit from their work, to PLEASE look after their health, as they should have done throughout their career. They ask this so that someday, the young boy who chooses this path knows he will be protected the way he deserves. So his mother, wife, or child will know that even though that hit looks awful, there is someone on the sideline with his best interests at heart. So future NFL wives who watch their husbands unable to get out of a chair on a Tuesday, yet still strap it come Sunday, will be taken care of. So the man who is sacrificing his body and mind for the thrill of the game can be confident that his work will not go unnoticed. He will not be forgotten. He will not go unprotected. He will have earned the right to be taken care of for life. He will be kept safe from his damaged body and mind. For it was those bodies and minds of 53 men on 32 teams who every year generate billions of dollars for this industry. They deserve to be cared about.”


That’s only three paragraphs (albeit, three looonnnng grafs), but make sure to click the above link because Jaclyn Fujita has written a very compelling letter

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Posted on: March 21, 2011 5:32 pm
 

NFL releases brief for Brady v NFL

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

During the first day of the owners meetings in New Orleans, the NFL distributed a 50-plus page brief for the Brady v NFL case in which the NFLPA is seeking a permanent injunction against the lockout imposed by the owners.

The Boston Globe’s Greg Bedard and Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio do a nice job of summarizing the brief and breaking it down.

The main points of the brief (which is basically the NFL’s side of the story) are:

NFL Labor
-A statute known as the Norris-LaGuardia Act prevents the federal court in Minnesota from deciding this case, because, as PFT writes, the statute “prevents any court from issuing an injunction against a lockout -- regardless of whether the NFLPA operates as a union or a trade association.”

-The court will have to abide by whatever the National Relations Labor Board rules in regard to whether the NFLPA can decertify – the NFL argues that decertification is a sham and it points to quotes by players and former players that back their claim that the union used it as  a bargaining tactic.

-The NFL says the NLRB will likely conclude that the players were not bargaining in good faith and that the NFLPA should return to the negotiating table immediately. The league also says the players aren’t likely to win their case because they didn’t wait until six months after the CBA had expired to decertify.

-One reason the district court could issue an injunction is because it has found that irreparable harm is being done to the players. The NFL argues that players could be compensated with money damages, meaning an injunction would be unnecessary.

Those are some of the basics, but I encourage you to check out the links above if you want less of the laymen’s terms and more of the high-minded talk (though it must be said that Florio does a pretty nice job making sense of what all of this means). 

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