Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
 
Tag:Ben Leber
Posted on: April 14, 2011 7:45 pm
Edited on: April 14, 2011 9:23 pm
 

NFL, NFLPA will continue mediation Friday

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

After nearly 10 hours of negotiations today, the mediation session between the NFL and the NFLPA in the presence of U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan has ended. And, as we suspected, not many people are saying much of anything.

Although NFL lead negotiator Jeff Pash said the two sides would return to the courthouse in Minneapolis on Friday, commissioner Roger Goodell said, “We pledged confidentiality.”

As NFL.com's Albert Breer wrote earlier this evening, “I've been told talks upstairs have been ‘tough’ and there's lots of ‘fence-mending’ to be done.”

Still, it sounds like something productive occured.

"We had a full day. It was constructive to get together," said Pash, who was joined by Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, Chiefs owner Clark Hunt, Steelers owner Art Rooney and Patriots owner Robert Kraft. "The chief magistrate judge is working very hard, and I give him a lot of credit for really trying to move the parties toward a solution."

OK, that sounds fine. But how long will this mediation attempt last? Until (fingers crossed!) there’s a resolution?

 "The court has indicated it wants to continue with everyone talking as long as it makes sense," said Michael Hausfeld, one of the attorneys for the players.

Hmm, that doesn’t really tell us much, does it?

Actually, the fact that NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith (who was joined by Vikings LB Ben Leber, Chiefs LB Mike Vrabel and Hall of Fame DE Carl Eller) and Goodell – who had to step away from part of the bargaining session to join in on a conference call scheduled with 5,300 Browns fans – attended the mediation is a pretty good sign.

"I can tell you that it's a positive step when the parties are talking," Goodell told the Browns fans. "We saw the March 11 proposal as responsive to issues raised by the players and there are many attractive elements in it. ... Our entire focus is on getting a deal done."

Though these sessions were mandated by Judge Susan Nelson – who will eventually rule on the Brady v NFL case – it’s obviously positive that the two sides, once again, are meeting. And hope for an agreement of any sort between the two sides continues.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .

Posted on: April 14, 2011 9:48 am
Edited on: April 14, 2011 11:49 am
 

Mediation underway; four owners attending talks

Posted by Andy Benot

Thursday is the start of the court-ordered resumed mediation between the NFL and NFLPA (kickoff time 10:00 a.m. EST). This time the talks are taking place in Minnesota in the chambers of Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan.

NFL Labor
According to league spokesman Greg Aiello, four NFL owners are attending the Thursday session: Robert Kraft of the Patriots, Jerry Richardson of the Panthers, Clark Hunt of the Chiefs and Art Rooney of the Steelers. Also in the room are Roger Goodell, NFL lead negotiator Jeff Pash and, according to NFL Network's Albert Breer, Falcons president Rich McKay.

Judge Susan Nelson, who ordered this mediation, has required that whoever is on hand must have the power of full authority. In other words, the individuals in the room must be able to work out whatever (if any) deal their side is willing to do.

----------

UPDATE 10:19 a.m. EST: Breer reports that two of the plaintiffs in the Brady v NFL case are in the mediation: Mike Vrabel of the Chiefs and Ben Leber of the Vikings.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: March 11, 2011 6:04 pm
Edited on: March 11, 2011 7:23 pm
 

Nine players file lawsuit against league

Posted by Andy Benoit
D. Brees (US Presswire)
The NFLPA decertification has taken place, and the aftermath is already underway. 

Superstars Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Drew Brees are among nine plaintiffs who have filed antitrust claims against the NFL in the 8th Circuit Court. The other plaintiffs are Giants DE Osi Umenyiora, Chargers WR Vincent Jackson, Pariots G Logan Mankins, Chiefs LB Mike Vrabel, Vikings LB Ben Leber and Vikings DE Brian Robison. Also, among the players is Texas A & M first-round rookie prospect Von Miller, who is representing the rookies. (Nice -- and gutsy -- way to introduce yourself to the league.)

The players allege that the NFL conspired to deny the players' ability to market their services. This has been the players' silver bullet all along. After the American Needle vs. NFL case in May determined that the NFL consists of 32 separate entities, the league became vulnerable to antitrust laws. Separate entities cannot bind together to prevent players from working.

Expect the league to file a counter suit claiming that the NFLPA’s decertification is a sham. Per the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the NFLPA could only sue the league after decertifying.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.

Posted on: November 1, 2010 5:42 pm
 

More Randy Moss tidbits

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Since we haven’t posted anything on Randy Moss in, oh, say the last 90 minutes, let me bring you up to date on a few various tweets and statements.

- According to NFL.com’s Jason La Canfora, not everybody in the Vikings organization was on board with the decision to release Moss. That could present some problems in the future – or in the present, I suppose. Oh, and although coach Brad Childress told the team the Vikings had released Moss, they had yet to inform Moss of the decision. Which is just … well, it’s just freaking crazy.

La Canfora also writes Moss did NOT hit the waiver wire by the 4 p.m. deadline. Honestly, I’m not sure what to even think about this. Childress has the right to control the 53-man roster, but if the higher-ups in the front office don't want the same outcome, this could really say something about where Childress stands in the organization.

This does not mean Moss won’t be waived, because I’m think it’s 95 percent likely that he still will. He just hasn’t been yet. And if he doesn’t get waived, good lord, this will be really, really crazy.

- Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer reported Childress told the players in the locker room that Moss wasn’t the kind of guy the team wanted. Then, he ushered them into film room like it was no big deal. Wrote Glazer, “Guys just shook their heads.”

- The Minneapolis Star Tribune had this statement from Moss agent, Joel Segal.

"Randy is very sad to find out about being waived by the Vikings this morning. He has and always will remain fond of the fans in Minnesota. We will let the process of the waiver wire take its course and we will move on from there."

- Quick player reaction from LB Ben Leber, in Minnesota’s open locker room session with the media. “We’re shocked by it. But again, it was something we have to stand behind. We’re not going to let it be a distraction. When we come back on Wednesday, it will be forgotten.”

Unless, of course, Moss is still on the team.

This story, I’d say, isn’t close to being complete.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Posted on: September 10, 2010 12:17 pm
Edited on: September 10, 2010 12:28 pm
 

Three thoughts about NO-MIN

B. Favre and the Minnesota passing offense had a rough game (AP). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

My take on Thursday’s Saints 14-9 win against the Vikings.

1. I loved the “We are one” salute at the beginning of the game, signifying the players’ solidarity with each other as they enter the final season of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement. Some people didn’t like it – they thought it was too showy or too much of a flick-our-noses-at-the-owners kind of moment (and I’ve seen a joke or two on Twitter about how the owners should show solidarity by turning off the lights for a minute)  – but I thought the move was pretty damn cool.

"Even though five minutes from then we were going to go out and bash each others' heads in," QB Drew Brees told reporters after the game, "we're all one voice."

2. Jeez, how much did the Vikings miss WR Sidney Rice last night? More importantly, how much will they miss him until he can return from hip surgery? Percy Harvin was mostly invisible (one catch, 12 yards), and Bernard Berrian was, somehow, worse (one catch, three yards), and aside from TE Visanthe Shiancoe, Minnesota’s passing game was terribly unimpressive. Greg Camarillo made a nice catch, and even Greg Lewis recorded a reception. But originally, I thought Harvin and Berrian would be OK until Rice returned. I might have been totally wrong. And if Shiancoe is the only receiving threat – he was Thursday, at least – and the Saints figured out a way to shut him down in the second half, it’s not far-fetched to think other teams will do the same.
P. Thomas had a big second half for New Orleans (AP).
You also have to wonder about Brett Favre. Not just that he might be too old (finally), but that his decision to miss most of training camp cost his team dearly. As Camarillo said after the game, the offense had no chemistry. A couple extra weeks of practicing together might have helped solve that.

3. The Saints ran the ball just three times in the first half, but the coaching staff switched gears in the second half and made a point of giving the ball to Pierre Thomas. He rushed 19 times for 71 yards, and he helped New Orleans eat up huge chunks of time in the fourth quarter to keep the Vikings at bay. The big run came with 1:59 to go when, on a second and six, Thomas broke a Ben Leber tackle (which would have stopped him behind the first-down marker) and made the first down to seal Minnesota’s fate.

Of course, much of the credit must go to New Orleans interior linemen. Guards Jahri Evans and Carl Nicks were outstanding against one of the best defensive lines in the NFL.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .



Posted on: August 18, 2010 10:24 am
 

How much more $ will Favre make this year?

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

We haven’t posted anything on Brett Favre in, oh, about 17 hours. Which is a blatant violation of the Facts & Rumors mission statement (the punishment, of course, is having to wear Wranglers out in public for two hours). So, that’s our bad. And to make up for it, here’s a new Favre post even though he hasn’t done anything new since Tuesday.

There’s been some talk about how much more money Favre will receive from the Vikings to play this season. Originally, that number was a $7 million raise from $13 million to $20 million. Now, says Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis Star Tribune , that number might be closer to a $16.5 million base (and another possibility for $3.5 million of incentives thrown into the mix to reach, you guessed it, $20 million).

Of course, Favre says it’s not about the money, and maybe that’s true for him. But it’s not for the rest of his teammates. Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com makes a good point when he writes there are plenty of other Vikings who want a pay increase as well.

(It’s) a team that has three starters entering the final years of their contracts: linebackers Chad Greenway and Ben Leber, along with defensive end Ray Edwards. No known discussions are underway with any of those players, nor do the Vikings appear close to deals with another trio of players who have made noise about a possible extension, including running back Adrian Peterson, receiver Sidney Rice and tight end Visanthe Shiancoe.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .


Posted on: June 15, 2010 10:45 am
 

Obligatory Brett Favre Mention

Not that we need confirmation (or more Brett Favre stories) at this time, but two Viking players told NFL.com’s Vic Carucci that they expect Favre to return because of the way the ’09 season ended.

From Bernard Berrian:
"We know we should have won the Super Bowl, we should be champs right now. That's where we're leaving off, and I think that's where (Favre’s) leaving off, too.  I think that's lingering around his head, too -- that there are still plays to be made out there.  I'm hoping that's what he's thinking."

From Ben Leber:
"The way we ended last season, being so close, I think that's still on his mind and he understands the capabilities of this team and what we have. I just think his competitive spirit is going to bring him back."

--Andy Benoit

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl

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