Tag:Brady v. NFL
Posted on: July 26, 2011 2:47 pm
Edited on: July 26, 2011 3:00 pm
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Brady v. NFL settled in Minnesota District Court

Posted by Will Brinson

The Brady v. NFL lawsuit has been settled, according to court documents filed by the Minnesota District Court.
NFL Labor

Settlement of the antitrust lawsuit filed by various NFL players is the second step to getting football back in 2011 -- now all that remains is recertification of the players as a union and the collective bargaining of the various remaining issues.

The court was advised of settlement in the matter via a telephone conference that took place on Tuesday morning and featured various attorneys for the respective sides.

Yes, this may explain why a certain couple of players -- Logan Mankins and Vincent Jackson -- decided to sign their tenders and head into camp.

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Posted on: July 13, 2011 12:25 pm
Edited on: July 13, 2011 1:18 pm
 

Brees: Deal 'very close' and 'few details' remain

Posted by Will Brinson

Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning issued a statement on labor negotiations recently, and as we noted earlier, it was a pretty bold statement, even though the words might seem similar to a normal press release.

On Wednesday while on XX Radio 1090 in San Diego, Brees confirmed our belief about the statement, and made some even stronger noise about the current state of the lockout, pointing ou that a deal is "very close," and that "few details" remain in nailing down a labor agreement.

"We've taken a significant setback in overall revenue in terms of what we've offered them compared to what we were making," Brees said. "I feel like there's a fair deal there -- we all do -- and we think it's time to step up and make a deal."

And that's precisely why the three most notable players in the current labor negotiations issued a statement regarding their stance.

Latest on Labor
"Yesterday we felt like there's a fair deal on the table and we need to make sure everybody knows this and make sure the owners know this because the season is just around the corner," Brees said about the statement the players issued.

Brees also addressed the issue of retired players, stating that the current players would take care of them in the negotiations, and pointing out that the folks at the current bargaining table are actually pretty close to being retired themselves.

"Maybe they DO have a seat at the table," Brees said about retired players. "I'm the second-youngest guy at the table … these are guys who going to be retired players soon.

"And they're certainly looking out for those guys."

That's gotta be nice to hear if you're a retired player. But much nicer to hear? Brees' comments about how close a deal is and that the players did in fact take a "substantial" cut in order to make something happen.

Obviously there are reasons why they'd do this, and there are probably other areas in which they're going to benefit -- hello, massive free-agent class! -- that enabled them to give up more money.

That's not important. What's important is finishing this puppy off and getting everyone on the football field in time for a normal year of NFL action.

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Posted on: July 13, 2011 10:32 am
Edited on: July 13, 2011 12:29 pm
 

Brady, Manning, Brees statement a bold move

Posted by Will Brinson

Up to this point, plaintiffs Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees have been relatively quiet about their activity in the Brady v. NFL antitrust lawsuit and the current labor dispute between the players and the owners.

However, they made their voice known on Wednesday morning in a statement released to the Associated Press that called their latest offer "fair" and said it's "time to get this deal done."

"We believe the overall proposal made by the players is fair for both sides and it is time to get this deal done," Brady, Manning and Brees said in the statement.

"This is the time of year we as players turn our attention to the game on the field. We hope the owners feel the same way."

The league quickly responded with a statement of their own and -- you'll never believe this -- but they agree! It is time to get a deal done.

Such a notion isn't new to those of us (fans, commentators, etc) who've been on the negotiating sideline while the two sides spent the spring and summer bickering about the division of a couple billion dollars.

The time has been "now" for a while; it was there in March, it was there in April, it was there in May -- you get the point. But the benefit of having three of the biggest-named players in the league step up and publicly endorse the current deal on the table is that the public and the NFL are now aware that there's an ultimatum sitting out there from one of the sides.

Is that a good thing? Yes, if the league's feeling rational and actually does want to settle.

See, Brady/Manning/Brees aren't just issuing a press release or a statement indicating that they're ready for football. This is a legitimate statement to be taken seriously; we've seen how the lawyers are willing to hop into the fray and mess things up for everyone else who wants football.

And we should be legitimately concerned that if too many formal offers go back and forth between the two sides over the next couple of days that we could be facing a "walk away and keep suing" situation from the guys whose names are on the lawsuit.

That's the last thing that anyone wants to happen, and it's why the next three days of negotiating are so critical to ensuring that we have football in 2011.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: June 3, 2011 3:49 pm
Edited on: June 3, 2011 5:40 pm
 

DirecTV: No Sunday Ticket cost til after lockout

Posted by Will Brinson

UPDATE: Turns out that the customer service person we spoke with was wrong -- DirecTV will NOT be charging you until the lockout is resolved.

"In years past, we typically do start billing in July, but this year, due to the uncertainty around the NFL labor dispute, there will be absolutely no charge for your NFL SUNDAY TICKET subscription until it is confirmed that the 2011 NFL season will begin," Charles Miller, Director of Digital Care at DirecTV, told CBSSports.com. "What you and other customers will see on your July bill is a balance of $0.00 for the NFL SUNDAY TICKET portion and this will remain at $0 until the NFL dispute is resolved."

So, NFL fans have that going for them -- don't bother cancelling your subscription just yet.

DirecTV's "Sunday Ticket" package has become a staple for the hardcore NFL fan over the past few years. Whether it's the Red Zone channel or just an excuse to buy six more televisions, there's always a great reason to shell out $53.99 in six monthly installments to watch piles of football.

This year? Yeah, not as much, since the we're less than 100 days away from the NFL's season beginning and the lockout is still firmly in place.

Here's DirecTV's latest statement on the issue, posted on their website:
We at DIRECTV love football. That's why for over 15 years, DIRECTV has been the exclusive home for NFL SUNDAY TICKET™, the only way to watch your favorite teams no matter where you live. And DIRECTV will continue to be the exclusive home for NFL SUNDAY TICKET™. Like all football fans, we are hoping for a positive resolution to the current NFL labor negotiations. And when the NFL is ready to play, we will be ready to bring you every game every Sunday.

If the NFL negotiations result in a shortened or canceled season, rest assured that DIRECTV has you covered. Your subscription to NFL SUNDAY TICKET™ is risk-free: You will not pay for any game that the NFL does not play.*

Please return to this page for the latest updates and news concerning your NFL SUNDAY TICKET™ subscription.
Now, this SOUNDS pretty "risk-free," right? There's just one problem: DirecTV starts billing for Sunday Ticket in July. And, come July, the NFL will still have a concrete start date: September 8, 2011. The schedule won't change until the labor situation actually impedes on the season. And, sure enough, a quick call to DirecTV customer service confirmed this.

"We are going to start to charge for the NFL Sunday Ticket by … probably July 3 but there is no specific date," a DirecTV customer service representative told CBSSports.com. "But it will be in July."

See, that means if you had Sunday Ticket last year, per DirecTV's policy, you will have Sunday Ticket in 2011, unless you cancel. Making this infinitely more difficult is the fact that you can't cancel online. And because you're renewed, you will be charged beginning in about a month.

This is made even more confusing because on your June bill, you'll see a zero dollar charge for your Sunday Ticket automatic renewal.

That might seem to indicate you'll get it for free until the NFL season starts, but it doesn't.  Because the reality is you'll be charged for Sunday Ticket from now until the season is actually cancelled and/or moved.

It's nice of DirecTV to love the NFL and to [claim to] care about fans, but it would be a whole lot nicer if they waited until the labor dispute is actually resolved before charging the people who foot the bill for this entire football operation.

And, yeah, suddenly it's a lot harder to feel sorry for DirecTV getting strong-armed by the NFL in television negotiations.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: June 3, 2011 12:50 pm
Edited on: June 3, 2011 1:12 pm
 

Court: NFL decision to come in 'due course'

Posted by Will Brinson

On Thursday the NFL and the NFLPA argued in front of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals over the legality of a lockout in football. And by noon CST, court had adjourned and the 8th Circuit had let the NFL know that a ruling would come in "due course," but that both sides were free to settle their dispute.
NFL Labor

"We wouldn't be all that hurt if you go out and settle that case," Judge Kermit Bye said, with a smile, to each side's respective attorneys.

Bye was the dissenting judge in the when the 8th Circuit twice ruled 2-1 in favor of keeping the lockout in place, first temporarily and then in a more permanent fashion.

The questions from the panel of judges, as we noted earlier, seemed to focus on the issue of whether or not the NFLPA had "actually" decertified. The NFL contends that the union's decision to decertify is simply predicated on the goal of gaining legal leverage.

Bye also added that the ruling could be one "that neither side will like."

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Posted on: June 3, 2011 11:50 am
Edited on: June 3, 2011 12:21 pm
 

Lockout hearing focuses on state of the union

Posted by Will Brinson

A couple weeks ago, we mentioned that the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals decision following the lockout hearing would directly relate to whether or not the judges on the court's panel believed the union "actually" decertified or not.

That suspicion was confirmed within the first few minutes of the oral arguments from each side, as the NFL and the players were grilled on whether or not the NFLPA's decertification was a ploy to generate legal leverage.

Per Albert Breer of the NFL Network, the judges asked the players attorneys -- specifically Ted Olson -- about "tactical disclaimers" in decertification. The clear-cut indication is that the court, known as pro-business, is concerned about exactly what we believed they were concerned with: unions disbanding simply in order to generate leverage.

In fact Judge Benton apparently got "aggressive from the bench" and proceeded to read part of the LaGuardia-Norris Act to Olson and the players' attorneys.

"Doesn't that make the district court completely wrong?" Benton asked, per Breer.
NFL Labor

According to Andrew Brandt of the National Football Post, the two judges who sided with the owners previously asked "many questions" to the players' side. Judge Bye, who was the dissenting judge in the stay rulings each time, didn't say a word early on.

Of course, the players' argument doesn't really center around their decertification -- they believe what they did is legal and very much real. In fact, their focus was on the antitrust issues facing the players now that they have decertified.

"[The] League deperately wants these players to continue to be in union so it can continue to violate antitrust laws," Olson said, according to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.

And that's the crux of the players' argument. The only problem is, it might not matter at all if the Court of Appeals doesn't believe the union decertified.

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Posted on: May 26, 2011 1:33 pm
Edited on: July 25, 2011 3:37 pm
 

2011 NFL Lockout Timeline

Posted by Eye on Football Staff

Because you need reminding, there's a lockout going on. Just kidding -- we did think it'd be helpful to break down the full lockout timeline.

July 25, 2011: And then ... there was football. The NFLPA voted unanimously to approve the deal. Now the issues of recertification, settlement approval and some collectively bargained issues will take place. But football's back.

July 22, 2011: NFLPA releases a statement that "leadership is discussing the most recent written proposal with the NFL, which includes a settlement agreement, deal terms and the right process for addressing recertification."

July 21, 2011: NFL owners vote to approve the proposed CBA, outlining key terms and including a tentative schedule for the 2011 season. Players decline to vote to ratify the proposal, prolonging the lockout, which is now 128 days old.

July 8, 2011: The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals handed down a surprise ruling -- in terms of timing, not the decision -- that the lockout is legal. It was a surprise because the owners and players were in the midst of such positive negotiations and both sides seemed to make progress up until the ruling came out.

June 3, 2011: The NFLPA and NFL argued against and for, respectively, the lockout in front of the Court of Appeals, and the three-judge panel said a decision would come in "due course." Judge Kermit Bye, though, said he wouldn't be hurt if the two sides negotiated a new deal, especially since the court's ultimate decision could be one neither side likes. Also, in a somewhat strange twist, NFL lawyer Paul Clement charged the players with acting like a union while negotiating with the owners. Strange, because the NFL is actually the one who encouraged the union to negotiate with the owners.

June 2, 2011: Judge Boylan cancels the previously scheduled June 7-8 mediation session in Minneapolis because "the Court has been engaged in confidential settlement discussions." Also, reports confirm that a series of meetings took place that week, between NFLPA representatives, Goodell, and a small group of owners.

May 24, 2011: A league source tells CBSSports.com that the NFL will cancel the Rookie Symposium. Not that this news should surprise anybody.

May 17, 2011: The two sides returned to mediation, but by 2:15 p.m., the talks Whad ended. Mediation will not resume until June 7.

May 16, 2011: The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals issues a permanent stay on the injunction ruling by Nelson. The lockout is back on, and the majority opinion questions the validity of Nelson’s ruling. Suddenly, the owners have big-time leverage.

May 16, 2011: Per court orders, mediation resumes. Neither side publicly expresses any interest in getting a deal done.

April 29, 2011: The lockout is reinstated during the middle of Day 2 of the draft after two of the three judges in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals grant the owners’ request for a temporary stay.

April 27, 2011: Owners request that Nelson issue a stay on her ruling while they begin working on their appeal to the conservative Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis. That request, surprisingly, is denied. The lockout is lifted.

April 25, 2011: Nelson rules in favor of players in Brady v NFL, temporarily lifting the lockout.

April 20, 2011: Citing scheduling issues on Boylan’s end, bargaining is put on hold until May 16.

April 14, 2011: Bargaining begins in front of Boylan after two days of preliminary meetings.

April 11, 2011: Nelson mandates court-ordered negotiations between players and owners to begin in front of Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan.

April 6, 2011: Judge Susan Nelson begins hearing arguments in Brady v NFL.

March 12, 2011: The lockout officially begins. The players file a lawsuit with Eighth Circuit Court in Minnesota (Brady v NFL) seeking an injunction for the lockout to be lifted.

March 11, 2011: After rejecting the owners’ final proposal, the NFLPA decertifies.

March 4, 2011: CBA deadline is extended by one week, an unprecedented move in NFL history.

March 3, 2011: With owners and players having bargained in front of Cohen for 16 days, CBA is set to expire, but the deadline is pushed back 24 hours.

March 1, 2011: U.S. District Judge David Doty rules that owners won’t have access to $4 billion in television revenue in the event of a lockout. This compromises a significant amount of the owners’ leverage.

February 17, 2011: With talks moving slowly, both sides agree to bring in federal mediator George Cohen.

February 15, 2011: Goodell writes an op-ed that appears in newspapers nationwide saying an agreement is needed.

January 31, 2011: Smith and Goodell agree to a series of meetings over the course of "a few weeks."

December 4, 2010: After months of public posturing from Goodell and owners and Smith and key players from the union, Smith writes a letter to the NFLPA saying the “deadline has now passed.” It’s an informal deadline but aggressive public posturing by Smith.

March 5, 2010: The 2010 League Year begins with no salary cap.

February 2010: At Super Bowl XLIV, Smith is asked about the chances of the NFL being shut down before the 2011 season. He says, on a scale of 1-10, it’s a “14”.

February, 2010: With the CBA stipulating that the salary cap be abolished in the final year of the deal (an idea initially meant to motivate both sides to extend the deal sooner than later), the NFLPA proposes to extend the salary cap system for another year. The owners reject.

March 16, 2009: DeMaurice Smith is elected as new executive director of NFLPA. Smith’s campaign platform centered on him being an outsider who, unlike Upshaw, did not have warm relationships with the league and owners.

August 21, 2008: NFLPA executive director Gene Upshaw dies unexpectedly of pancreatic cancer.

May 20, 2008: In a unanimous vote, owners exercise their opt-out clause. CBA is now set to expire March 3, 2011.

September 1, 2006: Roger Goodell replaces Paul Tagliabue as NFL commissioner.

March 8, 2006: With CBA expiring, commissioner Paul Tagliabue passionately implores the owners to extend the agreement through the 2012 season. Every owner except Mike Brown of Cincinnati and Ralph Wilson of Buffalo votes to do so. But a stipulation in the CBA extension is that owners can opt out in ’08 and cut the CBA’s length by two years.

2003: CBA extended until 2006.

March 23, 1998: Owners vote to extend CBA until 2003.

June 29, 1993: Players and owners approve Collective Bargaining Agreement for first time since 1987 strike. CBA is set to last until 2000. This brings about the creation of free agency and the salary cap.
Posted on: April 5, 2011 12:08 pm
Edited on: April 5, 2011 12:17 pm
 

No cellphones, cameras allowed in Minny courtroom

Posted by Will Brinson

On Wednesday, Judge Susan Nelson will hear arguments on a Motion for Preliminary Injunction filed by the plaintiffs (read: players) in the Brady v. NFL case. It's a huge deal, because if the players win the motion and then win the almost guaranteed appeal from the owners, the lockout will be lifted.

But that's getting ahead of ourselves, because we need to see how things shake out on Wednesday first. Unfortunately, when Judge Nelson hears the case, we won't know precisely how things are going in "real time" because there will be no video cameras or cell phones allowed in the courtroom, per Daniel Kaplan of Sports Business Journal.

Which, of course, means no live news reports from inside the court and no tweets about what's taking place; in such a motion, Judge Nelson would give each side an equal time to argue and likely ask questions from both the plaintiffs and defendants as well.

This could be a good thing, for a couple of reasons.

First of all, though the media's role is to be objective, oftentimes it's difficult to report on a charged event like this -- using a real-time method like Twitter -- without providing some hint of opinion as to what's just occurred. (A perfect example of this is the Bonds trial, which is being more-or-less live-blogged thanks to Twitter.)

Secondly, while quotes will inevitably come out from the proceedings, it's still nice to see the legal process actually play out without too much fear as to how certain statements or decisions will play out on camera.

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