Tag:Labor Negotiations
Posted on: March 24, 2011 6:38 pm
Edited on: March 24, 2011 10:38 pm

NFL thinks HGH testing in new deal is 'necessary'

Posted by Will Brinson

With the fitting backdrop of the Barry Bonds trial underway in San Francisco, the NFL is going to insist that HGH testing of players become an incorporated part of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

That bombshell comes from NFL vice president and general counsel Adolpho Birch, who also oversees the NFL's drug testing program. "We want it," Birch told FOXSports.com's Alex Marvez on Thursday. "We think it's necessary. We're going to ensure that it's done.

"That's something very important to us and the integrity of our game. We believe some of the basis for going slowly on it before has been addressed. At this point, it's proper for it to be an active part of our program."

The NFL wanting HGH testing isn't exactly new -- in January of last year, the league requested that testing for the performance-enhancing drug be implemented. But DeMaurice Smith and the NFLPA declined.
NFL Labor

"The NFLPA along with the NFL has supported research to find a suitable test that will detect sustained HGH use," the then-union said in a February 2010 statement. "We have and will continue to work with the NFL to build a system that is fair, reliable and maintains the integrity of our game and the health and safety of our players."

They NFLPA has a valid point in terms of HGH, because there's not necessarily a guaranteed way in which to test for HGH using simply urine samples.

And one of the things that doesn't get mentioned much in all the NFL labor negotiations is that NFL players really don't like the idea of the league getting a hold of blood and urine and whatnot, unless it's a mandated drug test.

If the NFL gets its way, and HGH testing becomes standard, there's a pretty good chance that their concerns over the league holding onto those samples will become real.

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Posted on: March 21, 2011 4:30 pm

Hot Routes 3.21.11 workouts and lockouts

Hot Routes

Posted by Andy Benoit

  • The Panthers will be on hand for Georgia wideout A.J. Green’s pro day. Probably wise not to read too much into that. Green is impressive, but being drafted first overall?

  • Surly Chargers GM A.J. Smith wanted to be part of the labor negotiations, but his request was quickly denied by the NFL.

  • Jeff Blumb has resigned from his position of PR Director of the Packers. This comes just days after fellow Super Bowl XLV PR Director Dave Lockett of the Steelers resigned.

  • Tiki Barber is coming back to the NFL because he (ahem) loves the game. Many have speculated that the soon-to-be 36-year-old running back could join his twin brother Ronde in Tampa Bay.TBO.com says forget it.

  • Bears president Ted Phillips is very honest about the team’s sloppy grass field. He says, “frankly, it’s been part of our home-field advantage.”

  • Pat Yasinkas of ESPN wanted to clear things up and make it known that the Buccaneers, not taxpayers, paid for their own practice facility.
  • Everybody seems to be getting on Red Ryan for comparing himself to Babe Ruth. Physique-wise, he’s not far off.

  • The lockout could cost Robert Mathis $160,000 in workout bonuses. We’re guessing he won’t be the only one impacted in this way.

  • The Madden ’12 cover is being determined by a fan vote. (Bears fans are voting for Aaron Rodgers, Steelers fans are voting for Ray Rice….you get the idea.)

  • The Titans are working out Colin Kaepernick, who is Vince Young minus the drama.

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Posted on: March 9, 2011 3:59 pm
Edited on: March 9, 2011 5:40 pm

Report: owners, NFLPA agree on rookie wage scale

S. Bradford (US Presswire)Posted by Andy Benoit

Well, at least some progress is being made in the labor negotiations. There is still the division of $9 billion to figure out. But in the meantime, the NFL and NFLPA has agreed that a much smaller chunk of that $9 billion than in past years will go to rookies.

Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports writes, “According to two sources familiar with the negotiations, the league and the union have reached a basic compromise on a rookie wage scale that will replace the current rookie salary cap. The owners backed off the idea of requiring first-round picks to sign five-year deals, instead limiting the contracts to four years before a player could become a free agent. The agreement is also expected to include a stipulation limiting the amount of guaranteed money and signing bonus offered to draft picks.”

The agreement also says that players drafted after the first round can become free agents after three years, though teams can be restricted tags (i.e. RFA tender) after three years. That’s essentially the same arrangement as before.

But the focus is on the first-rounders. Previously, players picked 1-16 could sign six-year deals; players picked 17-32 could sign for five years. But a shorter four-year deal allows good players to reach free agency faster. That’s key when you’re talking about limiting those players’ salaries.

NFL Labor

It is not yet known just how limited those salaries will be. Cole reports that the owners’ initial offer was for the top overall pick to receive a five-year deal worth $19 million, with $6 million guaranteed. That would be about a $44 million drop from what Sam Bradford received last year.

A rookie wage scale has significant impact on the value of draft picks. No longer will holding a top five pick be a curse. Don’t be surprised if teams that normally horde late-round picks (say, the Patriots, for example) suddenly discover a newfound interest for trading up in the draft.

As for what this means for the ongoing labor negotiations....it's progress, obviously. But it's expected progress. The concept of a rookie wage scale is one area where the NFL and NFLPA have been on the same general page all along.

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Posted on: March 6, 2011 2:25 pm

Revis: A lot of guys are going to get hurt

D. Revis says a lockout would be bad for the players' health (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Jets CB Darrelle Revis has a unique perspective on timing and how a disruption in it can lead to injuries. Just like last season when Revis held out from training camp, only to be stricken with an injured hamstring when the regular season began, he’s worried that, if the owners and NFLPA can’t come to an agreement next week and the owners lock out the players, the players’ health will be compromised.

Especially if the stoppage extends into the months where players and teams are supposed to be participating in training camps.

"It won't work," Revis told ESPN.com. "Just looking at my situation of holding out and me trying to hurry up and come back and play -- say this thing carries on until July, I think a lot of guys are going to get hurt because we haven't been to OTAs, we haven't been in that mode of football. Yeah, you can work out, I was working out when I held out, but it's a different level."

For the past month or so, we’ve read all about how groups of teammates plan to work out together during a lockout, so they can keep as sharp as possible. But who’s to say how well that could work? Who’s to say the NFLPA would even allow that to happen?

That’s why, Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald said (speaking for just about everybody in the universe), it’s probably best for the NFL and the NFLPA to come to a deal next week.

"Hopefully the collective bargaining agreement is reached next week and we'll be able to do everything the same as we always have," Fitzgerald said.

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Posted on: March 6, 2011 12:04 pm

Do NFL fans actually support owners in dispute?

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

CNBC.com is running a poll that asks the question: whose side are you on in the NFL’s labor dispute? Are the players at fault, or is this all the doing of the owners?

The poll results are, well, interesting.

At about 11 a.m. ET on Sunday, 49 percent of the 4,456 respondents said they sided with the owners, 35 percent sided with the players and 17 percent weren’t sure.

You can look at the results in two ways:

1) CNBC.com is a business website where much of the readership, we assume, are people in the business world who might be programmed to side with management, rather than the workers and unions, in these types of scenarios.

2) People don’t understand that the owners are actually locking out the players. Perhaps, instead, they believe the players are going on strike.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: March 4, 2011 3:35 pm
Edited on: March 4, 2011 3:39 pm

De Smith, Goodell looking forward to next week

D. Smith and R. Goodell are still talking. Posted by Josh Katzowitz

About an hour after the NFL owners and the NFLPA agreed to a one-week extension , commissioner Roger Goodell and union executive director DeMaurice Smith addressed the media (at dueling times, no less!).

Based on the recommendations of mediator George Cohen – who inexplicably referred to himself in the third person at least twice when he briefly addressed the media – neither official discussed the negotiations, how far they’ve come or how far they still have to go.

But the words that emanated from their mouths seemed somewhat positive (the owners, after all, already could have locked out the players, and the union could have decertified).

“We’ve continued to work,” Goodell said, “and the fact we’re continuing this dialogue is a positive thing.”

Smith talked a little bit more about the NFLPA’s motivations – not surprisingly, he meant the players and the fans.

“I think it's very important to recognize and never forget what we've talked about over the last two years what the league has demanded back and what the players have responded to. I'm not going to talk about what's going on in the mediation session, but when you look at the case caption that Judge Doty just ruled on, the 4th name on that caption is Dave Duerson.

“That's our history. He signed on to benefit players he knew would come after him. what we do is hold firm and keep close to our chest the history and legacy we have. We believe that's the legacy that has to carry us through that defines what "us" is.”

If you want to watch Smith’s full presser, click right over here.

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Posted on: March 3, 2011 3:04 pm

Source: Players to discuss scenario in call

Posted by Pete Prisco

The NFL players will conduct a conference call Thursday afternoon to discuss the labor situation, according to a player source.

That call could be to discuss the possibility of extending the talks past Thursday.

According to the source, the owners have done little negotiating in the meetings so far, and optimism isn't abound from the players' side, but this call could be to extend the talks -- which would be the first real good sign for both sides.

The union is considering decertifying, but they would have to do that by 4 p.m. today. That would seem like a last resort.

An extension of the talks would help generate some dialogue between the two sides and help prevent a lockout, which would occur at 12 a.m. Friday morning.

This entry was cross-posted from the Prisco's Points blog. For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .

Category: NFL
Posted on: March 3, 2011 1:45 pm
Edited on: March 3, 2011 2:08 pm

Report: union, owners discussing CBA extension

The scene outside the labor negotiations (CBSSports.com)
Photo by Clark Judge, CBSSports.com

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The biggest news to come out of this morning’s NFL-NFLPA mediation session is that, as of 1:30 p.m. ET, the two sides are still inside the building, presumably negotiating, and they're talking about extending the CBA.

Word has begun to filter out that the two sides are talking about an extension that would allow the owners and the union to continue to negotiate (according to Sports Illustrated’s Jim Trotter, the owners were the ones to request it, and the union would have to sign off on the deal). Naturally, that means the union's plan to decertify and the owners' plan to lock out the players could be on hold. If the union doesn't get the assurances it wants, though, it still could file those decertification papers by 4 p.m. ET.
But the fact that both sides didn’t immediately, “Screw it, we’re outta here,” is (relatively) decent news. 

Meanwhile, a huge glut of reporters, including CBSSports.com’s own Clark Judge, is twiddling their thumbs on the streets of Washington and waiting for some kind of news that’s actually confirmed (the news in the above paragraph doesn’t necessarily qualify).

Some have been huddling at the Starbucks up the block, and others have moved across the street in an attempt to stay warm, because the sun, blocked by the big buildings, is beginning to disappear on the sidewalk.

Hopefully, they’ll have to wait the rest of the day. Not because I don’t feel pity for the reporters – lord knows I’ve waited longer for stories on topics that were much less important than this – but because that means the sides are continuing to talk.

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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