Tag:Roger Goodell
Posted on: March 8, 2011 12:51 am

NFL, NFLPA adjourn early from mediation Monday

Posted by Will Brinson

The NFL and NFLPA, as of 12:01 AM Tuesday, have one less day to solve the NFL's labor situation.

Fortunately, both sides are still heavily embroiled in negotiations, fighting through the night to make sure that the fans get ... WAIT, WHAT? They went WHERE? To dinner? And they never came back?!?!

Alright, I knew they left already. But they really did go to dinner and never come back, after only mediating for five hours.

Which is totally fine, if the entire fate of the NFL weren't hanging in the balance of this coming week (and, possibly, any time that's added onto the current CBA extension).

There is some good news, though -- our own Mike Freeman reports that there's no additional "acrimony" during the talks, and there are reports circulating that the two sides have narrowed the revenue gap from $1 billion to $750 million (or thereabouts).

It's also possible that the two sides will be meeting later in the evening if called by the mediator, but at this point in time (nearly 1:00 AM EST) that seems pretty unlikely. Plus, everyone probably had a long day traveling and they should all really rest up for the coming days of heavy mediation.

Actually, mediation will resume at 9:00 AM EST on Tuesday, and hopefully some headway will be made early in the morning when everyone's well rested.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: March 7, 2011 8:06 am

Podcast: What happens if NFL mediation fails?

Posted by Will Brinson

The NFL and NFLPA are set to begin a week's worth of mediation on the heels of Friday's seven-day extension. This series of non-binding negotiations could very well decide the future of professional sports in America, so I hopped on the horn with Matt Jones (of CBSSports.com's Eye on College Basketball Blog, but, more importantly, a lawyer who specializes in labor negotiations) to talk about the current labor climate.

Matt's the one who inked our lockout primer, so he knows a thing or two about how things will go down. We break legal aspects of a potential lockout into layman's terms, discuss what would happen under the "nuclear" option of a lockout, debate whether or not this mediation is working, hypothesize about the possibility of an NFL world with no salary cap or draft, and criticize the current political landscape for NFL owners.

Just hit the play button below and don't forget to Subscribe via iTunes.

If you can't view the podcast, click here to download .
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 2, 2011 8:31 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2011 8:31 pm

NFL headed back to mediation building

Posted by Clark Judge

CHANTILLY, Va. -- Stay tuned.

Roger Goodell and executive vice president and general counsel Jeff Pash reportedly were seen going into the federal mediation and conciliation services building Wednesday evening [Ed. note: this happened after the owner's labor committee meeting broke up] , so what happens next is anyone's guess. While spokesman Greg Aiello said that no decision regarding a possible lockout was taken by league owners, he also acknowledged that a vote of owners isn't required. That authority, he said, belongs to the NFL's 10-man labor committee, and while it may know where it's going, it's not saying.

And why should it? The league and Players Association are supposed to be involved in "good faith" negotiating, and the NFL isn't interested in saying or doing anything that could be construed a compromise of that action. Nor should it. But tell me the exit of owners who comprise the labor committee 24 hours prior to a deadline for a new CBA is a good thing ... because it's not.

"We can get back together in a short period of time," said Dallas owner Jerry Jones as he left here, "so don't read anything into it."

It's hard not to. There's no doubt that a settlement is unlikely by midnight Thursday, but there could be an extension to the deadline. There was in 2006 after owners and the union broke off talks on a new CBA, and the extension resulted in a settlement. I don't know that that happens here. What I do know is that nothing much was accomplished here, other than owners getting the lowdown on what happens next.

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

Posted on: March 2, 2011 7:14 pm

Nothing resolved; no votes taken at meeting

Goodell and D. Smith Posted by Clark Judge

CHANTILLY, Va. – NFL owners left their one-day meeting Wednesday afternoon with nothing resolved and no votes taken, which is not what I'd call good news. Though spokesman Greg Aiello acknowledged that no decision regarding a possible lockout was taken by league owners, he also acknowledged that a vote of owners is not required.

That authority, he said, belongs to the Management Council's executive committee, and it hasn't made a decision what it does if the current agreement expires.

"We didn't vote on anything," Indianapolis owner Jim Irsay said after the three-hour meeting. "It was more a thorough update and a chance to ask questions and that sort of thing. We didn't break the room with a lockout vote or anything like that that was initiated. It was really a complete update for us to ask questions.

"Going through these things in the 70s and 80s I never have expectations because it changes. It's a chessboard that moves around and things change, and things happen at unusual hours. So I don't want to put any certainty on what the evening will bring and tomorrow. You just never know."

Commissioner Roger Goodell and general counsel Jeff Pash stayed behind to meet with the 10 members of the league's labor committee, but there was no indication if they would stay through the evening or into Thursday. There is a mediation session scheduled Thursday morning between the league and the NFL Players Association. But there doesn't appear to be enough progress to make anyone optimistic.

"I'm sure you guys will hear the 'Vegas rule,' " said Irsay. "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. So i guess it's been the 'Vegas rule' on that. It's important to have some sanctity in the rooms where negotiations are happening. From my personal perspective, there's always progress when you're talking and working forward."

Nevertheless, when Aiello was asked if he was optimistic a labor stoppage could be avoided before Thursday at midnight ... or that a settlement could be reached ... he reacted with mock surprise.

"Optimism?" he said. "It's difficult to make those kinds of predictions. We'll leave that to you."

Aiello said no action was taken toward launching an appeal -- or at least considering the action -- following Judge David Doty's ruling Tuesday that the NFL cannot withhold $4 billion in TV money for the 2011 season. He also said the league has not decided what -- if anything -- it would do if the players' union decertified prior to Thursday at midnight, as it said it would, a move that could prevent a lockout.

"That's a speculative question," said Aiello. "We'll have to wait and see what the developments are, and we'll respond accordingly."

This entry was cross-posted from the Punt, pass and Judge blog. For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Posted on: March 2, 2011 6:36 pm

Owners meet, disband, don't say much

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Though the NFL owners meeting that took place in Chantilly, Va., today has broken up, the 10 owners that make up the labor committee have begun another meeting with commissioner Roger Goodell.

We’re closing in on 24 hours before the CBA expires, and it doesn’t appear that anything will stop the lockout train that’s a comin’ down the tracks.

As the 22 remaining owners rushed to their vehicles to get out of town, a few briefly spoke with reporters, including those from the New York Post and NFL.com.

Said Colts owner (and Twitter enthusiast) Jim Irsay: “We're not announcing a lockout or anything like that as of tonight."

He also was asked if he expected a lockout to begin Thursday night: "I don't know. These things change. Don't want to make a prediction."

And this from Jets owner Woody Johnson: "I'm still optimistic and we've still got a few hours to go."

It sounds like the two sides will meet again Thursday, and the federal mediator could call the NFL owners and the NFLPA together tonight for another bargaining session.

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

Posted on: March 2, 2011 2:38 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2011 2:46 pm

Wednesday mediation goes 'better than expected'?

Posted by Will Brinson

Wednesday's mediation session between the NFL and the NFLPA -- which featured some bigger names than previous meetings -- has ended. And, reportedly, it wasn't THAT horrible apparently.

That's from a source of Sports Illustrated's Don Banks, who said that the talks went "better than expected."

Of course, that's a relative term, considering that less than 24 hours ago, the NFLPA was celebrating a tremendous victory in the TV rights case thanks to an overturned verdict from Judge David Doty.

Mediation is set to resume on Thursday (presumably the final day, because of the CBA's expiration at 11:59 PM EST on Thursday night) and the league has adjourned to Chantilly, Virginia for an owners meeting.

But as Clark Judge reports, the owners might not stay very long. (Read: not all of the owners, who were in mediation Wednesday, are planning to hang around for Thursday's action.)

That may not matter anyway though, because it's entirely possible, as our own Mike Freeman wrote earlier Wednesday, that a lockout and/or decertification is coming down the proverbial tracks, and there's nothing that can be done to stop it.

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Posted on: March 2, 2011 11:27 am
Edited on: March 2, 2011 11:34 am

Source: Decertification likely coming Thursday

Posted by Mike Freeman

Barring some sort of last-second miracle the NFL union will likely decertify sometime Thursday, according to a source familiar with the union's thinking.

Again, things could change but this news is the most concrete example of how fruitless the mediation talks have become. It's possible even if there is some sort of temporary extension of mediation the union will still likely decertify on Thursday.

So the lockout is coming. Decertification is coming. Unless the Easter Bunny works some magic with his chocolate candies and help from his unicorns and elves homies.

Decertification has certain risks but overall is a smart strategy for the union. It blocks owners from locking out players and moves the dispute from the realm of negotiations to the court system where players have had success. Owners could face lawsuits and treble damages if players are subsequently successful in court.

So that's where we are. For now. Hopefully things will change but this legal fight is just beginning.

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