Tag:lockout
Posted on: July 25, 2011 4:12 pm
 

NFL: London game 'moves forward as planned'

Posted by Will Brinson



Amid the champagne-popping of the settlement between the NFL and the NFLPA, there are still some issues to be concerned about. Like the good football fans of London, who were nervously eyeing the August 1 deadline to get a new deal in place (otherwise the game would be canceled).

So we checked on it for them, and NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy told CBSSports.com that the London game, featuring the Chicago Bears and Tampa Buccaneers, "moves forward as planned."

That's not tremendously surprising, because it seemed like a logical move for the NFL, given the timing of the deal that got done, the revenue that it brings in and the global growth of the game that the game offers.

But because the timing of the deadline for the game to take place and the possibility that a deal might not be "done" done until August 4, there was still some uncertainty surrounding the London game.

But just like with the rest of the 2011 NFL season, that's no longer a concern.

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Posted on: July 25, 2011 3:06 pm
Edited on: July 25, 2011 3:35 pm
 

Labor peace won by strength of resolve

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

How about this sight for those who were desperate for football to be over? NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell standing shoulder to shoulder in front of the podium outside the NFLPA headquarters on Monday.

Smith said some nice things about Goodell, and Goodell was about to say some nice things about Smith. And after Smith introduced Goodell to the assembled media, the two shook hands and smiled. It was a beautiful sight.

Four months earlier, Goodell and Smith stood near each other in Washington and gave separate pressers, and we didn’t know when we’d have football again. But all that’s forgiven now (though not necessarily forgotten). We have football -- 10 years of labor peace -- and after a summer of misery, we finally have a payoff.

“Football is back, and that’s great news,” Goodell said. “Having a 10-year agreement is extraordinary. Everybody worked hard, everybody had a passion. This agreement is going to make our game better.”

And if you’ve paid attention at all in the past few months, you know those are sweet words. But it wasn’t an easy process. We got to watch how the sausage is made, and it was not a pleasant experience.

NFL Labor

All along, we heard people talk about how the relationship between former commissioner Paul Tagliabue and the late union leader Gene Upshaw made the game strong and, for the most part, kept the labor peace while they were in charge of their respective sides. We wondered about the relationship between Smith and Goodell and whether it was strong enough to hold. We wondered if Smith was in over his head. We wondered how unified the players really were. We wondered if the NFL owners were content to blow up the game just to show the players that they were the bosses.

Goodell and Smith wouldn’t let that happen, though. Their relationship apparently is strong enough to keep the two sides from spinning away from each other into lockout infinity.

“If we don’t have a good relationship, it hurts the game and the business of football,” Smith said. “I’m proud to say our relationship has grown. Even up until the last minute, it required us to come together and get the job done. That will be our relationship going forward.
J. Saturday embraced New England owner Robet Kraft (AP).
Said Goodell: “We have trust that we’re both in there to do the best we can for football. You can’t reach a 10-year deal without that. He’s a great leader for his players. He never lost his passion. We listen to one another, which is important. We have respect for our various consituents. The players, under his leadership, have done an extraordinary job.”

But the one who was embraced the most Monday was the man who’s suffering the terrible loss of his wife, Myra, to cancer. Patriots owner Robert Kraft -- one of the most well-respected owners in the game -- was engulfed by love. Not just from his owner colleagues and his commissioner, but by the other side as well.

“We couldn’t have done it without you,” Smith told him. “We took a day off on Friday to remember a great woman and a great family. I’m thankful for what she meant to the city of Boston and especially thankful for what you mean to the game of football.”

Colts C Jeff Saturday took it a step further. After paying a nice tribute to Myra Kraft, who allowed her husband to help save football even when she was dying, Saturday stepped away from mic and embraced Kraft in a big hug.

Smith and Goodell had shook hands and smiled for the cameras. But Saturday and Kraft showed their love for each other.

It was, simply put, a touching moment on an exciting day for a man who’s lost so much in the past week. And while fans and players can be excited that they’ve got back their game -- and while Smith and Goodell provided their own beautiful moment -- Kraft’s resiliency in finishing the bargain while he was experiencing so much pain provided the true inspiration of the day.

Even during one of the most trying times of his life, he was helping to restore the game you love. And everybody should be thankful for that.

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Posted on: July 25, 2011 2:00 pm
Edited on: July 26, 2011 12:08 am
 

NFLPA votes to unanimously approve CBA

Posted by Will Brinson



The 32 NFLPA reps voted unanimously to approve the CBA on Monday afternoon, according to NFLPA spokesman George Atallah.

NFL Labor

That's right. The NFL is back.

"It's been a long time coming, and football is back -- that's the great news for everybody," Roger Goodell said at a press conference in front of the NFLPA offices. "I want to thank [DeMaurice Smith] and all of the players for their leadership and securing the long-term future of the game. Having a 10-year agreement is extraordinarily great for our game and most importantly our fans."

There are still a few steps before the deal is "officially" official, of course. This includes recertification as well as the approvement of the settlement. But for all intents and purposes were are ready to roll with the 2011 NFL season.

"This is a long time coming," Jerry Richardson said. "I would like to say what a pleasure it's been to work with the players in this negotiation."

Patriots owner Bob Kraft offered perhaps the best perspective on the entire situation, however.

"On behalf of both sides, I'd like to apologize to the fans," Kraft said, before complimenting the deal and the two sides for their work.

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Posted on: July 25, 2011 1:30 pm
Edited on: July 25, 2011 1:37 pm
 

Jets give back lost employee wages from lockout

Posted by Will Brinson

During the lockout, the Jets (along with a number of other teams) came under a lot of scrutiny for their decision to cut salaries, furlough employees and generally pinch pennies.

So it's fantastic to hear that Jets owner Woody Johnson has already told his employees that all the money they lost during the lockout will be immediately repaid.

Per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, all team employees who had their wages cut -- including coaches -- will be fully reimbursed for the amount of money docked.

In a sign of just how serious Johnson is with repairing goodwill, the employees were apparently paid before they left the meeting.

"When you leave this meeting, the money will be in your accounts," Johnson told the employees, per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

So that's cool. Also cool? The entire Jets staff got a "fiery, training camp-type speech" from Rex Ryan. (Or, at least about 150 of them, according to Rich Cimini of ESPN.)

No word on whether they all immediately went out and got a &$*%$^* snack afterward, though.

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Posted on: July 25, 2011 1:21 pm
Edited on: July 25, 2011 5:02 pm
 

What happens in the next few days

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

UPDATE (5:00 p.m. ET): The 2011 NFL Calendar is officially official. So you should officially click that link and find out what's official.

CBSSports.com has obtained the letter sent to player-agents by the NFLPA that lays out the schedule for the next few days.

Tuesday, July 26 -- Team facilities will be open for voluntary training, conditioning and classroom instruction.

Teams can sign their drafted players, as well as undrafted free agents.

The trading of players can begin.

Teams can negotiate, but cannot sign or give offers sheets to their own UFAs, RFAs and franchise players.

Wednesday, July 27 -- Broncos, Cardinals, Cowboys, Chargers, Eagles, Jaguars, Patriots, Raiders, Ravens and Seahawks open training camp

Thursday, July 28 -- Beginning at 4 p.m. ET, teams can begin to waive or terminate players.

49ers, Bengals, Buccaneers, Chiefs, Dolphins, Falcons, Lions, Redskins, Saints and Steelers open training camp.

Friday, July 29 -- Unrestricted free agency begins July 29 at 6 p.m. and clubs can begin signing players -- their own or other teams’ players. No payment can be made to players until a CBA is signed.

Bears, Bills, Browns, Colts, Giants, Packers, Panthers, Rams, Titans and Vikings open training camp.

Saturday, July 30 -- Jets and Texans open training camp.

Thursday, Aug 4 -- The league year can begin no later than today.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: July 25, 2011 11:55 am
Edited on: July 26, 2011 10:15 am
 

NFL training camp reporting dates

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Here’s when each NFL team opens training camp.

Wednesday, July 27

Broncos, Cardinals, Cowboys, Chargers, Eagles, Jaguars, Patriots, Raiders, Ravens, Seahawks.

Thursday, July 28

49ers, Bengals, Buccaneers, Chiefs, Dolphins, Falcons, Lions, Redskins, Saints, Steelers.

Friday, July 29

Bears, Bills, Browns, Giants, Packers, Panthers, Rams, Titans.

Saturday, July 30

Jets, Texans.

Sunday, July 31

Colts, Vikings.

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Posted on: July 25, 2011 11:01 am
Edited on: July 25, 2011 11:44 am
 

The opt-out clause is dead (for sure)

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

UPDATED (11:39 a.m.): The NFL Network's Albert Breer that there is NO opt-out in the new CBA. That means labor peace for at least 10 years.

----------

Sports Illustrated’s Peter King has a couple of interesting points regarding labor negotiations in his Monday Morning Quarterback column.

1) The two sides were considering an opt-out clause late Sunday night and early this morning. While that option seemed to be dead Sunday -- not to mention at the owner’s meeting last week in Atlanta -- apparently that wasn’t the case. According to King, the opt-out would occur in the fifth year of the 10-year deal, and both sides would have to “hit specific deal-breakers” in order to utilize the clause.

If either side opts out, the final year of the CBA would be 2016, and the last event would be the 2017 NFL draft.

Whether the opt-out actually made it into the final version of the CBA, well, we’ll see.

2) Maybe the 18-game regular season schedule isn’t dead yet.

King writes that the league could cut the preseason schedule from four games to two in 2013 or later, and the players “would have the option to either play 16 regular-season games and two preseason games, or increase the regular season to 18 games per team.”

The problem for the players: they would lose money if they missed those two games. Of course, so would the owners.

You know, it’s funny. Once we think we know what’s going in the new CBA -- and what isn’t -- somebody reminds us that we don’t. Hopefully, all of our questions will be answered later today when the deal is complete.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: July 25, 2011 10:39 am
Edited on: July 25, 2011 11:36 am
 

NFLPA conference call underway, vote coming soon

Posted by Will Brinson

NFL Labor

The NFLPA announced on Monday morning a conference call with its executive committee and 32 player representatives that will take place at 11 a.m. ET on Monday.

The NFLPA player representatives will then vote on approving the deal that the two sides negotiated, a source confirmed to CBSSports.com.

This fits with the timeline previously reported by CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman, and means that we should expect to -- barring a last-minute change of heart by the executive committee -- be prepared for the beginning of the NFL offseason as shortly as the end of today.

Per Albert Breer of the NFL Network, the players are on the conference call right now "reviewing [the] summary of the deal" -- remember that, just as with last week, there are still a LOT of players that aren't completely in-tune with every single detail of the CBA. (This is simply what happens when you have 1,900 players who need to be informed; kudos to the NFLPA for getting more players to the point of understanding what's going on.)

So it's likely that issues are being explained in detail to the players rep so they can then explain said issues to their constituents.

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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