Tag:DeMaurice Smith
Posted on: July 15, 2011 1:40 pm
Edited on: July 15, 2011 6:10 pm
 

Report: Rookies will get '40-50%' less in 2011

Posted by Will Brinson

At the beginning of the lockout (in the long, long ago), the rookie-wage scale wasn't something too many people worried about. After all, lowering the amount of guaranteed money given to risky rookies was a sensible move for both sides.

The wage scale, however, popped up as an issue in later stages of negotiations. Fortunately, both sides found common ground and, as our own Mike Freeman reported on Thursday, worked out the "basic parameters of a rookie-wage scale proposal."

Those basic parameters, according to ESPN, involve four-year deals for rookies with team options for a fifth year.

There would be an approximate decrease in money to rookies by "40-50" percent, with that money directed to veterans and retired players. But Adam Schefter's report indicates that during the fifth, optioned year the player would receive "a salary equal to the average of the top 10 player salaries" at that player's respective position.

Yes, this is similar to the calculations for the franchise tag and, yes, it gives clubs a reason to re-negotiate with third- and fourth-year players ahead of time if they're performing at an elite level.

Latest on Labor

Picks 11-32 under the reported system would receive a fifth-year salary equal to the average of the No. 3-25 salaries at their respective positions. And, finally, Schefter reports that the money involved would be guaranteed if the fifth-year option was "exercised after the third year" of the deal.

You can argue up-and-down about who won (and who lost; though it's pretty obvious that the rookies did and it's pretty obvious why no one was telling them anything) this area of negotiating, but the truth is that it presents a fair way in which to reward players whose talent shines early in their career without penalizing teams too drastically for a failure to evaluate talent at the top of the draft.

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Posted on: July 15, 2011 12:05 pm
Edited on: July 15, 2011 1:13 pm
 

Report: Economics portion of a new CBA are 'done'

Posted by Will Brinson

On Thursday night, CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman reported that the NFL's labor situation was close to an end and that the NFL and players' efforts at getting a new CBA in place were at the "half-yard line."

On Friday, the information relating to the lockout's been flowing in at at a breakneck pace that's so optimistic it would make a scientology recruiter blush.

Two bigger pieces of news stand out. Primarily, there's a report from the NFL Network's Albert Breer, who notes that "the economics of a deal are done." That's something that echoes what Freeman's been hearing, and is particularly awesome to hear. If the money's figured out, everything else will fall into place.

Breer does note that there are "plenty of other hoops" for the respective sides to jump through, including retiree benefits, "player safety, worker's compensation and injury guarantees, and also litigation entanglements."

Latest on Labor

Lest anyone think differently, those are indeed potential dealbreakers, especially if the "litigation entanglements" involve "how to solve future litigation issues" and "what to do with the current lawsuit hanging out there."

But his report on NFL.com, in addition to being a nice place to hear a report that a deal is done on the NFL labor situation, is laced with optimism.

Additionally, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that a new CBA "will be 7 to 10 years." Though that's a reasonably broad spectrum -- it was widely assumed that eight years was the floor with 12 years as the ceiling -- it's still fantastic news that the progress made by the owners and players hasn't necessitated a shortening of the CBA to five years, simply for the sake of knocking a deal out.

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Posted on: July 15, 2011 9:54 am
Edited on: July 16, 2011 9:17 am
 

Free-agent right of first refusal not an issue

Posted by Will Brinson

As Mike Freeman reported yesterday, the end of the lockout/close of a new CBA is close. Like the "half-yard line" close, thanks to everyone moving past the obstacle that was the rookie-wage scale.

But it still appears, based on various reports from around the web, that there's another issue hanging around in the negotiations: right of first refusal on the big old crop of free agents that will theoretically emerge under the new collective bargaining agreement.

We've covered this particular issue before, and it's an interesting request from the owners. Essentially they want to get a shot at signing the guys who went from restricted to unrestricted status because of the change in the CBA terms.

Latest on Labor

We've also been repeatedly told that it ain't happening. (And heard that the owners aren't actually pushing too much on this issue.) It now appears that it's off the table entirely; owners have reportedly decided they won't pursue first-right-of-refusal clauses.

There's good reason for that. By most accounts, the players sacrificed a big chunk of change, in terms of revenue sharing to push this deal along.

The owners have also made sacrifices, and one of those is allowing a group of 500-plus players to "graduate" into free agency earlier than they would have under the the expired CBA rules.

Plus, the owners are the one who put themselves in the position of having this group of players out on the market by opting out of the CBA a few years back. Thus, any leeway from the players on this issue would indeed be a surprise.

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Posted on: July 12, 2011 1:21 pm
Edited on: July 14, 2011 8:36 am
 

Podcast: How Goodell can repair his image

Posted by Ryan Wilson

With each passing day we're inching closer to the 2011 NFL season. Last month, the word on the street was that there would be a new collective bargaining agreement by mid-July. It now sounds like July 21 is the date a CBA would be ratified and the league season would officially begin.

CBSSports.com columnist Mike Freeman joins Eye on Football host Will Brinson to talk about whether the lockout's actually coming to a close, what Roger Goodell needs to do to repair his reputation with the players (related: what he should also do with Kenny Britt), and if the Hall of Fame Game will go off as scheduled on August 7.

Talking starts below.

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



If you can't view the podcast, click here to download.

Posted on: July 11, 2011 8:43 am
Edited on: July 11, 2011 9:53 am
 

Report: New CBA could be ratified by July 21

Posted by Ryan Wilson

A new collective bargaining agreement could be in place and ratified during the July 21 league meetings, ESPN reported Monday morning. This comes on the heels of another report Sunday that the two sides are "in really good shape" and that they're down to "one main issue … the rookie wage scale."

One NFL owner told ESPN over the weekend that there's "no reason to believe [the deal] won't get done." The thinking is that a handshake agreement will be put in place in the next seven to 10 days allowing each side to ratify it and start the 2011 season.

UPDATE (9:45 a.m. ET): ESPN has added the following paragraph to its original report: "However, one member of the players' negotiating team who has been a constant presence at the table said that players feel they have made significant concessions and overtures "that have not been reciprocated."

One issue with the July 21 ratification date: for weeks we've heard that if an agreement wasn't in place by July 15, free agency and training camps could be delayed, and preseason games could be lost, which would cost the owners and players anywhere from $200-$800 million.

The workaround to that, via the ESPN report:
While a rookie wage system has been identified as the most complex issue still to be resolved between the owners and players as they return to the negotiating table this week in New York, the level of overall confidence in reaching an agreement also is evident in a document known as "The Transition Rules" that NFL teams would follow if and when both players and owners ratify a new labor agreement.

The Transition Rules spell out an actual timeline for roster transactions under the July 21 deal scenario, including the start of the new league year during which free agents would become eligible for the open market on July 28.

With the tight timeline, teams will be scrambling to fill rosters that must be set at 90 players on roughly Aug. 3 -- but all training camps would be able to open on time.

If the deal were to be ratified July 21, it would assure that almost all preseason games would be played, according to sources
The only game that might be affected is the August 7 Hall of Fame game, which as of last week was still slated to be played.

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Posted on: July 8, 2011 11:38 am
Edited on: July 8, 2011 12:01 pm
 

Lockout ruling to speed up talks or a Doty hammer

Posted by Will Brinson

When we recently asked seven important lockout questions, one of them dealt with the rulings that were "hanging out there" from U.S. District Judge Doty and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The latter, as we know by now, has been handed down, making the lockout legal, and it's quite possible that Doty's ruling could come soon as well.

But that probably hinges on whether the owners attempt to use the circuit court's ruling as a true source of leverage in the talks that are ongoing Friday and could (should?) continue through the weekend.

See, the owners have a choice, what with the lockout ruling coming down in their favor in the middle of negotiations: They can sit on it or they can use it when they walk into the room with the players.
NFL Labor

If the former happens, it's a good thing; the negotiations will get a kick in the rear vis-a-vis the players' concern that the lockout could extend into perpetuity. And nothing will have actually changed, because everyone expected this ruling in the owners' favor.

Though -- it's worth noting -- the fact that the Eighth Circuit was wise enough to leave open the NFL's legal risk should they lose a full season is tremendous, because it doesn't give anyone incentive to miss a large chunk of football.

If the latter happens, we should fear for the future of football, and we should also expect to see Doty drop a hammer in the form of the television contract rulings. If the owners attempt to maximize the negotiating power a legal lockout gives them, the only way for the players to truly swing the momentum pendulum back to the middle is Doty giving them a big ruling on the television contracts.

Hopefully, it won't come to that, and both sides will see how important it is to get a deal done as soon as possible.

But if they don't play nice in the face of the latest legal ruling, there's a very good shot at Doty dropping a hammer that could truly create labor chaos.

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Posted on: July 7, 2011 5:50 pm
Edited on: July 7, 2011 6:18 pm
 

Innovating TE John Mackey dies at 69

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

It’s been a sad day for the people of Baltimore and those in the NFL and the NFLPA today, as former Baltimore Colts TE John Mackey has died at the age of 69. Along with making his name as one of the best tight ends in the league’s history, he also was the first president of the NFLPA.

According to his former coach, Don Shula, Mackey helped innovate his position.

"Previous to John, tight ends were big strong guys like [Mike] Ditka and [Ron] Kramer who would block and catch short passes over the middle," Shula told the Baltimore Sun. "Mackey gave us a tight end who weighed 230, ran a 4.6 and could catch the bomb. It was a weapon other teams didn't have.”

After he was elected to the Pro Football HOF in 1992, he refused to accept his ring in Indianapolis, where the Colts had relocated. He said he wanted the ceremony to take place in Baltimore, and eventually, he got his wish.

But he also didn’t get in to the HOF until his 15th and final year on the ballot, and some believe that’s because of his involvement with the NFLPA.

More from the Sun:

As the union's first president after the 1970 merger of the NFL and American Football League, Mackey quickly raised the owners' ire. That July, he organized a three-day strike that won the players $11 million in pensions and benefits. In 1972, he filed and eventually won a landmark antitrust suit that brought them free agency. (The union bargained it away in 1977.)

"He was the right man at the right time," said (Ordell) Braase, who preceded Mackey as head of the player's association. "We were a fractured group until John began putting permanence in [the union's] day-to-day operations. He hired administrators and a general counsel.

"He had a vision for that job, which was more than just putting in time and keeping the natives calm. You don't get anything unless you really rattle the cage."


Here’s what NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith had to say in a statement: "John Mackey is still our leader. As the President of the NFL Players Association, he led the fight for fairness with a brilliance and ferocious drive. His passion continues to define our organization and inspire our players. His unwavering loyalty to our mission and his exemplary courage will never be forgotten."

(FYI, the person speaking in the video below is Michael Gibbons, the executive director of the Sports Legends Museum in Baltimore.)

 

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Posted on: July 7, 2011 10:27 am
Edited on: July 20, 2011 8:08 pm
 

Podcast: an end to the lockout could be near

Posted by Ryan Wilson

We're getting there, people. An end to the lockout could be a week away, maybe days.

In the latest Eye on Football podcast, we talk about who NFL commissioner Roger Goodell might have in his crosshairs for violating the personal conduct policy in recent months (we're looking right at you, Kenny Britt), as well as which teams would be willing to fork over $19 million a year for Nnamdi Asomugha, even though free agents like Johnathan Joseph and Ike Taylor would come much cheaper (somewhere in the $9 million-a-year range).

Here's to hoping that this is our last lockout podcast ever, because there's only so many times you can discuss where Tiki Barber might sit on the bench next season.

Talking starts below.

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



If you can't view the podcast, click here to download.

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