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Tag:Lockout
Posted on: July 20, 2011 4:17 pm
Edited on: July 20, 2011 5:41 pm
 

NFLPA votes conditionally on settlement agreement

Posted by Eye on Football Staff

Update (5:05): There are multiple outlets reporting that the players are leaving their meetings without voting today.

CBSSports.com's own Mike Freeman has learned this is because of the "massive volume of information" they're having to currently digest (mentally, of course) when looking over the settlement documents.

There is also a report from SI's Jim Trotter (since confirmed by the NFL Network's Albert Breer) where he cites sources who said that the players voted "conditionally" to "forward the settlement agreement to named plaintiffs." The conditions being that some outstanding issues be resolved before the vote is official.

In other words, the guys listed on Brady v. NFL -- Tom Brady, Vincent Jackson, Logan Mankins, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees -- will get a chance to review the settlement agreement and progress the settlement talks forward while the NFLPA continues to review the documents on hand.

All of this means it's possible -- and perhaps even likely -- that we see the owners and players vote on the CBA on the same day, Thursday. It also means if you had "Wednesday, July 20" in your office lockout pool, you just lost.
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Earlier today, we told you about NFLPA president Kevin Mawae saying the association wouldn’t be tied to a deadline of July 21 to hold a vote on a new labor deal.

"Our timeline is to get the best deal for our players,” he said. “We're not going to agree to any deal unless it's the right deal for all the players."

Apparently, the players haven’t agreed that the proposed deal is, in fact, the right deal for them.

As the various reporters in Washington who are waiting for the NFLPA to finish their meeting (and maybe vote one way or the other) have spoken and tweeted, there has been no vote taken today.

And by the reports that some players, including Bengals T Andrew Whitworth, have left the building, it's unclear at this point whether the owners will have the chance to vote on ending the labor struggle at their meeting Thursday in Atlanta.

That’s not to say the deal won’t be passed by the NFLPA at some point soon. Hell, it's possible the vote still takes place today. It’s just taking a little bit longer than some thought it might.

Which, in this labor environment, is pretty much par for the course.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: July 20, 2011 10:03 am
Edited on: July 20, 2011 11:51 am
 

Mawae: NFLPA 'not tied to a timeline of July 21'

Posted by Will Brinson

Have we all taken for granted that a labor deal has to be in place by July 21 (Thursday)? Perhaps, yes. So it's a bit sobering to hear NFLPA president Kevin Mawae, speaking to reporters before the NFLPA's executive committee gets set to review a proposed labor deal, downplay the significance of that date.

"We're not tied to a timeline of July 21," Mawae said outside the NFLPA offices before heading in to review the proposal. "Our timeline is to get the best deal for our players. We're not going to agree to any deal unless it's the right deal for all the players."

See, again, everyone's assumed -- because of the good vibe going down in labor negotiations -- that the executive committee would walk into the NFLPA offices today, take a look at the deal, tell all the players they were good to go and then everyone would collectively high-five and football would be back.

It's pretty obvious from Mawae's comments that such a scenario isn't guaranteed. And that he's not necessarily "in-tune" with another potential sticking point -- the settlement of the Brady v. NFL class-action lawsuit.
Latest on Labor

"Obviously this litigation with the named plaintiffs -- there's a process and I'm not familiar with the legal part of it," Mawae said.  "Whatever argument there is going on between them, I think there's a lot of sensationalism going on."

Look, his lack of clear-cut understanding of how the named plaintiffs will end up being compensated doesn't mean Mawae's not in touch with those guys. It's necessary for Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Vincent Jackson, Logan Mankins and the rest of the guys on the lawsuit to settle their legal issues with the NFL before we see a settlement.

And maybe at the end of the day, there's an approved proposal that's heading to the owners' meeting in Atlanta for ratification tomorrow.

But Mawae's comments are a tangible reminder that there are lots of moving parts in this deal, and even though everyone seems full of sunshine and rainbows when it comes to a labor deal getting done, it's still not done yet.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: July 20, 2011 12:01 am
Edited on: July 20, 2011 12:09 am
 

What should happen Wednesday and Thursday

Goodell, SmithPosted by Josh Katzowitz

After lawyers for the NFL and the NFLPA spent 13 hours together Tuesday in New York City finishing most of the final draft of the new potential CBA, as recounted by NFL.com’s Albert Breer, the next obvious question is: Will the players accept it?

Team representatives from all 32 teams and the NFLPA’s executive committee* are expected to meet Wednesday in Washington to discuss and possibly sign on to the new CBA, but Sports Illustrated’s Jim Trotter is hearing that ratification isn’t necessarily an easy step and that the players have “no plans to rubber stamp it.”

Writes Trotter: “Some reps are expecting a spirited debate … Some players feel they finally have leverage and they want to use it.”

*The executive committee, though, won’t make a decision Tuesday night on if it will recommend the CBA to the players.

If the players do approve it by Wednesday, sending it to the plaintiffs of the Brady v NFL case (the plaintiffs also would have to approve it), the owners could vote to pass it at their meeting Thursday in Atlanta.

Assuming that passes, the lockout then would be over, and teams could begin preparing for what promises to be a quick free-agency period.

But for now, we still have a ways to go before that happens. And if the players WERE to vote against the new CBA, it’s hard to comprehend how disappointing that decision would be.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: July 19, 2011 9:08 pm
Edited on: July 19, 2011 11:51 pm
 

What will the Brady v NFL plaintiffs receive?

BreesPosted by Josh Katzowitz

We’ve written the past day or two about the labor negotiations from the perspective of the plaintiffs in the Brady v NFL case and what they might want individually in return for settling the lawsuit against the league.

For example, Patriots G Logan Mankins and Chargers WR Vincent Jackson apparently are asking for $10 million apiece. Which naturally led to Vikings P Chris Kluwe calling the two of them, plus Saints QB Drew Brees and Colts QB Peyton Manning, “douchebags” on his Twitter account Tuesday.

The reason for Kluwe’s ire against Brees and Manning? The reports that they want a lifetime exemption from the franchise tagging system.

Brees, on his Twitter account, said to be wary of media reports on this subject, writing, "All media claims about me wanting a personal reward for this deal are false. I hope you all know me better than that." The Boston Globe’s Greg Bedard tweeted that Brees, Manning and Jackson have softened their stances in regards to individual lawsuit compensation.

Meanwhile, it seems like Jackson is willing to return to the Chargers and sign the $11 million franchise tag for 2011 (if there actually is a tag system in the new CBA), according to The San Diego Union-Tribune. Still, he’d (obviously) like a long-term contract and not the one-year tag money, but this way, I don’t see how Kluwe could be mad at him.

UPDATE 11:41 P.M. ET: According to the Boston Globe, the NFLPA's executive committee will recommend that the plaintiffs receive no special considerations as part of the lockout's end.

Writes Ron Borges: "It was determined it would be too cumbersome to try and work out individual deals. Since the bulk of plaintiffs were well-placed NFL veterans, the best way to go, it was decided, was to stick simply with the larger deal negotiated between the NFLPA and the league’s owners."

As far as "well-placed NFL veterans" go, I imagine Broncos rookie LB Von Miller would beg to differ on that point.

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Posted on: July 19, 2011 4:42 pm
Edited on: July 19, 2011 4:48 pm
 

NFL Lockout: The Movie

Casting by Will Brinson, poster art by Ryan Wilson

We're more than four months into the lockout, which means, save the draft, more than four months without much to talk about, whether it be free agency, trades or the impending training camp battles.

So we've resorted to making stuff up. That's right, we've put our heads together for "LOCKOUT," an original motion picture* brought to you by the crack staff of the Eye on Football blog.

It has everything you've come to expect from a taut modern-day thriller ... save a few minor details. For example, there are no sympathetic figures, no strapping young male lead, no bombshell love interest and no clear storyline beyond "We want more money!" Other than that, we liken it to a cross between the Bourne vehicles and anything from the Coen brothers.
 
Okay, we've laid it on way too thick (we're blaming it on lockout fever; it was only a matter of time before we completely lost our minds). Conveniently ignoring that, we suspect that you may have your own thoughts about which actor should have been cast to portray the real-life lockout figures below. Consider this your chance to be a pretend casting director -- give us your suggestions in the comments. If nothing else, it'll take your mind off the fact that we're 126 days without football.  

You're welcome. (Click on the image to the right and the one below to make them bigger. Trust us, it's worth it.)



* This isn't quite true. The movie isn't scheduled for production and, in fact, we haven't even secured the funding for this film. To tell the truth, we're only as far as the make-believe casting and the movie poster. But you already knew that.

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Posted on: July 19, 2011 4:12 pm
Edited on: July 20, 2011 8:12 am
 

Vikings punter calls 4 named plaintiffs greedy

Posted by Ryan Wilson

This morning we noted that, as two of the 10 plaintiffs in the Brady v. the NFL case, Vincent Jackson and Logan Mankins could each ask for $10 million in compensation. At the time, the thinking was that the other plaintiffs wouldn't seek similarly high payouts because they either weren't in position to (free agents, already under contract, retired, etc.) or, as elite quarterbacks, already had all the leverage they needed.

Turns out, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees are also looking for settlements of their own. CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman writes that "Multiple sources say that Manning, one of the named plaintiffs, wants immediate free agency in order to settle the lawsuit. Those sources also say Brees wants to be a free agent next year. The sources say lawyers for the NFLPA have asked NFL owners for those two things in addition to the reported demands from Mankins and Jackson."

So, yeah, tying a nice little bow on a new collective bargaining agreement doesn't seem as close as it did just a few hours ago. That said, Freeman is confident a deal will get done this week.

So while all hope isn't lost, Viking punter Chris Kluwe is wholly unimpressed with the news that four of the 10 named plaintiffs (who, by the way, are supposed to be representing the other 1,896 NFL players) appear to be cutting their own deals. So, naturally, Kluwe took to Twitter to voice his displeasure.



That doesn't leave much room for interpretation. The problem, of course, is that, as Freeman pointed out this morning, a new CBA can't be agreed upon unless all the plaintiffs settle the case.

That's much easier when some of them aren't looking out just for themselves.

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Posted on: July 19, 2011 10:08 am
Edited on: July 19, 2011 10:53 am
 

Mankins, Jackson will seek $10m in compensation?



Posted by Ryan Wilson

Players from several teams may have gotten word that they will be reporting for work this weekend, but there are still several things to iron out before there's a new collective bargaining agreement in place and the 2011 season can officially begin. One issue will be finding a compromise with the 10 plaintiffs named in the Brady v. the NFL lawsuit.

Yahoo! Sports' Jason Cole has learned through multiple sources that agents for two of the plaintiffs, Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson and Patriots guard Logan Mankins, "have requested that their players either become unrestricted free agents when the lockout is over or that they receive $10 million each as part of the settlement."

Jackson and Mankins missed much of the 2010 season when they couldn't reach long-term deals with their respective teams, before eventually reporting and playing out the remainder of the year. At the time, the players were hoping to become unrestricted free agents in 2011, but both were designated franchise players in February. 

According to an ESPN story last October, "Jackson and Mankins were among the players caught in significant changes because of an uncapped year that moved unrestricted free agency from four years to six years. Jackson and Mankins became part of a large class of restricted free agents when their contracts expired after their fifth season (2009). Both declined to sign their restricted free agent contract tenders, a requirement before players can report to their teams."

Per one Cole source, two other plaintiffs, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees, "don’t really have that much to gain [by seeking compensation] because they’re both quarterbacks … They pretty much have all the leverage they could want. But I think some other guys are going to expect to be compensated.” Manning and Brees also signed a joint statement with Tom Brady last week calling for a settlement.

Cole also explains why the six remaining plaintiffs are in no position to demand "drastic compensation for damages."
Linebacker Ben Leber and defensive end Brian Robison could get some compensation because they are free agents who have been unable to sign with teams, but that figures to be minimal. New York Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora and Brady are under contract already. Denver Broncos rookie linebacker Von Miller has yet to sign a deal and linebacker Mike Vrabel has retired.
Which brings us back to Jackson and Mankins. Neither player's agent would comment on the matter but Cole writes that "Both agents have been involved in bitter disputes with the teams over the past two years. Jackson and Mankins were among a group of players who have had to wait six years to reach unrestricted free agency because of previous rules."

And an NFL Players Association source tells Cole: “They’re asking for something they believe – and I think most people would believe – is fair compensation for what they’ve had to go through. My guess would be that the owners or the league will pay them.”

Cole adds that the league will consider all its options in the matter but that it "might be more inclined to pay Jackson and Mankins because removing the franchise tag would set a precedent for Manning to ask for the same thing now and Brees to do so next year if he doesn’t get a new contract from the New Orleans Saints."

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Posted on: July 18, 2011 10:30 am
Edited on: July 18, 2011 2:07 pm
 

Bengals lead league in arrests, no-comment Benson

Posted by Will Brinson

Over the weekend, Cedric Benson was arrested in Austin for assault. The collective response from most folks was: "Again?"

That's a problem. And so is the fact that Benson was the third Bengal in the past eight days to get arrested (Adam "Pacman" Jones and Marvin White were both arrested in the last week). Fortunately, the Bengals can use the lockout to no-comment the rash of arrests away.

"The team is aware of the incidents," Bengals public relations director Jack Brennan said, per Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer. "However, as with most situations of this nature, it would be inappropriate for the team to comment until the matters are resolved through normal legal channels."

Unfortunately, as Reedy notes, Cincinnati leads the league in arrests since 2000, with 35! 

That's not something they'll likely comment on now either, and it might not be anything too surprising (it is the Bengals) but it's still a disturbingly high number of arrests.

The -- somewhat anyway -- good news is that such a run on legal issues isn't a problem that stems out of the lockout and an associated rise in crime (you may recall noted sociologist Ray Lewis' theory on this).

It's a problem that stems specifically from the Bengals organization, and probably why the "national media continues to hammer" them for basically everything.

And much like Cincy suddenly rising up and winning a Super Bowl, change isn't something you should expect to see until there's a systematic overhaul of the franchise.

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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