Tag:DeMaurice Smith
Posted on: June 27, 2011 3:24 pm
Edited on: June 27, 2011 3:38 pm

Report: Players met with attorneys in Minnesota

Posted by Will Brinson

Peripheral labor developments, including a report that the NFL is already negotiating a new, as-yet-not-created television package, over the past weeks have been quite positive.

So it's a bit odd to hear that various NFL players "met Monday with their attorneys in Minneapolis."

Per the Associated Press a "person familiar with the situation says the players' side met on its own, without owners."

Any sense of a problem with this particular meeting is directly tied to the term "lawyers," which, for NFL fans, has mostly meant bad news throughout the course of the offseason.

But in this case, it's hard to imagine a scenario in which this is too terrifying, if only because meeting with attorneys before handling any negotiations is usually a pretty wise thing to do.

Additionally, it's hard to fathom that any sort of regression occurred over the weekend to force the players back into the huddle with their attorneys.

Although we won't know the real reason for the meetings until negotiations featuring Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith commence again this week. Hopefully, it's also shown as a positive development.

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Posted on: June 27, 2011 9:57 am
Edited on: June 27, 2011 12:20 pm

Sides split on rookie wage scale issue?

Posted by Will Brinson

The lockout isn't over, and there's absolutely no guarantee that there willl be a new CBA any time soon. But it sure does feel as if everyone's moving along on the same path toward football in 2011, doesn't it?

So, hey, some cold water: The deal ain't done yet. And one of the issues that just popped up early last week was how to handle implementing some sort of rookie wage scale.

Per Albert Breer of the NFL Network, the owners and the players broached the issue for the first time last Thursday, and "it proved to be a difficult issue to navigate."

Apparently, while the players are fine with reducing the amount of money that goes to high draft picks, they want those same draft picks to get to free agency quicker, via a four- or five-year track, instead of six.

And, of course, there's the issue of how to take the money that was getting pumped into the highly paid rookies and redirect it to veterans. Neither of these issues will be easy for the two sides to find common ground, primarily because it's such new territory.

The good news, however, is this: Though the rookie wage scale was just recently talked about and though there are some differences for the two sides right now, it's a fairly small drop in the bigger bucket.

If the players and owners can each find a respective "happy place" for the revenue sharing issue, the wage scale will likely fall into place shortly before a new CBA is locked down.

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Posted on: June 23, 2011 6:45 pm
Edited on: June 23, 2011 6:57 pm

Smith, Goodell statements: 'We're working hard'

Posted by Will Brinson

The NFL meetings from Thursday wrapped up this afternoon and, somewhat surprisingly, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith appeared together, shook hands, and talked to the press about what went down.

Well, not specifically what went down or anything, but both leaders issued similar-sounding statements about the various negotiations that have occured over the past few days.

"You obviously know we met over the last couple of days," Goodell said following the not-so-secret meetings. "We are under court order as far as what we can discuss so our comments will be brief. But obviously we’re all working hard. The players and owners were here over the last two days.

"De and I were here for the entire meetings also. And it’s complicated and it’s complex, but we're working hard and we understand the fans' frustration. But I think both of us feel strongly that we’re going to continue to work hard at it."

The key parts there, of course, are "working hard" and "fans' frustration," so it's no surprise that Smith echoed a similar sentiment.

"Someone asked me whether I was optimistic. I think we're both optimistic when we have the right people in the room. We know we're talking about the right issues and that we're working hard to get it done," Smith said. "It is extremely complicated, it requires a lot of hard work by a lot of people, but we're committed to getting something done and we’re going to keep working at it.

"Just to wrap up, we're working hard, we understand the fans' frustration, I know our players' frustration. We're going to keep working hard and try to make sure we get a deal done."

Oddly, fans' frustration is probably reasonably low right now, despite the lockout finally hitting it's 100th (!) day.

After all, while there may not be many other sports on television to distract from the lack of football, there's a sense among many people that the two sides are close to acheiving what seemed impossible just a few short weeks ago: striking a deal and getting the season rolling by the middle of July.

While that's obviously not the ideal scenario (that would involve no lockout and a "normal" league year, natch), it's still a far better outcome than what seemed possible a month ago.

That's progress, and progress always helps to ease frustration a little bit.

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Posted on: June 23, 2011 1:57 pm
Edited on: June 23, 2011 2:30 pm

Report: DeMaurice Smith is getting good reviews

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

If you don’t want to read yet another lockout story today about the state of the lockout, at the very least read the third and fourth paragraphs of this NFL.com story.

Because it’s actually (more) pretty good news.

According to Albert Breer, one of the bigger issues in the negotiations is (obviously) how to split the $9 billion, but another enormous obstacle to getting a deal done was the mistrust between the two sides.

Now, Breer writes that NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith has earned the trust and respect of the owners, and that seems to have made life a little smoother for all involved.

Which is pretty positive, I’d say.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: June 23, 2011 11:51 am
Edited on: June 23, 2011 1:47 pm

Report: First day of negotiations was 'fruitful'

Smith and GoodellPosted by Josh Katzowitz

With the owners and players set to negotiate again today in Boston, it sounds like their swing to a new CBA in the near future continues on a good track.

According to ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio, talks on Wednesday were “very fruitful,” and they will continue until a deal is reached.

"We are headed in the right direction," the source told Paolantonio. "There is a desire on both sides to reach an agreement sooner rather than later."

That’s not to say any of this is surprising. As CBSSports.com’s Mike Freeman recently told us, it would take a real knucklehead to mess up these negotiations.

On Wednesday, commissioner Roger Goodell apparently shared with NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith some of the feedback he heard from the owners in their meeting earlier this week in Chicago.

This afternoon, the NFLPA will update the players on the latest news.

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Posted on: June 21, 2011 3:33 pm
Edited on: June 21, 2011 3:52 pm

Goodell talks to owners about proposed CBA

Posted by Ryan Wilson

One of the reasons for Tuesday's NFL owners meeting in Chicago was to brief teams on the status of the labor discussions. ESPN's Chris Mortensen is reporting that commissioner Roger Goodell has presented to the owners at least nine proposals that could be a part of a new collective bargaining agreement.

The details, per Mortensen:
  • Players get 48 percent of "all revenue" without extra $1-billion-plus off top that previously had been requested by owners. 
  • Players' share will never dip below 46.5 percent, under new formula being negotiated. 
  • Teams required to spend close to 100 percent of the salary cap. 
  • Rookie wage scale part of deal but still being "tweaked." 
  • Four years needed for unrestricted free-agent status. Certain tags will be retained, but still being discussed. 
  • 18-game regular season designated only as negotiable item and at no point is mandated in deal. (Editor's note: thank god)
  • New 16-game Thursday night TV package beginning in 2012. 
  • Owners still will get some expense credits that will allow funding for new stadiums. 
  • Retirees to benefit from improved health care, pension benefits as revenue projected to double to $18 million by 2016. 
Other nuggets culled from sources: ESPN's Sal Paolantonio hears that there won't be a vote Tuesday on a new CBA, and Adam Schefter tweets that "If and when agreement is reached, all players with 4, 5 and 6 years of service are expected to be unrestricted free agents."

As for when we'll actually have a 2011 season? Mortensen knows as much as the rest of us. Best guess is mid-July, which is what we've been hearing for a few weeks now. But, hey, it's something.

It gets better: Sports Illustrated's Don Banks tweets that it's "Still relatively early, but we're hearing there is so far no significant dissent being voiced today regarding direction of CBA talks."

Given that we're more than three months into the lockout, we'll happily call this progress.

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Posted on: June 21, 2011 9:46 am
Edited on: June 21, 2011 10:24 am

Tuesday meeting to update owners on negotiations

Posted by Ryan Wilson

As planned, the NFL owners are meeting Tuesday in Chicago. Hopefully that means actual football won't be far behind. The league and the players have spent much of June working through the details of a new collective bargaining agreement, although there hasn't been a resolution.  

As for what's on the agenda in the Windy City, NFL Network's Albert Breer has the details.

"Tuesday's meeting was originally scheduled as a one-day session, but clubs were advised last week to be prepared for the proceedings to spill into Wednesday," Breer writes. "No formal votes are scheduled for the meetings, with the labor committee and [Roger] Goodell having completed three sets of clandestine negotiations with the players."

"We're giving the clubs a briefing on the status of the labor discussions," NFL general counsel Jeff Pash told NFL Network. "And we'll allow them to ask any questions, give them a legal update on the status of the various court actions, and just make sure they fully understand everything that's happened over the last month and make sure they're fully informed as we proceed through the end of this month and into July."

Mid-July had been identified as the likely timeframe for both sides to reach an agreement on a new CBA, but there have been setbacks. Last week, an ESPN report suggested some owners were resistant to a new deal because they feared it didn't address the concerns that led to the lockout in the first place -- namely, the owner's unhappiness with the 2006 CBA.

Also not helping: CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman is reporting that some owners have contacted their star players, telling them that NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith is leading them in the wrong direction. The NFL, of course, prohibits communication between teams and players during the lockout.

Sounds like a job for the commissioner, as well as Robert Kraft and John Mara, two of the most well-respected owners in the league.

The Chicago attendees include Goodell, Pash, outside counsel Bob Batterman, labor committee co-chairmen Jerry Richardson and Pat Bowlen, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Giants owner John Mara, Bengals owner Mike Brown, Chiefs owner Clark Hunt, Steelers president Art Rooney, Chargers president Dean Spanos and Packers CEO Mark Murphy.

As PFT.com's Mike Florio notes, Kraft's not on the list but he should be.

For now, all we can do is wait.

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Posted on: June 19, 2011 3:00 pm

As new CBA nears, free-agency rules still unclear

Posted by Ryan Wilson

NFL owners are scheduled to meet in Chicago Tuesday, and they have been told to plan to stay late, presumably in order to continue hammering out the details of a new collective bargaining agreement. And depending on which source you consult, the new CBA could usher in the 2011 season by mid-July.

The biggest issue between the owners and players has been about how to split the 10-figure revenue pie, but there are plenty of other important details to sort out, too. Like the nuances of free agency and the salary-cap rules that will accompany it.

In a typical offseason, free agency began in March. Now NFL teams could have just a few days to review any changes to free-agency rules resulting from the new CBA before a hectic signing period would take place prior to training camp.

The Green Bay Press Gazette's Pete Dougherty writes about a looming labor resolution as it relates to the Packers' roster, but the overall theme holds for the other 31 teams, as well.
If the deal isn’t finished until closer to the start of camps, or after camps were scheduled to have opened, most of the signings and the beginning of camps could overlap in an especially chaotic time for front offices, coaches and players.

Teams are working from the assumption that the new CBA will return eligibility for unrestricted free agency to four years service, the same as it was from 1993 through 2009. That’s not guaranteed but is the most likely outcome of the pending CBA talks.

Less certain is how the CBA will handle restricted free agency this season.
Restricted free agency will have to be worked out ahead of time, and it could even be canceled for 2011. As for whether free agency will require just four years of service (as it was from '93 to '09) or remain at five (as it did in 2010) is still unknown. Clearly, Dougherty thinks four years is likely, while the South Florida Sun-Sentinel's Omar Kelly tweeted on June 9: "Word on the street is '10 rules will apply IF a new CBA gets done so it looks like [DeAngelo] Williams/ [Ahmad] Bradshaw are is out."

Because it's cheaper, teams would prefer to push free agency as far off into the future as possible. Not surprisingly, players want the opposite. Rotoworld points out that "No one, from Adam Schefter to Peter King, has been able to get a good read on what rules will end up in place, but the pre-2010 assumption has merit as long as there is agreement on a new CBA." 

Hopefully, Tuesday's meeting will go a long way in settling these issues. Because, frankly, the prospect of a shortened NFL season appeals to absolutely no one, even if history says it won't much affect the eventual playoff teams.

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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