Tag:Will Brinson
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.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: July 22, 2011 9:45 pm
Edited on: July 23, 2011 9:57 am
 

What needs to happen before we get football


Posted by Will Brinson


Earlier today, CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman reported that the NFLPA plans to work throughout the weekend despite a report that the players were going to take off until Monday.

A source of Freeman's notes, too, that "the players seem to be in no hurry to ratify the CBA."

Of course, the reality is that the CBA won't just be ratified by a majority vote from the players.

There's actually a couple of things that have to happen first, where a settlement of the lawsuits is reached, the union is reformed and then the remaining issues are collectively bargained.

So let's take a look at what, precisely, will need to happen for us to get on the path to kicking off the football (off)season.

For starters, there are still a number of issues that need to be resolved, including grievances between the NFLPA and NFL, $320 million in back benefits that the NFLPA believes it's due from 2010, how to handle substance-abuse and drug testing (HGH testing isn't going to be a clear-cut answer, despite what Jeff Pash says).

No, this doesn't include handling allegedly disgruntled plaintiff Vincent Jackson, who seems intent on being freed from the franchise tag and/or recouping money from the time he lost during his previous seasons as a restricted free agent.



But Jackson is involved in the first step of the process, which is wrapping up the settlement.

For that to happen, the two sides need to agree on the settlement's final deal points and language. (Ever dealt with a lawyer and/or lawsuit before? This sort of thing can get heated, minute and complicated.) To reach a settlement, the two sides will also need to figure out what to do with the lockout insurance case.

Once the NFLPA's executive board votes to send this to the named plaintiffs (they've done so in a conditional fashion already), Tom Brady and the rest of the named plaintiffs have to sign off on the settlement.

Latest on Lockout

As soon as that happens and the court approves the settlement, the players can begin reforming the union. That requires some serious paperwork, though it's likely the trade association known as the NFLPA will have such items squared away. Most important, it also requires 51 percent of the players turning in their union cards and re-forming.

Yes, it's possible this could happen electronically, but it's more than likely that we end up seeing team facilities opened so players can come in and sign the cards and re-form.

It's also possible that incorporating such a process could be a conditional part of the settlement, though it can't be demanded by either side necessarily and shouldn't be a dealbreaker.

Once the players are re-unionized, the two sides can collectively bargain the remaining issues mentioned above.

What this means, more than anything, is that we're not just a simple vote away from getting football back. Though the owners ratified a proposal that might not have been seen by the players, and though we might feel "halfway done," there's still work ahead before we get a new CBA.

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



Posted on: July 22, 2011 11:10 am
Edited on: July 22, 2011 11:18 am
 

Report: Kolb, Fitzgerald have private workout

Posted by Will Brinson

There are two things we know to be true about this NFL offseason. One, lockouts are terrible. And two, going 24 hours without a rumor about Kevin Kolb is impossible.

This latest rumor from our friend Craig Morgan at Fox Sports Arizona though, is pretty darn spicy, because it gives a LOT of credence to the whole "Arizona will trade for Kolb as soon as the lockout ends" theory.

See, Morgan reports that Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and Kolb "organized a private throwing session" at Arizona State earlier in July.

This is not different from many of Fitzgerald's offseason workouts in that it involves another star player in the NFL. But it is different from most of Fitz's offseason workouts because it was -- until now anyway -- kept secret.

Oh, and because it involves the guy that nearly everyone in the NFL believes will be his next quarterback. And because it comes hot on the heels of some very specific rumors about the Kolb trade and Cards coach Ken Wisenhunt saying no one is untouchable.

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like we're getting a vote on the labor deal from the players any time on Friday, which means we're at least a few more days away from being able to concretely speculate on what the trade for Kolb will involve.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: July 21, 2011 10:29 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2011 11:04 pm
 

Players decline to vote on NFL proposal

Posted by Will Brinson

The steady, optimistic road towards labor peace came to a pessimistic pile-up when the NFL owners ratified (their own) proposal to settle the labor situation and the players decided to not to vote on the proposal during their conference call with team reps on Thursday night.

It was an absolute about-face for labor negotiations that seemed to be wrapping up earlier in the day, but given the way events unfolded after the NFL's decision to ratify a proposal the players allegedly hadn't seen, the lack of a vote shouldn't be shocking.

All reports indicate that the players will vote, but that they want to understand the full ramifications of the NFL's proposal before doing so.

In fact, many a player rep said the players hadn't even seen the NFL's proposal, including Panthers rep and punter Jason Baker.

"Once we do [see the proposal] we will take the necessary time to make sure the players understand the facts, then make the appropriate decisions at that time," Baker said, per Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer.

And some optimism among players still remains, like

"We are going to get a deal done," Jaguars linebacker Kirk Morrison said on television late Thursday night.

But it's also clear that the decision to ratify a proposal the players weren't aware of didn't sit well with everyone on the NFLPA side -- look no further than some of the comments players issued to CBSSports.com's own Mike Freeman.

"Contrary to reports out there" there is no vote scheduled Friday, player rep George Wilson said, per Daniel Kaplan of the Sports Business Journal. "This is not Armageddon.

"This is nothing more than an attempt to get the fans to turn on the players."

That's exactly why we predicted this morning that public pressure would flip squarely to the players if the owners ratified a proposal today. We just didn't think it would all shake down like this.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: July 21, 2011 8:13 pm
Edited on: July 22, 2011 9:49 am
 

Smith to players: 'There is no agreement'

Posted by Will Brinson

There was much rejoicing in the land of NFL fans on Thursday night when the NFL owners voted 31-0 to ratify a settlement agreement. There's just one problem: it's not exactly in-line with what the players were expecting.

CBSSSports.com has obtained an email from NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith to the players a few moments ago that indicates precisely how they feel.

"As you know the Owners have ratified their proposal to settle our differences. It is my understanding that they are forwarding it to us," the email reads. "As you may have heard, they apparently approved a supplemental revenue sharing proposal. Obviously, we have not been a part of those discussions.

Latest on Lockout

"As you know from yesterday, issues that need to be collectively bargained remain open, other issues such as workers compensation, economic issues and end of deal terms remain unresolved.

Smith's email concludes in a fashion that should sufficiently point out how differently the players view the owners' proposal.

"There is no agreement between the NFL and the Players at this time," Smith concludes. "I look forward to our call tonight."

The biggest fear for everyone involved is that the players might see the owners' decision to approve their own deal as a way of pushing public perception against the players. And that's entirely possible, but we won't know for sure until the end of the NFLPA call.

One thing's for sure, though: this isn't over yet.



For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: July 21, 2011 7:00 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2011 7:45 pm
 

NFL owners vote to approve settlement

Posted by Eye on Football Staff

ATLANTA -- After a 10-minute break turned into a lengthy evening siesta that unnerved more than a number of NFL reporters, the NFL owners voted to pass a resolution approving settlement of the Brady v. NFL lawsuit, according to the NFL Network.

"The clubs approved an agreement that was negotiated with the players this afternoon," Commissioner Roger Goodell said at his press conference following the vote. "In addition to approving that agreement we also approved a supplemental revenue sharing system for the next 10 years (with no opt-out by either the owners or players during that time).

"With this ratification and with the ratification of the NFLPA board, we will be prepared to open training facilities beginning on this Saturday. We will then be prepared to start the new league year Wednesday, subject to the full membership of the players, ratifying the agreement and recertifying as a union."

So while the four-game preseason schedule and the subsequent regular season appear safe, the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio, has been cancelled.

Latest on Lockout

"Obviously, you know that we're all under a time constraint," Goodell said. "That's one of the reasons we worked to get this agreement completed tonight. We are unfortunately going to have to cancel the Hall of Fame Game this year. The time is just too short, and we feel it's important for all 32 teams to be operating with the same number of preseason games and also starting camp at the same date. … But the [Hall of Fame] ceremonies will go on."

NFL attorney Jeff Pash explained what will happen after the NFLPA ratifies.

"Once the ratification process has been completed, there would be a period where the players would come, you do their physicals, get your rosters in order," Pash said. 'Teams could begin signing their own players -- their draftees and the like -- with the contracts sort of being in a state of suspended animation.

"What would you have is an opening of the new league year perhaps on next Wednesday, July 27."

This means that the ball is now firmly in the players' court; the NFLPA has an 8:00 PM conference call scheduled.

"I just spoke to DeMaurice [Smith] 20 minutes ago," Goodell said. "He's going to go take care of his business."

In a sign of where things still stand, though, it's important to note that this does not mean everything's finished.

"To clarify: NFL Owners Ratify PROPOSAL to end LOCKOUT," NFLPA spokesman George Atallah tweeted during Goodell's announcement.

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

Posted on: July 21, 2011 4:17 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2011 7:07 pm
 

Report: Mankins says he'll sign off on settlement

Posted by Will Brinson



UPDATE (6:30 p.m. EST): Ron Borges of the Boston Herald tweets on Thursday night that, "Logan Mankins has just informed the NFLPA leadership he will sign off on a settlement of the Brady v. NFL case without seeking compensation."

As the world turns in the NFL's Thursday afternoon labor soap opera, one critical issue remains: the financial demands of named-plaintiffs Logan Mankins and Vincent Jackson.

These demands have been characterized as a big stumbling block, since both players reportedly want $10 million each to settle the litigation. However, Mankins' agent, Frank Bauer, disputed the claim that his client ever made any sort of financial demand.

"I think it's really unfair what has happened to Logan Mankins in media characterizations that he is making monetary demands or holding up a settlement," Bauer said, per ESPN.
Latest on Lockout

"Logan Mankins is a young man who was encouraged and solicited into a lawsuit to help the union spearhead a new agreement. Logan's main concern for entering into as a plaintiff was to see if he can become free and help other players have less restrictions."

Of course, putting his name on the lawsuit WAS a tough decision and Mankins certainly put his name out there for scrutiny. So if he wanted something in return it wouldn't be shocking. But Bauer emphasized he "hasn't made any such demand."

"For people to say he has made monetary demands, he hasn't made any such demand," Bauer said. "We don't know terms. We haven't talked to (NFLPA attorney) Jeff Kessler. There has been no communication, but it's irresponsible to report Logan has made monetary demands.

"Are we disappointed there has been no communication? Hugely. He trusted the union and Kessler to fight for Logan Mankins and the other players."

So, yeah, wow, that's kind of a game-changer. If Mankins doesn't want money and if Jackson doesn't want money in exchange for settling the lawsuit, it's only going to crank up the vitriol for Kessler, the NFLPA lawyer.

And it means there's a pretty simple solution sitting out there: make Mankins and Jackson franchise-tag-free players going forward. If those two plaintiffs would agree to that in part of their settlement, it could move things along much more speedily than having the two sides quarrel about demands that apparently weren't ever made.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: July 21, 2011 1:32 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2011 1:43 pm
 

Owners vote would put public pressure on players

Posted by Will Brinson

Right now, there's ample pressure on both the owners and the players to get a Global Settlement Agreement locked in, so that the NFL year can begin relatively on time.

That duel pressure might not last though -- CBSSports.com's own Clark Judge reported from the owners meetings that "a majority of owners" in Atlanta on Thursday are planning to attend Myra Kraft's funeral on Friday morning.

And as a result, the owners are expected to vote on a new deal Thursday. They are also likely to ratify the deal -- every owner who's found his way in front of a camera believes there will be enough votes on the table to do so.

That means that by Thursday evening, if the NFLPA hasn't cleared the necessary obstacles to approve a settlement agreement, there could be a tremendous shift in public pressure to the players' side.

See, the owners are still locking the players out. No one's denying that. But as soon as they vote "yes" in their meeting, lift the lockout and start planning for a season there's only one group to blame if there's no football: the players.

Would it be the fault of all the players that a deal isn't taken care of by now? Of course not. In fact, there are probably two players specifically that you can point to when it comes to holding things up.

You can absolutely make the argument that Vincent Jackson and Logan Mankins deserve some compensation for not only getting hosed by the CBA but for putting their names on the Brady v. NFL lawsuit, but it's going to be difficult for their attorneys to continue justifying a hold-up of the NFL season.

Because no matter what level of compensation -- the $20 million Jackson/Mankins want, or even the $320 million the players want in back benefits, for example -- and no matter how many players we're talking about, in the eyes of the fans, it will simply not justify delaying the start of the NFL season any longer.

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