Tag:NFL
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.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: July 13, 2011 12:25 pm
Edited on: July 13, 2011 1:18 pm
 

Brees: Deal 'very close' and 'few details' remain

Posted by Will Brinson

Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning issued a statement on labor negotiations recently, and as we noted earlier, it was a pretty bold statement, even though the words might seem similar to a normal press release.

On Wednesday while on XX Radio 1090 in San Diego, Brees confirmed our belief about the statement, and made some even stronger noise about the current state of the lockout, pointing ou that a deal is "very close," and that "few details" remain in nailing down a labor agreement.

"We've taken a significant setback in overall revenue in terms of what we've offered them compared to what we were making," Brees said. "I feel like there's a fair deal there -- we all do -- and we think it's time to step up and make a deal."

And that's precisely why the three most notable players in the current labor negotiations issued a statement regarding their stance.

Latest on Labor
"Yesterday we felt like there's a fair deal on the table and we need to make sure everybody knows this and make sure the owners know this because the season is just around the corner," Brees said about the statement the players issued.

Brees also addressed the issue of retired players, stating that the current players would take care of them in the negotiations, and pointing out that the folks at the current bargaining table are actually pretty close to being retired themselves.

"Maybe they DO have a seat at the table," Brees said about retired players. "I'm the second-youngest guy at the table … these are guys who going to be retired players soon.

"And they're certainly looking out for those guys."

That's gotta be nice to hear if you're a retired player. But much nicer to hear? Brees' comments about how close a deal is and that the players did in fact take a "substantial" cut in order to make something happen.

Obviously there are reasons why they'd do this, and there are probably other areas in which they're going to benefit -- hello, massive free-agent class! -- that enabled them to give up more money.

That's not important. What's important is finishing this puppy off and getting everyone on the football field in time for a normal year of NFL action.

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Posted on: July 13, 2011 10:32 am
Edited on: July 13, 2011 12:29 pm
 

Brady, Manning, Brees statement a bold move

Posted by Will Brinson

Up to this point, plaintiffs Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees have been relatively quiet about their activity in the Brady v. NFL antitrust lawsuit and the current labor dispute between the players and the owners.

However, they made their voice known on Wednesday morning in a statement released to the Associated Press that called their latest offer "fair" and said it's "time to get this deal done."

"We believe the overall proposal made by the players is fair for both sides and it is time to get this deal done," Brady, Manning and Brees said in the statement.

"This is the time of year we as players turn our attention to the game on the field. We hope the owners feel the same way."

The league quickly responded with a statement of their own and -- you'll never believe this -- but they agree! It is time to get a deal done.

Such a notion isn't new to those of us (fans, commentators, etc) who've been on the negotiating sideline while the two sides spent the spring and summer bickering about the division of a couple billion dollars.

The time has been "now" for a while; it was there in March, it was there in April, it was there in May -- you get the point. But the benefit of having three of the biggest-named players in the league step up and publicly endorse the current deal on the table is that the public and the NFL are now aware that there's an ultimatum sitting out there from one of the sides.

Is that a good thing? Yes, if the league's feeling rational and actually does want to settle.

See, Brady/Manning/Brees aren't just issuing a press release or a statement indicating that they're ready for football. This is a legitimate statement to be taken seriously; we've seen how the lawyers are willing to hop into the fray and mess things up for everyone else who wants football.

And we should be legitimately concerned that if too many formal offers go back and forth between the two sides over the next couple of days that we could be facing a "walk away and keep suing" situation from the guys whose names are on the lawsuit.

That's the last thing that anyone wants to happen, and it's why the next three days of negotiating are so critical to ensuring that we have football in 2011.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: July 9, 2011 8:43 pm
Edited on: July 10, 2011 1:20 am
 

Peterson: 'Those guys aren't telling us anything'

Posted by Will Brinson

BEAVERTON, Ore -- Patrick Peterson, like most rookies, is in the dark when it comes to NFL labor negotiations.

That's part and parcel of being a first-year player -- with the apparent exception of NFL v. Brady plaintiff and Broncos rookie Von Miller -- because rookies don't have a lot of input into big NFL-related decisions.

But, as Peterson told CBSSports.com at the Nike's 7-on-7 challenge "The Opening," it's also because no one has bothered to tell them anything.

"I haven't heard any news about what you just discussed," Peterson said, referring to the recent ruling from the 8th Circuit that affected rookies and free agents. "It's confidential -- those guys aren't telling us anything. The only guy in the rookie class is Von Miller, and I know him personally, and he's not saying anything as well.

"So those guys have to stay true to what's going on in court."

Again, this isn't that odd -- the rookies aren't supposed to be involved in a whole lot when it comes to labor talks. And it's also worth noting that Peterson wasn't contentious about the issue about not being informed on the legal proceeding end of things.

But it's definitely weird that they're not being told anything, especially when serious decisions are being made about their future by people who aren't, well, them.

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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.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: July 6, 2011 3:44 pm
Edited on: July 6, 2011 4:10 pm
 

CBS Sports' Jim Nantz named Rozelle Award winner

Posted by Will Brinson

CBS Sports' own Jim Nantz, one of the all-time great NFL announcers, was named the Rozelle Award winner by the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Wednesday.

Nantz will be presented with the award, which recognizes “long-time exceptional contributions to radio and television in professional football, at the Hall of Fame Enshrinees' Dinner on August 5 in Canton, Ohio.

“It’s one of the greatest honors you could ever receive in our industry,” says Nantz. “I’m grateful to the Pro Football Hall of Fame for this recognition and thrilled to be in the company of the past recipients of the Pete Rozelle Award.”
Canton Happenings

Nantz, best known as the lead play-by-play voice on CBS Sports' "The NFL Today" and as the voice of the Masters, is a five-time Sportscaster of the Year award winner and a two-time Emmy-Award winner.

In becoming the youngest-ever winner of the Rozelle Award, Nantz joins legendary television names like Dan Dierdorf, Dick Enberg, Ed Sabol, Don Meredith, Pat Summerall, Frank Gifford and Jack Buck (to name a few) on an exclusive list of television and radio greats.

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

Posted on: July 6, 2011 9:41 am
Edited on: July 6, 2011 10:01 am
 

VIDEO: 'Field of Dreams 2: NFL Lockout'

Posted by Will Brinson

For some reason, the NFL lockout really hasn't been that subject to parody thus far this year.

Fortunately, the guys at Funny or Die are here to remedy that, with their new trailer for "Field of Dreams 2: NFL Lockout" which features a PILE of celebrities.

There's Rich Eisen and Marshall Faulk from the NFL Network, Ray Liotta as Roger Goodell, Dwight Freeney, DeSean Jackson, Tony Gonzalez, Dennis Haysbert and even Kevin Costner with a guest spot.

Oh, and some kid named Taylor Lautner who got famous on the Bernie Mac show or something. I've never heard of him.

And I probably wouldn't mash the "Funny Meter" for this episode either, but it's funny enough to warrant talking about on a day when there's still no football in immediate sight.

Field of Dreams 2: NFL Lockout with Taylor Lautner from Taylor Lautner
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com