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Union ready to go to court (1 Viewer)

Bri

Footballguy
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060202/ap_on_...er_bowl_nflpa_3

DETROIT - The NFL Players Association is preparing to take the league to court if there is no immediate progress on a new contract. NFLPA executive director Gene Upshaw set March 9 as the date he will begin consulting players on legal action if no deal has been reached to extend the collective bargaining agreement. Upshaw said Thursday that the current stalemate is due more to a disagreement among the owners on revenue sharing than conflict between the league and the union.

The current contract expires after the 2007 season, but it calls for an uncapped year in '07. Without a new CBA, negotiations on individual contracts in the free-agent period that begins March 3 will be much more difficult for teams and players.

"The price of poker will go up," Upshaw said at the union's Super Bowl news conference. "We can not stay in the place where we are now."

The league and the owners have been negotiating for more than a year on an extension to the contract first agreed upon in 1993.

But this is the first time there has been a stalemate, primarily because of the dispute between high-revenue teams such as Washington, Dallas, Houston and New England, and teams with less local money available from items ranging from parking to stadium signage.

Upshaw insisted the union is prepared for decertification, which involves disbanding and going to antitrust court to ask for a set of rules under which the NFL would operate. The union did that to end the monthlong 1987 strike and played without a contract until 1992, when the court ruled in its favor — leading to the current deal negotiated with commissioner Paul Tagliabue and the owners. That deal included free agency for the first time, as well as the salary cap, which took effect in 1993.

"We've demonstrated we are not afraid to decertify," Upshaw said. "We understand the laws and what's available to us."

Upshaw warned if the dispute continues through 2007, then the salary cap is likely to be gone — for good.

Richard Berthelsen, the union's general counsel, said if the decertification strategy is used, it could keep the owners from locking out the players and allowing games to continue. "If there is no union, the labor laws would not apply, so you wouldn't have a lockout," he said.

Despite Upshaw's strong words Thursday, both sides believe privately that an agreement can be reached fairly soon.

Pittsburgh owner Dan Rooney has helped settle NFL labor disputes for three decades. He said last week that while there was little movement in the dispute, he is still optimistic there could be action among the owners fairly soon.

Upshaw pointed out Thursday that the $24 billion television deal reached last year with CBS, NBC, Fox and ESPN gives the networks incentive to help settle the dispute. And he quoted Denver owner Pat Bowlen as saying: "If we can't reach agreement, we should all be shot."

Still, some of the high-revenue owners have suggested they could live with a different system.

"It wouldn't be the worst thing in the world if we didn't have a salary cap," Dallas' Jerry Jones said last fall.

At one point, Upshaw even joked about the high-revenue owners, notably Washington's Daniel Snyder, who has more than 20 coaches on his payroll, including some of the NFL's highest-paid assistants.

"They are going to have to decide how to spend their money if they're going to reach agreement among themselves," he said. "You might cut back on the coaches on your payroll. I love Dan Snyder because he spends a lot of money on players. But there are others in that high-revenue group who take in $300 million and have just a $66 million payroll."

Upshaw and Tagliabue have always had a good relationship during negotiations and Tagliabue, who turned 65 in November, has delayed his retirement in part to get the labor problems settled.

Negotiations are expected to intensify after the Super Bowl. Rooney, Upshaw and league officials have said they don't think there will be an agreement by the start of free agency next month. However, the issue is likely to be the primary topic among the owners at their annual meeting, which begins March 25 in Orlando, Fla.

That might allow for an agreement by the draft, which will take place a month later.

"Without an agreement after the draft, you would have a lot of unsigned players, a lot of first- and second-round draft picks who would be waiting to see what system we would be using," he said.

Upshaw also reiterated the healthy state of the sport: "We're not talking about a struggling industry here."

 

Steel City

Footballguy
"It wouldn't be the worst thing in the world if we didn't have a salary cap," Dallas' Jerry Jones said last fall.
Thankfully for the NFL there are enough small-market owners and more importantly, owners who have been around long enough to look out for the interests of the LEAGUE before their individual teams, to not let owners like Jones and Snyder strong-arm them like the big markets teams in MLB have been doing for years.The NFL knows they are the envy of the sports world - they've never been more competitive. They have to get this figured out before the uncapped year hits.
 
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Bri

Footballguy
"It wouldn't be the worst thing in the world if we didn't have a salary cap," Dallas' Jerry Jones said last fall.
Thankfully for the NFL there are enough small-market owners and more importantly, owners who have been around long enough to look out for the interests of the LEAGUE before their individual teams, to not let owners like Jones and Snyder strong-arm them like the big markets teams in MLB have been doing for years.The NFL knows they are the envy of the sports world - they've never been more competitive. They have to get this figured out before the uncapped year hits.
do you agree with Upshaw that they have to get this done before this year's draft+free agency period so they can negotiate/write contracts knowing what the cap is in 2007?
 

PMENFAN

Footballguy
"It wouldn't be the worst thing in the world if we didn't have a salary cap," Dallas' Jerry Jones said last fall.
Thankfully for the NFL there are enough small-market owners and more importantly, owners who have been around long enough to look out for the interests of the LEAGUE before their individual teams, to not let owners like Jones and Snyder strong-arm them like the big markets teams in MLB have been doing for years.The NFL knows they are the envy of the sports world - they've never been more competitive. They have to get this figured out before the uncapped year hits.
do you agree with Upshaw that they have to get this done before this year's draft+free agency period so they can negotiate/write contracts knowing what the cap is in 2007?
I absolutely agree. This should be a non-issue. You also have to lend huge weight to Jones, who gains a huge competative advantage w/o a cap, making such a statement. It's a micro-economic model. compare it to baseball, where many teams play to 10k fans, because they have no reason to hope, or to be fans. They know that any year only about 6 teams have a shot. In the real business world, one companies dominance is good for that company. In sports, it's not. Sports thrives on competition, and close competition just sells more tickets in more cities. To have that, we need revenue sharing and the cap. We had a 1, 2, 4 and 6 seed in the AFC quarters, and the 6 won. In the NFC, it was a 1, 2, 5, 6 w/ the 5 making the championship. I love it. Granted the games were let downs championship week, but I expect another great Superbowl in 2 days. I'm sad the Pats aren't there, but I LOVE NFL PARITY, and it's because of revenue sharing and the cap. All the great games in recent SB's, all cap. Get it done!!!!
 

Borat

Footballguy
"It wouldn't be the worst thing in the world if we didn't have a salary cap," Dallas' Jerry Jones said last fall.
Thankfully for the NFL there are enough small-market owners and more importantly, owners who have been around long enough to look out for the interests of the LEAGUE before their individual teams, to not let owners like Jones and Snyder strong-arm them like the big markets teams in MLB have been doing for years.The NFL knows they are the envy of the sports world - they've never been more competitive. They have to get this figured out before the uncapped year hits.
:goodposting: I agree completely.

 

Bri

Footballguy
It's a micro-economic model. compare it to baseball, where many teams play to 10k fans, because they have no reason to hope, or to be fans. They know that any year only about 6 teams have a shot. In the real business world, one companies dominance is good for that company. In sports, it's not. Sports thrives on competition, and close competition just sells more tickets in more cities. To have that, we need revenue sharing and the cap.
I have a simple Q but I think it'll matter come negotiation time. I understand your feelings about baseball and likely agree with you as some Yankee teams were just ridiculously overloaded with talent...anyhow does baseball make more money? If so is that due to 8 zillion games vs 16? I think the NFL has a better product but wonder if they even come close in ticket sales to baseball.
 

Bri

Footballguy
This issue has more to do with the individual owners then with the NFLPA.
it's always about money but everything is relative. The second a dime goes in an owners pocket a player or coach wants a nickel. I wonder if the average NFL player would mind if the Cowboys (like Yankees, suppose)win every year but they make more money playing for the Boys. I think baseball's gonna throw a monkey wrench into this whole thing.

IIRC last time the contract was a big deal the NBA was the model and David Stern was praised repeatedly. It seems quite different now.

 

BlueOnion

Footballguy
This issue has more to do with the individual owners then with the NFLPA.
it's always about money but everything is relative. The second a dime goes in an owners pocket a player or coach wants a nickel. I wonder if the average NFL player would mind if the Cowboys (like Yankees, suppose)win every year but they make more money playing for the Boys. I think baseball's gonna throw a monkey wrench into this whole thing.

IIRC last time the contract was a big deal the NBA was the model and David Stern was praised repeatedly. It seems quite different now.
I don't know. Some times I just want to say the heck with it and just say New York, San Francisco, Dallas and Washington have 300 million dollar payroll and let the Packers, Steelers and Chiefs have 30 million dollar payrolls.
 

noneother

Footballguy
i truly hope they can work this out... I would like to see gauranteed contracts for players.. even if that just means someone sponsors an AFLAC type program for the players...

 
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helix

Footballguy
I think this is a case where some owners don't understand how good they have it. This is about owners greed. After ready the article in SI about Tags, I can see the owners killing the golden goose. They are that stupid.

 

Bri

Footballguy
They know that any year only about 6 teams have a shot.
That's not true, and you know it.Your point is a lot more valid if you don't have to exaggerate to make it.
I didn't write that post but I thought what he said was true about MLB. I used to follow baseball a little bit and then the Yankees were so overloaded with talent it didn't seem fair or right or something stunk about it. I spent a year hoping some "David" would whip "Goliath" and it wasn't even close. So admittedly I haven't followed MLB in a few years but I did feel like it was that way a few years ago.If the Yankees had become a powerhouse by drafting the greatest players that came up thru their minor leagues, well then I'd be OK with it but all I saw was free agent $ being thrown left + right.

 
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Bri

Footballguy
I'm confident in this player's contract NFLE will become more like the NFL minor league. I think if they do that we'll also see a little better talent over there too. I wouldn't be surprised if a preseason game is played in Germany either, like Tokyo and Mexico City.

 

Keys Myaths

Pokerguy
They know that any year only about 6 teams have a shot.
That's not true, and you know it.Your point is a lot more valid if you don't have to exaggerate to make it.
I didn't write that post but I thought what he said was true about MLB. I used to follow baseball a little bit and then the Yankees were so overloaded with talent it didn't seem fair or right or something stunk about it. I spent a year hoping some "David" would whip "Goliath" and it wasn't even close. So admittedly I haven't followed MLB in a few years but I did feel like it was that way a few years ago.If the Yankees had become a powerhouse by drafting the greatest players that came up thru their minor leagues, well then I'd be OK with it but all I saw was free agent $ being thrown left + right.
Bri, you missed the comment.6 teams having a chance every year? Completely untrue, even the casual fan knows that.

 

Bri

Footballguy
They know that any year only about 6 teams have a shot.
That's not true, and you know it.Your point is a lot more valid if you don't have to exaggerate to make it.
I didn't write that post but I thought what he said was true about MLB. I used to follow baseball a little bit and then the Yankees were so overloaded with talent it didn't seem fair or right or something stunk about it. I spent a year hoping some "David" would whip "Goliath" and it wasn't even close. So admittedly I haven't followed MLB in a few years but I did feel like it was that way a few years ago.If the Yankees had become a powerhouse by drafting the greatest players that came up thru their minor leagues, well then I'd be OK with it but all I saw was free agent $ being thrown left + right.
Bri, you missed the comment.6 teams having a chance every year? Completely untrue, even the casual fan knows that.
ahh so you're nitpicking truth vs reality?
 

Keys Myaths

Pokerguy
They know that any year only about 6 teams have a shot.
That's not true, and you know it.Your point is a lot more valid if you don't have to exaggerate to make it.
I didn't write that post but I thought what he said was true about MLB. I used to follow baseball a little bit and then the Yankees were so overloaded with talent it didn't seem fair or right or something stunk about it. I spent a year hoping some "David" would whip "Goliath" and it wasn't even close. So admittedly I haven't followed MLB in a few years but I did feel like it was that way a few years ago.If the Yankees had become a powerhouse by drafting the greatest players that came up thru their minor leagues, well then I'd be OK with it but all I saw was free agent $ being thrown left + right.
Bri, you missed the comment.6 teams having a chance every year? Completely untrue, even the casual fan knows that.
ahh so you're nitpicking truth vs reality?
Nitpicking?6 teams? 8 teams make the playoffs!!

There's usually about 14 teams with a chance at the end of August.

Then, there's usually about 4 teams that are complete disappointments.



So, there's at least 18 teams that have a chance at the beginning of the year, using just *those* requirements.

I think you would know better than to accuse me of nitpicking.

 

Bri

Footballguy
They know that any year only about 6 teams have a shot.
That's not true, and you know it.Your point is a lot more valid if you don't have to exaggerate to make it.
I didn't write that post but I thought what he said was true about MLB. I used to follow baseball a little bit and then the Yankees were so overloaded with talent it didn't seem fair or right or something stunk about it. I spent a year hoping some "David" would whip "Goliath" and it wasn't even close. So admittedly I haven't followed MLB in a few years but I did feel like it was that way a few years ago.If the Yankees had become a powerhouse by drafting the greatest players that came up thru their minor leagues, well then I'd be OK with it but all I saw was free agent $ being thrown left + right.
Bri, you missed the comment.6 teams having a chance every year? Completely untrue, even the casual fan knows that.
ahh so you're nitpicking truth vs reality?
Nitpicking?6 teams? 8 teams make the playoffs!!

There's usually about 14 teams with a chance at the end of August.

Then, there's usually about 4 teams that are complete disappointments.



So, there's at least 18 teams that have a chance at the beginning of the year, using just *those* requirements.

I think you would know better than to accuse me of nitpicking.
accuse? geesh that sounds harsh I didn't mean anything like that.Well to each his own I guess. When I did watch baseball I didn't think it matterred if 4 teams or everyteam made the playoffs the Yankees were a "lock." It seemed more like a process to name them champs than a competition where the winner prevails.

 

Keys Myaths

Pokerguy
They know that any year only about 6 teams have a shot.
That's not true, and you know it.Your point is a lot more valid if you don't have to exaggerate to make it.
I didn't write that post but I thought what he said was true about MLB. I used to follow baseball a little bit and then the Yankees were so overloaded with talent it didn't seem fair or right or something stunk about it. I spent a year hoping some "David" would whip "Goliath" and it wasn't even close. So admittedly I haven't followed MLB in a few years but I did feel like it was that way a few years ago.If the Yankees had become a powerhouse by drafting the greatest players that came up thru their minor leagues, well then I'd be OK with it but all I saw was free agent $ being thrown left + right.
Bri, you missed the comment.6 teams having a chance every year? Completely untrue, even the casual fan knows that.
ahh so you're nitpicking truth vs reality?
Nitpicking?6 teams? 8 teams make the playoffs!!

There's usually about 14 teams with a chance at the end of August.

Then, there's usually about 4 teams that are complete disappointments.



So, there's at least 18 teams that have a chance at the beginning of the year, using just *those* requirements.

I think you would know better than to accuse me of nitpicking.
accuse? geesh that sounds harsh I didn't mean anything like that.Well to each his own I guess. When I did watch baseball I didn't think it matterred if 4 teams or everyteam made the playoffs the Yankees were a "lock." It seemed more like a process to name them champs than a competition where the winner prevails.
You do realize that the Yankees haven't won the thing this century, right? :)
 

Bri

Footballguy
You do realize that the Yankees haven't won the thing this century, right? :)
no, got sick of it, haven't followed MLB for years. I know I'm not alone in my feelings about the Yankees those years so I hope the NFL is fearful of fans with a similar sentiment toward those Yankee teams and MLB. I dread a Snyder/Jones powerhouse bidding war on free agents. Imagine watching Favre, one of the greats, struggling to succeed against some all star D they assembled with money. It'd be a disgrace IMO.
 

Beaumont

Footballguy
I wont watch the Royals on TV (my childhood team) because the MLB setup makes it impossible for them to compete. Every time you like a player and he starts to get good ... bang, he is snapped up by a larger market club ...If the NFL does that to the Chiefs, I don't think I will be able to watch it for very long ...

 

Bri

Footballguy
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports/foot...story?track=rss

DETROIT -- Any notion that the NFL Player Association's hints of pending labor unrest were just saber-rattling were quashed by Commissioner Paul Tagliabue in his state of the league address Friday.

A day after union leader Gene Upshaw characterized negotiations on a new collective bargaining agreement as "one step up and five steps back," Tagliabue did little in terms of damage control on the issue.

"I said a couple weeks ago I thought it was one step forward and two steps back, so he stepped back further than I thought," Tagliabue said. "I don't think the negotiations are going very well. There needs to be an additional dose of reality from both sides."

Here's the reality: If a new deal is not ratified by March 2, the 2007 season won't have a salary cap.

Upshaw has maintained that once the cap is gone, his rank and file will want to keep it that way. That could mean union decertification and litigation the likes of which tore the league apart during the strike-shortened 1987 season and put the two sides in court until 1993.

Tagliabue wasn't ready to predict a doom's-day scenario, though.

"I don't think we'll be in litigation. I don't think we'll be decertifying the Players Association," he said. "I don't agree with some of the things that Gene said along those lines, but we are not making the kind of progress that I think is necessary."

One of the main sticking points involves the owners. Those in major markets with large revenue streams through stadium and corporate deals are willing to spend more than those in smaller markets without sweetheart stadium deals.

That creates an imbalance in the NFL's lucrative revenue-sharing plan.

Tagliabue didn't believe ownership in-fighting would be a deal-killer. "A lot of things in life get done at the 11th hour and the 59th minute," he said.

Tagliabue heard several questions regarding future Super Bowls being placed in various cities, including several cold-climate venues. Detroit (1982 and 2006) and Minneapolis (1992) are the lone northern cities to host the league's spectacle.

"We have to be realistic," Tagliabue said. "We're going to play the game all over the country. We will concentrate on northern city games in domed stadiums, and there will be a heavy array of games in the southern climates."

Last year's Super Bowl was staged in Jacksonville. What about a return trip?

"Big cities have positives; we learned in Jacksonville a smaller community can be a positive," Tagliabue said. "But I do think that with only one game a year, we need to be very realistic how frequently the game is going to be back in cities that have had the game."

*******

I don't see how the author of this story feels Tags quashed Gene's hints of player unrest

 

roadkill1292

Footballguy
Capitalism...catch it....
I'm a devout capitalist but the NFL is one business where a healthy dose of socialism certainly favors the bulk of its consumers. As one who is not a particularly avid fan of any one team, I can say that my interest in the NFL skyrocketed with the advent of the salary cap. Parity created a higher rate of competitive games every Sunday than the previous era ever did, at least in perception if not in actual fact.Baseball's economic flaws are well documented. The guaranteed contracts in the NBA have created many intolerable personnel issues. Football's structure keeps everybody on their toes.

 

Bri

Footballguy
I don't see people siding with the players on this one.
how do you feel about teams trying to negotiate contracts this year with no cap next year? IE sign free agent and make it 1 mil this year 20 mil next year? Or will the cap suddenly drop and they'll want em' to make half mil? Rookies...same thing
 

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