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Old 10-06-2010, 03:40 PM   #1
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Default Union head says owners set for lockout

Union head says owners set for lockout

Associated Press
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith sees new signs that owners are preparing for a football-free 2011.

With support from Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, he asked fans to take the players' side.

Speaking at a tailgate-style fan luncheon a few blocks from Lambeau Field on Tuesday, Smith referred to a recent Sports Business Journal report that said the NFL is requiring banks that lend money to its teams to extend grace periods for loan defaults through the end of the 2011 season in the event of a lockout.

"That to me is a step where the owners are protecting themselves in the event that there is no season," Smith said.

Smith said that move, along with provisions in television deals that provide for some payments even if there is a lockout, are evidence that owners are planning for the possibility that there won't be a season in 2011.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello noted that the players are going through the process of approving the potential decertification of their union, a move that could be seen as preparing for protracted negotiations.

"There are many preparations taking place, including the union preparing to decertify and go out of business," Aiello said. "Our focus is on negotiating a new agreement with the union. The longer it goes, the tougher it will be and we are not sure if this union plans on continuing to be a union."

Rodgers, the Packers' newly elected player representative to the union, asked the crowd of about 300 fans for their support.

"We're going to keep you guys daily on our minds and we realize how much this means, and affects not only us but this community," Rodgers said. "We thank you for your support, and stand with us. It's going to be a tough fight, but we're trusting that in the end everything's going to turn out to way it's supposed to."

In a meeting Monday, Packers players voted to become the latest NFL team to give the union approval to decertify in the event of a lockout. Decertification would give players the right to sue the NFL under antitrust laws if there is a lockout, a threat that could strengthen the players' position in CBA negotiations.

Smith said lawsuits have played an important role in past gains by the players, referencing late Packers icon Reggie White's role in the implementation of today's free agency system.

"Look, the fact is most of our fans who love this game right now believe mistakenly that free agency was a gift to the players," Smith said. "That's not true. Reggie White and Freeman McNeil put their careers on the line and had to sue for free agency."

But Smith wouldn't say whether the union or individual players currently are considering a new lawsuit, or are simply relying on the threat of legal action to force owners to make concessions in negotiations.

"The only thing that we will do is continue to protect our interest," Smith said.

Smith said players have always been willing to keep playing under an extension of the existing CBA, and reiterated complaints that owners refuse to open their financial records. As the NFL's only publicly owned franchise, the Packers are the only team that makes it financial information public.

The Packers posted an operating profit of approximately $9.8 million in the fiscal year that ended March 31, down from $20.1 million the previous year. Taking into account investment losses that were less severe, the team reported net income of approximately $5.2 million, up from $4 million.

"Show us the financial data that says that the National Football League is in some sort of economic [hardship]," Smith said. "And so far all we've heard back is from their lead negotiator, who said that's none of our business."

Smith took a positive tone when he spoke about his good working relationship with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, but wasn't willing to estimate how likely it was that a new deal could come together in the near future.

"It seems to me that the greatest gift we could possibly give is a Christmas gift where we sign a new deal and tell people that football for our fans is not only going to continue, but the businesses that rely on football and the jobs that this game generates are going to be secure," Smith said.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=5652700
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Old 10-10-2010, 10:46 PM   #2
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Default Re: Union head says owners set for lockout

If they lockout, I'll walk out.
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Old 10-11-2010, 01:54 PM   #3
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Default Re: Union head says owners set for lockout

for me, the way robert kraft is running things is the biggest litmus test of things to come. either he knows something that most dont, or he is taking a huge gamble that there wil indeedl be a lock out.

he isnt dumb, and is a savvy businessman. other than tom brady (who he practically owes stock in the team to) he isnt giving ANY aged veteran an extension.

spending money on moss or seymore makes no sense if they may be losing a year of their career due to a lockout. however stockpiling rookies, 2nd year players, and draftpicks makes all the sense in the world for when there is a return to play. theoretically the younger players skill level wont be on the decline.

look at how they arent even flinching with their aged o-lineman holding out. they arent going to cave as if they know something.

if their "gamble" pays off, they will certainly be in position for a competitive advantage in '12 especially if a salary cap is in place.

many teams will be stuck with rusty overpaid players (cowboys, washington, jets).
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Old 11-04-2010, 05:38 PM   #4
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Default Re: Union head says owners set for lockout

I'm actually here on behalf of the NFL Players Association, and I was just reading through the thread. It sounds like we all agree, we NEED to have an NFL season next year. If you would like to have a say in the situation, take a moment and head on over to NFLLockout.com and sign the petition.
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Old 11-04-2010, 06:00 PM   #5
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Default Re: Union head says owners set for lockout

I read something about the lockout not too long ago, and the article pretty much said if Peyton Manning doesn't get a record breaking type contract this year, there will be a lockout. Because of how well he's played since he signed his first huge contract. So the NFL lockout pretty much depends on whether Manning wants to take a pay cut to keep players on the team or be greedy. I think its unfair to him really.
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Old 11-04-2010, 06:05 PM   #6
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Default Re: Union head says owners set for lockout

Quote:
Originally Posted by lionslicer View Post
I read something about the lockout not too long ago, and the article pretty much said if Peyton Manning doesn't get a record breaking type contract this year, there will be a lockout. Because of how well he's played since he signed his first huge contract. So the NFL lockout pretty much depends on whether Manning wants to take a pay cut to keep players on the team or be greedy. I think its unfair to him really.
The Colts already offered to make Manning the highest paid QB in the NFL. And he said he didn't want to talk about that right now, so if anything. He might be thinking of going to some other team since he pretty much single handily wins all the Colts games anyhow.
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Old 11-04-2010, 06:38 PM   #7
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Default Re: Union head says owners set for lockout

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Originally Posted by TOOLofSTEEL View Post
The Colts already offered to make Manning the highest paid QB in the NFL. And he said he didn't want to talk about that right now, so if anything. He might be thinking of going to some other team since he pretty much single handily wins all the Colts games anyhow.
From what I heard he doesn't want to talk about contract stuff right now because its a distraction and will throw him off his game.

I highly doubt he'll go to another team unless it was the Saints (his dads team and he lives down there), but they have Brees.
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Old 11-14-2010, 10:38 AM   #8
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Default Re: Union head says owners set for lockout

Hey All -
Me again, just wanted to share the letter that we will be sending the owners once we get enough signatures on that petition.

The most staggering line in that letter has to be, "It is estimated that more than 150,000 jobs would be impacted by a lockout and cause more than $140 million in lost revenue in each NFL city." Hopefully this news and all the of the signatures on the petition will be a wake up call to the owners.
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Old 11-14-2010, 11:21 AM   #9
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Default Re: Union head says owners set for lockout

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Originally Posted by NFLLockout View Post
Hey All -
Me again, just wanted to share the letter that we will be sending the owners once we get enough signatures on that petition.

The most staggering line in that letter has to be, "It is estimated that more than 150,000 jobs would be impacted by a lockout and cause more than $140 million in lost revenue in each NFL city." Hopefully this news and all the of the signatures on the petition will be a wake up call to the owners.

I signed.. I think everyone else should too
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Old 11-14-2010, 01:12 PM   #10
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Default Re: Union head says owners set for lockout

Signed. Goodell, the NFL and the owners need to be checked, and the players' union and fans united are the only entities capable of doing that.

Whatever you think of player salaries, the truth is they need to make their money within an average 3-1/2 year window. And besides, owner salaries are higher, and never-ending. And unlike the owners, players never ask the public for subsidies. The good guy are clear here.
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