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Owners refused to meet with players last week


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Buried at the very bottom of a mailbag from ESPN’s John Clayton is a nugget that should have gotten much more prominent treatment from the boys and girls in Bristol.

In response to a question regarding whether the lawyers handling the antitrust lawsuit between the players and the NFL could try to work out the labor situation, Clayton says that the players “planned to meet with the owners March 28 and spend the week settling this mess,” but that the owners refused.

So how in the **** is that at the bottom of a Q&A column in the dot-com alphabet junkyard and not on the bottom of the ESPN ticker?

Clayton goes on to explain that the only thing needed was the preparation of a “short document” for Judge Susan Nelson explaining that the NFLPA* Executive Committee would participate in the talks as “advisors.” But the league said, “No.”

The fact that the players planned to spend last week “settling this mess” implies that the two sides had been talking about possibly getting together. And it could have happened without any document going to Judge Nelson. Instead, and as we’ve said several times, the parties need only to agree that nothing regarding the format or structure of the settlement talks will be used by the NFL against the players in as to the question of whether the decertification of the union was legitimate. Then, the talks could occur with the lawyers handling the antitrust case in the background and the parties taking charge of their destinies.

And if the players wanted to have the NFLPA* Executive Committee involved in the settlement talks without any “short document” going to the judge, the members of the Executive Committee should have been the named plaintiffs in the antitrust lawsuit. Some, like Drew Brees and Mike Vrabel, are. But instead of using more of them, the players opted for P.R., reeling in big names like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.

Either way, it’s unfortunate that the two sides couldn’t find a way back to the table. We suspect that the league ultimately bears the blame for dragging their feet, based on an educated hunch that superlawyer David Boies mesmerized the owners last month at the league meetings in New Orleans, causing most if not all of them to conclude that they’ll win the first, and perhaps most critical, round of the antitrust lawsuit when the players try to force an end to the lockout while the litigation proceeds.

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Most large businesses do not meet with non-unionized workers to discuss work rules and compensation, especially when these workers have filed a lawsuit. The players only have their current contracts, which are substantial however.

This sums it up. The NFL refuses to meet with the players unless they're represented as a union. If they hadn't decertified, they could've talked it through.

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This sums it up. The NFL refuses to meet with the players unless they're represented as a union. If they hadn't decertified, they could've talked it through.

Decertified my ***......they aren't decertified they use it as a ploy and are stll calling all the shots , the owners were right to refuse the talks with things as they stand .

If the judge was smart ( very few of those imo ) they would know this is just BS from the players union

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I wouldn't either. The players brought on this litigation, not wanting to negotiate anymore.

Players must not have a great vibe about Doty's up coming decision (cant see why not, he is their puppet)

I think with 2 NFL player taking work for other football leagues, it is gonna hurt them claiming the NFL is a monopoly.

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I wouldn't either. The players brought on this litigation, not wanting to negotiate anymore.

Players must not have a great vibe about Doty's up coming decision (cant see why not, he is their puppet)

I think with 2 NFL player taking work for other football leagues, it is gonna hurt them claiming the NFL is a monopoly.

I was under the impression that Doty is not the one ruling on this anymore.

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According to what I read, the owners refused to meet the players with representation by the NFLPA. The players decertified. The NFLPA has no right to be there. The NFLPA were trying to flex their muscles throughout this entire process. They took a stubborn stance about seeing the books and were unwilling to negotiate without seeing them. They also fed the notion to the players. Frankly, the NFLPA has not contributed positively towards negotiations up to this point. If I was an owner, I wouldn't allow the NFLPA to be present at anything without a court order and I would file harassment and try to get a restraining order if they continued to try to intervene.

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The idea of this meeting is 6 one way half a dozen the other.

The NFLPA stated this was an attempt to have settlement talks in order to settle the lawsuit that was filed against the NFL. This is the same approach they took back in 87 which led to free agency and an eventual salary cap, etc..... They sued the NFL and won the first lawsuit, which lead to the NFL negotiating to end the reamining lawsuits. That's when the union reformed in 93 and a new CBA was signed

The NFL has openly stated throughout this entire process, that if the NFLPA decides to decertify and litigate, they will not negotiate through "Settlement talks" again, but only through collective bargaining; which cannot be done while the NFLPA is a trade organization

Basically, the NFLPA wants to have its cake and eat it too. They "decertified" and became a trade organization so they could legally sue the NFL under anti-trust laws. Now, they are trying to negotiate a new CBA under the guise of "Settlement Talks" which they are allowed to do instead of "collective bargaining" which they are not currently allowed to do.

You ask me, i think this further goes to show the courts that the NFLPA's decertification truly is a sham and a negotiation technique with the intent to reform and sign a new CBA as opposed to a true dissolution of a union. It helps prove to me that the Union negotiated in bad faith with the intent of pursuing this legally throughout the whole process.

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What would have been the point of the meeting? The players won't have anything new to offer before their case is heard today and probably not even then. It was just posturing to try and grab public sentiment.

I agree with this and also, if the PA agreed, the owners would have more "proof" that the PA are indeed still acting like a Union.

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^This. If they keep this back and forth crap up, they will lose fans. I don't know how many, but it will hurt their pockets... all of them.

I really don't see many playoff team's fans jumping ship, (except Seahawks maybe), because like most of us, we are looking forward to next year's run at the playoffs. NFL football is just way too big for that. But I could see that happening in Detroit though.

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The judge will rule today on the players complaints that its illegal for the league to lockout its players / employees.

The league is obviously comfortable that the player request will be be denied today in court which will increase their leverage.

It makes sense to wait until after this ruling if you believe the judge will rule in your favor which the league seems to believe will be the case. Its a sign of weakness from the players to ask to speak a day before the judge hears their complaint of a lockout being illegal. It shows that the players have little confidence in their own complaint.

Edited by coachx
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