Could An End To Labor Issue Be Near?

The title was supposed to read that Brandon Marshall finally is keeping his mouth shut…unfortunately, it’s in regards to not talking to the police regarding the stabbing from his wife he took over a month ago.  Marshall is simply not helping the police in their investigation and won’t until they lift the “no-contact” order that keeps them from talking.  I realized as I started to write this that I simply had nowhere else to go with it.

Then I thought, well, I would talk about Channing Crowder’s claim that the NFL this year will be simplified and have more injuries than usual due to the lack of off-season workout (which by the way they want reduced in the next CBA) and that many 1st and 2nd year players would be out of money soon if not already.  Then I realized that Crowder only made the injury comments to cover his own rear when he once again goes down with an injury a month or two into the season and will have someone else to blame for it.  The simplified play on the field was a no-brainer as we pretty much see nothing but from Crowder.  What’s funny is I actually like Crowder…a lot.  Just not as a starter.

So my morning came to a swift conclusion that once again, I would have to struggle with something to write about that would fill a page or so.  Thank you David Akers, Coy Wire,, and Jason Snelling. And thank you Joe Linta.  The four of you not only have given me something fruitful to write this morning but it appears that perhaps an end to this lockout mess may very well be coming to a conclusion.


According a report on David Akers has had enough.  He publicly stated that he doesn’t know what is going on and believes that the two sides need to be bargaining a new agreement rather than letting this all play out in the courts.  Think of the next few paragraphs as domino’s you set up on a table.  Akers said that he has gone so far as to call DeMaurice Smith and voice his concerns on the direction that the former NFLPA reps are taking this.

“I called De Smith myself and just said, ‘You know what, what’s going on here? Where are we really and where are the owners at and what are we doing actively to get this thing done?’  You know, myself, I’m not the biggest guy as far as dealing with lawyers and all that stuff and getting the courts, I just think we need to find what’s good for the game and get a deal done.  Ultimately, I mean people want to have their football.  A lot of people are starting to get hurt — people are losing jobs right now.  It’s time to get it all figured out in my opinion, but nobody asks my opinion.” – from PFT

Jason Snelling also has come out and said that the process is not going forward and that no one really has his back in this mess.  Snelling could become a 4 year veteran free agent under a new CBA but his concerns are that the legal teams are more interested in gaining leverage than getting the players back on the field under a fair agreement.

My thoughts on it really is that we need to get back to the bargaining table,” Snelling said.  “I’ve actually spoken to one of my reps . . . . We kind of feel like at a point like this, you know, with everything that’s going through the courts, that all these court dates and everything but nothing’s getting resolved.  We kind of wonder at some point, what are we really fighting for?  Do we want to play, do we want to just keep these things through the courts?  I know that a lot of guys may feel like going through the courts and taking it to the end and waiting for a judge to make a ruling may work, but after they make another ruling, we still don’t have a Collective Bargaining Agreement.” – from PFT

While Snelling and Akers are hardly two of the top names in the league, they do represent the majority of the guys playing the game.  The middle of the road average NFL salaried player.  In other words they are not in that top 5% of the league in pay.  Coy Wire also has spoken out about his concerns with the labor issues and the approach that the players side has taken.

Remember that “domino” comment?  Well if you hit that first domino, the rest are likely to fall after it.  Now, word is that player agent Joe Linta who represents some 40 plus NFL’ers has had enough as well, which means that those players he represents likely have had enough too.  Linta wants a copy of the last proposal made by the league and has said that he wants to review it and present it to his players.  He cites the fact that there is no NFLPA union anymore and thus the players are not properly being informed on what is going on.

“I’d like to see it myself so when I talk to my 45 guys, I can show them what it is – since there is no union,’’ Linta told Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I would like Mr. Rooney to forward the offer to me. I represent two percent of the union, I’m not insignificant. Let me ask you something, who has the players’ back more, the players union or the player’s agent? Why can’t I get copy of this and disseminate it to my players?” – from PFT

I have contested all along that my support lies with the owners mainly for one reason only.  The fact that the players representatives, specifically DeMaurice Smith and Jeff Kessler have no other intentions than to grandstand and make this labor situation a political one.  That the best interests of the game and the players themselves are not being satisfied by those who represent them but instead the interests of those representing were being served.

On March 11th, the NFL and the owners made a proposal to extend talks.  The NFLPA declined unless the league opened their books for the last 10 years.  So negotiations didn’t continue.  The league then made a proposal to the NFLPA.  While the NFLPA was reviewing the proposal in Washington, D.C., an attorney was filing decertification papers in Minnesota and a lawsuit that inevitably landed on the desk and docket of Susan Nelson.  They never responded to the offer aside from the public announcement that it was, according to them, “The worst offer in the history of sports”.

The opinion of a few players won’t change the direction of the litigation anymore than an agents proclamation that he wants to present his 43 players with the last proposal, but it will likely ignite others to come forward and start voicing their concerns as well with the process or lack there of.  And if as Jason Snelling alluded to, the team reps are in the dark as well and wondering what is going on, as a player Email to me openly said last week, then more and more pressure will be placed on the 11 names on that litigation document to get back to the negotiating table and get a new deal done now.

Jason Snelling said that there is no reason to wait until the 8th Circuit makes a formal decision on the lockout ruling that now is the best time to get a fair deal while neither side has a huge upper hand over the other.

And he is right.  And maybe, just maybe, this whole thing will be over with soon so I can get back to writing about Brandon Marshall’s mouth and Channing Crowders’ excuses.

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Tags: Brandon Marshall Channing Crowder David Akers DeMaurice Smith Jason Snelling Jeffery Kessler Joe Linta Miami Dolphins NFL Lockout

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