League Loses Leverage From Within? Coaches Revolting?

As of today, the NFL and the owners had the pendulum of leverage swinging in their direction.  The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the league and did not lift the lockout.  Most believe that will be the case on June 3rd when the court will make a permanent ruling.  Earlier today, I reported that several players and an agent have had enough and want answers and a return to the negotiation table.  A further swing of that pendulum towards the owners side.  I also said that more “dominos” would fall.

The next one has fallen and it appears that some of that leverage that the owners had going their way, has shifted back towards the players a little bit.  Surprisingly it comes from within their own rank and file.  According to Adam Schefter, a contingent of head coaches and assistant coaches have filed a letter to the 8th Circuit supporting the demands of the players to have the lockout lifted.

While they don’t specifically say they are siding with the players in the labor mess, they obviously are fed up with having their pay cut.  Upwards of 40% on some teams.  It’s still not known what teams coaches are part of that group or how the owners will react when one of their currently paid staff is working against them.

The coaches have every right to express their discontent with the lockout especially considering that regardless of whether the lockout is lifted now or later, some of their jobs will still hang on the outcome of their teams 2011 season.  Not having players available to practice and/or workout adds to any in-season failure.  It’s only a matter of time before employees who are taking unwanted furloughs or pay cuts start sending letters themselves.

The league needs to sit down with the players reps and come to a mutual agreement to lift the lockout, begin free agency, and continue negotiations.  Provided the players are willing to drop their litigation lawsuit and go back to the mediation that both sides need to get a deal done.  It’s a good faith measure on the leagues part to repair damage done in the “trust” department, and a sign of good faith on the part of the players that leverage is no longer as important as working.

Also earlier today, the league announced the planned rule changes regarding penalties to teams who repeatedly violate the defenseless player contact rules.  Not surprisingly, in the middle of a labor fight where the players are hanging a “league doesn’t care about our safety” sign on the door, that James Harrison and Lamar Woodley of the Pittsburgh Steelers both spoke out against the rule changes and called the decision makers idiots.   Go figure.

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Tags: 8th Circuit Court Of Appeals NFL Lockout NFLPA

  • http://www.phinzmaia.com Phinzmania Padre

    Players unions from the various sports want the lockout lifted and now the coaches – will they all agree, in writing to NEVER strike? Professional sports has seen it’s share of players strikes yet they want to prevent the owners from striking (lockout). They can’t have it both ways.

    I am just about done with the players completely – If I buy merchandise, going forward, it will be team branded only – I am sick of these prima-donnas.

    • Brian Miller

      I stopped buying player labeled merchandise a long time ago…back after the 87 strike actually. Don’t even own a Dan Marino jersey. I bought an authentic Phins jersey and had my name put on the back…wish I would have been smart enough to put the number 72 on it with perfect on the name plate.

  • corners

    Im not surprised at all they came out against the new rules meant to protect players. Their cries about an 18 game season and injuries are fake. They have just as much chance to get hurt at practice for a preseason game as they do for practice for a real game. They just want more money.

    Personally i don’t buy the injury excuse and if it was the case i think most fans love seeing no names step up from the bench and tear it up earning themselves a starter spot.

    Also, i just read a story today about how players are calling the union rep lawyer smith and telling him to get things moving and negotiate now rather then leave it up to the courts.
    Sounds to me that some players, all fans, and some coaches just want the show to go on the road and compromise.

    The lawyers involved don’t have compromise in their vocab. Its win or win bigger.