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Roger Goodell writes op-ed about labor peace

The NFL is at a crossroads, folks, with players wanting to pull in one direction and owners trying to go the other. The NFL is threatening to uproot the labor peace that has marked the game since 1987.

And as we get closer to that March 4 moment when a path is chosen and an enormous problem ensues for fans because they might lose the game they love, watch and ultimately pay for, you are about to see the start of a public relations storm from both sides.

The first bolt in that storm comes from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell who has written an op-ed piece that will appear in newspapers (yeah, we still matter) across the country.

I would estimate it will take the NFLPA about two hours to craft a response. It is on the clock.

Meanwhile, Goodell's piece:

By Roger Goodell

One of the best NFL seasons in history is now over. We salute NFL players for their extraordinary talent and we deeply appreciate the tremendous support of the fans.

The hard work to secure the next NFL season must now accelerate in earnest. We are just weeks from the expiration of our collective bargaining agreement. There has been enough rhetoric, litigation and other efforts beyond the negotiating table. It is time for serious negotiations.

The current agreement expires on March 4, and I cannot emphasize enough the importance of reaching agreement by then. If we as a league — the teams and players’ union — fail to fulfill our shared responsibility to the fans and game, everyone will be worse off — players, teams and fans — starting in March.

This is an opportunity to create a better future for the NFL, to improve the game for our fans, and to expand the economic benefits for the players and teams.

Staying with the status quo is not an option. The world has changed for everyone, including the NFL and our fans. We must get better in everything we do.

The union has repeatedly said that it hasn’t asked for anything more and literally wants to continue playing under the existing agreement. That clearly indicates the deal has moved too far in favor of one side. Even the union’s president knows this — as he said on national radio on January 27: “I think what really happened is in 2006 we got such a great deal. I mean, the players got a good deal and the owners felt they got it handed to them.”

We need an agreement that both sides can live with and obtain what they need, not simply what they want.

Today’s collective bargain agreement does not work as it should from the standpoint of the teams. If needed adjustments are made, the NFL will be better for everyone. The first step is making sure a new collective bargaining agreement is more balanced and supports innovation and growth.

The NFL clubs want to move forward, improve the system, and secure the future of the game for the benefit of players, fans and teams.

The status quo means no rookie wage scale and the continuation of outrageous sums paid to many unproven rookies. In 2009, for example, NFL clubs contracted $1.2 billion to 256 drafted rookies with $585 million guaranteed before they had stepped on an NFL field. Instead, we will shift significant parts of that money to proven veterans and retired players.

The status quo means 16 regular-season and four preseason games — even though fans have rejected and dismissed four preseason games at every opportunity. We need to deliver more value to our fans by giving them more of what they want at responsible prices. This can be achieved if we work together and focus on more ways to make the game safer and reduce unnecessary contact during the season and in the off-season.

The status quo means failing to recognize the many costs of financing, building, maintaining and operating stadiums. We need new stadiums in Los Angeles, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Oakland and San Diego; and the ability for more league investment in new technology to improve service to fans in stadiums and at home.

The status quo means players continuing to keep 60 percent of available revenue, in good years or bad, no matter how the national economy or the economics of the league have changed. From 2001 to 2009, player compensation doubled and the teams committed a total of $34 billion to player costs. The NFL is healthy in many respects, but we do not have a healthy business model that can sustain growth.

Companies with far more revenue than the NFL have gone bankrupt because they mismanaged their costs and failed to address their problems before they became a crisis. The NFL has a track record over many decades of making good decisions that have led to unprecedented popularity. Negotiating a fair agreement will result in billions in pay and benefits to current players, improved benefits for retired players, and a sustainable business model for our teams.

The current deal does not secure the best possible future for the game, players, clubs and fans. The next few weeks must be used to negotiate with intensity and purpose so we can reach a fair agreement by March 4. If both sides compromise and give a little, everyone will get a lot, especially the fans.


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'dem boys is at an impasse. Time for a mediator. A mediator can get his thing done fairly. De Smith and the owners are too pig headed and self serving to do this right and keep football intact. By not having an agreement in place by the deadline, the entire offseason structure - from trades to the draft is affected - for the worse.

The fans lose, the players lose and, ultimately, so will the owners. It is entirely possible the NFL will go the way of MLB, which has never fully recovered from their last labor dispute.

Two comments:
1. How can the players agree to a percentage of revenue when the owners won't open the books to show the revenue.

2. As a fan, I don't object to four preseason games, I object to being charged full price tickets for a scrimmage. If they charged $10 a ticket it would be reasonable.

"And at least we can say the jets streak of championships have been longer.........."

Great point stupid. The Jets streak of losing championships is longer than what? Another brilliant post by the Cuban Menses.

I like it. 18 games would rock. These players can't miss a paycheck because then they would have to wear less bling. They are playing a game and getting paid millions for it. I think they are doing ok.

I don't want 18 games. I like 16 games where each game really means something and 4 preseason games gives unproven guys a chance to shine under the lights in game action while still giving time for the starters to get game ready.

All they have to do is agree on the percentage each side gets... Just talk it out!

If you pay 1 billion for a business you ae entitled to a reasonable return. These are privately held businesses and no private business opens their books to the employees.

Money needs to be set aside for the stadium, marketing, players, retirement, medical, coaching, etc. Expenses are huge to run a business like this. Most business work of a much better ratio of salaries to sales then what the players are asking for. I think the top salaries are getting to high in all sports. It is so expensive for a fan to go to the games that my family quit going. There are plenty of players that want to play. If a few guys don't want to becasue they will make 5 million instead of 7 million then don't play. Base salaries, rookie wages must be addressed. It is the rookies and top earners messing it up.

scab season coming up.lol. hey aloco. can henne do any better against the scabs.?

Lets' get rid of the rhetoric? This letter is nothing but rhetoric!

I hope that fans actually grow a brain and realize what's going on here...

Look I don't know what the f u c k going on but the players and the retired players need to be taken care of if they are seriously injured! The rookies don't deserve the big money they need to prove it on the field first than like everyone one this app, if you do good at your current employment and you produce than you deserve a rise but until than no!! I also believe that owners need to pay for benefits period!! I don't care how much you make pay the f u c k I n g benefits!!! Players need to pay for there own retirement that's it!! Everything else the owners! And the players have the right to vote on new rules and the amount of fines that piece of s h I t Rodger Goodell wants to impose....the players is who make the money! So Rodger F u c k y o u!!

Yeah, you are right, our World(s) have changed, and the ones that do not adapt, will perish.

This time, the NFL's right. Most of the money should go to the veteran's and the retired players. Rewarding huge contract because of college success is ridiculous!
People paying for tickets shouldn't have to watch "Non" NFL players (4) preseason games.

This time around, the players got it all wrong!

Only one point of which I know something about all these "bargainings". If a player is expected to go full out for 18 games, he should be compensated as such. That's it.

Goodell says, "Take money from the players and give it to the owners."

I'd be all for taking money from the players to give to the fans or the rest of the general public, but there's no way I support giving more money to the billionaire owners.

It's unfortunate the players' union can't start their own league, a player owned league.

Goodell just buried the the Player's Union.

With the way the Dolphins played this past season, I would be ok with a lockout! At least it won't mean that they'll look crappy and lose...

The whole thing is studpid! Contracts are signed... IF YOU SIGNED THE CONTRACT THEN HONOR THE CONTRACT!

I felt like Goodell was on the owner's side now, it's a fact. How stupid does he think we are?

Hey Goodell, we can read and understand issues from BOTH sides. Go do what you do best, fine or suspend a player. That's all you're good for.

A scab FINS team might be more exciting to watch. Maybe thats what Ross was refering to.

when I get into football mode in august I don't want to wait a whole month to see a game that counts. I don't care if they go to 18 games but 4 preseason games is too much.
If I had vote I'd say increase the number of players on the roster and move to 18 games.

Players have already accepted a compromise. Last meeting (that the owners walked out of) the players accepted 50% of the whole pie (instead of 60-40% of the football only money). That was the start of a negotiation (since obviously 50% of the whole pie is a lot more than the players are currently getting.) The owners could have said 30% or something, and compromised around 40-45% to the players.

Right now, the 18-game schedule is dead in the water. As it is, Channing Crowder couldn't play an 8-game schedule, so imagine how much he'd be sitting out if the season were 18 games. Who wants to see everyone's 3rd-stringers starting in weeks 17-18 since all the other players will be hurt. Keep it at 16, with a negotiated increase to 18 possibly in the next 3-5 years.

The rookies absolutely, 100% shouldn't be getting 1/2 of what they're getting. It's ridiculous. Odrick came in and got hurt and sat the bench, laughing at Davone Bess who isn't making 1/10 of what Odrick is, yet is helping the team more in 1 game than Odrick has his whole career. EFFE the rookies, they need to show and prove before they get paid.

If we don't have a season, I blame one side and ONE SIDE ONLY, the GREEDY owners!

Boulder, problem is, what you're asking the players is to take less money and work more (since the starters usually don't play much in preseason, plus they train more for regular games, so they'll be working more).

Would YOU be willing to be paid less yet work more hours or days on your job? Doubt it.

Best thing is to negotiate the money end, then let that ride for a couple of years, so the players can get a sense of if they are getting more or less money (overall), then try to work on the 18-game season.

But to do it all in one negotiation, one in which the players are being asked already to take less money, is just plain stupid from a common sense standpoint.

I'm with you on this one DC. BTW, the players are pretty much on board with rookie scale. The union reps aren't but there's a good reason: They don't trust the owners to use money for retired players.

A true sign of the times. If you wanna play ball you've gotta make a baby with the devil! LOL....................

New Stadium in LA for the LA Dolphins

Mando, That's a old letter from Goodall, it's at least 2 weeks old, come on scoop.........

Rookie Scale will be changed. The pot will be split 65 35. The schedule will stay the same.
Next question.


If this team becomes the LA Dolphins I hope every Miami Dolphin fan destroys all of thier memorabilia. I plan to keep mine because the value will go way up! LOL.................

Owners will not budge from the 18 gm stance. That's th totall impasse of trying to renegotiate a new agreement. Owners are not willing to wait another 5-6yrs or whtever the new cba length is to get thier 18 gm season.

That's exactly what has the 2011 season at the brink of lockout. If there's no 18gm season forget about nfl football for 2011 boys.

Breed, I think that's what Steven(Hollywood)Ross had in mind all along, That way he'll be closer to his Hollywood "B list" buddies, Seems like a movie I once saw though, Cant really remember the name of it though...

The LA Dolphins???? Ain't gonna happen.

But what the hey... The Dolphins would blend in well with the rest of the misfit teams.

As I said in all my posts.. This owner ROSS is a joke and loser. He does not deserve to own an NFL team.

Question??? Did the NFL put ROSS through the same ringer like then did with "others" who wanted to own an NFL team. Example = RUSH who wanted to own a team but the NFL wouldn't allow that and discriminated against him.

So HOW the Hell did ROSS get clearance or does the NFL have a tree with an envelope that ROSS or his peps visited??

Things that make you go hum.

"G", I think they gave(NFL) the clearance for Ross knowing he's a loser and would keep Miami Stagnant while he owns the team, Seems they(NFL) hates anything related to Miami and only loves there flagship team New England... Conspiracy???, Maybe Home should check this out....lol...


Ross didnt have to go under the scrutiny test. He was already a minority owner. Huizenga only sold him controlling interests. Ross then offset some of those cost by selling tiny shares to his b-list of minority clients.

You know if you say his name(Home) 3 times he appears, just like in the move "Beetljuice)..

Cuban, what's up with Reality? He has a hating for you big time?

DB, owners are bullies used to getting their way. On everything else (money, rookies, etc.) I think the players are willing to compromise. But a lot of these guys are "street"-wise. And principle won't let them agree to less pay, more work. It's simple as that really. No need to understand anything else. And I don't blame 'em. If the owners aren't willing to budge on 18 games, then if I'm a player I try to find a part-time job for a year. Because the players will hurt, but think about what an owner will do once the rent comes due on those empty stadiums. It'll be a disaster (for the owners). Owners WILL cave after a few weeks during the season. Players should hang tough.

DC, Missed it, probably "NJ Flim flam" or maybe aloco, I rag on him constantly and really shouldn't...

Oh, dude, you should go back and read it. I was gonna get your back it was so hateful. But usually that entices them more, so I let him go. It was at the end of the last blog.

No one is talking about how much these companies (the teams) have increased in value. If they can't make enough money sell their teams for a huge profitsand buy a company that has a different class of employee.

The stadiums issue is impossible to see as a strong point for the owners since they blackmail cities and demand public assistance for them. The owners are a group of extremely wealthy egomaniacs who have no earthly idea what it is like to sacrifice their bodies and minds for entertainment. Unfortunately for the fans this is where they can feel like they have big ones and beat the much younger, much stronger, much more courageous men.

DC that's not what I'm saying at all. I think they should still get paid for game 17 and 18 the same way they get paid for the other games. If a player is getting 1million/game then they should make 2m more/year if they move to 18 games. I also think they should add to the roster and increase the number of players. I mean it used to be 14 games before it went to 16. So it can be done

This is one fan that is perfectly fine with a 16-game schedule.



I hear you Boulder, but that's not what the owners are saying. They want the players to take a 18% cut (something like that). At the same time, they're saying add 2 games.

Now, what they're saying (in theory) is the players will make more money, but c'mon, these players aren't accountants. The players hear, "pay cut, extra games." So they see themselves giving, but the owners doing nothing but taking (no compromise on their part). What do the players get out of the longer season (besides some extra money (in theory))? Reason I say 'in theory' is because most players believe the extra games will shorten their careers. And I agree. Football is much more physical and taxing then when they increased from 14 to 16 games. The players are stronger, bigger, faster. NFL is trying to reduce the concussions and violent hits, but it's a process and cuts too close to the essence of the game.

So, I understand the players' unwillingness to touch that 3rd rail. Kevin Carter (former DE for Titans) was on a show here and said extending the season would make players like him (having a 14-yr career) a thing of the past. Especially for the guys in the trenches.

Owners CAN get everything they want (pretty much) if they were smart about it. Do it gradually. Deal with the money first. Then work into the longer season. Doing it all at once it too big a pill to swallow for the players.

Dying Breed... The 2 additional games is far from the biggest hangup in this negotiation. Yes the owners want it in this next CBA. But I have to disagree that next season is riding on weather or not the players accept this. This is all about cash. The owners have plenty, and do not have to budge. They want a broken Union, and will holdout until they have a deal that suits themselves. The owners hold the cards here.

The players on the other have much more to lose. Most of the players do not make top salaries. Those absent game checks that the majority of players depend on will no doubt begin to make cracks in the solidarity of the players. The union has made a few proposals, only to be totaly shot down by ownership. Reportedly the owner of the Carolina Panthers is leading the charge to stay the course and make no proposals until after the March 3rd deadline.

Remember, the owners will make a ton from television revenue, with no payroll, season tickets sold,little overhead if the season is a wash. Yes the 400 million dollars lost for each wasted game may make it tough for some owners to pass up. But it seems like they are dug in, and ready for the long haul. But back to the original point. The 18 games is a big deal, but not the biggest obsticale in this mess.

Usually I'm in the middle when it comes to millionares versus billionares, but what other company gives their employees half of all revenues? I understand they do all the work, get the hell beat out of them, and have short careers. But it doesn't seem that outragous of a request by the owners to take a pay cut, likely 5-7 percent, or add 2 games and keep the 50-50 split. I think the major problem is the new NFLPA rep. Upshaw played football, worked in the NFL front offices, and had good relations with everyone involved. From everything I've seen and read about Smith, he's telling everyone this is war and making threats. There def needs to be a middle man in there some how. In the end though, I highly doubt there is a lockout that cost the league games. I think a deal gets done right before or after the draft.

Pretty close Darryl. The 2 extra games mean more money in the owners pockets. In actuality, they couldn't care less if they played 6 games as long as they got their money.

BTW, they have to pay TV money back with interest if they start missing games. That's why this thing might last a while.

Cocoajoe...Are you sure that the teams have to payback the TV rights? Listening to Florio on the radio today and he had a different take. That one of the reasons the owners could holdout was they got that money season or no season. That the contract has already been paid. Where they would lose revenue is in the lost games, about 400 million a week. I could have misinterpreted what he was saying. If you know what the deal is I would like to be set straight...

The whole situation is getting messy. Especially if the courts get involved. This would no doubt prolong any lockout as the system will take forever to come to any ruling. Much like the baseball lockout. It came down to a court decision to settle the disagrement. Can't they all just get along???

Darryl, the teams get their money, guaranteed. The players get a small amount to share....


The owners have all the leverage. The only reason they are "pretending" to be open to negotiations is really a PR stunt.

The NFLPA was told in the Special Masters litigation case that the TV reveues guranteed for 2011 was a violation of the Reggie White settlement. However, it is still allowing the owners to collect that money-whether their is a lockout or not. And there is no statement that I found that said the owners ahve to pay that money back with interest.

So, like it was mentioned before-the owners sole objective is to break the union..and unfortunately they have all the leverage to do that. Might not mean we won;t have a seasonbut this is gonna destroy the offseason.

Darryl, this isn't exactly what I was looking for but it will do.

The league quickly announced the decision as a victory on Twitter. With that said, they stressed in a media session last month that they will ultimately have to pay back the television contract money with interest if games are missed.


Darryl, that was from www.footballsfuture.com

I think I originally read about it in PB Post







Give me Kolb or Orton.And a fast reciever. The draft is overated. Go free agency.


The "Blame the rich owners" thinking is way off base. And generally spoken by people who have no investment in anything beyond what they have on the dresser top. It is the same garbage you hear in the business community. A man goes to school and bust his butt getting good grades and doing the right thing. While morons on Mommy and Daddy's dime party all night and spend 90% of their educational time stoned to the Dejesus and complaining about having no time to do homework.
Guy's who work hard buys a company or starts one on his own and bust his butt building it up. Using HIS name and HIS credit to buy what is needed. Is 100% on the hook for EVERYTHING when and if it all goes bad and still has to listen to person he gives jobs to... so that he can support THEIR family tell him HE is bad because HE wants the Lion's share of the profits.
It is the Typical Liberal/Progressive "The world owes me" and where is my entitlement check thinking. This is not the 19th century, There are clear cut labor laws that keep business owners from using labor unfairly or not paying an agreed upon wage.
These NFL player deserve their fair share of the pie. They deserve to be extremely well paid. But don't get it twisted, take the owners out of the equation and the game disappears in it current form. Just like if you take away the company owners ability to earn at a level that makes their sacrifice and their responsibility worthwhile by taxing them into saying it is no longer worth the trouble... jobs disappear and economies dry up.
Unless you want to go live in a communist society where you have NO FUTURE beyond that which is given you, it is suggested that you become the master of your own world and not the worker in anthers. That is if you feel that being a worker or employee is an unfair or degrading proposition.
If it all goes wrong tomorrow, be it in the NFL or at the place where you work... The players or you and me go home and find a new job. The guy who you worked for is on the hook to his creditors, the IRS, Vendors, Insurance, Utilities, Maintenance, Upgrades and repairs and the most expensive of all... Payroll and the taxes a business owner must pay on that payroll for Workers Compensation insurance. A tax which is upward to $.40 on a $1 Dollar. So remember when you earn $100 bucks that the owner of the company you work for pays you the $100 and the Feds $40. Sound like a GREAT DEAL to you? Still sound like a "Greedy Owner"?
Grow up and stop acting as those who face that responsibility with grace every day owe you anything more then what you agreed upon. Because neither he/her nor anyone else does. YOU are your own responsibility. YOU are responsible for what you have and do not have. THAT is what being a free person in a free market society is really all about. That is what people risk EVERYTHING to come here to the USA desire. And what CLOWNS who take it all for granted and have no clue about life outside of their own little mind cannot comprehend. Don't like it? There are several Communist/Socialist Nations to move to. I hear they always need people to do the Big Bosses bidding for what HE tells you you'll earn. And you will do it... or you will starve and be thrown in a work camp to be re-educated. THAT is what the USSR was... Take care when you go to close the door behind you.

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