« LaCanfora: Orton won't be available either | Main | Marc Bulger perhaps more attractive than you think »

Ross raises serious questions in USA Today

The NFL spring meeting adjourned in Indianapolis on Wednesday but before he left town, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross talked to USA Today and addressed Miami's cost-cutting measures.

Look, the cost-cutting measure are what they are. Big business in America is hurting and it is taking measures to protect itself. So are local and state governments for that matter. It is a sad fact of life in today's bad economy and employees, such as those working for the Dolphins or Miami Herald for that matter, are always free to go work elsewhere if they are disgruntled about cost-cutting measures.

That said, the USA Today interview with Ross is eyebrow-raising for a couple of reasons.

First: Ross shows hints of a person suffering from buyer's remorse.

"The emotions of wanting to own a team were greater than the fact that this might be coming," Ross said of his purchase despite the looming lockout that everyone knew was coming. "You always figured that something like this, you know, it's going to get resolved. It's a question of when. Hopefully it will be sooner rather than later."

Ross paid $1.1 billion for the Dolphins in 2008-2009 and that investment dropped in value almost immediately as the economy tanked, particularly the real estate economy in South Florida. He's mentioned how that wasn't a great investment short-term. Wednesday, he mentioned how the work stoppage is not a great time to be an owner.

"Who the hell wants to own a team and not play?" he said. "It's about having a system that works. It's not about a bunch of greedy owners. It's a bunch of players looking to see how much they can really get."

And that leads me to troubling issue No. 2.

Ross doesn't call the NFL players greedy outright. But he implies the problem with getting a new collective bargaining agreement is, again, "a bunch of players looking to see how much they can really get."

Isn't that another way to say greedy?

Ross, who deals often with unions as a New York city businessman, is careful not to alienate them. But he's not quite as careful about alienating the players because apparently he doesn't equate their union with labor unions.

"We negotiate with unions all the time, and there are issues there," Ross said. "But they're not the same types of issues. When you're dealing with guys earning over $1 million a year — the average salary is, what, $1.87 million? — you're not talking about the same kind of labor issues. Are these really labor issues? These are not labor issues.

"There should be no sympathy in the labor movement in America for these ballplayers. It's a different deal."


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Ross raises serious questions in USA Today:


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Swag U | May 26, 2011 at 05:51 PM

You are the only person in the world that believes that. You are very naive indeed. Its all about money and fame and more money, nothing else.

This crap is going to hurt this Country in many different ways. I, for one, won't stand for it.

fin4life: perhaps now you can get a glimpse at how Internet mobilizes opinions.

This afternoon we had a nice pow wow about who`s in the right and who`s in the wrong. I for one think that if I had the money to invest and could actually buy an NFL team that it entitled me to get the most I could out of my investment. I think that the players are looking to not only make more but maybe set the league on another restructuring like the one we saw in the early 90`s while that one worked because FA has been good for the game another one aimed at turning players into what amounts to being there respective team owners partner is outlandish and crazy.

It could very well not only change Pro Football as we know it but Pro Sports as a whole when the NBA goes to negotiate there CBA this offseason and there players see what the NFL ones got don`t you think they will look to retructure there league in much the same fashion ? MLB as well, were will it all end ? I for one can almost guarentee you that if this passes the owners by the majority vote Jerry Jones is already working on of 60% will pass a new rule in there ownership deal killing revenue sharing which will start an all out war for having the best competitive edge which we all know means bigger money to pass around to FA mercenaries while basically killing small market teams. This is one of the real dangers associated with this.

I for one think that it gets nipped in the bud sooner than later but not before weeks one or two of the regular season. It will be then that we will witness the great stampeed to the negotiating tables again when players after missing game checks demand that a new CBA gets done. The owners will want this to or is everybody under the impression that the big networks won`t go after there money when they have no product and don`t forget merchandise Dollars as well which generate over 1 Billion anualy as well.

Am I missing something here? This is a Lock out right? Not a player strike... The players didn't walk away from anything. The owners did. The players didn't complain about their salaries and decide they weren't going back to work. The owners said, we're not making enough and until we are, "don't come back to work". The owners are crying that they're either losing money or not making enough so they are willing to lose football to get more. Don't get me wrong, I agree there needs to be changes in football on both sides but for Ross to say what he said makes no sense at all. The owners are the ones complaining here. If you're losing money and want more of a share, then show your books. Not just to the players but the fans as well. But we all know the truth here. The owners aren't losing anything. Calling the players greedy is one thing but we all know you don't get where the owners get without being cutthroat.

Also lets not compare NFL players to normal Joe's in the workplace. It's a stupid argument and I'm not sure why anybody would even go there. Professional athletes make a lot of money due to what their profession is. I'm willing to pay $150 for a Brandon Marshall jersey. I'm not going to do the same for the guy that handles my IT support. I appreciate what he does for me, but when he does his job right, I'm not cheering like I am when Marshall makes a big play on the field.

Both sides need to make changes. Rookies shouldn't get the kind of money they get. It makes no sense at all for a guy to get that kind of money without proving anything on the field. But at the same time, it's the owners that have allowed these salary increases to happen every year. They should have taken a stand against that a long time ago but instead, choose to pay more every year.

Regardless everybody involved be it the players or owners are making A LOT of money. I want Football bottom line. But I'm not going to sit here and blame the players for something they didn't ask for. The owners are NOT innocent in this. Blaming Demaurice is pointless. He's doing exactly what he's supposed to. Calling the owners on their BS and defending the players.

I find it hard to feel sorry for the players, especially after Channing Crowder's recent comments about players running out of money. He states newer players are suffering because of house payments and payments on $100,000 cars. If these players would handle their finances like other citizens, they would be in better financial shape for less money. If the owners did not have to pay overinflated salaries to players that don't meet expectations, perhaps operating expenses could decrease, which may trickle down to the fans with better ticket prices in this tough economy.

No question Rdnkvet. Generally, the players are in a superior financial position than the average citizen, however it's nonsense to think that the players should not be exposed to the risks assumed by anyone else in any financial climate. You get what you put in.

If the Players win = death to small market teams & FA as we know it.
If the Owners win = football is preserved and balance is restored



I have nothing relevant to contribute, we have trashed this subject. Let's settle and play some football!



Anyone here make 2 million a year

Aloco, yes, true, I was in bed with her! Sorry!



Hilarious. If the players get their way, only nflpa execs, their lawyers, and the top 5%-10% of players win. The same cba that dictates a salary cap also dictates a salary floor and veteran minimum. You think an average 6th year kicker would make $850k in that environment? How about your long snapped? 2nd year back up ILB earning $550k?
Hmm... think the player's aren't being greedy? Look at the names on the complaint... all guys who stand to gain in virtue of their elite skills at the cost of guys at the bottom 2/3 of the roster. None of them seem to care about how those guys are paying their bills.

Aloco, so I'm I! My youngest son is graduating number 8 out of 500 students at his high school, I'm done! It's sports and travel for me!

I'm leaving you for the pool guy !!!!

Carlos, making that much money, pay your bills... There are guys making 50 grand that are struggling!

I ask the question ,why she asked 0x80 for the divorce ?

0x80, I got your back, I've been through 2 divorces and expect a 3rd. I understand!



I have no sympathy for them either. My only point was that these ultra-rich players don't care about their own teammates and that may be the greediest part of this entire process but it's rarely brought up.

By the way...the average player doesn't make 1.8 Million....

The vast majority of rank and file players on each team make between 500 and 600K.
(Check the Dolphins roster if you have doubts.)

The Salaries of the few 'elite' players on each team drastically raise what the Owners scream is the "AVERAGE" Salary.
M A T H.

The reality of the of the matter is that the owners got caught red handed lying about their profits.

That's why they didn't want to open the rest of the books.
How can you honestly go into a negotiation if your withholding information from the start...?

Sounds like totalitarianism to me.

I got to say that if the HEAT can pull out a win like that after there worst collective game of the series there is no beating them and I don`t care who you put in front of them!!!!!!!!!!! LETS GO HEAT!!!! LETS GO HEAT!!!!!! LETS GO HEAT!!!!!!! LETS GO HEAT!!!!!!! LETS GO HEAT!!!!!!! LETS GO HEAT!!!!!!!! LETS GO HEAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gentlemen, I live in Chicago. I'm an attorney out here. Please know that we Heat fans will be well-represented tomorrow, and I will do my best to have the team's name quoted in a court transcript, just cuz

Check out the district court complaint and NFL answer. Owners never claimed that they were losing money, they only claimed that profits were down. There is a difference. And considering the country has been in recession since the last cba and the one public team has had a decrease in profits in each of the last 3 years, I tend to think they may be telling the truth.

1.6 gross redsky

The players want to be partners?

They should be allowed to see the books?

They deserve a 50/50 split of the revenue?

Why? Is it because of all the money they have invested in the NFL?

Oh wait, did I say money the players have invested in the NFL?

My bad. They invest in Titty Bars, Escalades, Brazilian Holidays, and tons and tons of fancy BLING!

Oh yeah, they also invest in attorneys to handle all them wicked women making all those false allegations about them too, wink, wink.

Anyhoo.......what was I thinking? These PARTNERS can't invest THEIR money in THEIR NFL. Heck, I heard some of them can't even afford to pay their child support.................

PS: If the players are partners with the owners, shouldn't the Owners be getting a 50/50 split from their player/partners multi-million dollar endorsement deals?

Yeah........that's what I thought..........

ODIN!!! I agree! Thanks for saying what I was thinking! Go Heat!




I would be pissed if I were Ross as well. Having to watch that bunch of douche bags go 1-7 at home would make you wonder WTF they are getting paid.

The reality of the of the matter is that the owners got caught red handed lying about their profits.

-Never happened. Don't know where you came up with this fantasy.

That's why they didn't want to open the rest of the books.

-Your initial premise never happened, that means your wrong here as well. Guess again?

How can you honestly go into a negotiation if your withholding information from the start...?

-How about you give me your bank accounts and investment info, oh yeah, and a list of all your assets, liquid and otherwise, THEN we'll start negotiating on how much I'll charge you for installing your pool?

-I don't even know why I typed that last paragraph. Judging by your absurd statements, I'm SURE you totally missed it.

Sounds like totalitarianism to me.

-When a business OWNER has to open up his financial records to EMPLOYEES to enter into "negotiations", THAT my friend, is FAR WORSE than totalitarianism!

Posted by: sug | May 26, 2011 at 11:36 PM


By saying the owners caused this mess; do you mean because they agreed to the previous CBA that was a very lengthy and lucrative agreement, heavily favoring the players?

Just curious?

nobody should know what the players or owners make. any job you go to usually has a policy that you can get fired if you discuss your wages to other employees because it creates hardships and jealousy. if the fans and media never know the $$$ amounts, then people would shut their mouths. everywhere you look these days, people are in everyone elses business. the owners, the players, the nfl, and the media should stop broadcasting how much $$$ players and teams make in all sports period. that would end alot of backlash. fans will try to punnish teams and make them suffer. there is so much hate in this world, we need to all come together. read any news article on yahoo news or most any sites comments. 95% criticize everyone and everything. people want to hate everything and everyone. lets all come together as one and start respecting each other...

odin @12:55,

Alot of the people who post here like Justin don`t understand that the minute the 2006 CBA was negotiated by Paul Tagliabue the owners feeling betrayed by him had it in mind to excersice there option to opt out of it. Tagliabue took over the league in 88 after Roselle had gone thru 2 strikes in a 5 year span.

He wanted his legacy in tact after his 18 year run as Comissioner, remember players never dreamed they could make more than 800 to 900,000 a year unless they were Q.B.`s before Tags brokered the 1st TV contracts for the 90 season. It might help you remember if I remind you of FOX outbidding CBS for the rights to NFC Ball at a wopping 1 Billion per which CBS said would bankrupt the newly founded TV Station, ironically CBS just 3 short years later would jump NBC by breaking FOX`s TV deal in getting the rights for the AFC.

This and labor peace were and always will be his legacy to the game, so in his final season as Comissioner in 06 he was given by the owners who trusted him very much complete oversight to workout the new CBA with then head of the NFLPA Gene Upshaw. It was then that Tags gave in to Upshaws initial demmands and signed that CBA without the owners knowing exactly what he had gotten them into. This being the great cat and mouse game that Upshaw and Tags were because if you remember the players before this CBA said that Upshaw had sold them out in the TV money deal the league had, THESE ARE THE FACTS!!!!

When You see the number of less fortunate Americans, the number of football fans that are out of work, and the average salary of players exceeding a million dollars, players should be HANG THEIR HEADS IN SHAME --ashamed of their greed. Hundreds of thousands of young men and women, who are paid below average wages, serve their country in our armed forces risking much more than a "blown out knee", and they wouldn't consider a strike. Players are overpaid already! You spoiled "little", prima-donnas: either play the game you claim to love, or step aside. BRING IN REPLACEMENTS!!!!Bring in REAL MEN who love to play football!!!

WOW! REALLY? Mr Ross...

You Need to shut you mouth! This Guy just talks too much for my taste...


Sorry, I was getting busy doing my best Jimi Hendrix imitations of Red House and The Wind Cries Mary on my Strat. I stretched Red House into a 15 minute version-LOL!

Anyway, I think you're right on in your post above and that's exactly what I was thinking.

I thought about Justin saying it was the Owners who caused this mess. I thought it all the way through and then thought, YEAH.

When the owners decided not to opt out of a CBA that heavily favored the players and upwards spiraling player salaries, that took things to this level. This level took us to a sense of entitlement by the players, a strike and now a lockout.

So Justin was right even though I don't think he knows exactly how he's right.

It's because the owners were so good to the players and decided not to opt out of the previous CBA.

So, to thank the Owners, they hire DuhMaurice Smith and demand MORE, MORE, MORE! Talk about biting the hand that feeds you.

All these business owners who claim their employees have no right to see their books, you're correct. However, are your employees bound to their employment with you the way football players are? Did you draft or trade for your employees? Do you think you can ever? Did you and your competitors "collude" and restrict movement amongst your employees? Are their salaries tied to your revenues? The football players are. That's why the NFL enjoys the Antitrust Excemption.


...The owners are full of it..If they would aknowledge that they have negotiaited themselves into this corner, and squeezing the player salaries is the easiest way out of their mess I would be more sympathetic. For instance.

The owners know that they have soaked the television revenue to the max. Future TV deals are not going to be as lucrative, or as easy to come by.

Public funding for stadiums is becoming much more difficult(see the roof for Miamis stadium) The state and local budgets do not have stadiums as their number one priority. The owners know the easiest way to increase revenue is by building a larger stadium with all the bells and whistles, and unnecessary charges that go with season ticket sales.

The big market teams are probably sick of revenue sharing with small market teams. Some of these teams have debt interest loans that need paid off. Again soak the players salaries and pay for their mess...

Blame it on the players if you want. Call them greedy. But consider that the average career in the NFL is 3 years and over half of the salries in the league are not guaranteed, and then consider the mess the OWNERS got themselves into, and try and put it on the shoulders of the players. It wasn't the players that cornered the ownership into bad agreements, and over the top television, and marketing deals. They had to know at some point those deals would reach a cealing..Poor foresight on the part of the owners. The owners are like the collapsed finacial system, and they are using the players like the government bailout.

My name is Bucky and I love you very much.

I love pancakes, too.


Bring back the WTF.com Character.......I liked that one....



Rick Flair.....

Rabbit pyramid of Wink Martindale. Sandwich gremlin.

The HEAT's TALENT.....wore down the experince of the Celtics....

and outlasted the DEEP bench of of the X's and O's Chicago Bulls....

You taking note Mr. Ross??

Does anybody believe the HEAT are in the finals because of Erik Spolsestra...."WHO"???? I know.....thats what I said......

Mr. Ross....bring more talent to MIAMI........lets get other players who want to "TAKE THEIR TALENTS TO SOUTH BEACH"......


Rick Flair



I don't see anything at all wrong with Ross's remarks. I have read a hundred sarcastic and plain nasty comments made by players of every team. There is no reason whatsoever that an owner of a team does not have the right to show his frustration and his inpatients with the situation. Or to be pissed about it’s slow progress. Ross has a HUGE investment laid out... NONE of the Dolphins players have ANY investment in this team.

Ross is but one of 32 owners. If he DID have the inkling to lift the lockout and allow the Dolphins players to resume their jobs... He could not based on what the rest of the NFL is doing.

Fact is simple.... The NFL and its owners have been trying to Negotiate from day one. Conversely, DeMaurice Smith, leader of the NFLPA had it in his head to litigate from day one. Smith was looking to the courts all along while owners wanted to make an agreement among the players and themselves. If the players did not like an offer, fine, stay at the table until an agreement can be reached. That solution is not DeMaurice's intention and never has been. He has an agenda, and that agenda is stopping the rest of the process from moving forward. I would venture to say the owners would be far more agreeable to lifting the lockout should the players association (It's a damned union, who is fooling who?) return to the negotiation table and show some sort of agreeable and positive direction. Instead... they file one law suite after the next and keep the uneducated and just plain loving fans riled up with their rhetoric and constant blame shifting...

DeMaurice Smith is the worst thing to ever happen to these players, and in a few months both they and the fans are going to come to that realization... Go back to the tables, Guy's. Stop filing lawsuits and playing "Union Games" and go negotiate with the owners you work for. The only people making out in this whole DeMaurice Smith debacle is the Attorneys for both sides


FAKE@ 7;39 AM .


I'm happy for the Heat too (however, full disclosure, I'm a hometown b-ball fan of the Wizards). So, goes to show you I'm a sucker for losing teams (Wizards, Dolphins, Nationals). But I'm a big fan of Lebron and D Wade.

I'm happy for the same reasons you are, maybe some of the winning ways will transfer from the Heat to our Dolphins. Forget Ross, it's Ireland that needs to learn to stop looking under rocks for the hidden gems, and taking the shiny diamonds sitting right in front of his eyes. I'm sorry, an injury-prone Odrick WAS a stretch (if we stayed put in that Draft we could've gotten Maurkice Pouncey or even Dez Bryant). I like Vontae Davis, but guess who taken RIGHT after him...Clay Matthews.

If we had any of those guys instead of the ones we got, who knows, doubt we'd be talking about a 7-9 season in 2010. Our problem is the same as any mediocre to bad team in the NFL, talent evaluation and acquisition. Yes, Ireland's night and day compared to the past few GMs, and I'm willing to give him another couple of years to improve, but he needs to start getting it right on the MAJORITY of picks he makes, and FA's he bring in, if this FO is going to lead Miami anywhere. If not, then I smell an opening in our FO very soon.

Player made the choice to pursue a carrier in sports. They are paid VERY WELL for that choice. In most cases they were given a FREE COLLEGE EDUCATION prior to going pro unless they came out early, WHICH WAS THEIR CHOICE.

While I do agree in basic work benefits, health, medical, retirement and negotiated salaries; ---- profit sharing and opening the books in non publicly owned business is nuts.

Lastly, very tired of hearing the average NFL carrier is only 3 years so players have to get what they can get. Police and military folks put thier lives on the line for much less than the league minimum which is what? $500K or $750K?

Please take your FREE degree and go to work for another corporation or open your own busieess like everyone else.

Ross is no angel. However it is his team, his investment, his risk and his freakin money.

Buyers remorse...really?!

The spectre of future labor issues was around before he bought the team. Unless he's an idiot.

When Mr. Ross, Mr. Selguero, or any of the readers here, acquire the talent to play professional football and then make the decision to abuse your body for 12 years or until your body can take no more, then let's hear you take the side of the owners on this one.

This is akin to coal-mining in that it provides a decent living, but destroys your body. If you side with coal companies historically in this country and you are not rich, then you are delusional.

And yes, this is different: it's like the rich against the richer...but again: let's get the owners in some pads and make them pummel one another...I'd pay good money to see that!

Ross is right. Unions were formed to protect employees fighting at the lower edges of the pay scale and basic rights. There is a balance to be struck from employers that seek to maximize profits and employee unions who seek a livable wage. Those making hundred of thousands or millions of dollars are not seeking a livable wage. They are seeking the maximum amount of money that they can extract.
Normally, I would support the employee in any employer/employee dispute. However, I cannot support the players. The union in my mind destroyed baseball and will in the end destroy football unless common sense prevails. Millionaire (or several hundred thousandaires) should not require a union.


i would be more inclined to agree with what the owners want. 1st and foremost a rookie salary cap!! the union should be for this also. the nfl is one of the only places where new, unproven employees make more than most vets. i'd like to see 18 games and 2 bye weeks also. with the playoff that would make the season half a year long. it's the shortest of all sports right now. and even extending ti 20 weeks it would still be the shortest but the players get paid the most. hockey is the roughest sport and they get paid the least overall.

« 1 2 3 4 5 »

The comments to this entry are closed.