All Articles Tagged "nfl lockout"
by Evette Brown
With Commissioner Roger Goodell’s announcement, “Football’s back!” the NFL lockout officially ended. After four months of tense negotiations that threatened to cancel the 2011 football season, the National Football League and the NFL Players Association signed a ten-year collective-bargaining agreement yesterday afternoon. This official agreement brings an end to the conflict and opens the doors for teams to initiate training and preparation for the forthcoming season.
According to a report from Bloomberg, representative members of the NFL Players Association approved the deal offered by the 32 league owners when they unanimously voted in favor of the offer.
Dividing the $9 billion revenue that the NFL generates annually was the central theme of the conflict. Under the old agreement between owners and their valuable commodities, the owners received $1 billion as soon as that revenue was received. With the new negotiations, players are now receiving 47% of this stream of revenue.
Additionally, a salary cap for team payrolls has been set to $120.4 million per ball club, plus $22 million in benefits for each individual player. Included in this cap is the guarantee for the league to spend no less than 99 percent of it for the next two seasons and no less than 95 percent for the 2013 through 2017 seasons. Teams are also capped as to how much can be spent on rookies while current NFLers are now guaranteed the league’s medical plans for life with between $900 million and $1 billion in retiree benefits.
The NFL Players’ Association is also vying to have their organization recertified as a union within a certain time period and an opt-out clause available to all members of the union after the ten year period has expired. To protect the players and reduce possible injuries, “two-a-day practices were eliminated; teams have agreed to set a maximum of 4.5 hours on-field per day during training camp; and limited full-contact practices to an average of one per week not exceeding three hours.”
The NFL players will also have more days off the field during the preseason.
Since the lockout has officially concluded, tomorrow, all NFL teams are allowed to begin signing drafted and undrafted first-year players and begin trading. On July 29th, teams will be open to signing free agents and training camp is set to resume 15 days before each team’s preseason game.
The most profitable professional sports franchise has returned! Get ready for an explosive season.
(AP) — After months of public nastiness and private negotiations, of court filings and rulings, of players and owners squabbling over more than $9 billion a year, NFL fans finally saw the handshake and heard the words they awaited: “Football’s back.” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL Players Association head DeMaurice Smith both used that phrase while standing shoulder-to-shoulder Monday, announcing their agreement on a 10-year deal to end the lockout that began in March. Then came what may truly be the lasting image of the dispute’s resolution: Indianapolis Colts offensive lineman Jeff Saturday wrapped one of his burly arms around New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and enveloped him in a hug — a gesture that symbolized the acrimony’s end more than any statement could.
(Wall Street Journal) — NFL owners and players are hammering out an agreement that would end their four-month-old labor dispute in the coming days, in a move that would save the upcoming football season and put the $9.4 billion business back on track. The two camps have been holding regular and detailed meetings in New York City to resolve the lockout, and are expected to continue meeting in the coming days. They’re fighting over how to divide the league’s revenue. Differences remain, but both sides have made concessions on player compensation.
(AP) – New York’s attorney general has started an antitrust investigation into the NFL lockout, requesting information from both the league and the players’ association about the economic impact of pro football’s labor impasse. ”While we are hopeful that the NFL and its players will reach an agreement to end the ongoing lockout in the near future, this office will take all appropriate steps to protect New Yorkers, many of whom rely on the significant economic activity generated by the NFL,” said Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
Nike and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick are back together again. Four years after Nike terminated Vick’s contract due to his arrest and 18 month prison sentence on dog fighting charges, the two have reunited.
“Michael acknowledges his past mistakes,” Nike spokesman Derek Kent expressed. “We do not condone those actions, but we support the positive changes he has made to better himself off the field.”
These positive changes have not only inked Michael a new deal, he has also returned to the game a star player. Vick was named the starting quarterback for the Eagles over Kevin Kolb early in the 2010 season. Then he went on to dominate in 2010, throwing for 3,018 yards and 21 touchdowns.
It looks like Michael is getting the ‘Vicktory” after all. How do you feel about his criminal to celebrity status? Do you think Nike should have given him another chance?
(Wall Street Journal) — NBA owners locked out their players Friday after labor negotiations collapsed, threatening the upcoming basketball season. Owners and players met in New York Thursday for a last-ditch negotiating session as the contract expired at midnight, but failed to reach a resolution on key sticking points —including salary cap parameters and revenue splits. NBA Commissioner David Stern and players union head Billy Hunter said the two sides remained far apart in their fight over how to divide about $4 billion in league revenue. The owners say they are losing money and want a bigger share. The players say they are willing to make concessions on salaries but don’t want to give up as much as the owners are asking.
DeMaurice Smith has always been confident. So much so that as the newly elected president of the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) and overnight confidante to its 1,900 locked out members, he doesn’t bat an eye at the notion of being a relative outsider now entrusted with rescuing the sport from itself.
Then again, his ability has long rated as impressive. How else can you explain how the grandson of a sharecropper could rise to the position of having Barack Obama and Eric Holder on speed dial?
“There isn’t a day when I don’t understand the pressures of this job,” said the 46-year-old Smith, who left the prestigious D.C. law firm Patton Boggs to assume his latest post. “But then you stack them up against my grandfather [and] everything pales. There were days when he was thinking: ‘How am I going to feed my 14 kids? Are we getting a fair deal from the land owner? How are my children going to get out?’ Now, that’s pressure.”
And so, cloaked in the strength of such tough-mindedness, Smith’s soldiers on in a battle many hoped would never come to this point. After nearly three months, NFL players remain locked out of all team facilities and locked into a high-stakes, winner-take-all staredown with owners that shows no real signs of abating. Beyond the NFL season itself, at issue is the allocation and distribution of more than $8 billion in annual league-wide revenue.
“We made the decision to fight for who we are,” said Smith. “I know this is a multi-billion dollar industry but nobody gets strong without fighting. Nobody just negotiates their way to strength… you have to be willing to take action. Athletes are the same as everyone else — if you want to be treated fairly you have to be willing to stand up for yourself. It’s vastly different from something as simple as ‘just shut up and play’. To effect change you have to be willing to be the agent of change.”
Over the long haul Smith has a plan for the game away from the game never before seen in the league’s 91-year history. Greater concern about players long-term health and better retirement benefits are part of Smith’s master plan. At his urging players made the game-changing decision to decertify their union, thus giving them the option of airing their grievances in court and paving the way for individual players to file antitrust suits against the league. To date ,NFL heavyweights Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Tom Brady have all attached their names to the suit as a show of support for Smith and his leadership.
(AP) — The wildest week in NFL history had one more twist at the end and it means football is off limits again. The NFL locked out its players Friday night after its first legal victory in the fight with the players over the future of the $9 billion business. The players who showed up smiling and relieved to be back at work Friday morning are now cooling their heels. The ups and downs of the day — and the weeks and months of this labor dispute — may be taking their toll with the first preseason game little more than three months away. ”It’s crazy and it’s really, really making it difficult to plan,” Bengals quarterback Jordan Palmer said. “It’s just really hectic. Everybody I’ve talked to is very thrown off by the situation.” Raiders quarterback Bruce Gradkowski vented on Twitter: “Gosh I just wanna get back to work and play! I feel bad for our fans having to put up with this.” The day began with dozens, if not hundreds, of players reporting to team facilities all over the league. They met with coaches, picked up playbooks and went through workouts for the first time since they were locked out after talks for a new collective bargaining agreement broke down March 11.
(New York Times) — A federal judge gave N.F.L. players a significant victory Monday, granting an injunction to stop the league’s six-week-long lockout. The league filed a brief Monday night asking United States District Judge Susan Richard Nelson to stay her decision so that it does not have to open for business immediately. If the stay is not granted by Nelson or the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, the N.F.L. will have to put rules in place that would allow players to return to work and free agency to open within days. If a stay is granted, the N.F.L. will remain dormant while owners appeal Nelson’s decision. That would probably keep the league shut down until at least mid-June and perhaps into early July, about a month before teams usually open training camps. A final decision on the stay is likely to take no more than several days. Late Monday night, e-mails were circulating among players encouraging them to report to team facilities on Tuesday and informing them that if there is no stay, it would be a violation of Nelson’s ruling for them to be turned way.
(The Grio) — While it isn’t talked about with nearly as much intensity, the NBA is about to venture down the same slippery slope that the NFL is crippling itself with. Later this summer, NBA owners will likely lock out the National Basketball Players Association, putting a damper on a postseason that the league is touting as the most exciting playoffs potentially in years and placing the league in the untenable position of eventually having to restore an image that has never been exactly pristine. While there is no Michael Jordan — the last NBA lockout actually forced his second retirement — the NBA’s postseason is laden with storylines. Can the hated Miami Heat coalesce in the playoffs and win the title? Can Kobe Bryant earn his sixth world title and in the process lead the Los Angeles Lakers — already trailing the upstart New Orleans Hornets 1-0 in their first-round playoff — to a threepeat? Or might the newly aligned New York Knicks, with Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony, in the playoffs for the first time since 2004, make a surprising run (one that really might inspire New Orleans guard Chris Paul to eventually cast his lot with the Knicks and make it a legitimate multi-championship winning threat).