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From ProFootball Talk:
Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com reports that, late Wednesday night, the NFL and the NFLPA worked out the last remaining details of the new CBA.
Next up, the NFLPA representatives will explain the terms to players, who’ll vote at camp on Thursday. Once at least 50 percent plus one of the players vote in favor of the deal, everyone will be able to practice as of 4:00 p.m. ET.
While NFL teams have been holding workouts since this past weekend, free agents have not been allowed to participate yet since the CBA hasn’t been finalized. Assuming the players ratify this new agreement — which everyone expects them too — the NFL will officially open its doors all the way back open, and teams will be able to hold official practices with all players.
This news doesn’t affect the Tampa Bay Bucs too much, as they have largely ignored the free agent market to instead focus on building through youth. All their key players are already in camp, but I suppose this ruling will allow free agent signing Michael Koenen to finally report to camp.
With a unanimous vote of the NFPLA* Executive Committee and the 32 team representatives, the NFL Lockout is officially over and the league is back in business. The new collective bargaining agreement will be a 10-year deal with no opt out clause on either side of the table. The players, who were on the defensive from the get approximately 47% of the 9 billion dollar pie, down from a fairly 50-50 split, while earning themselves a hand full of concessions to make up for the lost revenue.
The new deal will have numerous measures to help to protect veterans and retired players, as well as increase safety measures. New spending rules will force smaller market teams to spend to a much more aggressive salary floor while the salary cap actually is down from 2009, it will increase each season as revenue's increase.
Teams will be able to open facilities beginning Tuesday, as well as begin singing their draftees and un-drafted free agents at 10am Tuesday. Free agents may begin negotiations with any team but may not sign until Friday, when free agency officially will begin at 6:01pm.
The next week will certainly be a hectic one for NFL teams as they scramble to sure up rosters, get up to speed on the new CBA, and begin their training camps.
It appears the NFL lockout is at an end, as the NFL owners and player association have a deal finalized, pending only the confirmation from the NFL. In the meantime, Adam Schefler of ESPN.com has produced a likely schedule for the coming post-lockout era:
According to the projected timeline, the new league year would officially start on Aug. 2 at 4 p.m. ET.
- Teams can sign their own free agents and begin talking with other unrestricted free agents Monday afternoon.
- Teams can begin signing unrestricted free agents Tuesday at noon ET but those contracts would not take effect until Aug. 2.
- Teams can begin talking trades Monday afternoon. Any trades would become official on Saturday, July 30.
This could very likely lead to a lot of roster news today and tomorrow as teams rush in to settle their rosters and fill their practice squads with undrafted free agents.
It appears the 2011 NFL season is getting real now and the grass is, essentially, getting mowed on the training camp facilities. Pretty much all that remains now is the re-certifying of the NFL Player's Association (NFLPA):
The [lockout-ending] agreement is a bit of a leap of faith by the owners. The lockout will be lifted before the NFLPA is recertified. To do so requires 50 percent, plus 1 vote by the players to do so. The expectation is that it will happen Tues, with Weds. at the latest.
It seems highly unlikely at this point that the players would allow any other snags to prevent the closure of this longest-ever football lockout.
According to the NFL Network’s Albert Breer, the NFL owners approved a deal last night that could potentially end the NFL lockout. Rejoice, football fans — the season could be saved!
….or not. Unfortunately, this vote is only one step of the process. The NFL players still need to approve the deal as well, and there have been grumblings that the players won’t find the deal to their liking. Here’s Pro Football Talk’s take on things:
Folks, there’s no way the NFLPA* will be approving the deal tonight or passing it along to the players for a vote. And once the league has to start canceling preseason weeks and not just one preseason game, real money is going to disappear — and the chances of getting a deal done will diminish.
While there has been more optimism this morning that the players may approve the plan, it’s still no sure thing — it’s possible the owners are trying to pressure the players into making a deal. And if the players reject this deal, then who knows when an agreement could be reached.
If the talks go on too much longer, then the NFL won’t be able to make arrangements for certain preseason games and teams are going to begin losing revenue. The pressure is on to close a deal, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything will happen. We just have to wait and see.
There is a growing belief inside league circles that the NFL and NFL Players Association will have an agreement in place that can be ratified during the July 21 league meetings in Atlanta, according to sources familiar with the state of negotiations.
Other people familiar with the talks now think an agreement in principle will be put in place in the next seven to 10 days, a handshake deal that would allow each side to ratify the deal to start the 2011 season.
Things are far from certain and these negotiations could still go awry, but it makes sense that the NFL and NFLPA would start to buckle under around now. If they don’t reach an agreement soon, they won’t be able to get the season started in time and they will have to cut games from the schedule, and neither sides wants that to happen as it means less money all around. But if this deal is reached by the date mentioned, not only would the entire season be able to happen, but the entire preseason schedule would also be possible.
In other news: Is it a coincidence that this rumored date falls on almost the exact same day that President Obama has set as the deadline for the debt ceiling negotiations? In my somewhat delusions, media-saturated state, I’m beginning to wonder if the NFL is somehow the secret key to unlocking the hearts of Congressional Republicans…
This news comes from Mike Florio of ProFootball Talk:
At a time when signs of real optimism finally are beginning to emerge regarding a labor deal that would allow the season to start on time, Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal reports that the NFL is planning for a season that would be as short as eight games.
An eight-game season would begin in late November, with a whopping five weeks allowed for free agency, training camps, and maybe a single preseason game. This would require a deal to be reached in October.
One thing immediately strikes me about this news: the NFL would be stupid if it didn’t have these sort of plans in place. While some people may view this as depressing news, signaling that the NFL isn’t ready to cave in and is expecting the negotiations to go on late into the year, I don’t think that’s necessarily true. While I’m sure this news acts as a negotiating tactic for the NFL as well, the NFL executives wouldn’t be doing their job if they didn’t prepare for every possible eventuality. They have to prepare for a worth-case scenario, even if they don’t want it to happen.
In many ways, NFL fans should be encouraged by this news: it means that the NFL is going to do all they can to sneak in a 2011 season, even if that means starting in November. That’s certainly a much better alternative than having no football season at all, and at least we now know when the “point of no return” is. The NFL and NFLPA now have a deadline: if they can’t reach a deal by mid-October, then there will be no 2011 season.
Neither side wants that to happen, though, so I fully expect the NFL and NFLPA to reach some sort of agreement by the fall. But the question is, when?
Daniel Kaplan of Sports Business Journal is reporting that the NFL and NFLPA have engaged in settlement talks, prompting the courts to cancel mediation scheduled for next week. These settlement talks have included several of the key players on both sides of the ball, and no lawyers.
On the owners’ side, Jerry Jones Art Rooney and John Mara were among those present. On the players’ side, NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith was present alongside Domonique Foxworth, Mike Vrabel, Kevin Mawae, Tony Richardson and Jeff Saturday – all current or former players.
I’m hesitant to be too optimistic about this news, but it is exciting that to hear about both sides sitting down together again. And even more importantly, it looks like these talks are more than just a formality; with important owners and players both taking part in the talks, it seems as though the owners may be treating these talks more seriously than they have in the past.
Could the owners be starting to feel some pressure to reach a settlement? The season is edging closer and closer every day, and before we know it, it’s going to be mid-July and the season will be just around the corner. I tend to believe nothing is going to happen until the appeals process is seen through in entirety – the owners and players will want to see who has leverage after taking things fully through the court process – but at the very least, this is a step in the right direction.
NFL owners were dealt an important victory Monday on the lockout front when the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled for a full stay on the injunction that would have otherwise put an end to the lockout that’s shut down the league for more than the two months now.
For free agents and rookies in particular, Monday’s decision is a disheartening one. Though expected, the decision means there can be no player transactions until the NFL’s appeal is hear in full in a St. Louis Court next month. Oral arguments will be heard on June 3rd, with a final decision expected several weeks after.
The decision is a big one for several reasons. The first obviously being that the league will not be forced to implement rules to govern player transactions in the immediate interim before a final ruling is issued next month. The second and perhaps more significant reason is that Monday’s ruling could be an indication of how the league’s appeal will be interpreted in early June.
There are still more questions than answers at this point, but for those hoping to see a miraculous end to the ongoing labor impasse in the NFL anytime soon, Monday’s developments were a step in the wrong direction.
In light of the judge’s ruling that the on Tuesday that the NFL must end the current lockout, the NFL has released a statement today outlining their plan going forward. In short, the NFL is instructing all teams to open their doors to players as of Friday morning at 8:00 AM.
As of right now, the lockout is over and teams are instructed to carry forward like it was a normal off season. Playbooks are to be distributed to players, off season workouts can commence, and players cannot be barred from working out in team facilities during off-days. Teams will also begin with free agency and transactions soon, but not until the NFL has distributed a list of guidelines and a new off season schedule.
However, this battle may not be over yet. The NFL is appealing the judge’s decision to higher courts, and depending upon their rulings, we could find ourselves back in the middle of a lockout before too long. Don’t get your hopes up too high yet; cautious optimism is the best bet going forward.
In a somewhat surprising move, Judge Nelson has ruled to not allow a stay in the ruling to end the lockout. She opted not to grant the stay as the league “has not met its burden for a stay pending appeal, expedited or otherwise.” This means the league has to open their doors to the players, meaning free agency, trades, cuts and other issues can begin to occur once the league officially ends the lockout.
In the ever-changing courtroom drama of the National Football League off-season, the latest little victory has come in favor of the NFL players. Judge Susan Nelson has ordered a lift to the lockout, meaning players can return to work on Tuesday. The prospects of the 2011-2012 NFL season have been fairly gloomy since March, when the players union and the owners could not agree on a new collective bargaining agreement.
Though the latest ruling has helped generate a little excitement about the NFL, the opening kick off is still a long ways away. The owners, in reaction to the ruling, will take the case to the appeals court, hoping to get better treatment from the typically business-friendly, according to ESPN legal analyst Roger Cossack.
Even without the appeals process, the NFL is still several hurdles away from guaranteeing a 2011 season. The league still has the task of creating a mutually acceptable collective bargaining agreement -- the very task that led to the present courtroom battle.
If the league does not sort out it's legal problems, footballs will have start picking their favorite UFL teams soon.
Maury Brown, the founder of the Business of Sports Network, answers some pressing questions about the NFL's labor dispute.
There has been little news on the NFL lockout situation since the lockout became official on Friday afternoon, and updates likely won’t be as frequent as they were leading up to the CBA deadline. Now that both sides have made the lockout official, neither side has an incentive to move fast or to capitulate more than they already have. In fact, there may be little progress until we start getting closer to the season and the owners start to feel the financial effects of the lockout hit their wallets.
At the moment, the only real news is that the owners have discarded one of their most unpopular demands: an 18-game season. While more games means more money for owners, the players are extremely opposed to expanding the schedule, as there are already a large amount of injuries in only 16 games. Adding another two games would be detrimental to the health of many players, while doing little to impact their paychecks.
Otherwise, it appears that both sides are buckling down for a long fight. The NFL Player’s Association has already issued a document to players on ways to save money, and some players are already considering playing other sports to help pass the time.
In other words, don’t expect an end to the lockout anytime soon. More than likely, we’re in for the long haul.
And it’s happened. The NFL and NFLPA could not reach an agreement which has led the NFLPA to file for decertification. This will allow the players to file an antitrust lawsuit if the lockout happens, but the long and short of it is, there is no deal that was reached by the deadline.
Today is the NFL's self-imposed deadline for reaching a new collecting bargaining agreement. An extension seems out of the question, so the NFL and NFLPA has a few more hours left to work out a deal of some sort. The NFLPA seems to have given up, based on various messages from player reps. The owners have said they will have one more proposal this afternoon.
Better hope it’s a good one or professional football will be on hold indefinitely. Well, unless you count the UFL.
Despite reaching a small agreement on Wednesday over a modified rookie wage scale, the NFL and NFLPA are running out of time to put an overall CBA agreement in place. The current extension to the CBA negotiations expires tonight, and since the two sides did not meet in person yesterday, it is seeming more and more likely that the sides will either re-extend the negotiations or head into a lockout.
At the moment, the two sides are “only” $700 million apart in negotiating how to distribute revenue streams. While this is progress from the original $1 billion difference between the two sides, significant progress still needs to be made to reach a deal today. The prospects of the NFL and NFLPA finding a compromise between their two sides appears slim, especially when you consider what NFL negotiator Jeff Pash said yesterday:
“If both sides have an equal commitment to getting this deal done, it will get done,” Pash said. “I don’t know if both sides have an equal commitment. You’ve heard plenty of what I’ve heard as well. If that’s the case, if both sides have that commitment, there’s a deal to be made.”
The NFLPA was less than pleased with this statement, and NFLPA director DeMaurice Smith fired back:
“Jeff Pash was part of an executive team that sold the networks a $4 billion ticket to a game they knew wouldn’t be played. The only thing they’ve been committed to is a lockout.”
In other words, this isn’t going to be pretty.
Word came out Wednesday that the NFL and NFLPA had agreed to a modified rookie wage scale. This had been billed as one of the minor points, but an agreement on any point at this juncture is a sign of progress. The owner’s had pitched a maximum deal for incoming rookies of $19 million with $6 million guaranteed, but reportedly backed off these figures. No word on what the final figures are or what the NFLPA suggested.
The main changes are as follows. First round picks will be able to be signed to a maximum length deal of four years. This is down from the five or six year deals we’ve seen in the past. Second round picks and later can be signed to a max length deal of three years, with the fourth year being a restricted free agency year, similar to what we see now. The big coup for the union is that younger, better players hit the market sooner increasing the payout for those players who succeed.
The story broke from Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports which he re-confirmed after differing opinions from unnamed sources disputed that an agreement had been made.
Though this would seem to indicate good news, the day was most likely an overall failure. Demaurice Smith, head of the NFLPA, went on record as saying that the players do not want an 18 game season, nor had the NFL ever made an official proposal for such a season.
This is troubling for a few reasons. Smith has now backed himself into a corner with this statement. To back off of it and allow an 18 game season to happen will surely ruffle the feathers of some players. It also puts the NFL in a tough spot as Goodell has done nothing but talk about an 18 game season. His (Goodell) vision included going from 4 to 2 preseason games and from 16 to 18 regular season games. This has been one of the key issues, and the two sides seem as far off on this as they do on revenue sharing.
The deadline from the second extension ends Friday evening. Until then, we wait for word that a new deal has been struck, a new extension has been granted or that the NFL is locking out the players.
The NFLPA (player’s union) has agreed to an extension of the negotiating window. This would push the window back another 7-10 days. The only catch is the owners have not yet agreed to the extension.
Both sides appear more optimistic saying a deal is achievable, which is much different than the talks heard a few weeks ago.
The current NFL CBA was set to expire today at 11:59pm effectively ending the NFL as we know it and plunging the league into a lockout with no visible sign of resolution. However, after a full day of negotiations the players unions and the owners came to the decision to extend the current CBA 24 hours so that talks may continue for another day.
Many believe that this short extension may be a precursor to a lengthier, perhaps 7 day, extension of the CBA and negotiations towards a new deal. There is still a feeling amongst those in the know that the owners and players are still miles apart but the extension is a positive sign, albeit a small one.
In only a few short days, the NFL's current Collective Bargaining Agreement between the owners and the NFL Player's Association (NFLPA) will expire. Specifically, the agreement will expire at 11:59 PM on March 3rd, giving the two sides only a handful of opportunities to reach an agreement and avoid a lockout before the deadline reaches.
For fans of football, there are still a few reasons to hope. While it's looking very unlikely that an agreement will be reached before the March 3rd deadline, there are ways we could still see football in 2011. The owners and NFLPA could reach an agreement before the season begins - there are six more month until September - or the NFLPA could pull its trump card and "decertify" before the March 3rd deadline. This move would allow football to continue, while the player's association continued pursuing a new CBA in court.
Of course, both of these situations are seeming more and more unlikely. The NFL owners have already made moves to prevent the NFLPA from decertifying, and the owners have already prepared themselves for the likelihood of a long negotiation. Neither side seems willing to give at this point, and as unfortunate as it is, they likely won't reach an agreement until both sides begin feeling to effects of the lockout in their pocketbooks.
This negotiation all comes down to how big of a slice of revenues to give to the players. Players feel they deserve more money and have asked the owners to open their books, but the owners are refusing and claiming that the current deal is unsustainable for them. Also, players want more health and retirement benefits, especially in light of recent studies showing the long-term health effects of concussions.
At this point, all we can do is wait and see. Start preparing yourselves for a long, drawn-out battle, and keep your fingers crossed that we'll see football again this fall.
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