Legendary senior writer jclombardi: NFL owners power play in NFL lockout.
COMMENTARY: It’s Friday morning following last night’s events surrounding the lockout and proposed owner’s CBA deal. Yesterday afternoon, on the national news media, the NFL owners pulled a slick public relations power play with the lockouted out players. They approved their CBA version proclaiming that the players simply had to ratify the agreement. Thus, they put the ball in the players’ court. Then the players reacted with anger and confusion stating they had not reviewed the CBA and certain unresolved issues remained. Late Thursday, they did not vote on the CBA deal waiting for Friday to make a decision. According to the Packers report, the players are upset with quotes and owners CBA version timeline:
The players feeling irked and, in the words of former Packers and Redskins DL Vonnie Holliday on Twitter, “tricked, duped, led astray, hoodwinked (and) bamboozled.” NFLPA leader DeMaurice Smith sent the following e-mail to the board of player representatives. “Owners have ratified their proposal to settle our differences,” stated the e-mail. “It is my understanding they are forwarding it to us. They apparently approved a supplemental revenue sharing proposal. Obviously, we have not been a part of those discussions. As you know from yesterday, issues that need to be collectively bargained remain open other issues such as workers compensation, economic issues and end of deal terms remain unresolved. There is no agreement between the NFL and the Players at this time. I look forward to our call tonight.”
If the players ratify the deal: –Saturday, July 23: Players could arrive at team facilities for voluntary training, conditioning and classroom instruction. The free agent list will be distributed to teams. Teams can begin signing draft picks, their own free agents, and renegotiate deals for players who are under contract. Starting at 1 p.m. (Central), teams can negotiate with, but not sign, undrafted free agents and other teams’ veteran free agents. — Sunday, July 24: Teams can sign undrafted free agents. — Wednesday, July 27: The league year begins, free agency begins, the salary cap goes into effect and rosters can be expanded to 90 players. Training camp can begin with the first day limited to physicals, meetings and conditioning. — July 28-29: Training camp continues but practices may not be held in pads.
Late Thursday night, the NFL Players Association executive board and 32 player representatives decided not to vote on the owner’s CBA proposal. Simply, the NFLPA felt frustrated with the “take it or leave it” CBA owner’s proposal thinking that they are being played. The entire national NFL sports scene saw great confusion, theater, and fingers being pointed to put blame on each side. QB Aaron Rodgers twittered: “Media spin on owners position in this lockout is ridiculous. Believe my colleagues tweets tonight about the events of the last 24 hours.” Friday, we shall see what happens.