Blog Entry

DeMaurice Smith: 'lockout is coming in March'

Posted on: September 8, 2010 1:07 pm
Edited on: September 8, 2010 4:22 pm
Posted by Will Brinson

Of all the frustrating offseason storylines , there's one that's perhaps most annoying: the impending NFL lockout in 2011. DeMaurice Smith, the union leader for the NFLPA, confirmed his belief on Wednesday that he think a lockout is coming.

“I still feel that a lockout is coming in March,” Smith told Bloomberg Sports .

Smith's biggest point of contention is the NFL refusing to actually provide financial information relating to their claim that they're not pulling in enough cash. (Enough here, of course, is relative.)

“If this model is not working, i.e. teams are losing money, then we’re willing to see the evidence of that and make the changes,” Smith said. “But prove it. If not, what’s the justification for getting a billion back from us?”

Smith, along with most players, doesn't care for the also-impending possibility of an 18-game season.

“We don’t look at two extra games as being divorced from the health, medical and safety standpoint,” Smith said. “It’s impossible to divorce one part of this from the whole.”

That may be true -- however, it seems pretty likely that the league will get its 18-games one way or another. Also likely, as expressed by Smith's quotes, is the NFL locking its players out.

Owners and players are just too far apart right now, and because the 2010 season is beginning and because 2011 seems so far away (regardless of whether it's true or not), the urgency to really sit down, negotiate and hammer out a deal just isn't out there for either side.

Which is why there's a pretty good chance that the most important people, the fans, will end up suffering the most.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .

Since: Oct 24, 2006
Posted on: September 8, 2010 4:05 pm

DeMaurice Smith: 'lockout is coming in March'

PHEW!! Thank god they have this 18 game thing figured out before the lockout....... would rather have more games in 2012, than football in 2011.-notice the sarcasm.....

Since: Jun 3, 2008
Posted on: September 8, 2010 4:03 pm

DeMaurice Smith: 'lockout is coming in March'

I kind of see what you're saying, but the catch here is that the NFL has an Anti-trust exemption that allows freedom from all of the other rules that protect labor so that they wouldn't normally need to see the books of their employer.  I think transparency is a small price to pay for the license these owners have received to print $$$$ with their anti-trust exemption.

Since: Aug 1, 2007
Posted on: September 8, 2010 4:03 pm

DeMaurice Smith: 'lockout is coming in March'

Until you stop paying top draft choices millions and millions of dollars before they ever put on a uniform,this will forever be a problem  

Since: Feb 15, 2008
Posted on: September 8, 2010 4:02 pm

DeMaurice Smith: 'lockout is coming in March'


Since: Jun 3, 2008
Posted on: September 8, 2010 4:00 pm

The Anti-Trust Exemption will save us, right?

Given the trajectory of these negotiations, I'm guessing that the only thing that will keep the fans from suffering due to the billionaire owners fighting with the millionaire players is the threat of losing their anti-trust exemption and all that comes with it.  I have a funny feeling that Congress will (have to) step in and re-evaluate their granting of this exemption if they can't resolve this in a timely fashion.  I hope so.

I also hope:
- Players get guaranteed contracts - this will end the ridiculous holdouts because as of now, owners can void contracts, but players can't...all they can do is hold out.  This is the only sport where contracts aren't guaranteed - please fix this.

- NFL finances are brought into the public eye - they are getting an anti-trust exemption, claiming they're losing boatloads of money, and they won't share any of it publicly...IMO, getting a license to print money (what the owners get from the anti-trust exemption) should require some degree of transparency as to the impact of that special grant.  Their pockets are getting lined by this exemption.

Let's see what happens, but hopefully there will be real football in 2011.

Since: May 9, 2007
Posted on: September 8, 2010 3:54 pm

DeMaurice Smith: 'lockout is coming in March'

I am amazed that the EMPLOYEES of the NFL want to see the boss doesn't let me see the books when raise time comes around.  Yes the players make the owners money, isn't that kind of the idea.  The owners fork out millions of dollars to purchase these teams that the players get paid millions to be on.  I may be in the minority here but if I owned a team I expect a certain profit...if that exceeds my goal THEN and only then will I look at dispersing it to the employees of mine.  The top players constantly want to renegotiate after a good season.  They want the stability of a long term deal and guarenteed money but would never take less if they have a few off years in a row.  Maybe if the players lived up to their word, the owners might be willing to give a little more.

Since: Dec 31, 2008
Posted on: September 8, 2010 3:53 pm

DeMaurice Smith: 'lockout is coming in March'

I hope the NFL lockout does happen.  All those bums get replaced.  I would be fine with watching the CFL bums playing in the NFL for a season.  It would suck at first but you bet the real players would be coming back after the money dried up.  This way the owners could tell those overpaid babies that they can all play for the league minimum.  They would all still play for 900 thousand a year.  I would...  All the money saved would go to the owners, and the government can tax the hell out of them.  Than the money can go to real hard workers like teacher, firemen, and cops.  It is a joke that people with only  athletic skill and nothing else can have any leverage on anyone.  

Since: Sep 4, 2006
Posted on: September 8, 2010 3:52 pm

DeMaurice Smith: 'lockout is coming in March'

Are you 5 years old, or do you live in Candyland.  Of course it's about money.  Do you honestly think anyone on the planet doesn't know this? Bottom line, at this point both sides are posturing.  Here's the deal, the money is too good for both sides to crap on the process.  It'll take some hammering out, but it'll get done.  If you don't want to pay the ticket prices, don't go, but don't call for everyone else to stop buying tickets because you don't like the prices. 

Since: Aug 19, 2010
Posted on: September 8, 2010 3:42 pm

DeMaurice Smith: 'lockout is coming in March'

Money is the root of all evil.

These owners/players would rather deprive millions of fans from the entertainment they love and make nothing, then play the game they love for a living while making millions... because they want MORE.

Are you kidding me?

These guys own NFL teams and they want more money?  What a joke.  If you care that much about money, sell the damn team to someone who will appreciate the situation they're in.

Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: September 8, 2010 3:36 pm

DeMaurice Smith: 'lockout is coming in March'

I hope, no... I PRAY, the owners have the fortitude to enforce a lockout. Since when do the employees get to tell the owners how much they "demand" to be paid?  The owners are... well... the OWNERS! If all these football players don't want to play for what the owners are offering, then get rid of them and get one of the THOUSANDS of college players who never made the team to take his place. This might hurt the level of play in the short term, but the reality is that there isnt that much of a drop off from the guys playing and all those guys who didnt quite make the team. Plus, after the owners locked out any player who demanded more money and moved on with the game for a time, those "elite" players would soon realize they better take the money the owners are offering because that 4.3 40 time, steroid habit and limited mental acuity doesnt translate to a great deal of salary in the real world.  If I were the owners, I'd set up a salary cap that gave you enough to pay your top players $1M or so and carry a 60-65 man roster for $20-25 million, with most players getting in the mid-six figure range. Add in a schedule for rookies in their first 2-3 seasons.  Plug a bunch of money into the medical and pension plans for the players and set up a fund for players from past eras. And then KEEP EVERY LAST CENT YOU MAKE ABOVE THAT!  They OWN the teams after all, not the players... the whole system is back-assward!  Now, nothing stops the players from going out and getting money from endorsements, but what they are paid as PLAYERS should be set by the OWNERS.
The owners need to wake up and remember that they are not dealing with nearly as finite a labor pool as the NFLPA would have them believe, and when push comes to shove, most of these rocket jocks will play for $200k when the only alternative open to them is $12.50/hr hauling boxes in a warehouse or $35k a year filling ditches along the roadways.  It's not like these guys have very many marketable skills people, they are fast and strong and those two things only get you so much in the real world.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or