Blog Entry

NFL players repeat calls for owners to open books

Posted on: March 14, 2011 4:10 pm
K. Mawae Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Since the NFL has released a ton of statements this past weekend – in effect, saying the players walked away from the negotiating table and that the decertification of the NFLPA was a sham – the players took a shot at fighting back at the owners this afternoon through the media.

And, with Saints QB Drew Brees, Colts C Jeff Saturday and former union president Kevin Mawae on a national teleconference call, the tone the players presented was defiant – not to mention completely pissed off.

Here’s what it boils down to for the players: the owners refuse to show them their audited financials. Therefore, they will not make a deal on giving back money, in particular the additional $1 billion slice off the top of the league’s revenues that the owners have requested. At this point, with an April 6 preliminary injunction hearing set in front of Judge Susan Nelson, don’t expect the players and the owners to negotiate any further.

This one, it’s looking like, will be decided by the courts.

Unless the owners open their books.

“We have access to those revenue numbers,” Brees said. “We don’t have access to the cost numbers. As we watch the NFL grow and grow and grow – it grew 7.5 percent last year in one of the worst economies in our history – for the owners to come to us and say, ‘Costs are going up faster than revenues,’ a very reasonable and logical businessman would say, ‘Let’s see those numbers and try to make it work.’ Then, that person says, ‘No, you’ll have to take our word for it.’ That doesn’t work. It’s impossible to negotiate a fair deal when you don’t have the numbers from the other side.”

This essentially was the theme of the 50-minute conference call. No open books, no negotiated deals (seemingly every answer given by the players somehow worked toward that thought). That, and it was clear that the players don’t trust the other side.

“We have asked ever since May 8, 2009, for them to turn over their audited financials,” said Mawae, who also said the players were willing to take a $1 billion equity stake in favor of cost credits but were turned down by the owners. “It’s continued to be asked every time they’ve asked for a giveback. We want justification.

“Any time somebody says, ‘Give me $1 billion and we’ll pay you back,’ I’ll want to see your numbers. They said no.”

The players on the call – and spokesman George Atallah – seemed intent on painting the owners as unwilling to negotiate, and though it seemed in the early part of last week that a deal potentially could get done, Atallah said, “The perception is that we were really, really close. The reality is, we really, really weren't."

NFL Labor
That said, the negotiations the past two weeks in Washington weren’t a total failure.

“There were a number of areas – the smaller areas that we started with – where we definitely made traction,” Saturday said. “That was because of the mediation process – to start on details that were pretty close anyway to get the communication going. It was effective. We did move in a lot of areas.”

Just not in the key areas, of course.

“Any communication, any realistic proposal or if they’d like to provide those ten years of audited financials to a third party so we could reach a deal, I’m sure we’d be open to that,” Brees said. “We’re very much in the process that we’ve been forced into; the decertification and the injunction so we can play football next year.

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 9, 2012 3:34 pm

NFL players repeat calls for owners to open books

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 4, 2012 4:33 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 7, 2011 5:07 pm
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 5, 2011 5:40 pm

NFL players repeat calls for owners to open books

I would really should indicate, you picked ur keywords to be honest. The info your organization offered actually are sufficiently cheap packers jerseys employed.

Since: Sep 3, 2006
Posted on: March 17, 2011 1:23 am

NFL players repeat calls for owners to open books

"Best solution.  Get rid of all the players and start new.  Structure there contract according to how they play with a cap on it.  Get rid of the ego-manics and see how they like that.  See alot of the in a soup line thinking about what might have been but I go greedy.  I would just love to have the money they make.  I would be set for life.  But when is enough really enough."

Another rocker scientist I see here! Really, just dump all the players? Wow. The owners are just as greedy and assinine if not more! Lets dump their asses as well! And where exactly do you propose they come up with 1,000 players who are as elite as these? Do you want to try your hand at pro football? Yea, didn't think so. And, even if you come back with the wise ass comment that you would, do you think anyone would care enough to watch, let alone spend $100 bucks on your Jersey? Didn't think so! Dump the players, please, dump the owners if you really have to dump someonem talk about people who are not in touch with the real world.

Since: Mar 15, 2011
Posted on: March 15, 2011 3:59 pm

NFL players repeat calls for owners to open books

I love football.  I do not like seeing what going on with the finger pointing and all that crap.  Im not an english major either but I just have to say whats on my mind so excuse the poor grammar.  Owners are owners for a reason.  They do deserve what they work for.  The players on the other hand play a sport they love and get well rewarded for that.  You or I do not make that kind of money for 5 to 6 months.  Then they have a so called injury and out plus still gets paid.  What kind of crap is that.  Plus have of them do not play to there potential.  Cowboys are a prime example:  Wade Phillilps gone then they play better.  What happened while he was there.  My opinion  they should get paid according to what they produce and get rid of all this other crap.  Now for the lock out.  Lock them out get rid of all these cry baby un-appreciative players and start over.  It will still be football.  The ego maniacs need to go.  One question do you go to your employer and tell him you want to see there books.  No you would be gone.  After all who owns the team the players or the owners.  I would be heated if my players wanted most of my money.  Why work if I have to give it all away.  I have not really seen the Players Associate give up on any ground.  No on the 18 games.  Wow.  Thats what you get paid for.  Doesnt matter about the injuries have of them are not hurt anyway.

Best solution.  Get rid of all the players and start new.  Structure there contract according to how they play with a cap on it.  Get rid of the ego-manics and see how they like that.  See alot of the in a soup line thinking about what might have been but I go greedy.  I would just love to have the money they make.  I would be set for life.  But when is enough really enough.

Since: Apr 6, 2007
Posted on: March 15, 2011 3:42 pm

NFL players repeat calls for owners to open books

Owners have it risk-free?  Please crawl out from the box you are under and start living in the real-world.  NFL franchises are not valued high because they are risk-free, its because they are a rare item.  In fact, only 32 in the world exist.  You know when they talk about cars and how there are only such and such a number in the world and how valuable they are.  Yup, thats an NFL franchise.  And while you are at it, go try and figure out how an investment is risk free when you have to A) pay a certain % of top line revenue to employees, B) pay a ton of money to wait hand and foot on said employees C) pay to operate a stadium etc etc etc.  In order for the business to be a business, the owners need to make a good return on the investment because the prestige factor only goes so far.  Eventually, if you can make more money investing in company X than an NFL team, the owners will change and the league will not be able to sustain itself. 

Since: Jul 9, 2010
Posted on: March 15, 2011 1:36 pm

NFL players repeat calls for owners to open books

I lay blame on both sides and can't reside myself to only choose one said that caused this mess and you make a decent argument for the owners.  However, you say that the players don't get to choose their employer.  Leaving out the fact that I have seen quite a few guys get drafted and hold out and you also get to become a free agent and command your salary based upon performance.  The person/player does get to choose their career path.  "I choose NFL", ok, then you hereby play by the rules of the NFL draft, free agency etc....  You and I can choose Lawyer, Accountant, Teacher, etc... and so can they.  However playing a game and making millions seems a lot more enticing... I get that.  I tend to agree that a comparison can be done to You and I.  You choose a career and an employer that signs you to a contract as well as a non compete clause at that.  hmmm then you are stuck.  You have to fight that in court and prove special circumstances to get out of the contract regardless if there is more money on the table eslewhere.  I am not sure I see the owners doing anything different than a player who holds out to re-do a deal that they had in place. Isn't that honoring a contract as well?  Again boths sides are assess.....
and btw the keep the smug remarks... just a healthy debate can be had...

Since: Sep 3, 2006
Posted on: March 15, 2011 1:25 pm

NFL players repeat calls for owners to open books

Are some of you people down right stupid? You cannot compare this and them wanting to open the books compared your job in your cube. It is not the same. You do not negotiate CBA's in your job, that right there makes this a very different ball game compared to what you are tryingto compare it to. And also, if you work for a publicly traded company than yes, you do know basically what the books say and what each salary of every boss is because it is public knowledge and easy to find. You all need to stop, think and buy a clue before spouting off your nonsense.

Since: Jan 11, 2007
Posted on: March 15, 2011 10:58 am

NFL players repeat calls for owners to open books

Like a lot of  fans, I am tired of hearing about the whining and crying of people who make millions of dollars and still try to get more.  Several statements in this blog are absolutely true.  These players are making a tremendous amount of money.  Most of these players such as Tank Williams, Michael Vick, Ray Lewis, and several others are lucky to making so much instead of being either in prison or still in prison.  Definitely there are others that we don't even hear about that have done crimes that should not have warranted them to get paid millions to play this great game.  The only ones suffering are the concession workers making minimum wage, having to sell 5 dollar hot dogs, 10 dollar beers and not getting any money off of the profit. They should be the ones on strike.  Just like ole Albert Haynesworth, gets a 100 million dollar contract, a contract that most people would take and definitely not complain about doing the job they are told to do. But what does he do, disagrees with the coach and wants immediately traded.  They should have been able to say, "okay but your contract is now invalid, tore up and you get nothing".  These players and the owners that are giving into them are doing nothing but like alot of people out there knows, hurting the great fans out there.  High tickets prices, high concession prices, parking prices.  Then along with that now having to pay high gas prices to get there.  I don't know how many have watched the movie, "Mr. Mom" with Michael Keaton and Teri Garr, but the owners and players ought to take a little saying out of that movie.  Teri Garr says, " "during this period of economic crisis, Schooner will drop the price of each can of tuna 50 cents. When these difficult times are over we will return to our regular pricing, but until that, remember, we’re in this together." That is exactly what ever owner and player in football, basketball and baseball need to be doing. Times are very hard on families right now do to the gas prices and now everything around them is going up.  The players and owners need to cut ticket prices, and concession prices while taking a small chunk out of their high priced checks.  Otherwise there might also be a shortage of fans to go to games.  Then the owners and players will have to take a hit anyway. 

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