Tag:Jerry Richardson
Posted on: April 19, 2011 9:46 am

Mediation resumes Tuesday with new faces

Posted by Will Brinson

Mediation in the Brady v. NFL matter resumes Tuesday, and there will be some changes in the people present for the two parties.

For starters, NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith won't be present at the mediation, due to "a family medical emergency," per Mark Maske of the Washington Post.

Meanwhile, Albert Breer of the NFL Network reports that the NFL's negotiating team will feature Commissioner Roger Goodell, lead counsel Jeff Pash, Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Broncos owner Pat Bowlen, and Packers CEO Mark Murphy.

Out of the owners present, only Richardson -- considered perhaps the lead negotiator for the owners -- is a holdover from last week. And it's interesting that the group heading into the second week of court-ordered mediation is in stark contrast to the group (Bob Kraft of the Pats, Clark Hunt of the Chiefs and Art Rooney of the Steelers) that was in Minnesota last week.

Jones, as you'll recall, allegedly had a bit of a confrontation with the players when the two sides mediated before George Cohen in Washington, D.C. That's not to say this will end poorly, because however the two sides act over the course of the mediation ends up reflecting on their position to Judge Susan Nelson.

And maybe it's a good thing that a new group of owners gets to see the proceedings and gauge the NFLPA's position at this point in time through an in-person experience.

Smith's absence is regrettable, certainly, but a family illness is one of the things that get you excused from almost any mediation. It probably also means that we're unlikely to see any settlement on Tuesday.

But that was likely to be the case anyway -- as our own Mike Freeman wrote recently, this second round of mediation might theoretically hold more water because it's court-ordered, but it's just about as likely to produce a happy ending to this labor dispute as the UFL is to produce football that will satisfy America come the fall.

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Posted on: April 14, 2011 7:45 pm
Edited on: April 14, 2011 9:23 pm

NFL, NFLPA will continue mediation Friday

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

After nearly 10 hours of negotiations today, the mediation session between the NFL and the NFLPA in the presence of U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan has ended. And, as we suspected, not many people are saying much of anything.

Although NFL lead negotiator Jeff Pash said the two sides would return to the courthouse in Minneapolis on Friday, commissioner Roger Goodell said, “We pledged confidentiality.”

As NFL.com's Albert Breer wrote earlier this evening, “I've been told talks upstairs have been ‘tough’ and there's lots of ‘fence-mending’ to be done.”

Still, it sounds like something productive occured.

"We had a full day. It was constructive to get together," said Pash, who was joined by Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, Chiefs owner Clark Hunt, Steelers owner Art Rooney and Patriots owner Robert Kraft. "The chief magistrate judge is working very hard, and I give him a lot of credit for really trying to move the parties toward a solution."

OK, that sounds fine. But how long will this mediation attempt last? Until (fingers crossed!) there’s a resolution?

 "The court has indicated it wants to continue with everyone talking as long as it makes sense," said Michael Hausfeld, one of the attorneys for the players.

Hmm, that doesn’t really tell us much, does it?

Actually, the fact that NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith (who was joined by Vikings LB Ben Leber, Chiefs LB Mike Vrabel and Hall of Fame DE Carl Eller) and Goodell – who had to step away from part of the bargaining session to join in on a conference call scheduled with 5,300 Browns fans – attended the mediation is a pretty good sign.

"I can tell you that it's a positive step when the parties are talking," Goodell told the Browns fans. "We saw the March 11 proposal as responsive to issues raised by the players and there are many attractive elements in it. ... Our entire focus is on getting a deal done."

Though these sessions were mandated by Judge Susan Nelson – who will eventually rule on the Brady v NFL case – it’s obviously positive that the two sides, once again, are meeting. And hope for an agreement of any sort between the two sides continues.

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Posted on: April 14, 2011 9:48 am
Edited on: April 14, 2011 11:49 am

Mediation underway; four owners attending talks

Posted by Andy Benot

Thursday is the start of the court-ordered resumed mediation between the NFL and NFLPA (kickoff time 10:00 a.m. EST). This time the talks are taking place in Minnesota in the chambers of Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan.

NFL Labor
According to league spokesman Greg Aiello, four NFL owners are attending the Thursday session: Robert Kraft of the Patriots, Jerry Richardson of the Panthers, Clark Hunt of the Chiefs and Art Rooney of the Steelers. Also in the room are Roger Goodell, NFL lead negotiator Jeff Pash and, according to NFL Network's Albert Breer, Falcons president Rich McKay.

Judge Susan Nelson, who ordered this mediation, has required that whoever is on hand must have the power of full authority. In other words, the individuals in the room must be able to work out whatever (if any) deal their side is willing to do.


UPDATE 10:19 a.m. EST: Breer reports that two of the plaintiffs in the Brady v NFL case are in the mediation: Mike Vrabel of the Chiefs and Ben Leber of the Vikings.

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Posted on: March 30, 2011 7:28 pm

NFL owners will make large payment to players

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

NFL owners will make a rather large payment to their players Thursday, completing their obligations for the 2010 season. In a release, the NFL announced it will deposit $177 million for players’ benefits into a BNY Mellon bank account, bringing its total contribution to $245 million.

NFL Labor
Among those benefits include “the pension plan, group medical insurance, the disability plan, and the ‘88’ program for retired players with dementia or related conditions.”

“NFL ownership is proud of the outstanding benefits that NFL players have enjoyed in recent years and the improvements that have been made for retired players,” said Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, a former NFL player, in a statement. “We have more work to do, especially for the retired players, and look forward to further improvements being part of the new NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement.”

It seems like this is just another release intended for positive PR, as if the owners’ generosity compelled them to spontaneously give a ton of money to the players. But, under the terms of the CBA that expired earlier this month, owners paying players this money was part of the deal.

As the statement released by the NFLPA reads, "NFL players would like to thank the NFL for issuing a press release touting their contractual and legal obligations.”

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Category: NFL
Posted on: March 30, 2011 11:56 am

Players, owners rethinking salary cap structure?

Posted by Andy Benoit

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk brought up one of the most interesting ideas in the issue of revenue sharing: a pegged salary cap. In other words, instead of the salary cap being determined by a certain percentaJ. Richardson (US Presswire)ge of revenue (which is the current model), it is a predetermined set amount.

Florio’s sources tell him that this is an idea the players brought up in the meeting the day before the Super Bowl (that was the meeting where Jerry Richardson reportedly demeaned Peyton Manning).

The pegged cap would be based on revenue projections. It’s attractive to the players because it makes for simpler auditing and guarantees they will still get their money even if revenue comes in lower than expected.

Florio writes, “As of right now, the two sides are $10 million apart per team on the ‘pegged cap’ approach . . . The owners have offered $141 million per team in salary and benefits, and the players have requested $151 million.  If they can bridge the gap and devise a procedure for handling any excess growth, they should be able to do a deal fairly quickly.

NFL Labor

As to 2012, it’s our understanding that the gap in the respective cap proposals is only $5 million per team, with the league agreeing to pay what the players have requested in 2013 and 2014.”

A pegged cap would presumably be easier on NFL front offices, as they would be able to structure players’ contracts long-term with knowledge of the exact budget they’re working with.

The last capped year was 2009. The salary cap that season was $130 million.

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Posted on: March 19, 2011 9:45 am

Start you weekend with some NFLPA & NFL nonsense

Posted by Andy Benoit

In a recent sit down interview with ESPN’s George Hill, NFLPA executive committee members Mike Vrabel, Drew Brees, Domonique Foxworth, Brian Dawkins and Jeff Saturday told their side of several of the stories that have come to define the acrimonious labor negotiations.

One of the things Vrabel said was that the players would love to get back to the negotiating table . . . as long as it’s Jerry Jones, Bob Kraft, Jerry Richardson and other owners seated at that table, not owners and their cadre of lawyers and negotiators. Vrabel specifically said no Jeff Pash.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello responded: “The NFL’s negotiating team — accompanied by the three owners (Vrabel) mentioned, Jerry Jones, Jerry Richardson and Robert Kraft — is prepared to meet immediately. Just tell us when and where.”

Of course, this was hardly a response at all, as the NFL’s negotiating team includes Roger Goodell and Pash.

In the end, it’s more verbal posturing by two sides that everyone is starting to root against.

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Posted on: March 17, 2011 3:38 pm

Hot Routes 3.17.11: Panthers paying employees

Posted by Will Brinson

Got a link for the Hot Routes? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL).
  • According to GQ, the Philadelphia Eagles have the second-worst fans in the country. First? The Phillies!
Posted on: March 16, 2011 6:33 pm

Giants throw their fans a bone during lockout

Posted by Andy Benoit

Should NFL season-ticket holders have to pay to renew their seats while the NFL is locked out? Depends which team you ask. The Patriots say yes. So do 30 other teams. All are willing to repay fans, with interest, in the event that the 2011 season does not happen. (Credit Sports Illustrated’s Jim Trotter for pointing this out. The intrepid Trotter organized a review of all 32 teams' season-ticket policies.)

Only one team is willing to wait and have fans pay them once a 2011 season is assured. You can probably guess from the headline that that team is the New York Giants. John Mara broke this news himself to Mike Francesa of WFAN radio.

The Mara and Tisch families are well-respected around the league and in the New York/New Jersey community because of business practices like these.

For what it's worth, the Panthers, owned by powerful executive committee member Jerry Richardson, are willing to accept only a 10 percent payment until the lockout is lifted.

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