Seahawks Insider

McIntyre: Player bonuses on hold during lockout

Post by Eric Williams on March 15, 2011 at 11:34 am with 57 Comments »
March 16, 2011 1:02 pm
Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Brandon Mebane (TNT file photo).

By Brian McIntyre
Now that the 2006 collective bargaining agreement expired, the NFLPA decertified and the NFL owners locked out the players – who are filing lawsuits and injunctions against the NFL – a common belief has been that neither side will blink until August or September, when the threat of missed gates and game-checks will be most real.

There is some truth in that, though both sides have plenty of incentives to reach a deal as quickly as possible.

For the owners, it’s about control.

Many NFL teams, including the Seattle Seahawks, were to begin off-season conditioning programs this week. With players barred from the facilities, those programs are on hold.

Off-Season Training Activities (OTAs) and mini-camps have been scheduled and were to begin next month, giving teams that hired new head coaches and coordinators between 14 and 23 days’ worth of practices to install systems before training camp. Those, too, will have to wait.

Another negative aspect of the lockout from the team’s perspective is that players are not subject to random drug tests or the personal conduct policy.

From the players’ point of view, the biggest issue with the lockout is that free agency has been delayed. Over 500 would-be free agents are currently in limbo, and may remain so until a new collective bargaining is in place, or the players receive an injunction that lifts the lockout. A hearing on an injunction is scheduled for April 6, but even then, 2010 rules are likely to be imposed, meaning players with four or five accrued seasons, like Brandon Mebane, will be restricted free agents and kept off the open market.

Players under contract could lose over $40 million in workout bonuses this off-season, with a few hundred million in salary advances and option/roster bonuses delayed indefinitely.

The Seahawks’ player with the most to lose is offensive lineman Stacy Andrews, who is due a $500,000 workout bonus this off-season. 2010 first-round pick Russell Okung has a $200,000 workout bonus, while Marcus Trufant, Lofa Tatupu, Earl Thomas, Chris Clemons, and Mike Williams have $100,000 workout bonuses. Kentwan Balmer ($62,500) and John Carlson ($60,000) stand to lose five-figure workout bonuses this off-season. Marshawn Lynch has an $8,120 workout bonus from his Buffalo Bills contract, while Max Unger stands to miss out on a $7,000 workout bonus in his rookie contract.

Considering how rookie deals are structured, it’s no surprise that 2010 first-round picks Okung and Thomas have the largest amounts of off-season payments that are currently delayed by the lockout.

Okung and Thomas are due to receive salary advances within the first 30 days of the 2011 league year, whenever that begins. Okung is scheduled to receive $10 million from his 2011-15 salaries, while Thomas gets $5 million from his 2011-14 salaries. Okung is also scheduled to receive a $5 million reporting bonus this off-season, while Thomas will receive a reporting bonus worth $3.5 million.

Though it’s unclear if he reached playing-time requirements last season to achieve it, 2010 second-round pick Golden Tate may have a $471,500 reporting bonus due at the start of training camp.

As part of their three-year contract extensions, Mike Williams and Ben Obomanu are each due $1 million in roster and reporting bonuses this off-season. In the unlikely scenario where games are missed due to the lockout, Williams, Balmer, and David Hawthorne would lose per game roster bonuses.

Brian McIntyre blogs daily about the NFL over at Mac’s Football Blog. You can follow Brian on Twitter, and if you’d like to e-mail him, you can always do so by clicking here.
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Leave a comment Comments → 57
  1. Dukeshire says:

    Very interesting stuff. We’ll know a whole lot more about the make up of the ’11 season after the April 6th ruling. That is going to be a big day.

  2. Checking in with PFT and the self-proclaimed Hack Florio (who occasionally rises above that level), more evidence that owners repeatedly treated the players with contempt:

    The account of Jerry Jones talking down to the players, stating he didnt think “they” had the players attention, so they would get it by locking them out (Jones used a hand gesture rather than speak the word “lockout”, RUDE!), and then he got up and walked out of the room.

    Sure makes the League look like the lieing liers that lie that they are, considering multiple league sources have insisted in print that they were willing to continue negotiations with the Union. Its obvious that they werent, in truth, willing to negotiate. The gave a sub-standard offer, knowing full well the Union and players would reject it. And then blamed the players.

    It takes two to tango, but story after story paints a picture completely different than the BS the league and owners are feeding to the media.

    And it really bothered me to hear Paul Allen toeing the league’s BS line. I was hoping he wasnt another Jerry Richardson or Jerry Jones, but I guess his huge money has warped his perceptions to the point where he believes, as many owners do, that the players are ungrateful serfs that should be grateful for what they get.

    I am getting royally sick of the league and the owners, and this entire lockout fiasco. Im gonna go barf….

  3. Dukeshire says:

    And further evidence that the league wasn’t truly willing to negotiate in good faith is Goodell today talking to Adam Shefter, said their proposal was “… a sincere offer and a good starting point.” To clarify; the league’s last ditch effort to avoid “having” to locking the players out, as they claim they didn’t want to do, is considered a starting point. After two years, the league’s “starting point” comes just hours before the twice extended deadline was set to expire. It also implies they knew the players would reject the offer, which would result in decertification, or they were trying to call the union’s bluff.

  4. chuck_easton says:

    I’m still leaning towards favoring the owners but both sides are working hard to be the bigger children and crybabies

    I half expect one side or the other to resort to holding their breath until they get their way

  5. Dukeshire says:

    Chuck – Boy, doesn’t it feel like that though? I side with the players, as I’m sure most know by now, but asking the invitees to the draft to not attend is such bush-league nonsense… At some point the egos need to be set aside so real negotiations can take place. All the posturing and semantics through the press serves no purpose other than to alienate fans and delay the inevitable.

  6. maddog12 says:

    I wish one side would hold their breath. I don’t care which one.

  7. I really feel sorry for those guys having to eat Mac & Cheese and Top Ramen every night. I sure hope they get this resolved soon.

  8. Mmm…Ramen.

  9. Thank goodness Opening Day isn’t too far away. Their owner/player system may suck, but at least they aren’t seeing how badly they can destroy themselves in the court of public opinion these days. Baseball took a huge hit in ’94. I hope the NFL takes a huge hit in ’11. They deserve it.

  10. CHawkFanIn9erLand says:

    LOL. I think it’s pretty silly for people to say the league wasn’t willing to negotiate, when they clearly have negotiated. Look at the terms of their most recent offer. It clearly shows some compromise.

    If anything, it appears that the players union got their feelings hurt and showed up with no real intent to negotiate. I can’t see any significant signs of movement from the union.

  11. CHawkFanIn9erLand says:

    And yes, I agree with chuck and duke, both sides appear pretty juvenile right now.

  12. chuck_easton says:

    I should explain why I side with the owners.

    1. The owners are the ones that put the financial risk into each team and the league. The players do not. If the league folds tomorrow the owners lose their investment the players just lose a paycheck.

    2. For 36 years I’ve been a fan of the SEATTLE SEAHAWKS. I’m not a fan of the Seattle Hasselbeck’s or the Seattle Mebane’s or the Seattle Zorn’s or such. Players go where the money is. When a player is cut or moves on to another team I don’t suddenly switch my love to that other team. I don’t follow the players, I follow the team. The guys wearing the uniform I root for and develop an interest in, but they are NOT the team.

    3. Players have developed a sense of entitlement lately. They are above the law. They are ‘stars’ and ‘divas’. They can dump on the fans because they don’t have to care.

    4. A player has one good season and he holds out for more money. When was the last time a player (Curry, cough, cough) ever gone into management and said “I know you paid me this great amount of money but I haven’t really earned it so I refuse to play another down until you lower my salary to where it should be”?

    5. Can anyone on here actually go into their boss and demand to see the books or they won’t work? Didn’t think so. I have what might be the closest situation in my employment. The lawyers in my firm are paid based on 50% of what they brought into the firm the year before. So, yes, I have a right to know what I brought in. I don’t know what all the other lawyers brought in and I don’t know what the firm’s overall numbers are. I have a good year my pay goes up. I have a bad year my pay goes down. I don’t get to demand a big raise in the good years and refuse a pay cut in the bad years. Players do. Their pay just goes up and up regardless of performance and the only option open to the team is to cut them.

  13. The owners have risk? Will they develop dementia latter in life ,Do they even have to worried about it? Oh, financial risk hum,how many teams net worth have went down in the last 10 years. What percent of players are “diva’s” very few I think for every T.O. there are 100 hard working Mack Strong’s.

  14. Palerydr says:

    Well stated argument Chuck. I’ve read a few of your posts and you keep referring to “A reasonable man” as a foundation for making a ruling/decision. Your argument is clear to me that you think the Owners are being more reasonable. I infer from your argument that players are nothing more than assets to be used however the owners see fit. Most players are out of the league in just over 3 years. While compensated very well for that 3 years I would think, and I have no stats to back it up, that a high percentage of those players move on to another career. In those careers the income potential would in most cases be significantly less than the wages made as a player. So why shouldn’t players ask for the most compensation available to them? As for opening the books yes most situations you don’t get to see the numbers but in this case I agree with the players. They risk severe injury on any given play as the most significant factor I feel that gives them the right to see the numbers.

    On a side note I totally agree with you some players do have a sense of entitlement. As a General Contractor I’ve had occasion to work with or hear horror stories about some of these entitled spoiled brats(cough Dave Henderson cough) and they do leave a bad taste in your mouth.

  15. Re chuck_easton’ comments on why he sides with the owners.

    Chuck says that the owners take a financial risk and that the players do not.
    I contend that in all jobs, an employee takes on a financial risk that the employer will pay them. This is no different then the employer taking on the financial risk that the customer will pay them. The employer assumes the risk that the customer will want to buy his product. The employee assumes the risk that the employer will want to buy his services.

    Chuck asks the question – can anyone on here actually go into their boss and demand to see the books…?
    This is America, and yes, they can. That doesn’t mean that they will be allowed to see the books, but they can ask. Maybe they would be fired, but if the employee is a very, very valuable asset, that won’t happen.

    This whole exercise is simply a contract negotiation between two parties. Supply and Demand is the basic concept for me in this negotiation. Since an average employee doesn’t have the same bargaining power as a professional athlete does, their negotiation is much more one-sided in favor of the owner (man with the money). We all know that the owner can find thousands of ticket takers, but as Seahawks fans, we know how few people can successfully play cornerback for the Seahawks.

    The owners want the players services so that they can aggregate them as an asset that they can rent/lease to their customers. The players, in turn, say that they are, collectively, a rare and valuable asset, and if the owners want the use of this aggregated asset, then they the players want direct revenue participation. This is America, anyone can ask for it, but you better be a very, very valuable asset if you expect to get it.

    Chuck, apparently, you are a lawyer. I am not. However, to me this looks like a simple case of a contract being negotiated between 2 very powerful parties. No reason to get our collective shorts all bunched up over it. Its simply business. What would have been fun would have been to have watched Jerry Jones collective negotiations with all the parties involved in building his Jones Mahal stadium.

  16. CHawkFanIn9erLand says:

    I agree with a lot of what Chuck said. I find it funny that people who think it’s preposterous for the owners to get a bigger piece of the pie without exploratory surgery, yet those same people think it’s ok for the players to just demand more money. It’s a double standard.

    This is a business. Either side can demand more money. It doesn’t make them criminals, it just makes them a group of people who want more money.

    And please, quit with the bs argument that players are sacrificing their bodies for this business. I played years of football for free. It’s just manipulation to say that players are risking their bodies. For what? Are they saving lives? Are they fighting for freedom? LOL heck no, they want to get rich, they want the glory, they love walking into a club and saying “Hello ma’am, I’m an NFL football player, here’s my hotel room key.”

    Wow, what a sacrifice. Poor babies.

    Both sides are trying to convince us that they are reasonable and that they are doing this for us, and that they have the fan and game’s best interest in mind. BS. The owners are doing this for money. The players are doing this for money.

    Neither of them gives a rat’s rear end about us, all they care about is the money we spend on the sport.

  17. Re my previous post about chuck_eastons comments on why he sides with the owners

    I should have included the following information:
    1) I am a business owner.
    2) I do not prefer either the owners or the players in this negotiation.
    3) If I was a high-level employee or minority partner and if I was negotiating revenue-sharing participation, you better believe that I would insist on reviewing the audited financials. To not do so, would be village-idiot level stupid and if I was also representing other shareholders, it could also be construed as criminally stupid.

  18. CHawkFanIn9erLand says:

    LOL county. The players are being offered a percentage of revenues, not profits. They’ve had access to the detailed, audited, verified revenue statements that pertain to the agreement all along.

    They don’t need audited financials from every team to sort out if 50% is enough, or if 60% is enough. This isn’t a “trust us, we’ll give you 50% honest, you can trust us” issue.

    Partners are owners, and as such get access to the financials. Employees can ask, demand, throw fits, whatever they want. That doesn’t mean employers have an obligation to give it to them.

  19. And please, quit with the bs argument that players are sacrificing their bodies for this business.

    It’s not a bs statement it’s a concrete fact. Whatever reason they are doing it for doesn’t change this fact. I also played many games of tackle football(As I’m sure many of the bloggers here have) in all weathers for years and never got anything more than the satisfaction of playing the game so what are you trying to say? That somebody should have payed you for that? Really……………..

  20. Mediation: Owners want 50%, players want 60%, so owners get 45%, players get 55%.
    Arbitration: Owners want 50%, players want 60%, so owners get 45%, and players get 55%.
    Court: Owners want 50%, players want 60%, so either owners get 50% or players get 60%.

    Kinda sounds like greed?

  21. Re CHawkFanin9erLand’s March 16, 2011 AT 10:09 AM post:

    >The players are being offered a percentage of revenues, not profits.Employees can ask…That doesn’t mean employers have an obligation to give it to them.<

    I agree with you that the owners do not have an obligation to give the employee's access to their financials. I am not certain what point of mine that you are addressing, though. I reviewed my posts, and I don't see where I either stated or even hinted that there is an obligation for them to do so. If it is there, then I am missing it.

  22. Revised – my previous post did not include the entire contents of the post.

    Re CHawkFanin9erLand’s March 16, 2011 AT 10:09 AM post:

    >The players are being offered a percentage of revenues, not profits.Employees can ask…That doesn’t mean employers have an obligation to give it to them.<

    I agree with you that the owners do not have an obligation to give the employee's access to their financials. I am not certain what point of mine that you are addressing, though. I reviewed my posts, and I don't see where I either stated or even hinted that there is an obligation for them to do so. If it is there, then I am missing it.

  23. Sorry – but the following was going through with the 2 previous posts; hope makes it this time.

    Re CHawkFanin9erLand’s March 16, 2011 AT 10:09 AM post:

    >The players are being offered a percentage of revenues, not profits.<

    Perhaps, I am incorrect, but I thought that the owners wanted to alter the revenue sharing arrangement because their net profit was found to be inadequate subsequent to the previous CBA (collective bargaining agreement). If my understanding is correct, then, if I was a players' representative, I would want to see audited financials that would confirm that I needed to adjust my position. On the other hand, if my understanding is incorrect, then I agree with you that there is more than sufficient financial information available to the players side.

  24. CHawkFanIn9erLand says:

    Right, but when the players were the ones asking for a bigger piece of the pie, did the owners ask for bank statements, hardship letters, proof of child support requirements, and copies of car loans, so that they could say “no, in our opinion you’re making enough”?

    That would be preposterous. And so is this.

    I wasn’t implying that you said the owners had an obligation to give the information, I was replying to the statement that only a village idiot would expect anything other than full financial disclosure.

  25. Re CHawkFanIn9erLand

    >…I was replying to the statement that only a village idiot would expect anything other than full financial disclosure….when the players were the ones asking for a bigger piece of the pie, did the owners ask for bank statements, hardship letters…<

    This is a financial negotiation and not a referendum on who deserves what or who is right and who is wrong. In this case, if you get it, then you deserve it, and it doesn't matter if the share is 10% or 80%. Besides,the owners could have asked for the players financial data if they had wanted to do so. Apparently, it wasn't important to them – either that or they didn't think of it. Preposterous works best when we set up a straw man to knock down. You know, like welfare queens or corporate welfare bums.

  26. I apologize for the re posting – for some reason my complete posts are not going through. It may have been caused by my use of the arrows so I am trying it without them, this time.

    Re CHawkFanIn9erLand

    “…I was replying to the statement that only a village idiot would expect anything other than full financial disclosure.”

    For accuracy, I wrote “insist on reviewing the audited financials” rather than your concoction, “would expect anything other than full financial disclosure”. Also, I stand by my “…village-idiot level stupid…” reference. Tangentially, I believe that the political term back in the day when applied to the US – Soviet Union relationship was “trust but verify”. It appears to me that the owners and players have a similar view of one another.

    Besides, if the owners are accurate and the previous CBA caused the imbalance that they allege, what is the harm in showing the audited financials from each team to the players’ group? I am interested in your take on the factual negatives to the owners in doing so. I’m disinterested in why they might find it distasteful.

    “…when the players were the ones asking for a bigger piece of the pie, did the owners ask for bank statements, hardship letters…”

    This is a financial negotiation and not a referendum on who deserves what or who is right and who is wrong. In this case, if you get it, then you deserve it, and it doesn’t matter if it is 10% or 80%. Besides,the owners could have asked for the players financials if they had wanted to do so. Apparently, it wasn’t important to them; either that or they didn’t think of it. Preposterous works best when we set up a straw man to knock down. You know, like welfare queens or corporate welfare.

  27. longco44 says:

    This whole debacle is what makes it real hard for me to enjoy pro sports these days. It’s no longer played for the love of the game. It’s a bunch of whiney, greedy money hungry bastards who really don’t give a S##T.

    I bet everyone who contributes their thoughts/opinions on this Seahawks Insider would be living very comfortably with even HALF of the League Minimum.

    None of these players deserve what they make (now I know that’s just my opinion) and here’s another one….. If these players can’t live off of 1 million or less per year, then maybe they need to tone down their lifestyles…

    Even at 1 million per year I don’t believe any player deserves that! But oh well, just my thoughts.

  28. CHawkFanIn9erLand says:

    The semantics are getting old, so I’m only going to address you once more. Statements about referendums and who deserves what, etc are simply attempts at using hyperbole to make my opinion seem extreme or absolute. This is really much more simple than you’re making it.

    1) The owners want more money
    2) The union wants more money

    If someone goes to court demanding that the financials be provided, that’s an assertion that they have the right to that information. That they have the opinion that they deserve it. Whether or not you agree with the assertion, the union believes that they have the right to that information, and they are asking the courts to agree. They can think what they want, but I think that assertion is preposterous. Their income isn’t based on profitability, it’s based on revenue.

    With that in mind, your trust but verify assertion doesn’t seem to belong. Nobody’s asking the union to trust the owners. If they agree to 50%, they’ll be provided documentation verifying that their portion is based on accurate revenue calculations.

    There is only one criteria upon which the owner’s desire to make more money needs to be based … “We want more money.” It doesn’t matter what the financials from the last 10 years states … “we want more money” = “we want more money”. If they are making a billion dollars per club, but they want 1.2 billion, then the “we want more money = we want more money” equation still holds true.

    What will the union do with the audited financials? Decide if the teams are making enough money in the omniscient opinion of the players? LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Would the players allow the owners to audit the personal finances of Tom Brady, Manning, etc, and say “sorry, but you’re making enough money in our opinion?” That would be preposterous, and unacceptable. Spin it however you want, in my opinion it’s an unreasonable request. And don’t worry, I know it’s just my opinion.

    And we actually agree on something … the owners didn’t ask for that information because it isn’t important. It’s not relevant. Just like it’s not relevant for the players to know the finances of their employers either. The only relevant piece is the revenue, and they have that information already.

    If the league had said “The teams are going out of business, and the only reason we’re here is because we’re only making a 1.2% return on our investment”, then yeah, I’d say prove it and we’ll talk. But you know what? They didn’t do that. They said the current situation doesn’t work for us, we want it changed. They don’t need to provide anything to prove it doesn’t work for them, all they need to have is the opinion that it’s not working. It seems pretty simple to me.

  29. CHawkFanIn9erLand says:

    Paleryder, come on man.

    So when I play City League basketball, who am I sacrificing my body for? The game?!?!?!

    I think it’s time people got over themselves a little. I’m not sacrificing my body at work, I’m working. My son isn’t sacrificing his body for his school football team, he’s playing football.

    If we really buy into the logic that the players are sacrificing their bodies for the game, then I guess we’re all heros. I sacrificed my body as a professional tennis player. My wife sacrificed her youth for the Nurse’s association. My son sacrificed his body for Little League. My auto mechanic sacrificed his fingernails for interstate commerce. We’re all martyrs.

  30. Dukeshire says:

    I don’t believe any of those professions / endeavors / recreations leave their participants crippled or otherwise disabled and / or permanently injured for the remainder of their lives at the rate or to the degree playing in the NFL does. Not by miles. (I know better than to get involved in the middle of a debate like this. But to not acknowledge the toll professional football takes on the players’ body is to not truly appreciate what’s happening on the field, IMO. That is, professional tennis vs a NFL player? Please. Carry on…)

  31. CHawkFanIn9erLand says:

    Yeah duke, you know you’re right. I polled everybody I know. I askedthem to tell me what they first think of when I say “NFL Player”.

    Every person polled said they immediately thought of all the terrible sacrifices these players make, and all for us Duke.

    My wife hasn’t suffered any head trauma as a nurse, but she did contract Hepatitis C during an emergency procedure trying to remove an object from a gang member’s lung.

    When it’s time for union contract discussions, sure they try to play on the emotion of what they do. Any other time, she’s showing up to work because it pays six figures.

    And ur right, I didn’t risk paralysis as a tennis player. All I had were 3 knee surgeries. I wasn’t very good, probably averaged 55k per year (most from lessons), but I didn’t choose tennis because it was safe. I chose it because I wasn’t good at football.

    I would love to have the opportunity to put up with all the sacrifices of these poor desolate NFL pros.

  32. CHawkFanIn9erLand says:

    Having said all I have, I’m not happy with ownership either. They aren’t representing me as a fan in any of this.

    I wasn’t happy at all to see them opt out of a 2 yr old agreement. What, they weren’t good enough at math to see what their P&L’s would look like in 2 years? Whatever.

  33. Dukeshire says:

    Of course that’s not what I said, nor implied. I said the “toll” it takes on the body. You don’t agree that professional football players suffer injuries that effect the remainder of their lives at a significantly higher rate that any of the things you mentioned? (So much so, that IMO the comparisons aren’t reasonable. I’m not suggesting there isn’t inherent risk in those things, but not to the degree there is in the NFL.)

  34. CHawkFanIn9erLand says:

    I think I already said that the risk of injury is higher. That point is so obvious that I think it’s a waste of time.

    The discussion we’re having is around the level of sacrifice that NFL players are really making to play football. I understand the commitment required to remain in the NFL. And I do understand how physical football is, I played it competitively in high school and college (lol I was invited to not return to football my junior year in college). I played for free. And you know what, it wasn’t a sacrifice, it was freaking awesome.

    I’m sorry Duke, but I think it’s in bad faith for players to even try to manipulate facts to tell their story of sacrifice. My point is that they are doing their job. Not out of sacrifice, but because they either want the paycheck, the glory, the fame, or they have a passion for football, or they are addicted to the competition, or the locker room experience, or whatever. But they aren’t doing it out of some sense of duty or sacrifice. I think that’s just a lame assertion.

  35. Dukeshire says:

    Well, chalk this up to another point on which we disagree regarding the whole thing. I do believe they are sacrificing their bodies and long term health. They are compensated (as you mentioned) to do so, but they are putting their bodies on the line. It’s their choice of course, but by making the decision to play, they are sacrificing (potentially) long term health. I think perhaps you’re hung up on the word sacrifice. By saying that they are sacrificing their bodies, it is not also implied this is out of some level of altruism or martyrdom. It’s a choice, but it is an absolute sacrifice in my book. Anyway… just my opinion.

  36. Re CHawkFanIn9erLand

    Sorry to hear that “the semantics are getting old”. Was it because I restated what I wrote, and then positioned it beside what you appeared to characterize as to what I wrote and implied.

    Now there you’ve got me. I was completely unaware that the players association was “demanding” in court that the audited financial statements of the individual clubs be provided to them. Anyway, sounds like a solid negotiating tactic to me if this is the case. Did the players association state that they believe that they have “a right” to that information. If so, I was unaware of that, too. I know that they wanted it, but not that they believed that they had a divine right to it.

    As for the balance of your post, I believe that now that I have been both exposed and suitably chastised for being such scum, that I will certainly think twice before being so disagreeable in the future. You have done me a service, and I am grateful for it.


  37. CHawkFanIn9erLand says:

    Yeah county, that’s exactly what I said. You got me there, very intelligent. If you’re position is that the union hasn’t demanded access to the financials, then I guess there’s no point. I pretty much try to stick to this reality, here, on earth, in this dimension of time and space.

  38. CHawkFanIn9erLand says:

    Hey Duke,

    Of course I agree that there is a sacrifice on the part of the players. My point is that we all sacrifice something for our livelihood. The players get compensated for the risk they take. I think we got started on this conversation because I replied to someone’s post, stating that it’s the players who assume all the risk here, so they are entitled to more than the owners.

    One person said they were on the owner’s side, because they assume all the risk. In my opinion, that point seems pretty shallow. Of course they risk financial loss, that doesn’t make them automatically right in this.

    Another person replied by saying it was the players that assume more risk because of the physical toll this game takes. In my opinion, I think that gets used too much as emotional leverage in this negotiation.

    You’ve consistently said that you’re on the players side on this, and that the league has shown a lack of good intention.

    My point is that both sides have shown profound selfishness and lack of good intention.

    Let’s say for a moment that the owners were disrespectful, mean, dastardly, and talked down to the players. Bad owners. Bad league office. Bad commissioner.

    With that in mind, the owners put together a deal that showed compromise, and movement in the union’s direction. But the union decided, rather than to capitalize on that momentum, they needed to walk away from the table and take this to court. REALLY? I mean, there was nothing more to be accomplished at the negotiating table? I mean, they publicly stated they wouldn’t extend the deadline unless they got their way.

    Leaving the table and running to the courtroom doesn’t show good faith to me. It stinks of hurt feelings and vindication.

    Where’s the fan in all of this? Arguing with each other, and p1ssed off because our season is in jeapardy.

    From where I sit, the bad guys are on both sides of the table. The posturing from both sides is to be expected, I’m just surprised to see so many people really buying it.

  39. Sarcasticus says:

    The reality of the situation is there are 9.3 billion dollars generated.

    Give a % of how you think it should be split between owners and the players.

  40. Dukeshire says:

    “My point is that both sides have shown profound selfishness and lack of good intention.”

    There’s no question about that.

    “Where’s the fan in all of this? Arguing with each other, and p1ssed off because our season is in jeopardy.”

    That’s what I was saying the other day, I didn’t want to get into arguments and bad feelings between us (the fans). The whole thing is gross and I certainly wasn’t intending to single you out or argue for the sake of it. It seems my frustration is a bit misdirected at times.

  41. CHawkFanIn9erLand says:

    LOL, I liked what somebody said the other day in a comment here …

    Something like “I wish one side or the other would hold their breath until this ends … and I don’t care which”

  42. Palerydr says:

    Well I didn’t realize my comments would initiate this conversation @chawkfaninninerland I wasn’t making the point that players sacrifice more and should get there demands met because of that. It’s an occupational hazard that needs to be recognized is all. The players aren’t performing life and death services to the public they provide entertainment which we are all passionate about. They do however put there lives at risk by taking the field. We all are on the same side we just have different opinions.

    I do agree with you that this is about money and from my view both sides have made some greedy choices.

    Duke appreciate you taking up for me I only read the blog in the morning for the most part or I would have answered sooner.

  43. CHawkFanIn9erLand says:

    Actually paleryder, my original comment was in reply to cerjam. It seemed pretty clear that he’s ignoring the risk the owners take, and playing up the sacrifices the players make. I replied to your comment, but yours was after the fact.

    Like it or not, the advances we’ve seen in American history have been as a result of entrepreneurial risk. Yes, much of this advancement has been on the backs of American workers. But the workforce doesn’t create the advancement. There’s a workforce in third world countries too. Why hasn’t there been advancement? Because there hasn’t been a cultural promotion of entrepreneurs. That, combined with a rich history of oppressive governments and social policy. So, with that in mind, yeah the ownership (past and present) are largely responsible for the NFL we know and love.

    That being said, the ugly side of the coin is that there has been a history of exploitation of players. It breaks my heart when I hear stories of outstanding former players living in poverty today. Fortunately the NFLPA has had a role in greatly reducing this kind of ugliness.

    But let’s be honest here … we’re not talking about a situation where the owners are near bankruptcy, and the players aren’t fighting off poverty. Both sides get 4 billion per year! FOUR. BILLION.

    And as for the players whining about playing 18 games as a safety concern … I seem to remember a whole lot of players upset that the league was cracking down on violent hits to unprotected players … Hmmm. Hey, let’s get even safer and play only 14 games. Even better, let’s not have a playoff or Super Bowl. I mean, we’re sacrificing player safety for a championship trophy and more money. That’s just greedy.

    I personally want to write an article about why I hate both sides.

    – The owners suck because they signed this dang agreement 2 years before deciding it wasn’t workable. I can write a program that can predict what a 60% revenue sharing agreement will mean. And I’m not that smart. I’m sure the owners had at least the same resources I do.

    – The players suck because they know they have the upper hand in this negotiation until the season gets here. IMHO, they’ve acted accordingly. They’ve had no real sense of urgency, in my observation. I’m not saying it’s bad negotiation, or illegal. I’m saying I’m a fan and that sux.

    – The owners suck because they saw this inherent advantage the union had, so they tried to buy leverage by getting guaranteed TV revenues even if there was a lockout during the season. Basically telling the union to get serious now, because once players started missing game checks and felt the pressure, the would be more content to wait things out. I understand the tactic, I just hate it.

    – The Union sucks because it pulled a “we’re taking our ball and going home” approach to the negotiations. They were working, the league and owners had moved on issues toward the players. I have no reason to believe that the NFLPA had any intent to work out an agreement in those negotiations.

    Personally, I hope neither side accomplishes anything meaningful in court, and are forced to come back together and pretend to be adults.

    Hug it out, bish!

  44. Well said I guess we can agree to agree after all.

  45. Dukeshire says:

    I just can’t stay away. “Ownership” did not create the NFL as we know and love it today. The consumer did. They capitalized on a clear demand by said consumer. It’s like saying Safeway created groceries. Or Apple / Microsoft created the internet. No. They may have bought those items (and all that comes with it) to the masses in a way that made it a massively profitable enterprise. But make no mistake, without the consumer (Fan. That’s you and I…) there is no NFL “as we know it”. The “owners” may have perpetuated the progress / popularity / revenue, but they did not create it. Not at all. The leagues owners are not entrepreneurs. They haven’t created some new enterprise or engaged in a new idea that only they are accountable to / for. Football was around long before it was “professional”. They are capitalists. Investors. Let’s be clear about that, at least.

  46. Dukeshire says:

    *brought* those items…

  47. CHawkFanIn9erLand says:

    Uh, duke? Apple did create the Macintosh. Safeways founder did create Safeway. I didn’t say the owners created football. You are arguing a point, but ur arguing it with urself.

  48. Dukeshire says:

    No, you said they are “largely responsible for the NFL we know and love.” This is flawed reasoning, IMO, and I explained exactly why. I expressly noted that they did not “create football”.

    “Apple did create the Macintosh. Safeways founder did create Safeway.” This does not resemble anything I said. I would ask that you re-read my post.

  49. CHawkFanIn9erLand says:

    Duke, I really don’t know where to start with this one. I’m sorry if you think the owners aren’t largely responsible for the NFL. I think that statement is pretty easy to justify.

    You compared my statement to Apple creating the internet, and Safeway creating groceries. Sorry, but that’s a really bad analogy. Me saying the owners are responsible for the NFL is better compared to Apple creating the Macintosh and Safeway’s founder creating safeway. That’s why I replied the way I did.

    And Duke, sorry, but the consumer didn’t create the NFL. If we had, tickets would be much cheaper, so would jerseys. NFL network would be freely available over the air, and games would be streamed over the internet. Rookies wouldn’t be getting 8 figure guarantees before playing a single NFL game. Those may be exaggerations, but my point is that the NFL would look much different if the consumer was in control. We didn’t create the NFL, we consume the product. They put out a product that they believe we will pay for.

    Consumers didn’t create the iPad, Apple did. Consumers didn’t create the internet either. Consumers didn’t create Macy’s. Or the mall I shop at. Entrepreneurs did.

    One last thing … The owners are entrepreneurs. Dictionary. com defines entrepreneur as “someone who undertakes” or “a person who organizes a business venture and assumes risk for it”. Honestly, this is the first time I’ve ever seen you make a point that made little to no sense to me.

  50. CHawkFanIn9erLand says:

    By the way, Duke. I love you man. We read a couple of the same blogs, and your comments add a lot to my experiences there. We agree 95% of the time (maybe more), and the other 5% of the time I can easily understand and see your point. I may not agree with it, but it’s usually pretty reasonable.

    If I may say, it seems like you’re so disgusted with the owners that you can’t give them credit for anything, lol. And I’m not saying you’re wrong there.

    I wish you were right here. I wish we were in fact in control of the NFL, at least as it pertains to this labor situation. This mess would have been resolved long ago.

    Cheers Bro.

  51. Dukeshire says:

    CHawkFanIn9erLand – It’s impossible to have a reasonable conversation when you change your argument / contention. You have done this twice now. You said that NFL owners “created the NFL as we know it”. Your words. This is false. The NFL as we know it today has been created by the revenue generated by the consumer. Had you said owners created professional football, that would have been a reasonable argument. But you did / have not.

    As for consumer demand dictating lower prices at the register… Have you bought gas lately (for example)? That argument just doesn’t hold water. I don’t care to discuss this further as we’re not going to get anywhere. You simply see things in a way I don’t.

  52. CHawkFanIn9erLand says:

    Duke … Shiw me where I said the owners created the NFL. I didn’t say it.

    I never said the consumer demand dictated lower pricing. I said that if u were right and consumers created the product, the product would be different. You actually made my point. If the consumer created the product, many products would be different.

    You and I have influenced the evolution of the NFL, no doubt. I’m just amazed that you’ve twisted my statement that tge ownership is “largely responsibl” into something that it’s not. My statement is so sime and obvious, I think ur just looking for a reason to argue with me.

    I never made either of the two points you credited to me. And I have not changed my premise.

  53. CHawkFanIn9erLand says:

    Sorry for typos, I’m on my phone. Anyway duke, if ur gonna quote me, please do it accurately. Youre quote is not at all what I said.

    At any rate, that one sentence is not at all the major premise of the original post.

    You seem to be speaking in absolutes. My statement that the owners are largely responsible for the NFL today leaves plenty of room for the impact that players, press, fans, and government have had.

    You introduced the word “created” into the discussion, not me. If you are going to argue against my point, I think u should start with a point I actually made.

    My first reply to ur feedback was that ur arguing against a pointthat I’m not making.

  54. It does seem a little strange that Duke accused CHawkFan of changing his argument. It actually looks like Duke misquoted something and then went on the attack. You both seem like smart boys. I can’t figure out what the actual point is that you disagree on. Hehe, it seems like you guys are disagreeing on what you disagree on.

  55. Dukeshire says:

    You’re right. You said they are “responsible for the NFL as we know it…” So I did misquote that. So, I suppose I have to eat some crow here; I introduced “create” into the conversation, which then makes this point of yours “…but the consumer didn’t create the NFL. If we had, tickets would be much cheaper, so would jerseys. NFL network would be freely available over the air, and games would be streamed over the internet.” more reasonable. I still believe that the billions the fans / consumers pour into the NFL have been largely responsible for the NFL we have today. (Anyone who’s been to a game at Candlestick, or Monster, or whatever they call it now, realizes that it’s not about fancy stadiums and amenities. The people come regardless)

    In any case, I’m done with all this (again, lol) and get back to what I know; football. Thanks for your kind words before. This whole thing makes me sick and perhaps that’s clouded my judgement. I don’t know…


  56. CHawkFanIn9erLand says:

    You’re gracious Duke. Ånd I think you’re right, the fans certainly provide pressure on ownership, league management, sponsors, etc to improve the product. I think an example that proves your point is the game between the Colts and Patriots. It was originally going to be aired only on NFLN. Fan outrage consistently provided pressure, which ultimately caused the league to make the game available on major network channels.

    I think media coverage has had a large impact as well. Certainly corporate sponsorship has.

    Take care Duke. I’m sick too. I wish the fans had a nuclear option here. But nope, we just get screwed.

    LOL, and the only outlet we have is to take it out on each other. Sorry for my part in it.


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