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  • NFL, NFLPA Ordered to Enter Mediation

    April 12, 2011, 7:42 a.m.

    By Daniel Kaplan, Staff writer

    The NFL and class counsel for the players suing the league to revoke the lockout were ordered on Monday by U.S. District Judge Susan Nelson to enter into mediation starting Thursday in Minneapolis. Few observers give the mediation much of a chance, but the sides must meet with chief magistrate judge Arthur Boylan at 9:00am CT Thursday. Nelson, in signing the order, said the meetings could not be used against either side in court, and would not stay the proceedings.

    The NFL’s core legal argument is that the court does not have jurisdiction over the dispute, but Nelson is ordering the mediation within her court district. The NFL was arguing for mediation back in Washington, D.C., at the office of the Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service. The players rejected that, saying those talks were for when they were a union.

    The NFLPA decertified on March 11, though the league contends that was a sham. If the mediation does not lead to a resolution, Nelson is expected to issue her decision next week. If she lifts the lockout, the question then becomes if she will issue a stay while the NFL appeals to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. League insiders are far more confident of their chances at the Eighth Circuit than in the Minnesota federal court district.

  • League proposed allowing players to invest in ventures

    March 22, 2011, 2:21 p.m.

    Another interesting note from the NFL owners meeting in New Orleans: The NFL proposed allowing players to invest alongside owners in various ventures as part of the league's final labor proposal that the NFLPA rejected on March 11. That's according to Jeff Pash, NFL executive vice president and general counsel for the league. He said the idea was not countered by the players.

    For the full story from SportsBusiness Daily, click HERE.

  • League asks court to keep lockout in place

    March 22, 2011, 2:13 p.m.

    The NFL yesterday filed a legal memorandum asking that a federal court deny a motion filed by NFL players who want the league's lockout to be invalidated.

    Read the full story from today's SportsBusiness Daily.

  • NFLPA defends licensing rights in wake of comments from league

    March 22, 2011, 1:53 p.m.

    By Liz Mullen, Staff writer

    The NFLPA's marketing and licensing arm yesterday issued a strongly worded statement saying that it does have the right to use group player licensing rights in deals with NFL and non-NFL sponsors, and disputing public comments made by an NFL executive questioning whether the association's subsidiary has those rights.

    For the skinny on the dispute, read the story in today's Daily.

  • NFL owners meeting: Lawyers give update on lockout legal strategy

    March 22, 2011, 9:00 a.m.

    By Daniel Kaplan, Staff writer

    NFL owners gather today for the second and final day of their annual meeting in New Orleans this week. Talk is expected to be dominated by a proposal to change the kickoff procedures. The league also will get an update on fan conduct from Jeff Miller, one of the league’s security professionals.

    Yesterday’s meeting was dominated by an overview on the labor situation, with the league’s lawyers updating the owners on legal strategy. A group of players are suing the league for antitrust violations, and the league has locked out the players. The league filed its brief in the case yesterday, focusing in part on what it termed the inconsistency of the players' position. The brief stated the players could not argue that the lockout is an antitrust violation and should be lifted and the former league rules imposed, while also claiming the league’s rules are antitrust violations. The players might argue, however, that the league could simply impose an economic system that did not contain the objectionable items, like franchise tags.

    The league also argued the players faced no irreparable damages, the lockout was legal, the court has no jurisdiction, the court should at least wait until a charge at the NLRB challenging the union's decertification is finished, the public interest is served by keeping the lockout, and the players had not truly decertified their union and thus could not sue.

  • New judge in NFL labor case is up to the task, colleagues say

    March 22, 2011, 12:19 p.m.

    U.S. District Court Judge Susan Richard Nelson, sworn in less than four months ago, will be the intriguing "X" factor on April 6 in her St. Paul courtroom when NFL players seek a preliminary injunction to bar an owners lockout. Those who know Nelson and her work say she is up to the task.

    See the FULL STORY from this week's SportsBusiness Journal.

  • With decertification, unloved 'junior rule' goes into storage

    March 22, 2011, 12:04 p.m.

    With the NFLPA no longer around to regulate the agents who rep players during contract negotiations, some people in the industry worry that the agent representation field is about to turn into the wild, wild West. Others see some good coming out of it, most notably losing the so-called and much-hated "junion rule."

    For more, see Liz Mullen's COLUMN from this week's SportsBusiness Journal.

  • Roundup of today's labor news

    March 21, 2011, Noon

    From today's SportsBusiness Daily, here are links to the latest labor news:

    The concept of a pegged salary cap system was not only at the forefront of negotiations between the NFL and players when their CBA talks broke down earlier this month, it had been a key part of talks since Feb. 1, with the concept proposed even earlier than that, sources said.

    Locked-out NFL players penned a letter to Commissioner Roger Goodell on Saturday, responding to an email he sent last week to all players and telling him, "Your statements are false," according to Howard Fendrich of the AP.

    NFL players in their letter to Commissioner Roger Goodell on Saturday cited a "lack of ownership participation in the mediation," according to Albert Breer of NFL.com

  • NFL holding first post-lockout owners meeting in New Orleans

    March 21, 2011, 9:00 a.m.

    NFL owners gather for their annual meeting in New Orleans beginning this morning, their first meeting since the league locked out the players nine days ago. The league's new outside lawyers are expected to brief the owners on the defense against the antitrust lawsuit filed against the league by nine players.

    For more from today's Morning Buzz, click HERE.

  • NFL warning sponsors about deals with players trade group

    March 21, 2011, 8:00 a.m.

    By Daniel Kaplan, Staff writer

    The NFL, despite having locked out the players, was continuing to use player images on team websites and NFL.com last week without their permission, citing a First Amendment justification. The development comes as the league also disclosed it is advising sponsors to be wary about signing group licensing deals with the players’ newly established trade association, strongly suggesting that the group might not have the legal right to market the players.

    Read the FULL STORY from this week's SportsBusiness Journal.

    And click here for an UPDATE on this story from SportsBusiness Daily.

  • League says that it, not players, faces irreparable damage

    March 21, 2011, 8:00 a.m.

    The NFL today intends to inform a federal judge that the recently decertified players association faces no irreparable damage from the lockout, but that the league would if the judge were to grant the players' motion to lift it, a source said.

    For more, read Daniel Kaplan's STORY from this week's SportsBusiness Journal.

  • Goodell details latest CBA offer in letter to players

    March 18, 2011, Noon

    NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Thursday went "directly to the players in a bid to jump start negotiations aimed at" a new CBA by sending an e-mail letter to players and agents "outlining the league's "most recent contract proposal, and urging them to prod the union to return to the table," according to Newsday.

    For the complete story from today's SportsBusiness Daily, click HERE.

  • Dispute over revenue sharing helped sink NFL's CBA talks

    March 18, 2011, Noon

    The question of how the NFL and players would divide future revenue became a big issue late in the negotiations for a new collective-bargaining agreement, and turned out to be one of the big factors in derailing the talks.

    We've got two takes on the story.

    The first, from today's SportsBusiness Daily, can be found HERE.

    The second is an advance look at a STORY from next Monday's SportsBusiness Journal.

  • NFLPA executive committee updating players during meeting in Florida

    March 18, 2011, 9:00 a.m.

    The NFLPA is set to hold its second full day of meetings today in Marco Island, Fla., where player reps and other players are expected to be updated by the organization's executive committee on, among other things, what happened in the federally mediated CBA talks that resulted in the NFLPA decertifying as a union and the NFL locking out players. About 100 players are expected to attend the meetings, which began yesterday and will continue through the weekend. Players also are expected to focus on health and safety issues. Players throughout the league yesterday received a letter from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, and that may be another topic of discussion. The NFLPA, when it operated as a union, customarily held its annual meeting around this time in March.

  • League-owned NFL Network in uncharted territory

    March 17, 2011, Noon

    NFL Network is the first league-owned network to cover a work stoppage, and its "reporting about the owners' lockout of players is a way to shift assumptions that the channel will give knee-jerk priority to management position," writes Richard Sandomir in the New York Times. Says NFL Net's Mark Quenzel: "The only thing asked of us is to cover both sides straight and get our facts right."

    For the complete story from SportsBusiness Daily, click HERE.

  • NFL free agent calls commissioner a liar

    March 17, 2011, 9:00 a.m.

    In some of the most provocative language of the six-day NFL lockout, free agent LB Kevin Burnett called NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell a “liar” during a radio show yesterday. Burnett on XX Sports Radio in San Diego was asked about Goodell's letter to the fans. Burnett: "Goodell’s full of it, if you ask me. He's a liar. You are a blatant liar." When asked what Goodell was lying about, Burnett said, "'It's our league. It's we. We love the players. We want the league.' But what have you done for the players? What have you done, in all honesty, to improve the game, besides fine guys, besides take money away from guys, besides change a game that you never played? …He has done nothing to improve the game" (XX Sports Radio, 3/16).

    The quote comes one day after Goodell appeared on NFL Network and said, "I don't think because you disagree with somebody it's appropriate to call anyone a liar" (THE DAILY).

  • NFL teams put lockout plans into motion

    March 16, 2011, Noon

    Here's our latest roundup of how NFL teams are putting their lockout plans into motion, including news from Buffalo, Charlotte, Tampa, Nashville, Jacksonville and Washington.

  • Cowboys deny SI report of Jones walkout

    March 16, 2011, Noon

    The Cowboys denied that owner Jerry Jones walked out of a critical bargaining session earlier this month, after Sports Illustrated reported that a key moment in the breakdown of the talks was when Jones tried to stage a walkout.

    For the full story, click HERE.

  • Roger Goodell calls for a return to mediation

    March 16, 2011, Noon

    NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league and players "need to get back" to mediation and that issues will be resolved by negotiating, rather than through rhetoric from the two sides.

    Meanwhile, Giants CEO John Mara said he's optimistic that a deal can still be reached without affecting the 2011 season, though he admitted that he is making contingency plans in case he is wrong.

    And players have expressed frustration that the owners accused them of walking away from the negotiating table. "It's kind of hypocritical for owners to say that when you have a plan with the TV networks for when the games aren't even played," said Steelers safety and player rep Ryan Clark in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "If that doesn't show that was your plan all along, I don't know what does."

    For the full story from SportsBusiness Daily, click HERE.

  • Players allege NFL Draft is illegal

    March 16, 2011, Noon

    While there's been plenty of speculation in the last few days about whether top NFL draft prospects will attend the NFL Draft in New York next month, players in the antitrust case filed against the NFL are claiming that a draft would be a violation of antitrust laws. The NFL has maintained that it can hold a draft, even though it has imposed a lockout.

    For the full story, click HERE.

  • NFL players refute assertion they walked about from CBA talks

    March 15, 2011, 1:45 p.m.

    NFL Players trade association leader Kevin Mawae yesterday during a conference call called the assertion that the players walked away from negotiations "a complete fabrication and a lie." Mawae said that "during Tuesday and Wednesday last week, over the course of 16 hours spent in mediation," the owners and the players "met face to face at the negotiating table for a total of 30 minutes." Mawae said of the owners, "When you say you've done everything you can, and then you ask for a caucus that lasts 3 1/2 hours and then you take off for dinner at the end of the day? That's not negotiating, and that's not the NFL players walking away from the deal" (L.A. TIMES, 3/15).

    Here's a list of stories from Tuesday's SportsBusiness Daily:

    Players refuse assertion they walked away from talks

    No negotiations expected before injunction hearing

    Players calling for NFL prospects to boycott draft

    NFL owners reaching out to fans

  • Injunction ruling may be days away; NFL outlines rejected proposals

    March 14, 2011, 3:00 p.m.

    It may be days before a judge rules on the NFLPA's request that the league be enjoined from locking out the players. In the meantime, NFL Executive Vice President and General Counsel Jeff Pash outlined a list of proposals that he said the players rejected, and there was plenty of reaction from the media over the breakdown in talks.

    Here's a list of stories from today's SportsBusiness Daily:

    Owners officially lockout players; union decertifies

    Players file lawsuit against league

    If injunction blocks lockout, it will be business as usual

    Spanos, other owners react strongly to union's actions

    Players react to decision to leave bargaining talks

    Several columnists lay blame at owners' door

    Teams' approaches to layoffs, furloughs vary

  • NFL e-mail details reasons for declaring lockout

    March 12, 2011, 11:30 a.m.

    The NFL followed the NFLPA's declaration of decertification with a declaration of its own: The league has officially locked out its players.

    The reasons for the lockout, which became effective when the collective-bargaining agreement expired at midnight, were detailed in an e-mail released to the media early this morning.

    For the full text of the e-mail, click HERE.

  • Nine NFL players, led by Tom Brady, sue league

    March 11, 2011, 9:20 p.m.

    High-profile quarterbacks Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning are the most prominent names on a list of nine NFL players who filed a class-action lawsuit against the NFL tonight.

    The suit asks a Minnesota court for a litany of injunctions against the league, including a prohibition against locking out the players.

    For the full story from staff writer Liz Mullen, click HERE.

  • In the end, NFL, union 'just don't trust one another'

    March 11, 2011, 8:05 p.m.

    The NFL came out swinging soon after talks collapsed, accusing the union of walking away even as the league offered new concessions. But DeMaurice Smith, head of the players' group, said the league's position essentially came down to this: "They said, 'Trust us,' but when it came time for the verification, they told us it was none of our business."

    In the end, said Smith, the two sides just don't trust each other.

    For staff writer Daniel Kaplan's full story, click HERE.

  • NFL leaders hold press conference

    March 11, 2011, 7:15 p.m.

    The NFL held a press conference after talks broke down featuring Commissioner Roger Goodell, Jeff Pash, Jerry Richardson and John Mara.

    You can read the full transcript HERE.

  • NFLPA files lawsuit to stop lockout

    March 11, 2011, 6:37 p.m.

    By Liz Mullen, Staff writer

    The NFLPA has filed a lawsuit against the NFL in federal court in Minnesota to enjoin the NFL from imposing a lockout or from other anti-competitive actions.

    That follows the NFLPA’s official notification to the NFL that it has disbanded or decertified as a union, after federally mediated negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement broke off. This action freed the NFLPA, operating as a trade association, to file an anti-trust lawsuit against the NFL.
     
    The NFL has called the NFLPA's action a "sham" decertification and is expected to challenge the union's action of renouncing its collective bargaining powers in court. The NFL collective-bargaining agreement expires tonight at midnight, after which the league can lock players out.

  • Statements, quotes and tweets

    March 11, 2011, 6:31 p.m.

    Here’s a sampling of statements, quotes and tweets from the last hour regarding the breakdown in NFL labor talks and the NFLPA’s decertification:

    The NFL issued a statement that said, “At a time when thousands of employees are fighting for their collective bargaining rights, this union has chosen to abandon collective bargaining in favor of a sham ‘decertification’ and antitrust litigation.”

    NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell met the media after the news: "We worked hard. We didn't reach an agreement, obviously. As you know, the union walked away from the mediation process today to decertify."

    More Goodell: "We do believe that mediation is the fairest and fastest way to reach an agreement that works for the players and for the clubs. And we believe that ultimately this is going to be negotiated at the negotiating table. They've chosen to pursue another strategy, and that is their choice.”

    Giants co-owner John Mara, who had been part of the process for the past two weeks, said the union had a “take it or leave it” stance during talks, and kept the “same position as last September.” Mara: “Essentially during that two-week period the union’s position on the core economic issues has not changed, one iota. Their position has basically been ‘take it or leave it,’ and in effect they’ve been at the same position since last September. … One thing that became painfully apparent to me during this period was that their objective was to go the litigation route.  I think that they believe that that gives them the best leverage. I never really got the feeling during the past two weeks that they were serious about negotiating, and it’s unfortunate because that’s not what collective bargaining is all about.”
     
    ESPN’s Andrew Brandt cited Mara’s comments: “You hear John Mara …. He thought they could be on their way to a deal. He’s frustrated.”

    NFL Executive Vice President and General Counsel Jeff Pash went through a list of proposals made by ownership during the process and said ownership is “fully committed to this process.” He expressed disappointment that players had already decided to decertify as of 4 p.m. ET today, during which time owners were “meeting with them” about current proposals. Pash: “So I think we know where their commitment was. That’s unfortunate, it means the eventual resolution to this business dispute is going to be delayed.” He added, “We are discouraged. We are frustrated, we are disappointed. But we’re not giving up.”
     
    Player Vonnie Holiday was interviewed on ESPN shortly after Pash spoke and said, “We had no problems with the CBA. … We want a fair CBA. … We are not opposed to restructuring. … I heard some of the stuff that Jeff [Pash] said. I don’t remember hearing any of that from our board” (ESPN).
     
    NFLPA Lawyer Jim Quinn tweeted: "Jeff Pash lied".
     
    NFLPA Exec Dir De Smith called the accusation of not bargaining in good faith: "Nothing can be further from the truth."
     
    Smith noted the league’s offer to split the revenue difference at the end: “A lawyer for the National Football league said we should have split it with them and walked away.  Does that seem fair to you?”
     
    Smith concluded: “The last message to the owners from the National Football League didn’t come from the executive director.  It came from … Jeff Saturday. The last word to the owners came from ….Brian Watters.  The men who sat across from the owners and did most of the talking today wasn’t a lawyer from DC.  It was players who risk everything, every day, for the game that they love. …   I know we have a long ways to go.”

    Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones said he knew this day was a possibility when he put $1.2 billion into his Cowboys Stadium, and said, “I didn’t do that not to play football.”

    ESPN’s Adam Schefter: “The NFL blamed the NFLPA for not seriously negotiating.  The NFLPA blamed the NFL for being liars.  Called them liars. So we have the blame game on in full effect after a day that had a lot of drama.”

    Shortly after decertifying, the union's website, NFLPA.org, had been taken down. "Error 404: Football Not Found" was near the top of the site's homepage. A smaller line below read: "Please be patient as we work on resolving this. We are sorry for the inconvenience."  Error 404 is common language for bad links.  A link to www.nfllockout.com was included above a graphic-art sketch of what appeared to be a website blueprint. At the bottom, another link directed licensees to a password-restricted portal.


     

  • NFL Players Association officially decertifies

    March 11, 2011, 5:15 p.m.

    The NFL Players Association has officially decertified as a union.

    To see the NFLPA's official release, click HERE.

  • NFL's latest offer enough to keep sides in negotiations

    March 11, 2011, 3:02 p.m.

    NFL owners offered revised proposals this morning to the NFLPA on core issues, and they were apparently enough to keep the two sides talking as the union’s deadline for decertifying approached. The union must decertify by 5:00pm ET in order to be able file an antitrust lawsuit against the league in the six months after the CBA expires. The longer-than-expected talks could be a sign that a third extension of the deadline is coming, though that remains uncertain (Daniel Kaplan, SportsBusiness Journal).

    Multiple reports claim NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith Friday afternoon told players that the union is planning to decertify despite a late push by NFL owners. Smith held a conference call at 2:00pm to update players not partaking in mediation in D.C., and ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Twitter reports, “We'll see if anything changes, it always could, but De Smith told players during his conference call the plan is to decertify.” The N.Y. Daily News’ Gary Myers added, “Latest hearing now is decertification is way union leaning, but not final.”

     

  • NFL makes one last proposal to NFLPA before CBA expires

    March 11, 1:33 p.m.

    The NFL made a new CBA offer to the players Friday morning, just 12 hours shy of the current deal’s expiration at the end of the day, according to several reports. SBJ’s Daniel Kaplan on Twitter reported, “NFL owners made revised offers on core issues this morning, source says, cld be why the players have yet to come out.” The N.Y. Daily News’ Gary Myers also reports, “The NFL's plan today: Present a revised proposal to the players to consider. It's expected to happen before any announcements today.” Myers added, “Hearing from two key sources this morning very close to labor talks. 1) Less pessimism in the room today; 2) no outcome would be a surprise.”

    Earlier today, SI’s Peter King reported NFL owners Thursday night gave Commissioner Roger Goodell “freedom to move drastically, if need be, to make a deal with players.” There were indications that Goodell was prepared to present “a last, best offer to the players this morning, one that might have a significant concession about financial transparency in the 32 NFL teams' audited financial statements, which is the sticking point with players in these talks.” King added there reportedly were “talks into the night Thursday by some in the negotiations, trying to figure out some way to find common ground” (SI.com, 3/11).

  • NFL, NFLPA both bring big contingents for final day of mediation

    March 11, 2011, 11:44 a.m.

    NFL and NFLPA negotiators were at the Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service building this morning, with only a few hours remaining on the CBA deadline. The entire NFL labor owners group arrived, minus the Patriots’ Robert Kraft, who remains in Israel. Broncos Owner Pat Bowlen was accompanied by team President Joe Ellis. The other eight members are the Bengals’ Mike Brown, Cowboys’ Jerry Jones, Chargers’ Dean Spanos, Steelers’ Art Rooney, Giants’ John Mara, Packers’ Mark Murphy, Panthers’ Jerry Richardson and Chiefs’ Clark Hunt.

     

    NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith stopped before entering the building to say, “We won’t have many comments heading into this morning. But, look, this morning, our thoughts and prayers are with the folks in Japan. There are some things that keep and make sure all things are in perspective. So we’re going to head inside today and try to get some work done, but our thoughts and prayers are for people who are digging out right now and people who are preparing for the worst. We’ll talk to you guys a little bit later" (Daniel Kaplan, SportsBusiness Journal).

    NFL Network's Kara Henderson reported the NFLPA representatives arrived at the meeting "en masse.” It was “almost a show of strength as they proceeded from their building which is just down the street” ("NFL Total Access," NFL Network, 3/11). Several writers on the scene in Washington, D.C., took note of the union’s team this morning:

    • SBJ’s Kaplan : “ Massive union contingent approaching FMCS. Largest i have seen. Must be at least two dozen.” 
    • N.Y. Post’s Bart Hubbuch: “ Huge contingent from NFLPA en route to the building. 20 or more.” 
    • Washington Post’s Mark Maske: “ Both sides are in the mediator's office. Huge contingent today for the players' side.” 
    • N.Y. Times’ Judy Battista: “Huge union contingent coming in. At least 21 people in the group.” 
    • Newsday’s Bob Glauber: “DeMaurice Smith leads the union contingent into meetings. Notice no one is smiling.” 

  • NFL, NFLPA talks take combative turn with deadline looming

    March 11, 2011, 9:00 a.m.

    The NFL appears likely to enter into a period of labor turbulence today, as the league and union began aggressively sniping again at each other last night after a relative period of calm overseen by a federal mediator.

    For the full story from today's Morning Buzz, click HERE.

  • NFLPA expected to decertify; owners may trigger start of lockout

    March 11, 2011, 9:00 a.m.

    All indications are that the NFLPA will decertify today, "setting off a long legal battle with NFL owners," who then are expected to lock out the players. NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith yesterday on Twitter promised players that he will have an update for them at 2 p.m. ET. One source said that it "appears Smith is walking away early from mediation," adding that the union "could file a temporary restraining order to prevent a lockout for five days and then battle it out in court" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/11).

    There were "small-group talks" between the NFL and union reps yesterday, the 15th day of federally mediated negotiations, but "no one gave any indication that progress was made." The owners held a 90-minute conference call yesterday afternoon. A source said that the message to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL Executive Vice President and General Counsel Jeff Pash at the end of the call was, "Do what you have to do and we support you" (ESPN.com, 3/10).

  • NFL, union officials exchange biting comments via Twitter

    March 11, 2011, 9:00 a.m.

    With tensions rising in the NFL labor negotiations, both sides took their dispute to Twitter last night. After the 15th day of CBA talks with federal mediator George Cohen broke down, NFLPA Assistant Executive Director for External Affairs George Atallah revealed that the union and NFL owners never met face-to-face yesterday, and he tweeted, “I would like to request an expense credit from the owners on the last 3 hours of my life.” After Atallah made that remark on Twitter, in addition to a similar one in an e-mail to the AP, NFL Senior Vice President of Public Relations Greg Aiello responded, “While George is at it, ask him when is union going to respond to our 150 pages of draft CBA provisions that they received eight days ago. Waiting.” Longtime NFL agent Howard Shatsky responded to Aiello on Twitter by writing, “I have just 3 words for Jeff Pash, Greg Aiello and the NFL owners: JUDGE DAVID DOTY!” Shatsky added, “Ill respond for George, you can take your 150 pages of CBA revisions and shove em! Can you say treble damages, Doty is waiting!”

    Chiming in, Texans offensive tackle and player rep Eric Winston directed a Tweet at Aiello: “Where can the fans buy your jersey next year? You are becoming a star!” Several NFL observers chimed in as well. ESPN's Adam Schefter on Twitter wrote, "During last labor showdown in 2006, NFL's @gregaiello and NFLPA's @GeorgeAtallah weren't on Twitter. Times, tones, timelines are different." 16W Marketing co-Founder Frank Vuono: "Isn't this special? Biggest sports negotiation ever being fought on something called 'twitter.'" The N.Y. Times' Judy Battista added, "The media blackout seems to be going well” (THE DAILY).

  • NFL labor talks continue as ownership contingent arrives

    March 10, 2011, 4:00 p.m.

    The full ownership contingent on the NFL's labor committee arrived at the federally mediated talks between the NFL and NFLPA by mid-afternoon, minus Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who is in Israel. Sources said the talks had slowed down today while negotiators awaited the arrival of the members of the NFL's labor group. In addition, reports are emerging that the economic divide between the two sides has continued to narrow.

    For the full story from today's Closing Bell, click HERE.

  • The latest from D.C. as NFL collective bargaining heats up

    March 10, 2011, 3:05 p.m.

    The NFL and players’ union are meeting in Washington, D.C., for the 15th day of CBA negotiations under federal mediator George Cohen. Nine members of the NFL owners' negotiating committee have arrived for today’s bargaining session; the Patriots’ Robert Kraft is in Israel and unable to attend. With just more than 30 hours until the expiration of the new CBA deadline, here’s a roundup of what NFL writers – some on the streets in D.C. – are saying on Twitter.


    • NFL Network’s Albert Breer: “So the 9 labor committee members are here, which means lunch is about to end. Heard things should heat up late afternoon.”

    • SI’s Jim Trotter: “Serious labor talks put off until late this afternoon, when most of the league's labor committee is expected to be in attendance.”

    • ESPN’s Andrew Brandt: “On 9B revenue split, players still asking for 50/50: 4.5B. Owners offering roughly 43%: 3.9B. Gap of approx. 600M and shrinking.”

    • N.Y. Daily News’ Ralph Vacchiano: “Interesting question posed by NFL source today: "Who's running the union? DeMaurice Smith or (lawyer) Jeff Kessler?”

    • SI’s Peter King: “Am I surprised De Smith said NFLPA won't consider 18 games? Yes. But he is mirroring vast public/player sentiment. They do not want 18.”

    • CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco: “Reason owners don't want books open: They don't want each other seeing each other's books. Would you?”

  • NFL owners reportedly split on whether to open books

    March 10, 2001, 12:20 p.m.

    Some owners “want to completely open the league's financial books to the union,” but others “are refusing.” A source indicated that the “stalling in the talks has happened because one set of owners desires to open their books and others do not.” Ownership is “stuck trying to find a way to mend these differences,” and it is “virtually impossible for ownership to reach a consensus on this issue by the Friday evening deadline” (CBSSPORTS.com, 3/10).

    ESPN’s Chris Mortensen said the NFL players are “very active in this negotiation ... and they're running out of patience." Mortensen: "They believe this is a delay of game tactic by owners with what's going on, so I would say that the players are ready to decertify, ready to go to court, and let Judge David Doty handle the proceedings. Certainly that would be where the battle would start." Mortensen: “If I were forecasting … I'd be forecasting that this thing is not getting done in time by the 5:00pm deadline Friday, which, of course, would mean a decertification process" ("Mike & Mike in the Morning," ESPN Radio, 3/10).

    ESPN’s Adam Schefter said, "Nobody expects a deal to get done by tomorrow. The best that everybody can hope for would look like an extension, and it doesn't look good for the top brass on either side if they're unable to find a way to bridge their differences with the help of the federal mediator." He noted some of the "big guns for the NFL" participating in the negotiations included Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones, Panthers Owner Jerry Richardson, Broncos Owner Pat Bowlen, Chargers Owner Dean Spanos, Bengals Owner Mike Brown and Packers President & CEO Mark Murphy (“SportsCenter,” ESPN, 3/10).

    For much more on the NFL labor negotiations, click here.

  • NFLPA still wants more financial transparency as deadline nears

    March 10, 2011, 9:00 a.m.

    As the NFL and NFLPA today enter the next to last day of federally mediated negotiations for a new CBA, there is rising concern in the industry that there will be no deal. The two sides are not close on any of the three major economic issues, and there appears to be at a stalemate over the players’ demand for financial transparency and the league's refusal to release fully detailed audited financial statements.

    To read staff writer Liz Mullen's report from today's Morning Buzz, click HERE.

  • NFLPA's Smith says 18-game schedule if off the table

    March 10, 2011, 9:00 a.m.

    NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith for the first time publicly said that an 18-game schedule is "off the negotiating table" in CBA talks with the NFL. Smith, speaking before about 100 fans during a joint event with WJFK-FM at the union's Washington, D.C., office, was "categorical that the players won't expand the regular season from 16 to 18 games." Smith later said, "The league has never presented a formal proposal for 18 games. But more importantly, it's something that our players don't want" (SI.com, 3/9).

    Sources said that the two sides "have reached a basic compromise on a rookie wage scale." The owners reportedly "backed off the idea of requiring first-round picks to sign five-year deals, instead limiting the contracts to four years." The league also "agreed that all players drafted after the first round would be limited to three-year deals, but teams would be allowed to put restricted free agent tags after the three years" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 3/9). However, the Washington Post’s Mark Maske on Twitter reported, “Sources on both sides of dispute say there's no agreement yet on a rookie wage scale” (TWITTER.com, 3/9).

  • Most members of NFL owners committee in labor talks today

    March 10, 2011, 9:00 a.m.

    A majority of the 10 members of the NFL owners' negotiating committee will be present today in CBA negotiations with the NFLPA, marking the "first full appearance for the committee since last Wednesday." This means that Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones, among others, is to rejoin the talks in Washington. However, there is "no indication the appearance" of the full committee is "linked to a breakthrough or a breakdown" in negotiations (DALLASNEWS.com, 3/9). SI's Peter King on Twitter reported the "full labor committee, minus NE's Bob Kraft (in Israel)," will be present (TWITTER.com, 3/9).

  • NFL labor deal by Friday deadline "increasingly out of reach"

    March 9, 2011, 4:00 p.m.

    Sources said that "ongoing differences" between the NFL and NFLPA have made a labor settlement by Friday's bargaining deadline "appear increasingly out of reach." The sources added that "only a major change in the dynamics of the talks in coming days could make a settlement this week a significant possibility." Some people on "both sides of the dispute were bracing for a possible unraveling of the talks," though a third postponement of the deadline "remains possible" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 3/9).

    NFL Network’s Albert Breer on his Twitter feed reported, “The individual club financials is a major sticking point here that neither side seems willing to budge on. For now, at least.” ESPN’s Andrew Brandt added, “NFL talks appear stuck in neutral until negotiation of what financial info is shown or not shown” (TWITTER.com, 3/9).

  • Sources: NFLPA hired UBS to analyze financial info

    March 9, 2011, 11:03 a.m.

    Updated: 1:20 p.m.

    The investment bank that the NFL Players Association has hired to analyze NFL financial information is UBS, sources have told SportsBusiness Journal/Daily.  The NFL and NFLPA declined to comment.

    News emerged yesterday that the NFLPA had tapped a firm, but the union has had UBS on retainer for several months. The union had some trouble securing an investment bank, as many banks did not want to risk running afoul of the NFL, said investment banking sources.

    To read much more about UBS, and the growing dispute over the NFL's proposal to share some financial information, click here.

  • Judge David Doty's influence over NFL labor talks continues to grow

    March 9, 2011, 1:17 p.m.

    The "most influential man in professional football, at least in recent days," is not NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell but District Judge David Doty. Some believe Doty "broke the bargaining stalemate between players and owners" with his ruling in favor of the NFLPA in the closely watched media fees case. That ruling and "other high-profile decisions by Doty have so angered owners that they have made the judge himself one of the key issues in the current contract talks" (WASHINGTON POST, 3/9).

    SI's Peter King wrote, "In some ways, I wouldn't be surprised if Goodell, deep down, wasn't unhappy with Doty's ruling. Because it would be a message to the hard-line owners that they were going to have open their books at some point anyway. Why not do it in negotiation instead of litigation?" (SI.com, 3/8).

    To read more about Judge Doty, click here.

  • DeMaurice Smith has united players for labor negotiations

    March 9, 2011, 1:11 p.m.

    As the NFL and NFLPA continue negotiations for a new CBA, "the union we're seeing, in some ways, is a completely new one." NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith's "overall mission has been simple," as he wants to "make as many current stars in football as possible" union reps. Smith is "going to give former stars more of a voice at the negotiating table and more say in union strategy sessions," and he is "building a wider, more open union, which in turn made the union a tighter knit group." His predecessor, the late Gene Upshaw, "was smart and resilient but he ran the union with an iron fist and power was held by a few" (CBSSPORTS.com, 3/8).

    ESPN's Tim Hasselbeck said in past years there “was a fear associated with being a player rep,” but the NFLPA "kind of had a switch from kickers and punters and long snappers” to stars like Packers QB and player rep Aaron Rodgers ("NFL Live," ESPN, 3/8).

    For more on how Smith has unified the NFLPA, click here.

  • NFLPA retains International Investment Bank to review NFL financials

    March 8, 4:05pm ET

    The NFLPA has retained International Investment Bank to review NFL financials, if and when the league elects to release them. The two sides are meeting this afternoon for their 13th day of CBA negotiations with federal mediator George Cohen in Washington, D.C. SBJ’s Liz Mullen on Twitter reported the union hired International Investment Bank to “advise players on making an NFL CBA deal.” NFL Network’s Albert Breer added, “According to a source, NFL has not released any additional financial info yet. This, for the PA, is to be ready for that. … And on top of that, an auditor who the union has used for years arrived at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service at 3 p.m.”

  • Tuesday's mediation session includes more NFL team officials

    March 8, 10:32am ET

    The NFL and NFLPA both arrived at federal mediator George Cohen's office in Washington, D.C., this morning to begin another day of mediation. Giants President & CEO John Mara and Redskins GM Bruce Allen joined the league delegation, led again by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, while Chiefs Owner Clark Hunt "also will be present." The NFLPA's group includes Executive Director DeMaurice Smith, President Kevin Mawae and several "current or former players." NFLPA outside counsel Jeffrey Kessler "is not at the mediator's office Tuesday morning" after also missing yesterday's session (ESPN.com, 3/8). On Long Island, Bob Glauber reports Kessler was a "notable absence" yesterday. Kessler indicated that he "had previous commitments with other clients" (NEWSDAY, 3/8). In N.Y., Bart Hubbuch reports the "tenor of yesterday's talks ... was described as good in part because" Kessler was absent (N.Y. POST, 3/8).

    Patriots Owner Robert Kraft yesterday said the owners are “doing everything we can to try to get a deal consummated, and I personally believe it's possible." Speaking from Israel, where he is on a trade mission, Kraft said, “It's always good to be talking ... and I know from the ownership side that we feel there's a deal to be made and we very much like to do it" (CSNNE.com, 3/7).

  • NFL and NFLPA resume CBA negotiations with federal mediator George Cohen

    The NFL and NFLPA resumed negotiations for a new CBA this afternoon at the Washington, D.C., office of federal mediator George Cohen. The NFL contingent, led by Commissioner Roger Goodell and lead negotiator Jeff Pash, also included Giants President & CEO John Mara, believed to be the only team owner today at FMCS offices. NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith led the union’s negotiating team.

    NFL Network’s Albert Breer reported on Twitter that NFLPA outside Counsel Jeffrey Kessler is not in attendance at today’s mediation. Breer: “Kessler has been considered a lightning rod by some owners in these talks, which is why his absence today is notable.” But SBJ’s Daniel Kaplan responded, “Kessler just e-mailed me had other client commitments today that could not be changed, so don't read too much into his absence today in DC.”

  • NFL labor talks resume today in DC

    Negotiations for a new NFL CBA are scheduled to resume today "after a weekend off" at the downtown DC offices of the Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service (WASHINGTON POST, 3/5). Today marks the start of "five days and nights – at least – of talks" toward a new deal. Failure by the end of the day on Friday "could mean the first pro football work stoppage since 1987" (AP, 3/6). The NFL Network's Albert Breer reported via Twitter that the talks will get a "late start." Breer: "Sides expected to convene at FMCS at about 3 p.m. Folks traveling in the AM to get here."

    The two sides "remain so far apart on the economic issues at the core of the negotiation – how to divide annual revenue and a new rookie compensation system – that it seems unlikely a deal could be finished by the Friday deadline" (N.Y. TIMES, 3/7).

    The owners enter this week's talks without Patriots Owner and NFL Labor Committee member Robert Kraft, who will be "part of a 10-day trade mission" to Israel and the U.K. and therefore "will not be in the room" in DC (BOSTON.com, 3/5).

  • NFL, NFLPA agree to extend mediated labor talks to March 11

    March 4, 2011, 4:00 p.m.

    The NFL and NFLPA on Friday agreed to extend talks about a new CBA until the end of the day on March 11. The two sides will break for the weekend before returning to mediation on Monday morning. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell took a couple questions after exiting the mediator’s office, saying “We are continuing to work hard, trying to identify the solutions. … I think the fact we are continuing the dialogue is a positive sign” (NFL Network, 3/4). NFL Executive Vice President and General Counsel Jeff Pash: “We’re going to continue to work. We’re at a stage where the issues have been joined, there’s been a tremendous amount of discussion. It’s time for us really to dig deep and try to find solutions, and try to be creative, and try to compromise in a way that will work for everybody. … If both sides give a little, everybody can gain a lot” (“Outside the Lines,” ESPN, 3/4).

    Federal mediator George Cohen briefly addressed the media Friday afternoon, noting the gag order he issued was the “best way to encourage parties to fully, frankly and candidly talk to each other.” Cohen: “I’m pleased to say that over the course of … 11 days we have at least achieved that level of dialogue and that level of constructive discussion.” Cohen did not take any questions from the assembled reporters (NFL Network, 3/4).

  • NFL execs say Doty decision did not cause extension of CBA

    March 4, 2011, 4:00 p.m.

    NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Executive Vice President and General Counsel Jeff Pash said that a federal judge’s decision to require the league to put media fees into escrow during a lockout had no effect on the league staying at the negotiating table. The league had wanted to be able to use the fees. Federal Judge David Doty made the decision Tuesday evening. There have been many suggestions that Doty’s decision pressured the league, not just because of the media fees, but worries a player-led antitrust lawsuit would end up in Doty’s court.

    For the full story from Closing Bell, click HERE.

  • League, union agree to extend talks for 7 days

    March 4, 2011, 2:08 p.m.

    The NFL and NFLPA have agreed to extend the CBA for another seven days, according to multiple sources. After agreeing Thursday night to a 24-hour extension, the two sides gathered today with federal mediator George Cohen in Washington, D.C., for an eleventh day of mediation. The NFL and union are expected to break for the weekend before returning to Cohen's offices for more talks on Monday. An announcement is expected shortly. The NFL Network's Albert Breer tweeted, "The 7-day clock won't stop if sides take weekend off, as was expected. Means 5 days at FMCS." SI's Jim Trotter added, "Before any extension can be finalized, it must be approved beforehand by the union's executive committee."

    2:14 p.m.

    ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported, "The owners have made some adjustments on the revenue split with the union. The union has made some concessions, especially in the area of setting the salary cap going forward. But there's so much other work to get done." He noted one issue "that has always been paramount to the owners to make this deal is they do not want this collective-bargaining agreement to be under the supervision or arbitration of Judge David Doty." ESPN's Andrew Brandt: "I don't know if it's a deal breaker, but that's a big thing for ownership."

  • Smith enjoying more latitude than Goodell in CBA negotiations

    March 4, 2011, 3:26 p.m.

    The players are "fully behind" NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith, but it is "apparent that the owners aren't behind commissioner Roger Goodell to the same extent," according to Jason Cole of Yahoo Sports. An NFLPA source said, "We're negotiating, but we're not negotiating with somebody who can make the call."

    For more from today's SBD, click HERE.

  • NFL players' reactions to news of 24-hour CBA extension

    March 4, 2011, 1:50 p.m.

    NFL players weighed in on the labor negotiations after the league and union agreed to an extension. Said Saints fullback Heath Evans: "The 24-hour extension shows me there must be something in the works. Both sides think there's good reason to keep talking."

    For more reactions from today's SBD, click HERE.

  • With CBA extended through Friday night, is longer deal coming?

    March 3, 2011, 1:00 p.m.

    With negotiators for the NFL and NFLPA nearing a deal today for a second postponement of their bargaining deadline, the Washington Post reported sources saying that such a move would "greatly increase hopes for an eventual settlement."

    For news and reactions to the extension from today's SBD, click HERE.

  • Potential lockout threatens billions of dollars in advertising

    March 4, 2011, Noon

    An NFL lockout "would jeopardize the more than $3 billion a year that advertisers spend for commercials during NFL games," according to analysts cited by the Wall Street Journal. One media executive said that advertisers "could move their dollars to other 'marquee' programming," but that some advertisers "might also choose simply not to spend."

    For the full story from SBD, click HERE.

  • Reports hint at another extension, as well as progress on a deal

    March 3, 2011, 11:40 a.m.

    Reports from media covering the talks between the NFL and NFLPA suggest that not only is another deadline extension in the works, but that there may be actual progress in the talks.

    Here’s a list of selected tweets from this morning:

    SBJ’s Liz Mullen reported on Twitter: “Hearing: NFL players have already agreed to 10 day extension suggested by mediator. If owners don't agree, NFL CBA expires at midnight.” SBJ’s Dan Kaplan added, “Definitely hearing a 7- to 10-day extension of NFL CBA deadline is all but a done deal.”

    ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported, “Two sides still roughly $25 million apart per team per year. Doesn't sound like much but it's a $750-$800 million gap that must be closed.”

    SI’s Peter King: “I am told ‘serious, significant progress' has been made on CBA issues. ‘This is not a sham,' my source says, ‘but it is very fragile.’”

    Newsday’s Bob Glauber reported, “Told there will be a break over the weekend in CBA talks if 7-10 day extension approved.”

    SI’s Jim Trotter: “union officials heading to mediator's office. no indication of whether this is good news or bad.”

    NFL Network’s Albert Breer: “Gotta say, being over there today, sensed very real optimism at the union office. Prepared for worst ... But progress has been significant.”

    SI.com’s Don Banks: “For the first time in this process, sources say both Smith + Goodell truly seem motivated to make a deal and avoid the head-on collision.”

    In addition, the Washington Post’s Mark Maske blogged that, “Negotiators for the NFL and the players' union were close to agreeing Friday to a second postponement of their bargaining deadline for a new labor deal, sources said. This postponement likely would be for at least a week, the sources said, and would greatly increase hopes for an eventual settlement after some progress was made in negotiations Thursday.”

  • NFL, NFLPA head back to mediation after deadline extension

    March 4, 2011, 9:00 a.m.

    The league and union are back at it today before federal mediator George Cohen, with lawsuits ready if no new labor deal is reached. An ESPN source said Cohen has "gotten the union to agree to a 7-to-10 day extension on labor talks, but still awaits the owners' response."

    For the story from today's Morning Buzz, click HERE.

  • NFL, NFLPA extend deadline for CBA by 24 hours

    The NFL and NFLPA have agreed to extend their deadline to come to terms on a new collective-bargaining agreement by 24 hours, sources say. The CBA had been scheduled to expire tonight. Talks between the two sides are continuing in Washington, D.C.

  • Three star NFL quarterbacks agree to be plaintiffs in antitrust lawsuit

    March 3, 2011, 4:00 p.m.

    Quarterbacks Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Tom Brady are among the players who have agreed to be named as plaintiffs if the NFLPA files an antitrust lawsuit again the NFL. It isn't clear what claims the union would make in the lawsuit, but the plaintiffs are expected to include other NFL players that "people would not expect," according to a source cited by Liz Mullen.

    You can read Mullen's story in the Closing Bell by clicking HERE.

  • Obama asked whether he would intervene in NFL labor dispute

    March 3, 2011, 4:00 p.m.

    President Obama was asked today during a press briefing whether he would consider intervening in the ongoing NFL labor dispute. Obama said, "You've got owners, most of who are worth close to a billion dollars, you got players who are making millions of dollars. My working assumption at a time when people are having cutback, compromise and worry about making the mortgage and paying for their kid's college education is that the two parties should be able to work it without the president of the United States intervening."

    Obama noted he is a "big football fan," but said, "For an industry that's making $9 billion a year in revenue, they can figure out how to divide it up in a sensible way and be true to their fans who are the ones who, obviously, allow for all the money that they're making." Obama: "My expectation and hope is that they will resolve it without me intervening, because it turns out I've got a lot of other stuff to do" ("Power Lunch," CNBC, 3/3).

  • Chatter around negotiations is that league, union may extend deadline

    March 3, 2011, 2:32 p.m.

    According to the many tweets coming from reporters covering talks between the league and union, there's strong talk of a deadline extension that would carry negotiations past tonight's scheduled expiration of the collective-bargaining agreement.

    Staff writer Daniel Kaplan tweeted a few minutes ago that the NFL and NFLPA are talking about extending the deadline. Chris Mortensen tweeted that the owners had "made a significant proposal today. Union awaits answers on some fundamental core issues to determine whether to extend deadline." And the NFL Network's Albert Breer wrote, "Can confirm the owners have formally offered to extend talks, and that union now wants NFL to demonstrate it's serious about negotiating." ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted, "From inside the negotiating room: Extension of labor talks with stopping of clock still more likely, but not finalized yet."

    For more from those twitter feeds, follow @dkaplanSBJ, @mortreport and @AlbertBreer.

  • No new labor deal expected by midnight

    March 3, 2011, 2:05 p.m.


    No new CBA appears to be on the horizon for the NFL, with the current deal set to expire at the end of the day today. However, Jeff Pash, the league's chief negotiator, yesterday said that "mediation talks could continue past the expiration" of the collective-bargaining agreement.

    For the full story from today's SportsBusiness Daily, click HERE.

  • Owners unified against Judge Doty, believe they can't get a fair shake

    March 3, 2011, 2 p.m.


    About the "only thing that NFL owners seem unified by is that they don't want to deal with federal judge David Doty anymore," according to Jason Cole of Yahoo Sports. His ruling on the league's use of media payments during a lockout "was unilaterally seen by owners as a sign that they will never get a fair shake in Doty's court, which oversees labor issues for the NFL."

    For the full story from SportsBusiness Daily, click HERE.

  • Owners end meeting with no deal on horizon

    March 3, 2011, 9 a.m.


    NFL owners cut short their meeting in Virginia yesterday, and many of them headed for home. The meeting was originally scheduled to stretch into today, but an NFL source said that would have only happened if there was a deal to discuss and vote on. League and player representatives were scheduled to meet again today with a federal mediator, beginning at 9 a.m.

    For more, see staff writer Daniel Kaplan's STORY from today's "Morning Buzz."

  • Both sides in NFL labor talks face critical decisions

    March 2, 2011, 2:20 p.m.


    The owners and players are "prepared to escalate" their dispute, writes the Washington Post's Mark Maske, who cites sources as saying that the players would decertify their union on Thursday, "hours before the expiration of the current labor deal, in anticipation of filing antitrust litigation against the owners."

    For the full story, click HERE.

  • Entire labor negotiating committee at latest mediation session

    March 2, 2011, 2:20 p.m.

    The 10-owner labor negotiating committee attended this morning's federally overseen mediation between the NFL and NFLPA, the ninth day of those talks but the first with such a large ownership presence. The owners attended the meeting "to speak directly with the players, to hear directly from the mediator and to report to the rest of the ownership ...", said Jeff Pash, the league's chief labor negotiator.

    For the complete story, click HERE.

  • Doty ruling considered big win for NFLPA

    March 2, 2011, 2:16 p.m.

    Many NFL watchers considered Judge David Doty's ruling in the media fees case to be a big win for the players union, and some went so far as to say that the ruling increased the chances of a deal. Yahoo Sports' Jason Cole quoted an NFL source as saying, "This is a dose of reality for some of the hard-line owners who wanted a lockout. We can still do it, but it's going to hurt a lot."

    For the full story, click HERE.

  • Doty ruling exposes deal terms between NFL, networks

    March 2, 2011, 2:16 p.m.

    In addition to throwing more uncertainty into the negotiations, Judge Doty's ruling exposed many deal terms that the networks and the NFL would have preferred to keep under wraps. For example, Doty found the league's DirecTV deal particularly egregious and evidence that the NFL undersold its TV deals in 2009 to secure payments during a lockout.

    For the full story, click HERE.

  • Judge reverses ruling on NFL's use of media money during lockout

    March 2, 2011, 9 a.m.

    U.S. District Court Judge David Doty overturned a decision that would have allowed the NFL to use $4 billion in media fees during a potential lockout later this year, consistently asserting that the NFL didn't maximize revenue when it renegotiated its TV deals, as required by the CBA.

    For the full story from today's Morning Buzz, click HERE.

  • Giants' John Mara is first owner to join mediated talks

    March 1, 2011, 4 p.m.

    When the biggest news of the day is that an owner attended a meeting, it's a good sign that there's not much to report. On the eighth day of federal mediation in talks between the NFL and the NFLPA, Giants president and CEO John Mara became the first owner to attend one of the sessions. That means Mara will be able to give a first-hand report to his fellow owners when they meet on Wednesday in Chantilly, Va.

    Time is running out, and though representatives of both sides assert that they are working hard to reach an agreement, it's difficult to tell how much progress is being made. One reason for that is mediator George Cohen's requirement that both sides keep quiet. On his way into the meeting, Jeff Pash, the NFL's chief negotiator, told reporters, "One of the things that has not changed over the last few days is my fear of Mr. Cohen and violating his admonition of not commenting."

    For the full story from today's Closing Bell, click HERE.

  • League, union back to the table for eighth day with mediator

    March 1, 2011, Noon

    More than 40 hours of mediated talks haven't done much to close the gap between the NFL's position and that of the players union, but the two sides met again today with mediator George Cohen as the expiration of the collective-bargaining agreement loomed. Despite today's session, and another scheduled for tomorrow before an owners meeting, most observers agreed that there was little chance of a settlement in the next three days.

    Read the full story from SportsBusiness Daily HERE.

  • NFL, NFLPA head into more talks overseen by federal mediator

    March 1, 2011, 9:00 a.m.

    The NFL and NFLPA will sit down with a federal mediator for an eighth day of talks this afternoon. They expect to hold one more session Wednesday morning before NFL executives leave for an owners meeting in nearby Chantilly, Va. You can read Daniel Kaplan's preview of today's session HERE.

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