SBD/Issue 93/Leagues & Governing Bodies

NFL Not Holding News Conference SB Week To Discuss Labor Talks

Murphy Not Giving Labor Update
Next Week, As Reported Earlier
The NFL will not hold a news conference in which Packers President & CEO Mark Murphy will discuss negotiations with the NFLPA for a new labor deal on the Thursday of Super Bowl week, the NFL said today. “We had considered holding a media briefing next week on the CBA, but since there has been little progress toward reaching an agreement we decided there was no need for one,” NFL Senior VP/Communications Greg Aiello said. “The commissioner will be available to the media on Friday (of Super Bowl week) to answer any CBA-related questions.” The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel had reported that Murphy, a current member of the NFL’s Management Council Exec Committee, would hold the media briefing to discuss “to discuss the slow pace of labor negotiations” on the same day the NFLPA is scheduled to hold its Super Bowl press conference. The NFLPA traditionally meets with the media on Thursday and the NFL traditionally holds its press conference on Friday of Super Bowl week. NFLPA Assistant Exec Dir of Extenal Affairs George Atallah said, "We are disappointed that they reconsidered the press briefing with Mr. Murphy because the players were looking forward to hearing from the Management Council's new spokesperson" (Liz Mullen, SportsBusiness Journal).

THE INITIAL REPORT: In Milwaukee, Bob McGinn reported Murphy "will serve as the point man next week when [NFL] management holds a Super Bowl news conference to discuss the slow pace of labor negotiations." The briefing will be held February 4 in Ft. Lauderdale, the same day the NFLPA "traditionally holds its news conference at the Super Bowl." Murphy indicated that "other members of the executive committee will attend and at least one other member that he couldn't identify also would speak to reporters." Murphy said that he has been "present for the majority of the 11 negotiating sessions with NFLPA leaders since negotiation began last year" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 1/27).

DEAL LOOKING BLEAK? Titans C and NFLPA President Kevin Mawae said it "looks very bleak" that a deal for a new CBA will be reached "before March of this year or the beginning of the new NFL season." Mawae: "Until we come to some terms of what's really important and what are the big issues in this deal it's going to be tough to get something done. The players are more united than ever before, and we're preparing for a lockout." NFL Exec VP & General Counsel Jeff Pash said, "What we're trying to accomplish here is to have an economic system ... that will allow us to look back 15 years from now and say that we, meaning the clubs and the players, were creative and thoughtful and laid the groundwork for the game to continue to grow." The AP's Barry Wilner noted if a deal is not reached by March, the '10 NFL season will be played without a salary cap, though the "crop of players available won't be as substantial as in previous, capped seasons." CAA Football co-Head Tom Condon also noted that "less money will be available." Condon: "Over the past three years, 90[%] or so of the NFL teams have not, on average, spent up to the salary cap. Now you have no floor, so you have teams that were required to spend to the floor who don't have to participate or can participate on a lower level" (AP, 1/26).

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