SBD/Issue 232/Leagues & Governing Bodies

NFL, NFLPA Held Another Formal Bargaining Session Last Friday

Pash Feels A New CBA Can
Be Reached Without Lockout

The NFL and the NFLPA held a formal bargaining session for a new CBA last Friday in N.Y., sources confirmed. It is not clear what was discussed, as Friday's session was kept quiet and not reported in the media. It is not unusual for two parties in a labor negotiation to hold many sessions to discuss different topics, especially when one side is seeking major changes in the labor agreement, as the NFL is in this negotiation. The NFL CBA expires on March 4, after which the NFL, which is seeking concessions from players, could lock players out (Liz Mullen, SportsBusiness Journal). In a special to the GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE, NFL Exec VP & General Counsel Jeff Pash wrote the league knows than a new CBA "can and will be reached to improve the game and build a better league," and it "can and should be done with no work stoppage, which would hurt everyone." Pash noted the league has "shown the union how and why the current system does not work," and the Packers' recent financial statement "illustrates the point -- operating profits declining every year since 2006 while player costs continue to rise." Pash: "Our proposals recognize economic reality and will build on a system that has been good to all of us. ... We will not accept the status quo. Neither should fans. With a Collective Bargaining Agreement more firmly grounded in economic reality, we can fulfill the vision of NFL owners to improve the game, enhance the fan experience and build a better NFL" (GREEN BAY PRESS-GAZETTE, 8/17).

LIMITED EFFECT: In Boston, Albert Breer noted most teams "didn't change their decision-making significantly" this offseason as a result of the uncapped year. Breer: "If anything, the rules restricting fourth- and fifth-year free agents might have simplified things a bit." Saints GM Mickey Loomis: "We had a couple deals we were able to do and a couple deals we were not able to do. That sounds like a typical year to me." Breer noted the new rules in "some cases ... caused holdouts," but "in more, it gave teams a year's reprieve and delayed some tough decisions" (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/15).

QUITE A TURNAROUND: A N.Y. TIMES editorial stated the NFL's new poster alerting players to the long-term effects of concussions "signals a hard-fought reversal of the National Football League's repeated denials of mounting evidence that concussions can lead to ... handicapped lives and brain damage." The NFL's "turnabout resulted from rising public alarm and Congressional concern after investigations" by various reporters (N.Y. TIMES, 8/15).

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