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Volume 24 No. 156
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NFL's Jeff Pash Offers Lockout Update From Owners' Perspective

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, NFL Exec VP & General Counsel Jeff Pash told reporters today at the NFL annual meeting in New Orleans. The proposal was seen by the NFL as a way to address the many failed investments that so frequently afflict players, Pash said. He said the idea, which was akin to a fund, was not countered by the NFLPA.

Pash again made a plea for the players, who decertified, to return to the negotiating table. He confirmed a report that the owners had long ago given up talking about an expense credit and instead had moved to a pegged cap system. He seemed to suggest there was an inconsistency in the players’ demands for the league to open up its past audited financial statements, when the issues surrounding the pegged cap dealt with future growth.

"We made a proposal to address their concerns about transparency," he said, referring to the offer to make each team’s audited financial statements available to a third party auditor. "It would have been one thing if they had said, ‘Fine, let’s take a look at what you have’ ... and then come back and said, ‘We have this problem, that problem.’"

"But without looking at a single line on a single piece of paper," Pash said of their rejection of the offer, "it raises a question of why they were asking for it in the first place."