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Volume 25 No. 198
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Richard Sherman Predicts Lockout After Current CBA Expires in '21

Sherman said he did not think a new deal would be negotiated before the end of the current CBA
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Some NFL players are "already planning on a lockout" in '21 upon the expiration of the current CBA, according to Lorenzo Reyes of USA TODAY. 49ers CB Richard Sherman said of a lockout, “It’s going to happen, so it’s not like guys are guessing on that one.” The current CBA has "drawn criticism from some players and agents over the power Commissioner Roger Goodell wields in disciplinary matters, as well as the financial breakdown and lack of guaranteed contracts, among other issues." Sherman "pointed to the last labor dispute" in '11, which also "resulted in a lockout." He said, “There was a lockout before. We don’t plan on changing anything about the deal we currently have right now, so I don’t think it’s going to be negotiated before the end of the CBA, so it’s going to cause a lockout and we’ll deal with it from there.” Sherman, who was elected the team's union rep for the '18 season, "expects more conversation about the long-term status of the labor agreement to be hashed out" during the union’s annual meeting next year (USA TODAY, 9/7). More Sherman: "The players' side is definitely more prepared for a potential work stoppage this time around. We have more contingency plans in place, our players are more informed, the process is more transparent and we really have keyed what we'll be looking for in these negotiations." He added, "That's the worst-case scenario, obviously, but that's what we're planning for because that's happened in the past" ("The Adam Schefter Podcast," ESPN.com, 9/4).

LET'S MAKE A DEAL? NBC Sports Bay Area’s Ray Ratto said owners "want more of what they already got" in the most recent CBA negotiations, and they "perceive the union as weak, because the union has been weak." The NFLPA is "talking big right now because there are a lot of non-economic issues irking them, like the anthem." But once negotiations begin, owners "will play hardball with them because every other time they've played hardball with them, they've won." The union "will either have to develop a backbone, which it's never shown it had," or owners "will have to do something so horrific that the players can understand it easily and say, ‘This is wrong, we’re not going to put up with it.'" Ratto: "You give players a reason to hate you, they'll take it" (“The Happy Hour,” NBC Sports Bay Area, 9/6).

TIME TO GET SERIOUS? In DC, Jerry Brewer writes the NFL lacks a "flair for strategic thinking because its owners consider their teams toys that print money." That is the "appeal," as these "aren’t the businesses that most of them worked so hard to turn into billion-dollar enterprises." This is "supposed to be the ultimate rich perk." Brewer: "So what happens when something serious -- be it ailing former players or domestic violence offenders or political protests -- requires the NFL to be more than a collection of 32 owner toys?" The league is "stunned because that isn’t what the people in charge really signed up for." That makes the NFL "slow to care, slower to react and slowest to hit upon anything that even resembles a solution." The response is "predictable: Do whatever it takes to return to normal." Make the problem "go away, and make the cash start flowing again" (WASHINGTON POST, 9/7).