Yesterday, the labor negotiations ended without an agreement. The Union decertified.
Frankly, I am surprised at how much sincere negotiation took place on the part of the owners. Once they lost that case to hold onto the TV revenue during a lockout, their bargaining stance changed and they moved a lot. Public sentiment is now against the players, as the NFL apparently was willing to split the difference between 650M for revenue taken off the top, asking for only 325M. That is a far cry from 1B initially requested.
Listen to what John Mara had to say after it was over:
“I’ve been here for the better part of two weeks now and, 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 they believe that gives them the best leverage. I never really got the feeling during the past two weeks they were serious about negotiating, and it’s unfortunate because that’s not what collective bargaining is all about.”
Consensus agrees with Mara. The Players apparantly angled for decertification and litigation all along. I am not taking sides with the players OR the owners. I also heard they were using as a talking point to throw in more revenue from additional teams being let into the playoffs. So once that kind of dilution gets thrown in, the players AND owners are both the enemy.
What now? Maybe someone will blink before the draft? Garafolo notes more of the dynamics, but it is anyone’s guess exactly how it all unfolds. I think the players are going to need to see the paychecks of September melting before they make sincere concessions. It looks to me as if the NFL is done making any more concessions for a while.