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Latest news on NFL labor situation as of Saturday morning

07.23.11 at 11:58 am ET
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Here’s the latest on the NFL labor situation, as of Saturday morning:

‘€¢The NFL owners are expected to have a conference call sometime Saturday to get an update on the labor situation, according to Michael Lombardi of the NFL Network. The owners have pretty much laid low, at least when it comes to discussing anything on the labor front since verifying the proposal on Thursday night while the players have reportedly been examining the plan.

‘€¢In addition, it’s been reported that all 10 plaintiffs in the Brady vs. NFL lawsuit ‘€” including San Diego wide receiver Vincent Jackson ‘€” have agreed to sign off and drop the litigation, according to Albert Breer of That means the rest of the outstanding issues ‘€” including the recertification of the NFLPA and the players wishes for more of a presence when it comes to disciplinary issues ‘€” can be addressed as the talks continue to go forward.

‘€¢Meanwhile, the players have committed to work through the weekend, examining the proposal that was approved by the owners on Thursday afternoon.

Read More: Albert Breer, lockout, Michael Lombardi, Vincent Jackson

UPDATE: NFLPA dismisses talk of Monday vote, denies e-mail

07.22.11 at 4:45 pm ET
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The NFLPA told the players via e-mail on Friday afternoon that the player reps will meet again on Monday, presumably to vote on the new proposal that was ratified by the owners on Thursday. The e-mail, which was obtained by ESPN, reads as follows:

‘€œGuys, to keep you abreast of the latest developments, we are reviewing the latest proposal for a settlement. Because of the passing of Myra Kraft in Boston, the NFLPA will not be making any public statements in honor of the Kraft family.

‘€œOur recommendation is for everyone to stay put and keep doing what you are doing where you are doing it.  We will meet again Monday to discuss our options and the direction we want to go. If you have any questions, don’€™t hesitate to contact us. Your player reps.’€

In the meantime, NFL facilities figure to remain closed throughout the weekend as the lockout continues.

(UPDATE, 6:52 p.m.: NFLPA spokesman George Atallah told Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network “there is no timetable” for any conference or vote, and lawyers continue to work out remaining issues. Several reports indicate that no such e-mail was sent by the NFLPA, and there is no conference call set for Monday.)

Read More: lockout, Myra Kraft,

Mourners visit for Myra Kraft’s funeral

07.22.11 at 4:45 pm ET
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The football world ‘€” including the NFL lockout negotiations ‘€” stopped Friday to recognize the life of Myra Kraft. The wife of Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Myra was a philanthropist who earned the love and respect of many, as shown by the roughly 1,600 people who attended her funeral at Temple Emanuel in Newton. Players, owners, friends and family gathered to pay their respects.

One attendee, former Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe, looked back on the life of Kraft after the service.

“She was a truly wonderful person,” Bledsoe told The Boston Herald. When you were around Myra, without really directing or saying, she inspired you to be a better person. She and Robert were so welcoming to me and my wife and our family when we were here. They treated us as if we were their own and really watched over us.”

Also in attendance were current players Tom Brady, Vince Wilfork, Dan Koppen, Logan Mankins and Ryan Wendell and former players Tedy Bruschi, Rodney Harrison, Richard Seymour, Willie McGinestJoe Andruzzi, Matt Chatham and Lawyer Milloy,  Gov. Deval Patrick, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, Senate President Therese Murray, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, businessman Donald Trump, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, former commissioner Paul Tagliabue and all 31 other NFL owners.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones shared his thoughts with The Providence Journal.

“Our NFL family, there’s a reason you see so many of us here,” Jones said. “That’s the kind of impact. We really wanted to let everyone know and recognize how well and how much she’s thought of by the NFL.”

Former Patriots Donte’ Stallworth and Heath Evans paid their respects via Twitter.

Stallworth: ‘€œOn a MORE IMPORTANT note… God bless Myra Kraft’s soul & give strength to those that are in need over this amazing woman’s passing #prayers‘€

Evans: ‘€œWhat made Myra Kraft special? Strong but Tender-hearted/Proud but Humble/Bold but Soft-Spoken/ Extremely blessed but lived to be a Blessing’€

‘€œWe have lost 1 of the greatest women I know & hands down the finest in all of sports w/ the passing of Mrs. Myra Kraft. God rest her soul!’€

Read More: Drew Bledsoe, Funeral, Jerry Jones, Jonathan Kraft

Peter King on M&M: Supplemental revenue sharing ‘totally meaningless’

07.22.11 at 4:38 pm ET
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Sports Illustrated’€™s Peter King checked in with Mut & Merloni Friday morning to talk about the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement negotiations. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

King said that supplemental revenue sharing ‘€” something that apparently has become a sticking point in negotiations ‘€” is ‘€œtotally meaningless’€ to the players.

‘€œSupplemental revenue sharing was basically put in this deal so that lower revenue teams ‘€” Cincinnati, Minnesota, Kansas City ‘€” so that those teams basically share some of the revenue from the larger teams,’€ King said. ‘€œIt doesn’€™t matter to the players. It has no meaning, no significance whatsoever to the players.’€

‘€œThe players are going to make 47 1/2 percent of the gross revenue. It doesn’€™t matter whether the Kansas City Chiefs pull in 195 or 165 million. It doesn’t matter at all. If you’re a player, what do you care if Jerry Jones gives 20 million for signage in his stadium to the lower-revenue teams. You’re still going to get a percentage of that 20 million. That’s what was so baffling last night, was to hear them make an issue of that. It’s totally meaningless.”

King said that because supplemental revenue sharing doesn’€™t matter, the NFLPA delaying its vote is ‘€œbaffling’€ to both him and the owners. He described Thursday night following the owners’€™ vote as ‘€œfilled with curveballs.’€

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Collective Bargaining Agreement, Myra Kraft, nfl, Peter King

Latest news on NFL labor situation as of Friday afternoon

07.22.11 at 3:07 pm ET
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Here’€™s the latest when it comes to the NFL labor situation, as of Friday afternoon:

‘€¢There is still no word on whether or not the players will hold a vote on the proposed deal that was ratified by the owners on Thursday afternoon, with the NFLPA going into shutdown mode early Friday morning shortly after the following announcement was made: ‘€œPlayer leadership is discussing the most recent written proposal with the NFL, which includes a settlement agreement, deal terms and the right process for addressing recertification. There will not be any further NFLPA statements today out of respect for the Kraft family while they mourn the loss of Myra Kraft.’€ (NFLPA chief DeMaurice Smith was in New England for the service.)

One player rep who was talking was George Wilson of the Buffalo Bills, who told NFL Network shortly after noon that there was no upcoming conference call scheduled with the NFLPA members. He also sounded a far more optimistic note than many of the players did Thursday night when the owners first agreed to the deal. ‘€œWe’€™ve come too far to let personal differences or emotions to come into play to stop the process,’€ Wilson said. ‘€œWe’€™re just asking for a sufficient amount of time.’€

‘€¢As of Friday afternoon, the players haven’€™t agreed to the proposal, but it’€™s clear that many of the Patriots have started to return to New England, presumably for the start of training camp. Several Twitter feeds from the players ‘€” including rookies ‘€” have shown that they are in the process of returning or have already gotten back to New England and have started to settle in anticipation of the season ahead. It certainly appears that once things do get going, whether it’€™s next week or the week after, the Patriots will be able to hit the ground running.

‘€¢Representatives from all 32 teams underwent a tutorial Friday in Atlanta, preparing them for the intricacies of the new system, a session that hit on everything from the new salary cap rules (including the new rookie wage scale) to free agency to the signing of players. Several changes to the system have reportedly been proposed as part of the new agreement, including limiting the offseason workouts to nine weeks and holding only 14 padded practices over the course of the entire regular season (and one padded practice per week in the postseason), none of which can exceed three hours in length.

‘€¢According to Michael Lombardi of the NFL Network, the players are still pushing for what he calls a ‘€œseat at the table’€ when it comes to the disciplinary process on the players. Lombardi says players don’€™t want Roger Goodell to be ‘€œjudge and jury’€ on disciplinary issues. However, many of those issues cannot be tackle until the players’ union recertifies, which is becoming a greater issue than either side first anticipated.

Read More: DeMaurice Smith, George Wilson, lockout, Michael Lombardi

NFL labor update as of Friday morning

07.22.11 at 11:22 am ET
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Here’s the latest from the NFL labor talks, as of Friday morning:

Much of the NFL leadership ‘€” as well as NFLPA chief DeMaurice Smith ‘€” in Boston on Friday for the funeral of Myra Kraft. To that point, the NFLPA president Kevin Mawae issued a statement Friday morning saying they were still looking at the agreement that was sent over by the league last night, but that there would not “not be any further NFLPA statements today out of respect for the Kraft family while they mourn the loss of Myra Kraft.” It is not known at this time if the players will vote on the proposal Friday.

While the 32 owners met and approved the deal Thursday in Atlanta, there are still representatives from each team in Atlanta undergoing a full rundown on what the new rules and regulations would mean for each team. Here’s a quick look at some of the highlights, which we initially posted last night.

‘€¢The deal would last 10 years, and there would be no opt out for either side.

‘€¢The offseason training program would be reduced by five weeks, and the number of OTA’€™s would decrease from 14 to 10.

‘€¢Unrestricted free agency for players after four accrued seasons; restricted free agency for players with three accrued seasons.

‘€¢Salary cap plus benefits of $142.4 million per club in 2011 ($120.375 million for salary and bonus) and at least that amount in 2012 and 2013.

‘€¢League-wide commitment to cash spending of 99 percent of the cap in 2011 and 2012. For the 2013-20 seasons, the clubs collectively will commit to cash spending of at least 95 percent of the cap.

‘€¢In addition, all teams will have approximately $3.5 million in what would otherwise be performance-based pay available to fund veteran player salaries.

As of Friday morning, recertification for the NFLPA remains a big sticking point in this whole process ‘€” what it means and how long it would take. We talked to sports law expert Muchael McCann on Thursday about why this whole process is important and how long it would take. Here’s that story.

Read More: DeMaurice Smith, Kevin Mawae, Myra Kraft,

After conference call, NFL players decide not to vote on owners’ proposal

07.21.11 at 10:13 pm ET
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After a conference call late Thursday night involving NFLA Players Association chief DeMaurice Smith and 32 player reps that lasted just over 90 minutes, the NFLPA decided not to vote on the proposal that was given to the players earlier in the day by the owners.

The initial proposal, which was ratified by the owners by a vote of 31-0 after a day of meetings in Atlanta, was derided by many players late Thursday night as a bully tactic designed to force them to agree to a deal they either hadn’€™t yet seen or had the chance to ask questions about. In addition, NFLPA officials insisted that many of the points of the deal that was agreed on by the owners remain unresolved, a point Smith hit on in a pre-call e-mail that he sent to players:

‘€œAs you know, the Owners have ratified their proposal to settle our differences. It is my understanding they are forwarding it to us. As you may have heard they apparently approved a supplemental revenue sharing proposal. Obviously, we have not been a part of those discussions. As you know from yesterday, issues that need to be collectively bargained remain open, other issues such as workers compensation, economic issues and end of deal terms remain unresolved. There is no agreement between the NFL and the Players at this time. I look forward to our call tonight.’€

Meanwhile, NFL officials have told reporters that the players ‘€œhave had the documents,’€ but that report was strongly refuted by the NFLPA.

Read More: DeMaurice Smith, lockout,
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