Matt Light on CBA talks: ‘The system doesn’t need to go back’
|03.08.11 at 10:02 am ET|
Patriots offensive lineman Matt Light made an appearance on The Hill-Man Morning Show on WAAF radio Tuesday morning, and the team’s union representative offered his thoughts on negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement. To hear the interview, click here.
Light said he is “hopeful” that a deal will get done soon, but he’s hesitant to sound too optimistic. “My stance has always been this: There’s so many issues that go into this,” he said. “It’s obviously never going to be a situation where I can make a comment and everybody’s going to agree with it. Or that I can even comment to my own players when they ask me how things are going. ‘¦ It’s always moving. This negotiation for the longest time didn’t go anywhere. And then as the deadline approached, I think we all kind of figured it would start to move a little bit, and then we get this extension. I think things are moving.
“That’s about all I can say, really. Because you sound like a buffoon if you say, ‘Well, I feel positive about this,’ and then nothing happens and we do end up getting locked out.”
Light said he takes issue with analysts who side with owners because players want to keep the status quo. “The system doesn’t need to go back,” he said. “We don’t need to give back a billion dollars based on what we know. I think that’s pretty simple. When I listen to the radio or I hear people on TV talk about this issue, the one thing that I have a problem with is that they want to say that the deal’s too good for the players, and that’s why if one side doesn’t want to make a move and the other one does, then the side that doesn’t want to move, obviously, it’s too good for them. Well, that’s just ludicrous in my mind. You can’t say that one side has it too good if they don’t want to change anything when the other side is asking you to give back 18 percent of your pay.”
Added Light: “At the end of the day, it just comes down to doing what’s fair and what’s equitable. Look, the league, from 2009 to 2010, they were up 7 percent. That’s pretty good. That’s a heck of a deal. They definitely haven’t lost money in a long time. Nor do I see that happening anytime soon. If it’s good now, it should be good later, and we should all take part in that.”
There have been reports that there is some divisiveness among the ownership group. Light said he has found some owners to be sympathetic to the players’ plight, while others have been less accommodating. Said Light: “We’re respectful of their position. And I think some of them are respectful of ours. But there are a lot of the old-school owners who sit back and say, ‘Hey, when I whistle, you come running, and that’s the end of the discussion.’ ”
Touching on other topics, the Patriots lost a key member of their offensive line this offseason when Stephen Neal announced his retirement after battling injuries the last few years. “You get to a certain point in your career where you say, ‘You know what? Quality of life is more important thatn the type of life that you lead.’ And you need to make a decision,” Light said. “For him, obviously, it was the right decision. He’s at peace with it. It wasn’t like he had anything ripped out from underneath him. It came on his terms.”
Light said he hopes to return to the Patriots next season and block for Tom Brady, who was recently spotted with hit hair in a ponytail. Said Light: “I sported ponytail a while ago. Nobody seemed to have a problem with that.”