The owners of NFL teams ratified a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) by a vote of 31-0 (Raiders abstaining) according to reports by NBC News and other sources.
The NFL Players’ Association held a two-hour conference call for the 32 player representatives to explain the the CBA. At the end of the call the representatives scheduled a ratification vote on Friday. The players felt steamrollered by the owners because some non-revenue items were unresolved. As best as I can tell, the owners expected to collectively bargain those issues with the union. The players want those items settled up-front.
We know that the players have trust issues with the owners. We do not know how the 10 named plaintiffs in the anti-trust suit figure into this. Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Vincent Jackson have tweeted that they would not stand in the way of an agreement.
Yet, something made the owners confident enough to ratify a final agreement and it likely was not what NFL PA director De Smith emailed to players:
“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.”
That must have been news to the owners who were planning to open training facilities to players this Saturday.
Vonnie Holliday is the players’ rep for the Washington Redskins. The evolution of his tweets tell a story.
Early this afternoon, he tweeted:
“therealholliday Vonnie Holliday Any players that have concerns or questions please call, text or email me!”
He tweeted that just after:
“therealholliday Vonnie Holliday It is truly amazing how bad the reporting is on the issues surrounding the NFL Lockout!!! What happened to credible reporting?”
Around 9:00 PM Eastern, he tweeted:
“therealholliday Vonnie Holliday Please don’t get excited about that press conference. The owners have agreed on a deal we the players have not seen! This is not consistent
therealholliday Vonnie Holliday With where we thought we were yesterday!”
later followed by the strongly worded:
“therealholliday Vonnie Holliday Look guys I have no reason to lie! The truth of the matter is we got tricked, duped, led astray, hoodwinked, bamboozled!”
Maury Brown of businessofsportsnetwork.com had this analysis:
“BizballMaury Maury Brown For those asking: Owners basically ratified their final proposal to the players before they saw it. Puts pressure on players, to be sure”
Can you say “trust issues?”
More fun to come. Stay tuned.