Thank the Owners for new Collective Bargaining Agreement

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The NFLPA* were dragging their feet. After they played the “We have a $200,000 per player insurance policy”  card during negotiations last week, the players knew they had the upper hand. The owners began to concede many of their demands and also began to throw in almost anything the players wanted into the new CBA. The owners lost their “Right to First Refusal” regarding resigning free agents, and players received less full pad practices and fewer amounts of two-a-day practices. The agreement began to take form as a vote was prepared on Thursday for the players, and Friday for the owners. Nothing could go wrong…..right?

Enter Logan Mankins and Vincent Jackson. Two plaintiffs also filing a lawsuit against the NFL still wanted a settlement, roughly in the form of 10 million dollars. Drew Brees and Peyton Manning also wanted a settlement, but were willing to settle for a free pass into free agency. Mankins and Jackson were standing firm on their demands and the owners seemingly did not want to fork up that much dough, so both sides were at an impasse. Although there were other minor differences in the negotiations, the settlements seemed to have enough power to derail a mutual agreement. Also, the players would have to re-certify as a union, which they were saying could take up to two weeks. Owners said they could do it over email, which would take 24 hours. Seeing no movement on the players’ side, the owners made a HUGE power play.

On Friday July 22nd 2011, the owners voted 31-1 to pass the current proposal for a new CBA. The one “No” vote came from the Oakland Raiders , abstaining from the CBA due to “philosophical differences”. As fans began to rejoice and cheer from their seats Friday afternoon, cold water was immediately thrown on the fire from the players. The owners vote sparked outrage amongst the players, as some players voiced on Twitter that the owners were backing the players into a corner. The owners had made it seem like the players were the only ones holding the deal back now, which was exactly what the owners wanted.

Now, the owners knew exactly what they were doing. They put in the new CBA everything the players wanted. The only reason why the players were upset is because if they made any new demands, it would show that its the players who didn’t mind if they were locked out or not. The players, trying to save face, puffed out their chests and used their big boy voices. They refused to vote on the new CBA until they read the entire thing and discussed it. The owners knew all the points were not added into the CBA, but by already voting, it pushed the players to hurry up settle the disagreements. Brees and Manning, along with Mankins and Jackson, dropped their demands for individual settlements. The players also agreed to re-certify quicker so they could vote on the proposal on Monday. All in all, the owners made the players look like the bad guy. Although the players showed their frustration and refused to rush into the proposal, two days later all points were agreed upon and a vote is set to be made on Monday July 25th 2011. Instead of waiting two weeks for certification and settlements for the plaintiffs, lockout could be lifted Monday, offices and team facilities open on Tuesday, and teams can start negotiating with their free agents and rookies on Wednesday. All I have to say about that is “Thank you Owners” and “Welcome Back Football!”.