Talks Break Down, Both Sides Swinging


The NFL labor negotiations just took a turn towards high school with both sides getting involved in petty squabbles that aren’t going to be productive in regard to getting a new CBA done by tomorrow’s deadline. Things started when negotiations broke down in the afternoon and DeMaurice Smith sent the NFLPA reps home. Smith most likely did this more as a publicity stunt than anything else, mentioning they could all be back to resume negotiations as soon as needed. But that lead to NFL general counsel Jeff Pash publicly questioning the player’s commitment to negotiations.

“Things can come together quickly. Things can fall apart quickly,” Pash said when the NFL negotiating team left for the day. “I’ve said it many times: If both sides have an equal commitment to getting this deal done, it will get done. I don’t know if both sides have an equal commitment. … Obviously, we have the commitment.”

That in turn set DeMaurice Smith off, who offered a full rebuttle in spite of the self-imposed media blackout. His response hardly pulled any punches.

“We have been committed to this process. But for anyone to stand and turn to the American people and say they question that?” Smith said. “Look, I understand that there’s probably some things Jeff Pash just has to say, but this is the truth: We know that as early as March of 2009 … the National Football League engaged in a strategy to get $4 billion of television money … even if the games weren’t played.”

Then things just got weird, after the NFL general counsel and the NFLPA Chief squared off, all hell broke loose. George Atallah of the NFLPA made some remarks regarding the NFL owner’s negotiating strategy.

“If owners continue to question players’ commitment to negotiations, we’re prepared two make public all our unanswered proposals.”

That in turn lead to an uncharacteristic rebuttle from the typically mild-mannered NFL PR czar, George Aiello via Twitter to NFL writer Bob Glauber.

@BobGlauber While George is at it, ask him when is union going to respond to our 150 pages of draft CBA provisions that they received eight days ago. Waiting.

Not exactly the type of public sentiment that engenders good will from either side. The cherry on top game from Pro Football Management’s Howard Shatsky, a player agent familiar with the NFLPA side of negotiations when he responded with this gem. Say goodbye to the NFL.

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Tags: CBA DeMaurice Smith Greg Aiello Jeff Pash NFL