In news that would seem to indicate that the lockout is just about to end, the NFL owners voted 31-0 to ratify a new collective bargaining agreement with the league’s players.
Commissioner Roger Goodell: “It is time to get back to football. That’s what everybody here wants to do.”
So there’s an agreement between the players and owners?
“We believe we have an agreement,” added New York Giants owner John Mara. “Now it’s up to the players.”
Not quite so fast, says NFL Players Union head DeMaurice Smith. “”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,” Smith said. “There is no agreement between the NFL and the Players at this time,” Smith said.
“[Smith's statement] is baffling to me,” Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson told ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio. “We believe we have handshake agreement with the players.”
So, what exactly has happened here? Was there actually an agreement that the players reneged on? Are the owners pulling a fast one by trying to completely put the ball in the players’ court? After all, if the players say no now, they’re going to be the bad guys in the court of public opinion.
Wow, what a potential mess. Let’s just hope the players are being extra careful and they will vote on the proposal soon.
Also, you may notice that the vote owners’ was only 31-0. There are 32 NFL owners, so who didn’t vote?
Shockingly, not Ralph Wilson or Cincinnati’s Mike Brown. The crazy-ass Oakland Raiders were actually the team to abstain from the vote. Raiders CEO Amy Trask told NFL.com: “We had profound philosophical differences of a football and an economic nature,” adding, “we voted the way we thought was appropriate.”
Basically, “Al Davis is insane.” Thanks, Amy.
Anyway, more on this story as it unfolds.