NFL lockout 'over', but labor dispute still on
The NFL is prepared to open training facilities Saturday, Commissioner Roger Goodell says.
July 22nd, 2011
11:58 AM ET

NFL lockout 'over', but labor dispute still on

NFL owners have approved a proposed labor deal. Game on, right? Wrong, several players said Friday.

One day after NFL owners trumpeted the ratification of a 10-year collective bargaining agreement that would end the stalemate, players from several ballclubs expressed contempt for the way it was being portrayed.

Super Bowl-winning quarterback Aaron Rodgers tweeted that the owners were benefiting from "ridiculous" media spin.

Wide receiver Donté  Stallworth, who did an on-air interview with ESPN on Friday, pleaded for fan support. "Fans PLEASE understand we received the deal late last night," he said via Twitter. "Stayed up late & up early today reviewing 200+ pages... We are on top of it!!!

Other players weren't so gracious.

"The owners tried 2 slip many things n2 the CBA 'they' voted on that were NEVER agreed 2!" tweeted New Orleans fullback Heath Evans.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, in response to a fan’s tweet about the lockout being done and football on the horizon, tweeted: "Not quite. Don't believe the hype."

ESPN radio and television personality Bonnie Bernstein empathized with the players late Thursday, tweeting: "Imagine getting a lengthy contract detailing ur job for NEXT 10 YRS . Wouldn't u be analyzing every line?"

On Thursday, NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith was less than optimistic in an e-mail to the group's 32 player representatives on the owners' approval of the labor deal.

"As you know, the owners have ratified their proposal to settle our differences,” he said, according to “They apparently approved a supplemental revenue sharing proposal. Obviously, we have not been a part of those discussions."

"We will be prepared to open training facilities Saturday," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday, effectively ending the lockout that NFL owners voted for months earlier. Players at that point would be free to come and go - and train - in league buildings (thus, they'll be no longer physically locked out), although they would not be signed if they didn't do so before the labor dispute.

"It is time to get back to football. That is what everyone here wants to do," Goodell said.

The ante was raised considerably Thursday when it was announced that the August 7 preseason Hall of Fame Game between the Chicago Bears and St. Louis Rams had been canceled due to time constraints.

The regular season is scheduled to begin September 8.

But that's on paper. In reality, gamesmanship is in play more than ever.

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soundoff (106 Responses)
  1. Tom

    Who cares what either side says, you are getting overpaid to play a sport and all the owners care about are their corporate contracts. Suck it up and play football and stop this nonsense no one cares about it or you for that matter. If ever pro player quit today their would be a million people to take their place,you are expendable.

    July 22, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • chuck

      Tom, I think your perspective is short sighted...imagine you had a job that had addressed in a dispute...say, 'your pay and conduct', it wouldn't matter to you if you were considered overpaid by anyone. The point is you want to be paid in line with the market value of your work/experience. That is the game...if your boss was making money hand over fist off your abilities, and you're in a position to leverage your skills to get the most for it, wouldn't you...wouldn't you advise your child or family member to do the same? What the owners and Goodell did, is not a good faith effort to amicably resolve their differences. Sure there are thousands ready to fill these guys shoes, but the product would not be at the level the current players are...for example: Ford fires all their employees and hires replacements. They may find a few jewels or 'capables', but by and large most will be substandard and will likely produce an inferior product; something Ford would be unwilling to are the NFL Owners...Owners should ante up and as should Players, be forth right, open, honest and fair.

      July 22, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cttnmth420

      overpaid is a market term. Obviously there is greater demand for people at their level in their field than a demand for people of your level in your field of endevor

      July 22, 2011 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |

      I Agree with Tom...

      What would Pat Tillman do?? He gave up the game that he so preciously loved, despite the money he was paid to play. Here is a man that gave up what he liked doing the most to go out and defend the liberties and freedom that we Americans enjoy today. Unfortunately he gave the ultimate sacrifice for all of us (friendly fire or not) and did so with Honor. He took a pay cut by the millions to defend his country. It's absolutely absurd to know that we may lose America's biggest sport this year just because the players and Union cannot come up with an agreement! So I say again, what would Pat Tillman do??

      July 22, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • JA

      @Tom: I agree. I don't really care if they play or not anymore. If they do great, but I doubt I will ever go to another game again. They didn't say anything about reducing ticket prices with all the extra revenue that is now to be divided to satisfy cap space.. Honestly if someone had the cure for AIDS or Cancer tomorrow they would not make the amount a rookie unproven QB would make right out of the draft. These are America's priorities. I like watching FB but I'm ok without watching the bachelorette on turf.

      July 22, 2011 at 11:35 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Rennie

    Solidarity! How could we be surprised that a bunch of billionaires would try to "slip" in un-negotiated terms. Apparently the PA got insurance for the player's salaries this year. Scrub the season and see how the owners pay for their fancy new stadiums. Hear me Jerry? Support the players. Boycott the team stores and the NFL stores. Make them understand that money doesn't always win. Solidarity!

    July 22, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Report abuse |
  3. edvhou812

    The lockout is not over.

    July 22, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jeff E

    Tom, your comments are just absurd, they're not expendable, and no one wants to watch a bunch of guys that didn't make it for a reason, they weren't good enough, they got injured, or some other kind of problem exists. If they did the USFL, ARENA league, and the Canadian football league would have/had much better ratings.

    Now to the heart of the matter. This isn't the same financial situation in this country as a whole, as when the old CBA was first put together. There does need to be some concessions by the players, in this economic environment. Look people are struggling out there, some stadiums are not as filled as they use to be, the players have a fair deal IMHO on the table, is it perfect? Nope, but no one has a perfect deal right now in this economic crisis.

    July 22, 2011 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Tony

    Players and owners all make more than the average American. We want to see football!! We don't care about your little squabble. The last time baseball players went on strike, I stopped watching baseball. I haven't watched it since. If you don't get back to playing football, I will quit watching football, playing fantasy football, etc. What happens if a bunch of people feel as I do? Where will football be then? You won't be raking in $9 billion. Play ball or else!!

    July 22, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • TeKE

      I'm with you Tony. I said I would quit if a single game was missed (including pre-season). Well, it looks like I'm out. I quit baseball, and now I am quitting the NFL. Looks like my football watching will switch to Saturdays instead of Sundays. BTW, anyone know of a college fantasy football league?

      July 23, 2011 at 3:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Alan

      I'm sure that even when they play, the games will suck. Unprepared crap is what we'll get. I will not renew my NFL ticket on Directv this year.

      July 23, 2011 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
    • bdgfn

      Sounds like TeKE took lessons from the Sarah Palin school of "quiting when things don't go your way".

      July 23, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Bill

    Wow, what a shock......a bunch of billionaire businessmen decided to create the best possible deal for themselves! do you jocks think they became billionaires??

    July 22, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. haveuforgotten

    The point that I see as extremely important is one that CNN as well as all other media outlets forget to mention. During this process many people have lost their jobs in the NFL busniess, people working for teams non-players, sports analyists, shop owners, and many other types of busniess that rely on the NFL. Although I do understand the players and owners concern over billions of dollars, I just think its time to reach the aggrement so people like me can have our job back making 45k a year. Little bit of money in the big picture dont you think? Just my 2 cents worth.

    July 22, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Hunnit Thou

    I love all these limp d I c k e d white dudes payin all this money to watch some big black men play ball. I even think it's funny yall actually care about the legal process. You care about our personal lives too.. Haha Ignore your wives so you can watch us ..

    July 22, 2011 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
  9. you

    Have to agree with Tom...If it wasn't for the owners and the NFL most of the players would be flipping hamburgers or polishing shoes... Get over yourselves and get your a** back to work.

    July 23, 2011 at 12:35 am | Report abuse |
  10. Name*Darrin Mccoy

    If I had a job , I would be happy to have a job.

    July 23, 2011 at 12:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Just lucky to be employed

      My biggest beef with all of this is the whole timing of it. There is over 14 million American without a job, People. Do you think they're concerned over when this whole football lockout is going to end? Of just maybe, just for a little moment, they have something else pressing on their minds. Like the 81' Baseball strike, I believe football will see a long drought in revenue following this event. Personally, I think I'm done with Pro football for a while.

      July 23, 2011 at 1:22 am | Report abuse |
  11. CP in Tampa

    The greedy billionare owners are trying to get more. For those of you who say the players should just take the deal, the average NFL player does not make millions of dollars and the average career is only about 5 years. So even if the player makes a million dollars during his career, he has to endure lifelong injuries. I fully support the players.

    July 23, 2011 at 1:05 am | Report abuse |
  12. TeKE

    Well, I'm glad there is still College Football. The NFL just lost this household as fans. Not another dime to the pro's. 1st I quit baseball when they went on strike, and now Football. Let's face it, no one plays for the love of the game anymore. Except maybe the 90+ % of college players who know they do not have a chance of being drafted. Sure it is not the same level of play as the pros, the pros do not play with half as much heart as the kids do.

    July 23, 2011 at 3:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Chitown Jason

      LOL...yeah, NFL players don't love the game. OK. Have fun watching a sport that has a computer determine its champion.

      July 23, 2011 at 4:59 am | Report abuse |
    • MartinT

      Hey TeKE, I have to agree with you and totally disagree with the other guy who replied to you. College football is far more interesting than the NFL. Who cares who determines the national champion in CF, I watch the games for the thrill of the games and I love the Bowl Season. There are simply MORE college games to watch, and I can live without the NFL if I have to.

      July 23, 2011 at 6:01 am | Report abuse |
  13. MartinT

    Well here's my take, they are all a bunch of overpaid, over-egoed idiots and WE the fans just keep them going. I for one, and yes I love the game, plan to boycott ALL things NFL this season IF they miss even ONE game regardless of who is "at fault." The only thing I think the Players Association has right is their argument for a disability/retirement clause because so many players are used and discarded by the NFL Owners. Other than that, they need to get their A**es to training camp and get ready to play a GAME in which many of them are being paid ridiculous amounts of money to PLAY! Think about this: How many of today's NFL players would be able to make their salary doing ANYTHING else in the US? Answer: MAYBE ten percent who could play another professional sport. GROW up kids and think about all the money that will be LOST if you don't get back to work, not to mention all the people who rely on those games for their livelihood, and I'm not talking about the multi-millions paid to athletes but to the average JOE who works the concessions, tickets, or maybe cleans the nasty toilets. WAKE UP!!!!

    July 23, 2011 at 5:57 am | Report abuse |
  14. zechmo

    I hope there is no football this year for them millionaire's to argue over that kind of money is ridiculous... Give it to people that need it .... They all suck ... Go college football

    July 23, 2011 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
  15. JW

    The NFL players want the fans to support them...

    Well, as the workers unions were being destroyed across this country, where was the NFL players support then? Where was ANY of the professional players unions support???

    Owners, players, you're all a bunch of money hungry, 'we don't really care about the fans as long as we get our money' a$$e$.

    Get out of the news...

    July 23, 2011 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
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