Falcons elect to stay away from the team’s facilities

Falcons owner Arthur Blank, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti. They are facing an uphill legal battle, according to one attorney. Players could be back at work as early as Monday. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/DLedbetter@ajc.com)

Falcons owner Arthur Blank, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti. They are facing an uphill legal battle, according to one attorney. Players could be back at work as early as Monday. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/DLedbetter@ajc.com)

Despite the lockout being temporarily lifted, the Atlanta Falcons elected to stay away from the team’s facilities on Tuesday.

“There are no plans to return to the facilities of which I am aware,” Falcons linebacker Coy Wire wrote in a text to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He is the team’s player representative.

Falcons wide receiver Roddy White also said that he wasn’t sure what the players would do.

No one showed up and nobody was expected to report, according to a team spokesperson.

The player’s parking lot was empty.

Some players around the league did report for work.

Buffalo defensive back Leodis McKelvin, who’s from Waycross, told the Associated Press that he was stopped at a security desk and that a team official told him that head coach Chan Gailey would contact him and the rest of the players to let them know when they’d be allowed to report.

In Pittsburgh, Ryan Clark, the team’s union player representative, and backup quarterback Charlie Batch, a member of the executive council of the NFL Players Association, reported for work. They spoke with head coach Mike Tomlin. Clark stayed for about an hour and Batch stayed longer, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Steelers president Art Rooney II said the league has instructed owners that no contract negotiations or business discussions with players will be allowed during this period, even though the lockout has been lifted.

The league will inform the teams, possibly as early as Monday, when the calendar year is starting.

Attorney David A. Scupp believes the NFL owners have a uphill legal battle ahead of them.

Attorney David A. Scupp believes the NFL owners have a uphill legal battle ahead of them.

The league is appealing the decision and is fighting an uphill legal battle to get District Court Judge Susan Richard Nelson to grant a stay of her own decision.

“It’s a tough hurdle for the league to reach here,” said attorney David Scupp, who’s with Constantine Cannon, a New York law firm. “They’ve got to show that there is a likelihood of success on the merits in the Eight Circuit or that they would be irreparably harmed absent the stay. So, if she agrees with that, she probably wouldn’t have granted the preliminary injunction in the first place. It’s going to be tough to get Judge Nelson to grant the stay. I don’t think she’s going to do it.”

Then the league will seek to get the Eighth Circuit to grant the stay pending their appeal. If a stay is granted the lockout would remain in place until the appeal is heard.

“Perhaps, they’ll have a more receptive audience with the Eighth Circuit, but it’s tough to predict how the Eighth Circuit will react to a stay and then the appeal,” said Scupp, who has written several scholarly papers on pro sports and antitrust law. “The NFL has to make a convincing showing that they are irreparably harmed.”

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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45 comments Add your comment

Dean

April 26th, 2011
1:06 pm

Maybe they’re partying with Justin Houston?

beenthere

April 26th, 2011
1:14 pm

JJ

April 26th, 2011
1:16 pm

Please don’t take my Falcons away!!!!!

PlanoBirdDawg

April 26th, 2011
1:22 pm

Hey DOL, Heard on ESPN radio that Josh Freeman was already working out with one of his recievers at a separate sports complex. Any word of our QB and our receivers taking the initiative to work with each other on their own during the off season. I hate the thought of the Bucs or any of our opponents getting the jump on us….Thanks.

SirReal

April 26th, 2011
1:22 pm

This thing is far from over…hopefully they can play in October. I just dont see any resolution anytime soon. Personally, I’m with the players so we’ll see how it plays out.

Shaboy's boy

April 26th, 2011
1:22 pm

I heard tech players were going to all form their own football league in China mon.

Shaboy's boy

April 26th, 2011
1:28 pm

Like the Bills, down on the flats all us tech fans are asking WWCD. What would Chan do? mon

AFL Rules

April 26th, 2011
1:28 pm

NFL is sunk………….AFL will be the only football…..Go FORCE!!!

Josh Nesbitt

April 26th, 2011
1:31 pm

AFL? Whateva… Da Force won’t return my calls.

mmmmmm

April 26th, 2011
1:41 pm

The players have been working out at various gyms all over town in groups with personal trainers. I saw 3 of them working out for over 3 hours on Thursday ( that is as long as I worked out, they probably stayed longer). They were back this morning at least two of them working out at the Gym. What do you think they are sitting around eating hoho’s. No they are 6′8 and big and in shape.

If any of you commentors can even read. Read the judges opinion, it is on ESPN.com. It is a real schooling of why this country still needs either labor union or similarly situated plantiffs with deep pockets such at Tom Brady, Drew Brews, Priest Holmes and the rest of the Brady Plantiffs to represent the workers against management. Unforunately, most groups of workers don’t have a lead plantiff like Tom Brady to fund their suit against deep pocketed management and they can’t desertify their union like this and win. The case is a good read and gives the whole history of the Sherman Anti Trust act. Where the name Lagardia really comes from and it is not just an airport in New York, but important case law.

Read it and change your tune why we and still need unions or else we would all be taken advantage of by some greeding management.

My father played football just in college and forever lived with the damage and pain from the knee injuries. I have dated a pro player who broke his neck playing in 1980. They tried to make him play with the broken neck. Most players didn’t make much and don’t make much for the body damage and limited careers.

Big Mitch

April 26th, 2011
1:57 pm

LET PLAY SOME FOOTBALL!

Joe TessFish House

April 26th, 2011
2:01 pm

Theese players need 2 end the striek and get back2 work. Us fans will sufer if they dont

elroy

April 26th, 2011
2:07 pm

players need to quit asking for so much. The only issues i agree w/ the players are insurance/pension for retired players & keeping regular season at 16 games. Everything else I am for the owners. union & agents are driving the expense to high. end the greed!

O-me

April 26th, 2011
2:08 pm

TessFish…players don’t give a crap about fans…just their $$$$$$$$$$

PlanoBirdDawg

April 26th, 2011
2:13 pm

mmmmmm – It was a simple question. No need to get antagonistic. You’re not taking steroids before your three hour workouts, are you? I was just noting Freeman’s initiative and hoping we were doing the same. I’m sure they’re all working out on their own. I was just wondering if the players ever, of their own volition, practiced together during this time. That’s all. I think when/if the season gets under way, the Bucs and Saints are going to be tough to beat and the Falcons need every advantage they can get. – Peace.

What?

April 26th, 2011
2:19 pm

Read mmmmmm’s posting and you’ll understand why America needs remedial English teachers.

And no, we don’t need more unions. But if you want to console the millionaire players or owners, just send them a donation.

JRHD

April 26th, 2011
2:35 pm

mmmmmm – proof positive why we need more edukashun in this country. She can read case law (yeah right), but she sure can’t type or put together a cogent thought. We don’t need more unions. We need more people in this country who are educated enough to draw their own conclusions.

MV8

April 26th, 2011
2:47 pm

Hope we get back to playin, if not I might have to get a REAL job! Wait whats that, I dont know how to do anything else!!! Woof Woof

Joe TessFish House

April 26th, 2011
2:49 pm

Palyers = spoilet cry babys

JSS

April 26th, 2011
2:57 pm

@ mmmmm…
There’s nothing wrong with your conclusions on the matter, or how you presented the rationale regarding Judge Susan Richard Nelson’s opinion.

I read her opinion yesterday and it is reasoned. It is in clear legal language, and it is based on 5 pieces of settled case law. Moreover, she used the NFL’s own earlier labor agreements especially the 1993 CBA in which the League adjoined themselves from claiming that the NFLPA can not decertify as a practical tactic in the case of League initiated lockout.

The League needs to just go back to the table, realize that they are not going to get the silliness of a reduced salary floor for veterans. The veterans have shown that they are willing to accept the rookie salary scale. Now, settle the length of contracts for UFA and eliminate the RFAs. In a league where the average player only last 3 to 5 years, a first contract length of six years before UFA is as unrealistic as the old baseball reserve clause.

UGASlobberknocker

April 26th, 2011
3:02 pm

I’m just ignoring all of the posturing, By the time the reg season gets here..it will all be worked out I guarantee you. The NFL owners are making a killing, they arent going to put themselves out of business for a whole year.. I also believe that the NFL owners are smart enough to know that college football will easily fill the void in the short term. The may have noticed the popularity of college football where the top 32 college teams’ average attendance exceeds the NFL ’s attendance average for its 32 teams. This isnt the NBA where 20 teams are losing money and to stop play would just mean 20 owners would lose less.(The NBA has this same issue coming up after this season) . or the NHL where it was the same situation when they skipped a yr.

I know that the NFL TV ratings are higher than college football , but I believe that with no NFL, college football TV ratings would match or exceed the NFL ratings.

Steve From Dalton

April 26th, 2011
3:07 pm

President Obama nominated District Court Judge Susan Richard Nelson. Judge Nelson is pro-labor unions and there was no surprise that she lifted the lock out. The player’s union has wanted this case to be heard in her court from the start.

Reid Adair

April 26th, 2011
3:09 pm

Wait, last night it was reported that the facilities at Flowery Branch would not be available to the players. Did Arthur Blank have a change of heart overnight?

Steve

April 26th, 2011
3:12 pm

Quality pic!

Adam Waldorf

April 26th, 2011
3:30 pm

Joe TessFish House said this:

“Theese players need 2 end the striek and get back2 work. Us fans will sufer if they dont”

“Palyers = spoilet cry babys”

What? said this:

“Read mmmmmm’s posting and you’ll understand why America needs remedial English teachers.”

mmmmmm’s post was pretty solid, grammar and spelling-wise – plus was well reasoned

I’m wondering if What? is confused. There’s no strike, BTW.

Go Falcons

J

April 26th, 2011
4:15 pm

I know Aurther wants my season ticket $’s season or no season. If anyone is gonna hold my $ and collect intrest it will be me not someone with boatloads of cash in the bank already. Get 2gether so I can pay for my seats and watch some football. Oh yeah you still have my cash for that NFC championship game that we never played in last year you greedy fools.

JJ acts like a va-jay-jay

April 26th, 2011
4:16 pm

tessfish this is a lockout not strike. the owners have been planning this for over two years now. how r u on the owners side again? the took the football and went home not the players. the owners want more money, not the players. do your research please sir.

JSS

April 26th, 2011
4:23 pm

Steve From Dalton
April 26th, 2011
3:07 pm
“The player’s union has wanted this case to be heard in her court from the start.”

The Minnesota District of the the 8th Circuit has the jurisdiction in ALL cases involving labor matters involving the NFL and its players. That is regardless of who brings the actions. The owners agreed to that when they settled the Rozelle Rule case. The players wanted the case heard because they know that they 45 years of case law on their side.

Sam the Sham

April 26th, 2011
4:38 pm

I will never understand how every individual player can have their own contract as well as a collective bargaining agreement. It’s a shame they’re not Wisconsin State employees. They’d be busted twice.

Joe TessFish House

April 26th, 2011
4:42 pm

How many peeple do U no get paid milions of dollars to paly a game? Now they are not happy and refute to show up and us fans get the shaft.

Mr Blanks pleezkick these bums out of Floury Branch and sigh some new players that will show up win suposed 2.

Need a Playoff win!

April 26th, 2011
5:24 pm

Why show up when the coaches are not getting involved ,sound like a bunch of five years that can’t play together.

Need a Playoff win!

April 26th, 2011
5:24 pm

I meant five year olds

terrance X

April 26th, 2011
5:34 pm

DeSz

April 26th, 2011
5:37 pm

The GA Force are starting out on a good foot. They have a 5-2 record right now. The games are really exciting. The tickets are super reasonable as well. A lot of the players in the AFL end up getting picked up by NFL teams. 2 of the Force players have already gotten picked up by two different NFL teams earlier this year.

Bonedaddy

April 26th, 2011
9:40 pm

Screw them. Spend the money on your family and kids.

Sid

April 27th, 2011
12:08 am

It’s under appeal…………….that’s why the doors are still locked…………jeez.

Old Gold Panther

April 27th, 2011
3:08 am

People kill me talking about millionaires whinning. So b/c someone make millions they should just let themselves get screwed and stand there with the ” Yes Sir Boss” mentality? The NFL’s revenue has increased handsomely over the past 10 years yet player salaries have not increased proportionally. Then owners have the nerve to want to extend the season 2 more games effectively lowering player salary b/c they are playing more games for the same amount of money along with other outrages terms (reducing veteran min salaries, six years contract before being an unrestricted free agent) Then owners secretly make a deal with networks for 4 billion dollars so owners get paid and have leverage all while owners lock the players out(stopping their income) to make them agree to the owners egregious terms. To top it off, pioneering players fail to get adequate retirement compensation but the NFL makes money off of them every time they show a TOP 10 countdown, 100 greatest players, or any footage from the NFL vault for that matter. Please!!! But its the players that are being greedy.

Stop The Madness

April 27th, 2011
5:44 am

Wake up football fans: The OWNERS are the ones who “Opted” out of the current labor agreement, not the PLAYERS. The league was moving along fine, with its popularity higher than ever, then Goddell and his cronies wanted a bigger slice of the pie and then tried to “Spin” this on the “Survival of the game” being at stake. PLZ, if the owners had any Morals, they would have stuck with the original CBA until it expired it 3 years and then played hard ball with the players union. What every happened to a “Deal, being a Deal”; the owners agreed to this CBA 3-4 years ago, and now most of them them think it was a bad deal and are now trying to Rape the Players and play mind games with the Fans. I’M SICK OF IT!

Sid

April 27th, 2011
7:49 am

Hey Stop, I disagree. Both sides wanted a different CBA. One side isn’t any greedier than the other.

Season Ticker Holder

April 27th, 2011
8:00 am

The owners are appealing the ruling that stopped the lockout. The NFL team owners are not interested in ending the lockout. However, the Falcons sent out an email yesterday to remind the fans that their season ticket payments are due on June 1st. When all is said and done, the owners and players will make money and the fans will get screwed!

Bears Fan

April 27th, 2011
8:02 am

Checking all the NFL cities and what the lawyers are saying. It looks like the NFL lost big, and the owners will loose big.

JJ acts like a va-jay-jay

April 27th, 2011
10:37 am

no sid sorry to bust your bubble but the owners wanted an additional BILLION dollars along with the other BILLION dollars they already get BEFORE the players even get a piece. they want to add two more games with guys already playing themselves into brain damage but dont wanna give retired and injured players anything after they have helped fattened the pockets of these same owners. who is greedier, a BILLIONAIRE wanting another BILLION or a millionaire wanting health benefits, a lower rookie scale, and money for retired players? hmmmmmmm hard decision.

BigEasySaintsFan

April 27th, 2011
11:32 am

The OWNERS locked the players out because the Union decertified. There was no union and no CBA. The players left the negotiating table first and took it to the courts. I don’t blame the owners for locking them out. Why should you let your employees come to work when they don’t want to negotiate a new CBA and are suing.

Joe Tess Fish House

April 27th, 2011
1:11 pm

Screw the players4 going on strike. I say fine some new ones.

If U R a session tix holder then you just need 2 give it up. The palyers dont care about the fan. Why U spenting money on these thugs is UR falt.

Sid

April 27th, 2011
5:17 pm

JJ acts like a ,,,,,,,,,,,,this would be so simple if the disagreement was over a mere billion dollars. That’s some kind of handle you got there, you weren’t that girl at the IHOP were you?