Falcons owner Arthur Blank expects league to ratify deal today

110721 Atlanta - Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank, from left, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell have a conversation in the hallway outside the NFL Owners meetings at the Atlanta Airport Gateway Marriott in Atlanta on Thursday, July 21, 2011.   Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

110721 Atlanta - Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank, from left, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell have a conversation in the hallway outside the NFL Owners meetings at the Atlanta Airport Gateway Marriott in Atlanta on Thursday, July 21, 2011. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

Falcons owner Arthur Blank expects there to be football . . . real soon.

The NFL has descended on the Atlanta Airport Marriott Gateway for a special meeting today.

 There is one item on the agenda.

The owners will meet in the Gateway Ballroom starting at 10 a.m. and will vote to end the four-month old lockout, the league’s first work stoppage since 1987. The league will need 24 of the 32 owners to approve the deal.

“Yes, I think so” Blank told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution when asked if he felt the deal would get done today. “I’d be disappointed, like 330 million people in America, if it didn’t get done today.”

Blank, who spoke to the AJC before entering the meeting, was clearly not expecting any curve balls from his fellow owners.

“There’s been wonderful communication between the labor committee (which is made up of) eight owners, commissioner, league staff, our counsel, everybody in that room,” Blank said. ”So, there won’t be any surprises from an ownership perspective.”

 The owner’s anticipated approval is a little sketchy because the NFLPA didn’t vote to approve the collective bargaining agreement in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday.

“ Hopefully, the players have gotten through their issues last night and will be in position to do their ratification this morning or today,” Blank said. “I don’t know what the timing of that is. I do know, I’ve read the same things you all have read, and that’s our general counsel  (Jeff Pash) has said that the owners could ratify the deal first if necessary and then have the players approve it. It’s not what we expected, but if that’s the process, that’s the process.”

 Here are some of the issues standing in the way of a “Global Settlement”:

 1. Settle the antitrust case the players filed after they were locked out on March 11.

2. Settle the television revenue case that the players viewed as lockout insurance by the owners.

 3. What to do with the $320 million in benefits that the players would have received during the lockout.

4. Benefits for retired players.

 5. Whether the Hall of Fame exhibition game will be canceled or postponed.

6. Whether there was collusion to restrict salaries in 2010.

 7. If a deal is reached, the league will have to address its business calendar, new free agency rules and a new rookie salary system.

Myself, AJC columnist Jeff Schultz and photographer Curtis Compton are here for Team AJC. We’ll have updates throughout the day on twitter @AJCFalcons and @JeffSchultzAJC.

54 comments Add your comment

Rimfire

July 21st, 2011
10:17 am

Dig in DOL…

[...] Here’s a link to D-Led’s blog. [...]

gabeaux

July 21st, 2011
10:18 am

call me when it’s over…..

David F

July 21st, 2011
10:24 am

Lets play some football

Come on Man

July 21st, 2011
10:26 am

Again, its time for the fans to rise up. Without us, there is no football. Players are a dime a dozen. This is all BS.

Gwalk

July 21st, 2011
10:32 am

Oh BOY! Whatever…

JerryJones Town

July 21st, 2011
10:35 am

Wonderful communication, yea right !

Jacques Strappe

July 21st, 2011
10:39 am

Shame there is a good chance that even all the Pre-Season games will played, and fans, in particular the “imprisoned” season ticket holders, will have been disregarded in negotiations and will continue to be ripped off for the cost of tickets for those “not ready for prime time” games.

[...] “Yes, I think so,” Blank told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution when asked if he thinks the deal will get done today. “I’d be disappointed like 330 million people in America if it didn’t get done today.” [...]

Tiki says

July 21st, 2011
10:45 am

“The game never needs you because there’s always someone else to come and take your place, but right now, I need the game.”

Please take this to heart ownership. I am sick and tired of the prima donna players and the egos. The league will survive and eventually thrive.

Deep South

July 21st, 2011
10:45 am

Yawn.

Who cares?

I have such distaste for both sides – players and owners alike – both oozing with greed and rationalization for that greed.

I’m thinking of not watching pro football at all this year – sticking with college football. For one thing, the pro game is going to like watching Football Follies for the first 4 -5 games because they haven’t practiced and are out of shape.

And consider the game of free agent shuffleboard that will be starting when the labor dispute is settled. You won’t recognize your own team’s players.

So again, who cares?

Let them cry in their piles of cash.

DanO

July 21st, 2011
10:47 am

How awesome it would be to NOT have any professional sports. Maybe dads would spend money on their childrens education and not on clothes to go the the games. Especially football.

F*cking A

July 21st, 2011
10:47 am

Take the $320MM and give it back to the fans by lower the price of a beer to “6-pack” prices ($5) instead of “12-pack” prices ($10). Or buy more t-shirt cannons to shoot the beer to fans.

MonkDaddy

July 21st, 2011
10:47 am

Go Birds!!! It’s about flippin time.

I heart Tuggle

MonkDaddy

July 21st, 2011
10:49 am

DanO – How about if I compromise by buying my daughter her own pink jersey at the game? Bartkowski or Van note?

Tyrus Aintkiller

July 21st, 2011
10:51 am

Give Compton a raise TODAY. That man is grinding! If the deal gets done in our town, we’re guaranteed to be the first team to host and win a Superbowl in the same year. Blank knows how to play ball, so let’s buid that new stadium already.

Buckeye

July 21st, 2011
10:55 am

We need the Falcons on Sundays to counterbalance the ineptitude of uga on “built Ford tough” Saturdays.

DanO

July 21st, 2011
10:59 am

Monkdaddy your a hoot I am sure. But you may have to explain that little pearl of comedy ??

JB

July 21st, 2011
10:59 am

There will be football. 75% of NFL players can hardly read and write and would end up in jobs making less than 30K……..and that’s working 50 weeks a year……LMAO.

JB

July 21st, 2011
11:01 am

Buckeye….don’t you need to be studying legal briefs for THE University of Ohio St. as they prepare to continue to have football at that hell hole.

Parade of Knuckleheads

July 21st, 2011
11:14 am

THE espn insider predicts THE ohio state university gets THE death penalty.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

July 21st, 2011
11:15 am

Buckeye — You need to be worrying about ex-Buckeye Bo Pelini and the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Leave coach Richt alone.

i'm jealous

July 21st, 2011
11:26 am

JB… too bad you’re too smart to play in the nfl since you can read and write and all. Back to my 30K a year job…. DAMN!!!

Jimmy Crack

July 21st, 2011
11:29 am

Craigslist ad: “Blank check seeking a very defensive end. Will pickup at airport.”

SquirrelDawg

July 21st, 2011
11:32 am

Buckeye sure does have a short memory, Ohio State, still according to all NCAA record books, has never defeated a team from the SEC…….ever!! …..and is 0-2 against the “Inept” bulldogs that hail from Athens GA. Then again he has still is trying to sort through all the lies and falsehoods eminating from that social armpit known to the rest of us as Columbus Ohio, so give him a break…..too many lies and not enough time to sort through them all….we should hear back from him say around 2020 when OSU is scheduled to come down and play “Tween the Hedges”….it will take that long for them to recover after the NCAA hearing in August

Nothing in this fight

July 21st, 2011
11:43 am

I think, as recent ‘investigations’ at LSU and GA Tech have found (and shortly will later for some Texas schools and Oregon), that money is making its way to players in lots of places/ways. The NCAA takes all the money from players, by forcing them to forfeit all their rights to their own images, etc. (lawsuits on that pending, of course). I’m sure you could investigate every team in college and find someone on the squad who received $312 of ‘extra benefits.’ Start by checking heavily tattooed players, as those things aren’t cheap.

Nuts

July 21st, 2011
11:46 am

Squirrel,
Did the NCAA vacate the wins of Ohio State, or did the school? The NCAA record books may say one thing, school may say another (trying to fall on sword before NCAA applies it). Give it a couple more years (NCAA moves very slowly) and we’ll find Auburn’s title vacated, to match the USC vacated title from 2004. The BCS ‘roll’ of champions will soon have more gaps than some people’s teeth in these parts….

RTR

July 21st, 2011
12:09 pm

Really D-Led? Protecting UGA from a Buckeye fan? Didn’t we just read in the AJC paper this morning that South Carolina is going to dominate the east… Jeffery and Lattimore will do work in September 10th

GwinnettDad

July 21st, 2011
12:17 pm

The entire league is filled with such thugs and oversized punks that I wouldn’t mind going without a football season. I’d miss it, yes, but then I’d hear more of “Bad boy, bad boy, whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do when they come for you.” But I wouldn’t miss all the prancing, the high fives, and ego displays done for simply doing one’s job. A league once honored by the Paul Hornungs, Frank Giffords, and Marion Motley’s has been overtaken by too many cry babies, whiners, arrogant brats, and uncharged criminals. Vince Lombardi in heaven must watch these arrogant whiners and reach for an air sick bag. There is no sense of team loyalty for this generation of spoiled brats. The only song they know has the lyrics “me, me, me!”

D. Orlando Ledbetter

July 21st, 2011
12:21 pm

RTR — Yeah, kind of wierd. I’m expecting the Dawgs to do well this year. Richt will take it to Boise and USC.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

July 21st, 2011
12:22 pm

RTR — Yeah, kind of wierd. I’m expecting the Dawgs to do well this year. Richt will take it to Boise and USC.

Michael

July 21st, 2011
12:22 pm

Very nice move to be meeting at the new Marriot Gateway in College Park. Did they fly commericial or use their own jets?

Michael

July 21st, 2011
12:22 pm

Very nice move to be meeting at the new Marriot Gateway in College Park. Did they fly commericial or use their own jets?

Michael

July 21st, 2011
12:22 pm

Enter your comments here

D. Orlando Ledbetter

July 21st, 2011
12:24 pm

Michael — I’m guessing their Jets! They are at lunch right now.

Jimmy Crack

July 21st, 2011
12:25 pm

Bill

July 21st, 2011
12:27 pm

DOL you may be there a while.Might want to check out what the bar specials are for Happy Hour.

Tickets

July 21st, 2011
12:28 pm

Due to the overwhelming media attention of this no deal lockout, when the lockout is over, will us loyal fans get free tickets to the first real game? Heck we are suffering too, from listening to this bs every day.

College Ball

July 21st, 2011
12:43 pm

I was done buying tickets 5 years ago. This bears out it was the right decision.

Alabama Communist

July 21st, 2011
12:44 pm

No doubt the American Public will be thrilled to hear of the settlement while they stave to death and out of work……….

D. Orlando Ledbetter

July 21st, 2011
12:53 pm

Bill — I might just have to check into the bar specials. I need to get Mr. Blank’s room number so I can put it on his tab. Maybe Jeff Schultz will spring for the libations with his columnist salary.

Falcon Red

July 21st, 2011
1:08 pm

So when the Falcons win the Superbowl this year will it come with an asterisk (for the lockout), much like the steroid use in baseball? I KNOW there will be other teams (or individuals for that matter) crying about it not being a fair competition because their players didn’t have the same dicipline to get together on their own and get ready for the season.

War Eagle!

July 21st, 2011
1:23 pm

What is this collusion BS!? The owners are being punished for acting as a group yet the players can do whatever they wnat and not get punished for it. What are they- Democrats!?! Fight back owners- Demand a No collusion claim clause. The owners need to stand united and tel lthe players, in a harsh way- YOU are the employees and I will pay you what the fans can bear. Plenty of talent in the minor leagues who would play for a million or 500K a yr. How much money does a man need? $500K is more than 5 times an avg salary and this way, the players don’t blow it on a 5000 SF house or fancy cars or for nose candy or for Ladies of the nite! Time for players to stop being out of control spending Democrats!

Dr. Warren

July 21st, 2011
1:25 pm

DOL—Whatever happened to the owners’ plan to expand the season to 18 games? Did that get nixed?

RTR

July 21st, 2011
1:46 pm

I dont know about UGA winning the sec east D-Led, but I would like to see Julio Jones beat up on some nfl corners!!! Roll Tide and Go Falcons!

Terrell

July 21st, 2011
2:11 pm

War Eagle!

You’re right! There are plenty of people in far lesser leagues that would play for far less! The question is would you watch them? I agree that players should control their spending but referring to them as democrats? Come on! Fans can complain all they want about players getting paid too much. The only way to stop it is by us not attending the games but that will never happen because you will have certain republicans that will take from the poor and give to rich and they will continue to pay the big bucks to go to the games.

Mark

July 21st, 2011
2:28 pm

Only Blank thinks all 330 million Americans buy into this gratuitous gladiatorial violence they call a sport, where players get dementia and owners have amnesia.

tim

July 21st, 2011
2:38 pm

Hey Ledbetter……just because you wear a bowtie doesn’t mean you can use the word “radify”

Boom Boom

July 21st, 2011
3:44 pm

Heard the Falcons will be moving into that new Stadium in LA…LA Falcons

Big Johnson

July 21st, 2011
5:03 pm

What new LA stadium? The one they can’t even afford to build?

Three words: Los Angeles Jaguars.

(Eventually.)