NFL owners pass resolution to end the lockout

After meeting for more than eight hours, National Football League owners passed a resolution  to end their four-month lockout on Thursday .

The league was prepared to hold a symposium for general managers to lay out the ground rules for re-opening business, but that meeting was push back until today.

 Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank predicted before the meeting that the resolution would pass. He projected that that 400-plus page document would be approved by a majority of the owners.  The owners  needed 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.”

Now, the ball is in the players’ side of the field. They were set to hold a conference at 8 p.m. after they did not 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.”

Some of the owners were not pleased with the tactics of the NFLPA.

“You can only control what you can control,” Indianapolis owner Jim Irsay said. “We’re optimistic and trying to do our part. There’s a lot of moving parts, but everything’s headed in the right direction.”

The Colts are set to host the next Super Bowl.

 ”We got our snowplows ready and our seats counted,” Irsay said, taking a not too veiled shot at Dallas owner Jerry Jones who hosted the problem-filled Super Bowl after last season.  “I believe we’ll have it on time.”

  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. The players accused owners of setting up $4 billion in “lockout insurance.” The would have received the money if there were no games played in 2011.

 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.  The St. Louis Rams and Chicago Bears are scheduled to open the exhibition season Aug. 7 in the Pro Football Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio.

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

 The league must address its business calendar, new free agency rules and a new rookie salary system.

After all of the issues were resolved, the NFLPA had to re-establish itself as a union and needed approval from a majority of the 1,900 players.

In March, when talks stalled, the NFLPA de-certified as a union and said it became a trade association. The move was necessary to allow players like Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning to file the antitrust action against the league. The union must recertify because only an union can agree to collective bargaining agreement.

“That is not even in question,” Falcons player representative Tyson Clabo wrote in a text message to the AJC. “The entire league has to vote on that.”

Early during the meeting, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell came outside the meeting room to chat with Jones and Blank.

The Falcons have 54 players under contract. They have 11 free agents and five drafted players. The team will be busy to reach the total of 90 players that they will be allowed to carry during the exhibition season.

 “We have a group of football folks that are chomping at the bit,” Blank said. “They are not sleeping at night. They are ready to go. . .As soon as that whistle blows, we’re ready to go.”

 Blank said the talks recently accelerated.

“I don’t know if it was a matter of losing money” Blank said. “I’m sure it was a factor indirectly. Directly, I think there’s a commitment from the league and the players as well to not lose games. I think the emotional and real stigma of losing football games, any part of our season in 2011, has been the burden and point of acceleration in terms of trying to get something done.”

 Blank believes the resolution will lead to long-time labor peace.

“The nature of a 10-year deal really speaks to that,” Blank said. “It sends the right kind of message to our fans, our sponsors and folks that are committed to this wonderful game. They can focus on the game and not the labor situation for a very long time.”

17 comments Add your comment

fan

July 21st, 2011
7:23 pm

Keeping us fans on pins and needles… I’ll be keeping a close eye on the news about the players.

B

July 21st, 2011
7:24 pm

Sid

July 21st, 2011
7:58 pm

Pins and needles? Dollars and sense? See you in Indy!

lanier

July 21st, 2011
8:06 pm

surely the players wont balk. If they do they will dig their own grave

Hawk

July 21st, 2011
8:17 pm

OK players…….. vote yes. are I say owners you clean house and get in players who have a desire to play the game for any amount of money.

falcons relax

July 21st, 2011
8:20 pm

Its time folks, D-led I just want to see you get pics and interviews of julio ASAP when training camp starts. Watching pics of him snagging is going to be epic. Man oh man, I knew they wouldn’t let a 9 billion dollar business go to waste. The government should take notes on how to get a deal done from the NFL. lol! On a serious note, Jaczquizz rodgers is my guy. Julio is already expected to have success. Rodgers is the wildcard in taking over for Jerious Norwood. Time to get this thing rolling, it went faster than I thought. It feels like the SB was last week to me

BirdDog

July 21st, 2011
8:26 pm

Vote Yes now please!

Chris

July 21st, 2011
8:51 pm

Owners just patted themselves on the backs over a deal they ratified that the players hadn’t even agreed to. It’s a dbag move, and it was designed to dupe the gullible into putting pressure back on the players. Unfortunately, it looks like a few of you have already fallen for it.

CONservative Johnson

July 21st, 2011
8:59 pm

Chris you are 100% correct. The media seems to be falling for it also. This could get bowling shoe ugly . . .

falcons relax

July 21st, 2011
9:05 pm

@ chris You know, you do have a point. I know it isn’t over but it does put pressure on the players because they’re the ones who have to now agree. It says owners agreed, not owners AND PLAYERS. BUt on the NFL Network they’re saying that they could get if officially done in the next 12 hours. Everythings is pointing to the players agreeing though with is the point. THey just have to deal with the NFLPA and brady vs the owners settlement. Since the owners agreed the players might scrap all the lawsuits and agree. The CBA proposal is out there and goes along the grounds the deal the players like as well. I know what your trying to say though, great point.

DZ

July 21st, 2011
9:45 pm

Finally, now you can stop writing articles about your boyfriend, Deion.

SeenThisB4

July 21st, 2011
9:56 pm

The entire lockout, both the owners and players kept saying they were looking out for the fans too. Well, I still haven’t seen anything in the breakdown of this new CBA that is of benefit to the fans…..I feel so used….so dirty!!!

Adam

July 21st, 2011
10:29 pm

I really don’t care how billionaires and multi-millionaires decide to divide their billions of dollars. All I care about is (1) there will be football and (2) we won’t have to go through this nonsense for another 10 years.

I could care less whether or not this deal is fair for either side.

32 Knuckleheads

July 21st, 2011
10:50 pm

$
. . . 32 NFL owners and a cloud of pure greed.
$

Roger Goodell

July 21st, 2011
11:01 pm

I’m taking a vacation to JerryJones Town to relax.

BIGBEN42

July 21st, 2011
11:02 pm

This deal is not settled yet. Player’s are looking at this deal very closely.Owners are very tricky.

[...] The holdup from the resumption of football is the players needing to approve the deal as well. Currently players are reviewing the new 400-plus page document, and then will have to vote to recertify their union. No vote appears to be immediately imminent as several minor last-minute issues have forced the players to delay. (Source: D. Orlando Ledbetter, AJC) [...]