Wednesday, June 16, 2010

NFL Labor: Let the catfighting begin

You get the sense that this discord between the NFL Players' Union and the league's owners is shaping up to be the next continental divide?

The new union chief for the players, DeMaurice Smith is really caught between a rock and a hard place. Here he is, taking over for the late Gene Upshaw and he's saddled with the pressure coming from the players who want their next pay day and going up against ownership which for all intents and purposes has superior leverage.

Naturally Smith has to justify his lofty perch and salary and fight the good fight publicly but at the end of the day (aka the battle in the court of public opinion) the owners will win. Smith and Roger Goodell will pose for pictures and both will state that at the end of the day their agreement was best for all parties and most importantly the fans and valued sponsors.

But until then, expect a ton of cat fights.

It's already begun.

The Ravens had a few players whining about being overworked in OTA's - the names Carr, Heap and Mason consistently pop up. It's not much of a big deal really yet where there's smoke there's probably fire. It's a small salvo but a salvo nonetheless.

In New England they've got a mess on their hands with Logan Mankins who refuses to sign his restricted free agent tender of $3.26 million. He wants a long term deal with guaranteed ch-ching up front and he's bad mouthing the team. That usually works for Bill Belichick, right?

Darrelle Revis wants to be the highest paid corner in the league and is seeking 50 cents more than the deal the Raiders extended to Nnamdi Asomugha. Revis has 3 years left on his current deal so expect Rex Ryan to put his arms around Revis, wipe the crust out of his eye, give him a Lifesaver and make some promises that he's not sure he can keep.

Out in southern California, two Chargers' restricted free agents (Vincent Jackson and Marcus McNeill) refused to sign their tender offers and they are now threatening to sit out until week 10 unless they get long term contracts.

Labor uncertainties handcuff the owners a bit. Peer pressure amongst the owners handcuffs them even more.

How long before DeMaurice Smith pulls out one of the few arrows in his quiver - the concept of collusion?

The "fun" has just begun.


Jerry B said...

Look for this dispute to be short-lived as both sides have too much to lose........