Tuesday, March 15 – Day 4 of America’s football fans held hostage …

Here’s what we have learned over the last couple of days from Lockoutville on the immediate future of the NFL:

  • A hearing on the injunction filed by the players against the owners in hopes of scuttling the lockout has been scheduled for Wednesday, April 6.
  • The hearing will be held by in the U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, with Judge Susan Nelson (right) presiding over the hearing.
  • The once NFL Players Association says it’s not going to negotiate anything until the April 6 hearing.
  • The NFL says it’s ready to talk at any moment.
  • No date has been set on the start of free agency.

Will Judge Nelson grant the players the injunction? That’s likely given the fact she sits in the same Minneapolis court house that also houses Judge David Doty.

An injunction would force the NFL to lift its lockout, but an appeal by the league to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit is likely.


Well, it turns out that the Monday-Tuesday opportunity to step in the lockout sh#$ was taken by the group formerly known as the NFL Players Association.

On Monday it was reported by ESPN that the union trade association planned to instruct potential draft picks at the top of the first round to boycott the 2011 NFL Draft on April 28. On Tuesday, they were backpedaling faster than an early-round cornerback draft choice.

The group said it was recommending that potential draft picks stay away from the event, where they would be greeted on the stage by Commissioner Roger Goodell if selected. Each year, the league invites 15 to 20 players to the televised first round for the chance to get national publicity.

The no-longer-a-union reacted when their initial call for a boycott was met with negative reaction from the media, some of the agents of those players and even some of their members. The once-in-a-lifetime chance to march out of the holding area and onto the stage and national TV is something that players make as part of their “bucket list” long before they had any idea what a bucket list might be. That’s why they went into retreat.

Plus, they apparently are planning to stage their own draft event on that Thursday evening, somewhere close to the NFL event at Radio City Music Hall in New York.


There’s no way to keep things under wraps when so many people are involved in the situation. When the NFL owners showed up in growing numbers last week, followed by more and more players – both current and retired – it got crowded around the federal mediators offices.

The more mouths yapping in negotiations, the more people are going to hear.

Sports Illustrated’s Jim Trotter did a good job throughout the last month and he has a story from last week when the 10-man NFL labor committee showed up in Washington. One of the guys speaking was Dallas owner Jerry Jones. Here’s what Trotter wrote:

“I don’t think we’ve got your attention,” Jones said to the players, several of whom recounted the incident to SI. “You clearly don’t understand what we’re saying, and we’re not hearing what you’re saying. So I guess we’re going to have to show you to get your attention.”

Jones tapped his fists together for emphasis—the players interpreted it as a sign that a lockout was coming—then stood and walked toward the door. As he reached the end of the table, Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, another labor hawk, began to rise, but Robert Kraft of the Patriots, who was sitting next to him, put a hand on Richardson’s forearm and kept him from going.

If Jones’s intention was to intimidate the players, he failed. “I think everybody in the room thought it was overly dramatic, almost hilarious,” one player said. “It was like a Jerry Maguire moment. You know, ‘I’m leaving. Who’s coming with me?’ I know it didn’t scare any of us.”

Here’s the link to the whole story.


Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson had something to say about the lockout and the NFL owners approach to negotiations with the players.

“It’s modern-day slavery, you know?” Peterson told Yahoo! Sports. People kind of laugh at that, but there are people working at regular jobs who get treated the same way, too. With all the money … the owners are trying to get a different percentage and bring in more money.”

What a sad moment for Peterson. With any type of common sense, those words would have never come out of his mouth. It also doesn’t speak well to the sense or understanding of history that Peterson obviously did not learn at the University of Oklahoma.

Right now, Peterson finds himself in contention with Jerry Jones, Jerry Richardson and union president Kevin Mawae for the “Stepping In It” award.


Appearing on his own network, Goodell said Tuesday that he’s ready to go back to the negotiating table with the players and mediation at a moment’s notice.

“We didn’t push away from the table; we were still at the table when they walked out of mediation. To get back to mediation? You call me, I’ll be there.”


Every year for the past 10 years or so, the NFL has brought all the incoming rookies to one spot and held a three/four-day affair to smooth the inexperienced young men’s road to the league.

But without an agreement between the league and players, that symposium will bite the dust.

3 Responses to “NFL LABOR UPDATE – 3/15”

  • March 16, 2011  - bhive01 says:

    Peterson has some serious Foot in Mouth disease.

  • March 16, 2011  - leonard says:

    This definitely shows tha the players union, er I mean association had no intention of good faith negotiations, and wantewd to decertify. I blame them for this mess, but the owners are also culpable. As a fan, I am disgusted by this whole process.

  • March 18, 2011  - bigdaddyt says:

    I don’t get it. The major hold up is the players want to look at the owners books for the last 10 years. How does that help this CBA? The last 10 years are under the old CBA. Personally I don’t care as long as there is a salary cap. It makes a level playing field for all the teams

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