Carolina Panther owner Jerry Richardson held a press conference today and what came out of it raised some eyebrows. Most already are aware that when it comes to money, Richardson is rather fugal…which is not going to set well with him when he ponies up the 75 million dollar contract to Andrew Luck…think he wants a rookie wage scale this year?
Richardson said, in regard to the top pick, that the Panthers would not likely trade it, citing ““We’re looking for someone that can be a top-flight player and hopefully make us a better team,” Richardson said via the Charlotte Observer.
It was however what he said regarding the CBA negotiations that have eyebrows perked and questioning the confidence of Commissioner Roger Goodell.
“I’m not optimistic we are making a lot of progress,” Richardson said.
That says a lot. At the moment progress isn’t measured by how much the owners or the players have given up it’s how often the meet to discuss the issues and how important it is to each side that something gets done. So is Jerry saying that progress isn’t going well? Richardson should know, he sits as the co-chair for the negotiating party.
Richardson pointed out that last year the players took 2.6 million out of the 3.6 million dollars of the “new” revenue generated. That’s a large chunk of change the owners, who Richardson says have “Never been more unified” think that’s too much. They want a reduction and the players want an increase. In other words, welcome to a lockout if they can’t get this done. And soon.
Richardson also talked about the departure of John Fox and the HC search he will be conducting. In a nutshell, he said that over the last 9 years they never had back to back winning seasons and only three winning seasons in that 9 years. He also said that he clearly had a difference in philosophy from Fox and that last years purge of veteran players was a way to force Fox to play younger guys.
When asked why he didn’t fire Fox after last season, he said he didn’t want to pay two coaching staffs. Fox and his staff were due 11.5 million dollars and Richardson wouldn’t simply cut and dump the staff.
He did say that he would look at other teams “assistant coaches” for his next HC. He cited that it worked the last time around when he found Fox. 3 winning seasons in 9 years? Apparently it didn’t work well enough.
The information was culled from an article on the Charlotte Observer.