While teams unveiled their squads at OTAs this past week, there have been a few things that didn’t get the limelight:
First, we’ve found out that the NFLPA had instructed the players not to cooperate with the Bountygate investigation according to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Some players (including Jonathan Vilma) are appealing the suspensions and that process will take some time to complete. Goodell claims to have invited the players to be part of the process, but they declined.
In addition, NFLPA union President DeMaurice Smith spoke of a lawsuit argued in part on Wednesday in Federal court in Minnesota. The claim is that in the uncapped year 2010 the 32 NFL teams colluded to have in place a “secret salary cap,” costing players somewhere near a billion dollars in wages. Both sides claim they have the facts on their sides, of course.
Interesting, since the Redskins and Cowboys both have their salary caps slashed by the league for “overspending” in 2010. That’s supposed to be some kind of proof that teams were keeping salaries DOWN?
I can almost see this scenario in one of those cell phone commercials: Dan Snyder and Jerry Jones in on a conference call of all 32 owners. The word goes out to fire more underproducing players and they heard “hire” instead of “fire.”
Funny how a single word changes everything.
There’s even supposedly a clause in the new CBA to prevent such a suit, but the courts rejected portions of it and allowed the suit to get this far at least. Smith ranted about the NFL “cartel” behaving badly. He could be right for all I know, but each side is going to do public posturing. It’s all part of the show. I can see some merit in one of Smith’s arguments – that the NFL fights hard against a lot of Worker’s Compensation cases. That much, I can easily believe.
You can bet that when things come down to honor vs. money, money will be the deciding factor 99% of the time. That’s the world we live in.
In other un-sexy but relevant news, the league and the NFLPA have been in discussions trying to decide what levels of Human Growth Hormone (HGH) will trigger a “positive” result in urine tests. A third-party arbitrator was to dole the punishment and handle the appeals process for any infractions and players’ privacy is of utmost importance to the NFLPA.
Last September, the NFLPA submitted a proposal that would first establish a baseline level for NFL players through a population study and, once the results are tabulated, the levels would be established. At one point, even U.S. Representatives were involved in the details.
I’m so glad our nation has so few problems that our elected representatives have the time to get involved in such things.
It appears the CBA that was hammered out last summer is, shall we say, something less than perfect. Way less.
As such, expect the deadlock to continue.