Posted on: August 4, 2011 4:37 pm

A decade of labor peace

The players ratified its agreement with the owners providing 10 years of labor peace. It's over. It's finally over.

The players ratified the agreement on Thursday afternoon and it contains several interesting aspects. While Roger Goodell had some of his on-field control curtailed, a high ranking union official told me, he maintains his power over the personal conduct policy.

Also, the two sides agreed to implement an HGH testing policy making the NFL the first professional American sports league to test for HGH with union consent. It is expected that testing will begin once the season starts.

This is a monumental time for the sport and all of the ugly acrimony is now over.

Time for football.
Category: NFL
Tags: Labor
Posted on: June 15, 2011 3:17 pm
Edited on: June 15, 2011 5:28 pm

NFL talks still moving despite contrary report

On one day, I report that a CBA deal is 80-85 percent complete, and there is guarded optimism. On another day, ESPN reports the talks almost blew up. One day--extreme optimism. Another day--not so much.

That's how these talks are going to go. I can't find a single person who says talks nearly "blew up" but that doesn't mean they didn't. It also doesn't mean that a large chunk of progress hasn't been made. Because it has. I've quoted people close to the talks saying a deal was weeks, if not days, away. I always believed late June and early July was the date they'd get this done. That is still a strong possibility, according to several people close to the situation.

That position was enhanced when late in the day on Wednesday owners and players announced talks would continue. Doesn't that sound like progress is being made? Does that sound like things were on the verge of blowing up?

The big problem remains the hatred between the lawyers. They were again allowed into the room after being kicked out of it. I think everyone involved in the discussions again underestimated the level of venom they'd once again bring.

So this is where we are: this situation changes daily, if not hourly. Based on everyone I speak to the sense of guarded optimism remains thick.

Even if the sport is stuck in a labor maze.


Category: NFL
Tags: Labor
Posted on: April 15, 2011 2:02 pm
Edited on: April 15, 2011 2:20 pm

Roger Goodell letter

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell recently wrote to the Congressional Black Caucus. Here is the letter in its entirety and presented without comment. Retired NFL player Jeff Nixon received a copy of the letter and sent it to CBSSports.com.

Category: NFL
Tags: Labor
Posted on: April 10, 2011 8:23 pm
Edited on: April 10, 2011 9:45 pm

Lockout payments start this week

The former union has sent out notices to eligible players informing them their lockout payments start this coming week, several agents told CBSSports.com.

Beginning this Friday, eligible players will received $10,000 a month from the emergency fund and those payments will continue every 15th day of the month through September for a total of $60,000, a memo to players states.

Here's the catch: the players must fill out the paperwork or they don't get the money.

The fact the former union is distributing the lockout fund now as opposed to later, say, in the fall, says a great deal. The union is gambling the lockout and labor strife will end sooner rather than later.

It's probably a smart gamble. It appeases players now and keeps them comfortable as mediation and the court proceedings continue.

There is growing belief on both sides that judge Susan Nelson can get both sides to settle their differences through mediation.

Category: NFL
Tags: Labor
Posted on: April 10, 2011 6:39 pm
Edited on: April 10, 2011 7:19 pm

NFL, players close to starting mediation again

The players and owners might begin mediation as soon as late next week, two sources confirmed to CBSSports.com.

Where the mediation will be held is still in question. It could be back under the control of mediator George Cohen or under federal jurisdiction in Minnesota. The former is what the owners want and the latter is the desire of the players. Cohen has yet to return a call to CBSSports.com.

One source texted: "We're reaching a pivotal moment."

That's because another round of mediation could finally end the lockout and start the season. Sources on both sides felt a second round of mediation might lead to a deal.

Another source explained Judge Susan Nelson has said in no uncertain terms she wants both sides to try and work out an agreement. Nelson doesn't seem to be fooling around. The reason mediation has a chance is because she will be monitoring it closely and won't put up with any silliness.

"We got the message," said one source.

Category: NFL
Tags: Labor
Posted on: April 8, 2011 12:56 pm

Players, league have gag order

The conference call between the former union, league and judge Susan Nelson about if and when there will another mediation session has ended. Nelson has ordered both sides to keep what was discussed as quiet as possible.

One source with knowledge of the call confirmed this by explaining: "We can't say s---."

Presumably, saying you can't say "s---" doesn't violate any gag order.

Seeking details on what happened now.
Category: NFL
Tags: Labor
Posted on: April 8, 2011 9:22 am

Owners, players conference call

The owners and players have a conference call at 10 a.m. eastern with judge Susan Nelson to possibly determine if and where mediation between the owners and players will happen.

The players want federal mediation while the owners want to return to George Cohen which is less binding.

What Nelson does -- if anything -- could determine the next step for the lockout.

Category: NFL
Tags: Labor
Posted on: April 7, 2011 6:38 pm

The dos and don'ts of the lockout

Do--start preparing to watch more soccer.

Don't--stab yourself in the eye.

Do--familiarize yourself with labor law and appellate court rulings.

Do--call Oprah and ask her to solve this mess.

Do--prepare for your new career as a replacement player

Don't -- start testing yourself for steroids.

Don't -- paint your face.

Don't -- start sending your arguing kids to an arbitrator

Do -- get chips and beer on Sundays whether there is football or not.

Do -- pretend you're Rex Ryan and guarantee a victory. Over what is up to you.

Don't -- wear a protective cup to a cookout.

Do--hope this mess gets settled soon.
Category: NFL
Tags: Labor
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com