Archive for May, 2011

NFLPA Replaces Canceled Rookie Symposium With ‘The Business of Football: Rookie Edition’

May 31st, 2011

(Updated: June 7, 2011 4:30 pm)

NFL rookies will gain an education on “The Business of Football: Rookie Edition” later this month at an event put on by the NFL Players Association. The seminar will be held on June 28-29 at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL.

The NFLPA will explain important information like financial education and the role of the players association as the rookies begin their professional football careers during the owners’ lockout. As they get acclimated to life in the NFL, lessons learned at the 2011 “Business of Football: Rookie Edition” will stay with these young players throughout their entire careers.

For more on this event, check out a story on here.

Undrafted Players Suffering Irreparable Harm During NFL Lockout

May 31st, 2011

Doug Farrar of Yahoo! Sports wrote an article last Friday that focuses on the 2011 class of undrafted free agents suffering irreparable harm due to the owner-imposed lockout.

Farrar writes, “The 2011 class of undrafted free agents are stuck in a weird purgatory in which they can envision NFL futures but are on the outside looking in – at least until the lockout is resolved.”

Farrar continues, “One of the points made by the NFLPA in the legal back-and-forth between owners and players is the concept of ‘irreparable harm.’ The players claim that, by being locked out, the NFL is putting an unreasonable burden on careers which are already too short on average; the league counters with the idea that the financial fallout of the continued fight could put some owners in holes they’ll never get out of. But if there’s one group suffering actual irreparable harm, it may be those undrafted free agents whose usefulness to NFL teams could be restricted or eliminated outright by a truncated preseason – and the corresponding lack of need for bodies to fill minicamps, training camps and preseason games. Without a comprehensive look at those players, some will slip through the cracks.

David Mims, an undrafted offensive lineman out of Virginia Union was interviewed by Farrar for the story and said, “It’s really uncharted territory right now, and nobody knows how it will play out. We don’t know when they’re going to get it done [settle the lockout], and we’re obviously at a disadvantage by not being with a team and not being able to learn a playbook. That’s really holding us back – I mean, I don’t even know where I’m going to be and I can’t talk to anybody. For guys in my position, it’s very hard. Guys who were drafted are in the same boat to a degree, but at least they know where they’ll be for training camp. I just try to keep a positive attitude, keep working out and hope that something will get solved soon.”

To read Farrar’s entire article, click here.

Player Workout Central

May 26th, 2011

Thanks to our friends at SportsBuzz, check out this great video of players working out on their own while the NFL Owners have locked them out.

Politicians, Business Owners File Brief Supporting Players

May 25th, 2011

A 44-member group of elected officials and business owners filed an amicus brief in support of the players on Tuesday, stating that a federal court made the correct decision to order an injunction to lift the lockout.

The group is comprised of 32 elected officials who represent states and localities that host NFL teams or that otherwise depend on NFL-driven revenues and the proprietors of local businesses that depend on game day for their financial survival.

“This injunction is about far more than the paychecks of the players or the fortunes of the owners,” the brief stated. “It is also about the livelihoods of the business owners whose livelihoods depend on NFL game day and the taxpayers and elected officials who have committed their scarce resources to the NFL enterprise.”

The brief points out that it is in the public interest for the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold the federal court’s ruling to end the owner-imposed lockout.

“The NFL is a multi-billion-dollar business, with a significant economic impact on the markets in which its teams are located,” the brief stated. “In addition to employing workers directly, the NFL’s teams also drive business for hotels, restaurants, bars, and other service industries. As a result, the NFL’s lockout threatens the livelihood of thousands of American workers.” 

The brief also cites several economic studies provided by NFL teams that prove how important NFL games are to local economies.

For more on the brief, read the following article provided by the Associated Press here. To view the brief in full, click here.

Cornelius Bennett Pens Op-Ed Asking Owners to Lift the Lockout

May 23rd, 2011

The Buffalo Bills have had plenty of great players in their franchise’s history. Cornelius Bennett is one of them. Once a star linebacker and now an elected leader among former players, Bennett is uniquely tied to the Bills’ history.

As a fan and former Bills player, Bennett is interested and engaged in the NFL labor situation. He recently wrote an op-ed that was published in the Buffalo News over the weekend. Among some excerpts of Bennett’s op-ed are:

“Players want to play for teams that have a chance to win. Small-market teams like the Bills have as good a chance to win as any other team in the league. This lockout hurts small-market teams, especially the Bills.”

“I was in those negotiation sessions representing the interests of former players but also looking out for my Bills franchise that I love so much. Players want to play, but we also want what’s fair for the game. We believe in the connection between a city, its players and its team. A lockout erodes that connection.”

To read Bennett’s entire op-ed in the Buffalo News, click here.

Silver: ‘Settlement Remains the Most Prudent Option’

May 18th, 2011

Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports writes an article published Wednesday that assesses the legal impact of Monday’s court decision.

Silver raises several strong points in his article. Below are some snippets:

Silver writes, “The players are still standing firm in their quest for a better deal than the ones which have been offered by the owners on March 11.”

He goes on to add, “All of this, from my vantage point, suggests that neither side is going to be beaten into submission by a single legal opinion or another seemingly pivotal development – and it reminds me that, without a doubt, settlement remains the most prudent option for both sides.”

Silver points out that DeMaurice Smith would like to see a mutually satisfying accord: “Do people actually think that I really don’t want to make a deal?” Smith asked. “We chose litigation because we knew they were going to lock us out, and I can only counterpunch. But here’s the fundamental disproof to the charge that we wanted to litigate: We offered to keep playing under the old deal. What more do you want the players to do to demonstrate their commitment to playing football?”

To view Silver’s entire article, click here.

New Poll Says Owners Are the Ones to Blame

May 18th, 2011

Groups of players all around the country have been gathering on their own to work out together, doing what they can to keep themselves in shape and ready for when the owners’ lockout is lifted.

A recent poll points to fans placing more blame on owners than on players for the league’s labor unrest.

In a Boston-based poll containing 1,070 responders, 32 percent of them blamed the owners for the lockout. Nineteen percent placed the blame at the feet of the players, while 30 percent were undecided.

For more details about this poll, read a story in the Boston Herald here.

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