New Orleans Saints: With Lockout On Team Looks Forward
By Keith Null
The NFL and NFLPA locked themselves in a board room for seventeen days in an attempt to hammer out a new CBA, and even agreed to an extension, but in the end they were unable to”collectively bargain” and reach a new agreement.
At 5 pm eastern time Friday the NFLPA faxed in the necessary paperwork to a Minnesota Federal Court and officially decertified from the NFL. Later that evening at 11:59 pm eastern time the NFL announced an imposed lockout.
No one wanted to say it but most knew it would it come down to this as the two sides were at a rather big impass when it came to how the nine billion dollars in revenue would be split between players and the NFL.
Can you guess what the problem is? The NFL wanted more money and expected the players to quietly take less. Their reason for this proposed player pay cut was that the NFL’s profits were down, but they were never willing to fully disclose any financial information to back up their claim.
Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Payton Manning are now head lining an antitrust lawsuit against the NFL, seeking to prevent the owners from locking the players out.
The litigation process is expected to heavily favor the players considering it is to be tried in front of judge David Doty, a long time friend to and advocate of player rights.
If they are successful in gaining the injunction, and it’s likely they will be, then football operations and free agency would be business as usual under the rules of the old CBA.
That is great news for the Saints considering their laundry list of free agents unsigned that include Roman Harper, Jermon Bushrod and Lance Moore among many others.
In a statement released by the Saints to fans on their website, neworleanssaints.com, the franchise stated their intentions to continue to improve the team by all means necessary as they await a new deal.
"To that end the Saints organization will continue to make plans for a highly successful future, both in 2011 and beyond. We are striving to improve in every area. Our football operations are preparing for the draft, our coaches continue to prepare for football and our business operations continue to work closely with our sponsors and our fans, to make sure that they are also prepared for football."
No one can say for sure what will happen, but again the players are likely to win their injunction, which is a step in the right direction, in what fans are no viewing as a petty squander over money. Not finding a fair way to split nine billion dollars is a joke.
It does seem unlikely that a new deal will not be reached by the time the 2011 NFL season starts as it would represent a gigantic loss in revenue for everyone involved. Let’s not forget the sucker punch to the gut to a fiercely loyal fan base.