Friday, July 22, 2011

Draft Excerpts: What's really going on?

The players aren't quite ready to sign off on this thing. The owners are putting the pressure on. What comes next?

NFL Insider Kevin Lynch was on KNBR yesterday trying to make sense of the NFL Lockout. Here are some excerpts from his conversation with Ralph Barbieri and Tom Tolbert: Click here for the full audio.

Tolbert: What it sounds like, what I've been reading, is that the owners had stuff in there that hadn't been could they have thought they would get away with that when they didn't even negotiate stuff they put in there to ratify -- it sounds absurd.

Lynch: It does, but I think again it's kind of a payback thing. I think the owners felt that, 'hey, we were still negotiating and you pulled the plug on us.'

Tolbert: So they knew the players wouldn't sign this then.

Barbieri: The owners figured they'd lay it out this way and they'd make the players look like the bad guys.

Lynch: Exactly, I think that is their biggest motivation. It does seem strange, I mean they haven't even negotiated what workers comp is going to be, and yet they're already -- boom -- saying, 'hey, it's a go,' and I don't even think even think they negotiated what the drug policy is going to be.

And of course there is this big contention between the players saying 'well look if you vote yes as owners, you end the lockout right now, and we'll still negotiate' and the owners are saying 'no, you have to vote to re-certify first." So that's another big hurdle that they are still going back and forth on.

Tolbert: Do they have to do one or the other first?

Lynch: I think they have to -- well -- the problem is if the owner say 'look, end the lockout right here,' then they could still not drop their lawsuit, so there's a trust level there, and of course there is no trust between the two sides.

Tolbert: Is this going to upset the players to where they just say screw it?

Lynch: As a tactical maneuver this is brilliant on the owners part. You're at this precipice where you've got to get it done or you are talking about missing pre-season games and you are talking about losing money on both sides.

The bottom line: Who the heck knows? I'm definitely siding with the players here. I hope they have the courage to toe the line and get all these issues ironed out. If the owners want to pull bunk tactical maneuvers like this and taint the spirit of the negotiations than I think the players should make them eat it.

What, are these owners hoping that the brain damage that a lot of these players suffer from is going to hinder their ability to negotiate?

If Lynch's suspicions are correct, than this is a very disappointing display by the owners and the public should get behind the players.

At least that is my take. What's yours?