The NFL doesn’t have a deadline for when games would be canceled without a collective bargaining agreement.
”We don’t have a date by which the season is lost, or a date by which we have to move from 16 games to some other (number),” Eric Grubman, the league’s executive vice president for business operations, said Friday at a meeting with Associated Press Sports Editors. ”Our intentions are to play a full season, and we will pull every lever that we can within the flexibility we have or can identify to make that happen." Full story
No separate lawyers for NFL players — 3:57 p.m.
Reports earlier this week of a split between the players in the NFL’s ongoing labor dispute appear to have been greatly exaggerated, the New York Post reported Friday.
A published report that roughly 70 "mid-tier" players disgruntled with the decertified union had hired a pair of law firms to force their way into the negotiations petered out when the NFL announced it would not grant a waiver to one of those firms with ties to the league.
That firm, which two industry sources identified as Indianapolis-based Barnes & Thornburgh, was soliciting players to break from the union, though one of its partners represents the NFL in nonlabor matters. Full story
Toomer apologizes for ‘Gestapo’ remark — 2:45 p.m.
Former New York Giants wide receiver Amani Toomer apologized for invoking Nazi-era Germany in criticism of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s conduct during the ongoing labor dispute, the New York Post reported Friday.
Toomer sent an email to reporters Thursday to apologize for comments he made the previous day on ESPN’s "Outside The Lines," including saying that Goodell was using his power like Hitler’s secret police, the Gestapo.
"I know most of you have seen or heard my comments from [Wednesday] about Commissioner Goodell," Toomer wrote in the email. "Some of you have probably already, rightfully, taken me to task for my remarks. I want to offer this apology. Full story
Even though the NFL and the players may not meet for a month, commissioner Roger Goodell sent clear message to the locked-out athletes.
"Clearly the litigation strategy that the union is pursuing is delaying some serious negotiations that really are going to lead to a collective bargaining agreement," Goodell told USA Today in a story posted on its website Friday. "That part of it is frustrating. I think valuable time is escaping us, that’s putting financial risk and other risk in play."
The "union" Goodell is referring to is the NFL Players Association, which decertified as a union last month after more than two weeks of federal mediation did not produce an agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement. The owners responded to the decertification by locking out the players. Full story
Ex-player Amani Toomer rips Goodell May — 2:32 p.m.
Former New York Giants wide receiver Amani Toomer blasted NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Thursday for his role in the ongoing labor dispute, likening Goodell’s handling of the crisis to something from Nazi-era Germany.
The ex-player suggested that Goodell’s hold over the sport was similar to the power wielded by Hitler’s ruthless secret police force, the Gestapo.
"I think the way Mr. Goodell has handled this … he’s kind of using his power, as kind of like a Gestapo-type situation, controlling the players, not letting the judicial system do its work," Toomer said during an interview on ESPN Radio.Full story
The NFL and its locked-out players wrapped up their fourth day of court-ordered talks Wednesday with few signs of progress and no plans to meet again until mid-May.
Executive vice president Jeff Pash, the NFL’s lead negotiator, said U.S. Judge Magistrate Arthur Boylan told both sides they probably won’t convene again until May 16 because he has a few other matters on his judicial calendar.
U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson is expected to decide well before then on the players’ request for an injunction to immediately lift the lockout, now in its 40th day. Her decision will almost certainly be appealed, but it could give the winning side leverage as the clock ticks on the 2011 season. Full story
Report: NFL players’ unity in trouble — 1:48 p.m.
A breakaway group of NFL players are close to hiring a law firm to intervene in the antitrust lawsuit against the NFL, the Sports Business Daily reported Wednesday.
According to the report, as many as 70 mid-tier players want to be represented separately at mediation, which is being conducted between the NFL and the players in a federal courtroom in Minneapolis.
The motion, expected to be filed by the end of the week, would not contest the Brady v. NFL lawsuit, but would demand the other group of players have their own seat at the negotiations. Full story
Even as the players have made their case in court, the NFL Players Association is making its case in the classroom.
Representatives of the NFLPA were invited guests at the American University’s Washington College of Law on Tuesday, answering questions from students about the league’s decision to lock out the players and the court proceedings that have followed.
The NFLPA made a similar appearance at Rutgers last month. The programs help the former union — now technically a trade association — make sure that students and the public at large are fully aware of its side of the story. Full story
NFL owners, players resume mediation — 7:43 p.m.
Carl Eller emerged from a 7-hour mediation session between the NFL and its locked-out players and let out a big sigh.
”Tough day,” he said.
When a Hall of Fame defensive end and one of the most feared players of his generation gives that kind of evaluation, it’s safe to say that the negotiations between the owners and the players aren’t getting any easier. Full story
NFL releases regular-season schedule — 7:36 p.m.
The NFL released its entire regular-season schedule Tuesday and the season kicks off Thursday, Sept. 8 with the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers hosting the New Orleans Saints at Lambeau Field.
The New York Giants will visit the Washington Redskins and the New York Jets will host the Dallas Cowboys on Sept. 11, marking the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
With the NFL and its locked-out players mired in negotiations over a new labor agreement, the league on Tuesday announced its 2011-12 schedule — assuming the season starts on time. Full story
Five retired players are suing the NFL Players Association in federal court, claiming the organization denied them and other former athletes lucrative royalties from licensing deals that used their images.
The class-action lawsuit was filed Wednesday in Los Angeles and was first reported by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The suit alleges breach of fiduciary duty by the players association and its for-profit Players Inc. subsidiary.
An email message left for NFLPA spokesman George Atallah was not immediately returned Monday. Full story