NFLPA holds meeting with New York Giants players
The executive director of the NFL Players Association has met
with New York Giants players to discuss upcoming labor talks with
DeMaurice Smith spoke with the club on Monday for about at hour
at the team’s headquarters, offensive tackle Kareem McKenzie
McKenzie, the Giants assistant player representative, said the
players didn’t vote on decertification, but discussed it.
”It’s one of the many options or one of the tools that we could
use to go ahead and to force the issue, but of course that’s
something that we would not like to go ahead and enter into,”
McKenzie said. ”We would like to go ahead and for all intents and
purposes have a CBA on the table by hopefully November.”
Players from Indianapolis, Dallas, New Orleans and Philadelphia
all have voted unanimously to decertify the union, union spokesman
Carl Francis said last week.
The step is necessary if owners lock out the players next
season. Antitrust laws exempt NFL owners from being sued by unions
that are negotiating CBAs, so decertification would in essence
eliminate the union and allow players to sue the NFL in the event
of a lockout – giving them potential leverage in their dispute with
Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes said he signed a card to decertify
”I am assuming the rest of the guys did,” said Tynes, who
added that the vote really would not mean anything until some time
Quarterback Eli Manning also indicated a vote was taken and he
felt everyone voted for it.
McKenzie insisted the meeting was just to get the players on the
”That’s one of the great things that DeMaurice has done is to
go ahead and make sure that everyone has all the information they
need to make an informed decision,” McKenzie said.
McKenzie refused to say when the Giants would vote on
”We’ll have to go ahead and wait and see what develops,” he
Giants player representative Shaun O’Hara and Smith weren’t in
the locker room during the media access.
The NFLPA was decertified in 1989, two years after a failed
players’ strike. It returned as a union in 1993, when a contract
was reached with the NFL that provided for free agency. That
landmark CBA was renewed or restructured several times since 1993,
including in 2006. The owners opted out of that deal two years
The players currently get 59.6 percent of designated NFL
revenues, a number agreed to in the 2006 CBA. The owners say that
is too much, arguing that they have huge debts for building
stadiums and starting up the NFL Network and other ventures, making
it impossible to be profitable.
The NFL generates nearly $8 billion in revenues annually, with
about $1 billion going to operating expenses. The owners get about
40 percent of the rest, but they want about $1.3 billion more
before the players get their cut, and they’d like two more
regular-season games to get more money out of the networks for
Players have said they won’t take anything that amounts to a pay
cut. Smith has been warning players since he took office in early
2009 to put aside money in case of a work stoppage.