Archive for February, 2011

NFL statement on Wednesday’s meeting with Union

“Despite the inaccurate characterizations of yesterday’s meeting, out of respect to the collective bargaining process and our negotiating partner, we are going to continue to conduct negotiations with the union in private and not engage in a point-counterpoint on the specifics of either side’s proposals or the meeting process. Instead, we will work as hard as possible to reach a fair agreement by March 4. We are fully focused on that goal.”

Super Bowl XLV — Steelers vs. Packers — today on FOX

The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers meet tonight in Super Bowl XLV (6:00 PM ET, FOX) at Cowboys Stadium in North Texas. 

The game features two of the most storied franchises in NFL history. The Steelers have won an NFL-best six Super Bowls and the Packers own 12 NFL championships (three Super Bowls), the most all-time.

Joint NFL-NFLPA statement

The NFL and NFL Players Association met for two hours today in a continuing effort to narrow the differences and reach a fair agreement that will benefit the players, teams and fans. We plan to increase the number, length and intensity of bargaining sessions so that we can reach agreement before the March 4 expiration of the current CBA.

Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2011 selected today

In a special ceremony today at 7:00 PM ET, NFL Network presents the announcement of the 2011 Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinees.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee’s 17 finalists (15 modern-era and two senior nominees*) with their positions, teams, and years active follow:
Jerome Bettis– Running Back – 1993-95 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 1996-2005 Pittsburgh Steelers

Tim Brown – Wide Receiver/Kick Returner – 1988-2003 Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders, 2004 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Cris Carter – Wide Receiver – 1987-89 Philadelphia Eagles, 1990-2001 Minnesota Vikings, 2002 Miami Dolphins

Dermontti Dawson– Center – 1988-2000 Pittsburgh Steelers

Richard Dent – Defensive End – 1983-1993, 1995 Chicago Bears, 1994 San Francisco 49ers, 1996 Indianapolis Colts, 1997 Philadelphia Eagles

Chris Doleman– Defensive End/Linebacker – 1985-1993, 1999 Minnesota Vikings, 1994-95 Atlanta Falcons, 1996-98 San Francisco 49ers

Marshall Faulk – Running Back – 1994-98 Indianapolis Colts, 1999-2005 St. Louis Rams

Charles Haley – Defensive End/Linebacker – 1986-1991, 1999 San Francisco 49ers, 1992-96 Dallas Cowboys

*Chris Hanburger– Linebacker – 1965-1978 Washington Redskins

Cortez Kennedy– Defensive Tackle – 1990-2000 Seattle Seahawks

Curtis Martin – Running Back – 1995-97 New England Patriots, 1998-2005 New York Jets

Andre Reed – Wide Receiver – 1985-1999 Buffalo Bills, 2000 Washington Redskins

*Les Richter – Linebacker – 1954-1962 Los Angeles Rams

Willie Roaf– Tackle – 1993-2001 New Orleans Saints, 2002-05 Kansas City Chiefs

Ed Sabol– Founder/President/Chairman – 1964-1995 NFL Films

Deion Sanders – Cornerback/Kick Returner/Punt Returner – 1989-1993 Atlanta Falcons, 1994 San Francisco 49ers, 1995-99 Dallas Cowboys, 2000 Washington Redskins, 2004-05 Baltimore Ravens

Shannon Sharpe – Tight End – 1990-99, 2002-03 Denver Broncos, 2000-01 Baltimore Ravens

Patriots’ Robert Kraft on CBA: If business people move to forefront “we could get a deal done in a week”

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft (right) said today that a new Collective Bargaining Agreement could be completed quickly if the NFL and players’ union commit to intense negotiations.  

“We could get a deal done in the next week if business people sat down on both sides and we tried to get the lawyers in the background,” Kraft said in an interview on NFL Network.

“We just had a situation where we were sued that we didn’t get enough money from the networks,” Kraft continued. “I know as chair of the Broadcast Committee, I worked with the committee and the Commissioner, we generated revenue at a very serious time in our country and extended contracts.  We were just sued that we didn’t do a good enough job.  The players wind up paying $15 million in legal fees for something that is nonsensical.  We have got to stop this legal maneuvering and get business negotiations going on.  If we do, I’m confident we can close a deal.”

Commissioner Goodell press conference transcript

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke with the media today in his annual Super Bowl press conference at the Super Bowl XLV Media Center in North Texas.

Following is a transcript of the press conference.

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Commissioner Goodell’s Super Bowl press conference today at 12:30 PM ET

Commissioner Roger Goodell will hold his annual Super Bowl press conference today at 12:30 PM ET at the Super Bowl Media Center in North Texas.

To watch the press conference, click here.

Retired player blog: “NFL still committed to $100 million for retired player pensions and active players”

Former NFL player Jeff Nixon (right) writes today under the header “NFL still committed to $100 million for retired player pensions and active players.”

Nixon, a member of the national advocacy committee for the “Fourth and Goal” organization of NFL alumni, spoke with NFL executive vice president Jeff Pash yesterday following Pash’s press conference and posted the video.

Said Pash, “We proposed more than a year ago that we would put the rookie wage scale into effect for the 2010 Draft and we would guarantee that the first $100 million in savings would go towards retired player benefits and we would be prepared to take an equivalent amount and put that towards veteran players.”

To watch the video, click here.

NFL’s Jeff Pash: “Forward-looking bargaining about the future of the game” crucial for new CBA

NFL executive vice president Jeff Pash said yesterday that negotiations for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement will take “forward-looking bargaining. It’s bargaining about the future of the game. It’s bargaining to reach a system that will allow growth, innovation, more jobs, more benefits and more pay.”

“We are not looking for an agreement that will swing the pendulum as far in our direction as it currently has been swung in the direction of the players,” Pash added. “We have said to the players, in exactly these words, ‘We do not want four or five years from now you to feel about the agreement the way our clubs feel about it today. We want something that is fair, something that works for both sides, something that will encourage growth in the game and something that will allow both parties and the fans to benefit from what we accomplish at the negotiating table.’”

“We think that there are tremendous opportunities out there – the players have been a very important part of the growth of this league and that can continue and it should continue. If we work together, there is not much that we can’t accomplish but we need to get busy – and we need to get busy now.”

Following is the complete transcript of Pash’s Super Bowl press conference.
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NY Times: Troy Vincent continues to work for good of players

NFL vice president of player development Troy Vincent (right) is profiled today by New York Times columnist William Rhoden.

Vincent’s focus, Rhoden writes, is on “managing and developing programs and services for players and their families, including the annual rookie symposium and the new N.F.L.-N.C.A.A. Football Academy. Even though Vincent has no formal role in the [labor] talks, it makes sense that someone who sat at the negotiating table might at least informally help players separate the rhetoric of negotiations from the reality.”

Rhoden noted that Vincent spent 10 of his 15 NFL seasons as a player representative, including four years as NFLPA president.

“I have no involvement in labor,” Vincent said. “Now I can work where my passion is: people building, relationship building, giving hope and bridging the gaps.”

“My responsibility is to make sure that we equip young men entering the league to be the best professionals they can be,” Vincent continued. “That’s my role. That’s our role.”

“Sometimes as a player, you’re taught that the league is the enemy; I was like that when I first came in,” Vincent concluded. “But it’s not us versus them.”

For the complete story, click here.