Today Riggo’s Rag had an exclusive coverage that no other FanSided Blog or sports blog network had access to in the country had access to- the NFL Player’s Association Office immediately after decertification.
At 5:02 pm, it was announced and made official in the form of a press release:
The NFL Player’s Association announced today it has informed the NFL, NFL club and other necessary parties that it has renounced its status as the exclusive collective bargaining representative of the player of the National Football League.
The NFLPA will move forward as a professional trade association with the mission of supporting the interests and rights of current and former professional football players.
It was a long day as both sides, the NFLPA and Owners, looked to find the elusive middle ground with the help of a federal mediator. However, the general theme of players taking a pay-cut (in the long run) without seeing financial records could not be overcome.
Jim Quinn, the NFLPA general outside counsel, and Jeff Pash, the NFL lead negotiator, took turns in the afternoon taking jabs each other’s sides.
Pash had said that the owners had made an offer to the NFLPA, but that they had planned ahead of time that they would decertify and did not accept the offer.
Quinn responded right outside the NFLPA offices in downtown Washington, D.C. that that was not the case and that Pash was a “liar”.
George Atallah, the NFLPA Assistant Executive Director of External Affairs, then invited members of the media inside for a briefing by DeMaurice Smith, NFLPA Executive Director.
In this briefing in the NFLPA’s fifth floor, Smith cited the reduction of the salary cap that would bring the level back to what it was in 2007. Scaling back on wage in what would seem to be one of the most lucrative and successful businesses in the world.
George Atallah also informed us that nine players and one college player that will soon enter the draft, have filed an antitrust lawsuit against the league and the teams. Those players are Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Vincent Jackson, Ben Liber, Logan Mankins, Peyton Manning, Von Miller, Brian Robinson, Osi Umenyiora, and Mike Vrabel.
After being in that building for only a few short moments, I now believe that this saga will be drawn out and likely go for a long time.