Text of players' letter to NFL's Roger Goodell
Saturday, March 19, 2011; 3:07 PM
MARCO ISLAND, Fla. -- The letter sent Saturday by players to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, in response to a letter he sent players Thursday:
This responds to the letter you sent to all NFL players on March 17.
We start by reminding you that we were there at the negotiations and know the truth about what happened, which ultimately led the players to renounce the NFLPA's status as the collective bargaining representative of NFL players. The players took this step only as a last resort, and only after two years of trying to reach a reasonable collective bargaining agreement and three weeks of mediation with George Cohen of FMCS. At all times during the mediation session we had representatives at the table with the authority to make a deal. The NFL representatives at the mediation did not, and the owners were mostly absent.
The mediation was at the end of a two-year process started on May 18, 2009, when our Executive Director sent you a letter requesting audited financial statements to justify your opting out of the CBA (letter attached).
The NFLPA did all it could to reach a fair collective bargaining agreement and made numerous proposals to address the concerns raised by the owners. In response, the owners never justified their demands for a massive giveback which would have resulted in the worst economic deal for players in major league pro sports.
That is why we were very troubled to see your letter, and repeated press reports by yourself, Jeff Pash, and the owners, which claim that the owners met the players halfway in negotiations, and that the owners offered a fair deal to the players.
Your statements are false.
We will let the facts speak for themselves.
-The proposal by the NFL was not an "a la carte" proposal. The changes in offseason workouts and other benefits to players were conditioned upon the players accepting an economic framework that was unjustified and unfair.
-Your proposal called for a pegged amount for the salary cap plus benefits starting at 141M in 2011 and increasing to 161M in 2014, regardless of NFL revenues. These amounts by themselves would have set the players back years, and were based on unrealistically low revenue projections. Your proposal also would have given the owners 100 percent of all revenues above the low projections, including the first year of new TV contracts in 2014. Your offer did NOT meet the players halfway when it would have given 100 percent of the additional revenues to the owners.
-As a result, the players' share of NFL revenues would have suffered a massive decrease. This is clear by comparing your proposal to what the players would receive under the 50 percent share of all revenues they have had for the past twenty years.