Sunday, March 13, 2011
AFC West lockout tour
By Bill Williamson
I know you would much rather read about signings and trades. Believe me, I’d much rather write about actual football-related business.
However, all we have is the lockout and we have to pay attention to it. Let’s take a look at lockout-inspired news from each AFC West team, beginning with an interesting offer by the Broncos:
Broncos’ CEO Joe Ellis said the team doesn’t have a problem showing the players their own books. That has been a sticking point in the labor talks.
“If the league decides they want to open up the books of the Denver Broncos to present them to the union -- I don’t know if the league is into identifying individual clubs because they’re private businesses,” Ellis told the Denver Post. “But with a neutral [auditor] to verify the fact that certain teams haven’t been operating as effectively as they did in the past, we’re a willing and able participant.’”
That’s nice to hear, but unless the league decides to open every team’s books, nothing will happen.
Chiefs’ owner Clerk Hunt is not losing his composure over the lockout. He said it is “part of the process.”
“I really view it right now as just part of the process and hopefully the litigation process will lead both sides back to the bargaining table in the near future,” Hunt told the Kansas City Star. “It’s a bump in the road, but hopefully one we can overcome.”
I commend Hunt for his approach to this situation. It is not panic time. There is still time to get a deal done and save everything that goes along with an NFL season.
The Raiders are taking this lockout thing seriously. Soon after the lockout began, they took down player images from their website. I can’t blame the Raiders. They can do whatever they want.
Chargers’ center Nick Hardwick, who was the team’s union representative, is taking a similar approach to Hunt. He is not panicking.
“In general, I’m optimistic,” Hardwick told the San Diego Union Tribune. “I’m going to stay that way. I’m going to control what I can control. I hope all my teammates have that same approach.”