Saturday, February 6, 2010
No movement on NFL labor talks
ESPN.com news services
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- NFL owners have met for several hours to discuss the labor situation, although it appears they are no closer to reaching an agreement with the players' union for a new collective bargaining agreement.
League spokesman Greg Aiello said that "everything is status quo. Nothing new to report."
Some of the owners listened to a presentation by NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith on Saturday as the two sides try to avoid a lockout in 2011, when the current labor pact expires.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said during his state-of-the-league address Friday that fans "expect solutions ... and we should deliver."
Goodell said he and the league's owners want an agreement and it's "absolutely false" that owners would want to see a work stoppage.
Goodell bristled about a statement union chief DeMaurice Smith made Thursday. Smith estimated the chance of a lockout next year was "14" on a scale of 1 to 10.
"I couldn't make that prediction, and I sure hope he's wrong, and I sure hope it doesn't become a self-fulfilling prophecy," Goodell said Friday.
"Right now we don't need a lot of focus on that. We need to take advantage of the opportunity we have right now to structure an agreement and sit down and negotiate. That's how this is going to get done, and we will have an agreement. It's just a matter of when, but talking about options like work stoppages is not going to get us there."
The owners opted out of the current agreement in 2008, claiming the players' 60 percent share of revenues was too high. Goodell said Friday that since the 2006 agreement was struck, the NFL generated $3.6 billion in additional revenue, and $2.6 billion of that went to the players.
"The owners are actually $200 million worse off than they were in 2006," Goodell said. "So the system is not working for at least one side of the equation. And that's the point. You have to have a system that works for everybody here."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.