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“But Fujita said Tuesday: "The 18-game discussion is not even worth having at this point, because there's nothing on the table from their end that makes any one player consider playing 18 games." The current CBA expires in March and the union long has said it expects NFL owners to impose a lockout, affecting the 2011 season. The NFL has not missed games because of labor problems since 1987, when the players went on strike. Asked if he thinks a lockout is inevitable this time, Fujita replied: "It certainly looks that way to me." Among other issues discussed on Tuesday's call: • Fujita took a swipe at Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones for his comments during an interview with CBS last month. In a portion of the interview posted on the Internet, Jones is asked whether he thinks a lockout "might be disastrous for the game?" Jones' response: "No, I do not. But I know that the sentiment is not to have a lockout." Fujita's take: "For him to say something like that, to me, is one of the more irresponsible things I've heard through this whole process." Fujita said he gets the sense owners might not be unified, because some want to get a deal done, while others -- and he cited Jones as an example -- "are fine with letting this thing run down to at least the 11th hour and try to squeeze the players into accepting a deal that's not fair to us." • Atallah said the union expects a decision from a special master "sometime before the Super Bowl" in the players' complaint that the NFL structured network TV contracts to guarantee revenue even if there's a lockout -- while not maximizing revenue from other seasons when the league would have to share that income with players. "We're arguing that those contracts were made explicitly in an effort to gain leverage over the players," Atallah said. Said Fujita: "Does it sound like 'lockout insurance'? Absolutely. Does it sound like a war chest to me? Absolutely," he said, adding that it seems as though the networks are "funding the lockout." • Fujita and Foxworth both are against the league's desire for some sort of rookie wage scale. "It seems like the league is asking the union to bail them out because of some of their bad decisions and draft choices," Fujita said. "That's not our responsibility. We weren't the ones twisting their arms when they signed guys like ... JaMarcus Russell to those huge contracts." Noted Foxworth: "They pay a lot of people a lot of money to scout, so the teams who keep ending up with busts might want to do a better job of selecting scouts and general managers."
The 18-game discussion is not even worth having at this point, because there's nothing on the table from their end that makes any one player consider playing 18 games.” -- Browns LB Scott Fujita on owners' 18-game schedule proposal