On Thursday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sent out an email to all active players outlining the league's final proposal before labor negotiations eventual broke down. He concluded that email:
In that spirit, we are prepared to negotiate a full agreement that would incorporate these features and other progressive changes that would benefit players, clubs, and fans. Only through collective bargaining will we reach that kind of agreement. Our goal is to make our league even better than it is today, with the benefits shared by all of us.
I hope you will encourage your union to return to the bargaining table and conclude a new collective bargaining agreement.
Yesterday, the players responded with their own email to the NFL commish that was signed by the 11 player representatives of the NFL Players Association's executive committee. The letter is long and detailed but here's the best part:
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.
Pretty pointed stuff. But perhaps these emails are a step in the right direction. NFL executive vice president and general counsel Jeff Pash responded to the players letter:
We are pleased now to have received a reply to the comprehensive proposal that we made eight days ago. The points made in the players' letter are precisely the kind of points that collective bargaining is intended to address. Debating the merits of the offer in this fashion is what collective bargaining is all about.
So we again accept Mike Vrabel's suggestion that the union's executive committee meet with our negotiating team, including Jerry Richardson, Robert Kraft and Jerry Jones, to resume bargaining. If Mike will let us know when and where he and his colleagues would like to meet, we will be there. We are ready.
Personally, I think this is all starting to get a bit ridiculous if it hasn't already reached that point, don't you think? Fans probably share the same sentiment as Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie, who tweeted this:
I'm tired of all this emailing each other. How (about) the owners and NFLPA get (your) behinds back to the table and talk it out there.
Agreed, Antonio. It's time the two sides get their stupid asses back to the negotiating table and work this thing out once and for all.