Posted on August 23, 2016, by Travis Pulver
When the NFL and NFL Players Association negotiated the last collective bargaining agreement, things did not go well until the Hall of Fame Game was missed. At that point, everyone became concerned about losing revenue and game checks, and suddenly talks began to progress quickly.
Why? Everyone talks tough until they start to lose money.
Most players can’t afford to go without game checks (strange when you consider how much these guys make). The owners could handle it, but the rich get richer by making money—and they all want to be richer.
However, in the desire to get a deal done quickly so guys could get back to work, some things were overlooked or at least one thing was—the incredible amount of power the commissioner has in the discipline process.
In a nutshell, Roger Goodell is essentially the judge, jury, and executioner as well as the appellant court. How much sense does it make for the guy that heard the initial case also to hear the appeal?
Many feel that something has to be done. Roger Goodell has been called a crook by several players along with countless other derogatory names. Green Bay Packers quarterback does not go that far because he believes the status quo is what it is because the players allowed it. Goodell is just exercising the power he has according to the CBA.
But there is no way the NFL is going to give up much (if any) power without getting something significant in return. So if the players are going to have a chance, they are going to have to hit the owners in the one spot it hurts—their bank accounts.
They will have to hold out and not bend when the season draws near. That means the players will need to be prepared to miss a few game checks.
That also means that players need to start preparing for that possibility, and Pittsburgh Steelers NFLPA player rep and offensive lineman Ramon Foster has told his teammates to prepare accordingly:
“[To beat the owners we have to] Hit them in the pocket. That way, money always talks,” Foster said, via Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com. “For us to do that, we have to save on our end. We can’t be just blowing money and not realize what’s coming, especially with guys coming into the league now.”
The last time there were CBA talks, there were countless stories about players forced to take out loans with ridiculously high-interest rates to get by. Once play resumed, and game checks started being cashed, those guys could repay their loans.
Foster is hoping his guys will heed his warning and be smart with their money over the next few years. However, Foster and others angry with the amount of power Goodell has, may find most guys are not going to be willing to lose game checks to protect the rights of PED users and guys who can’t stop smoking pot.
When it comes down to it, billionaires can afford to pass on making a few million more so than the players can.