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Report: Lockout Insurance Would Pay NFL Players About $200,000 Each if No Football

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NFLPA's DeMaurice Smith

First of all I’d like to say…


Listen, I make no secret of the fact that I”m firmly on the players side. No, I’m not on the fan’s side. Our tax payer dollars go to games and stadiums we can’t afford. The fans have already lost, the players still have a chance to win. I’m a big labor hawk and I’d like to see the little guy come out on top.

Sports Illustrated’s Jim Trotter just reported that the NFLPA’s decision to inform owners and players about the lockout insurance purchased by the NFLPA might be why the NFL labor negotiations have sped up.

The common perception has been that the players’ solidarity would crumble once they started missing paychecks. However the foundation beneath that line of thinking would be as solid as Jell-O if the players could couple the insurance with a large financial award from U.S. District Judge David Doty, who previously ruled the owners had illegally created a $4.3 billion lockout fund for themselves by renegotiating their TV deals at the expense of the players.

“Players Association leadership looked into this as a last possible resort to keep players together in case games would be missed,” one players-side source said of the insurance war chest. “It was never intended to be used as a bargaining chip or negotiating point until things became critical.”

Thursday was a critical point. If the sides could not advance negotiations then the possibility of hundreds of millions of dollars being lost to canceled preseason games was real. And if the owners allowed the impasse to get that far, what was to stop them testing the players’ pain threshold by extending the lockout into the regular season?

Now that Forbes has released its list of the 50 most valuable sports franchises, and ALL 32 NFL teams appear on the list, my annoyance with NFL ownership has grown even more. Something I didn’t even think was possible.

I’m not crazy, I know the players are still the underdog, but this was a nice treat for me since I’ve been ignoring all the endless and mindless updates and predictions for when a deal will be done.


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