Originally Posted by tnedator
Why do some defend the players as being victims here?
Let's back up a bit and remember all of he player/player rep rhetoric about how the NFL owners/league were terrified of an uncapped year, and that they had leverage in getting what they wanted in a new CBA, once the owners opted out of the old one.
The players BADLY miscalculated that, because the uncapped year didn't turn into the out of control bidding war that players expected, but instead a chance for owners to dump bad contracts without worrying about salary cap hits and to have their restricted free agents locked up for another year or so.
During this time, De Smith and players were talking tough about how they weren't going to concede anything without big counter concessions from the league. For instance, they knew the owners wanted a rookie salary cap, so they let it be known that in return, the league would have to raise the minimum salary per team. Their ridiculous logic was that if you take x dollars from the rookies, you have to increase the salary minimum/floor by that amount to give the savings to the vets. That's the level of flawed logic and spin the league is dealing with. Simply implementing a rookie cap, while keeping the existing floor, would automatically funnel more dollars to the vets for those teams that hover around the floor in terms of salaries.
The Players and De Smith (a big time litigator from a big time lobbying firm -- Patton Boggs) believed they had great leverage points: The league not wanting an uncapped year and the league wanting a rookie salary cap. Therefore, by all accounts, they have not negotiated in good faith, but simply made outrageous demands and threats, like decertifying and suing, which is not conducive to healthy bargaining.
From the owners perspective, with the players threatening to decertify and sue, and some rumblings about a possible strike, when there was zero progress made in negotiations, the lockout made the most sense.
However, there was a LONG string of player/player rep actions that made the lockout about the only option for the league to take.
The owners had decided to lock out the players long before the players even had a vote amongst themselves whether to decertify or not. decertifying was in reaction to the pending lock out. not the other way around.
there's no evidence to suggest that owners have been negotiating in good faith.
BTW, locking out the players is not conducive to healthy bargaining either.