Every day that goes by with the labor situation in the legal process moves us a step closer to a shortened season or even the unthinkable of a missed season. Why the combatants are investing in lawsuits rather than the bargaining table is a stupid decision on both sides. The only victory that the players can garner with the legal process is in the court of public opinion - and I think they have already accomplished that. So as of today - the players have virtually nothing to gain in the courts. The reasons they cannot win are as follows:
- No court can force the owners to have a season or legislate what work rules would be in place.
- Even if the courts force the owners to honor the individual contracts (not unlikely) - the structure of the NFL contracts pays about 90 +% of the money in the form of game checks. No games and your left with your $100 per diem of training camp.
- The decertification of the union may end the lockout through the legal process - but the owners can simply counter by unilaterally imposing work rules and policies on the players.
So what needs to happen? - the players have to signal that they are committed to the process and tell the owners that they are ending litigation to return to the table. Why the players? While the decertification of the union was an effective ploy to swing public opinion, and may eventually end the formal lockout, it was a bad move in the bargaining process. By eliminating the union, they have eliminated the body that held the rights to collectively negotiate with the owners. You can say it is a trade assocation - but the fact is that a trade association has no rights to collectively bargain. So Peyton, Tom - drop the lawsuits and say we will get this done.