Owners ratify CBA, miffed players refuse to vote

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Owners ratify CBA, miffed players refuse to vote

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots InsiderFollow @tomecurran
ATLANTA - NFL owners voted Thursday night to end the lockout they began on March 11. With the clubs voting 31-0 to settle all litigation and ratify a 10-year collective bargaining agreement (the Oakland Raiders abstained), the mood at the Atlanta Gateway Marriott was jubilant. But the owners may have only succeeding in inciting the locked-out players who feel the owners went too far in ratifying a CBA they hadn't seen in full. It was anticipated that owners would merely vote in favor of settling all pending litigation with the players. Theso-called "global settlement" would bring to an end the Brady vs. The NFL case and settle the "lockout insurance case." Once that was agreed upon, the players were expecting to agree to the settlement and then the ratification of the CBA could begin with the union presumably re-forming. Instead, the owners essentially said, "The bus is leaving. You're on it or you're not."The NFL's timeline calls for players to begin reporting Saturday and the league year to begin next Wednesday. But the players balked at even having a vote Thursday night. On a conference call between NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith and the player reps, nothing was decided. And agitation over the owner's move was evident.

In an e-mail sent to players from the NFLPA's executive director Smith stated:

"As you know the Owners have ratified their proposal to settle our differences. It is my understanding that they are forwarding it to us. As you may have heard, they apparently approved a supplemental revenue sharing proposal. Obviously, we have not been a part of those discussions. As you know from yesterday, issues that need to be collectively bargained remain open, other issues such as workers compensation, economic issues and end of deal terms remain unresolved. There is no agreement between the NFL and the Players at this time. I look forward to our call tonight."

The player component is critical. Without the players recertifying their union and agreeing to the proposal, the lockout remains in place.

It is a power play by the owners and it puts the onus squarely on the players now.

"We have gotten a lot done here in the past two days," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. "We will be prepared to open training facilities this Saturday. We are prepared to start the new league year next Wednesday subject to the full membership of the players ratifying the agreement."

The Hall of Fame Game, scheduled for August 7 has been cancelled.

"It's important that all 32 teams operate with the same time and dates," Goodell said about the cancellation of the game. "The ceremonies will still go on."

"It's time to get back to football," said Goodell. "That is what everyone here wants to do."

Asked what the ramifications would be if the players weren't able to come up with a rapid approval, Goodell answered, "We want to have a full preseason and we're up against the wall asI think you can see by the cancellation of the Hall of Fame Game."

Goodell had several conversations with Smith as the day progressed.Goodell said that, after the final call, Smith was "going to take care of his business". As it stands now, there's a lot of business left to take care of.

Some details of the deal, as reported by ESPN:
-Players receive 48-percent of revenue
-120M salary cap, team minimum 89M as long as league spends 99-percent (3.8B)
-Four-year rookie contracts with team option for a 5th year.
-Lower rookie salaries, with cap on team spending for rookies
-Later training camps, no full-contact two-a-days
-OTA's reduced from 14 to nine games
-Veterans earn free agency after 4th season

Things will move fast if the players agree to reform the union and ratify the agreement. After a long, slow summer, that's a good thing.

Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran.

Patriots celebrate 15-year anniversary of 2001 team with videos, Hall exhibit

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Patriots celebrate 15-year anniversary of 2001 team with videos, Hall exhibit

The Patriots have announced a series of initiatives to celebrate the 2001 Super Bowl championship team on the 15th aniversary of their title-winning season.

Throughout the course of the 2016 season, the Patriots will feature special content online and on Patriots All-Access that will lead up to Dec. 4, when Gillette Stadium will host a reunion of the 2001 team during halftime of the Patriots-Rams regular-season matchup. 

The Patriots have already featured images of moments from the 2001 campaign on tickets for their eight regular-season home games. They'll also have a special exhibit dedicated to the 2001 team at The Hall at Patriot Place beginning in the fall. In addition, issues of Patriots Football Weekly this year will include posters of shots from the 2001 season. 

"The Super Bowl XXXVI win over the Rams was the first championship for our team and will always hold a very special place in our hearts," Patriots chairman and CEO Robert Kraft said in a statement. "The victory made everyone that ever wore a Patriots uniform or rooted for the Patriots on the bleachers at Foxboro Stadium feel proud to be a fan. I know I am looking forward to reliving some of those great memories throughout the 2016 season."

The Patriots said that video vignettes of the 2001 season will launch this week on Twitter and Facebook as well as on Patriots.com.

Mayo: Patriots QB situation has him thinking back to 2008

Mayo: Patriots QB situation has him thinking back to 2008

Jerod Mayo looks at the looming quarterback situation for the Patriots and can’t help thinking back to his rookie season.

The former Patriots linebacker who graduated (ahem) to co-hosting “Quick Slants” with me on Monday nights, was asked how drastic the impact of Brady’s four-game suspension will be.

“I still remember 2008, my rookie year, in the first game of the season against the Kansas City Chiefs and Tom tears his ACL,” said Mayo. “Matt Cassel, at the same point, had zero starts just like Jimmy Garoppolo and we won 11 games. I know we missed the playoffs, but we still won 11 games and that’s something.”

Asked what the message Bill Belichick gave the team in the wake of Brady’s injury and what Mayo anticipates the message being now, Mayo answered, “Honestly, it’s so cliché but it’s that ‘next man up’ mentality and the depth of the team that Bill Belichick builds, you just can’t top it.”

Later in the show, Mayo indicated he wouldn’t be surprised if the team did add a little more quarterback depth in camp. In 2015, the team brought on both Ryan Lindley and Matt Flynn as a cushion behind Brady and Garoppolo.