If the Green Bay Packers President Mark Murphy is to be believed, the NFL owners are finished when it comes to making moves on their side. Simply put, they will negotiate no more. With some quick remarks to reporters, Murphy said the owners have “put their pens down.” Now, it’s up to the players.
Murphy will have to eat those words if the players want to play hardball. After all, many NFL players took to Twitter yesterday and today to express their frustration and confusion over the recent proposal from the owners. Whether that’s a bit of posturing on the part of the players, a bit of ignorance showing itself with some athletes or the truth that the owners have slighted them unfairly in some way, the case remains that the players are not a unified front. Thus the upcoming player vote on Friday seems a bit uncertain.
Some analysts believe the deal will pass just fine and that the players are grumbling out loud to make the owners sweat. That’s how a recent Mike Florio columns reads, at least. If it is just about hemming and hawing, then that only makes the players look worse. The owners put a deal out there, agreed on it and said, in essence, “That’s that.” If the players complain and throw a tantrum and then follow exactly what the owners put out there, this relationship looks more like a parent-child relationship than ever before.
But at this point, nearly all fans could care less about who is embarrassed in public. They just want football. And if the contract gives the players anything remotely related to fair, then the dominant opinion or feeling seems to be for them to sign the thing. That’s what everyone is banking on, including the owners. Not only will they get their deal in the end, but they’ll do so with an authority that the players lack on all sides.