Atlanta Falcons running back Jason Snelling stressed the need for the NFL and players “to get back to the bargaining table” in a SiriusXM NFL Radio interview with Pat Kirwan and Tim Ryan yesterday.
“We need to get back to the bargaining table,” Snelling said. “This time that has gone by so far, I don’t really feel anything has gotten resolved. As a free agent who earned that right to have free agency, I would hate to be in a situation where I don’t have that after you worked so hard to get that situation, not just on my end but the people around you who worked so hard to get you there.”
“I have actually spoken to one of my [player] reps,” Snelling continued. “They have said a little bit and had an opinion on it just kind of agreeing with mine. We kind of feel at a point like this with everything going through the courts that there are all of these court dates but nothing is getting resolved. We kind of wonder at some point what are we really fighting for? Do we want to play? Do we want to just keep these things in the courts? I know that a lot of guys may feel like going through the courts and taking it to the end and waiting for a judge to make a ruling may work but after they make another ruling, we still don’t have a collective bargaining agreement.”
NFL executive vice president Jeff Pash made similar comments yesterday in Indianapolis, site of this week’s NFL Spring Meeting.
“I think as time goes on, everybody on both sides realizes that this doesn’t get better, it doesn’t get easier,” Pash said. “I think people are also recognizing that the litigation alternative is not one that is going to get a quick resolution. It’s not going to get really even a resolution. Everyone focuses on the next court date, and it sort of freezes people in place. The only way we’re going to solve this is by saying, ‘Ok, let’s put this behind us. Let’s put the litigation on hold and let’s solve our own problems.’ Asking judges to solve our problem for us is never going to get a resolution.”
“I think that players probably look for the same thing that we are looking for,” Pash added. “Players and owners and coaches, they all want the same thing. They want an agreement so that the game can get back on the field. I don’t think most players like being in court any more than most owners like being in court.”
In his SiriusXM interview, Snelling noted that negotiations have yielded a willingness to discuss changes.
“The NFL in some ways is willing to make some changes,” Snelling said. “You don’t hear too much about it as much as you’d like as a player, but I feel like they are willing to make some changes and try to make something that is collectively good for all parties. The main thing is we can’t get that done if we are not actually negotiating with each other. It is the main thing I want to stress as a player and as a free agent: The best thing for this league is to get back to the table and make something happen together and to take this thing out of the courts because with it being in courts, I don’t feel like any of us are going to win.”
“As a player, I just want to express and show that I do have a voice in my particular situation, as well as others,” Snelling concluded. “We need to get back to the bargaining table and that is going to be the best thing for all of us.”