Today’s Jeff Pash transcript

Following is a transcript of NFL Executive Vice President Jeff Pash’s media briefing today at league meetings in Atlanta:

NFL EVP Jeff Pash at league meeting in Atlanta

July 20, 2011

Opening comments:

“Our labor committee met today for the better part of five hours. We had a very thorough review of the status of the negotiations, of the underlying legal issues, of the economics of the proposed agreement and where we stand in terms of our own process and what we see going forward. It was a very thorough discussion. I think the committee is fully briefed and we are prepared to review these matters with the ownership tomorrow morning when we get together at around 10 AM.”

On impact of players not voting today:

“It doesn’t impact it at all. We’re going to continue to work with the players. We’ll find out if there are issues that still need to be negotiated and we’re going to work cooperatively with them through the evening and try to have something in place that both sides can vote on tomorrow morning.”

On if clubs can ratify an agreement if players haven’t voted:

“Ratification is an independent process by each side, just as they could ratify something if we haven’t voted. So, I assume we could do so.”

On if the plan is to have both sides vote tomorrow:

“Absolutely. At some point.”

On if they need to see the union recertify before they vote:

“No. We would expect that this will be a comprehensive labor agreement though before all is said and done.”

On his level of optimism:

“It’s cautious. But I think we’re making progress, I think we’ve worked well together over the past several weeks. The staffs and the attorneys have been making a lot of progress on the documentation and the language issues. It’s obviously a complicated agreement, but I think both sides are at the point where they can close, they should close and we should be in a position to take votes.”

On if there were conversations back and forth with NFLPA:

“Yes. There were conversations with the representatives of the players’ association today.”

On if he was taken aback that there was no vote by players today:

“No.”

Maybe just too much to sift through?

“I can’t speak for what was going on in their caucus, but it’s a long, complicated agreement and there are a lot of issues. We’re talking about entering into an agreement that would last for quite a few years, hopefully bring a lot of stability to our relationship for many years to come and understandably that is something that people want to take their time and think through.”

On remaining issues regarding the plaintiffs in the antitrust case:

“I shouldn’t think there are any. Not to us. I can’t speak for them.”

On if they would go into an agreement with the players if some of players opted out of the settlement and the antitrust case remained:

“I don’t think that’s likely to happen. I think we’re going to have an agreement that all clubs will be a part of and that all players will be a part of. That’s my expectation.”

On a global settlement:

“All of the litigation goes away. I think that’s the healthy outcome is to have a complete, comprehensive, global agreement that settles all of the disputes and puts us on a path where we’re going forward together as business partners the way it should be. Rather than we’re going forward with one hand and fighting over something that should be in the past.”

On if the Hall of Fame Game is still on the books:

“I hope so. We’ll see. It’s getting tight. It’s getting pretty tight. It would be pretty challenging so that is one of the things we’ll have to focus on.”

On if the agenda in Atlanta has changed:

“Our agenda here has not changed. No.”

On a schedule to get everything in place should a vote happen tomorrow:

“We’ve been talking about what a calendar would look like for resuming: when players would come in, when the new league year would open and when free agency would start. Obviously all of that is going to depend on what schedule there is for ratifying the agreement and making sure that all of the steps that have to take place before the new league year can begin have in fact occurred.”

On if all of that can be done tomorrow:

“I think it’s probably aggressive to think that it can be done tomorrow, but it could be done in a relatively short period of time, we think.”

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