Former Packers executive Andrew Brandt is realistic about the process surrounding the CBA. National Football Post photograph

Brandt: A logical look at a complicated mess


Andrew Brandt, the former Green Bay Packers executive and the co-founder of the National Football Post, said it best this past week in a story published this week on the The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s website, jsonline, where he not only put the situation into layman’s terms, he also intimated that cooler heads will eventually prevail in the end.
In case you missed it, reporter Lori Nickel’s insightful and informative piece highlights Brandt’s vast knowledge and experience in these situations. Brandt has been on both sides of the table as a players’ agent as well as chief negotiator for the Packers.
In commenting about the current NFL collective bargaining agreement, Brandt had this to say:

“I know people are frustrated, angry and bored with the labor dispute, but I tell them to take a deep breath and realize this is all part of the process. It is a negotiation, no more and no less. The courtroom wins and losses are merely ways of tilting leverage to one side or the other in the eventual negotiation of a new CBA.”

It’s so true … it’s the process that frustrates the average fan because it’s that part of the entire issue that is most difficult to understand.
Brandt explains further and targets Friday, June 3, as the next milestone in the process … That is the day the court has targeted for its ruling on the owners’ appeal of their right to lock out the players. Brandt feels the court will uphold the owners’ appeal, but also sees it as a ruling that will bring the players and owners back to the table.

“If the NFL loses the appeal, then they’re paying players, business is open, they’re under temporary rules and they need to forge a new deal,” said Brandt. “If the players lose the appeal, they’re locked out indefinitely and missing paychecks and they’ll need to make a deal … If the Eighth Circuit upholds the lockout on appeal – which I expect them to do – the NFLPA has to look in the distance and see a future of an indefinite lockout. I would hope their strategy would turn to deal-making instead of litigating.

When Brandt explains things so clearly and objectively he tends to put one at ease … His insight into the process certainly did that for me … Time tends to take care of business and that seems to be the case here. While we want the two sides to come together and use common sense to reach a deal, that is just not possible at this point.
In a perfect world that might be the case. However, any time one brings attorneys and the courts into the mix, expect decisions and agreements to be slow in coming.
But be sure that an agreement is sure to to take place. With $9 billion riding on the two sides coming together you can bet that the players and owners are going to make a conscious effort to make it come to fruition.
We just want it sooner than later.
Again, Brandt brings it all into focus with these words in conclusion:

“There is a deal to be made here; one that will not look much different than what was being discussed on March 11 when negotiation turned to litigation.”

Let’s hope so.

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