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    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Upshaw at Rams Park: more labor strife looming?

    By Bill Coats
    10/12/2007 4:43 pm

    Gene Upshaw, executive director of the NFL players association, was in town Friday as part of his leaguewide tour of all 30 teams. He met with the players for about an hour in the auditorium at Rams Park after stops earlier this week in Dallas, New Orleans and Houston.

    “I update them on a lot of different issues that we face,” Upshaw explained. No. 1 on his list is keeping them abreast of the status of the collective bargaining agreement, which was extended in March 2006 after lengthy and difficult negotiations.

    “The owners have an option in November of next year to get out of this deal, and they’re making noises like they want to,” Upshaw said. “I just want to make sure when (the players) hear this, they know what’s going on.”

    The CBA is supposed to run through 2012. If the owners opt out, 2009 would be the final year under the deal in which a salary cap would be in effect. Unless another agreement was reached, 2010 then would be “uncapped.”

    According to Upshaw, the provisions the owners like least in the current CBA are:

    1. The fact the players receive 60 percent of the league’s revenue.
    2. The revenue-sharing provision that requires the top 15 money-making teams to help the lower 15 financially.

    “As much as they hate writing checks to the players, they hate writing checks to the other owners worse,” Upshaw said. “They’ve made noises about that. We understand it, but we’re not willing to make any changes there. We can’t.”

    On another subject, Upshaw stressed that the players, and not solely new commissioner Roger Goodell, should receive credit for the toughened policy on character issues.

    “If you’ll recall last year, it was the players who were saying we need to try to clean the game up,” Upshaw said. “Don’t forget, we ended last season with a shooting in Denver (Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams was killed on New Year’s Day). And then we (had) all of the stuff that went on with four or five guys that have gotten in trouble since then. And the players felt strongly about trying to get the game back on the field. . . .

    “Like this week, everyone’s talking about the Cowboys and New England like it’s the Super Bowl. We don’t want to be talking about all that other stuff. The players felt that way, and when you’re getting 60 percent of the revenue, you’d better care about that.”


    In an aside, Upshaw said that when arrived in St. Louis on Friday morning, he picked up a Post-Dispatch and read that linebacker Will Witherspoon had been fined $10,000 for his hit Sunday on Arizona quarterback Matt Leinart. Witherspoon is the Rams’ player representative to the NFLPA.

    “And the first person I run into (at Rams Park) was him,” Upshaw said. “The next thing I hear is, ‘Gene, 10,000 . . . what did I do?’ And I agree with him. I didn’t see anything illegal about that hit. It just looked like a clean shot . . . a great football play.”


    Notes & quotes:

    >>Don’t be shocked if the Ravens start Kyle Boller at QB when the Rams visit Sunday. Steve McNair is having back problems and didn’t practice Thursday or Friday. Still, McNair is a warrior, and he might just shake off the pain and suit up.

    >>WR Isaac Bruce (hamstring) won’t play, and SS Corey Chavous (pectoral) is probably headed for the inactive list, too. Both could be back for next week’s game in Seattle, though.

    >>WR/KR Dante Hall might be sidelined for several weeks with his high-ankle sprain. Marques Hagans is the No. 1 return man now, with newcomer Brandon Williams backing him up.

    >>CB Eric Bassey is being promoted from the practice squad. To make room on the roster, CB Darius Vinnett will be released. The Rams hope to re-sign Vinnett to the practice squad.

    >>CB Lenny Walls was cut Friday so that DT Claude Wroten could be added to the roster. Wroten is back from a four-game league suspension.

    All for now . . .

  2. #2
    Keenum's Avatar
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    Re: Upshaw at Rams Park: more labor strife looming?

    Witherspoon was fined for that hit? That is total bull crap.

  3. #3
    TekeRam's Avatar
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    Re: Upshaw at Rams Park: more labor strife looming?

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith View Post
    >>CB Lenny Walls was cut Friday so that DT Claude Wroten could be added to the roster. Wroten is back from a four-game league suspension.
    Best news I heard all week!

  4. #4
    Ram Dragoon's Avatar
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    Re: Upshaw at Rams Park: more labor strife looming?

    Its getting sick that so much energy and effort is spent "protecting" assets. Yah one doesn't want to loose their starting QB and WRs to injury, but DARN football is a contact sport. YEs fine the holy Hell those players that take cheap shots--even suspend them from the season with possible lifetime bans. But keep the contact in a contact sport.

    Perhaps its not the players, refs, and owners that need representation but the FANS. Each of these groups have their own little nitch they try to protect and expand, but there is no players, refs, owners with out the Fans. WE ARE THE TRUE ENGINES to the NFL. Maybe we ought to rally and start sending to the commissioner our discontent and perhaps start boycotting advertisers to make out point.

    The salary cap policy is perhaps the best one thought of. I know if I was a billionair I would buy the Rams, and I would do a JJ (Jerry Jones) in so far as $$$ would be no issue for the players...Likely make the dome a true THUNDER DOME and make the whole experience a total assult on ones senses
    **Also the salary cap ought to help those possitions where your lineman are paid and sought after to protect your stars. Looking at baseball, without the NFLs salary cap, there would be NY YANKIE teams (a few) and ROYALS teams. Personally I would loose interest if every superbowl the CowBoys and RedSkins are in it because their owners are willing to throw $$$ in order to win

    Its just a great start that personal conduct is an issue. Most players look at playing football as a RIGHT then it is a privilage. Last I read the Consitution its not. Upshaw hasn't helped in that department. Yet all and all its a good start. Persoanlly what I would like to see is a BAN on recruitment from non-graduates from colleges. That too many players are lured into the NFL before they complete college. Ought to be a 3 year waiting period if a college player doesn't complete college before they become allegible. More along that line the reson I don't like college football is that too many players there can't read/write and are not fit to be a student. Sorry but I just think there is more to life then football and a win at any cost mantality is a damning stain on our society as a whole

  5. #5
    ramsfan81 Guest

    Re: Upshaw at Rams Park: more labor strife looming?

    About time lenny walls was cut he made me remember the bad days of having travis fisher covering a reciver just waiting for fisher 2 give up the big play,WS being fined is the biggest load of B.S. bet he doesnt get fined if Leinfart pops back up after the hit

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