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  1. #1
    Ram Warrior's Avatar
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    NFL has filed on behalf of Seahags

    CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
    March 17, 2006

    Hutchinson's 2006 team in hands of arbiter, NFLPA says
    SEATTLE -- The Seahawks' hopes of keeping All-Pro guard Steve Hutchinson will be decided by an arbitration process.
    That will delay the Sunday deadline for the team to match an offer to Hutchinson by the Minnesota Vikings.

    The NFL Players Association said on Friday that the league has filed a claim on behalf of the Seahawks contending a clause in the offer sheet Hutchinson signed with the Vikings last weekend circumvents the league's labor contract. That would mean that Seattle does not have to match that clause to keep Hutchinson, who is designated as their transition player.

    The clause in question would guarantee Hutchinson the entire contract sum if Hutchinson is not the team's highest-paid offensive lineman.

    Richard Berthelsen, general counsel for the NFLPA, said the union will argue against the Seahawks' and league's claims.

    "They say the clause circumvents our collective bargaining agreement. It is our belief that it does not," Berthelsen said Friday.

    The special master will determine during a Saturday telephone conference call if the labor agreement gives him jurisdiction in the case. The league claims it does, Berthelsen said.

    NFL spokesman Michael Signora confirmed that the NFL had filed the case.

    Berthelsen said if the special master determines he has jurisdiction, he will hold a hearing on Monday in Philadelphia. If not, the case will fall to a non-injury grievance arbiter, who will convene a hearing.

    Either way, a decision would come after the Sunday deadline by which the Seahawks have to match Minnesota's offer.

    Hutchinson signed a $49 million, seven-year offer sheet with Minnesota last Sunday. It included $16 million guaranteed. The Seahawks believe that is all they have to match.

    But a ruling against the NFC champions would require them to also match a provision in the offer that states if Hutchinson is not the team's highest-paid offensive lineman at any time after the first year of the contract, the final six years of the deal becomes guaranteed.

    Such a provision is likely a deal breaker. All-Pro left tackle Walter Jones is Seattle's highest-paid offensive linemen, and would remain so even if the Seahawks matched the Hutchinson offer.

    Jones, a six-time Pro Bowler, received $54.5 million -- with up to $20 million in a signing bonus and incentives -- over seven years to remain a Seahawk last April.

    Berthelsen said the union's interpretation of the issue is that the clause is permitted by the CBA because it is a "principal term" of the agreement.

    That is defined in the contract as salary, incentives and individual league honors -- plus "any modifications of and additions to the terms ... requested by the free agent and acceptable to the New Club, that relate to non-compensation terms (including guarantees, no-cut, and no-trade provisions) ..."

    The league and the Seahawks are contending that last point.

    In 1993, the first year of unrestricted free agency in the NFL, the Indianapolis Colts signed Will Wolford, Buffalo's transition player, to an offer sheet that included a clause that guaranteed he be the team's highest-paid offensive player.

    The Bills, who already had quarterback Jim Kelly as their highest-paid offensive player, argued the clause violated the CBA. An arbiter said it did not. The Bills declined to match the offer sheet, and Wolford signed with the Colts to become their highest-paid offensive player.

    After that decision, the league and the union amended the CBA. It now states that no team attempting to match an offer sheet for one of its transition players can be required by an escalator clause similar to Wolford's to pay that player more than what the offering team would pay him.


    Maybe we should polish the Seahags A$$ to. Oh and lets give them the players they want and since they couldn't beat The Rams lets just get their players so we can win , What a concept. O well they did go to the SB.
    Last edited by Ram Warrior; -03-19-2006 at 03:05 PM.

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  2. #2
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    Re: NFL has filed on behalf of Seahags

    Quote Originally Posted by Ram Warrior
    The NFL Players Association said on Friday that the league has filed a claim on behalf of the Seahawks contending a clause in the offer sheet Hutchinson signed with the Vikings last weekend circumvents the league's labor contract. That would mean that Seattle does not have to match that clause to keep Hutchinson, who is designated as their transition player.

    The clause in question would guarantee Hutchinson the entire contract sum if Hutchinson is not the team's highest-paid offensive lineman.
    And now the Seahawks and Walter Jones are trying to screw Hutchinson, should they lose the arbitration.

    They've restructured Jones' contract so that his average per year is less than Hutch's, thus allowing Hutch to be the highest paid lineman on the team, forcing his contract to not be guaranteed.

    Wonder what Hutch thinks of his buddy restructuring so that he no longer is guaranteed his entire contract.
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  3. #3
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    Re: NFL has filed on behalf of Seahags

    Seahags have until midnight to match the vikes offer. Lets hope they don't.

  4. #4
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    Re: NFL has filed on behalf of Seahags

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos
    Seahags have until midnight to match the vikes offer. Lets hope they don't.
    Even if they do, I have got to believe this could create some ill will in the locker room. Just when you think the Seahawks put all their demons behind them....

  5. #5
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    Re: NFL has filed on behalf of Seahags

    Seattle loses hearing, could lose Hutchinson

    NFL.com wire reports

    SEATTLE (March 20, 2006) -- The Seahawks must match the guarantee provision in the seven-year deal offered to All-Pro guard Steve Hutchinson by the Minnesota Vikings if the NFC champions want to keep their transition player.

    An attorney for the NFL's players' union confirmed that a special master ruled against Seattle, saying a provision guaranteeing all of the contract in an offer sheet Hutchinson signed with Minnesota should he not be the team's highest-paid offensive lineman is valid.

    "The Seahawks lost," NFL Players Association general counsel Richard Berthelsen said.

    League spokesman Michael Signora said that the Seahawks had until midnight ET to match the Vikings offer or lose Hutchinson to Minnesota.

    Berthelsen attended a two-hour hearing March 20 in Philadelphia on the matter.

    The Vikings' seven-year offer, which Hutchinson signed on March 12, would be the richest deal ever given to a guard. And this ruling means it just got richer.

    The Seahawks had argued that because they have recently re-negotiated Pro Bowl left tackle Walter Jones' seven-year contract by adding an eighth, voidable year, Jones' team-best lineman deal now has an annual value below that of Hutchinson's offer.

    After the re-negotiation, Jones' annual base salary would dip to just below Hutchinson's annual average if Seattle matched Minnesota's offer. The Seahawks argued they should not have to guarantee the rest of Hutchinson's new deal.

    Berthelsen said special master Stephen Burbank did not elaborate in his ruling.

    But Berthelsen said the decision validated the NFLPA's stance that the conditions at the time Hutchinson signed the offer sheet with the Vikings are the conditions Seattle must match -- meaning Hutchinson wasn't the highest-paid Seahawks linemen then, so Seattle must guarantee all of the Vikings' deal to match it.

    "They wanted to put in additional language to make it from any point from now until the end of the 2006 league year," Berthelsen said. "That is contrary to the intent of the wording that was in the contract.

    "And the special master agreed."

    The Seahawks did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment.
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  6. #6
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    Re: NFL has filed on behalf of Seahags

    IMO Jones re-structured so the Hawks COULD match should the Special Master rule in their favor. But since the SM didn't it doesn't matter anyways, because the Hawks won't match if it's guaranteed.

    So basically if the Hawks won the ruling and Walt didn't restructure the Vikings would still get Hutch. Jones only did this to keep a teammate. Hutch wouldn't get the guaranteed contract either way.

    Nice Jacket

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    Re: NFL has filed on behalf of Seahags

    Quote Originally Posted by BBlades89
    IMO Jones re-structured so the Hawks COULD match should the Special Master rule in their favor. But since the SM didn't it doesn't matter anyways, because the Hawks won't match if it's guaranteed.

    So basically if the Hawks won the ruling and Walt didn't restructure the Vikings would still get Hutch. Jones only did this to keep a teammate. Hutch wouldn't get the guaranteed contract either way.
    It's admirable what Jones did, but it doesn't sound to me like Hutchinson was a teammate that wanted to be kept. At this point, I think it's in Seattle's best interest to lose him.

  8. #8
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    Re: NFL has filed on behalf of Seahags

    I agree Mike. Let's get this thing over with already.

    Nice Jacket

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