Maybe Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Ryan Clark is still mad about losing the Super Bowl. Or maybe he has a point. Whatever the case, he let his feelings be known about the owners, Roger Goodell and the impending lockout in a fiery diatribe on sports radio. Roger Goodell is taking flak from the players lately, and things are starting to sound bitter and personal. Earlier today, KD talked about some of the mud-slinging that's starting to surround this process. Clark adds more noise to the cacophony.
Make the jump for Clark blasting the owners and the league office...
"Well I think the positive in it is the deal expires in March, so if common sense prevails, you can play football in September. It’s not one of those situations where they can kind of slow boat it until the deal is up in August, you don’t have a deal and now you’re scrambling to try to get it done. I mean you have months and months to get a deal done. I’m not big on going to OTAs and all that anyway now that I’m going into my tenth year. I mean, they can postpone it if they want.
I think it’s the other things that you lose, whether it’s making sure that your insurance doesn’t lapse or if you’re going to get COBRA or you’re going to get something else. I think it’s the things like that go into it — making sure you’re getting workmen’s comp and stuff like that. So it’s the extras outside of it.
And then like I said and I’ve said this many times during the Super Bowl week — if they told me…and I love football so it may be different…but if they told me you know what Ryan, whatever your salary is we’re going to give it to you even if you don’t come to work. What’s your incentive to come to work? And essentially that’s what the owners have done. When you make deals with networks that say we’re going to pay you even if you don’t play. So what’s my incentive to play when/if I’m not playing, I cut my biggest overhead out which is my players, and I’m still going to make my money. So you tell me if there’s any rush for them to feel like they have to have football.
But I think the NFL does a good job of posturing. Any time they make an offer — which have been totally ridiculous offers, I’m a player rep I get to hear about these offers on conference calls and different things like that — it would be like, you know what, y’all come to work, I’m going to pay you a dollar. But that’s so I can say I gave you an offer though. And that’s what’s going on. And you see anytime they’re doing anything, they make sure it’s scrolling across the bottom of ESPN, or somebody comes out and says this is what the NFL has done. But you never get numbers, you never get specifics.
You say we’re losing money, we say okay as a union, we want to help in any way we can to make sure this league is prosperous, to make sure this league is going in a positive direction. Show us the books and we can figure out a way together. No, no. We can’t show you our books, that doesn’t happen. So I think that’s the thing.
And with so many players and so few owners, so as the owners, you can get 32 owners together and Roger Goodell — who claims he works for us but when it came up time for him to renew his job, nobody called me, nobody was like hey Ryan is it cool, is this the guy you want? So clearly he doesn’t work for us. I don’t have his cell phone number. I have D Smith’s cell phone number because he works for us. I don’t have Roger’s. Maybe he’ll call me after this because he’s mad at me and make me come to New York or something.
I just think it’s a sad deal because it’s not going the way anybody wants it. There’s no way we can back down and give them what they want, and it don’t seem like they want to give us what we want. So I’m going to be a stay-at-home dad and do radio and TV."
Ha! This thing is turning into a full-blown mess. I'm getting pretty pessimistic, I'm beginning to think we'll lose most of the offseason, and that we might even end up losing a couple of games until people start to cave on one side or the other.
Here's Roger Goodell's response to the players. Basically, it says the model is broken, and that a bunch of things have to change for it to work again. Many of them are sure to be no-go's for the players.
Mike Florio has a pretty good breakdown of what's going on with the CBA talks.