Pittsburgh Steelers DB Ryan Clark was a guest on 93.7 The Fan this week to talk about his experience in the Superbowl, but the conversation quickly turned to the ongoing fight between the NFLPA and the owners. I'd encourage you to check out Clark's full comments, but I thought this little excerpt really seems to encapsulate the frustrations that a lot of the players are feeling. If there's no football next year, the players get nothing... whereas the owners get all their TV money without having to make payroll. In the end, the owners are the ones initiating this trouble.
"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."
Clark went on to talk about the player's frustration with the owners' refusal to open their books and show exactly how the current CBA was such a drain on their finances. Clark said that if they were shown proof that the previous deal was making it tough for the owners to make money, they'd be happy to make concessions for the health of the league... but the owners won't do that.