New England Patriots Links 3/28/11 - Patriots Players Continue Charity Work During Lockout

Michael Huyghue (Huffington Post) NFL labor dispute: First thing we do is get rid of all the lawyers.

I analogize the situation to an injured player who consults a surgeon for advice. Rehabilitation is always an option, but don't most surgeons, by definition, believe surgery is the best way to permanently repair damaged knees? Don't we train lawyers to use the legal system as the ultimate Trier of dispute resolution? How else could the parties have ended up anyplace else except in a courtroom?

My recommendation, therefore, being an attorney myself, is to "kill all of the lawyers". Having worked both as a general manager and as an agent in the past, my experience has been that third parties are sometimes necessary to break logjams between agents and GMs. While working for the Jacksonville Jaguars, I found myself in a dead-end situation with star quarterback Mark Brunell's agents -- Leigh Steinberg and later Frank Bauer. In both cases, I voluntarily removed myself from the negotiations and got the player to speak directly to the owner. Neither party was a professional negotiator, but each had a vested interest in the outcome.

In the few times I used this strategy, I found it was much easier to get over an impasse and ultimately reach a meeting of the minds. Perhaps that might just be what is simply needed here. Perhaps if we give both Pash and Smith a brief respite from the rancor of these negotiations (indeed, both sides have now resorted to name calling), something positive might happen. Why not let Jerry Richardson or Robert Kraft sit face-to-face with Drew Brees or Peyton Manning (after all, they lent their names to this litigation) to work out a resolution. Somehow, I think, as in the case with Brunell, we would get back to playing football in the NFL sooner, rather than later.

TEAM TALK

LOCAL LINKS

NATIONAL NEWS

  • Peter King (SI) MMQB: Gabbert, Newton are both top-five picks, and more NFL draft truths.
  • Tim Graham (ESPN) Did 'Madden 12' snub Mannings, Brady?
  • Michael David Smith (ProFootballTalk) Doping expert calls it "comical" for players to oppose HGH testing.
  • Greg Gabriel (Nat'l Football Post) The games of draft season: It's not easy to discern between myth and reality.
  • Dan Pompei (Nat'l Football Post) Sunday Blitz: Corners at the top of the draft and more.
  • Brian Billick (Fox Sports) Billick on top linebacker prospects.
  • Russ Lande (Sporting News) Draft day blues: RB's Lewis, Clay to be most disappointed.

LABOR LUNACY

  • Mike Florio (ProFootballPost) Ten things to know, right now, about the labor situation.
  • Judy Battista (NY Times) Semantics complicate NFL labor stalemate.
  • Gregg Rosenthal (ProFootballTalk) NFLPA has meeting Monday to decide draft plans.
  • Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) George Martin describes his meeting with NFLPA as "defiant, accusatory, and outright disrespectful".
  • Clark Judge (CBS Sports) Players who make asinine statements simply 'slaves' to stupidity.
  • Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) New wave of owner letters begins.
  • Brian Tucker (Pro Football Weekly) Wake me when it's over.
  • Jim Corbett (USA Today) Ending the lockout: How can a deal be forged at this point?
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