The most up-to-date content on the planet
this just in
 RSS
WEEI » This Just In » Mortensen on M&M: CBA holdup 'troubling'
Mon, 07/11/2011 - 1:51pm  

Mortensen on M&M: CBA holdup 'troubling'

ESPN NFL reporter Chris Mortensen joined the Mut & Merloni show Monday afternoon to discuss the latest developments regarding the NFL labor negotiations.

Mortensen and Adam Schefter reported Monday morning that a deal was close and was expected to be ready for a vote at the July 21 league meetings. However, there appears to be at least one key sticking point preventing the end of the lockout.

"The bottom line is they're still hung up on a couple of issues," Mortensen said. "The most, I think, troubling one — and to me a little surprising — is the rookie wage system that owners are hung up on, a matter that doesn't make sense to me, and it doesn't make sense to the players side."

Explained Mortensen: "The players have basically agreed that we're going to cut rookie salaries about in half in terms of the amount of money they're paid. … But where the players are pretty upset … what they're seeing is this control over the fifth year. In other words, the players really want after four years for these rookies — who are no longer rookies — to be able to experience free agency like a true veteran. Because since you've already slashed the rookie salaries in half … then they should be able to experience what most veterans do, and that is free agency after four years. Owners want a fifth-year option that's a little more restrictive than the players are willing to have. If there's going to be a fifth-year option, it's got to cost the owners. And that's where they're hung up at."

Added Mortensen: "It's been a thorn in the side they've been hung up on for a while. The thought was once you agreed to the revenue model, and how you're going to split revenue, that this should fall in. There shouldn't be an issue. But there is an issue, clearly. … I think there is a growing sense of optimism that this should get done. But I can tell you that the players really feel that they've gone about as far as they're going to go on this rookie matter."

Asked how optimistic he is a deal will get done this week, Mortensen said: "I can't understand why this rookie issue would hang up this agreement. So, obviously, I would be pretty optimistic. But when you listen to the two sides, knowing that they're dug in a little bit on this thing is a little troubling."

Mortensen credited the Patriots owner as playing a key role in getting this deal to the brink of completion.

"There is no question — no question, that Robert Kraft has been a major, major voice in what is about to happen, and he has been a voice of reason, from what I gather from both sides," he said.

As for the length of the deal, Mortensen said: "I'm hearing seven years … seven years with maybe an option to add three more to turn it into a 10-year deal. But seven years is the number I'm hearing. Which is good news — the longer, the better."

Asked if the Patriots will have an advantage from the short offseasons as less stable teams struggle to catch up, Mortensen agreed to a point.

"You could probably name a dozen teams, and certainly the Patriots would be right near the top of that," he said. "But they also have rookies they've got to get indoctrinated into their system. One of the great strengths of Bill Belichick, he has to be the best teacher in terms of just teaching the game, coaching the game. Coaches are teachers. Rookies are rookies. In that regard, the Patriots are handcuffed like everybody else.

"But the teams that are really in trouble are the obvious ones, new coaching staffs … and teams with unstable quarterback situations or rookie quarterbacks. We know the Patriots don't have an unstable quarterback situation, and they certainly don't have an unstable coaching staff."

To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page. For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.




Audio On Demand

It Is What It Is Cast: Gr…

It Is What It Is Cast: Gronk will continue to smash and dash

WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss Rob Gronkowski's meeting with the media on Friday. Gronk said he doesn't anticipate changing the way he plays, noting that he wants to "keep smashing and dashing."

Julian Edelman After Patriots Practice, 7-25-14

Julian Edelman joins Merloni, Fauria, and Benz after Patriots training camp.

Peter King of MMQB with Dale and Holley

We return to our weekly segments with the one and only Peter King of MMQB and NBC's Football Night in America.

Jackie MacMullan, ESPN Bo…

Jackie MacMullan, ESPN Boston, "I think Rondo is going to go, I just don't see where and how yet" 7-17-14

Jackie Mac joins the guys to discuss her thoughts on a possible mid-season tournament in the NBA, LeBron's return to Cleveland, trade rumors with the Celtics and Red Sox, and Darrelle Revis' contract situation.

Jackie MacMullan, ESPN Boston: I believe Rondo will be traded 7-10-14

Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston to talk about the Lebron James Saga, the possibility of Rajon Rondo being traded, and the future of Marcus Smart.

OK State Men's Basketball coach, Travis Ford, joins MFB to talk about Marcus Smart, 6-30-14

Former coach of Celtics 1st-round pick Marcus Smart, Travis Ford joins MFB to talk about what Celtics fans should expect from the strong point guard. Among other things, Coach Ford says Smart will be a hard worker, and will improve his shooting ability.

Kevin Millar, MLB Network…

Kevin Millar, MLB Network: David Ortiz not afraid of David Price, 7-25-14

Kevin Millar joins Merloni, Fauria, and Benz to discuss David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia's struggles, and Jon Lester's contract.

Jon Daniels, Texas Rangers GM, Joins the Trade Deadline Show, 7-24-14

Texas Rangers General Manager, Jon Daniels, joins Rob Bradford and Alex Speier to discuss the upcoming trade deadline.

Trade Deadline Show, 7-24-14

A full version of the Trade Deadline show hosted by Rob Bradford and Alex Speier. Featuring an interview with Texas Rangers GM, Jon Daniels.

The Bradfo Show: Talking …

The Bradfo Show: Talking Bruins roster moves with DJ Bean, Turtleboy

Rob Bradford is joined by WEEI.com Bruins beat writer DJ Bean, as well as Boston sports fan/blogger Turtleboy to talk all things Bruins free agency. With the B's recent moves, the conversation turns to where the Bruins might next turn and what kind of dent losing Jarome Iginla and Shawn Thornton might make.

DJ Bean breaks down the first hours of NHL Free Agency 7-1-14

DJ discusses Shawn Thornton's new deal, and the on going negotiations with Jerome Iginla

DJ Bean, WEEI.com. The Bruins are not traded Marchand 6-13-14

DJ Bean joins the program to dismiss the recent rumors that the Bruins are in discussions to trade Brad Marchand to the Sharks for Patrick Marleau

Kirk Minihane on what mot…

Kirk Minihane on what motivates the media 7-25-14

Kirk breaks down the media criticism he has received.

Headlines, Headlines, Headlines: Dogs understand everything 7-25-14

The stories of the day brought to you by Kirk Minihane

Roger Goodell lets Ray Rice off easy 7-25-14

Dino, Meter and Kirk discuss the light punishment given to Ray Rice by the NFL.

Kevin Millar, MLB Network…

Kevin Millar, MLB Network: David Ortiz not afraid of David Price, 7-25-14

Kevin Millar joins Merloni, Fauria, and Benz to talk about David Ortiz, the struggles of Dustin Pedroia, and the Jon Lester contract.

Julian Edelman After Patriots Practice, 7-25-14

Patriots Wide Receiver Julian Edelman joins Merloni, Fauria, and Benz after Patriots training camp.

Drug Abuse ve. Domestic Violence: Fair Comparison, 7-25-14

Given the recent Ray Rice suspension, many people are comparing it to Josh Gordon getting suspended for repeated drug abuse. Tim Benz doesn't think this is a fair comparison. He explains why.

Peter King: In New Englan…

Peter King: In New England Darrelle Revis will show why he's a top 2 corner in football

We return to our weekly segments with the one and only Peter King of MMQB and NBC's Football Night in America.

John Farrell: No thought of taking Jake Peavy out of the starting rotation at this point

We check in with the manager of the local nine to get his take on the Sox recent hot run, the performance of the pitching staff and much more.

Sidney Rice chooses his health over everything else with retirement announcement, will this continue to be a trend in the NFL?

We discuss Sidney Rice's retirement from the NFL, and the greater issue, which is concussions and head injuries in the NFL.

Jon Lester's Contract Sit…

Jon Lester's Contract Situation and the Future

Mut and Villani are talking about whether the Red Sox will give Jon Lester the type of contract he is looking for, or whether they might be shopping him with rumors of the Red Sox scouting Cole Hamels.

The All Star Game and the Worst Ideas in Sports

Mut and Villani are talking about the MLB All Star Game, Adam Wainwright and Derek Jeter, and what are some of the worst ideas in sports.

We're all yelling about LeBron James

Ian Browne reflects on 10…

Ian Browne reflects on 10th anniversary of Red Sox-Yankees brawl

A compelling case can be made that July 24, 2004, represents as significant a landmark as any date in modern Red Sox history. On that day, a memorable brawl between the Red Sox and Yankees served as a catalyst for an epic 10-9 walkoff victory for the Red Sox over New York and indomitable closer Mariano Rivera, a game cited by many members of the 2004 team as pivotal in Boston's first championship run in 86 years. Ian Browne, who covers the Red Sox for MLB.com and authored Idiots Revisited, discusses the landmark game.

Fantasy Football Podcast July 24th Edition

With Training Camp starting this Thursday and the August Draft Season inching closer, Jim Hackett and Pete Davidson are ramping up the Fantasy Football content to meet the demand! Today’s podcast gives an in depth look at Pete’s Top 50 Wide Receivers Article that is LIVE on WEEI.com right now. Pete breaks down the receivers by Tiers and the podcast gives full analysis of those Tiers and the players who occupy these spots and why. Get prepared for your drafts and enjoy!

Danny O Show - Canelo vs Lara recap, Ronnie Shields

Danny breaks down the Canelo vs Lara fight and the controversy. Mike Tyson's former trainer Ronnie Shields joins the show.

Minihane returns 7-23-14

Minihane returns 7-23-14

The triumphant return of Kirk Minihane.

More from this show

Larry Lucchino says the S…

Larry Lucchino says the Sox have tabled contract talks with Jon Lester 7-24-14

Larry Lucchino discussed the latest on the contract talks with Jon Lester.

More from this show

Headlines, Headlines, Hea…

Headlines, Headlines, Headlines: Starbucks tattoo 7-23-14

The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.

More from this show

Christian Fauria reviews …

Christian Fauria reviews his Madden ratings 7-24-14

EA Sports released its QB ratings for Madden 15, placing Tom Brady tied for 4th with Russell Wilson. The discussion quickly shifted to Christian's Madden ratings and his perceived lack of awareness

More from this show

Buster Olney, ESPN, talks…

Buster Olney, ESPN, talks about the impending MLB trade deadline, 7-23-14

With the non-waiver trade deadline a mere 8 days away, Buster talks about the market for guys like Cliff Lee, Jake Peavy, Koji Uehara, and the injuries Dustin Pedroia might be dealing with.

More from this show

Weei Writers