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: On…

It Is What It Is Cast: On to Cincinnati

WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price talk about what the Patriots need to do to turn things around before Sunday night's game against the Bengals.

Chris Price is on to Cincinnati, 10-1-14

Christopher Price, WEEI.com, was at the Bill Belichick and Tom Brady press conferences today. He spoke w/ MFB to talk about the upcoming game at home against the undefeated Bengals.

Tom Brady on the blowout loss in Kansas City 10-1-14

Tom Brady discussed the blowout loss.

We Hate Dwyane Wade - 10-…

We Hate Dwyane Wade - 10-1-14

The debut edition of the We Hate Dwyane Wade show. Ben and Sam preview the Celtics and talk about other summer news around the NBA.

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.

Joe Castiglione wraps up …

Joe Castiglione wraps up the 2014 Red Sox Season with a Poem

Joe Castiglione does his annual wrap-up of the season by reading the poem by Bart Giamatti.

Mut and Bradford on the disappointing season for Jackie Bradley, Jr and Xander Bogaerts 9-28-14

Mut and Rob discuss the "kids" and the variety of young bodies the Red Sox called upon this season. Specifically, they look at Bogaerts and Bradley, Jr. and where things went wrong. They give their opinions on which one will right the ship next season.

Minor Details Ep. 101: Red Sox director of player development Ben Crockett on the state of the Red Sox system

Description: Red Sox farm director Ben Crockett looks back at the 2014 Red Sox prospect season by answering listener questions about a number of Red Sox prospects as well as broader issues and themes in the farm system.

Bruins sign Torey Krug an…

Bruins sign Torey Krug and Reilly Smith, 9-29-14

DJ Bean, WEEI.com, joined the guys to talk about the Bruins signing two young stars to 1-year contracts.

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

Bill Belichick is a dink …

Bill Belichick is a dink 10-1-14

The guys opened the show discussing the coaches less than amicable conversation with Dale & Holley.

Headlines, Headlines, Headlines: Ebola is everywhere 10-1-14

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

Tom Brady on the blowout loss in Kansas City 10-1-14

Tom Brady discussed the blowout loss.

Chris Price is on to Cinc…

Chris Price is on to Cincinnati, 10-1-14

Christopher Price, WEEI.com, was at the Bill Belichick and Tom Brady press conferences today. He spoke w/ MFB to talk about the upcoming game at home against the undefeated Bengals.

Three For All - FCC aims to ban the word 'Redskins' 10-1-14

A bill in California has been signed into law, banning stores from using plastic bags. A Canadian football player talks trash into a hot microphone shortly before an in-game interview. The FCC is looking to ban the word "Redskins" from television and radio.

Tedy Bruschi says Tom Brady is no longer one of the elite quarterbacks, 10-1-14

The fallout from Monday night continues as former Tedy Bruschi criticized Tom Brady's play over the first 4 games. The show re-visits Rodney Harrison's comments from yesterday, specifically, that Brady is "scared to death" in the pocket.

Bill Belichick: Brady cam…

Bill Belichick: Brady came out when the game was out of hand

A less than chipper Bill Belichick joins Dale, Michael and Steve DeOssie the day after the Patriots got blown out on Monday Night in KC.

Vince Wilfork: We need to play more aggressively and not over-think things

The big nose tackle joins Dale and Holley the day after one of the worst losses in recent Patriots history.

Tedy Bruschi: Right now Tom Brady isn't an elite QB

We check in with Full Tilt, Full Time Tedy Bruschi for his take on the poor play of the New England Patriots, and where they go from here.

The Patriots defense vs t…

The Patriots defense vs the running game

Mut and Chris Villani are talking about the issues the Patriots defense faced against the Kansas City Chiefs, particularly in the running game.

Are the Patriots weak?

The Patriots seemed to have no answer for the Kansas City Chiefs. Mut and Price talk about how the Patriots were exposed in all aspects of the game.

Mut and Price talk about where it all went wrong for the Patriots

Mut is in for Mikey and Chris Price of WEEI.com is in with him. The guys talk about the Patriots defense, inability of the offense to stay on the field, and coaching adjustments or lack thereof.

The Bradfo Show: Angels' …

The Bradfo Show: Angels' infielder John McDonald weighs in on American League playoffs

Rob Bradford is joined by former Red Sox, and current Angel, John McDonald to discuss were his team stands heading into the postseason, his thoughts on its opponent, the Royals, and what the Yoenis Cespedes trade might have meant the A's. McDonald also bemoans the loss of the television show, 'The Baseball Bunch,' which was alive and kicking during Kansas City's last playoff run.

We Hate Dwyane Wade - 10-1-14

The debut edition of the We Hate Dwyane Wade show. Ben and Sam preview the Celtics and talk about other summer news around the NBA.

SoccerCast MLS Latest/Champions League

Ben and Russ break down some rumors surrounding Real Madrid and Manchester United. Also on the docket is the MLS and your New England Revolution.

D&C's Breaking Balls Podc…

D&C's Breaking Balls Podcast: Gerry loves Brady and the guys are going to lunch 9-30-14

Dino, Gerry and Kirk talk about Gerry's passionate defense of Tom Brady, going to lunch and clock issues in the third edition of Breaking Balls.

More from this show

Tom Brady on the blowout …

Bill Belichick is a dink …

Bill Belichick is a dink 10-1-14

The guys opened the show discussing the coaches less than amicable conversation with Dale & Holley.

More from this show

Dino walks out mid segmen…

Dino walks out mid segment 9-30-14

John Dennis left the show mid segment.

More from this show

Tim Hasselbeck on Patriot…

Tim Hasselbeck on Patriots Chiefs 9-29-14

Tim Hasselbeck on tonight's game at Arrowhead.

More from this show

Weei Writers