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.

Tim Kurkjian, ESPN: Red S…

Tim Kurkjian, ESPN: Red Sox are in a tough place with Lester 7-28-14

Tim Kurkjian joins the program to discuss the Red Sox options at the trade deadline.

Christian Vazquez with Joe & Daveafter the win at Tampa Bay

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.

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

How does Tom Brady's lead…

How does Tom Brady's leadership help the Patriots? 7-29-14

John, Gerry, and Steve DeOssie discuss Tom Brady's impact on the rest of the Patriots, plus Steve tells tales from his old days as a NFL linebacker

Headlines Headlines Headlines: Whale Watch Catastrophe 7-29-14

A whale watch boat is stranded overnight in Boston Harbor

Red Sox are destroyed by the Blue Jays 7-29-14

Clay Buchholz and Felix Doubront certainly put on quite the pitching performance, as the Red Sox were trounced by the Jays. Does this change the team's approach to the trade deadline?

The NFL is taking a look …

The NFL is taking a look at "high-stakes" Fantasy Football, 7-29-14

MFB discuss a Peter King article that suggests many NFL coaches and assistant coaches have felt increasing pressure over big-money fantasy football players. Christian also weighs in specifically on how his knowledge of game-plans resulted directly in him winning his first season as a fantasy football player.

Red Sox routed by Blue Jays as trade rumors swirl, 7-29-14

The Sox lost 14-1 as Clay Buchholz and Felix Doubront both had awful performances. On the heels of the loss, rumors began to fly regarding Jon Lester and John Lackey possibly being traded.

Tim Kurkjian, ESPN: Red Sox are in a tough place with Lester 7-28-14

Tim Kurkjian joins the program to discuss the Red Sox options at the trade deadline.

Jon Lester is on the tabl…

Jon Lester is on the table, will he end up in LA? 7-28-14

We talk about the latest news surrounding Jon Lester and the Red Sox. Could he be dealt to the Dodgers?

Dale and Holley's Four at Four - Red Sox Mistakes - 7-28-14

We talk about four of the biggest mistakes the Red Sox have made over the past 30+ years.

Gronk being Gronk: Although limited in practice, GRONK IS BACK

We discuss the return of Rob Gronkowski, his comments to the media today, and what a healthy (or unhealthy) Gronk will mean for the 2014 Patriots.

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

Minor Details Ep. 94.2 wi…

Minor Details Ep. 94.2 with Jim Callis of MLB.com: Are Red Sox prospects overvalued?

Particularly in a year where the Red Sox have struggled while trying to integrate numerous young players into regular big league roles, accusations that Red Sox prospects are overrated -- whether by the team or writers -- have been widespread. Jim Callis of MLB.com joins the show to take stock of the matter, and to discuss the team-building impact of overrating and underrating prospects.

Minor Details Ep. 94.1: Are prospects overvalued? Andrew Miller on being traded for Miguel Cabrera

With the trade deadline looming, the next few days will be defined by how teams value prospects -- and their potential long-term contributions -- against big leaguers with established track records who can address immediate needs. Are prospects being valued accurately? Red Sox left-hander Andrew Miller -- once one of the two key chips that sent Miguel Cabrera from the Marlins to the Tigers -- assesses the matter.

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.

Rob Bradford on the lates…

Rob Bradford on the latest with the Sox at the deadline 7-28-14

Rob gave the latest on Jon Lester trade talks and the flap between Ortiz and the Rays.

More from this show

Minor Details Ep. 94.2 wi…

Minor Details Ep. 94.2 with Jim Callis of MLB.com: Are Red Sox prospects overvalued?

Particularly in a year where the Red Sox have struggled while trying to integrate numerous young players into regular big league roles, accusations that Red Sox prospects are overrated -- whether by the team or writers -- have been widespread. Jim Callis of MLB.com joins the show to take stock of the matter, and to discuss the team-building impact of overrating and underrating prospects.

More from this show

Kirk Minihane on what mot…

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

Kirk breaks down the media criticism he has received.

More from this show

David Ortiz offends the R…

David Ortiz offends the Rays again 7-28-14

John, Meter and Buck opened the show by discussing the latest flap between the Red Sox and the Rays.

More from this show

Jon Lester is on the tabl…

Jon Lester is on the table, will he end up in LA? 7-28-14

We talk about the latest news surrounding Jon Lester and the Red Sox. Could he be dealt to the Dodgers?

More from this show

Weei Writers