NFL Labor: George Cohen and David Doty Owed Thank-You Notes If New CBA Gets Done

Andrew RostenContributor IIMarch 4, 2011

WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 03: (L-R) National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell, Rob Manfred, executive vice president of labor and human resources in the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball, Major League Baseball, NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith, Michael Weiner, general counsel for the Major League Baseball Players Association, Travis Tygart, CEO of the United States Anti-Doping Agency, Gabriel Feldman, associate professor of law and director of the Sports Law Program at Tulane University Law School, and Jeffrey Standen, professor of law at the Willamette University College of Law (L-R), are sworn in prior to testifying on Capitol Hill on November 3, 2009 in Washington, DC. The hearing focused on doping in professional sports.(Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images

Just two weeks ago, the NFL and NFLPA wouldn't even talk to each other without storming out of the room.

Both sides wanted everything, but only one side could have it. They knew compromises had to be made, but the NFL and the players' union were too stubborn to give up anything.

Enter George Cohen, a federal mediator representing the third-party Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.

He got the player and owner representatives to remain at the negotiation table until at least something got done.

And, much like a cool teacher or professor giving a student a much-needed extension on a due date for a term paper, Cohen got the NFL and NFLPA to agree on an extension of the March 3 collective bargaining agreement (CBA) expiration to March 11 at 4 p.m. CST.

If a new CBA is in place by that time, Cohen should be given credit for serving as the voice of reason on behalf of NFL fans everywhere.

Playing a supporting role was U.S. District Judge David Doty, who ruled against the NFL trying to stockpile $4 billion in television revenue.

The NFL will deny to the bone that they were stockpiling the money to protect themselves against losses as a result of a potential lockout, and that Doty's ruling is relevant to the CBA negotiations.

But, if Doty ruled in favor of the owners, they would have had some serious leverage at the negotiating table.

And this would have been a much different post.


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