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How Much Can You Say Without Saying Anything?

Sep 1, 2011


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Your wonderful Union at work. I received this short update from the Seattle Chapter’s Sam McCullum earlier this morning with a memo attached from Dee Becker in The Washington office. Basically, it’s more nothing. McCullum says that it’s basically all the NFL’s fault because their Alumni and George Martin are still trying to interject themselves as representatives of retired players while Becker is saying, “Gee, we already know what’s best for retired players and we’ve already decided on how to distribute this Legacy Fund money. So you might as well just shut up and take what you get!”
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So I guess the thousands of retired players who have actually spoken up for their own voice and their own vote are chopped liver (or dog food as Gene Upshaw used to say)? Meanwhile, why is it that Disability Attorney John Hogan continues to dig up details just by reading the published CBA? (Click HERE to read John’s post.)
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And for your weekend entertainment, we also added a video of James Brown‘s old classic, Talking Loud and Saying Nothing to the end of this post.
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From: Sam McCullum
Date: Thu, Sep 1, 2011 at 9:45 AM
Subject: FW: Legacy Benefit Update
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Chapter members:
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See the attached information below from the NFLPA office. You can see that things are still not settled.
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Reading between the lines is:
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  • The NFL and NFLPA have not finished on the drug testing program and it is supposed to be done by the first game. What I have heard is the parties are focused on getting that done and all other issues are being tabled until that is done.
  • The NFL created the new NFL Alumni and are trying to find ways to give them creditability, no better way to do this than to put them front and center on helping to decide how former players are being provided additional benefits. The NFL Alumni has not and are not at the negotiating table, thus the influence must come outside of this arena, and having them host a meeting of the various groups to discuss the Legacy funds puts them front and center.

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I question the risk, as this has and will continue to delay the payouts to former players at the expense of former players. But as always, our goal has been to improve the livelihood of all players that played before 1993, if this process will add more value, then we should all support this, but don’t delay.
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Sam McCullum
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—–Original Message—–
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From: Former Players Dept.
Sent: Thu, Sep 1, 2011 8:53 am
Subject: Legacy Benefit Update
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We, the NFLPA, wanted to give you an update on negotiations with the NFL over the payout of the Legacy Benefit. After receiving and reviewing numerous proposals addressing the payout of the Benefit from former players and the Former Players Board of Directors, the NFLPA made the following proposal to the NFL:
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  • All Players who vested under the Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan prior to 1993 would get an increase in their monthly benefit credit amounts for each pre-1993 season earned of $114 per month. This amount would then be added to the player’s existing monthly benefit;
  • A player who currently had a monthly benefit of less than $500 per month (excluding those who got divorced and are subject to a QUADRO order) would have his monthly benefit increased to a $500 per month floor. This $500 per month floor would be the base upon which the Legacy Benefit credit amounts would be added;

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We made our Legacy Benefit payout proposal to the NFL within the agreed upon two week period from the signing of the CBA so that we would not delay the payout of this deserving new Benefit to our former players. In response, the NFL has indicated that they want to hold a meeting with a group of former players to obtain further input on this decision, but they have not made any arrangements for a meeting to our knowledge. Of course, as a players association, we have already received significant feedback from our player membership on this matter, so we are completely comfortable with and satisfied that our proposal is appropriate and we have communicated that to the NFL. Therefore, we have informed the Commissioner that if he elects to hold such a meeting we urge him to do so as soon as possible so that we can thereafter reach agreement on this Benefit and begin payments to players. We will continue to keep you updated as things progress.
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Dee Becker
Assistant Director
Former Players
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1133 20th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
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6 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Larry Kaminski
    September 2nd, 2011 at 6:09 am #

    Larry Kaminski

    Dave:

    The NFL Alumni is not at the negotiating table and the influence must come from an outside arena but having them host the meeting brings them to the front and center. Would someone PLEASE get an English teacher and logic professor to decipher this statement from our so-called rep: Mr. McCullum.

    I can speak Polish and some Hungarian but this is tough to understand.

    Thanks again,
    Larry Kaminski
    Denver Broncos
    1966 – 1973

  2. William & Angela Smith
    September 2nd, 2011 at 8:55 am #

    Bill Smith

    Dave,

    Is there a place where fans can sign a petition to support the retired player independence?

    I would love to post it on my site and push it on the show.

    Bill Smith
    Frying Pan Politics
    News, Notes and Rumors

  3. Dave Pear
    September 2nd, 2011 at 10:05 am #

    Dave at Home

    Larry -

    As I said in an earlier comment, I suspect this is just the same ongoing debacle that was created and designed to dupe and scam retired disabled players (especially the pre-’93ers).

    And to Bill -

    Thanks for your comment and question. There’s a fans petition page where people can add their support for retired players independent rights:

    Just click HERE.

    Regards,
    Dave Pear

  4. Wayne Clark
    September 2nd, 2011 at 12:55 pm #

    Wayne Clark

    A Letter to Dee Becker dated Sept. 2:

    To Dee Becker,

    My name is Wayne Clark. I am a dues-paying member of the NFLPA as a retired player (San Diego Chargers ’70 -’73, Cincinnati Bengals ’74, Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs ’75).

    You have been quoted in Dave Pear’s Official Blog in this post as saying, “Of course, as a players association, we have already received significant feedback from our player membership on this matter, so we are completely comfortable with and satisfied that our proposal is appropriate and we have communicated that to the NFL.”

    I am not convinced your proposal is “appropriate.” I have a copy of a letter dated August 24, 2010, from Nolan Harrison and Cornelius Bennett to Roger Goodell on NFL Players stationery in which it says, “The Legacy Fund that we propose would obligate, for the first time, a contribution of $1M per club per year outside of the collectively bargained benefits to a fund designed to increase the pensions of players who played prior to 1993. The roughly $100M after three years would increase the pension of these players by $1,000 per month.” Note that this statement makes no reference to “credited seasons,” nor does it make any reference to an average amount per player, nor does it designate a specific group who are particularly impacted. It simply states this: “.. roughly $100M after three years would increase the pension of these players ['who played prior to 1993'] by $1,000 per month.”

    At $1M per club per year, that would have amounted to $320M over ten years. The CBA now says there will be $620M over 10 years set aside for a Legacy Benefit, almost twice the amount requested by Messrs. Harrison and Bennett. Now, instead of $1,000 per month increase, you’re proposing to the NFL that, “All Players who vested under the Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan prior to 1993 would get an increase in their monthly benefit credit amounts for each pre-1993 season earned of $114 per month. This amount would then be added to the player’s existing monthly benefit.” For most retired players, $114 per credited season is substantially less than the “$1,000 per month.” Would you please explain why we should be “..completely comfortable with and satisfied that our proposal is appropriate” when the Legacy Fund is going to receive almost twice the amount of money you requested yet our benefits are going to be substantially less?

    This Harrison/Bennett letter and other information we’ve been receiving at retired players’ meetings from our representatives with the NFLPA have raised expectations. $114 per credited season will be a major disappointment to many who have been led to believe much more was being bargained for and expected.

    You owe your members a very detailed explanation with the answers to many questions before you can claim you have “significant feedback,” beginning with, “Where are you getting your feedback?

    Wayne Clark
    San Diego Chargers, Cincinnati Bengals,
    Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs
    1970 – 1975

  5. Ray Ellis
    September 2nd, 2011 at 3:02 pm #

    Ray Ellis

    I agree with the comments written by Wayne Clark and find it hard to accept anything less, knowing the funds are there to support the original proposal of $1000 increase for pre-’93 vested players.

    Ray Ellis
    1981 – 1988
    Eagles and Browns

  6. Jimmy Thomas
    September 6th, 2011 at 9:09 am #

    Jimmy Thomas

    I also agree with the comments from Wayne Clark: What happen to the original proposal of a $1000 increase in benefits per month?

    Jimmy Thomas
    San Francisco 49ers
    1969 – 1973

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