NFL Lockout: NFLPA takes a shot owners' wallets

Regardless of which side you're on - they both kind of suck at this point - you have to give both the NFLPA and the NFL credit for trying to force the CBA issue any way they can. Sure, in the end all it results in is even more bad blood, but just maybe one move, or the whole series, will force both sides back to the table. The latest salvo in the labor war: the NFLPA is asking the courts, specifically Judge David Doty, for damages in the television contract case, the one in which Doty ruled that the NFL could not access money that was guaranteed in that TV deal, even in the event of a lockout.

Claiming that Doty's decision to lockup the lockout insurance "does not change the need the for relief," the NFLPA is asking for punitive damages worth three times the damages awarded by the court. The actual number itself was redacted in the filing, but it is believed to be in hundreds of millions of dollars. In short, the NFLPA is trying to hit owners where it hurts: in the wallet...and also get a little lockout insurance of their own.

Why the higher level of damages? The former union claims that the league intentionally failed to negotiate the best deal possible, taking money out of the pool of shared revenues, in order to get the guaranteed money to use as leverage in a lockout and getting a new CBA done. Owners claimed the TV deals were negotiated at Great Recession prices. 

Doty, you'll recall, agreed with that that claim in his first ruling, but it doesn't necessarily mean that he'll agree to the NFLPA's damages claim, though the idea of Doty having a chance to rule on that surely scares the hell out of owners.

The NFLPA also asked Doty to lift the lockout itself, even while acknowledging that Judge Nelson's court has the authority to decide that in the April 6 hearing. 

A response to the damages claim is due from the NFL on April 21, and the hearing is scheduled for May 12. 

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