Offensive lineman Richie Incognito of the Miami Dolphins is the latest player to demonstrate that collective bargaining by the players' union has worked well for the players, whose compensation has doubled in the past decade.
"We kicked their butts in the last negotiation so we're not going to settle," said Incognito, who has played seven seasons with Buffalo, Miami and St. Louis, in an ESPN.com story posted Tuesday. "This is our livelihood and as players we're united. We're sticking together 100 percent."
Former quarterback Kurt Warner, a two-time league MVP, made a similar observation earlier this month.
"We had a great deal. We had one of the best deals, in my opinion, of any of the pro sports when you are talking about all of the things involved," said Warner, who played with three clubs in his 12-year NFL career. "Players knew that. We understood that. It afforded us lots of luxuries and making a lot of money."
Both players' comments echoed those of NFLPA president Kevin Mawae on Sirius XM's "Mad Dog Radio" on January 27. In that interview, Mawae stated, "I think what really happened is in 2006, we got such a great deal."
As Commissioner Roger Goodell said yesterday at the conclusion of an NFL meeting in New Orleans, "Litigation is not going to solve this problem. It is clearly going to be solved through labor negotiations. The faster we can get back to mediation, the faster we will get an agreement."