Meetings: CBA gone, but long hair and conduct fines remain
NFL players had two years lopped off their collective bargaining agreement with the league, but at least they get to keep their long hair.
In one of the busiest spring meetings in NFL history, owners executed an early termination of the CBA, making 2010 an uncapped year and having no agreement for 2011. With a brewing labor problem on the horizon, owners thought it would be too much to also impose a Kansas City Chiefs proposal to prohibit long hair that hangs over the name plate on the shoulder of uniforms.
Long hair will stay -- at least in 2008.
"We have tabled that on the basis that in my view that there would need to be further work done," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said. "...We will continue to work with the players to come up with a reasonable compromise."
In other league matters, Goodell revealed a new addendum to the players' conduct policy. Starting this season, clubs will be fined on a graduated scale for players who are suspended under the policy. This fine, which will increase proportionally for teams with repeat violators, doesn't involve violations of the steroids, drug or weapons policy.
"We want to continue to emphasize personal conduct and personal responsibility," Goodell said at the end of a one-day league meeting. "One way to do it is to hold teams responsible for the conduct of their players."
Goodell also said he will meet with suspended Cowboys cornerback Pacman Jones soon to determine if he will allow Jones to train at the Cowboys' facility. Goodell doesn't plan to make a decision about Jones' future until the start of training camp. Jones, suspended indefinitely for repeated infractions of the league's 1-year-old players' conduct policy, lost the right to train at the Titans' facility at the beginning of the year.
Though no meeting date was set, Goodell said he would meet with Jones soon to determine his progress. Also, increasing the offseason roster above 80 players wasn't on the agenda, so current roster rules stand. Reseeding the playoffs, which was tabled in March, also wasn't discussed and won't be changed.
Goodell said there was nothing new to discuss on Spygate.
On the labor front, though, the NFL will continue to meet with NFL Players Association executive director Gene Upshaw and the players to make sure the salary cap doesn't end up on the cutting room floor. Both sides dug in for what might be a long labor negotiation Tuesday.
Goodell advised fans that football will be around for at least three years, and it will be the NFL's job to fix the agreement in order to preserve the game longer.
Still, Tuesday was a weird day. On a day the owners complained of labor cost, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones invested $95.2 million in the contracts of cornerback Terence Newman and halfback Marion Barber and is expected to spend more to lock up his best young players.
On a day owners complained of the rookie pool, the Falcons signed first-round pick Matt Ryan to a six-year, $72 million deal that included $34.75 million in guarantees.
It was a day in which the city of Indianapolis was awarded Super Bowl XLVI, which is ironically the year that could be affected by an owners' lockout if no CBA extension is done before the 2011 season.Senior writer John Clayton covers the NFL for ESPN.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
MORE NFL HEADLINES
- Texans' Foster medically cleared to return
- Peppers joins Packers on three-year deal
- Edelman agrees to re-sign with Patriots
- Jags WR Blackmon OK after single-car crash