NFL executive vice president Jeff Pash, the league's lead negotiator in labor talks, has responded to the NFLPA*'s lengthy retort to a letter written Thursday by NFL commisioner Roger Goodell to the players.
We'll call this the response to the response to the letter:
“We are pleased now to have received a reply to the comprehensive proposal that we made eight days ago," Pash wrote. "The points made in the players’ letter are precisely the kind of points that collective bargaining is intended to address. Debating the merits of the offer in this fashion is what collective bargaining is all about.
But we would note that three facts we have consistently identified over the past week are ignored and we therefore assume acknowledged. First, the proposal called for player costs of between $19 and $20 billion over the next four seasons; second, the player cost figure in 2011 was above the actual cash spending for 2009 and 2010; and third, the economic offer, combined with other elements of the proposal, was a substantial move by the clubs to keep negotiations going and avoid a work stoppage and related litigation.
“This letter again proves that the most sensible step for everyone is to get back to bargaining. So we again accept Mike Vrabel’s suggestion that the union’s executive committee meet with our negotiating team, including Jerry Richardson, Robert Kraft and Jerry Jones, to resume bargaining. If Mike will let us know when and where he and his colleagues would like to meet, we will be there. We are ready.”