Ravens corner back Domonique Foxworth may have been inactive for this season, but here in 2011, the former Maryland Terp has been hard at work in representing not only his Baltimore teammates but all general NFL players as a member of the executive committee representing the players association.
Joining Foxworth on this 10-person committee are Saints quarterback Drew Brees, Chiefs LB Mike Vrabel, former Titans C Kevin Mawae, Brian Dawkins, Colts C Jeff Saturday, and FB Tony Richardson of the Jets.
Labor talks, revenue sharing and the threat of an NFL lockout of the players issued by the 32 owners have been the heat of discussion this off-season so far since the Green Bay Packers took home the Lombardi Trophy in Super Bowl XLV.
With the two sides-the players and the owners-having until March 3rd to agree on a new collective bargaining agreement, Foxworth and the player reps from all 32 teams have desperately trying to gain an audience with league ownership so not only can they agree on how the league revenue should be separated but to also ensure that the players have games to attend in 2011.
Foxworth joined Rex Snider on “The Afternoon Drive” to give the latest on the talks-which so far have not gone well.
“The last few meetings have been called off so I can say it’s not going well,” Foxworth told Snider. “I’m hopeful. I wouldn’t go as far to say optimistic, but hopeful that cooler heads will prevail and we’ll get in the room and lock the door. If it takes a week, just order room service…whatever…we’ll figure it out. That’s what I want to do.”
“There’s definitely been a lot of posturing,” Foxworth said of the meetings he has been involved with. “I’m young to this…so I try to take in a lot and learn. But the kind of negotiating tactics I saw were new to me. I just wanted to go in the room, sit down, and talk it out. But I guess it never can be that simple.”
The two sides are arguing over the split at least eight million dollars in revenue.
Despite owners recently walking out of a scheduled meeting, Foxworth was optimistic that a deal would get done before the possibility of games being played or not becomes a concern.
And even if there was, he said he was going to make sure a lockout doesn’t occur.
“Everyone is aware that we have a deadline approaching and that people on both sides will get together and get serious in the room,” Foxworth said. “I expect to be in that room and like I said before I’ll do everything in my power to make sure we have a season.”
Foxworth is one of ten members of the executive committee of the NFL Players Association, and he said it’s on guys like him to give the player’s perspective when it comes to what the issues are, and given the front that NFL PA Director DeMaurice Smith has put up, it may be on guys like him to be the messenger between the league’s owners and the players.
“I give the players’ perspective,” Foxworth said. “We have the executive director, we have lawyers, we have staff that are there to represent the players. There’s nothing like being an active player and having a former player in the meetings to represent their interests.”
“I know what it likes to be in camp. I know what it’s like to be hurt. I know what it’s like to be a free agent, a rookie, and all those things are places most of the players in the league will experience. It’s important to speak up and the let the voice of the players be heard during the meetings, not just before or after.”
He also said that its imperative the fans know what is going on as well between the players and the owners because the fans are putting their hard earned money into the pot as well and they stand to miss a lot should games be in jeopardy next fall.
That was one of the reasons why Foxworth made time for WNST.
“I think the fans deserve to know as much as we can tell them,” Foxworth said. “There are some things we can’t tell them to conserve the integrity of the negotiations, but one of those that we think we deserve to know and the fans deserve to know is what the finances and the economics of the league are, just being told what it is. But ‘Be Quiet…Sit Down’ just doesn’t work for us and it doesn’t work with the fans.”
But the request by the players for the owners to open their books-that may be the thing that has set the owners off the most.
And that’s why Foxworth has been adamant about trying to get everyone informed about the discussion, get the discourse going in the hopes of getting something resolved. And he’s open to advice on that matter wherever it should come from.
In the end, especially for Foxworth who missed this season due a torn ACL in the first walkthrough before training camp, he just wants to be on the field no matter what.
“I just want to play football and I feel like the fans feel the same way. Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of the owners and the leagues does.”
“I personally, and the players and the fans gain nothing from there being a lockout but it’s really not going to be good for anyone for there to be a lockout. Our window with the Ravens is still open, and a lockout for the season will be devastating for this team and this city.”
Foxworth hopes to come back in 2011 with a new CBA in place and hoping he can be that shutdown corner for the Ravens.
“I think we have all the components in place for a championship run,” Foxworth told Snider. “I think we had them last year and the year before that. We need to make that run before it’s too late because our time is now.”
WNST thanks Domonique Foxworth for joining the Afternoon Drive to give us the latest updates on the NFL CBA talks! WNST-We Never Stop Talking Baltimore Sports!