DeMaurice Smith: Jeff Pash Has A 'Casual Relationship With The Truth'

There seems to be two different schools of thought on the offer the NFL made to the NFLPA before the two sides abandoned talks and moved forward with decertification and the lockout.

The NFL has made public some of the details in that offer and lead negotiator Jeff Pash indicated on Sirius NFL Radio this week that the offer was not necessarily a final offer.

"The deal we had on the table, which we did not put out there as a take it or leave it and didn't set a deadline saying if you don't accept it by this time we are going to lock you out, was meant to keep the negotiations going and keep the process going."    

As has been the case for a while now, the other side has a completely different interpretation. SB Nation interviewed DeMaurice Smith on Friday morning and he was asked about the suggestion that the players only cared about the money in the NFL's offer last Friday.

"Jeff [Pash] only has a casual relationship with the truth. Jeff knows that the NFL's deal was an all-or-nothing deal. They did not present an a la carte menu to the players of the NFL. They didn't sit down with us and say, 'Why don't you select the things you like, reject the things you don't, and let's move forward.' Jeff knows that their deal was inextricably tied to every point on the deal. Put it this way: if a deal that's being put to you is mutually contingent on all 16 parts, do you have the option of saying 'I like and we accept issues 8-16, but we don't like issues 1-7,' do you have a deal at that point? I'm very careful about language: do you have a deal if you don't like half the points that have been presented to you? You don't. It's not even probably, you don't. The first point of the NFL deal would have been us to accept their economic proposal at the same time we would have to accept everything else."

Sigh...

As a fan, that these two sides can't agree on seemingly anything is incredibly frustrating. I agree with the NFL when they say that the two sides should continue to negotiate. In theory, that would mean more progress to a new deal. At the same time, the NFLPA has been asking for specific financial information for two years that, according to them, they haven't yet received. 

It would appear that we're on the way to an April 6th court case where the NFLPA will try to essentially block the lockout. Though Smith didn't say explicitly whether the NFLPA would negotiate with the NFL before then, the sense I got was that they were more likely to wait for April 6th.

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