One of the key topics to be discussed -- and possibly voted on -- at the NFL owners meetings on Wednesday is the new player conduct policy, which the NFL is intent on strengthening in the wake of several missteps this fall. However, after a few failed attempts by the league and the NFLPA to come together on a mutually agreed upon proposal, the players association appears very frustrated by the lack of a bargaining process during the deliberations.
Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, one of four players who took part in a conference call with the media Tuesday to provide the players' perspective on the situation, ripped the NFL for its unprofessional handling of the negotiations.
"We would hope that this process would be collectively bargained just like everything else in our league and just like every other decision that is made. But at this point we haven't seen it so ... we are trying to figure out how they are deciding to make decisions without our input and it's frustrating."
Sherman went on to further criticize the league for "poor management" of the policy, citing an increasing dissatisfaction by the players on how the NFL conducts its general business.
"A lot of times you hear the owners say we are partners in this business. We are partners. I think both sides should have an opinion ... I think every time a decision is made the players should have input on it and I think the way the NFL is making things up as they go along is poor management and players won't stand for it ... we are expected to be professionals in everything we do and execute at a high level and we expect the same thing from the guys running our league."
Under the collective bargaining agreement, the league is not required to have the NFLPA's approval to make changes to the personal conduct policy. The NFL has insisted that the union would be involved in the dialogue, a move pushed for by the NFLPA, but the extent of that involvement appears to be minimal, as noted by Sherman's recent comments. Roger Goodell has said he wants to have a new policy established before the Super Bowl.