“Guys are asking serious questions, and just crickets, nothing. No explanations,” Fujita said Friday after practice. “If you’re not going to come prepared to answer questions, and you’re going to open up a forum that way, then why make the trip at all? I was kind of let down with that.”
The Browns players met with Goodell during his series of visits to NFL training camps, then Fujita had dinner with him. Fujita was hoping for some good news, as the collective bargaining agreement is set to expire after the season. Instead, he doesn’t feel any better about the possibility of getting a deal done and avoiding a lockout in 2011.
“I was pretty frustrated,” he said.
Fujita said Goodell asked what he could do to help the negotiations.
“I say you need to get the owners to open up their books and he says they’ll never open up their books,” Fujita said. “He’s the one who has to push the buttons. It doesn’t get any clearer than that.”
The owners exercised an option to get out of the current CBA because they feel the players are getting too large a percentage of the revenues. The union wants to see the teams’ complete finances to judge for themselves how much money the owners are making.
“If it gets a deal done, what’s the harm in opening up the books?” Fujita said. “If profits are down, if profits are up, if profits are flat, let us know, then we can talk.
“The current deal’s been working for everybody — fans, players, teams, franchises alike. If the deal was broken, explain why. Again, there was no explanation. Basically, they’re not making as much money as they want to make.”
Contact Scott Petrak at 329-7253 or firstname.lastname@example.org.