New York Giants co-owner John Mara is warning that the players' strategy in the labor impasse, if successful, would lead to NFL chaos.
Mara wrote an essay that was posted yesterday on NFL.com and Giants.com in which he pointed to no salary caps or minimums and perhaps no draft.
"The likely changes would be great for NFLPA lawyers, but not for players, teams, or, most importantly, fans," Mara wrote. "For example, there could be no leaguewide minimum player salaries, with many players making less than they do today, or no minimum team player costs, with many clubs cutting payrolls the way some teams do in other sports. Other bedrock components of the NFL's competitiveness, such as the draft, would be called into question and assailed as antitrust violations."
Mara encouraged both sides "to compromise and reach a fair agreement - one that highly compensates players, protects their health and safety, and ensures the on-field competitiveness of 32 teams, helps retired players, and improves the fan experience and fan values."
NFLPA spokesman George Atallah said he read the essay.
"The players are hopeful that the other owners read Mr. Mara's piece," Atallah said. "We agree that a long-term and fair solution is in everyone's best interests."
* NFL Players Association director DeMaurice Smith gave a graduation speech that compared the players' lockout fight against the owners to the detractors the students will face in their future lives. For his final bit of advice, he turned on his own recording of Gary Glitter's "Rock and Roll (Part 2)" and encouraged everyone to clap while shouting the mild profanity that Maryland fans insert into the song at basketball games.
"To anybody who thinks for one minute that passion is something that is cheap and futile, I have two words for them: 'You suck,' " Smith said.
Smith, who attended classes at Maryland in 1985 and 1986, declined to comment on any specifics of the NFL's labor situation, including the recent court ruling in St. Louis that set back the players' hopes for an early end to the lockout.
* Tim Tebow joined the Denver Broncos' informal offseason workouts.
Tebow, the second-year quarterback, showed up at the South Suburban Sports Dome in Centennial, Colo., for a conditioning workout and to throw some passes. The sessions were organized by safety Brian Dawkins.
* Carolina Panthers linebacker Jon Beason won a civil trial brought by a man who claims the three-time Pro Bowl pick punched him in the face at a Charlotte, N.C., strip club.