Allen: Lockout 'necessary'

Allen: Lockout 'necessary'
March 15, 2011, 6:42 pm
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Tuesday, March 15, 2011 2:55
Five days after NFL labor talks broke down and owners opted to lock out the players, the Redskins broke their collective silence Tuesday with a six-paragraph letter by general manager Bruce Allen that was posted on the team's website.Allen, who attended several mediation meetings before the NFLPA walked away from the talks on Friday and the owners locked the players out at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, called the lockout a "difficult but necessary step" for the league's owners and "something we tried hard to avoid."The NFL is without a collective bargaining agreement after a second extension expired Friday at 5 p.m.
Like other team representatives andor owners, Allen called the NFL's proposal to the players "fair" and said the teams share "disappointment with the lack of progress" with the fans.The lockout prohibits players from entering team facilities and front offices, and clubs are prohibited from making any free-agent signings or trades.
The entire text of Allen's letter ...
"Last Friday, negotiations between the NFL and the NFL Players Association ended without a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Unfortunately, the unions abandonment of bargaining and subsequent decertification led to the leagues difficult but necessary step to lock out, something we tried hard to avoid. We remain committed to getting a new deal done and believe that the fastest way to a fair agreement is through mediation and not litigation."We share your disappointment with the lack of progress. The offer that the union walked away from was fair and addressed many of the key issues, including a rookie compensation system, enhanced player healthy and safety measures, improved retired player benefits and compromises on the unions financial demands."Of particular importance to the Washington Redskins were the additional benefits the proposal would have provided to retired players. Our organization is rich in history and we are proud of the men who have contributed to our glorious past and helped create our great fan base that we all benefit from today. The Redskins alumni continue to play an integral role within our community, and the unions decision to walk away from a deal that would have benefited our retired players is especially disappointing."As the home team in the nations capital, we understand and respect the political process. However, we feel a deal will be reached at the negotiating table and not with the involvement of Congress. The NFL remains committed to collective bargaining and the federal mediation process, which is the most effective way to reach a new agreement -- one that is good for the long-term future of the game."We care deeply about our passionate fans of the Burgundy & Gold and we are determined to bring you a winning football team. You should know that the current status of the Collective Bargaining Agreement will not disrupt our preparation for the 2011 season or swerve our focus from the Redskins objective -- WINNING."We greatly appreciate your support of the Washington Redskins."