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League’s desire to change practice rules killed IR, trade deadline proposals

NFL Labor Agreement Signed

CANTON, OH - AUGUST 5: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (L) and NFLPA Executive Director Demaurice Smith hold up the NFL’s new 10-year Collective Bargaining Agreement at the Pro Football Hall of Fame August 5, 2011 in Canton, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

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At a time when the NFL and NFLPA continue to be unable to agree on anything, the two sides disagree on the scope of their latest disagreement.

The league quietly had been pushing the position that changes to the trade deadline and the injured reserve rules weren’t approved by the NFLPA because the NFLPA wanted something in return for tweaks that arguably are beneficial to the players at large. The NFLPA says that the league bundled the trade deadline and injured reserve proposals with revisions to new rules regarding padded practices.

It’s possible that both are accurate -- that the NFLPA wanted concessions primarily because the NFL wanted to take a Mulligan on one of the key non-monetary changes owners gladly made in order to get the players to agree to the formula for cutting up the cash. And if that’s the truth, the league needed to either make a concession or drop the issue of changes to the rules regarding padded practices.

It’s become popular in the context of the bounty cases to point out that the NFLPA must live with the fact that it agreed to allow Commissioner Roger Goodell to retain full power over most types of player discipline. That door swings both ways; the NFL must live with the fact that it agreed to sweeping changes in the rules regarding padded practices.

And if the league now wants to change the rules regarding padded practices, maybe the league should offer to surrender some of the Commissioner’s power over player discipline.

Under the rejected proposal, the trade deadline would have been moved from Week Six to Week Eight, and each team would have been able to put one player on temporary injured reserve for injuries suffered after passing the preseason physical.

Here’s a thought -- why not just offer the union to make those changes with no strings attached?