Jerry Richardson Insults Peyton Manning, Drew Brees

Want a good idea of how contentious the meetings between the owners and players can get? Consider this story, which reveals how Panthers owner Jerry Richardson insulted quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Drew Brees with condescending remarks.

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63 comments, Last at 15 Feb 2011, 7:20pm

1 Re: Jerry Richardson Insults Peyton Manning, Drew Brees

I get the impression that Jerry Richardson has taken up permanent residence at the Ralph Wilson Sanitarium of Cranky Old Bastardom. The guy is a recluse for years, then when there's money on the table one of the league's cheapest owners leaps into the fray, taking swings at two of the more respected players in the league...

18 Re: Jerry Richardson Insults Peyton Manning, Drew Brees

Well, yeah. He's got a lot at stake here. If the owners don't utterly destroy the union this time around, Jerry Jones and the other big market owners will turn on the small market owners next and try to eliminate revenue sharing.

Richardson is a lot like the weaklest of a group of kids trying to convince his "buddies" to pick on some other kid, for fear they'll turn on him if they don't have any more appealing targets.

13 Re: Jerry Richardson Insults Peyton Manning, Drew Brees

Considering the nature of the owners of a large chunk of the league, I think they've demonstrated a long history of total inability to execute a "a constructed, planned negotiating plan."

Otherwise the Mike Browns, Bill Fords, and Bidwells of the world would actually operate successful franchises.

24 Re: Jerry Richardson Insults Peyton Manning, Drew Brees

That's not really what the owners would like to do, though. They want to establish stable, profitable franchises ... whether or not they're successful in a sense that is meaningful to fans isn't something that the owners can determine through a CBA. (And at one time, even the Lions were profitable, or so said Mr. Ford, which was reportedly why he extended Millen's contract early in his ill-fated career: because he made the team profitable, and I guess the implication is that it wasn't before.)

But I'm still not sure this is anything more than harsh words during a labor-v-management discussion. Then again, in a sense, anything an owner says is potentially part of that discussion. It seems like we are always either hearing comments about the current CBA or negotiations about the next one. In that sense, in an era where pretty much everything ever said is "permanent" (the internets grasp spoken and written words tightly, and nothing ever slips through their fingers), it would have been better for the owners if Mr. Richardson had spoken differently.

4 Re: Jerry Richardson Insults Peyton Manning, Drew Brees

I obviously don't know the guy, but he wouldn't be the first to experience a dramatic personality change, or even cognitive problems, after a severe cardiac event, and I'd guess a heart transplant qualifies.

38 Re: Jerry Richardson Insults Peyton Manning, Drew Brees

I understand the baboon brain they used rejected him after the transplant, and before that, the chimp brain they tried leapt off the table and scurried down the hall to get away from him before it could even touch his echoing, cavernous skull. Now THAT's rejection, my friend. Of course, we know how smart chimps are.

The next candidate donor is a really clever trout.

7 Re: Jerry Richardson Insults Peyton Manning, Drew Brees

If these reports are even close to true (which they probably are), then the owners are going to look worse if football in 2011 is upset. Mr. Richardson, insulting two of the most popular players in the league (to both players AND fans) is not the way to get good FA's to come to your team. You've gotten the rep for being cheap--and if you said what they're reporting to PM, one of the smartest guys in the league, well--you just made yourself look really stupid. [IMO, PM can probably read those financial documents better than you can.]

8 Re: Jerry Richardson Insults Peyton Manning, Drew Brees

This quote is one of my pet peeves of the owner's position:

“We signed a [expletive] deal last time and we’re going to stick together and take back our league and [expletive] do something about it,” Richardson reportedly said, according to Yahoo! Sports.

Hey Jerry - nobody put a gun to your head and made you sign a deal before. But you did. So now you feel all vengeful about something you agreed to do before - cry me a river.

Also, I'm pretty sure Peyton Manning is more well known and famous than the entire Carolina Panthers franchise - not to demean their fans, city, etc...but I don't see tv commercials with Jerry Richardson, I doubt you'd see many Panther jerseys overseas.

Also, I'm pretty sure if Manning can play QB and run an entire offense as the defacto offensive coordinator, he can understand a revenue chart.

26 Re: Jerry Richardson Insults Peyton Manning, Drew Brees

If he was losing money wouldn't he sell his team? Owners make a lot of money from the NFL is it is. They want MORE money. The thing is, I ain't never paid to watch an owner yet. Never seen a study show the owners (many with tax payer given stadiums) losing money on their team. Anti-union busting destroyed baseball as owners seemed (seem) more interested in getting every nickel they can from the players, than actually making a product watchable by fans. The NFL use to be the best at creating conditions where watchable products could be created all over the league. You get the feeling those days may be done. Nothing hurts a product, like an owner telling you it sucks constantly.

31 Re: Jerry Richardson Insults Peyton Manning, Drew Brees

Exactly. But no owner is losing money. The TV deal by itself makes that almost an impossibility even if there were no other revenue being generated. And as the Rams' recent sales shows, even in a horrible economy it's easy to make a huge profit selling an NFL team if you don't like what the year-to-year revenue looks like--yet there's no rush to sell. That says it all.

11 Re: Jerry Richardson Insults Peyton Manning, Drew Brees

One winning season over the past five years and you no longer have credibility on the issue of profit margin. Need help reading the standings jerry?? Amazingly the panthers attendance was within 1000 or so of capacity. I'm no economist, but if demand was higher and the supply stays the same jerry could charge more for tickets while selling out his stadium thus increasing his revenue stream. This isn't to say that the union shouldn't have to compromise in these negotiations, but rather to make the observation that its not a negotiation when one side says take it or leave it and then walks away. If a player has one good season in five we'd all be amazed he was still in the league, maybe its time for a new panthers owner...

...Plus, it totally smells like fart in here.

45 Re: Jerry Richardson Insults Peyton Manning, Drew Brees

My understanding is that the visitng team gets 40% of the gate, while the home takes in 60% plus 100% of luxury box / club seat revenue, food and drink. I'm pretty sure ticket revenue is not a 32 way split like the tv revenue
That would translate to an owner receiving 60%+ of addtnl ticket/concession revenue, which could account for millions over 8+ games. I think that richardson genuinely believes that football players are too stupid
to understand any kind of finance-related topic, and his condecending attitude will win the owners no favor with players and fans alike.

...Plus, it totally smells like fart in here.

62 Re: Jerry Richardson Insults Peyton Manning, Drew Brees

While making up for having to play a road game at, say Oakland (avg attendance 46K, 73% of capacity)it eliminates the financial advantage to being a road draw. Minnesota averaged 4-5K under capacity for their home games, but I suspect that attendance was higher when a quality team was in town.

Splitting TV revenue 32 ways seems logical, but splitting the visitors gate with 31 other teams provides a disincentive for visiting clubs to aggressively promote travel packages.

Hypothetical math: Say there are approx 5,000 seats available for 4 road games within driving distance of a teams home city. these seats are priced at $50 face value. That's an additional $250,000 in gate receipts. 4 such games would mean 1,000,000 in additional gate $$, which, if the visiting team got their own 40% would mean $400,000 in cash flow, enough to cover a rookies minimum salary and pay for the position in sales/marketing that sold the tickets. when split 32 ways however, the visiting team receives only $12,500, which is not enough to buy a KIA.

For me the most irritating owners are the ones who just expect ownership of a business to guarantee profit, when everyone that runs a business that's not an NFL franchise knows that it takes an awful lot of hard work and attention to detail, from providing an exciting product right down to saving a penny on each hot dog wrapper.

I can't sympathize with NFL owners who fail to understand that they are competing for consumer entertainment dollars with the NCAA, NBA, NHL, MLB, Hollywood and Nintendo/Sony/Microsoft and if they fail to put a product on the field those dollars will be spent elsewhere.

...Plus, it totally smells like fart in here.

15 Re: Jerry Richardson Insults Peyton Manning, Drew Brees

Alright, so I already made the comment in a different XP about how I know that he's had triple bypass surgery, and that he has brought at least a Super Bowl appearance to the Carolina's, but he is the cheapest and least flexible owner in the League by far.
Take it from somebody who has lived in the Carolina market since the first year of the franchise, and somebody whose family had season tickets through 2007. And then take it from somebody who works a booth at the home games so that his collegiate organization can fund themselves into ventures around the globe: attendance is worse than embarassing at the games. Richardson is pissed because there is no stability or continutity to the Panthers. The Panthers are never good two years in a row, are never exciting to watch, and the braintrust is completely retarded. How the hell do you justify giving a completely guarenteed multi-million dollar contract over 6 years to a quarterback that throws 4 interceptions and fumbles away once in a playoff game!!! Seriously, how do you justify that?
That is just my first problem in a long line of problems. Everybody here wonders why I'm not a home team fan, and I answer that I am, its just that the Panthers, namely Richardson, makes it so hard to cheer for them that I've gone on hiatus. I just can't deal with it anymore. I have enough stress to deal with that I refuse to add the Panthers to the list.
Richardson is the perfect example of who the owners want to deal with this situation, but he's probably the last owner that you want to actually speak ever. Not just at CBA arrangements, I mean ever. I've been at engagements with him a couple times, and he's about as cheap there as he is with the Panthers.
I know he's not helping the look of the Panthers, but in all fairness, I don't think it will ever matter, because it's not like he's going to spend any money anyways. He wants to build the Panthers in the mold of the Steelers, and God knows that we had that going for us before the coaching staff went completely insane in the playoffs against the Cardinals and started passing the ball like it was going out of style. Or that Jake Delhomme had the arm to throw the ball. The only reason he wanted to go in that direction is because we had the talent to start in that direction, and the Steelers don't spend on free agents, just have a good scouting department that allows them to draft the talent needed to win. Kind of hard to do that when Richardson cuts the entire scouting department. We don't have one. We rely on our coaches to interpret the data that is used by a scouting agency that is employed by quite a few teams.
Ugh. I know that was a rant, but trust me, I'm not even close to finished. I just have class in 8 minutes, and it's not something I want to go to upset.

16 Re: Jerry Richardson Insults Peyton Manning, Drew Brees

Hasn't the NFLPA been consistently been asking to see the owners' books as a part of the negotiations? If the owners are going to cry poverty, I want an external audit of their finances - starting with Buffalo. I'm willing to bet that mismanagement is a bigger culprit than player salaries (which are a fixed percentage of revenues).

19 Re: Jerry Richardson Insults Peyton Manning, Drew Brees

We do have the open books on Green Bay (perhaps someone can provide a link, I saw the numbers published in the newspaper), one of the league's better-run franchises, and their results are seemingly consistent with what the owners have been saying: under this latest CBA, revenues have increased but player and debt costs have skyrocketed, therefore profits have plummeted. I know these are the results for only one team, but I tend to believe that the owners' contention around this trend is basically true. The players still have the franchise-value argument, but if I'm an owner I'd still be concerned about maintaining those paper franchise values in light of decreasing profits.

This says nothing about the proposals each side has made thus far-- I believe that neither side has gotten serious with anything close to a reasonable final offer. Just that some level of correction from the last CBA is likely in order.

22 Re: Jerry Richardson Insults Peyton Manning, Drew Brees

Here's the propaganda the NFL released on the Packers' results:

"In the team’s latest financial report, a preview of which was released to the media this week, the Packers’ operating profit for the 2010 fiscal year (ending March 31, 2010), was $9.8 million, down from $20.1 million the year prior. The primary reason for the decline, despite a $10.1 million increase in overall revenue, was a $22.1 million jump in player costs, which increased 15.9 percent from $138.7 million to $160.8 million. It marked the third consecutive year that operating profits declined, from $34.2 million (2007) to $21.4 million (2008) to $20.1 million (2009) to $9.8 million (2010)."

http://nfllabor.com/2010/07/14/green-bay-packers%e2%80%99-profits-continue-to-decline-player-costs-rising-faster-than-revenue-a-growing-concern/

52 Re: Jerry Richardson Insults Peyton Manning, Drew Brees

That's interesting, but it comes with a caveat: the Packers had one of the lowest (I think the third-lowest) total salary bills in 2008. Players like Greg Jennings and Nick Collins were still on their rookie contracts, and the team was not paying a significant QB salary: Rodgers signed his present deal halfway through the fiscal year, while Favre's wage bill had already gone to the Jets.

The Packers had a clearout in 2005, and the nucleus of the current team was drafted over the next three years. It's not surprising that player costs have been rising in the meantime. It's equally unsurprising that NFL press releases don't mention this.

20 Re: Jerry Richardson Insults Peyton Manning, Drew Brees

It's funny that of all the players he could've insulted on their intelligence, he chose Manning and Brees.

Manning is essentially his team's own offensive coordinator. Brees is an Academic All-American who writes op-eds about Supreme Court cases for the Washington Post.

23 Re: Jerry Richardson Insults Peyton Manning, Drew Brees

I'm amazed at how much some of the owners despise Tagliabue for the last labor deal. Tags kept the league running and continued the history of labor peace. And they hate him for it.

27 Re: Jerry Richardson Insults Peyton Manning, Drew Brees

They think, with hindsight, that he gave up too much of their money in order to do so. Suppose the deal had given the players 80% of total revenue (yes, I know the owners would never have voted for such a deal). Would you expect them to be pleased with him then? They feel he talked them into accepting a deal they regret making after failing to negotiate skilfully enough on their behalf to secure a better one. I'm not saying they're right, but it's perfectly rational for the owners to want more than just labour peace.

39 Re: Jerry Richardson Insults Peyton Manning, Drew Brees

Knowing nothing about other North American sports, I can't really comment on that. I'm not sure it's relevant, either: both sides want the best deal they can get, and mistakenly or not, a good number of owners don't think they got it last time.

It's hardly a novel insight, but the inability of the owners to resolve their internal differences is clearly a big factor here. They need a bigger slice of the pie to make the arguments about how to split their piece go away.

56 Re: Jerry Richardson Insults Peyton Manning, Drew Brees

Strewth, how many cheerleaders would you have to get for it to be worth letting Al Davis near your nether regions?

Also, I think I've found the solution to the standoff: send Rex Ryan in to the negotiations to give both sides a motivational talk. Reckon the deal would be done a lot quicker if they all knew that as soon as they'd signed they could eat turkey drumsticks, drink Beam right from the bottle, sing Def Leppard karaoke and bang seventeen year olds in the mouth . . .

29 I love how the internet...

...has changed the face of these labor negotiations forever. I saw a recent survey (sorry, too lazy to look around for it ) that indicated fans were more supportive of the NFLPA this time than any other sports union during the run-up to a work stoppage.

I can't help but think this is because significantly more people are exposed to the nuances of the negotiations, as well as, leaked information like these quotes from Mr. Richardson. In the past I remember the dominant discourse to be about "rich players" being just entertainers and not deserving all of their money. And while the owners are trying their damndest to prop that belief up as the dominant discourse I keep reading more and more often about the apparent disregard for player safety and the stubborn nature of the owners even willing to engage in reasonable negotiations.

If I wasn't such a big fan of the NFL, I'd love to see what happened if a work stoppage actually occurred. I think we'd see a major backlash against ownership rather than just players; and that owners of small-market teams with fan bases only loosely attached to the local brand (like Mr. Richardson) would be truly effed post-lockout trying to rebuild local support and ticket sales.

42 Re: I love how the internet...

The economist in me is pretty curious to see what would happen in an alternate universe for, say, five years after a stoppage.

The fan in me says that kind of shit belongs in a novel, where Jim Thorpe's ghost comes back to encourage Pennington to lace them up for one more season, while George Blanda plays one more game and Manning and Brady suddenly retire to open a windsurfing shop on Maui together. I really want pro football to continue.

But, somewhere in the back of my mind, I'm formulating an experiment that I hope never comes to life....

50 Re: I love how the internet...

I'm not sure that the owners would ever get most of the backlash. Most sports stoppages seem to have a consistent "You guys play a game for millions! I would do it for minimum wage!" fan reaction.

61 Re: I love how the internet...

"I think we'd see a major backlash against ownership rather than just players"

I suspect you're projecting your own opinions as being much broader in scope than they really are.

At the end of the day, the PR war (Damn Owners! Damn Players!) is simply noise and doesn't affect the actual CBA negociations at all. The owners will get painted as a villain - they always do - and it won't matter this time any more than it has in any other round of bargaining.

Fortunately, I think your doomsday scenario will be avoided. The players have folded every other time, and I don't see this time being any different. Management has a pretty good record in these sorts of situations. It's also a lot easier to maintain solidarity among 32 men who accept the fact that they're going to be branded as villains no matter what than it is to maintain solidarity amongst 2000 or so men who are focused exclusively on the here and now.

33 Re: Jerry Richardson Insults Peyton Manning, Drew Brees

Players/eployees are an ever shifting commodity, owners/franchises/companies very much less so. That isn't unique to the NFL.

Think your poor mean old boss is being unfair? Go work for someone else ;) As far as JR's comments? I thought they were great.

The owners are being the same with the media as they are with the players "we're not making enough, we own all the financial risks and this old deal isn't going to work". The players are trying to play "face" to the media and fans, then trying to get snarky in the league meetings. IMO, they would have done well to be better prepared for these meetings and spoke through their lawyers (to avoid looking silly).

They deserved to be wtfpwnt

by an old man no less.

43 Re: Jerry Richardson Insults Peyton Manning, Drew Brees

I'd argue that financial risks are more diverse than you think. Yes, a man with a net worth of $1B is risking half that as an equity stake in a franchise and that's HUGE by any measure. But a player is risking every dime he might make in the future to play. Yes, he may cash in big-time for a poor kid and make $10M (pre-tax) over the first five years of his contract and feel he's set for life, and then a blown knee leaves him with zero future NFL earnings for the next 50 years of his life. Yes, there are other options, but few that will pay him like that unless he's one of the very few who make it to the head coaching level.

I'm a centrist in this fight, but it looks to me like as a share of their wealth/future/health, the players risk much more than the owners, and that exposure is much more volatile--the owners have huge risk every 5-7 years, and then a relatively safe and predictable path in between, while the players generally have shorter careers than a typical league agreement, and risk injury every single day in practice and games. Looking at this in an investment sense, the owners, at then end of one of these cycles, can sell and at THE VERY LEAST get their equity out (and more likely, have a nice cap gain) while the players, at the end of their playing cycle, are all scrapping for a few plum broadcast/analyst jobs. There is no "career residual" to cash in on for the vast majority. You have a stadium, or a team, or a business, someone will generally buy it from you when you are done. You have an NFL career and there aren't many buyers when you're done.

Still, I think both sides are posturing and both are insane if they think a stoppage/walkout/lockout is actually a good thing.

49 Re: Jerry Richardson Insults Peyton Manning, Drew Brees

I'll go another step: financial risks aren't the only relevant thing here. Regardless of how much money the owners claim to be risking (and in light of increasing franchise values, that claim is nothing but a joke), the players are risking (if that's the right word for "practically guaranteeing") crippling their bodies and minds every single practice.

I admit to being on the "more safety" rather than the "it's fine the way it is" side of the argument, but I'm not boo-hooing for the players. They take the risk, and they get paid for it. Fine. But so do the owners. And if the owners have bad luck, they're out a couple dozen million dollars. If the players have bad luck, they lose their cognitive ability at 45.

And that, more than anything else, is why I'm always going to be more sympathetic to the players in this case.

35 Re: Jerry Richardson Insults Peyton Manning, Drew Brees

I've been a Panther fan since they first started. No longer. Jerry Richardson is a complete POS who has surrounded himself with bootlicking yes-men. He has been completely condescending to the fans. No one has the guts to tell him to STFU when he's being a moron.
This is how one can judge whether Richardson has a plan when he mouths off. His last press conference, and first in 9 years, was him less than a week before college players declaring for the draft, giving a meandering, incoherent rant about how there was definitely going to be a lock-out next season. Then he is shocked, shocked, that Andrew Luck decides to stay in college.
To the claim that the owners are having financial issues, every economist seems to think that the NFL is in the best financial shape it's ever been in and that the only reason that they are re-negotiating is that they recognize that they have an opportunity to stick it to the players. The Forbes valuations of the franchises which show just ludicrous profits for the owners, especially in this economy are, if anything, grossly underestimated.
How do we know? A cash-strapped Arthur Blank just turned down $150 million for 15% of a franchise that Forbes valued at $850 million. Clearly, the owners are lying about their valuations.
Honestly, when idiots like Richardson treat players and especially fans with that kind of condescending BS, I hope that there is no football next year. Honestly, the players could organize a completely different league and put a decent product on the field, The same can't be said for the owners. I watch football to see the best players in the world. Not to root for a franchise that despises its own fans.

54 Re: Jerry Richardson Insults Peyton Manning, Drew Brees

For the record, the latest Forbes' assessment from 2010 claims that the average franchise value decreased for the first time since 1998. It's far from a gloomy situation overall, but Forbes' contention that the medium- and smaller-market teams are now feeling the pinch is totally believable to me. The situation is the same as in any other business-- if the trend is toward both decreasing capital valuation and decreasing profit margins, the business is going to attempt to reverse that trend. Now, of course the devil is in the details as to how to turn the trend around and to what extent, but I think it unrealistic that the status quo is going to fly.

http://www.forbes.com/2010/08/25/most-valuable-nfl-teams-business-sports-football-valuations-10_land.html

55 Re: Jerry Richardson Insults Peyton Manning, Drew Brees

I wonder if the impending labor situation had any bearing on the Forbes valuations. This is an industry valued at 30+ billion that's talking about forfeiting a year of operations and 9+ billion of revenue. (The owners will get the TV money for the year. But the networks will eventually get that money back if there were indeed a lost season.)

58 Re: Jerry Richardson Insults Peyton Manning, Drew Brees

I feel for the fans of Charlotte. I'm trying to think of a city that's had worse group of owners.

George Shinn, Bob Johnson and Jerry Richardson.

The city has only had three pro franchises, and all three have had trainwrecks as owners.

Not easy to build a fanbase when the top guy is so unlikable.