Admitting that the offensive line as "the team's biggest question mark" wasn't the only thing Jerry Angelo said when he was the featured speaker at the City Club of Waukegan on Tuesday. In fact, what the Bears general manager said about NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith and the ongoing labor negotiations drew fire from union reps and could possibly result in a fine from the league.
"I have some concern that the new Players Association chief might not recognize a good deal when it's on the table," Angelo told the crowd. "Not that he's not competent. But he's so new."
NFLPA assistant executive director, external affairs George Atallah fired back Friday, via ProFootballTalk.com: "Any deal that takes players back to the 1980s in terms of all-revenue, increases their risk of injury, decreases their ability to get post-career health care and makes them pay for their own training facilities is a bad deal regardless of how 'new' you are. Maybe Jerry Angelo should try to sell the owners' proposal to the Bears players. That would be a new experience for him too."
Angelo went on to say that "owners are just looking for the players to share in costs of infrastructure and all the new stadiums being built around the league," which drew the following response from Atallah: "Players have contributed to stadium costs and infrastructure improvements for years. That's not new. For the new Meadowlands and Cowboys stadiums, players invested more than $1 billion towards financing those stadiums through the G-3 program. Players expect to invest in the growth of the NFL business and be treated as business partners by the owners. That's not a new concept for players."
Here's the link to the ProFootballTalk report: http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/06/25/union-takes-issue-with-cba-remarks-from-jerry-angelo/
And here's the link to the original "Lake County News Sun" story that included Angelo's comments on a variety of topics: http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/newssun/sports/2426992,5_2_WA24_ANGELO_S1-100624.article