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  1. #1
    COJOMAY is offline Jersey Retired
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    Hutch decision will be delayed

    SEATTLE (AP) -- The Seahawks' hopes of keeping All-Pro guard Steve Hutchinson will be decided by an arbitration process.

    That will delay the Sunday deadline for the team to match an offer to Hutchinson by the Minnesota Vikings.

    The NFL Players Association said on Friday that the league has filed a claim on behalf of the Seahawks contending a clause in the offer sheet Hutchinson signed with the Vikings last weekend circumvents the league's labor contract. That would mean that Seattle does not have to match that clause to keep Hutchinson, who is designated as their transition player.

    The clause in question would guarantee Hutchinson the entire contract sum if Hutchinson is not the team's highest-paid offensive lineman.

    Richard Berthelsen, general counsel for the NFLPA, said the union will argue against the Seahawks' and league's claims.

    "They say the clause circumvents our collective bargaining agreement. It is our belief that it does not," Berthelsen said Friday.

    The special master will determine during a Saturday telephone conference call if the labor agreement gives him jurisdiction in the case. The league claims it does, Berthelsen said.

    NFL spokesman Michael Signora confirmed that the NFL had filed the case.

    Berthelsen said if the special master determines he has jurisdiction, he will hold a hearing on Monday in Philadelphia. If not, the case will fall to a non-injury grievance arbiter, who will convene a hearing.

    Either way, a decision would come after the Sunday deadline by which the Seahawks have to match Minnesota's offer.

    Hutchinson signed a $49 million, seven-year offer sheet with Minnesota last Sunday. It included $16 million guaranteed. The Seahawks believe that is all they have to match.

    But a ruling against the NFC champions would require them to also match a provision in the offer that states if Hutchinson is not the team's highest-paid offensive lineman at any time after the first year of the contract, the final six years of the deal becomes guaranteed.

    Such a provision is likely a deal breaker. All-Pro left tackle Walter Jones is Seattle's highest-paid offensive linemen, and would remain so even if the Seahawks matched the Hutchinson offer.

    Jones, a six-time Pro Bowler, received $54.5 million -- with up to $20 million in a signing bonus and incentives -- over seven years to remain a Seahawk last April.

    Berthelsen said the union's interpretation of the issue is that the clause is permitted by the CBA because it is a "principal term" of the agreement.

    That is defined in the contract as salary, incentives and individual league honors -- plus "any modifications of and additions to the terms ... requested by the free agent and acceptable to the New Club, that relate to non-compensation terms (including guarantees, no-cut, and no-trade provisions) ..."

    The league and the Seahawks are contending that last point.

    In 1993, the first year of unrestricted free agency in the NFL, the Indianapolis Colts signed Will Wolford, Buffalo's transition player, to an offer sheet that included a clause that guaranteed he be the team's highest-paid offensive player.

    The Bills, who already had quarterback Jim Kelly as their highest-paid offensive player, argued the clause violated the CBA. An arbiter said it did not. The Bills declined to match the offer sheet, and Wolford signed with the Colts to become their highest-paid offensive player.

    After that decision, the league and the union amended the CBA. It now states that no team attempting to match an offer sheet for one of its transition players can be required by an escalator clause similar to Wolford's to pay that player more than what the offering team would pay him.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Hutch decision will be delayed

    Hope we keep him, abbritrator is leaning towards the vikes
    Vikings mission to conquer other Land, Steeler Country, Raider Nation &...

  3. #3
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    Re: Hutch decision will be delayed

    THis is great news! The NFLPA is arguing that the poison pill is a principle term of the contract. NFLPA vs Seachickens. Hutchinson to the Vikings.

    ==============================================

    KFFL
    Vikings | Hutchinson's fate delayed
    Fri, 17 Mar 2006 13:39:25 -0800

    Gregg Bell, of the Associated Press, reports the future fate of Seattle Seahawks transition free agent OG Steve Hutchinson will be decided by an arbitration process. That will delay the Sunday deadline, March 19, for the team to match an offer to Hutchinson by the Minnesota Vikings. The NFL Players Association said Friday, March 17, that the league has filed a claim on behalf of the Seahawks contending a clause in the offer sheet Hutchinson signed with the Vikings last weekend circumvents the league's labor contract. The clause in question would guarantee Hutchinson the entire contract sum if Hutchinson is not the team's highest-paid offensive lineman. NFL spokesman Michael Signora confirmed that the NFL had filed the case. Richard Berthelsen, general counsel for the NFLPA, said the union will argue against the Seahawks' and league's claims. "They say the clause circumvents our collective bargaining agreement. It is our belief that it does not," Berthelsen said. Berthelsen said the union's interpretation of the issue is that the clause is permitted by the CBA because it is a "principal term" of the agreement.

  4. #4
    purplepride818 is offline Starter
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    Re: Hutch decision will be delayed

    looks like hes ours, not only is the consel for the NFLPA on our side but there has already been a ruling similar to ours.

  5. #5
    VikesfaninWis's Avatar
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    Re: Hutch decision will be delayed

    Looks good for us... That is some encouraging news for the Vikes. Hope we can still get Hutch, all signs point to Hutch wearing purple next season.

  6. #6
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    Re: Hutch decision will be delayed

    After that decision, the league and the union amended the CBA. It now states that no team attempting to match an offer sheet for one of its transition players can be required by an escalator clause similar to Wolford's to pay that player more than what the offering team would pay him.

    This is the only part that worries me. Obviously the clause in Hutch's offer sheet is different, in that it doesn't change how much either team is paying him, it changes how much each team is guarenteeing... but this is where I see the Seachickens trying to stand their ground.

    Glad to see the NFLPA is on our side!
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  7. #7
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    Re: Hutch decision will be delayed

    "NodakPaul" wrote:
    After that decision, the league and the union amended the CBA. It now states that no team attempting to match an offer sheet for one of its transition players can be required by an escalator clause similar to Wolford's to pay that player more than what the offering team would pay him.

    This is the only part that worries me. Obviously the clause in Hutch's offer sheet is different, in that it doesn't change how much either team is paying him, it changes how much each team is guarenteeing... but this is where I see the Seachickens trying to stand their ground.

    Glad to see the NFLPA is on our side!
    That worries me too.

    And of course the NFLPA is on our side, it means more leverage for players.

  8. #8
    snowinapril's Avatar
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    Re: Hutch decision will be delayed

    If Hutch simple said, I want to be the highest paid lineman on any team, I have a big ego, that would do it for me, hopefully the arbitrator also.

    No mater what hapens, I am glad we weren't the ones to pay Will Wolford, who the heck was that. He must have been another Akili Smith or Scott Mitchell?????

  9. #9
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    Re: Hutch decision will be delayed

    The only thing that worries me is the delay. We need closure one way or the other soon so we can get moving.

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  10. #10
    VikesfaninWis's Avatar
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    Re: Hutch decision will be delayed

    "MensaTice" wrote:
    The only thing that worries me is the delay. We need closure one way or the other soon so we can get moving.

    I agree on that. This deal seems to be holding us up with signing FA's. If this goes against us, that would suck, seeing as though we have lost out on alot of players during this process..

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