A day after his team was eliminated from the playoffs, Jets CB Antonio Cromartie was asked his thoughts on the ongoing labor issue between league owners and the NFL Players Association. His response was both harsh and profane, blaming both sides for not reaching an agreement already.
"To me, you need to stop bitching about it," Cromartie said on Monday. "And if you wanna say you're gonna get into a room and meet and greet, and say you're gonna do what you need to do, then do it. Don't just talk about it.
"… I mean, you've got our head union reps acting like a [expletive]. And they've got their guys acting like them [expletive], so they just need to get their [expletive] together and get it done."
On Wednesday, a pair of Pro Bowlers countered Cromartie's comments, saying that players need to stick together during the negotiating period.
"We have leaders," Cardinals DT Darnell Dockett said. "We know what is fair and the players are behind our leadership."
"Great leaders are servants first," Ravens MLB Ray Lewis added. "That is who our leaders are. Players are not going to turn on each other. We are blessed with what we have and it is on all of us to keep it fair. I'm resolved to do that."
Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck chimed in with his thoughts on Twitter, posting Thursday, "Somebody ask Cromartie if he knows what CBA stands for."
The way we see it
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and obviously Cromartie's is that he is frustrated with the talking and he wants the deal to be done. It is a valid point, and as a player set to be a free agent, he is impacted as much as anyone with the labor uncertainty.
Dockett, Lewis and Hasselbeck have an opinion as well, which seems to be to support NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith. The current Collective Bargaining Agreement between the players and owners expires on March 4 and both sides are hopeful to have a new deal in place before that date to avoid a lockout, though neither side is very optimistic of that happening.