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Owners, teams react to lockout

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Posted March 12, 2011 @ 6:59 p.m. ET
By PFW staff

The following are either statements released by owners or teams, or comments made by owners to local media regarding the NFL lockout.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft: "While disappointed by (the union's) action to decertify, I remain confident that an agreement will be reached and that the 2011 season will be played. I know that the owners are committed to this process, but that the quickest way to do so is through continued negotiation, not litigation. For the sake of all involved, the owners, the players and most importantly, the fans, I hope we return to the negotiating table very soon."

Jets chairman and CEO Woody Johnson: "It may take longer than we all had hoped, but New York Jets fans should know that a deal will get done and I remain confident that there will be NFL football in 2011. ... The goal for the Jets will not change — we are committed to bringing you a championship."

Chargers president Dean Spanos (to the San Diego Union-Tribune): "We're operating and will continue to operate as if there is going to be a season. I can't predict exactly when, but I do believe there is going to be a deal. Unfortunately, it could have been done. ... I'm shocked. I am absolutely surprised they left that deal on the table. It was a fair offer. It would have kept this thing going for the next 10 years. ... I do believe this thing will be negotiated at the bargaining table. At some point in time we will be back in mediation ... We want to get back to the negotiating table.”

Lions president Tom Lewand (to Detroit beat writers): "We have mechanisms in place where we can monitor the rehabilitation of any injured players who were injured playing football last year. The guys that we know we have set up at rehabilitation facilities around the country. We have lines of communication open to those rehabilitation facilities and we'll be able to monitor the progress of those injured players as they progress. ... To the extent that there's some uncertainty in the business environment, uncertainty in changes in the rules or how we operate, we'll adapt, we'll adjust and we'll be prepared for it. That's our job, that's what we're supposed to do, but we'll do it in a way that minimizes any disruptions and maintains the focus on preparations for the 2011 season."

Bengals owner Mike Brown (to PFW correspondent and Cincinnati Enquirer writer Joe Reedy): "It came down to the obvious point that all the union cared about was the money and these other things certainly didn't matter enough. It's a tremendous situation that they have and it has become burdensome for the teams. Yes, we're asking for some relief going forward. I don't think that was unreasonable."

The Saints: "We are intent on delivering more to our fans, through the millions invested in Superdome improvements to create a state of the art facility for our fans to enjoy Saints football, coupled with the Benson's family's investment in Champions Square, in an area previously left underused and blighted for years."

Bears president and CEO Ted Phillips: "Our immediate focus is on preparing for the draft.  We also continue to evaluate our team and will be ready to take advantage of all avenues to improve our team once a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is reached. ... We still plan to host fan events this offseason starting with our "Ultimate Weekend" which includes our Draft Party and Bears Expo at Soldier Field. A deal will get done and we expect to play football in 2011. Our goal remains the same as we prepare to play, bringing a Super Bowl title back to Chicago."

Broncos president Joe Ellis: "(Owner and CEO) Pat Bowlen is extremely disappointed that a new Collective Bargaining Agreement has yet to be reached. He shares our fans' frustrations, disappointment and sense of urgency for a quick resolution. ... The Broncos are continuing with preparations for the NFL draft and the 2011 season. We're all hopeful that a deal is reached as soon as possible."

The Chiefs: “We know there will be football in the future — and we have already started to plan for the 2011 season.  Our football staff is continuing its preparation for the NFL Draft and our business operations staff is using fan feedback to make the Arrowhead experience the best in the NFL. We have great respect for our fans and our season ticket holders, and are committed to communicating openly and directly with them as we work to reach a long-term agreement with the players that is fair to everyone who loves this game.”

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