In a letter dated today and signed by Robert and Jonathan Kraft, the Patriots sent the following note to all season ticket holders. It continues the pattern followed by many NFL clubs since the breakdown of talks between the league and the now-dissolved Players Association, outlining the final offer the league made to the NFLPA on Friday.
The body of the letter is as follows:
Dear Patriots Season Ticket Holder:
As a Season Ticket Holder, you hold an elite position among Patriots fans, so we wanted to communicate directly with you regarding the recent expiration of the Collective Bargaining Agreement - the contract between the league and the labor union representing the players.
As you may know, for the past three weeks, the NFL and the players' union have been in mediation working to ensure a healthy future for the National Football League. Going into the negotiations, we remained very optimistic that an agreement could be reached if both sides were committed to negotiating.
Last week, the league and the owners presented the players' union with a comprehensive proposal that we believe was fair and benefited both parties. We hoped it would serve as a basis to continue negotiating in good faith toward a final agreement. This proposal gave the players many benefits and off-season scheduling changes that they had been seeking. It also offered a 14% increase in compensation, representing a total of $19-20 billion over the next four seasons. Unfortunately, the players' union walked away from mediation and the ongoing negotiations last Friday, without responding to this proposal. Rather than working collaboratively, they chose to initiate litigation against the clubs.
While disappointed by their action to decertify and file a lawsuit, we remain confident that an agreement will be reached and that the 2011 season will be played. The NFL, the owners and the New England Patriots organization remain committed to collective bargaining and reaching a new agreement with the players' union.
We know that many Season Ticket Holders are feeling frustrated by our inability to finalize a deal with the players' union. We apologize for any role we played in that. Please know that we are working diligently to assure that NFL operations get back to "normal" as soon as possible.
As always, we greatly appreciate your support of the Patriots and will continue to keep you informed of any developments as they arise. We encourage you to stay up-to-date on the progress of these negotiations via www.nfllabor.com. If you have any other questions, please contact the ticket office at 508-543-1776 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.