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Owners tell players they 'couldn't understand' financial information

Posted by Shalise Manza Young, Globe Staff  March 17, 2011 04:50 PM

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Money is at the root of the impasse between the NFL and the players, with the players asking the league to open its books to justify the extra money it is asking for. To this point, the owners have refused.

And what reason do they give players for not handing over financial information?

"They said, 'even if we provided that information, you wouldn't be able to understand it,'" Sean Morey said today at the NFL Players' Association board of player representatives meetings in Marco Island, Fla.

Morey is one of dozens of players here this week to discuss and learn about the state of the union - or trade association, as the case may be - and pass the information on to teammates.

Morey, the former Brown Bear who got his NFL start with the Patriots as a seventh-round pick in 1999, entered the small meeting room where the media contingent are working at this Marriott resort with a yellow legal pad covered in notes. Though he retired before the start of the 2010 season, Morey was at the majority of the mediated sessions in Washington, and is passionate about players' rights, including health concerns.

After affirming to reporters that the response from owners really was that players wouldn't understand financial information if presented, Morey added, "you know what, we're players, we're coachable - help us understand it."

He laughed when a reporter offered that there are also accountants who can be hired for just that sort of work.

Jets fullback Tony Richardson, who is also on the Executive Committee with Morey, characterized today's opening sessions are a time for "making sure everyone is on the same page, which we are. I think we're stronger than ever."

Not every player here in Marco Island was present for the mediated talks between the NFLPA and league owners over the past few weeks in Washington D.C., and the hope now is that the reps can take the group's message back to their teammates to update them on what is happening now and how to proceed during the lockout.

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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