Raiders Vote to Decertify Union, NFL Battle Looms

Raiders Vote to Decertify Union, NFL Battle Looms


ALAMEDA -- The Raiders have joined some 20 other teams and voted Thursday night to give the NFL Players Association the right to decertify as a union if there is an owners lockout next year in the absence of a new collective bargaining agreement.

Raiders players met with NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith at the team's compound and tight end Zach Miller, Oaklands new union rep, confirmed the vote.

"Keep negotiations going," Miller said of the plans and hopes. "I know everybody wants to avoid a lockout and the players definitely want to get something done, and as early as possible. We'd like to have some certainty for next year."

Allowing the union to decertify would give the players not only the right to sue the NFL if there is a lockout, but essentially gives them a right to work without a CBA since antitrust laws do not allow for unions negotiating for a new CBA to sue its employers.

"Decertification, we don't want it to end up there," Miller added. "We would rather have our CBA done before then. It's our answer if the owners prove to lock us out. That's our answer for them if they want to take that step. But we want to keep working on the CBA and get something done before it comes to that."

Raiders special teams standout Rock Cartwright took to Twitter Thursday night, writing, "Why are ESPN, NBC, CBS, funding the lockout of NFL for nxt year..? Why are they taking Our health care in march!!? All players.. No healthcare.. We lay it on the line every Sunday.. They are trying to cut salaries 18 and add 2 more games to the schedule.. Really?"

Cartwright later added: "Dear NFL fans.. As of right now there will be a lockout next year" There not only locking out players.. It's the people that work at the stadiums who this hurts more.. Those people do so much for the game, I just want people to know.. If we play no football nxt yr.. The owners still get the from the TV contracts.. Billions!!"

Before jumping on the team charter to Pittsburgh, Cartwright stood behind his posts.

"Talking with DeMaurice Smith, it's basically like, they're not even close on the collective bargaining agreement," Cartwright said. "They're still a lot of money away. Like he said, it's basically just been a stall.

"A lot of people don't really know what's going on, the whole situation so I told people to go to to find a little bit more about what's going on. It's tough, man. It's just tough. Maybe I was a little bit, I'm an emotional person so I kind of let my emotions get the best of me (but) I want to get it out there to let people know what's going on."

Smith visited the 49ers Wednesday night and they also voted to decertify.

Broncos buck Osweiler with rude welcome back in Denver

Broncos buck Osweiler with rude welcome back in Denver


DENVER -- The Denver Broncos ruined Brock Osweiler's homecoming Monday night, incessantly hurrying, hitting and harassing their former teammate in a 27-9 win over his Houston Texans.

Coach Gary Kubiak returned to the sideline following his second health scare in three years, and he had to like what he saw as the Broncos (5-2) snapped a two-game skid in sending the overwhelmed Texans home at 4-3.

C.J. Anderson and Devontae Booker energized Denver's sputtering ground game, both running for a touchdown. Anderson gained 107 yards on 16 carries and Booker had 83 on 17 hand-offs.

But the big story was Trevor Siemian, Peyton Manning's surprise successor, outplaying Osweiler, who was groomed to be Denver's next QB but instead bolted to Houston in free agency.

Osweiler left for bigger numbers in Texas - both in his bank account and his stat sheet - but he spent this night quickly getting rid of the ball, constantly overthrowing DeAndre Hopkins in double coverage and otherwise running for his life from Von Miller & Co.

Although he avoided sacks, Osweiler was just 22 for 41 for 131 yards with no TDs and no interceptions. Siemian was 14 of 25 for 157 yards, a TD and no interceptions.

Osweiler's fumble at his own 25-yard line was scooped up by Chris Harris Jr. on the first play of the fourth quarter. That led to Brandon McManus' chip-shot field goal that made it 24-9 and snuffed out Houston's hopes of a comeback.

Anderson scored on a 7-yard run and Siemian hit Demaryius Thomas from 4 yards out as the Broncos took a 14-6 halftime lead.

Osweiler took a couple of big shots from safeties Darian Stewart and T.J. Ward in the first quarter but the Texans led 6-0 on a pair of 43-yard field goals by Nick Novak.

Novak's 29-yarder made it 14-9, but Stewart punched the ball from running back Alfred Blue's grasp and linebacker Todd Davis plucked it out of the air. That led to Booker's 1-yard TD run.

Kubiak missed Denver's last game when doctors ordered him to take a week off after he was transported via ambulance to the hospital following Denver's last home game, on Oct. 9, with a complex migraine condition, which can mimic a stroke. Kubiak had a mini-stroke in 2013 while coaching the Texans.

Like Osweiler, this was his first game against his former team.

STREAK BREAKER: Denver's dazzling defense is a real dawdler , having allowed scores on five of six opening drives coming into the game. That didn't stop them from deferring when they won the toss. The Texans went three and out on their first two possessions, the first time all season the Broncos hadn't allowed points on their first two defensive series.

OH NO, OKUNG: Broncos left tackle Russell Okung cleared concussion protocol to make the start. But he was rusty a week after his pair of penalties resulted in a nullified touchdown and a safety in a 21-13 loss at San Diego. This time, he was whistled for a pair of holds that negated a nifty first-down run by Booker and a 28-yard grab by Thomas.

INJURIES: Texans right tackle Derek Newton was carted off the field with what looked like serious injuries to both knees in the first half. He crumpled to the grass while blocking Miller. Newton was dropping back to pass block midway through the first quarter when his left knee buckled first and then his right knee gave way. For Denver, linebackers Brandon Marshall (leg) and Dekoda Watson (head) left in the second half.

RING OF FAME: The Broncos honored former safety John Lynch, linebacker Simon Fletcher and kicker Jason Elam by inducting them into their Ring of Fame during halftime ceremonies. Lynch, who played in Denver from 2004-07 after 11 seasons in Tampa Bay, will be inducted into the Buccaneers' Ring of Honor next month.

Four-time Pro Bowl RB Arian Foster announces retirement from NFL

Four-time Pro Bowl RB Arian Foster announces retirement from NFL

MIAMI  -- Four-time Pro Bowl running back Arian Foster has announced his retirement midway through an injury-plagued season with the Miami Dolphins.

Foster, 30, tried to come back from a torn Achilles tendon, but was slowed this season by groin and hamstring injuries. He disclosed his decision Monday on the website Uninterrupted, and the Dolphins confirmed it.

The retirement is effective immediately.

Foster signed a $1.5 million, one-year contract with the Dolphins in July after seven years with the Houston Texans. He holds the Texans' franchise record with 6,472 yards rushing.

This season he rushed for 55 yards in 22 carries. His playing time was curtailed with the emergence of Jay Ajayi, who tied an NFL record by surpassing 200 yards rushing each of the past two weeks.