Left tackle, and Carson Palmer's (former) on-field body guard, Andrew Whitworth is (was) the NFLPA's player representative for the Bengals. He believes that the owners and players are going to have to come together again eventually, and he hopes that will be sooner rather than later.
"So many people on both sides are pointing fingers right now that I don’t get the point. The fans don’t like any of us at the moment." Whitworth said. "Eventually both sides are going to have to negotiate again. We all want that and have to work together."
Whitworth isn't worried about how the owners and players share $9 billion in revenue as much as he is worried about how the NFL can lessen the gap in salaries between the highest and lowest paid players. He'd also like the NFL to bring back performance based pay like they had in 2009 before the uncapped 2010 season.
According to The Cincinnati Enquirer's Joe Reedy, the performance based pay system benefited a lot of the Bengals players who didn't have huge contracts.
The system benefitted players like Kyle Cook, Chinedum Ndukwe and Dennis Roland. All three made the league minimum but made extra for starting more than half the season. In 2009 Cook, who started all the games, had a salary of $391,110 but made an extra $268,122 under the system which pushed his salary to $659,232.
I have the feeling that in order for there to be a full 2011 season, a lot more guys are going to have to look at the lockout from a fans perspective, like Whitworth has. He knows that fans aren't necessarily taking sides as much as they are mad at both the owners and the players for not getting a deal done. Hopefully more people with the power to move things along realize that soon.