If you are a Denver Broncos fan you likely received an e-mail today from the Broncos with a letter from owner Pat Bowlen. If not, no worries, I have the letter below. It once again reiterates what Joe Ellis said to me on Saturday - there is sorrow and disappointment that a deal did not get done, but hope and confidence that the two sides will get back together and hammer out an agreement.
Here is the letter:
Dear Broncos Fan:
You have every right to be disappointed and frustrated with the lack of a Collective Bargaining Agreement that would ensure the health of the National Football League for the 2011 season and beyond. As owner of the Denver Broncos and co-chair of the NFL Management Council Executive Committee, I want to say that I share your level of frustration.
I am sorry the negotiating efforts have yet to yield a new deal. Although we had expected to reach an agreement by this point, I assure you that we are committed to this process. We have a shared responsibility to resolve this matter as soon as possible in a way that benefits teams, players, and most importantly, the fans. The fastest way to a fair agreement for everyone is for both the clubs and union to continue negotiation through mediation, not litigation, and we are eager to return to the bargaining table.
We will come to an agreement, and when a new deal is reached, the Denver Broncos will be ready to play. John Elway, John Fox and Brian Xanders, along with the rest of our coaching and personnel staffs, continue to work hard in advance of the NFL Draft and the season. They are committed to building a championship team that will make you proud. We are making progress every day, and I am excited with the direction of our team.
Along with everyone in this organization, I care greatly about our players and am hopeful that the union resumes negotiations as soon as possible. It is unfortunate that this matter has taken the focus away from the game that we love. However, I am confident that this process will result in a long-term agreement that ensures the growth of the game well into the future.
I sincerely appreciate all of the support, patience and trust you have shown in the Denver Broncos. We will keep you updated and communicate regularly while maintaining an unwavering commitment to a resolution.
Owner, Denver Broncos Football Club