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Brady, Manning, Brees file antitrust suit
Question of the Day
That’s a potentially explosive claim: Players would have the right to get out of their contracts if they don’t get a paycheck, even if a settlement is reached.
The NFLPA’s general counsel, Richard Berthelsen, said a lockout would cause “irreparable injury” to NFL players even if it’s only a few games or simply offseason activities that are wiped out.
“If young players are forced to forego an entire season, they will miss out on a year of the experience and exposure that comes from playing against NFL-level competition and receiving NFL-level coaching, both of which are a must for young players,” Berthelsen wrote.
The players want their case in front of U.S. District Judge David Doty, who has overseen NFL labor matters since the early 1990s and has several times ruled in favor of the players.
The case was assigned to U.S. District judge Patrick Schiltz, though it still could end up in front of Doty. The court has designated it as a related case to the Reggie White-led class-action suit that Doty guided toward a 1993 settlement, opening the doors to free agency.
The league has tried in the past to remove Doty from the case, alleging bias toward the players.
Doty issued a ruling last week that backed the NFLPA in a dispute over $4 billion in TV revenue that players argue was illegally collected by the owners as a war chest to survive a work stoppage.
Also involved in bringing the lawsuit: San Diego receiver Vincent Jackson, Minnesota linebacker Ben Leber and defensive end Brian Robison, New England guard Logan Mankins, New York Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora, Kansas City linebacker Mike Vrabel, and Texas A&M linebacker Von Miller, who is entered in this year’s draft.
“The torch has been passed to a young Aggie who has decided to put his name on a lawsuit,” NFLPA chief DeMaurice Smith said.
Manning, Jackson, Leber and Mankins are free agents. The Colts tagged Manning as a franchise player, while the Chargers did the same with Jackson and the Patriots with Mankins. The union is disputing the validity of those tags.
AP Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner in New York and Associated Press Writer Amy Forliti in Minneapolis contributed to this report.
By Matt Kibbe
The short-term deal will assure long-term overspending
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