|Report: Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and o-lineman Logan Mankins could lend names to players’ lawsuit||03.03.11 at 3:57 pm ET|
Multiple outlets are reporting Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and offensive lineman Logan Mankins have agreed to serve as plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the NFL if the players’ association decides to decertify. The duo, as well as quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Drew Brees, would lend their names to the suit similar to the one the NFL filed in 1993 that was headlined by former star Reggie White. (That suit, in many ways, paved the way for NFL free agency.)
However, the decertification hammer still hasn’t been dropped by the players. If the NFLPA does file for decertification (something they would have to do by 5 p.m. to have it affect the current CBA) the players would be allowed to file suit — which would then have the names of the players on it — against the owners for restricting trade. (Disbanding the union would be necessary because a union is not allowed to sue a party with which it is collectively bargaining.) If the decertification paperwork is filed, it’s a bad sign for negotiations — that would start a chain of events where the whole negotiation would end up in the courts, tying up the talks and almost certainly having long-term affects on the game.
“That would signal a complete breakdown,” said Ron Washburn, who teaches a sports law class at Bryant University and has been following the negotiations closely.
Brady, who serves as the Patriots alternate player rep, has weighed in on union matters before — he talked last year about one of the major sticking points between owners and player, the possibility of an 18-game schedule.
“I’ve taken part in several postseason runs where we have played 20 games. The long-term impact this game has on our bodies is well documented,” Brady said. “Look no further than the players that came before we did. Each player today has to play three years in order to earn five years of post-career health care. Our Union has done a great job of raising the awareness on these issues and will make the right decision for us players, the game and the fans.”
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