After far less wrangling and horse trading behind the scenes than some misplaced reports would have had you believe, the NFL Players Association will not recommend any special considerations go to the 10 plaintiffs in the Brady case, a source familiar with the discussions said last night.
After several days of debate over possible special relief for at least some of the 10 player-plaintiffs, it was determined it would be too cumbersome to try to work out individual deals. Since the bulk of the plaintiffs were well-placed NFL veterans, it was decided the best way to go was to stick with the larger deal negotiated between the NFLPA and the league’s owners.
The presence of quarterbacks Tom Brady [stats], Peyton Manning and Drew Brees complicated the issue, as they are among the highest-paid players in the league. Short of being exempted from the franchise tag, there was little of value to them that could be offered. And despite reports to the contrary, neither Manning nor Brees asked for special considerations. Neither did Brady.
As for Logan Mankins [stats], he would have been happy to have been declared a free agent by having the franchise tag (slapped on him by the Patriots [team stats] in February) removed, but he never asked for a $10 million payout, as was reported in some places.
However, late last night a source close to the ongoing negotiations claimed representatives of Mankins and Vincent Jackson were considering working in concert to try to gain their freedom from the franchise tag. To do so they would have to buck the NFLPA’s recommendation and the bulk of their fellow players, who seem to have reached the point where they simply want the whole matter to come to a close.