Retired Players Filing Complaint, Complicating NFL Negotiations

Negotiations toward a labor deal that would end the NFL lockout were confronted with a new hurdle Monday when the group of retired players involved in the antitrust lawsuit against the league — angered because they say their interests and representatives are being shut out by both sides in the talks — prepared to file a separate complaint against players and owners according to Judy Battista of the New York Times.

The class-action complaint, to be filed in Federal District Court in Minneapolis against the teams, the league, the players named in the Brady v. NFL lawsuit and DeMaurice Smith, the head of the NFL, “are conspiring to depress the amounts of pension and disability benefits to be paid to former NFL players in order to maximize the salaries and benefits to current NFL players.”

And it says that while the NFL is willing to commit additional money to retirees from within and outside the league’s salary cap, the union “has insisted that the sum within the salary cap be given to current players instead.”

“We feel we have a seat at the table, but we’re having the chair pulled out from under us,” said Michael Hausfeld, the Washington-based lawyer representing retired players. “Both sides are saying, ‘We’ll decide what’s in your best interests.’ ”


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