Yesterday, Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe was seemingly the first NFL player to respond to allegations that Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Vincent Jackson and Logan Mankins were seeking special treatment (a la Reggie White in 1993) through their antitrust lawsuit with 6 other players. Manning and Brees reportedly wanted to be exempt from the franchise tag for the rest of their careers while Jackson and Mankins wanted to either be outright free agents or receive $10 million each for their troubles of last season. And as you can see from the Drew Brees Tweet above, it may not be true.
Boston Globe reporter Greg Bedard also Tweeted a few hours prior to Brees that the four “douchebags”, as Kluwe so wonderfully put it, had backed off of their special demands. But as Pro Football Talk pointed out last night, the reason for the special treatment claims is a whole lot simpler than we should have even thought.
To little surprise, Bedard reports that NFLPA* outside counsel Jeffrey Kessler is “still fighting” for the players, but that the issue is expected to be resolved.
Kessler has been trying for weeks to get special treatment for the named plaintiffs. Several weeks ago, he spent hours arguing that Brees and Manning should receive a lifetime exemption from the franchise tag. Regardless of whether Kessler was hoping to blow up the deal or simply to achieve tangible proof of victory, he has yet to give up. Until he does, it won’t go away.
There you have it, friends and fellow NFL fans – it’s a lawyer holding everything up. Some dude who is just hanging on for whatever extra cash or moral victories he can achieve is the reason why our teams can’t start preparing for the preseason and sign free agents yet. The owners have sacrificed a ton, the players have what they want, the blue collar guys need to get paid, the rookies may have starved to death, Dez Bryant’s knees may soon be broken, and strip clubs across the country have seen less rain than the Sahara. If Brees if serious, he’ll kindly tell Mr. Kessler to shut the hell up and let us have our football back.