UPDATE: Apparently three of the 4 have decided to back off a bit on their demands. Brees, Manning, and Jackson have said they will not hold off a deal for their own personal gain. So maybe the comments by a “punter” was enough to stir up the old public opinion freight train. It’s also being reported that Mankins may not have asked for anything…but that isn’t confirmed.
It’s hard for me to believe that the fans, employees of teams, and the owners are thrilled with the way this entire negotiation process has gone. I don’t even believe that the early ire of my hatred filled thoughts, DeMaurice Smith, is thrilled with the way these negotiations have gone. Not the judges, not anyone. So while it seemed that a deal was closer to closure than at any point in the last 3 years, it was not lost that the names of four of the individual plaintiffs could throw a wrench into the whole thing.
Yes, the millionaires that are representing some 1800 plus NFL ballers want a little “somethin’ somethin'” for themselves. They want to be completely exempt from ever being franchised again. And it appears that they may be actually holding up the negotiations to the point that a deal that was supposed to voted on tomorrow by the players and Thursday by the owners is suddenly up in the air.
Well, that’s not exactly my term for them. Instead, it comes from one of those 1800 players who they supposedly represent. Chris Kluwe the punter of the Vikings tweeted this not to long ago:
"“Sigh, and once again greed is the operative byword. Congrats Brees, Manning, Mankins, and Jackson for being ‘that guy’. #douchebags.“"
I’m sure that Peyton Manning will enjoy being called out again by a kicker. The truth is that Kluwe likely is echoing the sentiments of many out of work NFL players right now who simply want to get back to playing football and getting paid. He also likely speaks the same thoughts as many fans. The reality is simple. It was Drew Brees who opened up his mouth in the days following the decertification of the NFLPA that said this labor unrest had nothing to do with money. It was also Brees who repeatedly spoke about not putting up with the NFL’s lies. Yet it is the actions of that same Drew Brees that has everyone pointing directly to the issue of money.
So is it any surprise that at the end of this long drama it comes down to what four want instead of what is best for the players? I have ascertained all along, much to the disgust of many of this sites readers that the NFL and the owners held, most of the time, the integrity of the game to a higher standard than their own wants. Drew Brees and company talked often about the integrity of the game but have yet to truly show that it really matters to them at all. So long as they get paid.
My hats off to any player who has the balls to speak publicly about their disgust with this process…in regards to both sides when it’s fair. While I’m not sure “douche-bag” is an appropriate choice of words to describe two of the best QB’s in the league, at least it’s a strong comment about his displeasure with them all.
Now if only the other 1800 would do the same. Maybe this notion can be dropped and the two sides can shake hands and get back to the real work of playing football.