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RoanokeFan
06-27-2012, 02:45 PM
NFLPA ASKS LEAGUE TO INVESTIGATE PROTRACTED SAINTS-BREES NEGOTIATIONS (http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/story/19427468/nfl-players-union-asks-league-to-investigate-protracted-brees-negotiations)

"As Drew Brees (/nfl/players/playerpage/235197/drew-brees) engaged
in a media blitz Tuesday, bringing awareness to concussion-related issues and
being asked obligatory questions about his contract status and the ongoing Saints (/nfl/teams/page/NO/new-orleans-saints) "bounty" investigation,
the NFLPA was continuing a more private inquiry of its own into such matters.



According to sources with knowledge of the situation, the NFLPA recently
submitted a letter to commissioner Roger Goodell regarding Brees' contract
impasse with New Orleans, asking the league to launch a probe into whether the
Saints were acting in good faith in negotiations with the star quarterback. Some
within the NFLPA believe that Brees' work on behalf of the union last year, as
one of the name plaintiffs in the lawsuit against the league during the lockout,
might be held against him as the sides remain unable to work out a long-term
deal. (The NFLPA is also closely monitoring the lack of negotiations with the
Saints' draft picks -- they are the only team yet to sign a single selection --
in regards to possible action, as well). </p>


Brees has yet to sign his one-year franchise tender, worth roughly $16.4
million, and has shown no indication of doing so, though he did confirm publicly
Tuesday he would not sit out the season. The team and the player have made some
incremental progress, though many in league circles are surprised the issue has
lingered as long as it has, with Brees skipping all of the offseason work, as is
the case in virtually all of these situations regarding players yet to sign
their franchise tender. The sides have until July 16 to work out a long-term
deal, and, should the NFL not launch an investigation into the union's claims
regarding Brees' negotiations, then the NFLPA is prepared to file an
unfair-labor practices claim with the National Labor Relations Board, the
sources said. </p>


The NFL declined to comment for this story. The Saints declined public
comment as well, though a team source discounted the veracity of the contents of
the letter. </p>


The NFLPA opted to pursue this matter with Goodell on its own, and was not
probed by Brees. The quarterback did not play a role in the decision, sources
said, with the union moving forward of its own accord. NFLPA head DeMaurice
Smith would not discuss the specifics of the matter but said the union was
acting as it would to protect any member and that Brees did not have a say in
any of the actions the union might take.
</p>

According to sources, the NFLPA is asking the league to investigate possible
negative comments members of the Saints management or ownership might have made
regarding Brees' involvement in union matters during the lockout. In the letter
to the NFL, sources said the NFLPA cites CBA provision, Article 49, Section 1:
"No Discrimination: There shall be no discrimination in any form against any
player by the NFL, the Management Council, any Club or by the NFLPA because of
race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or activity or lack of
activity on behalf of the NFLPA." </p>


In the letter, the NFLPA asks the NFL to respond in a timely manner. If the
union does not believe the matter is being taken seriously, then making a claim
to the NLRB would be the next step. </p>


Brees was very vocal during the lockout, and he was one of a contingent of
players involved in negotiations who were fighting against the franchise tag.
The union wanted the tags eliminated at one point, or at least players being
limited to being tagged only once in his career. However, the new CBA not only
does not include those restrictions, but the adjustments in the calculations of
the franchise figures resulted in the tags falling dramatically in 2012, making
it easier for the Saints to afford Brees (while his bloated cap figure counts
against them, the team has not had to give him any upfront money, and if Brees
played under the franchise tag, that salary would be paid out over the 17
regular-season game checks). </p>


It is indeed strange that the situation has come to this, as Brees became the
savior of Bayou football post-Katrina, and the love affair between player and
city and team was robust, culminating in a Lombardi Trophy only a few years ago.
But the business side of the football has a way of intervening, particularly
when you are talking about what has the potential to be the biggest deal in NFL
history. </p>


While contract-demand figures reported in the past -- with Brees then said to
be seeking $23 million per season -- struck me as inflated, the magic number has
always been about $20 million per season, and I suspect he ends up right around
that mark (maybe 19.5/year). Figuring out how much money is paid out in the
first three years, how much is fully guaranteed, and what that fully guaranteed
figure is (somewhere around $55 million to $60 million, I suspect) is where the
real work remains to be done on the contract. </p>


Brees, making the rounds on morning shows Tuesday, expressed surprised that
the talks have dragged on this long, and he made it clear having to play out one
year on the franchise tag is not his cup of tea. "I've played under the
franchise tag before," he told ESPN's Mike and Mike. "That did not end
well for me." (The NFL and NFLPA have a hearing Wednesday to clarify what Brees'
hypothetical 2013 franchise tag would be, with the NFLPA contending it should be
a 140 percent raise as a third-time franchise designee, and the NFL maintaining
it should be 120 percent). </p>


Brees also continued to take issue with the NFL's investigation into the
bounties during his media tour, and few players have been as outspoken on this
issue on Twitter and otherwise. He has challenged Goodell directly on the matter
with his remarks, asking for "proof" of money changing hands and attributing a
lot of what has been reported or heard on audio tapes as "tough talk" that was
not meant to be taken literally and was not done so by his teammates. </p>


The standoff between the Saints and Brees is not the only New Orleans
situation being monitored by the union. </p>


New Orleans is the only team yet to sign a pick and, according to several
sources with knowledge of the situation, Saints officials have yet to even enter
into negotiations with their five selections, informing their agents that talks
would likely begin in July. Obviously, that's not what any rookie, looking for
his first NFL cash, wants to hear, and though it does not explicitly violate the
CBA language, the union believes such a delay violates the spirit of the
agreement and does not meet the threshold of "good-faith negotiations" as
espoused by the CBA. </p>


The new system was put in place to avoid protracted negotiations or holdouts
and to get players signed quickly and with less drama. Indeed, there are only 37
unsigned draftees in the entire NFL as of Tuesday, and the Saints, despite not
having a first- or second-round pick, accounted for five of them. </p>


A Saints source pointed out that neither the NFL nor NFLPA has broached the
matter with the team and that there are no rules on when talks must begin.
Furthermore, the Saints, for years (except last year, which was unusual due to
the lockout), have not begun negotiations until July and this is their common
practice. The less money a player has in his pocket, the less he is prey for
hangers-on and friends and family members looking for loans, cars, etc. And the
less money in his pocket, the less likely he is to act recklessly during this
dangerous, unsupervised period in the NFL calendar before camp, so the thinking
goes. As an organization, the Saints have long thought that signing players
early might not be of much benefit, and they also figure that they can get the
entire class signed in the matter of a few days next month. </p>


The Saints are the only team in the NFL yet to sign their seventh-round pick
and are the only team without its sixth-round selections under contract, as
well. The Saints and Raiders are the only teams yet to sign their fifth-round
picks, and New Orleans is the only team with an unsigned fourth-round pick. Of
the 37 unsigned picks, 32 of them came in the first three rounds; New Orleans
made only one selection in those rounds. </p>


Some have speculated perhaps the Saints are doing so to save money -- it's a
theory some agents have put forth. However, New Orleans' rookie pool for 2012 is
only $2.27 million (no picks in the top two rounds, remember), so while the team
would be hypothetically earning interest on that money, it will eventually have
to pay its draft class between May and before camp opens in late July, the lump
sum by NFL standards is negligible. </p>


It certainly makes the Saints "outliers" in their approach to negotiating
with draft picks, as one agent put it -- most teams jumped in right away and got
them signed ASAP -- but then again, in this of all offseasons, I suppose we
would come to expect nothing less." </p>

GMENAGAIN
06-27-2012, 02:53 PM
To me, the NFLPA is way overstepping their bounds here . . . .

RoanokeFan
06-27-2012, 03:04 PM
To me, the NFLPA is way overstepping their bounds here . . . .

Maybe, maybe not. IF is can be shown that there is a connection to Brees' union activities and his contract, that's a big problem for the Saints. However, asking the NFL to do their dirty work is a bit odd. If the NFLPA has a problem of that magnitude they need to drag the Saints before the NLRB.

I'm not sure the NFL would have a role in that. Brees is contractually represented by an agent who is not an employee/agent of the NFL or the NFLPA. Most players aren't also union officials so this sounds like virgin territory to me.

GMENAGAIN
06-27-2012, 03:12 PM
To me, the NFLPA is way overstepping their bounds here . . . .

Maybe, maybe not. IF is can be shown that there is a connection to Brees' union activities and his contract, that's a big problem for the Saints. However, asking the NFL to do their dirty work is a bit odd. If the NFLPA has a problem of that magnitude they need to drag the Saints before the NLRB.

I'm not sure the NFL would have a role in that. Brees is contractually represented by an agent who is not an employee/agent of the NFL or the NFLPA. Most players aren't also union officials so this sounds like virgin territory to me.
</P>


What's been reported on Sirius though is that the Saints are willing to pay Brees $20M a year, but he wants $25M. So are we to believe that the Sainta are willing to pay $20Ma year, but won't go to $25M because of Brees' union activities? </P>


Seems like a stretch to me . . . . </P>

RoanokeFan
06-27-2012, 03:55 PM
To me, the NFLPA is way overstepping their bounds here . . . .

Maybe, maybe not. IF is can be shown that there is a connection to Brees' union activities and his contract, that's a big problem for the Saints. However, asking the NFL to do their dirty work is a bit odd. If the NFLPA has a problem of that magnitude they need to drag the Saints before the NLRB.

I'm not sure the NFL would have a role in that. Brees is contractually represented by an agent who is not an employee/agent of the NFL or the NFLPA. Most players aren't also union officials so this sounds like virgin territory to me.
</p>


What's been reported on Sirius though is that the Saints are willing to pay Brees $20M a year, but he wants $25M. So are we to believe that the Sainta are willing to pay $20Ma year, but won't go to $25M because of Brees' union activities? </p>


Seems like a stretch to me . . . . </p>

Mr. Benson has said he has to consider what's best for Brees AND the team. I think the union issue is a non-starter designed to force Benson to do something he doesn't want to do. I guess I'd be happy with $20M lol

There is always the CAP to consider as well.

NYGRealityCheck
06-27-2012, 05:22 PM
I think Brees wants the biggest contract in the NFL (to be the highest paid player in the NFL) and will accept absolutely nothing less.

The Saints organization are in a mess of their own making. All we can do is laugh at them...really hard sometimes...

RoanokeFan
06-27-2012, 05:26 PM
I think Brees wants the biggest contract in the NFL (to be the highest paid player in the NFL) and will accept absolutely nothing less.

The Saints organization are in a mess of their own making. All we can do is laugh at them...really hard sometimes...

Does he have to eventually sign the franchise tender? If he doesn't sign, what are the ramifications?

NYGRealityCheck
06-27-2012, 08:26 PM
I think Brees wants the biggest contract in the NFL (to be the highest paid player in the NFL) and will accept absolutely nothing less.

The Saints organization are in a mess of their own making. All we can do is laugh at them...really hard sometimes...

Does he have to eventually sign the franchise tender?* If he doesn't sign, what are the ramifications?


Since he's not under contract (FA, not signing the franchise tender/contract), he always has the option of just sitting out next season and make $0 since he can only negotiate with the Saints (exclusive franchise tag). Your article supports this.

"Brees has yet to sign his one-year franchise tender, worth roughly $16.4 million, and has shown no indication of doing so, though he did confirm publicly Tuesday he would not sit out the season."

If push comes to shove, I don't see why Brees would sit out making $0 next season. I'd take the $16.4 million guaranteed and play relaxed. If this causes the Saints to cut him in the middle of season after they come to a realization that their season is lost, he'll still make the $16.4 million guaranteed and another team is going to offer him another contract to play for them on top of that.

Here's a source confirming the above. Simply goggled.

http://www.wwl.com/What-if-Drew-doesn-t-sign-his-franchise-tender-/10773651?pid=240666

RoanokeFan
06-27-2012, 08:55 PM
I think Brees wants the biggest contract in the NFL (to be the highest paid player in the NFL) and will accept absolutely nothing less.

The Saints organization are in a mess of their own making. All we can do is laugh at them...really hard sometimes...

Does he have to eventually sign the franchise tender? If he doesn't sign, what are the ramifications?


Since he's not under contract (FA, not signing the franchise tender/contract), he always has the option of just sitting out next season and make $0 since he can only negotiate with the Saints (exclusive franchise tag). Your article supports this.

"Brees has yet to sign his one-year franchise tender, worth roughly $16.4 million, and has shown no indication of doing so, though he did confirm publicly Tuesday he would not sit out the season."

If push comes to shove, I don't see why Brees would sit out making $0 next season. I'd take the $16.4 million guaranteed and play relaxed. If this causes the Saints to cut him in the middle of season after they come to a realization that their season is lost, he'll still make the $16.4 million guaranteed and another team is going to offer him another contract to play for them on top of that.

We'll have to wait and see how it all unfolds.