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Brees says he likely will attend future mediation sessions

Drew Brees AP

Saints quarterback Drew Brees, a named plaintiff in the antitrust lawsuit against the NFL and a member of the NFLPA* Executive Committee, has been conspicuously absent from the mediation sessions that resumed on Thursday.

But Brees tells Mike Triplett of the New Orleans Times-Picayune that the Super Bowl MVP “likely” will attend future sessions.

Hopefully, it’ll happen sooner rather than later.  Ideally, Drew would have been there from the start.

The problem is that, by missing the first two days, Brees already will feel behind the curve and potentially out of place when he shows up.  And that could cause him to feel frustrated.  And that frustration could manifest itself in ways that aren’t productive to the process.

Mediation works best when the parties who need to be there get there from the start and stay there until the finish.  Maybe that’s one of the reasons why the mediation failed in February and March.  Given the revolving door of attendees on both sides of the table, plenty of time likely was wasted making sure the new or returning faces knew exactly what was going on.

Based on his remarks to Triplett, it’s clear that Brees has strong feelings about the situation.  He’s quick to point out that the owners started this fight, and he complains that the owners went on a 48-hour media blitz after the lockout started, and that “95 percent of it was false information.”

He’s entitled to feel that way, because he has lived it.  But that makes his decision to skip the first two mediation sessions even more unfortunate.  If he’s upset with what’s happened, he needed to voice it during the early stages of court-ordered mediation, as part of the proverbial “fence-mending.”  If instead he shows up with a chip still firmly affixed to his shoulder at a time when the parties are starting the slow process of making progress, it could set things back even farther.

And before Saints fans accuse us of not calling out the seven other named plaintiffs who haven’t been at mediation (only Mike Vrabel and Ben Leber have attended), they all should be there — and all of the owners should be there.  But the reality is that the other seven named plaintiffs who aren’t there aren’t as vocal or worked up as Brees.  Peyton Manning and Tom Brady don’t seem to be nearly as emotionally invested in the process at this point; thus, if they should swoop in for the first time at a time when things are moving in the right direction, the twist in the dynamic likely won’t change things all that much.

Given Brees’ strong views on the subject, he needed to be there from Day One, for the same reasons that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones should have been there.  And Brees definitely needs to be among the group that returns to Minnesota on Tuesday.

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25 Responses to “Brees says he likely will attend future mediation sessions”
  1. italyprodigy says: Apr 16, 2011 11:38 AM

    Maybe it’s finally settling in his head that his occupation is on an NFL football field and not in a court room.

  2. ifyouthinkofgarbagethinkofakeem says: Apr 16, 2011 11:49 AM

    We don’t need need drew brees to attend this mediation. It looks
    Like they’re doing just fine without those named plaintiffs. Let the lawyers an lead negotiators handle it from the players standpoint
    And stay the freak out!!. Some of those players who might attend
    For future mediation process could just ruin this whole situation
    And plus they are behind now except for those two( vrabel and leber)
    Who attended from the beginning.

  3. upperdecker19 says: Apr 16, 2011 11:49 AM

    I love how boths sides are treating this like I treat a jury duty summons.

    “I promise I didn’t know that federal mediation with my name on it was proceeding…..the mailman never delivered my invitation”

  4. stadanko says: Apr 16, 2011 11:59 AM

    “And that could cause him to feel frustrated. And that frustration could manifest itself in ways that aren’t productive to the process.”

    I really don’t see Drew Brees acting that way. He’s a pretty poised individual.

  5. jw731 says: Apr 16, 2011 12:09 PM

    So, by this analysis, the entire process is dependant on Drew Brees’ attendance…..Somehow i find that hard to believe…

  6. txchief says: Apr 16, 2011 12:21 PM

    Brees is just there to pat DeWhatever on the butt after he makes one of his erudite points.

  7. laeaglefan says: Apr 16, 2011 12:30 PM

    This whole thing could be settled in one day if both sides really put their minds to it. Why this thing should take months to settle and what they can possibly talk about at mediation for months is beyond my comprehension. All that I can envision is months of finger pointing and accusations back and forth. I wish that the judge would just make a ruling already and lets move on to playing some football!

  8. Kave Krew says: Apr 16, 2011 12:38 PM

    The No-Shows are a clear indication that this is a lip service thing.

    Both parties know that this is going into September, so they are thinking why waste their time and enrgy.

  9. canadian52niner says: Apr 16, 2011 12:38 PM

    Brees is a sellout to the fans. I have lost a lot of respect for him as a weasel to the health of our game!

  10. jw731 says: Apr 16, 2011 12:39 PM

    @laeaglefan

    Agreed…. It is becoming increasingly evident to me at least, that the owners want to stonewall the players, and nothing will change until game checks are missed, and the owners hope the players cave. The owners know the majority of fans will be back, it will be months of “he said -she said” BS.

  11. txchief says: Apr 16, 2011 12:53 PM

    One fan’s demands:

    1. No more meaningless preseason games at full ticket and parking prices.

    2. Quit squandering my season ticket payments on draft busts.

    3. Playas need to show up for game one in shape and with knowledge of the playbook.

  12. jamoe17 says: Apr 16, 2011 12:55 PM

    Consideating the lack of substance Brees has brought to the proceedings thus far, I have a hard time believing Brees’ absence is having any kind of negative affect whatsoever. But nice try, Mark.

  13. nflfan101 says: Apr 16, 2011 1:03 PM

    It may be that all of this mediation is a sham, just like the decertification. While it appears to me that the NFLPA and NFLPA* really do not want to negotiate (they just want to keep things as they were – they had a great deal), the constant changing of who attends the mediation meetings says that both sides are not ready to make a deal.

    In case anyone missed PFT’s subtle wording favoring the NFLPA*, PFT said “Ideally, Drew would have been there from the start.” If PFT was talking about an owner, it would have been “____ SHOULD have been there from the start.” There is a BIG psychological difference between “would” and “should”.

  14. 3octaveFart says: Apr 16, 2011 1:04 PM

    “The problem is that, by missing the first two days, Brees already will feel behind the curve and potentially out of place when he shows up. And that could cause him to feel frustrated. And that frustration could manifest itself in ways that aren’t productive to the process.”

    You made four totally off-the-wall assumptions out of two sentences.

  15. tony420 says: Apr 16, 2011 1:17 PM

    Yes the deal has been terrible for him.

  16. Deb says: Apr 16, 2011 1:19 PM

    For pity’s sake, are these grownups or lil kids? It doesn’t matter who started what or who was meaner to whom. Do they want a resolution, or don’t they? The significant figures in this dispute need to stop diddling, get into that room, and work through their differences before the courts make decisions neither side will like.

  17. thefiesty1 says: Apr 16, 2011 2:02 PM

    Brees and the rest of the Brady bunch should all attend and tell De Mo to go away. Maybe some progress will be made then.

  18. chatham10 says: Apr 16, 2011 2:17 PM

    There is no reason for Brees to be there but his ego and having his serious look will be good for the press but the lawyers tell these guys what to do and what to say so stay on the golf course and out of the way.

  19. siggy00 says: Apr 16, 2011 2:45 PM

    I love how this guy always has a cell phone near his ear when walking to court/negotiations.

    Like he knows whats going on? LOL

    He’s a phony and DeSmith’s puppet.

  20. fatguystrangler says: Apr 16, 2011 3:31 PM

    The theme of the negotiations and mediation, by both sides, should be: “Procrastinators unite tomorrow!”

  21. laeaglefan says: Apr 16, 2011 4:25 PM

    I’m not sure it matters whether Drew Brees is there or not, since he doesn’t have any decision making power. His name is attached to the lawsuit only because the NFLPA* feels that it needs high profile player representation. Ultimately it will be De Smith and the lawyers who make any decisions for the players in this case.

  22. realfann says: Apr 16, 2011 5:14 PM

    PFT stirring up ant-Brees hysteria is not the least bit conducive to getting this dispute settled.

    So PTF, get off your effing soap box and shut the heck up.

    Brees doesn’t attend every negotiating meeting his agent has to settle the terms of his new contract. He knows how to get up to speed on stuff.

  23. easyeddie says: Apr 16, 2011 10:51 PM

    canadian52niner says:
    Apr 16, 2011 12:38 PM
    Brees is a sellout to the fans. I have lost a lot of respect for him as a weasel to the health of our game!

    Totally agree. He does seem worked up more than some of the others involved. I’m really quite sick of poor unfortunate mistreated Drew Brees, which is unfortunate because I in the past I always thought highly of him.

  24. Cowboys-Forum says: Apr 16, 2011 10:52 PM

    Ahhhhhhhh Poor baby, did Brees catch some flack for not attending and now he has to show so the fans think he cares, maybe Brady should car pool with him.

  25. ilovefoolsball says: Apr 18, 2011 7:15 PM

    easyeddie says: Apr 16, 2011 10:51 PM

    canadian52niner says:
    Apr 16, 2011 12:38 PM
    Brees is a sellout to the fans. I have lost a lot of respect for him as a weasel to the health of our game!

    Totally agree. He does seem worked up more than some of the others involved. I’m really quite sick of poor unfortunate mistreated Drew Brees, which is unfortunate because I in the past I always thought highly of him.
    ________
    I’m really quite sick of stupid saps such as yourself piling on the anti-Brees hate. What’s wrong, your team been suckin lately? Or maybe you’re just unhappy with your life in general.
    Either way, he’s done nothing to hurt anything football related. You can choose to believe what garbage comes out in the media through carefully selected portions of someone’s statement and be a tool who is incapable of independent thought, or you can just choose to write it all off to he said, he said and not pay attention to it.

    I don’t even understand why anyone would give two-sh%ts about any of this as we can do nothing to change it and in the end none of it will affect any fan once this dispute gets settled. Seriously, I don’t care what comes out of the owners or the player’s mouths, just get the deal done and play football for Buddha’s sake. This isn’t rocket science, it’s the science of greed.

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