Source: Eller case could still screw up settlement

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On July 4, a group of retired players led by Hall of Fame defensive end Carl Eller made the ultimate power play, filing an amended class-action lawsuit to include both the NFL, the 10 current players who sued the NFL, and NFLPA* executive director DeMaurice Smith.

The claims, which are in our estimation borderline frivolous given the retired players’ lack of legal standing to force the league and the current players to give the retired players any cut of the revenue pie, would still need to be properly resolved via appropriate due process, which necessarily could take some time even if the courts agree with our assessment.  Thus, if they want to, Eller and company could delay the settlement between the league and the players.

When lawyer Michael Hausfeld, who represents the class, joined PFT Live on July 8, it seemed fairly clear that, no matter how things shake out, Eller and company don’t want to get in the way of the possible return of football.  Five days ago, Eller himself said that the retired players won’t stand in the way of a settlement.

Against that background, a source with knowledge of the broader negotiations reports that the Eller plaintiffs are still in position to potentially torpedo the deal.

Per the source, Hausfeld argues that the NFL and the NFLPA* are engaged in illegal collective bargaining, that the pre-asterisked NFLPA previously represented the interests of retired players via collective bargaining, and that the retired players now want to represent their own interests and rights.

Fine, Hausfeld.  The retired players represent their interests and rights.  And they may be interested to know that they have no rights.

So maybe that’s what should happen.  The NFLPA* should stop all efforts to get anything for retired players, and the retired players can then try on their own to get health care and whatever else they currently have no right to get.

Making this effort at the 12th hour hurts the retired players on many levels.  If the NFL decides to play hardball, the retired players could get far less than the NFLPA* could ever get for them.  And the NFL could decide to play hardball, if/when public opinion turns sharply against the retired players.

As it will.

So, please, Mr. Eller and Mr. Hausfeld.  For the best interests of all retired players, get out of the way of football.  Like you already promised you would.

35 responses to “Source: Eller case could still screw up settlement

  1. I can’t see how the retired players have a legal case for anything.

    They worked (played) 10,20,30,40,50 years ago and are currently receiving the level of retirement benefits/health insurance which are mandated by their contracts.

    If the NFL or NFLPA(*) want to give them more money/benefits then fine, but it’s a goodwill gesture and they really don’t have to do it.

  2. I don’t know man. He kind of looks like a mix between DeMaurice Smith and Clint Eastwood…maybe the NFL should just get out of his way.

  3. You said it yourself- The retired players simply are not ENTITLED to anything. Is it the right thing to do? Certainly. BOTH the owners AND the current players should provide something for retirees. However, they are not and should not be OBLIGATED to do so. This is a situation where the current retirees should would be much better served by sitting back, letting things work, and being grateful for whatever they get.

  4. For real. You get what you signed up for. Eminem’s not going to send Run DMC any coin anytime soon.Thanks but that’s not how it works.

  5. WHATS THIS? these labor talks have gone so smooth and so quickly and now at the last second someone wants to try to mess things up are you serious? i just can’t believe this it is the very last thing i would have expected.

  6. It’s not over until Carl Eller gently touches the brim of his hat and nods, almost imperceptably. Then everyone can leave the room.

  7. They won’t stop this settlement. If they did, they would never hear the end of it and would be generally disrespected and dislike in the public eye. Btw, is just me that thinks that the nfl should cancel 2011 season to truly fix problems concerning the settlement

  8. I suspect I speak for more than just myself when I say that my patience is wearing thin with this effing nonsense. I’ve had enough of the legal drama. The parties that are filing lawsuits, holding out for specific terms and NOT VOTING are risking losing fan support for the NFL if this goes on much longer. They will end up damaging the whole league.

    As fans, our patience is not unlimited. No matter which side we supported more during the lockout–no matter how much we think Goodell and DSmith are d-bags…public opinion is swinging against the NFLPA* more with every second they don’t take a vote(s). The deal is fair and everyone knows it. Not perfect, but fair. The owners only approved what the player leadership agreed to in principle. THEY are going to be seen as holding up the sport we love. And if their girly demands for less practice or the delay in training camp/pre-season affects the game, THEY–not the owners–are going to get the blame.

    Sign the damn deal before the fans start watching women’s soccer on Sunday afternoons.

  9. there it is your cold water for today. I swear if I dont wake up to deal is done tomorrow, I will not watch football this year. Who am I kidding, I will but I won’t like it as much.

  10. If the Retired Players Manage to Torpedo this CBA….
    Then NOBODY & I’ll repeat NOBODY should tune in or attend the HOF Induction Ceremony….
    I mean why should we CELEBRATE what they Have done for the game…. If BECAUSE of them,there are NO games !!!!!!
    I’m Just Saying 🙂

  11. I’m not a legal expert but how can the retired players stop ANY deal?

    The players are on board, the owners are on board to open the doors.. retired players have NOTHING to do with the current game.

    Thus, they can’t stop anything!

    Correct me if I’m wrong please?

  12. Here is a solution to the woes of (future) retired players: the NFL should mandate that all player contracts include a provision for a certain percentage being automatically set aside for long-term (after retirement) health care. They get pension payments after a minimum five years in the league anyway, don’t they?

  13. Eller was a beast and someone needs to look after the interest of the banged up players whom led the way for the now multi millionair players. They deserve much more, but not at the expense of a deal.

  14. This is ridiculous. The former players deserve no place during current negotiations and should not be a part of the settlement between the NFLPA and the NFL. The league has fulfilled its obligations to these players. That said, it would be nice for the NFL/NFLPA to assist former players dealing with medical issues directly linked to their football careers. Nice, but not mandatory. The thought that they believe there is just grounds for a lawsuit is sad.

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