Union explores possible collusion charges

In a move that should come as little surprise to those who have been tracking the developments in the ongoing labor battle between the NFL and the players’ union, multiple sources tell us that the NFLPA actively is exploring the possibility of filing collusion charges against the league regarding an overall lack of spending in free agency.

The union has been consulting with numerous agents to obtain insights regarding whether a case should be pursued — and whether evidence exists to support such a claim.

Exhibit A very well could be the widespread use of letters by teams informing restricted free agents that their tender offers will be cut as of midnight on June 15.  The Collective Bargaining Agreement doesn’t require the issuance of such warning letters, and we’re told that the text of the letters sent by various teams suggest a degree of coordination.

We’ve also heard from multiple sources that teams possibly were not more aggressive in the pursuit of restricted free agents due to concerns that they’d be dressed down at league meetings in March and May.

Whether that’s enough to prove collusion remains to be seen.  At some point very soon, we’ll break down the various rules that would apply in the event that a collusion case is filed — and regarding the potential exposure the league would face if the union files collusion charges.

Or maybe it’s more accurate to say “when.”

26 responses to “Union explores possible collusion charges

  1. NFLPA suffered a fatal head on collision while bending over searching for collusion in the litter on the floorboard of the car.

  2. They do not have a chance and it will be nothing but a waste of time. Just common sence when you are going to knock a players salary offer down to nothing and it is close to the deadline that you would let him know about it.

  3. The union can stamp its feet and gnash its teeth all it wants. It is hilarious to see the pot trying to call the kettle black. Unions engage in nothing if not legalized collusion; they need to be slapped down…and hard.

  4. A bunch of owners not wanting to dump a bunch of money on substandard free agents in this economy does not collusion make.

  5. If the NFLPA has a problem with how movement has been for RFAs in the Final League Year, shouldn’t they be looking in the mirror for signing the CBA with those rules in the first place?
    How about the fact that only a maximum of 32 players with first round tenders could possibly have been pursued? How about the fact that draft picks are even more valuable when there are so many fewer UFAs on the market?
    I look forward to your further explanation of how collusion could possibly be proved when it’s the league’s job to coordinate labor issues between the teams in the first place. That’s like accusing Chevy and Buick of colluding against the UAW by taking instructions from GM on how to communicate with the union and it’s members.

  6. The league should counter and look into filing collusion charges on the Players Union and the Players Agency Representation for rape. These two groups have raped the league and the teams for years on in. Their greed has made this game unenjoyable to an extent. I love football like it is nobodies business. But the financial end of this game and Major League Baseball makes me nautious. It is ridiculous an out of hand!

  7. Translation – The union throws a wobbly because the massive ‘free money bonanza’ that they promised players in the uncapped year turned out to be a myth and now they have to hastily blame somebody other than themselves before the players start to wonder why exactly they bother paying their union fees.

  8. way to go florio. maybe one team saw that another team sent the letters and thought it was a good idea to prevent such possible loop-holes in a contract. i’m no legal expert, but for christ’s sake, how is this proof of collusion? i love the site, but in recent weeks it seems as though you’re reaching for stories. come on!

  9. Of course there is collusion the nfl is a business its not a fair playing field.Tuck rule 2001.

  10. I wonder if the military would have a case against the government? I can see this labor battle is going to get very tiring listening to both sides argue over millions of dollars while the regular fan is lucky to be able to afford the price of a ticket.

  11. Hey Player’s Union…. it’s called teams don’t want you whining when salaries are reduced and you complain that they never informed you of this. Stop whining and take your millions and play ball! There are those of us working hard for very little money who could only dream of getting to play a game for millions of dollars. Take your stupid union and shut your mouths. Who cares if team owners got together and suggested that they send out letters to make sure that all the players knew what was going to happen. Did it change anything about your contracts that they informed you of pay cuts if contracts weren’t signed by a certain period of time? NO! Sign the stinking contracts and play ball you whiny babies!

  12. What about the collusion of agents who tell all their players(clients) to avoid going to minicamps or OTAs?

  13. thin very thin,in how many diff ways should a team word “sign tender and come to camp,or lose money”, pretty sure they are wasting time on this one,never prove it

  14. With every passing day I am getting less and less confident there will be a season.
    Time for UFLfootballtalk.com to open its doors.
    Go ummmm…..Hartford maybe, or Omaha I guess.

  15. I honestly hope there is a work stoppage/lockout, just to see what would happen to the league. I find it amazing that you have millionaires and billionaires complaining that they’re not making enough money.

  16. Every union corrupts their business but the NFLPA is without a doubt the most destructive union in this country. Yes, even more than the auto union that has single handedly destroyed the US auto industry. If Smith keeps going not only will he have pissed off all the fans who may misteriously become UFL fans, but he is going to piss off the NFL so badly that they will never employ a union employee again. I could be wrong but I am pretty sure the league has no legal requirements to hire these folks after the CBA goes away. Besides, the retirement and benefit packages might be better when provided by the NFL. Usually private companies can do a far better job without the “collusion” of unions. Get the players a nice 401k or a retirement savings plan and watch the income and success of the NFL sky rocket.

  17. Collusion???
    I’m sure teams have relationships and spoke to each other on the best way to handle the upcoming contract issues.
    If the wording is the same, how is that collusion? I’m sure many of the player contracts have very similar language because it’s language that works.
    The owners, with the exeption of Green Bay, are singular businessmen who know how to thrive in the business world.
    The union really needs to get some MBAs and people with sound business sense who know how to run an organziation. They come off as a bunch of crybaby jocks who don’t know a thing about how plan ahead more than one season.

  18. The union is responsible for the RFA issue. I guess they get a pass? They should concentrate on taking care of retired players!
    Good luck finding anything…..the rules the teams are using are coming from the existing CBA…..ratified by the NFLPA! I’m sure this will go a long way on negotiating a new CBA?
    Looks more and more like a strike. Not a lock-out, although either are bad for both parties. Terrible for the game and fans. I think it’s fairly common knowledge that the fans get really upset at both entities! It could take a couple of years to rebuild fan confidence, so in reality it’s bad for the Players and the Owners…

  19. In a year with over 200 RFA there was only 1 i repeat 1 RFA that was signed to an offer sheet…OJ Atogwe was Tender at the lowest level and didnt get a sniff in FA…Colts Owner said after the Super Bowl that Manning would have a contract which would make him the Highest paid player in NFL history before trainning camp but now is back tracking and saying they will try to sign him before next season. The owners are preparing for a LOCKOUT and their actions this off season is Collusion plain and simple. I find it funny that most fans are blaming the players and the union when in fact the owners opted out of the current deal and to date have not made really any cba proposals to the union.

  20. By this standard, the very existence of the CBA is evidence of collusion by both sides. Simply ridiculous. Leave it to a slimy lawyer and the useless, greedy union to ruin yet another industry in an effort to deepen their own pockets.
    Just like the UAW has done, what’s almost worse than the money-grubbing is the corruption of the employees ethics. I’m sure most of the players started out grateful to play football for a living and make decent money, but now look at them. Refusing to come to work until the owner pays them a bunch more than they contractually agreed to. Basically they are saying, “The wages I agreed to were only acceptable if I did a bad job or just plain didn’t try hard. If you want me to do my best or put in a solid effort, it’s going to cost ALOT more!” But they sure aren’t willing to give any back when they suck after getting top dollar. They believe they should be compensated for potential, not performance. These guys need a healthy dose of reality.

  21. The teams are involved in a sinister, left wing conspiracy called…..budgeting.

  22. So let me get this straight – the employees are suing the private company for setting artificial wage limits?
    My employer does that and we get paid a lot less.
    Cry me an effin river, players. :rolleyes: There is something called capitalism – the private companies are still allowed to pay their employees what they want. If you don’t like it, you are free to work and go elsewhere.

  23. # CT Pats Fan says: June 15, 2010 10:03 AM
    The teams are involved in a sinister, left wing conspiracy called…..budgeting.
    Those bastards.

  24. Essentially the players union is complaining about the laws of supply & demand.
    Players are worth what teams will pay them.
    Complaining about their perceived worth? and exploring suing the teams over the players’ perceived worth? LOL.
    Stupid unions.

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