Collusion case against Broncos and Cowboys could still proceed

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The NFL Players Association reportedly intended to pursue a collusion case against the Broncos and Cowboys if receivers Demaryius Thomas and Dez Bryant, respectively, didn’t get new long-term deals before last Wednesday’s deadline for signing franchise-tagged players to multi-year contracts. The implication that it would all go away if they sign new contracts may not apply.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the NFLPA is still assessing whether to proceed with the collusion case. Specifically, the NFLPA has not lifted the notice requiring the teams to preserve any emails, text messages, or other documents that could be relevant to the case.

On one hand, it will be difficult for Thomas or Bryant to prove that they suffered any tangible financial loss due to collusion, given that they both signed five-year, $70 million contracts. On the other hand, if the Broncos and Cowboys violated the CBA by colluding, there’s value to all players in exposing it, since it could prevent other teams from doing it in the future.

Also, the mere threat of a viable collusion case could be used to squeeze the NFL into a settlement or some other agreement that benefits the players generally.

The decision ultimately may come down to whether the NFLPA feels strongly about the evidence that has been harvested. For now, the NFLPA has one key shred of proof: Expected testimony from Bryant that Cowboys COO Stephen Jones said during a phone conversation that Jones spoke to Broncos G.M. John Elway about the Bryant/Thomas negotiations.

To get more evidence, the case needs to proceed to the discovery process. And it’s possible that there will be other evidence. No one will know that unless and until the NFLPA decides to proceed with a collusion case.

Which means that the best move for now would be to proceed with the discovery process, and see what happens.

46 responses to “Collusion case against Broncos and Cowboys could still proceed

  1. That proof is tenuous at best currently. Bryant’s account is hearsay AND when he brought it out, he WAS trying to use it as leverage.

    While I am all for the PA going after collusion if it happened, they need to make sure that they have a better case than the – 2 teams colluded to pay our players more than they were originally offering tack they currently have.

  2. Honestly, who cares anymore?

    They bluffed a holdout and wanted Megatron money. They weren’t going to get it and even IF the teams colluded you can bet for damn sure the agents/players were. There’s no way one of them wanted less $$$ than the other.

    Even if Julio and others sign for the same its because it’s now market value, not collusion, with Megatron’s pre-rookie salary cap number an outlier.

  3. There’s nothing worse than colluding, getting caught, or at least suspected, and THEN CAPITULATING! John Elway, a narcissist so huge he publicly thanked himself instead of John Fox, GOT CAUGHT. Nice work, Mr. Vice President in Charge of Football Operations!. If Bowlen knew…

  4. So the teams discussed their players contract situations together then signed both players to nearly identical contracts? Collusion? What collusion?

  5. Nothing will happen because they probably can’t prove it but come on, it’s pretty obvious there was collusion here. From Dez Bryant’s story to the fact that they both basically got the same deal at the same time.

  6. Come on now, we all know they magically arrived at identical contract valuation. OH OH OH it’s magic!

  7. Jones: “Hey Horse Face, how’s it going?”

    Elway: “Pretty good, Junior. Except I’ve got this wide receiver we drafted in the first round of the 2010 draft. He’s been great so we put the franchise tag on him, but we’re trying to get a long-term contract.”

    Jones: “Wait. We’re in exactly the same situation. Exactly. That’s amazing.”

    Elway: “Yeah, I know. Their agents work for the same company, so I’m sure they’ll be working together to get them similar contracts.”

    Jones: “Well, we have all the money in the world so we’ll let it play out as long as possible and then give him what he wants right before the deadline.”

    Elway: “I’m sure we’ll do the same thing.”


  8. Its “more probably than not” the 2 teams colluded. Time to take the picks way and slander the name!

  9. If Elway and Jones were shrewd and motivated to cheat, they would have third parties arrange for meetings in out of the way airports, or maybe Dean Blandino’s favorite party bus so that proof of collusion would be much harder to produce.

    But, then, we are talking about Elway and Jones.

  10. The text messages clearly show that it is more likely than not Jones and Elway were generally aware of their collusion.

  11. If it’s two teams talking to keep salaries down, then it’s collusion.

    If it’s 30 teams talking to keep salaries down, then it’s not collusion. i.e. Washington & Dallas in the uncapped year.

  12. Articles like this and so many others shine a bright light on the overall lack of knowledge about the game of football on this site.

  13. …how many days till trning camp…
    …i almost feel bad for the cowboys…
    …honestly who cares anymore…

    new platitudes abound when it doesn’t involve a perennial winner.
    Go Pats!

  14. The only way to prove collusion between the Broncos and Cowboys is to see if this deal limits competition on the open market for other teams to extend long term contracts. I would suggest reading the Robinson-Ratnam Act to see if there is in fact any collusionary deals. Also, it may behoove the legal departments to look into federal labour laws such as the National Labour Relations Act.

  15. “Get our players contracts or we will be proceeding with the collusion case.”

    “Alright, your players got mega-deals, all is well, correct?”

    “Well, we could still milk some money out of this, so no, not really.”

  16. Put Ted Wells in charge of the investigation. That’ll certainly get to the bottom of it /sarcasm

  17. clashpoint says:
    Jul 22, 2015 12:51 PM

    So the teams discussed their players contract situations together then signed both players to nearly identical contracts? Collusion? What collusion?
    Ask for a dictionary for Christmas. Identical means alike in every way. The guarantees are different, cap charges different, signing bonuses are different.

    Absolute words like identical cannot have qualifiers. Either they are identical or they aren’t. Nearly qualifies the absolute making the entire sentence invalid. We don’t care if you heard it on TV said in a similar manner. Pick up a book without pictures.

  18. “RegisHawk says:
    Jul 22, 2015 2:09 PM

    NFL PA – Wasting your union dollars to make you think they’re going something.”

    My man Troy! How are things going?!?

  19. clashpoint says:
    Jul 22, 2015 12:51 PM

    So the teams discussed their players contract situations together then signed both players to nearly identical contracts? Collusion? What collusion?

    It is already known that the collusion was on the part of the agents involved. But don’t let that stop you from your rant…I can see you’re on a roll…

  20. col·lu·sion
    Full Definition
    :secret agreement or cooperation especially for an illegal or deceitful purpose
    The company was acting in collusion with manufacturers to inflate prices.

    Are we learning yet?
    There is the dictionary, kids.

  21. “Per a source” , “per a source”, ” per a source” …. The same source that had Dez’s Walmart video ?

  22. You better give up that cell phone Jerry Jones and John Elway or you will be found not cooperating. Goodell may have opened Pandora’s box demanding cell phones.

  23. hehateme2 says:
    Jul 22, 2015 3:35 PM
    Was waiting for the pat brats to chime in. Do you people have a life? Other than camping out here making excuses?


    … says the troll on all Patriots-related posts …

    Pot, meet Kettle!

  24. I’m pretty sure every team participates in collusion at some point. That said throw the book at them. Lol.

  25. The NFL should do Something to ensure the Lael Collins situation doesn’t happen again.

    The Cowboys get a gift and good player without having to use a draft pick. Collins should have been forced to re-enter the draft next year.

  26. These players make millions. Many end up broke. Many end up in prison. If the NFLPA was really concerned about their clients, they would be trying to find a better way of preparing these young men for the real world. The world that these young players now enjoy, is quite different than the world they grew up in, and they’re just not prepared for it. Maybe the guys running the NFLPA figure these young players just aren’t worthy of trying to save.

  27. Hate to say it, but the NFLPA is being fleeced by a bunch of litigating lawyers who’s main concern is how much money they can make off the players’ union. There is no way that they can prove the owners/GM’s colluded. In fact, there is more proof that Thomas’s agent and Bryant’s agent were the ones colluding since they work for the same sports agency. How would you like negotiating with a player who has an agent that is a coworker with someone representing a comparable player? You don’t think those agents didn’t talk about their respective negotiations?

  28. @ keflake I won’t disagree with you but any team could have had him for a 7th rd. pick. What could the league do he was eligible and up until draft day wasn’t arrested just needed to be questioned. The way the teams find out everything about a player they could have found out the truth on this kid, if they investigated.

  29. Oh please. Both players had essentially the same agent. Dts agency bought out by Bryant agency. If there was any collusion it was between them. Much ado about nothing. Both players got what they wanted. Nothing to see here move on.

  30. there’s certainly enough evidence for Ted Wells to nail both teams to a cross.

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