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As promised, NFLPA files collusion claim over guaranteed contracts

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On October 18, NFL Players Association chief executive DeMaurice Smith strongly hinted that a conspiracy lawsuit was underway over teams’ refusal to provide veteran players with fully guaranteed contracts. Within 48 hours of Smith’s remarks, the NFL reported that the collusion bird had landed.

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Kalin Kahler of TheAthletic.com reports that in an Oct. 20 memo, NFL General Counsel Jeff Pash informed league teams of the union’s formal approval that teams have agreed not to provide fully guaranteed contracts.”certain defendersafter the Browns gave Deshawn Watson five-year, fully guaranteed contract.

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The collusive allegation, based on Pasha’s memo, alleges that NFL owners and/or executives discussed at an Aug. 9 owners meeting disagreeing on additional player contracts with fully guaranteed wages. The union would have to prove that something like this happened; otherwise, the league will simply claim that the teams have independently decided that they will not follow Cleveland’s lead.

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The memo also notes that the NFLPA is not exercising its right to attempt to terminate the Collective Bargaining Agreement if it is proven to be violated. (Former NFL player Sean Gilbert once ran for chief executive, partly because of a plan to try to ditch the CBA based on teams colluding behind the funding rule to deny players a fully guaranteed deal.)

Ever since Watson signed with the Browns, players like Kyler Murray cardinals and Russell Wilson of the Broncos entered into long-term deals that are not fully guaranteed. It didn’t seem like a stumbling block to either of them. For Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, it thwarted the deal.

Jackson wants a fully guaranteed deal. The crows refuse to give it to him. The question in the collusion statement would be whether teams and/or the league office discouraged other teams from doing what the Browns did.

The union clearly thinks it’s smoke. The task is to find the fire. In the next post, I will talk about some of the possible ways a union could try to prove it.



Source: profootballtalk.nbcsports.com

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