We now have confirmation that Tom Brady’s role as an alternate union rep isn’t just for show.
The NFL and Players’ Association brass are meeting in New York today for the first time in months, and the main topic of discussion is the 18-game season — or, as the league calls it, the “enhanced” season.
This afternoon, the NFLPA posted a release on its website quoting Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis and Brady and their thoughts on expanding the regular-season slate.
“I’ve taken part in several postseason runs where we have played 20 games. The long-term impact this game has on our bodies is well-documented. Look no further than the players that came before we did. Each player today has to play three years in order to earn five years’ or post-career health care. Our union has done a great job of raising the awareness on these issues and will make the right decision for us players, the game and the fans.”
In some circles, Brady’s involvement in the union was viewed as ceremony, a big-name player tying his name to the cause. But this statement today shows that his is deeply invested in the union’s cause and the CBA fight.
Yesterday, Jason Cole of Yahoo! outlined the reasons why Brady and Peyton Manning’s contract negotiations are being used as bellwethers for the tenor of the labor battle. Agents believe that if the two greatest QBs of their generation can’t get big-money deals, no one will.
And while it was a safe assumption before, it now seems fairly clear that Brady won’t be taking a team-friendly deal this time around.