Earlier we outlined what Brady v. NFL lead plaintiffs Logan Mankins and Vincent Jackson were requesting to settle the lawsuit.
An NFL source with direct knowledge of negotiations said Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning and Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints are requesting to be exempt from the franchise tag for the rest of their careers.
UPDATE: To be clear, this request was communicated to the league. Whether the request came directly from the players, through one of their representatives or a rogue request from NFLPA lawyers, is unknown. But the topic was broached with the NFL on Tuesday.
UPDATE II: Last Tuesday night, Brees denied this an other media reports on this subject. “I want no special perks. My job is to get a fair deal for all players, and I am proud to represent them all – past, present and future,” he said. “All media claims about me wanting a personal reward for this deal are false. I hope you all know me better than that.”
That means Manning, who was tagged by the Colts before the lockout, wants to become an unrestricted free agent now.
Brees’ contract is up after this season.
The NFL feels this is a last-ditch power play being orchestrated by NFLPA lead counsel Jeff Kessler, who has long been a thorn in the NFL’s side, and powerful agent Tom Condon, who represents Manning and Brees.
If you remember, just last week Manning and Brees, along with Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, were calling on NFL owners to make a deal because the NFLPA’s offer was fair.
“We believe the overall proposal made by the players is fair for both sides and it is time to get this deal done,” the statement read. “This is the time of year we as players turn our attention to the game on the field. We hope the owners feel the same way.”
The request from Manning and Brees is not without precedent. When the 1993 antitrust lawsuit was settled, all the lead plaintiffs were exempt from the tag for their careers.