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Retired Players File Another Suit Against NFL and Current Players

A group of retired players, who already filed a lawsuit against the NFL, have filed another suit, using the same lawyer, against the NFL, the current players who filed the antitrust lawsuit against the NFL and NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith.


Yes, over the Fourth of July weekend, a group of retired players got lawsuit happy and decided to sue everyone. I feel lucky I didn't get a summons. Anyway, the new lawsuit claims that the NFL and the current players are in violation of antitrust laws by negotiating a settlement that would "bind the interest of the retired players." The former players believe that current players are trying to lower the amount of pension and disability pay to retired players and maximize their own salaries.

"We feel we have a seat at the table, but we're having the chair pulled out from under us," lawyer Michael Housfeld told Battista. "Both sides are saying, 'We'll decide what's in your best interests.'"

As PFT's Mike Florio points out, though, this is the way the NFL has always been. When players retire, they are no longer part of the NFL and they lose a lot of their power to negotiate. Of course, if the current players are smart (and I question whether or not they are), they will make life nice and cushy for retired players because they themselves will be retired someday. 

Unfortunately for the retired players, they don't have much of a leg to stand on. The extent of their contract was over the day that they decided to retire. They were payed to play football and they no longer play football. If they wanted a better retirement plan, they should have thought about that when they were currently players or saved some money.

When the players filed their original lawsuit, Florio says that both the NFL and players were courteous out of respect and out of the fact that they wanted the retirees on their side. Now, though, the NFL and players are in a critical stage of negotiating a deal before parts of the season, like mini camps and the preseason, are lost. The owners and the players may not be nearly as courteous anymore.