By Tom E. Curran
Niiiice saber rattling!If the NFLPA chooses to decertify and bring the NFL to court to challenge the league's antitrust exemption, the three plaintiffs in the case will be Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees. (What, no Cromartie?!)
It was later reported that Patriots guard Logan Mankins would join the three quarterbacks as a fourth plaintiff if the NFL is taken to court.
Understand, this news is almost ALL sizzle and no steak. Everything would have to go down the crapper before you see Brady, Manning and Brees striding into court side-by-each to make their cases againsta league that's earned the threemen more than a quarter-billion combined. But what this news does in the waning hours of the current CBA is let the owners: 1) know that the players will take them to court and make their lives a living legal hell with an antitrust suit the players will win (the franchise tag is - at its core - unconstitutional); 2) shows that the biggest guns are on board and willing to stand up for the guys they sweat with against the guys who sign their checks, and 3) lets the owners contemplate the visual image of these three well-spoken league icons nodding in agreement as a lawyer rips the NFL a newie. Oh, and 4) no doubt pisses off their respective owners. While this may be a wholly symbolic move, underestimating Brady's allegiance to his teammates and the rest of the league would be a mistake. He's already spoken out against the 18-game season. Meanwhile, his laborious contract negotiations with the Krafts in 2005 and 2010 took away the innocence he had when he was starting out. He's seen how the sausage gets made. He knows how much the owners make off the players' sweat, blood and cartilage (it's work the players choose andare well compensated for, I know). If anyone were to suggest Brady is biting the hand that's fed him, he could reasonably ask, "Who's been feeding who?"
Tom E. Curran can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran
The Patriots and Rob Gronkowski have restructured the tight end’s contract for the coming season, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The reworked deal can bump Gronkowski’s salary for the 2017 season from $5.25 million to $10.75 million, according to Schefter.
From Schefter on Facebook:
Specific details on Rob Gronkowski's new deal with Patriots, per @RosenhausSports:
1st tier, which gets him to $10.75M either 90 percent play time or 80 catches or 1200 receiving yards or All Pro -- and he's made All Pro four times.
2nd tier to $8.75M: he has to get 80 percent play time or 70 catches or 1000 receiving yards or 12 TDs.
3rd tier takes him to $6.75M is 70 percent playtime, 60 receptions, 800 receiving yards or 10 TDs.
But a big new groundbreaking deal for Gronk.
Gronkowski was limited by injury to just eight games last season. He had 25 receptions for 540 yards and three touchdowns, all of which were career lows.
The 28-year-old is entering his eighth NFL season since being selected by the Pats in the second round of the 2010 draft. He has played played in at least 15 regular-season games in four of his first seven season, though he’s twice played fewer than 10.
Tuesday’s announcement from Roger Goodell that the NFL is “relaxing” its rules on celebrations is good news for at least one Patriot.
That would be Brandin Cooks, who began celebrating the rule change on Twitter not long after the league made its announcement.
Cooks, whom the Patriots acquired from the Saints this offseason in a trade that sent first and third-round picks to New Orleans, lost his favorite celebration last season when it was made clear that miming archery was off-limits. Josh Norman was fined $10,000 last season for such a celebration.
Following Norman’s fine, Cooks lamented the league’s decision to punish what Cooks had previously done in reference to a Bible verse (Psalms 144:6).
"Send forth lightning and scatter your enemy, and shoot your arrows and rout them," Cooks told the New Orleans Advocate. "I just remember it sticking with me for such a long time, I remember thinking, maybe I can do something with this."
Added Cooks: ”I’ve been doing it for three years now, and there was never a complaint about it. Now, all of a sudden, there is. It just reminds me that, it's almost as if they try to take so much away from us, but for something like this, that means so much to someone that has nothing to do with violence, it's frustrating. I'll definitely continue to speak my opinion about it, and if they have a problem with it, so be it."
When Tuesday’s news emerged, Cooks and former Saints teammate Mark Ingram were quick to react.