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?"