As of late Monday afternoon, a new hand has stepped into the already tenuous NFL labor negotiations. According to reports, a collection of NFL retirees has filed an isolated complaint against both the current players and the owners, claiming that their interests and representatives are being excluded from the table by both sides. The abrupt insertion of this third party may further dissolve the already shaky nature of the league talks.
The class-action complaint was filed in Federal District Court in Minneapolis against the teams, the league, the players named in the Brady v. N.F.L. lawsuit and DeMaurice Smith, the head of the N.F.L. Players Association.
The complaint says that the current players and the association, with the N.F.L., "are conspiring to depress the amounts of pension and disability benefits to be paid to former N.F.L. players in order to maximize the salaries and benefits to current N.F.L. players."
Reportedly, the collection of retired players felt compelled to officially file the complaint after being repeatedly rebuffed at the notion of organizations setting aside money within the salary cap for NFL retirees. The league has offered a 10 year deal worth $640 million -- $64 million a year -- to cover the benefits. However, the group claims that it would take a minimum of $200-$300 million a year to cover the various benefits programs necessary to maintain the retiree community.
As of Monday night the NFL has declined to comment on the situation. James Quinn, a lawyer for the players union, commented that he was unaware on the newest development.