Reports on Monday stated that a sector of retired NFL players filed their own anti-trust complaint against both the current players and the owners, saying that the retirees felt their voices were not being heard at the bargaining table. The general sentiment surrounding the startling announcement questioned how the newest development would impact the already fragile state of negotiations.
Now, it appears, the group's claim -- led by Carl Eller and Franco Harris -- can be attributed directly to a quote from New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees.
The Eller plaintiffs quote Bress as saying: "There's some guys out there that have made bad business decisions. They took their pensions early because they never went out and got a job. They've had a couple divorces and they're making payments to this place and that place. And that's why they don't have money. And they're coming to us to basically say, 'Please make up for my bad judgment."
While Brees was a functioning contributor in the mediation sessions that were held before the NFL's labor deal expired, he removed himself from the negotiations once the messiness began. Though he has mentioned that he would likely return to the ongoing talks, it has not happened yet.
Regardless, it seems that both sides have a valid point here. Brees is probably, at least partially, correct in his assumption that some of the retirees are chasing this route because of a lifetime of bad financial decisions. Still, the idea of that the players of the present possess some form of moral obligation towards the players of the past is quite valid. Without those that paved the way, the lavish salaries and revenues that the league now enjoys would not exist.
As it is with everything lockout-related, the best option would likely fall within some sort of middle-ground that can keep the less-financially challenged retirees out of trouble, while still not cutting to deep into the pockets of those that currently risk their health and well-being on a daily basis.