Posted on: April 29, 2011 12:57 pm
Edited on: April 29, 2011 1:09 pm

Tom Brady understands his place in labor history

Posted by Will Brinson

NEW YORK -- Tom Brady hasn't said much, if anything, about his signing on to be the lead plaintiff in Brady v. NFL, but during an appearance at an Under Armour event at Chelsea Piers in New York City, he made it clear that his decision to put his name at the forefront of wasn't really that difficult.

"Was it difficult?" Brady asked. "I'm always trying to figure out what the right thing is.

"Look, I've been very fortunate as a player to sign the contracts that I've signed and to be in the position I've been in as a leader and to lead."

Brady clearly understands his place in history too; being the lead plaintiff in such a case not only means he'll go down in legal history, but also in terms of someone who represents the interests of the players at large. In fact, he directly cited the man who introduced him at the Under Armour event, Boomer Esiason, and Boomer's role as lead plaintiff in the 1987 labor case, and how previous players helped pave the way for the current players to achieve what they have.

"[I'm in my position] because of Boomer Esiason, who was the lead plaintiff in 1987, and all the work he fought for current players," Brady said. "So it's really a lasting legacy that Boomer's had. So when the opportunity was presented to me and someone like Peyton [Manning] and Drew Brees who are also very notable players in the league -- you know, we represent the entire group."
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The Pats' quarterback didn't take a contentious stance, though, with respect to the differences that the two sides have in reaching an agreement. Rather, he seemed to apply the "Patriot Way" to the discussion of what is absolutely a heated legal disagreement.

"I think that's the important thing to realize is that we're trying to bring reason and compromise to a very challenging agreement," Brady said. "This is not something that's easy. There's a lot that goes into it. I know a lot of people are hard at work. DeMaurice Smith has had a lot of meetings at Roger Goodell. Mr. Kraft is heavily involved, and everyone's trying to accomplish the same thing.

"Hopefully there's an agreement at some point soon."

More than anything else, Brady truly seemed to embrace and understand what his role as lead plaintiff entails. That's great news for the players he's representing, from his teammates to Brees/Manning and down all the way to relatively-unknown quarterbacks who might be drafted in the sixth round.

But considering his high profile in this issue, the calm rhetoric and optimism he exhibited -- while not out of the ordinary -- is great news for the same people for whom he was putting on event: the fans.

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Posted on: March 11, 2011 1:23 pm
Edited on: March 11, 2011 1:50 pm

Report: NFL gave 'revised' proposal on Friday

Posted by Will Brinson

The clock is, obviously, ticking on the NFL's labor situation. Friday afternoon an update is expected from the NFL and NFLPA, who are meeting in a theoretically final day of mediation in Washington, D.C. today.

Multiple reports -- from both Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network and Gary Myers of the New York Daily News -- indicate that the owners are about to give one more proposal to the union. Myers calls it a "revised proposal" and LaCanfora echoes that sentiment but also adds that it is "likely a final one."

In other words, if the NFLPA feels that whatever is offered by the league doesn't adequately indicate their willingness to concede certain issues, it could mean that the union will proceed with decertification.

Alternately, the owners' proposal could, potentially, be seen by the union as an indication that they're willing to find some common ground. That would mean the likelihood of a CBA extension past Friday would increase substantially.

The best guess is a coin flip, though, because reports from Friday's labor talk indicate a less negative tone at the bargaining table, but Thursday evening, as we noted earlier, was enough of a PR mess that it drained most of the optimism out of any possibility for a successful conclusion to the talks.
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Daniel Kaplan of the Sports Business Journal also reports that the owners made "revised offers on core issues this morning" -- that means that they likely changed their stance on some combination of the rookie wage scale, revenue sharing and an 18-game schedule.

Time will tell, however, if it's enough of a change to warrant the two sides considering an extension past Friday.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com