Tag:Carl Eller
Posted on: September 13, 2011 9:39 pm
Edited on: September 13, 2011 10:15 pm
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Retired players file lawsuit against NFLPA

Carl Eller is one of the plaintiffs suing the NFLPA (US Presswire).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Just because the NFL lockout is over and the owners and players have signed a new CBA (without, mind you, agreeing to HGH testing), that doesn’t mean the lawsuits have stopped.

No, not in regards to the former NFL players who believe they helped make the current NFL what it is today and also feel like they’re getting screwed in the aftermath.

Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel reports the latest, as a group of 28 former players, including Hall of Famers like Carl Eller (pictured at right), Chuck Bednarik and Elvin Bethea, have filed a lawsuit against the NFLPA, union executive director DeMaurice Smith, and Tom Brady and Mike Vrabel, two of the plaintiffs from the lockout lawsuit.

The suit -- filed in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis -- states that when the NFLPA decertified last March, the players were in no position to bargain for and agree to the benefits for the retired players, and as Wetzel writes, the players want a declaration that “the ‘right to negotiate with the League the rights and benefits for NFL retirees’ rests with the Eller plaintiffs.”

The veterans’ attorney Michael Hausfeld said this lawsuit does not affect the current labor peace but that the former players want to readjust the benefits they’ve received in the new CBA.

Said Hausfeld: "The retirees rights were sacrificed for the benefit of the active players.”

Why this continues to come about, I think, is a general feeling of disrespect from the current players to those who came before them. That’s the sense I got from former Oilers quarterback Dan Pastorini when CBSSports.com spoke to him recently. Even with the $620 million Legacy Fund created by the NFL and the NFLPA in the new CBA, the players obviously feel that doesn’t adequately compensate them for their sacrifices in the past.

“I think it’s a travesty the way they treat the older players,” Pastorini said. “I’m part of that group. They’re throwing us a bone with the $620 million. By the time they get to a new CBA after 10 years, they won’t have to worry about us pre-(19)93er’s. It’s sad, but it’s their M.O. They want to wait for us to die.

“What they’re talking about now is to give us a bone and to shut us up. It’s just wrong. It’s damn wrong. And the players association is just as greedy as the owners are, if not more so. The players don’t go to bat for us, which makes us ashamed.”

Although some current players, like Saints quarterback Drew Brees, have advocated for the retirees, the general feeling of discontent still lingers. Now, the former players are hoping the court system will bestow upon them the relief they feel the NFLPA hasn’t given to them.

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Posted on: July 27, 2011 4:45 pm
 

Retirees upset their names are attached to letter

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

It’s no surprise that, during the lockout, the retired players were upset at the NFL and the NFLPA. And to show exactly how angry those retirees were at the perceived lack of recognition that the players gave them and the lack of support paid to them by the league, the retired players, led by Carl Eller, filed a class-action lawsuit against both sides.

Originally, Eller had gone after the NFL, but earlier this month, he turned his attention to the NFLPA as well, alleging that the two sides had conspired to keep benefits low for retired players. Listed among the plaintiffs were a number of Hall of Famers in a show of solidarity.

Now, however, it’s come to light that many of those Hall of Famers are upset at Eller for including their names in a petition which he sent to other retired players to drum up support for the lawsuit.

“First of all, I was surprised that they came out and listed names -- my name in particular -- without me having given permission to even use it,” Hall of Famer Jack Youngblood said, via Pro Player Insider. “I had no idea what this lawsuit was all about in the first place. When I saw my name on this letter that I had not requested to be a part of, it was a shock to me.”

Perhaps part of the reason the retirees aren’t interested in pursuing legislation against the NFL and the NFLPA is because the new CBA includes a number of new benefits for those who are retired and for those current players after they leave the game.

“I just want it known that we’re for anything that’s already been negotiated,” Lenny Moore said. “And I definitely didn’t want my name hooked in with anything that was delaying this process. Now that the process has gone through, that’s where my name is linked because that’s who I am a part of.”

Other retired players felt misled by the assertion that they weren’t represented at the bargaining table to end the lockout and win themselves additional benefits.

“I was presented this like, ‘We need to get back at the [bargaining] table -- that’s what this is for.’ So everybody goes, ‘OK, we need to get back to the table.’ And I didn’t realize we already have somebody at the table,” said Art Shell.

“The problem is, there are so many entities out there that a lot of the guys don’t know who’s who. When a lot of those contracts were negotiated, at the time, that money would have been good. But now, that money ain’t close to being good for today’s world. I thought that the ownership and the players would come up with something good for the retirees. But I tell you what, guys have got to be excited about this (retiree benefits in the new deal).”

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Posted on: April 14, 2011 7:45 pm
Edited on: April 14, 2011 9:23 pm
 

NFL, NFLPA will continue mediation Friday

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

After nearly 10 hours of negotiations today, the mediation session between the NFL and the NFLPA in the presence of U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan has ended. And, as we suspected, not many people are saying much of anything.

Although NFL lead negotiator Jeff Pash said the two sides would return to the courthouse in Minneapolis on Friday, commissioner Roger Goodell said, “We pledged confidentiality.”

As NFL.com's Albert Breer wrote earlier this evening, “I've been told talks upstairs have been ‘tough’ and there's lots of ‘fence-mending’ to be done.”

Still, it sounds like something productive occured.

"We had a full day. It was constructive to get together," said Pash, who was joined by Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, Chiefs owner Clark Hunt, Steelers owner Art Rooney and Patriots owner Robert Kraft. "The chief magistrate judge is working very hard, and I give him a lot of credit for really trying to move the parties toward a solution."

OK, that sounds fine. But how long will this mediation attempt last? Until (fingers crossed!) there’s a resolution?

 "The court has indicated it wants to continue with everyone talking as long as it makes sense," said Michael Hausfeld, one of the attorneys for the players.

Hmm, that doesn’t really tell us much, does it?

Actually, the fact that NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith (who was joined by Vikings LB Ben Leber, Chiefs LB Mike Vrabel and Hall of Fame DE Carl Eller) and Goodell – who had to step away from part of the bargaining session to join in on a conference call scheduled with 5,300 Browns fans – attended the mediation is a pretty good sign.

"I can tell you that it's a positive step when the parties are talking," Goodell told the Browns fans. "We saw the March 11 proposal as responsive to issues raised by the players and there are many attractive elements in it. ... Our entire focus is on getting a deal done."

Though these sessions were mandated by Judge Susan Nelson – who will eventually rule on the Brady v NFL case – it’s obviously positive that the two sides, once again, are meeting. And hope for an agreement of any sort between the two sides continues.

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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