By: Ian Logue
Logan Mankins may be a plaintiff against the NFL in the current labor negotiations, but it appears the league plans on using him as the court battles continue against its’ players.
According to an article on BusinessWeek.com as the league tries to reverse US District Judge Susan Richard Nelson’s order in lifting the 45-day lockout, some of the evidence they’re using singles out Mankins actions during his contract holdout last season when he refused to sign his restricted free agent tender in trying to build their case.
Part of it stems from a claim by the players that, “they are at the highest risk for harm through the postponement or cancellation of free agency, offseason workouts and the like.”
The league disagrees, and said that players won’t lose their opportunity to play for the team of their choice once the league year begins, even if that’s in late June or early July instead of early May.
Mankins played well despite holding out last season, which the NFL mentioned in their current legal battle against the players. (FILE:Icon/SMI)
Where it gets interesting is the fact that the NFL complained that Nelson ignored evidence that many players, including Mankins, routinely skip team-organized workouts in the offseason. They point out that Mankins and Vincent Jackson held out into the start of the 2010 season, with the league noting that missing time in the offseason “is not irreparable harm.”
Mankins was in shape and ready to go when he returned to New England, and ended up starting immediately, finishing with a trip to the Pro Bowl.
They’re also not impressed with comments by the players, including Wes Welker (they spelled it “Walker” in the article) who recently said during a youth football camp, “Let’s do a lockout every year.”
That quote apparently ended up on the NFL’s filing.
It’s interesting to note that the NFL doesn’t want the league year to start without a new labor agreement, because – according to the league’s attorneys – they believe a free agent frezny will occur which will include “trades, player signings, players cut under existing contracts, and a host of other changes in employment relationships.”
It’s somewhat odd that in order for any transactions to occur, the owners need to sign off and agree to them, so it’s clear that they’re not unified on this since they’re the ones who would have to agree to pay for those contracts.
Obviously it will be a while before this plays out, but it was interesting to see Mankins stance last year used against the rest of his peers. He’s currently franchised and is stuck in limbo as he waits to see if that designation will stick.
How it plays out is anyone’s guess, but for now we’re still forced to sit back and wait as the work stoppage drags on after what had been a fairly exciting couple of days thanks to the NFL Draft last week.