The NFL announced Monday that it is filing a grievance against the NFLPA, alleging the union advised players to fake an injury to gain influence in contract negotiations.
The league announced the complaint in a memo reported by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. The memo names NFLPA president and former Cleveland Browns center JC Tretter.
“Since last summer and leading up to training camp, NFL Players Association executives, including President JC Tretter, have been increasingly vocal in advising NFL players unhappy with their current contracts to consider faking or exaggerating injuries “To refuse service in order to increase their influence in contract negotiations,” the memo says.
Running back negotiations became contentious this offseason as All-Pros Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs and Jonathan Taylor failed to secure long-term deals. Barkley and Jacobs ultimately signed one-year deals after being placed on the franchise list, while Taylor remains on the Physically Unable to Perform List (PUP) in the final year of his rookie contract.
Other top running backs, including Christian McCaffrey and Derrick Henry, spoke up for their teammates She reportedly attended a Zoom meeting to discuss how to improve the state of running back compensation. Colts owner Jim Irsay criticized the running back complaints and meetings as “bad faith” at the behest of their agents.
The NFL’s memo referred to that running back meeting.
“We have become aware of a formal NFLPA Zoom event with certain NFL running backs at which this advice was conveyed,” the memo continued. “This conduct is a clear violation of the union’s agreement to use its best efforts to faithfully execute.” the terms and conditions of the [CBA]’ and ‘to ensure that the terms of all NFL player contracts are fully complied with by players.’”
“The union’s conduct is also reckless, as any player who follows this advice and improperly denies benefits under his player contract will be subject to disciplinary action and financial liability in accordance with the CBA, club rules and/or the player’s contract.”
The NFLPA disputed the memo in a brief statement, Pelissero reports.
“This is ridiculous and unfounded” The statement is.
Tretter referenced injuries when discussing contract leverage on the Ross Tucker Podcast in July.
“You have to try to create as much influence as possible…”
— Ross Tucker Podcast (@RossTuckerPod) July 18, 2023
“You have to try to get as much leverage as possible in every situation,” Tretter said. “And the difficult thing about franchise designation or restriction of movement is that it reduces your influence. But then you have to find creative ways to gain influence elsewhere.
“I think we’ve seen problems – I don’t think anyone would ever say there were fake injuries – but we’ve seen players who didn’t want to be where they are now have injuries that made it made it impossible for them to train and play. But you can’t be fined, and you can’t be punished for not coming forward.
“So there are problems like that. I don’t think I can ever recommend this, at least not publicly, but I think every player needs to find a way to build influence to get a fair deal. And that’s what all these guys are looking for: fair compensation.”
Tretter did not immediately comment after news of the NFL memo broke.