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New Orleans Saints: Drew Brees, Peyton Manning Unrestricted FA?

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Saints QB Drew Brees And Colts QB Peyton Manning (Source: playingfieldpromotions.com)

The NFL and the players seem ready to get back to work and end the lockout. A deal is now imminent, although there are still a few loose ends, but assuming all goes well then the players should be voting to approve the CBA tomorrow followed by the owners Thursday at their next meeting.

Those loose ends aren’t of the major variety or so we thought – veterans benefits and a “global settlement” to the ongoing anti-trust and litigation suits — but the ten defendants listed in Brady v. NFL could halt the sudden progress.

Recently a story was leaked indicating that Patriots guard Logan Mankins and Chargers wide receiver Vincents Jackson, both listed as plaintiffs, are seeking special deals to settle.

Essentially they want ten million each in “back pay”, or want to be designated as unrestricted free agents after being franchised. The twist here is if any one of the players listed on Brady v. NFL decided they didn’t want to settle it could effectively prolong the lockout.

Jackson and Mankins are strong arming the NFL, and it’s likely they will get paid to ensure labor peace is established and the season starts without a hitch.

Now Peyton Manning seems to be getting in on the action as well, also demanding a designation of unrestricted for the upcoming free agency period. Manning was franchised prior to the expiration of the CBA, which means he would make roughly 24 million in 2011.

Manning doesn’t want the tag and if he is successful in getting his wish then the Colts will be forced to negotiate a long-term blockbuster deal to retain him.

Any team could make a run at him, making it plausible he signs elsewhere, although it would be pretty unlikely that he doesn’t finish his career as a Colt.

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