A group of retired NFL players Tuesday filed a lawsuit against the NFL Players Association, union president DeMaurice Smith, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and former player Mike Vrabel, claiming they did not have the authority to negotiate on their behalf during the labor dispute.
The federal class-action lawsuit, filed in United States District Court in Minnesota, claims the defendants had no right to agree to the terms of retiree benefits after the NFLPA decertified on March 11.
"They were not a union at that time," the plaintiffs’ lawyer Michael Hausfeld told Yahoo! Sports.
Hausfeld said the suit does not threaten the labor peace reached by the new collective bargaining agreement, but seeks to "to readjust the deal to better reflect the interests of the retirees which would’ve been done by the retirees themselves."
He argued that the CBA does not address a number of concerns for the retirees and claimed the current players used the retired players’ interests as collateral in negotiations.
"The retirees’ rights were sacrificed for the benefit of the active players," Hausfeld said.
The group of retired players includes 23 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, including Carl Eller, Chuck Bednarik and John Hannah.