The NFL Players Association is considering filing a grievance on behalf of the players to challenge language in many of this year’s rookie contracts the union believes violates the collective bargaining agreement.
Tom Pelissero of USA Today first reported on the union’s issue with language in some rookie contracts.
NFLPA executive director for external affairs George Atallah said the union has flagged 163 contracts signed by 2017 draft picks and undrafted free agents that include addendums with requirements the union believes are expressly prohibited by the CBA. Those clauses, according to Atallah, include requirements such as a player having to pass a physical after the completion of the contract to receive his entire signing bonus. Teams have also included language that would allow the club to deduct money a player owes the franchise for expenses such as tickets.
Clauses such as these have been included in contracts in recent years, but Atallah said there has been an increase in their usage this year.
A grievance could force teams to tweak contracts and thus trigger another round of signings for deals that were already previously believed to be done. However, there is plenty of time before the start of training camp, so the hope is this issue will be ironed out in time for all sides to agree the players who signed those contracts are ready to hit the field in camp.
Follow Mike Garafolo on Twitter @MikeGarafolo.