New England Patriots Super Bowl Champs

Mankins, Jackson Could Seek Cash To Agree To Settle NFL’s Antitrust Suit

Two issues that the NFL and NFL Players Association will need to resolve before the lockout ends are the Brady v NFL antitrust lawsuit and the $4 billion television revenue damages case.

Ron Borges of the Boston Herald writes that Patriots guard Logan Mankins, who was designated with the franchise tag and is one of the ten plaintiffs in the antitrust lawsuit, may not be willing to sign off a settlement without getting something in return.

A first-round pick in 2005, Mankins played out his rookie contract before being denied unrestricted free agency in the uncapped season of 2010. Mankins was tendered at the “First- and Third-Round” level, which was to carry a $3.268 million base salary. Mankins did not sign the tender by mid-June, and the Patriots used their opportunity to reduce the tender to $1.54 million, 110% of Mankins’ 2009 salary. Mankins did not report to the Patriots until October, and wound up earning 9/17ths of the $1.54 million, or $815,294, while earning a third trip to the Pro Bowl.

Plaintiffs in the 1993 Reggie White case received an exemption from the franchise tag, though it’s unlikely that the owners would remove those tags from the three plaintiffs — Mankins, San Diego Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning — who received them in February. One-time usage of the tag is something that the players will be seeking from owners in face-to-face talks scheduled for early this week.

Borges floats the option that a financial reward to Mankins for the his lost wages from 2010 — $2.452 million, by my count — could prompt the 29-year-old to sign off a settlement, play for the $10+ million franchise tag this season and become a free agent in 2012.

A similar situation may be in the cards for Jackson, who received the same tender as Mankins ($3.268 millin), had it reduced to $682,000 by the Chargers, and did not report until mid-season. The Chargers also placed him on the “Roster Exempt” list, meaning he lost three game checks, which means Jackson earned $280,824 on the season, a loss of $2.987 million.

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