Franchise Tag for Manning to Remain

The most ridiculous story of yesterday died overnight.

It had initially been reported that some of the Brady v NFL plaintiffs, including Peyton Manning and Drew Brees were seeking settlement terms that included a lifetime exemption from the franchise tag.

Cue the overreaction theme music.

Though there was never any serious chance the request would be granted, and despite the fact that the request did not hold up the settlement at all, somehow the story burned its way through the internet that Brees and Manning were ‘making a power play’, ‘holding the negotiations hostage’, and that Manning ‘wanted out of Indianapolis.

It was all nonsense.

Part of resolving the CBA dispute pertained to settling the lawsuit. In the White v NFL suit, which gained free agency for players, all the named plaintiffs were excluded from the franchise tag. It has been expected for weeks that the agency representing Manning and Brees would push to have them exempted from the tag as well.

It was expected for weeks that this gambit would fail.

Last night, it did.

The NFLPA will recommend a settlement today that involves no special rights for the named plaintiffs. Of course they were happy to try for extra benefits. Had Brees, Manning, Jackson and Mankins (the last two of whom I will now refer to as ‘Jankins’ for short) actually gotten their franchise freedom it would have legitimized the lawsuit further and raised the odds that future players would be willing to put their names on the line for future suits.

In other words: it was worth a try.

This was not a ‘last minute power play’. It only came up yesterday because yesterday was the day set aside to work out a deal with the name plaintiffs. Brees and Manning don’t want out of New Orleans or Indianapolis. This was all part of the normal bargaining process.

There was never any real chance Peyton Manning was going to be an unrestricted free agent, and there has never been any real chance he was going anywhere but Indy.

The story yesterday was blown completely out of proportion and now it’s over before many people even knew about it.

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