Colts' Freeney says he'd join union lawsuit

Posted March 07, 2011 @ 3:10 p.m.
Posted By Eric Edholm

BALTIMORE — Colts DE Dwight Freeney said he would join a players' antitrust lawsuit against the NFL owners in the case of a lockout.

The players' union and NFL remain in mediated talks for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement about 40 miles up the road in Washington, D.C. The two sides are still talking after two extensions, and they have until Friday to come to an agreement. Short of that, the owners could choose to lock out the players, but the union could opt to decertify, which would open the door for the players to sue the NFL's owners as part of an antitrust suit.

The players who already have agreed to be lead plaintiffs in a potential suit include superstar QBs Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Tom Brady. Freeney, Manning's teammate in Indianapolis, said he'd be on board if things got to that point. Patriots OG Logan Mankins also reportedly has said he'd be involved.

"Yeah, sure, why not?" Freeney told PFW. "If they are not going to keep us from playing, then I would absolutely get involved (with the suit)."

Freeney and several other NFL players are in Baltimore for the Ed Block Courage Awards dinner tomorrow night. Each team's players vote for one teammate each season "who exemplif(ies) commitments to the principles of sportsmanship and courage," usually overcoming some long odds to get back to the football field.

Despite Freeney's willingness to participate in a lawsuit, if it gets to that point, he said he remained optimistic that a new CBA would get done eventually.

"I know one thing: Both sides want to play football this year," Freeney said. "I know they are going to come to some kind of agreement this year."