Quarterbacks Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees didn't ask for special considerations as a condition of signing off on any agreement to end the NFL lockout, the Boston Herald reported Wednesday, citing a source familiar with the discussions.
Yahoo! Sports reported Tuesday that Manning and Brees could demand being exempt from the franchise tag, but Tom Condon, the agent for both players, told The Indianapolis Star on Tuesday that his clients aren't seeking special treatment in the new deal.
"Asserting anything else is nonsense," Condon told the newspaper. "Drew and Peyton have been two of the staunchest supporters of the players throughout this process. What they are doing is endorsing the players' (bargaining position), not pursing anything individually."
Speaking Wednesday on NFL Network, Condon added, "The (Yahoo!) story came from an unnamed source, certainly not from Drew or Payton."
Brees, the New Orleans Saints' star quarterback, echoed Condon's comments to The Star.
"All media claims about me wanting a personal reward for this deal are false," Brees wrote Tuesday on Twitter. "I hope you all know me better than that."
Brees continued: "I want no special perks. My job is to get a fair deal for all players, and I am proud to represent them all -- past, present and future"
In Manning's case, the Indianapolis Colts quarterback would become an unrestricted free agent once the NFL re-opens for business. Brees' contract expires after the 2011 season, also making him a prime candidate for the franchise tag.
All three quarterbacks are among the 10 plaintiffs in the Brady et al v. National Football League et al antitrust lawsuit, and it has been widely reported that some of the plaintiffs' personal agendas might interfere with settling the case and thus interfere with ending the lockout.
However, the trio released a statement July 13 backing the players' negotiating team's position and imploring that a deal be reached soon,
The agents for two other plaintiffs who also had the franchise tag placed on them, New England Patriots guard Logan Mankins and San Diego Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson, reportedly demanded their clients be declared free agents or paid $10 million. But, according to the Herald, neither Mankins nor his representative ever asked for a $10 million payout.
Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe responded to the Yahoo! report Tuesday, expressing frustration, mixed with sarcasm, in a Twitter post: "Sigh, and once again greed is the operative byword. Congrats Brees, Manning, Mankins, and Jackson for being 'that guy'. #d-----bags"
There is precedent for Jackson and Mankins to request the lifting of the franchise tag, Yahoo! reported. As part of the settlement of the Reggie White case in 1993, none of the plaintiffs in that case could be named franchise players.
"They're asking for something they believe –- and I think most people would believe –- is fair compensation for what they've had to go through," an NFL Players Association source told Yahoo! "My guess would be that the owners or the league will pay them."