Everyone wanted a bad guy in the great lockout of 2011 — someone to hate. Someone to blame, basically. As outsiders, we had to choose. Were you on the side of the millionaires, or were you on the side of the billionaires? The debate has raged on for months now. Really, there was no correct answer. Was anyone 100% right? Probably not. However, I think we have found a pair of people who are in the wrong.

Both Mankins and Jackson feel that they have been taken advantage of by the free agent system currently in place. As you can recall, both players were only given restricted tenders in the 2010 uncapped year when unrestricted free agent status was pushed to six years of service. And both players had tender offers taken off the table when they didn’t report to their respective teams.

According to reports the two players are now asking to be made unrestricted free agents, or be given $10 million, to settle the Brady v. NFL case. Remember they are named as plaintiffs on the filing — two of the ten. According to Andrew Brandt, the founder of NationalFootballPost.com, Mankins and Jackson can opt out of the class-action lawsuit, but can’t completely stop the entire settlement process.

These reports have been confirmed by the NFL. That source had this to say;

Two guys are going to hold up a huge pay day for 1,898 other guys? After two years? When neither ever went to a meeting, a hearing, a mediation session or even showed up in court? Good luck with that…

Obviously this person, associated with the NFL, is not going to take kindly to Mankins’ and Jackson’s demands. However, I am with him. I can’t get behind the actions of these two players. If you are a part of a 2,000 employee union, often times you will be making a sacrifice for the good of the group as a whole. Because the union stuck together, we may have a resolution to this lockout. However, that doesn’t mean the league, as the employers, needs to go through and appease every individual player’s demands. That is ridiculous. And it is even more appalling that Mankins’ and Jackson’s people would have them do this at this time. To use this stage for the benefit of 0.1% of the union is reprehensible. This can directly tarnish everything that both sides have worked towards over the past several months.

Obviously, we have to assume, Jackson’s and Mankins’ camps knew they were going to do this the entire Spring. They were going to use this platform as their own personal soapbox. The two should have been more of an active part of the process, if that was the case. We didn’t hear a word from either party. This is not the time for selfish actions.

After the great unity that the players showed, led by Demaurice Smith, this could put a sour note on the whole thing. Especially if the new CBA allows for a franchise tag; Vincent Jackson and Logan Mankins are not owned compensation.

It should be pointed out that Mankins and Jackson might not be alone in making individual demands. According to Yahoo! Sports, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees could also make settlement demands.

I haven’t written about the NFL lockout at all, really. It was last mentioned in the March 17th edition of From The Bleachers. Prior to that it was given a brief mention as I talked about the Sloan Sports Conference. The gist of that post? How I didn’t want to hear about the lockout. I actually can’t believe that I stuck with it for over 3 months.

This is a good example of why I haven’t had the heart to write about the situation. The “haves” versus the “have mores” just doesn’t compel me.

[Source: Y! Sports]

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