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Amidst NFL's CBA storm, Brees provides steady influence

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Brees is obviously an intensely strong backer of the union, but his reputation as one of the most level-headed and decent people in football also has helped him earn the respect of many league officials and owners during the negotiations ...

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Old 02-16-2011, 10:55 PM   #1
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Brees is obviously an intensely strong backer of the union, but his reputation as one of the most level-headed and decent people in football also has helped him earn the respect of many league officials and owners during the negotiations (well, every owner not named Jerry Richardson).
When many players around the league have questions about the progress of the negotiations, they call Brees. When players want to vent, they call Brees, sources say, because they knew he'll talk them off the ledge. When calm is needed, Brees is the guy. When passion is needed, it's also Brees. When coordinated action is needed, it's Brees again.

A small window into Brees' role during these talks was seen in the now infamous recent bargaining session involving Brees, Peyton Manning, other union leaders, and a group of league executives and owners -- including Carolina’s Jerry Richardson. CBSSports.com was able to confirm many of the already public details including what was some ugly behavior by Richardson who acted like the ill-tempered soup jerk from Seinfeld.

("No CBA for you!")

When Richardson was highly condescending to Manning in one moment during the negotiating session it was Brees who helped restore calm, one source explained, to what was a rapidly deteriorating situation.

(Since that meeting, I'm told, Manning remains infuriated at how Richardson treated him though it's likely he'll never say so publicly.)

"It is hard. A lot of people, I think I've heard the phrase 'billionaires vs. millionaires.' The fact is it's business, especially when you talk about collective bargaining in general when you get into these agreements," Brees told the media recently. "This is a multi-billion dollar business. We’re approaching $10 billion in business annually in the NFL. There's a lot at stake and that there is absolutely an agreement to be reached that's fair for both sides. It's just a matter of reaching that. It just happens that this is played on a global scale, or at least just within the media a very public scale so that everybody is paying very close attention to this. It's the most popular sport in the country. No one wants to see this game taken away even for a small period of time. We all want to play."

Amidst NFL's CBA storm, Brees provides steady influence - NFL - CBSSports.com Football

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