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Report: Group of players want to intervene into mediation

NFL And Players Continue Court Ordered Mediation

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 19: Linebacker Mike Vrabel of the Kansas City Chiefs and NFL players’ lawyer Barbara P. Berens leave court ordered mediation at the U.S. Courthouse on April 19, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Mediation was order after a hearing on an antitrust lawsuit filed by NFL players against the NFL owners after labor talks between the two broke down last month. (Photo by Hannah Foslien /Getty Images)

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There is reportedly a break in the ranks among NFL players, and it’s happened earlier than anyone would have imagined.

Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal has the scoop, saying a “breakaway group of players” want a seat at the mediation table and they are close to hiring a lawyer to intervene in mediation.

As many as 70 players described as “mid tier” players could be committed to the law firm. Kaplan reports they are unhappy that talks broke off in March in Washington D.C. They reportedly won’t contest the “Brady vs. NFL” antitrust case, but just want a seat at the table.

Albert Breer of NFL Network caught up with NFLPA* rep Mike Vrabel in Minnesota at mediation Wednesday.

“That’s why we’re here. That’s why Ben [Leber] and I are here,” Vrabel said. “We’re players here to represent players and De works for us. They do (have a seat). And if they’re unhappy with that seat, we have to vote in a new executive committee, and a new board of reps.”

There is other legal wrangling here that would have to happen that we’ll let Florio get into earlier, but this is a troubling and surprising sign for the NFLPA*.