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Union loses grievance over cancellation of health benefits

The NFLPA has had a rough two days in the litigation department.

A day after a Special Master ruled that the NFL will be permitted to retain roughly $4 billion in network TV money in the event of a lockout, an arbitrator has denied a grievance aimed at preventing the league from cutting off the players’ health insurance benefits upon implementation of a lockout.

We’ve obtained a copy of the ruling, which makes clear that, once a lockout is imposed, the owners will be permitted to cut off the players’ health insurance benefits.

That said, they’ll have access to COBRA coverage for up to 18 months. But the players will have to pay the full premiums out of their own pockets. Browns linebacker Scott Fujita, a member of the NFLPA Executive Committee recently said that ongoing coverage for his family will cost roughly $3,000 per month.

The end result? More leverage for the owners.