Players want Doty to look at more with 'lockout insurance'

Players will go before Minnesota federal judge David Doty this week and ask for about $1 billion from the NFL for including “lockout insurance” in the television contracts.

Now, Daniel Kaplan of Sports Business Journal reports the players will ask Doty to include all commercial contracts in his ruling, a move that could potentially make the financial package and consequences for owners much greater.

Doty, of course, has traditionally sided on behalf of the players and this is an issue that could cost owners dearly and potentially impact the current lockout.

“One can assume Defendants’ illegal scheme extended to vendor contracts beyond the broadcast contracts at issue here,” the NFLPA wrote to the court, according to Kaplan. “Notwithstanding the limited scope of this proceeding, as guardian of the Class, this Court has authority to expand the inquiry beyond the broadcast contracts and redress related violations, in further proceedings.”

Per the report, most NFL contracts have clauses that guarantee payment even during a lockout. Kaplan says the NFL began insisting on such language as far back as 2006.

No matter what direction Doty takes on this matter, the report indicates owners expect a “big award” for the players. No doubt, such a ruling would lead to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals where the lockout currently rests. If the NFL believes it is going to struggle on appeal, perhaps it could spur movement in negotiations. Stay tuned.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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