AP sources: NFL players' union accuses teams of collusion

The NFL Players Association claims teams have colluded to avoid giving players fully guaranteed contracts.

The union filed the grievance last month, two people with knowledge of it, told The Associated Press on Tuesday. They spoke on condition of anonymity because it’s a legal matter.

NFL general counsel Jeff Pash sent a memo informing teams of the union’s formal allegation on Oct. 20, one of the people said.

A league spokesman declined comment. The NFLPA didn’t immediately respond to messages.

The union claims owners and team executives agreed not to offer fully guaranteed deals after the Cleveland Browns gave Deshaun Watson a fully guaranteed $230 million, five-year contract in March.

No player has received a fully guaranteed deal since Watson. Kyler Murray and Russell Wilson both signed lucrative contracts after Watson. Lamar Jackson couldn’t agree to a deal with Baltimore because he wants it fully guaranteed. Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti was critical of Watson’s deal and other owners have voiced their concern about it.

The NFLPA is not seeking to terminate the collective bargaining agreement over this dispute.

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Rob Maaddi, The Associated Press