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Free-agent Eric Reid wants revote over post-ballot changes to CBA

Carolina Panthers strong safety Eric Reid waits for a play during the second half against the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans on Nov. 24, 2019.
Carolina Panthers strong safety Eric Reid waits for a play during the second half against the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans on Nov. 24, 2019.
(Butch Dill / Associated Press)

Free-agent safety Eric Reid wants an investigation and a revote on the collective bargaining agreement because of language added to the accord after it was ratified.

In a letter Monday to the NFL Players Assn., Reid’s attorneys said language in the CBA was altered after March 15, when players voted 1,019-959 in favor of the 10-year agreement.

His lawyers point to a change in the language in the version of the CBA posted on the NFLPA website. The discrepancy pertains to which players are eligible for disability benefits. The NFL declined comment, and the NFLPA did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the allegations.

“We’ve been obviously critical of the CBA from the outset because it takes from disabled players. And so in advising them, we were looking at it and pointing out where they had issues and where they were going to be likely getting less money,” Reid’s attorney, Ben Meiselas told the Associated Press. “And then we saw it, and we go, ‘I don’t remember seeing this in Paragraph B.’”

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Said Meiselas: “Eric’s letter demands the invalidation and an investigation and a revote because how do you stick in language that players didn’t know they were voting for?”

In 2018, Reid and Colin Kaepernick, former San Francisco teammates, filed collusion grievances against the NFL that were settled last year.

Sports business consultant Marc Ganis said he is unaware that a signed CBA has been subject to a second ratification vote or been thrown out by the courts or the National Labor Relations Board.

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“The deal has been signed,” said Ganis, who for years has worked closely with the NFL and various team owners. “I don’t know of any way for a revote. I suppose it’s conceivable that a judge could order a return to the precise original language but for anything there would need to be a material significant set of changes and he would need to demonstrate fraud of some sort with is not the least bit evident.

“Also adjustments are made constantly to such documents. Clarifications. Items that may have been unclear to become clearer. That kind of thing. This strikes as sour grapes by someone who didn’t get his way in the vote.”


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