The NFL has filed a grievance against the NFL Players Association, accusing the union of improperly advising running backs to fake injuries as a contract-negotiating tactic with their teams.

The non-injury grievance was filed last week and will be resolved by an arbitrator. It accuses the NFLPA of violating provisions of the collective bargaining agreement between the league and union.

The grievance does not accuse any running back of improper conduct, a person familiar with the situation said Monday.

The NFL’s grievance seeks “an order for the union to cease and desist from such improper conduct as well as other remedies that the arbitrator may deem appropriate,” the league told owners who serve on the Management Council Executive Committee, which is in charge of labor negotiations with the union, in a memo.

“Beginning this past summer and continuing throughout Training Camp, NFL Players Association leadership, including President JC Tretter, have become increasingly vocal in advising NFL Players dissatisfied with their current contracts to consider feigning or exaggerating injuries to withhold service as a way to increase their leverage in contract negotiations,” the NFL wrote in the memo, a copy of which The Washington Post obtained.

The memo continued: “We have become aware of a formal Zoom hosted by the NFLPA with certain NFL Running Backs in which this advice was conveyed. This conduct is a clear violation of the union’s agreement to use ‘best efforts to faithfully carry out the terms and conditions of the (CBA)’ and ‘to see that the terms and conditions of all NFL Player Contracts are carried out in full by players.’ The union’s conduct is also reckless as any player that chooses to follow this advice and improperly withhold services under his player contract will be subject to discipline and financial liability under the CBA, Club rules, and/or the player’s contract.”


SERGIO BROWN, a former NFL player who started his career with the Patriots, is the subject of a search after his 73-year-old mother’s body was found near a creek behind her suburban Chicago home.

Relatives told officers Saturday in Maywood, Illinois, that they could not find Sergio Brown, 35, or Myrtle Brown, police said. Officers found Myrtle Brown’s body, and a medical examiner determined Sunday that she had been injured during an assault.

Sergio Brown played defensive back from 2010 through 2016 with the Patriots, Colts, Jaguars and Bills. He graduated from Proviso East High School in Maywood and attended the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.

GIANTS: New York running back Saquon Barkley has a sprained right ankle and his status for Thursday night’s game against San Francisco is uncertain, a person familiar with the injury told The Associated Press on Monday.

Coach Brian Daboll had said earlier in the day he did not know the extent of the injury. Daboll had said Barkley was being sent for further tests but his availability would probably be a game-time decision.

DOLPHINS: Miami wide receiver Jaylen Waddle is in concussion protocol as a result of a hit he took in Sunday’s 24-17 victory to the Patriots. It’s unclear whether he’ll be able to play in this Sunday’s home opener against Denver.


CHIEFS: The Chiefs and reigning NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes agreed to a restructure of his 10-year, $450 million contract that gives him a substantial boost in pay over the next four seasons, two people familiar with the deal told The Associated Press.

The revised agreement pushes some of the money Mahomes was scheduled to make going forward to the next four years, and the $210.6 million that is guaranteed over that span represents the most in NFL history. Mahomes will make $56.85 million this season, $44.5 million next season, $50 million in 2025 and $56.76 million for the 2026 season.

At that point, the Chiefs and Mahomes – who turned 28 on Sunday – are expected to revisit his contract, which ties him to the franchise through 2031.

BENGALS: The health of Joe Burrow, who threw two touchdown passes in the second half of Sunday’s 27-24 loss to Baltimore, is questionable going forward with a nagging calf injury.

Burrow, who missed most of training camp because of a strained right calf muscle, was limping at the end of the game against the Ravens. He said he “tweaked” his calf injury, and he wasn’t sure about the seriousness of it.

“I’ll give it a couple nights and a couple sleeps,” he said after the game. “We’ll go from there.”


Coach Zac Taylor didn’t know much more on Monday.

“He’s still sore today,” Taylor said. “He did it really one of the last three plays of the game probably, so it’s just sore. We haven’t done anything on the field yet.”

STEELERS: Pittsburgh placed wide receiver Diontae Johnson and running back Anthony McFarland on injured reserve, hours before Pittsburgh (0-1) hosted the Cleveland Browns (1-0).

Pittsburgh Coach Mike Tomlin had already ruled Johnson out against Cleveland. The move to injured reserve means he’ll miss at least four games. Johnson tweaked his right hamstring while being tackled at the end of a 26-yard gain in the third quarter of a 30-7 loss to San Francisco in the season opener.

Johnson is Pittsburgh’s leading receiver over the past four seasons, averaging 85 receptions a season since being taken in the third round of the 2019 draft. He was a Pro Bowler in 2021.

McFarland, who serves as the Steelers’ primary kickoff returner, is dealing with a knee injury.


CARDINALS: Two-time All-Pro safety Budda Baker has been placed on injured reserve following a hamstring injury suffered last week during practice, adding more adversity for winless Arizona.

Baker was inactive for the Cardinals on Sunday during a 31-28 loss to the New York Giants. The Cardinals blew a 21-point, third-quarter lead in the game, which was the biggest collapse for the franchise since 2011.

Baker – a team captain – will miss at least the next four games.

COWBOYS: Dallas released running back Ronald Jones, the day he was eligible to rejoin the team after a two-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancers.

Jones practiced with the Cowboys through training camp and the preseason, but the 26-year-old became expendable with rookie Deuce Vaughn showing enough promise to get snaps in the regular season.

Rico Dowdle and Vaughn are behind Tony Pollard on the depth chart, and the Cowboys also have undrafted rookie fullback Hunter Luepke on the active roster.

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