When the NFL Players Association decided to decertify itself on Nov. 6, the assumption was that the action was intended to bolster the union's antitrust suit in federal court challenging the NFL's draft and free-agency rules. Last week, when player representatives met in Dallas to be briefed on decertification, another reason for the move became clear. In effect, the union proposed opening a second front in its long and so-far fruitless legal battle with the league. By decertifying itself as a union, the NFLPA told the players, each player would become his own bargaining agent with management on all issues. That, the union said, would permit a player to sue the league after his individual contract expired, in an effort to gain unrestricted free agency.
NFLPA assistant executive director Doug Allen says: "The party that will bring the suit will be a player or players. We'll have no problem finding people to do it." Allen says the Players Association will continue to serve as a professional organization, with one of its major functions being "to coordinate and fund the lawsuits and help players secure a free marketplace."
What is it with this angry young man Randall Cunningham? Giants coach Bill Parcells says Cunningham is among the top quarterbacks in the game and Randall gets offended. "I don't take it as a compliment when somebody says I'm among the top 10 quarterbacks in the league," Cunningham says. "There's only 28 quarterbacks, and that's saying I'm an average quarterback. I've worked too hard to be considered an average quarterback." Look at the numbers. Cunningham was the league's 13th-rated passer in '87 and 14th in '88; he's 13th this season. He has never thrown for 4,000 yards in a season. The Eagles have never won a playoff game with him at quarterback. There's no question that Cunningham is one of the game's best quarterbacks, but it certainly isn't clear-cut that he's better right now than Joe Montana, Jim Everett, Warren Moon, Jim Kelly, Boomer Esiason, Dan Marino, John Elway or Bernie Kosar. He's a peer of theirs, which means he's among the top 10 quarterbacks in the game....
The strangeness continues: The Vikings, who play in Cleveland Sunday, are 0-5 outdoors above the Mason-Dixon line this season.
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