By CBS News Staff Writer The NFL Players Association has joined the battle against a proposed plan that would cut benefits and raise taxes on millions of players, including many veterans.
The players are suing the league and its commissioner, Roger Goodell, alleging the plan would cost them millions of dollars and harm their health.
The lawsuit filed Tuesday seeks class-action status and a court order that would require the league to reveal the cost of the plan.
The union says the plan, called the Deferred Retirement System (DRS), would cost the league $2 billion a year and take years to implement.
The NFLPA says the plans proposed by the NFL, including the DRS, would allow NFL players to retire at 65 and retire at 62 years old.
The league says the DRs are necessary for players to play, and would not affect the health of players.
The plan would allow players to continue to earn the maximum salary of $11 million a year after they have played for more than 30 seasons.
It also says the NFLPA’s proposal would eliminate the team salary cap, which currently stands at $200 million, to be $110 million, with the cap set to rise to $140 million by 2022.
The union says players would be paid an average of $6,600 a week in retirement benefits, and that the plan “would significantly increase the cost” of health care for players.
The NFLPA contends that the NFL could pay all players a salary equal to or higher than the current salary cap of $170 million.
The league says it is “committed to ensuring every player has access to affordable, high-quality, affordable health care.”
The union’s lawsuit is the latest effort to make the issue a political issue.
Last week, Democratic U.S. senators and representatives in Congress introduced a resolution that would prevent the NFL from introducing a new plan before the 2020 season begins.
The measure would also call for a review of the existing health insurance plans.
The NBA and NHL both have similar plans.