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Grievance filed by NFL says players' union leaders advised running backs to fake injuries

The NFL has filed a grievance against the NFL Players Association, alleging that union leaders, including President JC Tretter, have advised running backs to "consider feigning or exaggerating injuries" to help increase their leverage in contract negotiations.

The grievance was filed on Sept. 11 and will be reviewed by an arbitrator.

In a memo sent to the league's management council executive committee and obtained by The Associated Press, the NFL said the union made the suggestion to running backs during a Zoom meeting before the season.

Any player who took the union's advice and faked an injury would be violating the collective bargaining agreement, the league argued.

"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 memo said. "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."

The league's grievance seeks for the union to "cease and desist from such improper conduct as well as other remedies that the arbitrator may deem appropriate."

Giants star running back Saquon Barkley and Raiders All-Pro Josh Jacobs refused to sign their $10.1 million US franchise tags and were unhappy about not getting long-term contracts.

Colts RB Jonathan Taylor has been involved in a contract dispute and was placed on the physically unable to perform list to start the season because he's recovering from off-season ankle surgery.