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Former New York Giants WR Phil McConkey Voices Displeasure with NFLPA and Drew Brees

January 17th, 2013 at 3:00 PM
By Casey Sherman

Former New York Giants wide receiver Phil McConkey has made it clear he doesn't care much for today's NFLPA and its executive committee member Drew Brees. For the most part, the league has taken the blame when retired NFL players have come forth about their financial and medical situations; however, McConkey believes the NFLPA deserves the majority of the blame.

'Drew Brees, Media Day' photo (c) 2010, Ian Ransley - license:

McConkey, who played for the Giants from 1984-88 and helped them win Super Bowl XXI, believes Brees' reputation has helped him escape any scrutiny from retired players seeking help.

"I know he's canonized, and people think he's great," McConkey said of Brees. "[But] if he got in front of a group of ex-players, I don't know what would happen."

The issues McConkey has with Brees are perhaps best summarized in a statement Brees made in 2009, questioning the decision-making of NFL retirees.

"There's some guys out there that have made bad business decisions," Brees said. "They took their pensions early because they never went out and got a job. They've had a couple divorces, and they're making payments to this place and that place. And that's why they don't have money. And they're coming to us to basically say 'Please make up for my bad judgment.'"

McConkey was not happy when asked about those comments.

"It's disgusting," McConkey replied when asked about Brees's comments, "but that's some of the mentality that's around."

To be fair, in the same interview, Brees offered some praise for the retired players who helped the NFL become what it is today.

"They shaped the game for us. Because of those guys, we have an opportunity to play this game, to make the money that we make, to get the benefits we get. We will always, always, always reach back to give to those guys. But there's a way to do it."

McConkey claims the attitude held by Brees and the other members of the NFLPA are to blame for the hardships being suffered by the retired NFL players, not the owners.

"I see so many of my colleagues suffering terribly," McConkey said. "I really don't blame the owners and the management. I don't. It's the Players Association. They're the ones that should have taken care of the guys that went before them. And they didn't, and they still don't."

The issue of concussions has been a divisive topic inside the NFL. The league has been sued thousands of times, while the NFLPA has yet to face a lawsuit. McConkey believes the NFLPA should be a defendant right alongside the league.

“I don’t understand why they’re not suing the Players Association also,” McConkey said. “I think they’re more responsible than the NFL.”

McConkey also admitted to regretting the NFL strike in 1987 but insists the strike is benefiting todays players, including Drew Brees.

“All [the 1987 strike] benefited were some of the guys of today,” McConkey said. “There are some guys today that have absolutely no clue and that run their mouths. And Drew Brees is one of them."


Tags: Drew Brees, Football, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Phil McConkey

16 Responses to “Former New York Giants WR Phil McConkey Voices Displeasure with NFLPA and Drew Brees”

  1.  Krow says:

    Drew Brees says there’s no hard evidence McConkey played for the Giants.

  2.  kujo says:

    Interestingly, Drew Brees–who plays in a city still receiving enormous amounts of federal aid, and whose citizens do as well–espoused the traditional economic conservative position. Wonder how this plays in the Ninth Ward?

  3.  wrdag says:

    I handled athletes for the first 10 years of my career and would never take another for all the tea in china. You may not be a Brees fan but he speaks the truth. I did not work with football players whose contracts are not guaranteed so I can only imagine how quickly the debts pile up the minute the 7 figure checks don’t come in. 99% of all athletes you watch are currently living a lifestyle that only a 7 figure paycheck can handle, unless they give their financial planner in excess of 10 million during their careers and that planner can get 10% return on that 10 million you have no shot to support a muti-million dollar lifestyle. The chances of a player saving 10 million net all debts is laughable!!!! I watched the ESPN show on this topic after the Vince Young bankruptcy and the planners talk about budgets and player discipline….what a joke. The bottomline is the players ( and their wives) run the show; you can suggest all you want about spending but you cant stop it short of getting yourself fired. Which is probably the best thing that can happen for the planner but you can guess the next guy who takes over their finances is well aware how he got the account. The only thing I ever saw that worked was if a an owner was willing to establish a deferrred comp contract in which they give the player 20% or10% of his salary today and defer the rest out another 10 plus years. Most owners wont do this and the player does run the risk that his owed money is at the risk of the owners and teams viability. All of this is an ugly,ugly side of the business that you would never want to deal with if you ever really wanted to enjoy another sporting event.

  4.  G-MenFan says:

    “Former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf has been moved from a drug treatment center to the Montana State Prison for threatening a staff member and other unspecified behavioral problems at the center, a corrections official said Thursday.

    Read More:

  5.  Chad Eldred says:

    While there is nothing shocking about Leaf continuing to be a total waste of organic matter, I still marvel at the disparity between “what could have been” for Ryan Leaf, and what he has become.

  6.  Chad Eldred says:

    Haven’t had a ton of time lately, but reading through today’s material, I have a few quick thoughts.

    - Williams and/or Paysinger replacing Boley? Really? You may not like Boley at his current salary, but neither of those guys have made it past the stage of having potential. Williams is out with nagging issues as much or more than Boley, and Paysinger is becoming a perennial preseason hopeful that never amount to much more than a solid special-teamer. Boley may be a casualty this off-season, but watch what you wish for, you may not like it as much as you thought.

    - I still can’t fathom the versatility argument for Deihl. I don’t see the merit of being able to blow at multiple positions as opposed to blowing at one position. Obviously this argument only holds true for sports. Either way, the guy blows. Keeping him around has an opportunity cost if you can replace him with a younger, ascending player.

    -Bart Scott. Win a couple Super Bowls and you will likely have more positive things said and written about your team. It’s really not all that complicated.

  7.  rlhjr says:

    If the New York Giants somehow brain fart and fail to take an offensive lineman in the first round, then perhaps they pull the trigger on this kid.

    Then find an offensive lineman followed by a DB. All the backers worth a damn will be gone before 19 anyway. And this is a two year project to rebuild this team into a Superbowl contender again. Right now they are not a playoff lock.

    •  kujo says:

      I’m not interested in being on this person or that person’s preseason list of “playoff locks.” The fact is that we are less than 365 days removed from being crowned the Best Team in the NFL. And rather than Burger King paper crowns, which are handed out by the media before and during the season, this crown actually matters because its real. Do we need a new infusion of talent? Yes. Are there areas on this team that are very much in need of retooling? Absolutely. But I’m not buying this idea that we are in some sort of rebuild. Poor execution in crunch time kept us out of the playoffs this year, not some magic disappearance of the high quality players that led us to our second Lombardi in 5 years.

      Draft some interior linemen on either side of the ball, add a young veteran CB, and have a heathy Nicks and we are more than capable of owning this division.

      •  G-MenFan says:

        “The fact is that we are less than 365 days removed from being crowned the Best Team in the NFL”

        I am having a physical response to this statement that makes me too uncomfortable to discuss it any further.

        I’m going to bed now.

  8.  GOAT56 says:

    Look at some point we are going to have to infuse not just the team with youth but our starters. So some trusted guys like Boley, Bradshaw, Diehl etc. will be replaced. Is it a lock to work? No. But it’s just what you have to do in the NFL. Partly due to economics and partly due to infusing the roster with energy/hunger. It’s the reason we might replace solid vets like Blackburn and Hixon. Look we are probably starting Brewer at RT next year and could be great or a disaster. That’s why we trust in JR to make these type of decisions. He won’t always be right but he has to be a good percetage of the time going forward like he has been thus far.

  9.  kujo says:

    I’m also not buying this “youth movement” nonsense. The best way to win a championship is to have an elite QB, a bevy of offensive weapons, a pass rush and a good secondary. The age of the players in the game doesn’t really matter, provided they are good enough and execute excellent game plans excellently. We have talent and a good combination of experience and youth within all of those areas. I think we need a longterm answer at RT, an interior run stuffer at DT, and a new starting MLB. I don’t see any reason why we should throw tried and true coaching methods to the wind so that players can learn on the fly and satiate our fan-based need to play with our new toys.

    If the young players can’t hack it in practice, there’s no reason they should be out on the field on Sunday. And you can’t show me an example where a player was giving A+ performances Monday-Saturday, only to sit on Sundays. Doesn’t happen, not with the sort of excellent coaching we have. They set the standards, and the players have to live up to them. You want to question those standards? I’ll direct you to our trophy stand and we can talk about them there.

    •  Dirt says:

      Anyone who saw any practice this year could have told you Wilson >>> Bradshaw, but other than that and Locklear outplaying Diehl, I agree that generally the better players play.

  10.  Krow says:

    We’ll grab Te’o in the 3rd round …

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