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Updated: March 11th, 2011 6:56pm
Ben Leber, Brian Robison part of antitrust lawsuit against NFL

Ben Leber, Brian Robison part of antitrust lawsuit against NFL

by Tom Pelissero
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The NFL's labor fight is headed for the courts, and two Minnesota Vikings could find themselves at the center of the action.

Linebacker Ben Leber and end Brian Robison are two of 10 plaintiffs in an antitrust lawsuit against the league filed on Friday, shortly after the NFL Players' Association filed for decertification in U.S. District Court.

Other plaintiffs in the suit, which aims to preventing owners from locking out players, are Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Vincent Jackson, Logan Mankins, Osi Umenyiora, Mike Vrabel and Texas A&M linebacker Von Miller, a projected top-10 pick in this year's draft.

Leber -- one of the Vikings' assistant player representatives and a pending free agent -- told the Star Tribune that his intent is to "just represent the class of players in this process. From what I understand, I have to give some deposition as to how this affects my situation as a free agent and just overall testimony about how this affects the class of players."

Robison also could have been eligible for free agency, but he re-signed a three-year, $14.1 million contract last week.

"At this time I want to apologize to the fans for what is going (on)," Robison wrote on Twitter. "Things have to get worked out and we will fight, but fans truly (are) the ones who make this game and will suffer along with the players. If anything, the NFL has decided to lockout players and fans."

According to The Associated Press, the players allege in the suit the NFL conspired to deny the players' ability to market their services. The collective-bargaining agreement was set to expire at 10:59 p.m. Friday, at which point a lockout is expected.

Tom Pelissero is Senior Editor and columnist for He hosts from 6 to 8 p.m. weeknights and co-hosts from 10 a.m. to noon Sundays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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In this story: Ben Leber, Brian Robison