SBJ/September 2 - 8, 2002/Labor Agents

NFLPA may file to get depositions

The NFL Players Association may file a special master case alleging collusion between the Minnesota Vikings and Kansas City Chiefs over the negotiations of their two first-round NFL draft picks, said Richard Berthelsen, the union's general counsel.

Berthelsen said last week that the players union is considering the action in order to depose officials of both teams familiar with the negotiations. The NFL collective-bargaining agreement provides that an arbitrator called a "special master" hears such disputes, and filing such an action would give the union the right to take sworn depositions.

The union asked the league to have club personnel agree to be deposed on documents it received in its investigation. A call to an NFL spokesman was not returned by press time.

Officials of both the Chiefs and the Vikings have denied that they colluded in negotiating the contracts of the No. 6 and No. 7 picks in the draft. The Chiefs picked Ryan Sims at No. 6 and the Vikings picked Bryant Mc-Kinnie at No. 7.

The NFLPA launched its collusion investigation in August.

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