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Players lose lawsuit

A lawsuit filed against the NFL Players Association by retirees was dismissed Tuesday by a federal judge, who said she's "empathetic to their concerns" but ruled they had no legal right to hundreds of millions of dollars in additional post-career benefits they claimed they lost during lockout talks last year.

U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson issued her order from St. Paul, Minn.

Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive end Carl Eller, a former Minnesota Vikings star, was the lead plaintiff in the complaint that argued current players and their attorneys had no right to bargain with NFL owners about retiree benefits because they weren't legally a union last summer.

Michael Hausfeld, the lead lawyer for the retired players, said his group plans to appeal Nelson's decision to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis.

In an interview from his office in Washington, Hausfeld called Nelson's findings "elucidating and disappointing overall." There were several dozen ex-players, many of them Hall of Famers, on the lawsuit who felt they were cheated by the current players.


Around the league

* The New England Patriots have signed UB offensive lineman Jamey Richard, as well as rookie free agent tight end Nick Melillo and seventh-round draft choice Alfonzo Dennard, a defensive back.

* The Miami Dolphins will appear on HBO's "Hard Knocks" this summer. The seventh season premieres Aug. 7, with four more one-hour episodes airing on subsequent Tuesdays.

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