The former Giants’ wide receiver offered his take on the 1987 NFL strike, the NFLPA, Gene Upshaw and Drew Brees during an appearance on WFAN. McConkey said the Giants had health benefits and severance pay among the top of their gripes in 1987, with free agency the lowest priority. McConkey thinks the NFLPA’s concentration on free agency was a power move from Upshaw.
“I remember thinking to myself, ‘Are we that different than [other teams]?’” McConkey said. “I don’t think so. No, we weren’t. And what it was, was Gene Upshaw wanted to create favor with the top couple percent of guys in the league so he could stay in power, make all that money.”
McConkey regrets the 1987 strike because they failed to take care of former players. He takes issue with Drew Brees for the same reason. Back in 2009 Brees blasted former players saying it was their fault for being broke. Brees said many players made bad business decisions, collected their pensions early and never got another job.
“All [the 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. I know he’s canonized and people think he’s great. If he got in front of a group of ex-players, I don’t know what would happen.”
McConkey played with the Giants from 1984-1988 with a brief lay over in Green Bay during the 1986 season. He also played with the Cardinals and Chargers during his six-year career.