The claim is that the NFLPA, Players, Inc., and perhaps the Hall of Fame (?) somehow locked former players into agreements with EA for their likenesses at below market rates. The implication is also that 2k is effectively shut out of the retired player market, making it impossible for them to continue their APF series.
So, I don't understand this, in all honesty. I thought 2k had to individually negotiate the agreements with former players because they were no longer associated with the NFLPA. So, why does the NFLPA have a say over their likeness? Evidently a lawsuit has been filed against the NFLPA by former players, but it is unclear this would invalidate the contract, if it exists.
EDIT: So, this may be old news and have no bearing on the future, but I can't be sure. The contracts may have been signed before APF 2k8 given some of the info in this 1UP story.