Panini complains about NFLPA's cancellation of trading card deal

On Monday, the NFL Players Association pulled the plug on Panini. On Tuesday, Panini popped out.

"We believe this was a totally unwarranted and improper action by the NFL Players Association in conjunction with Fanatics, especially in light of the unprecedented sales by Panini of NFL trading cards," Panini said in a statement, via Darren Rovell of "Panini has grown the category of sports trading cards by over 1,000 percent since 2009, to the benefit of all concerned. We believe the only party who benefits from this action by the NFL Players Association is Fanatics, and not the players, the leagues or consumers. We note that in addition to the NFL Players Association license, Panini has licenses with the NFL and over 360 individual players. Panini will honor all of its contractual obligations."

The statement hints at the possibility of legal action, based on breach of contract. Panini also could explore a potential claim against Fanatics for tortious interference with contractual relations, if Panini believes — and can prove — that Fanatics enticed the NFLPA to breach its contract with the Panini.

Regardless of how it plays out, it looks like there's a trading-car war brewing.