The NFLPA filed for decertification today at 5:00 pm thus ending the two weeks of mediated talks and labor negotiations. The NFLPA issued an ultimatum to the owners at 4:00 that they would agree to a bargaining extension if the league agreed to provide open books for the last 10 years. Apparently, the NFL declined.
The next move is simple, the now defunct NFLPA will move out of the picture and Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Drew Brees will move to the front of it as plaintiffs against the league.
The three players will sue the league on behalf of the the entire league of players and will seek a better deal than what the owners were offering. What will come out of these litigation proceedings will be the next CBA and the union will then reform. It’s no known when the three will formally file the lawsuit but it will be filed as Antitrust lawsuit in Minnesota with US District Court Judge David Doty presiding over the case.
In the meantime, at least for fans, the good news is that once the case is filed, Judge Doty can allow the NFL to resume operations on a daily basis which will allow player movements, trades, and signings. It also will almost assuredly allow for the start of the regular season on time while the battle continues in court.
Still, there will be many hurdles to get over and while the season no longer seems to be in jeopardy, nothing is iron clad that the season will progress. It all depends on how Judge Doty decides to proceed once the players file the lawsuit.
The official statement as provided by ProFootballTalk.com by the now defunct union is:
“The NFL Players Association announced today it has informed the NFL, NFL clubs and other necessary parties that it has renounced its status as the exclusive collective bargaining representative of the players of the National Football League.
The NFLPA will move forward as a professional trade association with the mission of supporting the interests and rights of current and former professional football players.”
So someone fill me in here…what’s the difference between the NFLPA and the newly established or newly declared “Trade association”?
Correction: The decertification of the union will not lead to business as usual with the NFL. The NFL will likely now lockout the players which will then institute the legal Anti-trust lawsuit. In that case, there will be no business conducted with players until, Judge Doty renders a decision or puts measures in place to allow the sides to operate under the old rules. In all likelihood some form of work stoppage will be guaranteed and the 2011 season will be in limbo.