The NFL Lockout dragged on today as Players and Owners are looking to finalize the new collective bargaining agreement. Despite what many of us were hoping, the players did not vote to approve the settlement. What this does for the rumored end of lockout tomorrow, team restricted free agency on July 25th, and league-wide free-agency start on July 28th is unsure at this point.
Jason La Canfora reported, earlier in the afternoon, "There will be no vote by the players today, according to sources. Most reps have left. Executive committee members are still in DC."
Then, it got a little confusing if you were monitoring the process on Twitter, as people started arguing back and forth whether or not there was indeed a vote. Turns out there was, but a conditional vote. OOOOOhhhhh. Wait, what? I don't know what the hell is going on, but I'll relay to you what some people in the know are saying.
First,, an update from NFL reporter Mark Maske for The Washington Post. Per his Twitter account:
This is a two-step approval process for the players--first settlement of antitrust lawsuit, then ratification of CBA and re-unionization. So no vote yet by all players on CBA but player reps to recommend settlement of antitrust lawsuit to plaintiffs if final issues resolved and have authorized executive committee and De Smith to work out remaining issues with league and finish CBA.
Another meeting of player reps would not be required for CBA ratification, just a conference call to recommend approval to all players. The owners still could vote Thursday to approve deal even without a players' vote today, according to people familiar with deliberations.
The deal is basically in place. It's the resolution of the lawsuit that remains unfinished, and it must be resolved to finish the CBA. NFL labor committee ended its meeting in Atlanta. Full ownership meeting scheduled to begin Thursday at 10 a.m. Jeff Pash told reporters in Atlanta the hope is for the two sides to work out issues so that both sides could vote Thursday on the deal.
So we wait. Perhaps tomorrow?
That wasn't very succinct. Albert Breer is pretty succinct. Here's what he said on his Twitter account:
Helping to clarify here: The good news is that players voted to pass terms that would become the CBA upon reconstitution of the union. The bad news is the vote was conditional on the settlement terms that go along with the lawsuits. So that needs to be worked out. Bottom line: The structure of the league going forward has been negotiated and set, but this one's not over til those lawsuits die.
So there you have it. I'm relying on these guys right now -- there are rumors flying around about other things going on but I'm not going to comment until tomorrow and we'll see how this thing shakes out. The basic thing that I can glean from all this is that the schedule hasn't been thrown off much at this point so the sky isn't falling just yet.
I am sick, and I have a headache. Apologies for not getting this up earlier.