The current collective bargaining agreement between the NFL players and owners ends tonight at at midnight, meaning that if some sort of agreement or extension is not reached the owners could vote to lock out the players starting tomorrow. In all likelihood, the NFLPA would also move to de-certify itself to prevent a lockout at that point.
The two sides have been meeting all week, but little has come out about any progress toward a new deal. The players did win an important judgment over the owners this week, when federal judge David Doty ruled that the owners had not acted in good faith when negotiating their current TV agreement and could bar them from access to the $4 billion in payments the owners were due this year from the TV networks even if there were no football played.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that at least three sources have told him that the owners are pushing for an extension of talks between the two sides that would last beyond the midnight deadline. The players however, want concessions from the owners to proceed. An extension would simply mean that the current CBA would last another week or two just so the sides could continue talking without having to make a decision on a lockout or de-certification.
It seems like this thing has just begun. Stay tuned.