Mar 11, 2011
So here we are… again. We have arrived at Deadline Day, Part III, and things have been far from calm in Washington with talks, at least publically, becoming much more heated between the NFL and the union.
The CBA is set to expire at midnight, and not surprisingly, that is the only story in the NFL. The vow of silence outside the room has been broken, as both sides fired shots at each other through the media and via Twitter last night. NFL general counsel Jeff Pash made a comment hinting that the union was not as committed to getting a deal done as the owners, causing NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith, who had left the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service building, to come back and deliver a response to the assembled media:
“We have been committed to this process,” Smith said. “But for anyone to stand and turn to the American people and say they question that. “We’re going to work like heck to make sure football continues.”
Union spokesman George Atallah and NFL spokesman Greg Aiello also took public shots at each other, except that conversation played out over Twitter. Welcome to labor talks in 2011.
It’s possible we’ll have answers sometime in the afternoon, with Smith saying he’ll update the players around 2 p.m. ET. The issue of opening the NFL’s books remains a heated one, and as the National Football Post’s Andrew Brandt points out, trust has been an enormous issue in the last two years.
At this point, it seems the best hope is for another extension of the CBA, which would mean more of the waiting game but would certainly be a positive. Otherwise, we’re headed for NFLPA decertification and the owners attempting a lockout, which would mean we’re headed for court. The players have until 5 p.m. ET to decertify.
Should decertification happen, it’s possible we could see free agency before a new CBA is agreed upon. For now, we’ll sit tight and see what happens today. We highly recommend following our @Fantasy_Guru news list on Twitter for all the latest.