Thursday a whirlwind of activity took place in Atlanta after the NFL clubs voted and approved a a labor proposal in hopes of ending the four month lockout.
The move took some by surprise as the vote by the players came and went Wednesday with no progress.
Reports indicated that the two sides still needed to work out a few issues, including rumored concessions desired by Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson and Patriots guard Logan Mankins, if they were to settle as plaintiffs in Brady v. NFL.
Instead the owners moved forward ratifying the labor proposal even forming a new revenue-sharing system.
Some players reacted angrily Thursday night to the owners’ vote, saying all the terms of the labor deal were not done and the owners had ratified some provisions that had not been negotiated.
But the tensions on the players’ eased soon thereafter, and the two sides went back to work ironing out the final details.
There was a lull in the action Friday as both the owners and players paid homage to Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s wife Myra Kraft, who passed away after battling cancer Wednesday morning.
Today however the NFLPA went back to the table to study the proposed deal. This afternoon it was announced Logan Mankins and Vincent Jackson rescinded their individual requests for concessions in the new CBA clearing the way for further progress.
Ther are still issues to be resolved — injury protection, workers’ compensation, opt-out rights, finalizing benefits, discipline and drug-testing — but all of these issue are ones that have to be “collectively bargained” once the players re-certify with the NFL as a labor union.
The next step is a scheduled meeting Monday in Washington D.C. of the player leadership and members of the NFLPA where it is expected they are going to approve the proposal. Once done the plaintiffs in Brady v. NFL have to settle and the nearly 1900 players must vote to re-certify.
If a deal is approved Monday NFL teams could let players into team facilities Tuesday, not only to get acquainted but to start the voting process of re-forming the union.
Also the league year could the start as soon as Wednesday, with training camps to follow Friday. We caution all however that all of this is tentative at best, but progress has been made and everyone is hopeful football will be back up and running shortly.
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