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DeMaurice Smith To Players: NFLPA Expected To De-Certify From NFL

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Many close to the NFL and the on-going negotiations for a new CBA have stated all along that they expect a new deal to be put in place at the 11th hour as both parties, the NFL’s owners and the NFLPA, scramble to prevent a lockout and a repeat of the 1987 season.

The original CBA was set to expire last Thursday at 11:59 pm eastern standard time, but  at the last minute both parties agreed to a seven day extension in an attempt to keep the negotiations on-going, this after federal judge David S. Doty ruled the NFL and it’s owners could not use over 4 billion dollars paid to them in television revenues in the event of a lockout.

Doty’s decision to block the money drastically changed the landscape of the negotiations and forced the NFL to be a little more forthcoming as the “nest egg” they thought they had was taken away.

There are some key items that continue to keep the sides apart including how the nine billion dollar revenu pie is split between the NFL and the players as well as the desire of the NFL to introduce an eighteen game schedule. The proverbial clock is ticking.

Adam Schefter of ESPN is reporting DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the NFLPA, stated to players during a conference call today that the players association is preparing to de-certify from the NFL in the waining moments of current negotiations.

It’s not yet set in stone and reports have surfaced that the NFLPA is examining one more last ditch offer thrown out by the NFL, but it seems likely the NFLPA is opting towards de-certification.

From the Philadelphia Daily NewsPaul Domowitch:

"If the players union opts to decertify, it is expected to file an antitrust suit against the league within days of decertification. The league likely would shut down operations – it wouldn’t technically be a lockout because you can’t lock out non-union workers. The union would then seek to enjoin the league from shutting down."

It’s a bombshell to be certain but it says that the NFLPA is more than willing to take the matter to court and present their case in front of  “pro player” Judge David S. Doty to try and obtain anti-trust legislation in their favor. More to come but it appears that the a new CBA is far from a done deal.

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