NFL lockout: No deal until next week

Yes, the lockout continues.

NFLPA team reps will meet on Monday to discuss the deal presented to them by owners yesterday, accompanied by a PR stunt that did nothing but delay what could have been wrapped up already. In short, that means the players will not vote on a deal until at least Monday. One expert thinks it happens on Wednesday

This morning, many believed that players might vote today after reviewing the deal approved by owners. That deal was said to contain some "finishing details" that looked different than what players agreed to in talks prior to last night's vote. It's still not entirely clear what those issues are, but most pressing seems to be how to re-constitute the NFLPA.

Players want to do it in person rather than rush the process to ink a deal that all 1,900 members understand. Once the NFLPA re-certifies after a vote, several issues have to be collectively bargained, like drug testing and the much-beloved player discipline policy, which the league would like to apply to players for missteps during the lockout. Only then can players finally vote on the actual CBA itself. The item being voted on now, or not being voted on as the case may be, is the settlement to the Brady, et al antitrust lawsuit. (Read this piece from Doug Farrar at Yahoo for a rundown of why this thing is going to take time).

Ego also factors into the mix. Owners pulled a dickish move yesterday, their own "Mission Accomplished" moment suggesting the whole thing was wrapped up, only those greedy players had to approve it. They also put a deadline on it, a power play that may also violate labor laws. With the delay, players get to impose their will on the process one last time before everyone joins hands again to roll in the profits of America's most popular sporting enterprise. 

A deal will happen, without a doubt. Anything this complicated couldn't be resolved that easily; this has been in the works since 2008 when owners opted out of the old CBA. 

What the revised timeline for business look like depends entirely when voting happens next. Fear not. There is still enough time to resolve the remaining issues without bleeding into the season. There's even enough time to get things done an not miss the preseason, though that's a tighter turnaround. Players may not lose any sleep over lost preseason time, but owners will. Nevertheless, it should be done before it comes to that; otherwise, it might be back to the drawing board as lost preseason revenues start to impact feelings. 

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