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NFL takes steps to protect a lockout

Yesterday was another big one in the ongoing labor battle between the NFL and the NFLPA. The league filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board charging the players union with unfair labor practices and negotiating in bad faith based on the union's move to decertify. 

The NFLPA has yet to decertify, i.e. dissolve the union into a loser trade organization, but they do have the unanimous signatures needed from the players on all 32 teams in their pocket. Decertification is sort of an insurance policy, a big card the union can play if they need to, sort of like the owners' guaranteed television revues which elicited a similar legal reaction from the players union. The union lost its case that before the special master claiming that the TV contracts were in bad faith. 

Why is decertification so important? If the union opts to decertify, it would allow them to bring an antitrust suit against NFL owners claiming that the lockout is illegal. Such a move could prevent a lockout.

It also might send this thing to court which might also force NFL teams to open their books. Doug Farrar over at the Shutdown Corner explains why that's a tricky thing for owners. It's not so much because they don't want the union to see profits and thus demand more money. The big issue, according to Farrar is debt. Over-leveraged owners have eaten into their own profits by taking on massive debts. 

Both sides, it was said, would likely resume negotiations this week, but nothing's been settled on so far this week.

(Update from 3k at 10:43am ET)

  It's gotten into the political bloodstream, folks.  Per a report from ABC News and another from the Kansas City Star, the mayors of Minneapolis, Miami, Houston and KC are now getting involved.  Not having a regular season means a lot of jobs will disappear as well as significant income streams that impact the local economies and provide tasty tax dollars to hungry local governments.

  Will St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay jump in?