NFL Lockout Update: Owners Approve New CBA

NFL Lockout Update: Owners Approve New CBA
Super Owner Robert Kraft and Jerry Jones

The end the NFL Lockout is in sight. NFL owners voted to approve the proposed labor deal with the NFL Players Association on Thursday. Now it's up to the players.  NFL players are scheduled to vote on the proposed deal Thursday night.

NFLPA sources say NFL lawyers at one point were pushing for the condition the lockout remain in effect until players recertify as a union. Here's a situation where there was too much lawyer blood in the room. Roger Goodell and NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith (also a lawyer) spoke directly about in event the players approve the agreement later Thursday, the lockout could be immediately lifted if the players also agree to re-certify as a union.

The roughly 1,900 NFL Players then would have to acquire enough signatures to begin recertification as a labor union, which would essentially convert the proposed deal to become a collective bargaining agreement.

There is a legitimate concern many players would not approve of union recertification, although it may not be enough to hold back approving the NFL owners proposal.

This evening NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced the cancellation of the Hall of Fame Game, which originally was to be played between the Bears and the St. Louis Rams.

Exavier B. Pope, Esq. is an entertainment and sports attorney and legal blogger for Chicago Now. All opinions expressed are those solely of Mr. Pope.

(c) 2011, Exavier Pope

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  • I hadn't heard the "continue the lockout until the union is recertified" one. I did hear from various sports sources that "there technically isn't a deal" until the union recertifies and votes to ratify the proposal, but the union isn't in a hurry to do so because (a) there are still some unresolved issues, and (b) most of the player reps haven't seen the "proposed CBA."

    --Except for Hub Arkush. I might have mentioned before that he has consistently been taking the line that "the owners are screwing the players, 'their partners,' of stuff that belongs to the players," even though the players are employees. Last night, his line was "the owners showed their extreme arrogance by voting for a contract" apparently unilaterally. A couple of days ago, he was crying that the "owners were demanding that the players give up recourse to the courts, and submit disputes to an arbitrator."

    Now, I know that you are a good enough lawyer to realize:

    1. There isn't a contract until both sides agree.

    2. In the case of an impasse, the employer can say "here's the last offer, and if the union doesn't like it, strike, or maybe you will be locked out."

    3. Any other CBA (at least those involving working class union members, and even state employees) requires arbitration of disputes.

    I'm getting to the point that if any nonlawyer says anything about the law on radio or television, I'm changing the station.

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