Here is what’s going on at the moment on the NFL labor front:
- The owners are meeting in Atlanta with the full intention of voting to approve the global settlement, which includes the framework of a new collective bargaining agreement;
- Sources say that behind the scenes, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice, along with their attorneys, are working through the last pieces of the settlement, which includes the $320 milllion in lost benefits during the uncapped year, and any settlement issues with the plaintiffs. Multiple reports have someone representing the interests of Patriots guard Logan Mankins and Chargers receiver Vincent Jackson asking for $10 million to settle.
- There is also the question of how long the league will need to restart once an agreement is ratified by both sides. The NFL thinks it can happen immediately, and has plans to do so. The NFLPA is saying that it could take two full weeks for the lockout to end because of the process to reorganize as a union. There can be no collective bargaining agreement until the union re-forms.
- Seahawks player rep Chester Pitts, who was in Washington, D.C. for the meeting yesterday and who is represented by Andrew Kessler, the son of NFLPA lead counsel Jeffrey Kessler, started the two-week talk last night on Fox Sports Radio (via ProFootballTalk.com). The NFLPA is saying it needs to mail out and receive voting cards from a majority of the 1,900 NFL players.
- In my personal opinion, this is perhaps the final weapon in this battle that the players can use to exert force on the NFL to achieve some of their final objectives. I don’t think recertifying is as big an issue as they want it to appear to me, same goes with some of the collectively bargained points (drug testing, discipline) that the two sides must have talked about prior to this point in the process.
- NFL Network is reporting that Smith has asked for all player reps to be available for a conference call this season. The reason is unknown. Could be an update or a vote.
- All NFL owners are expected to leave Atlanta tonight to head to Boston for the services for Myra Kraft, who passed yesterday.