Despite the NFL Players Association’s action to decertify and file a class-action lawsuit against the NFL, the 2011 season isn’t necessarily doomed. Much would be left up to the courts. Here are some of the options:
- The NFL decides to lock out the players but the NFLPA’s injunction to stop it is granted. Even if the NFL appeals, league business would have to be conducted in the interim. Chance of harming season: None.
- While the two sides are squaring off in court, they could continue to make proposals on a new CBA and come to an agreement. Chance of harming season: None (but highly unlikely).
- The NFL could decide against a lock out and imposes the 2010 league rules, which were agreed upon by both sides in the last collective bargaining agreement. The union will challenge those rules in court, but could lose a battle to have them immediately halted. Chance of harming season: Low.
- The NFL locks out the players but the NFLPA’s injunction to stop it could be denied. At that point the union would have to decide how long it could handle a work stoppage. The season would become the new deadline for a deal. Chance of harming season: High.