UPDATE: NFLPA Decertified. More at SI.com.
Unless a third extension is issued, the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement with its players will expire at
5 pm ET midnight tonight, triggering a near-certain decertification of the players’ union and antitrust lawsuit against the league from the sport’s biggest stars. The league seems intent on preventing that, now more than ever, and reportedly have charged their commissioner, Roger Goodell with some power to act unilaterally if he sees fit.
One NFL source said that on a conference call with owners Thursday, commissioner Roger Goodell was given the freedom to move drastically, if need be, to make a deal with players. There were indications Goodell would present a last, best offer to the players this morning, one that might have a significant concession about financial transparency in the 32 NFL teams’ audited financial statements, which is the sticking point with players in these talks.
So what does that mean? I doubt it means, “show them the books,” which seems to be the only concession the NFL could make to keep this negotiation going. The momentum seems to be on the side of the players, and Goodell’s two-minute drill here probably won’t be enough to keep the NFL out of court. As Lt. Frank Drebin would say, it’s 4th and 15 and Goodell is looking at a full-court press. He’ll have to stay out of the penalty box to have the time to go to his bullpen and get that golden goal. By the way, I faked every orgasm.