It is becoming increasingly clear that the NFL and the player's union will not be able to reach an agreement on a new CBA before the midnight deadline. A lockout is becoming more of a certainty with every hour that passes. So where do we go from here? The next step appears to be decertification from the player's union. But what does that mean exactly?
It's been reported that the NFLPA is leaning toward filing for decertification, which would effectively end themselves as an organized union. This would allow them to file for antitrust claims -- something unions are not allowed to do -- and file an injunction to stop the lockout. Essentially, this would potentially give them a leg up in the legal maneuvering we're going to see.
Why would they do it now, though, before the deadline?
First, there is a clause in the current CBA that says if they don't decertify now, they'll have to wait six more months. Decertification is one of the union's biggest weapons so there's no reason for them to wait until September to use it.
Second, it would potentially keep Judge David Doty under their jurisdiction, which is important because Doty has issued several player-friendly rulings over the years, including the latest TV contracts case.
Basically, the move would be all about leverage. If the union can sue the league, than it puts pressure on them to come to the table ready to, not only negotiate, but potentially compromise.