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NFL Lockout Update: DeMaurice Smith Informs Players of Plan to De-certify

Adam Schefter just tweeted the following:

We’ll see if anything changes, it always could, but De Smith told players during his conference call the plan is to decertify


The NFL and NFLPA better cool heads quickly if they want to get a deal done any time soon. After some sparring last night between both parties over Twitter, it's apparent that both sides have resorted to petulance and frustration. The optimist will say that the night is darkest before the dawn, and the pessimist will say that these two will never be able to agree on anything.

The issue at hand right now is that the NFL initially asked for $1 billion from the players, and the players don't want to give it to them without seeing what it is being used for, and probably rightfully so. The exact words from New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees this morning were that they "refused" to release any information about how the funds were being used. There is a sense of distrust from the players in that regard.

So what will happen today?

Well, NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora reported this morning that the NFL owners will likely submit a revised final proposal. This is expected to be the final proposal from the owners before the players either decertify or a lockout happens at midnight tonight. The deadline for the players to decertify is 5 PM tonight. If they do not decertify, it's likely going to be either another extension on negotiations or a lockout.

If the union is not satisfied by the owners' final proposal, a few things will happen that NFL fans need to be aware of. The first domino that will fall is that the NFLPA will decertify. They will present the league with a letter of indication of their intent to "dissolve" as La Canfora put it, and then they will file papers with U.S. District Judge David Doty to seek injunction.

If the NFLPA moves for injunction, a series of events will lead to the new league year likely starting at the end of March, allowing teams a period of free agency and trades before the draft. You can read more details about this possibility here. We will have more updates as the day progresses.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.