Ok, so it looks like the player's union and the NFL owners won't be able to come to terms on a new CBA before the midnight deadline today. Where do we go from here? The prevailing opinion is that the player's union will decertify, in an effort to gain leverage over the owners. 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.
But why now?
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.
Like I said earlier, the move would be about leverage. If the union has the option to sue the league, especially with a favorable judge on the case, it may inspire the owners to be more willing to give in to some of the Unions (let's not say demands, even though it feels right) stipulations. In the next few hours, we could see the end, temporary as it may be, of the NFL player's union.