I thought there would be no NFL lockout "breaking news" today, but I was wrong.
Albert Breer posted this story on NFL.com at noon today (that was updated at 2:24 pm), and in it, he states that Logan Mankins and Vincent Jackson (and the others) have rescinded their individual requests for concessions in the new CBA.
The story also contains a report that Michael Lombardi received of the team owners scheduling a conference call today to "discuss outstanding issues."
We have another source in the story cited as saying this:
some of the remaining issues involve injury protection, workers' compensation, opt-out rights for players and the process for finalizing benefits, discipline and drug-testing agreements, which can't be made binding until after the NFLPA recertifies as a union.
And here's how Breer laid out the next steps for the players once they agree to the agreement:
But even when players decide they're OK with a final agreement, their approval process is more complicated than the owners' was. The 32 player reps will have to recommend accepting the settlement. Then the 10 named plaintiffs -- including Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees -- in the antitrust suit must officially inform the court of their approval.
Eventually, all 1,900 players would take a majority vote to approve returning the NFLPA to union status. When talks broke down in March, allowing the old CBA to expire, the players dissolved the union, turning the NFLPA into a trade association. That's what allowed the players to sue the owners in federal court under antitrust law.
We'll see what actually happens, and when, so stay tuned. Your HansDat is on alert!
NOW INCLUDES 4:00 PM AFTERNOON UPDATE: (I knew I should have checked PFT before posting) make the jump for more...
Mike Florio ran this story at 12:50 pm EST, under the headline Work continues Saturday, quietly.
Pretty much the same kind of stuff as in the Breer story, but with some of these Florio Flourishes (emphasis added)...
Ravens cornerback and NFLPA* Executive Committee member Domonique Foxworth, who deserves $10 million far more than Logan Mankins or Vincent Jackson for the work that Foxworth has done to get this deal in place, has declared on Twitter that everything is happening by phone today.
The most daunting hurdle, apart from the players' 12th-hour, seven-year opt-out request, is the process by which the NFLPA* will drop its asterisk and become a union again. Setting aside for now the question of whether the players should do it their way or the way the league wants them to do it, both sides are at fault for not preparing for this moment.
"It's like putting a man on the moon and worrying about how he'll get back after he gets there," one league source said earlier today.
It's hard not to point to the lack of urgency in May and June, once the parties realized that the time had come to start talking, as one of the primary causes of the current predicament. Two days per week ultimately weren't enough, and now that the plane is supposed to be landing, the pilots are circling the runway trying to figure out how in the hell to put the wheels down.
That is all (for now).