After two days of constantly updating Twitter, we finally have one side of the NFL Labor dispute voting and ratifying the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. In a vote of 31-0 (Al Davis and the Raiders abstained, that crazy old coot), the owners have agreed on the new CBA while meeting in Atlanta. One of the stipulations, however, is that the NFLPA re-certifies by Tuesday the 26th.
Commissioner Roger Goodell had this to say, via National Football Post:
"We are pleased to announce that our clubs have approved the terms of a long-term negotiated agreement with the NFL players," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said. "It includes many positive changes that emerged from a spirit of compromise rooted in doing what is best for the game and players. DeMaurice Smith and his team, and the players and owners involved in the negotiations, deserve great credit for their skill and professionalism. If approved by the players, this agreement will allow the league and its players to continue to benefit from the NFL’s popularity and will afford a unique opportunity to deliver to fans an even better, safer, and more competitive game in the future.
"On behalf of the NFL, our teams and players, I want to express our deep appreciation to Chief Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan. Judge Boylan was the court-appointed mediator, but his contributions far exceeded that role. His patience, determination, and commitment helped keep everyone focused on the goal, and helped lead us to today's announcement."
However, word is leaking out that the Players are not ready to accept the deal signed off on by the Owners. Sports Illustrated's Jim Trotter tweeted out the email NFLPA Head DeMaurice Smith sent out to all players, and it doesn't give me the warm and fuzzies (emphasis mine):
"As you know the Owners have ratifified their proposal to settle our differences. It is my understanding they are forwarding it to us. As u may have heard, they apparently approved a supplemental revenue sharing proposal. Obviously, we have not been a part of those discussions. As you know from yesterday, issues that need to be collectively bargained remain open. Other issues such as workers compensation, economic issues and end of deal terms remain unresolved. There is no agreement between the NFL and the Players at this time. I look forward to our call tonight.
if the players like the proposal they will ratify the settlement and forward it to the named plaintiffs. however ...you can take it to the bank that the players are not going to ratify this proposal as currently presented. #nfl
Since it looks like we won't have an agreement on both sides tonight, we'll leave out the timeline of events that were spelled out. One definite thing was announced tonight was the Hall of Fame game between the Bears and Rams has been cancelled.
Now, this doesn't mean that the Owners will continue the lockout. They can lift it at any time if they'd like, as the Players seem intent on making sure they get the deal they want. It's not over yet. No celebrating until we see Goodell and Smith hand in hand announcing a deal.