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2011 NFL Lockout: CBA Expires Tonight, Maybe

The talk today throughout the sports world is the expiration of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement scheduled for tonight at 11:59p.  This is what we have been expecting for months. 

During Super Bowl week, there was little to no hope for a new deal as representatives from the NFL Owners and NFLPA couldn't even stay in the same room without insulting each other.  Enter mediator George Cohen.

The mediation sessions have been conducted something like this.  Each side has their own room.  A mediator meets with one of them to talk about a topic.  That mediator runs to the next room to present what was discussed.  There is a counter of some kind.  Mediator runs back.  Rinse and repeat.

I guess this tactic has been working as now they are discussing an extension to the looming deadline.  What good is a deadline if you can just extend it you ask?  That's a great question to which I don't have the answer.  I do think that the idea of the two side continuing to mediate is a good thing.

If the extension does not happen, the NFLPA will likely decertify so that individual players can take grievances against the NFL to court.  This would in the form of a class action lawsuit with lead plaintiffs Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Logan Mankins.  The lawsuit would be to get the courts to stop the Lockout using anti-trust laws.  If the decertification of the Union does happen, it is bad news for all.  That leaves no timetable for more discussions or an agreement. 

There has been a veritable media blackout since the mediation sessions started.  I have heard that there will be a NFLPA Ustream press conference to update fans on labor talks.  Not sure what that means or where the link is for that, but it may give us some news.  I'll post if I find a link.