NFL Labor Dispute: Let The Draftees Have Their Day

The NFL began their lockout at midnight Saturday, March 12, with no public announcement.

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NFL Labor Dispute Heads To The Courtroom And The Media

“The parties have not achieved an overall agreement, nor have they been able to resolve the strongly held competing positions that separated them on core ­issues.“No useful purpose would be served by requesting the parties to continue the mediation process at this time.”

That was the statement yesterday from George Cohen, the federal mediator who was President Obama's choice to work with the NFL and NFLPA. The players association decertified on Friday, and the league instituted a lockout at midnight Saturday morning.

With the two parties no longer bound by the federal mediator's request for a media blackout, both sides immediately made public statements, blaming the other for the impasse. As the fight moves from boardroom to courtroom, it's safe to expect the accusations to continue to fly, as players and owners attempt to compete for the goodwill of the public.

As soon as the decertifcation was made official, a group of players including Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, and Tom Brady filed an anti-trust suit against the league in Judge David Doty's district court.

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NFL Labor Dispute: Players Union Decertifies

The first NFL work stoppage since 1987 is one giant step closer to becoming a reality after the NFLPA decertified today. After 16 days of negotiations, and two postponements of the deadline, the collective bargaining agreement will expire at the end of the day, today. The union decertification brings an end to the federally mediated negotiations, and is expected to result in the announcement of a lockout, beginning today.

The union effectively becomes a trade association, and individual players can file suit against the league, for restraint of trade. The players can also litigate to reverse the lockout. It signals the end of free agency and trades, as well as health insurance for players.

The league will hold its annual draft, but will not be allowed to negotiate or communicate with draftees for the duration.

Players maintain that they have not asked for more money during the negotiations.

SB Nation Chicago will continue to follow this story and provide details when they emerge.

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