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.