The NFL passed on Tuesday a change to the overtime procedures. But the league’s coaches might not be the only group feeling miffed by the move.
As we pointed out on Monday, the NFLPA believes that player approval is required. As a matter of labor law, the union’s position is that the revision to overtime constitutes a mandatory subject of bargaining. It means that the NFL, in the union’s view, has an obligation to sit down with the NFLPA and work out a deal. In exchange for agreeing to modified sudden death, the players would get something in return.
And we’re still inclined to agree with the players. Extended overtime extends the work hours of the players involved. The rule should not change without their consent.
To the extent that the league is now considering application of the new rule to the regular season as well, the union’s argument only gets stronger. And it could be that the league’s ultimate concession to the union, via collective bargaining, will be an agreement not to use the extended overtime system for regular-season games.
Whether that will be enough to placate the union remains to be seen. But we don’t expect them to go away quietly on this one, especially in light of the broader issues between the two parties.