Maybe the NFL won’t be insisting on the removal of Judge David Doty from the CBA process, after all.
With the players’ union clamoring for a ruling on the so-called “lockout insurance” case in order to obtain some/any leverage against the league, Judge Doty won’t be making a decision in the near future.
James Walsh of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that Judge Doty expressed concern about putting his thumb on the scales of the ongoing negotiations with a ruling that would give one side or the other extra leverage.
The ruling is a setback for the NFLPA, but the league should still be concerned about the possibility that Doty eventually will rule in favor of the union, if a lockout is imposed.
The labor deal expires at 12:01 a.m. ET on March 4. The two sides will resume mediated negotiations on March 1.
UPDATE: Though the Star-Tribune article creates the unmistakable impression that Judge Doty opted to defer a decision because he doesn’t want to influence the labor negotiations, other accounts create no such impression. The account, for example, from Jay Weiner of SportsBusiness Journal does not indicate an intention by Judge Doty to delay a ruling. Thus, a decision still could come by next week, before the expiration of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement.