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An agreement in principle will be the first step toward a new CBA

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As the NFL and the NFLPA* continue to negotiate with the goal of finally striking a deal (and keep in mind there’s no deal until there’s a deal), several of you have asked for more information on how an agreement would translate to a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Several of you who apparently are suffering from insomnia.

Here’s a step-by-step look at everything that would need to happen, which unfortunately does not include the cutting of any holes in any boxes.

First, the league and the players would reach an agreement in principle, most likely in the form of a written document that outlines the major terms of the deal and any changes to the minor terms of the expired CBA.

Second, the agreement in principle would be converted into a proposed settlement agreement of the Tom Brady antitrust action.

Third, the parties would work with Judge Susan Nelson to determine a fair and appropriate procedure for giving notice of the proposed settlement to every member of the class, and for providing each of them a chance to obtain information about the proposed deal and to object to the settlement.

Fourth, Judge Nelson would schedule a fairness hearing, at which time any players with objections to the proposed settlement may present their concerns.  Ultimately, Judge Nelson would have to decide whether to approve the settlement.

Fifth, assuming that the settlement requires the union to be resurrected, the NFLPA* would be required at some point to take the steps necessary to make that happen.  Presumably, this would entail the players having a chance to vote on the return of the union, and thus on the proposed settlement.  If at least 50 percent of the players agree to reconstitute the union, the NFLPA* would lost its asterisk, and the CBA would dictate the terms of the relationship between the league and its players.

The challenge will be to devise a strategy for allowing the NFL to lift the lockout, with appropriate assurances that the agreement will be approved.  There’s no way that all i’s can be dotted and t’s can be crossed before the season starts.  Thus, the NFL will be required to make the leap of faith regarding the ultimate approval of the settlement — and regarding the players’ willingness to vote to bring back the union.

These are the very issues that the lawyers will be required to work out, if a deal is finalized.  Here’s hoping that the lawyers are focusing on these issues, and not instead trying to justify their existence by undoing any progress that the parties have made without their involvement.

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26 Responses to “An agreement in principle will be the first step toward a new CBA”
  1. ball20hawk says: Jun 15, 2011 12:26 AM

    I don’t trust Tom Brady either……

  2. acerockefellar says: Jun 15, 2011 12:26 AM

    So how long after both sides shake hands and agree does the lockout end? immediately? or do we need to wait for the agreement AND the courts?

  3. rolandsloan says: Jun 15, 2011 12:29 AM

    The done deal will be announced July 1st. Just a
    feeling….

  4. msclemons67 says: Jun 15, 2011 12:33 AM

    I wonder at what point in the agreement lifting the lockout would be an option. Hopefully as soon as an agreement in principal is reached. It would be a great show of good faith by the NFL.

    I’m not sure what sort of counter-gesture from the NFLPA* would be appropriate.

  5. bearsrulepackdrool says: Jun 15, 2011 12:38 AM

    This website gives me the serious heartattacks out of any other. I come from a long day of work hoping for some good news on the labor front and what do I see:

    “An Agreement in principle” Yes! (scroll down) “will be the first step toward a new CBA” son of a

    “Both sides agree that a new labor deal” Sweet! (scroll down) “is possible in the near future”

    “A New Deal should be signed” Wait for it….(scroll down) “as soon as possible”

    Not to mention the stories with “Report:” or “Sources Say:”

    WE NEED FOOTBALL!!!!

  6. texansmike says: Jun 15, 2011 12:39 AM

    Great write up Mike. Thanks.

    Get some sleep.

  7. bradwins says: Jun 15, 2011 12:48 AM

    In a general sense I agree that lawyers have complicated the relationship between the league and its players, but as an attorney, Mike, wouldn’t you say we are quickly approaching the time where the attorneys are 100% necessary?

    Like them or not, this thing cannot cross the finish line without the assistance of attorneys.

  8. trbowman says: Jun 15, 2011 12:49 AM

    Heard a rumor that a deal could be announced on Friday, depending on the progress made Wednesday.

    Here’s hoping Wednesday is a productive day. Let’s go!

  9. mick730 says: Jun 15, 2011 12:56 AM

    Forget it. Here’s a much simpler way. The NFL and the union come to an agreement in principle. The player reps meet with their respective teammates. The players vote on whether or not to accept. Assume they accept. They drop the lawsuit and reconstitue the union. Judge Susan Nelson should have nothing to do with this. If the players insist on going your described route, the NFL should not lift the lockout.

  10. Deb says: Jun 15, 2011 1:34 AM

    So at what point in this step-by-step process would the lockout end and free agency start?

  11. kcfanatic says: Jun 15, 2011 1:49 AM

    Why can’t the NFLPA* vote to be a union after an agreement in principle is reached? Once that happens there is no basis for the anti-trust lawsuit.

  12. jbpanthers says: Jun 15, 2011 1:58 AM

    This is bull, can’t believe even if we get a deal done it will still take sometime for a Judge to approve it so more court dates.

  13. moneymike23 says: Jun 15, 2011 2:00 AM

    How bout a rookie wage scale?

  14. egls7 says: Jun 15, 2011 2:38 AM

    Oh god wtf that sounds like a month-long process

  15. hedleykow says: Jun 15, 2011 3:20 AM

    “An agreement in principle will be the first step toward a new CBA”

    Where do I sign?

  16. bittersonicsfan says: Jun 15, 2011 5:59 AM

    Do it! If a deal is done soon, then I will forget all about this lockout. All I know is that I want my football Sundays. My optimism grows!

  17. chedberg says: Jun 15, 2011 7:17 AM

    Here here on the lawyers not screwing it up.

  18. paperlions says: Jun 15, 2011 7:33 AM

    Lawyers justifying their existence….doesn’t that describe the reason behind the existence of the vast majority of our legal system and why it so poorly resembles a justice system?

  19. tumsman2 says: Jun 15, 2011 7:43 AM

    Tom Brady has girly hair. I don’t trust a man with girly hair. Enough said.

  20. ampats says: Jun 15, 2011 7:54 AM

    ball20hawk says,

    I don’t trust Tom Brady. Yeah, I could see your view since he has been a very vocal leader banging the drum against the owners unlike the moron that plays for the city down by the bayou.

  21. grpatriot says: Jun 15, 2011 7:59 AM

    Bill Burt The Eagle Tribune! Got it right!

  22. hendawg21 says: Jun 15, 2011 8:18 AM

    Yada, yada, yada and the band played on…this story reminds me of the energizer bunny keeps going and going and going…

    Enough of the if’s and’s and but’s, woulda, coulda, shoulda! AGAIN all I want to see and or read is a deal has been reached…

  23. jttorn says: Jun 15, 2011 8:41 AM

    Sounds like a bunch of mumbo-jumbo to me. Not-so-minor little details that have little to do with getting the players back on the field. Just agree on something and it will all come together.

  24. eagiants says: Jun 15, 2011 8:51 AM

    It all sounds great…now just go ahead and give us the post we all want.

    “NFL & NFLPA* agree in principle to new CBA”

    I just got goosebumps writing that. Hope to read that very soon.

  25. bronco1st says: Jun 15, 2011 11:05 AM

    Why does it have to go through the courts? Couldn’t a agreement be struck between the two sides with one of the finalizing provisions being that all Player lawsuits pertaining to the CBA must be dropped by such and such date for the deal to become finalized? I mean really, why does the slow as molasses courts have to be involved in the deal timetable? With them involved, the thing could drag on forever.

  26. wwwbucstopcom says: Jun 16, 2011 11:46 AM

    I believe both sides always knew that no matter what NO FOOTBALL would be missed this year. That even if they had to go back to last years rules for another year, that would be better than the alternative.

    For those who say only the players had something to lose, that is silly. Players do NOT get paid for preseason, yet owners receive money for Tickets, concessions, parking, etc. reports of 1 Billion dollars would be lost if there were no preseason games.

    I believe without the lawyers in the way, the two sides got over the major stuff, and now simply need to iron out the small stuff. Once they agree, they can end the lockout while the paperwork gets filled out, just like you drive the car home on Saturday and fill out the paperwork on Monday.

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