Before news broke on Thursday of a deal finally being struck on the rookie wage scale, based on significant concessions being made by the owners, we were told that the players had decided to delay until Monday any action on a possible effort to lift the lockout as to players not under contract (i.e., rookies and free agents). The dramatic progress that came on Thursday rendered that legal strategy largely moot.
But it’s not completely moot yet. With several issues remaining and the owners possibly tempted to seize upon the overwhelming sense that a deal is coming to draw a line in the sand on matters like the right of first refusal and judicial oversight, the players need to continue preparations for filing the motion on Monday as leverage against the owners refusing to bargain.
If progress continues to be made on Friday, the motion likely never will be filed. But the players must leave that sword (or, to use terms James Harrison will understand, gun) on the table until an agreement in principle is reached.