So everyone expected the NFL players to vote on a possible deal to end the lockout on Wednesday, and it didn’t happen.
Since I’m not smart enough to understand why this might have happened, let’s collect a few reports from around the league to make sense of things.
From Alex Marvez: “Source told FOXSports.com delay stemmed from volume of CBA material that must be reviewed. That’s a lot of stuff to digest in one afternoon.”
Mark Maske of the Washington Post passed along the same reason, with very similar wording from the players’ side.
That would seem to indicate the delay isn’t a huge concern. Yet.
One “key NFL source” thought the delay raised a “warning flag” according to Daniel Kaplan of Sports Business Journal.
Most interesting was a series of tweets from Jim Trotter of SI.com. He writes that the players voted to “conditionally approve” the deal pending resolution of a few key items. NFLPA* class counsel will reportedly continue to work with the NFL in hopes of having agreement before NFL owners vote tomorrow.
“The players vote is conditional, meaning they’re prepared to forward the settlement if certain issues can be resolved with the owners. One of the issues presumably is the $320 million the players lost in benefits last season during the uncapped year,” Trotter writes.
Chris Mortensen of ESPN echoed the idea, saying the players gave De Smith a “vote of confidence” to finish deal points. A final vote could take place via conference call.
So what do we make of all this?
The deal isn’t done until it’s done. Apparently, some negotiations remain. This is a thorny, complicated process that is tough to hammer through quickly.
If the players truly left things in the hands of DeMaurice Smith, we cautiously doubt it’s anything to fret over. Smith is the one that brought the 32 player reps together because he had a deal he wanted to present to them. He’s clearly confident in a deal.
Whatever the “certain issues” are, we’d imagine they can be resolved.
We’ve waited this long. What’s another day? (Hopefully.)
UPDATE: Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com broke it down beautifully on Twitter:
“This is the deal: vote on CBA–no. Vote to settle lawsuit–sorta yes. CBA by end of week–hell yes. So calm your asses down, people.”