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Latest labor issue: NFLPA* recertification timeline

Foxworth and Mawai depart with Smith after a day of negotiations with football team owners as they seek an agreement in Washington AP

The latest issue being discussed as we wonder how and when the lockout will end: How soon can the NFLPA* recertify?

“Hearing the timing of the NFLPA recertification is the latest issue now to crop up,” Daniel Kaplan of the SportsBusiness Journal writes. “League wants right away, players saying needs two weeks.”

Mark Maske of the Washington Post echoed the sentiment. Meanwhile, Ron Borges of the Boston Herald reports on the process that needs to happen to recertify.

“Nearly 1,000 recertification cards have to be signed and returned, approving recertification before the union can re-form. And that takes a lot longer than 24 hours, according to the union,” Borges writes.  (Apparently they have never heard of the internet.)

So why does that matter?

SI’s Jim Trotter notes that the union needs to re-certify before collectively bargaining issues like drug testing and discipline.  (For example, can arrests during the lockout incur punishment?)

Could this process hold up the start of a league year?  The reality is that no one knows.

“I feel like we’re watching Charlie Brown and Lucy,” Judy Battista of the New York Times writes. “Just when Charlie is ready to kick the football, Lucy pulls it away at the last minute.”

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80 Responses to “Latest labor issue: NFLPA* recertification timeline”
  1. twitter:Chapman_Jamie says: Jul 21, 2011 12:00 PM

    If only they hadn’t decertified to begin with!!!! Damn the players are screwing the pooch real bad here.

  2. chadmurdigan says: Jul 21, 2011 12:00 PM

    I wish James Harrison would go on another rant and grab the headlines for the rest of the day so we could get away from all these stories about uncertainty regarding the new agreement.

  3. bearskoolaid1985 says: Jul 21, 2011 12:01 PM

    Just another ploy the players and most likely Kessler(THE NFL/NBA HATING LAWYER) to drag out and or derail the new CBA.

  4. phinheads says: Jul 21, 2011 12:02 PM

    All these lawyers involved and nobody took this into con$ideration? Moron$ !!!!! New Fantasy draft date of 10/1/2011 !!

  5. Kaz says: Jul 21, 2011 12:03 PM

    I think it’s about time for PFT to let it’s readers know the truth. The lockout isn’t ending today, tomorrow, or this weekend. But I understand you won’t. You need the hits from people still waiting for the news to break that it is over today.

  6. cdwains says: Jul 21, 2011 12:04 PM

    If im the owners I put my foot down this is it….. Take it or leave it…. We are done negotiating.

  7. realdeal12 says: Jul 21, 2011 12:05 PM

    Im sorry but in the this technologicaly advance age that we live in they can’t find any other way to get all 1000 signoffs other than a manually card sent via snail mail???? Seriously!! someone just thought of this NOW! Has anyone ever heard of email or how about a recorded voicemail there must be some braintrust that can think of a faster way.

  8. capslockkey says: Jul 21, 2011 12:05 PM

    ..and the NFLPA couldn’t have gotten the cards signed and collected a month ago when they started negotiating and just not done anything with them until it was official? What a bunch of clowns.

  9. gregwestlake says: Jul 21, 2011 12:06 PM

    Why wasn’t this brought up before???

  10. mrclearview says: Jul 21, 2011 12:06 PM

    Sounds like there might be some players that need a couple of weeks to clear out their systems before submitting to drug tests.

  11. easyeddie says: Jul 21, 2011 12:07 PM

    I now officially hate the NFLPA leaders who are the ringleaders of this BS.

  12. echoplex89 says: Jul 21, 2011 12:07 PM

    Enough of this legal mumbo jumbo.

    Get back on the field!

  13. bobbyd12 says: Jul 21, 2011 12:08 PM

    I want an article on whether or not you believe that 24 owners are on board with this deal. Something tells me this might be closer vote then we expect.

  14. philshady25 says: Jul 21, 2011 12:09 PM

    The deal should have been done 2 weeks ago then… Too last for this ish

  15. paulseiferth says: Jul 21, 2011 12:10 PM

    So we get reports that the players are meeting, the owners are meeting, and a deal could be done today. But now this comes up which is something everyone should of known all along that they would need time to re certify.

  16. tweekend says: Jul 21, 2011 12:10 PM

    Knowing you are close to a deal how do you not have everything in place to recertify within 48 hours? Have the cards to the players with prepaid 2 day mail envelopes. As long as half the league gets them in the mail the day you say you have your 1000 cards in 48 hours.

  17. lion95 says: Jul 21, 2011 12:10 PM

    The NFLPA must be filled with incompetent jackasses. “It is going to take 2 weeks to recertify”. Are we living in 1932 with only snail mail and telegrams? Have you ever heard of emailing a PDF to your players, have them sign it and then email or fax it back? That takes 2 weeks? If that isn’t the issue, then I suggest you hire more eager attornies. It took them a snap of the fingers to decertify, put them on 18 hour days instead of the 6 hours days they’ve been working and get the thing done.

  18. moochzilla says: Jul 21, 2011 12:10 PM

    Judy Battista, it’s called “business” and “the real world”.

    You can’t just do a handshake deal and move on with no further action.

    How far has that paper fallen?

  19. m2karateman says: Jul 21, 2011 12:10 PM

    Ummmm… how long does it take to sign a name? What about shipping something overnight? If I can ship something to China in less than 48 hours, how can these guys not get papers back to an office in less than 24?

  20. goodandfast says: Jul 21, 2011 12:11 PM

    Oh, there’s the two weeks Chester Pitts was talking aobut.

  21. virginiaiggle says: Jul 21, 2011 12:12 PM

    “Nearly 1,000 recertification cards have to be signed and returned, approving recertification before the union can re-form. And that takes a lot longer than 24 hours, according to the union,” Borges writes.

    Not if the players are together at training camp. If there’s some way the players can report to their camps on time and still meet the legal requirements for certification, each team could gather the signed cards and FedEx them to the NFLPA office.

    Right?

  22. wtf6969 says: Jul 21, 2011 12:12 PM

    “I feel like we’re watching Charlie Brown and Lucy,” Judy Battista of the New York Times writes. “Just when Charlie is ready to kick the football, Lucy pulls it away at the last minute.”

    Players=Lucy. Take the deal and STFU already.

  23. moochzilla says: Jul 21, 2011 12:12 PM

    “If im the owners I put my foot down this is it….. Take it or leave it…. We are done negotiating.”

    Yeah, because that worked so well at the start.

    Another dude who thinks Trump is a businessman instead of a marketing clown reality TV actor.

  24. lion95 says: Jul 21, 2011 12:12 PM

    Like I said before, the owners should stick their foot up the NFLPA’s collective rear ends and tell them that if this isn’t done by midnight tonight the salary cap goes down to $114 million. If it isn’t done by next Thursday night, it goes down to $108 million and so on.

  25. daudi88 says: Jul 21, 2011 12:12 PM

    The players don’t get paid to play preseason so they don’t care about that.

    This is a deliberate attempt by the players to shorten the preseason, which has traditionally been seen as lining the owners pockets only.

    I think the lost revenue concept is too abstract for most players to care about (reduction for lost preseason). Game checks are not abstract and that is what matters to most, I am sure.

    No way it takes 2 weeks in today’s world to get signed cards returned. You can buy a house in less time…

  26. danielfturner says: Jul 21, 2011 12:13 PM

    Not for nothing but, does it really matter how long it takes the players to vote on it? If the owners vote and end the lock out that’s what key right? The best way to gather up all the players is let them start showing up to camp and them vote there

  27. xinellum says: Jul 21, 2011 12:15 PM

    Another failure of the NFLPA. Why weren’t these cards sent out and sitting on the desks of players so that they can sign them and leave them sit until the time was right. Then it would simply be a matter of everyone overnighting their cards in and it would be done. Of course, knowing the NFLPA and their inability to be prepared, the cards probably haven’t even been printed yet, have to wait for that. Then they have to be mailed, standard mail of course, another three days. The players, in all their intellect, will take two days to figure out what check the box yes or no means, another two days. Mail them back in, another 3 days. OR this is how we do it in the real world; set up a secure web site and send user id’s and passwords out to players. Every player has access to the internet, look at twitter. Have them sign in and choose yes we accept the CBA or no we do not accept the CBA. If the web is secure enough for VISA, AE, MC and our entire banking system, then I think it is safe enough to poll players about a CBA. A decent web person could put that together in about 45 minutes. It is time for the NFLPA to stop making excuses and start making stuff happen. I have been saying all along the players will ruin this CBA and football and I should have put money on it and I would be as rich as these greedy players.

  28. pwall1 says: Jul 21, 2011 12:15 PM

    This is probably just the NFLPA trying to make a last-minute power play. The owners will vote and pass the CBA as it is now, which will essentially force the players into a “take it or leave it” situation. And my guess is they’ll take it.

  29. derekjetersmansion says: Jul 21, 2011 12:15 PM

    This was not going to be brought up until now, sorry to say.

    Besides, this is the first we’re hearing it, not the first time it’s been talked about by both sides. They’re only reporting it now.

    Chester Pitts, unfortunately, may be right.

    Although, I think they could vote and re-certify at the same time. I mean, I hope.

  30. bobwhitequail says: Jul 21, 2011 12:15 PM

    This is additional stalling by Kessler. We can be sure of that because of Pitts’ recent statement. Pitts’ agent is Kessler’s son, andrew kessler.

    Kessler continues to stall and try to derail the deal. Probably for the pending “summary judgement” or Judge Doty T.V. damages but more likely so they can launch some additional B.S. lawsuits.

    Players you need to put this guy in his cage or no deal will ever get done. If the deal gets done he is out of a job. Of course he wants to delay so he has more chance to blow it up. Are you going to let this guy continue to manipulate you? Wake up players, you’re being used!

  31. vargafamily1 says: Jul 21, 2011 12:16 PM

    Just cancel the season already and put us out of our misery.

  32. drbob117 says: Jul 21, 2011 12:16 PM

    Two weeks , you’ve got to be kidding. Put all 1000 of these clowns in a big auditorium, have them sign the cards, collect them, then notify the proper board that you recertified. Meanwhile, just have De Smith announce the deal on your behalf. This is just more BS from the players side.

  33. buffalohogan says: Jul 21, 2011 12:18 PM

    For the 30% of you that supported the players i hope this finally is enough evidence that they have been the problem from the beginning. The owners want to get a deal done, these guys dont.

  34. capslockkey says: Jul 21, 2011 12:18 PM

    What Lion95 said. No excuse to not get this done in the digital age. Electronic signature, ever heard of it NFLPA? Hell, they could even use one of those things from decades ago that sends documents over phone lines. I think they were called FAX machines.

  35. bydabeach says: Jul 21, 2011 12:18 PM

    Apparantly this was just too much to talk about during their two days a week meetings last month.

  36. glac1 says: Jul 21, 2011 12:19 PM

    Players have a problem….owners don’t! The greedy union hogs voted to decertify and caused the problem so they can fix it. It would be better of the NFLPA would go away like all other unions.

  37. justwinbaby29 says: Jul 21, 2011 12:22 PM

    If the NFL deal is THIS hard, imagine the NBA one? Kessler will cause the NBA to miss at least one season!

  38. jnbnet says: Jul 21, 2011 12:23 PM

    chadmurdigan says:
    Jul 21, 2011 12:00 PM
    I wish James Harrison would go on another rant and grab the headlines for the rest of the day so we could get away from all these stories about uncertainty regarding the new agreement.

    ===================================

    I have to agree with you. It would be a great diversion. I am also not very productive today….keep checking this site…getting nothing done.

  39. txbossman says: Jul 21, 2011 12:24 PM

    This should not be a hold up. This is a labor issue…And one that’s a product of the unlawful farce of a de cert vote that was a sham.

  40. bobwhitequail says: Jul 21, 2011 12:25 PM

    “derekjetersmansion says:Jul 21, 2011 12:15 PM

    This was not going to be brought up until now, sorry to say.

    Besides, this is the first we’re hearing it, not the first time it’s been talked about by both sides. They’re only reporting it now.

    Chester Pitts, unfortunately, may be right.”

    This was planned by Kessler. Chester Pitts only speaks when there is a message that Jeffery Kessler wants to be sent via his son, Andrew Kessler, who is Pitts agent.

    The NFLPA planned in advance the decertification and had it ready to go months ahead of time. Don’t you think they could of done the same thing for the re-certification? Of course they could. This was a planned move to delay things.

    Expect some additional B.S. from Kessler in the next couple weeks. Players do you want to play football or continue making Kessler rich? time to decide. This is getting ridiculous. You are hurting other poeples lives not just your own. All for the sake of making bloodsucking lawyers rich. How does that make you feel?

  41. moochzilla says: Jul 21, 2011 12:26 PM

    Seriously, fax machines?

    Sigh.

    Come up with a new policy about bathroom / smoke / lunch breaks at your company.

    I bet that process – from submission to approval to implementation – takes longer than negotiating the NFL CBA.

    Business is notoriously inefficient and slow (because people are inefficient and slow).

    Most of are constantly reminded of that every day when we show up for work.

  42. wlubake says: Jul 21, 2011 12:27 PM

    This should have been done weeks ago. Sign the cards and send them to a centralized escrow agent to hold in trust. Upon a vote to ratify, the cards are released from escrow and formally delivered to recertify.

    What’s hard about that? Where is the planning in this process?

  43. patsforever says: Jul 21, 2011 12:32 PM

    Forget about the digital age. We have had jet planes for years. Get all of these jackwagons same day flights to wherever you are having your meeting and get them to sign their cards in person. I’m sure you could have the requisite 951 players there by the end of the day. These people have more money than they know what to do with; I’m sure they can afford the flight.

  44. daudi88 says: Jul 21, 2011 12:32 PM

    If I am a player and I get $275,000 for each game check during the regular season and no game check for each preseason game in which I can be injured, am I worried about missing preseason games?

  45. gregwestlake says: Jul 21, 2011 12:34 PM

    Is this the players not wanting training camp?

  46. derekjetersmansion says: Jul 21, 2011 12:34 PM

    @ bobwhitequail

    Easy, killer. Your precious football will be back in time for the HOF game. NBC won’t let them not play it.

    We just don’t know what’s going on.

    Pitts has been in the meetings, so he’s not that much of a flack.

    This deal is just getting finished now. How do you suppose they knew it’d be done? Remember, this has been the most contentious negotiation in sports history.

  47. firejimcadwell says: Jul 21, 2011 12:35 PM

    This is on the players.

    Fax the cards, scan and email the cards, or have them each throw down a 20 on an overnight letter.

    This is foolish and Demaruice needs to be kicked in the balls over this.

  48. mike83ri says: Jul 21, 2011 12:35 PM

    You can’t send them electronically? Fine.

    Overnight 1900 players a card. At $5 each, that’s $9500, less than $300 a team.

    Pay to have them sent back overnight. That’s another $300 per team. Lift the lockout on Tuesday the latest. It’s really not that hard.

    Better yet, I’m sure UPS would be willing to do it for free just for the publicity of being the ones to save these lawyers from themselves and get the fans their football on time.

  49. celly84 says: Jul 21, 2011 12:36 PM

    I, for one, would love it if the lockout lasted until August 2nd. That way, my beloved Bucs would be able to play their home game here in America at RayJay….

    …that being said, why is it that they didn’t have all the players sign the cards so that when the re-certification process was to begin, they would already have all the signatures in place and all that would have to be done was to file them… you know, kind of like how they did with the decertification???

  50. goodandfast says: Jul 21, 2011 12:38 PM

    wlubake says:
    Jul 21, 2011 12:27 PM
    This should have been done weeks ago. Sign the cards and send them to a centralized escrow agent to hold in trust. Upon a vote to ratify, the cards are released from escrow and formally delivered to recertify.

    What’s hard about that? Where is the planning in this process?

    Nothing…that’s why this is a really transparent move. Dear NFL players, the American public is not as stupid as all of you are.

  51. hobartbaker says: Jul 21, 2011 12:39 PM

    It’s not like we need further proof that the players and the people representing them are complete morons. It’s just short of miraculous that they manage to get themselves to the meetings fully dressed, and without injuring themselves along the way.

  52. duncancaper51 says: Jul 21, 2011 12:39 PM

    I am quickly growing tired of the labor optimism that is continually undermined by “out of the blue” issues that should be obvious to everyone involved. These players have no sense of urgency, and at this point I wish the owners would just bring in new talent. The league would be back to strength in a year. There is no other credible league to play in, these players have nowhere to go.

  53. kcsnakebyte says: Jul 21, 2011 12:40 PM

    So they can decertify and file a lawsuit in 24 hours and it takes 2 weeks to recertify. This is TOTAL BS!!! I bet all you pro-union guys are enjoying the HELL out of this!! If the union had really wanted to negotiate a new CBA in the first place, they would have never had taken this path.

  54. waitingguilty says: Jul 21, 2011 12:43 PM

    This is an outrage. I’ll walk off this show….

  55. moochzilla says: Jul 21, 2011 12:43 PM

    It’s over, start planning your fantasy drafts and quit the anxiety attacks.

  56. m2karateman says: Jul 21, 2011 12:46 PM

    I’ll bet if you sent an invitation to all the NFL players for the grand opening of the worlds biggest tittie club and the dances were free to them, you’d get them all in the same place to sign the damn cards.

  57. jsesquire says: Jul 21, 2011 12:48 PM

    So they may end up missing a preseason game or 2.

    WHO CARES??

    I love football. But come on… The preseason is terrible to watch. I just can’t bring myself to care about how well the 3rd string fullback is doing in blitz pickups.

    Teams will be fine with shorter camps and 2 preseason games. Who knows? Maybe more players will finish full seasons and not end up on IR.

  58. Brian Murphy says: Jul 21, 2011 12:49 PM

    The only difference from that Peanuts comparison is that Lucy and Charlie Brown were actually playing football.

  59. birdcrazy911 says: Jul 21, 2011 12:51 PM

    FU NFLPA & Players. I offically am done with the NFL and it’s BS. I will continue to not wear anything related to the NFL, I will once again stop going to team sites and shortly will stop coming to this site. If you A-holes want to play dumba$$ games so will I, Golf. Then I’ll be watching Hockey since that will likely be that only sport on this fall / winter.

  60. hobartbaker says: Jul 21, 2011 12:52 PM

    It’ll take time to explain to each player what the difference is between “de” certify, and “re” certify is. Not to mention explaining the meaning of the word “prefix”. It’s a lot more complicated than it might seem.

  61. keeponhating says: Jul 21, 2011 12:54 PM

    Haha the charlie brown analogy is spot on

  62. moochzilla says: Jul 21, 2011 12:58 PM

    “I’ll bet if you sent an invitation to all the NFL players for the grand opening of the worlds biggest tittie club and the dances were free to them, you’d get them all in the same place to sign the damn cards.”

    Sadly, you’d get about 20%.

    A famous coach once said he never played zone because he could never rely on his players. He said if he asked the starters to meet him at noon at the student union, two would show up late and one would forget. That’s life. That’s people.

    Harry Iba?

  63. raiduhdude says: Jul 21, 2011 12:58 PM

    F these players. I can’t believe I supported them over the owners.

  64. oarangecrush says: Jul 21, 2011 12:59 PM

    Why didn’t these guys have these papers signed along time ago? They ate not fooling anybody with their cat and mouse crap! They knew all along they would recertify!!

  65. semperfi24 says: Jul 21, 2011 1:01 PM

    These buffoons cant operate a fax machine???

  66. mercyou says: Jul 21, 2011 1:05 PM

    What happened to “We just want to play.” I guess it’s, “We want to play, but don’t want to put in the work in order to play.” The sham of a decertification happened within hours of the lockout, but to re-certify it’s gonna take 2 weeks, the owners need to call the players bluff here and say “take it or leave it”

  67. kingjoe1 says: Jul 21, 2011 1:06 PM

    IF they need two weeks, too much evaluation will happen with the deal, and it will be months and a complete rewrite before the season starts.

    Whining players are so affraid they wont win everything and that the MAN is winning. Agree, sign and go back to making more than most people make in their entire lives. That is before, people really stop caring about football so much.

  68. pappysarcasm says: Jul 21, 2011 1:09 PM

    I agree with the post on the cleanup time for drug testing. If you lined them all up today and made them pee today, I bet ~50% would fai!.

  69. hail74 says: Jul 21, 2011 1:10 PM

    Game play wise we are already looking at a sloppy September, cut preason down and now we’ll have half a season of really bad football.

  70. kmart0319 says: Jul 21, 2011 1:13 PM

    It doesn’t just take 2 weeks to send the cards in. You also have to account for the time it takes to get players out of jail, clearance from parole officers, courts, etc…

  71. tommyf15 says: Jul 21, 2011 1:14 PM

    twitter:Chapman_Jamie says:
    If only they hadn’t decertified to begin with!!!! Damn the players are screwing the pooch real bad here.

    Mocking Jamie Chapman for a moment…

    If only the owners hadn’t opted out of the CBA!!!!

    If only the owners hadn’t planned on locking the players out and then DID lock them out!!!!

    Damn the owners screwed the pooch real bad here.

    Okay, mocking over and it’s time for everyone to settle down. If the two parties can come to an agreement in principle the owners can end the lockout and both parties can sign the CBA in a couple of weeks (if it even takes that long) when the formality of the re-certification is finalized. Nothing worth wetting your jammies over.

  72. scomibord says: Jul 21, 2011 1:23 PM

    who wants to be the first to pat me on the back. I said since the lockout started…no football(or Superbowl in Indy)this season.

  73. ubummer says: Jul 21, 2011 1:27 PM

    So should I order 2011 NFL Sunday Ticket or not?

  74. rpiotr01 says: Jul 21, 2011 1:37 PM

    Two weeks if we’re lucky! Those cards need to be loaded onto a tall ship, then sail ’round Cape Horn and up the eastern pacific to be delivered to the teams on the west coast. By the time each player commissions a worthy calligrapher to sign on the dotted line and return his card by Pony Express, it could be two to four months!

    These clowns – something tells me if it was the owners giving back 2-4% of the pie, all these players would be jumping on chartered party jets to get to DC and ratify the deal in person all before you can say “make it rain!”

  75. hobartbaker says: Jul 21, 2011 1:45 PM

    If Lucy “pulls the ball away at the last minute”, maybe Charlie needs to work on his run up to the ball time. Have we been putting the blame in the wrong place all these years?

  76. zerored78 says: Jul 21, 2011 2:03 PM

    I don’t see why they can’t just call all players into training camp Monday at a specific time. First action is for the player reps for each team to hold a vote. Player reps then join a call and count their votes. If the count is enough to re-certify the union, then job is done and start training camp. If not, the players continue to be locked out and leave the buildings.

  77. bolt4life says: Jul 21, 2011 2:03 PM

    To the people who say “Common guys, we all know pre-season is horrible to watch. Who cares!”

    You just don’t know what to look for.

  78. totoinfl says: Jul 21, 2011 2:32 PM

    I am glad college ball is on the horizon. I have had enough of this delay tactic stuff…especially from the players. Between the recert, the $10m demands and the like this has become about fun to watch as the debt ceiling debate. They knew they needed to recertify or recreate their union before they had union members who could vote on the CBA…the players don’t like training camp and this way they don’t have one.

  79. laeaglefan says: Jul 21, 2011 3:26 PM

    Nobody uses snail mail anymore….especially for something that’s “urgent”. Only the players, who are obviously too busy keeping in football shape to have discovered the Internet yet, are back in the stone age, despite fighting over billions of dollars.

  80. lions89fan says: Jul 22, 2011 7:23 AM

    When the NFLPA disbanded. All the reports indicated that the players could not re-join the union for another year. I don’t hear anything about it now. The NFLPA is a sham! You cannot collectively bargain unless you are a union. Smith is not merely “Providing advice”. The Brady v NFL lawsuit should be thrown out immediately. It should be every player for themselves this year and new CBA should not take place until 2012. I can’t believe I am siding with the owners.

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