Despite the fact that Bills safety and NFLPA* representative George Wilson called reports that the players will vote Friday on the proposed, pre-approved labor deal untrue, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen (or, as Donte’ Stallworth referred to him during an ESPN phoner, “Morten Andersen”) reports that the players are indeed expected to vote on the proposal Friday.
“All in all, despite the games that were played by the NFL, things look much more optimistic,” a source in player leadership told Mortensen.
That meshes with something we were told in the immediate wake of what appeared to be the ultimate switch-and-bait by the NFL, with the owners supposedly changing up some terms and then hoping the players would feel pressured to pounce. Despite the move, optimism remains in place within NFLPA* leadership that a deal could be accomplished.
Per Mortensen, the players are expected to evaluate so-called “finishing points,” fancy talk for “the last stuff we don’t agree about yet.”
Mort also echoes the notion that tension remains not regarding whether the NFLPA* will recertify as a union, but how that will happen. Even if the process of obtaining signatures can, in theory, be done electronically, the players want to do it their way. Specifically, they want players to sign cards when they show up at team facilities, a fairly simple process that could get the task completed in a day or two after the gates open again. Though the motivation for the players’ insistence to do it this way isn’t clear, the fact remains that the players want to do it this way — and that the league has no real reason to fight the NFLPA* on this point.
So the players can approve the settlement on Friday, the players can show up Saturday and sign their union cards, the ratification can be finalized by Tuesday, and all free-agency hell can break loose on Wednesday.
Thursday was a big day. Friday could be an even bigger day. We hope you’ll stick with us from the moment you show up for work, until the moment you leave. And maybe even after that, if you’re willing to give up some of your non-work time for your non-work Internet habit.