In the opinion of NFLPA* lawyer Jeffrey Kessler, it can take as long as two weeks to reconstitute the union. In the opinion of NFL lawyer Bob Batterman, it can take as few as two hours.
The truth is somewhere in the middle, much closer to two hours than 312.
But someone out there is trying to take matters into their own hands, setting up a website aimed at harvesting signatures for the reconstitution of a union. And the NFLPA* is scrambling to keep players from using it.
The NFLPA* has sent the following e-mail to all agents: “We have received information from players indicating that they are being referred to a website – nflvr.com. The website is asking players to vote to reconstitute as a union and that the players can use the site to facilitate that action. Please be advised that this site is not affiliated with either the NFL or the NFLPA. You should ignore this site and advise your players to do so as well.”
Based on available online information, the site was created on Thursday by Austin Jordan of Roanoke, Virginia.
The fact that the NFLPA* felt compelled to point out the existence of the site — and to encourage players not to use it — suggests that the NFLPA* had reason to believe that players were thinking about using it. (Or maybe were actually using it.)
The truth is that, if 50 percent of the players plus one vote to create a union, they’ll be a union. It doesn’t matter whether the NFLPA* organizes it; anyone can. (Indeed, there was talk back in April and May of a group of free agents trying to unionize separate and apart from the NFL.)
It’ll be interesting to see whether there are any players out there who want to push this thing along — and who perhaps feel that the NFLPA* Executive Committee and board of player representatives are keeping them from voting on the final proposal — will register.
UPDATE: Last night, Steelers linebacker James Harrison re-tweeted the link to the site.