From the day the owners and players agreed on a deal to end the lockout, it has been widely believed that the new Collective Bargaining Agreement would be ratified by August 4. But it’s now August 3, and ratification is no sure thing.
In fact, Steelers defensive back Ryan Clark, the team’s NFLPA representative, says that unless NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is willing to budge on matters of player discipline, the CBA won’t be ratified tomorrow.
Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Clark said today he thinks the issue could affect all the recently signed free agents around the league. Under the rules the owners and players agreed to when the lockout ended, those players can’t practice until the new CBA is ratified.
The failure to ratify the CBA wouldn’t be a disaster — it wouldn’t create another work stoppage — but it would represent a disappointing step backward for the NFL. And it would be troubling for the players who signed new contracts since the lockout ended, and for the teams that are counting on those players.
So while the owners and the players seem to be mostly on the same page about the league’s finances going forward, they’re not on the same page regarding player discipline. That’s an issue where many players still lack confidence in Goodell.