Before we go any farther with this one, we need to point out that the chances of it happening are ridiculously small.
That said, the NFLPA’s inability to coax the league into displaying a greater sense of urgency regarding the negotiation of a new labor deal prior to the start of the uncapped year in March 2010 has prompted new rumors that the union is considering the possibility of launching a walkout once the 2009 regular season ends.
The only problem? The Collective Bargaining Agreement plainly states that a strike by the players or a lockout by the owners is not permitted during the term of the deal. And since the deal currently lasts through the current season and the next one, the players simply can’t refuse to work.
Of course, they technically can go on strike. But the strike would be illegal, and the players would face multi-million-dollar fines and damage awards, if the action ultimately were to disrupt the postseason and prevented playoff games from occurring.
The mere fact that the rumor is being floated — not necessarily by union leadership — speaks to the level of frustration that many of the players currently are feeling. They’re now close enough to the uncapped year to see that it’s a mirage. With the NFL showing no willingness to finalize a new CBA before the uncapped year arrives, those who are desperate to avoid it have begun the process of throwing reckless ideas against the wall in the hopes of finding something that might stick.
A postseason strike simply won’t.
Apart from being illegal, it would be a gigantic public-relations blunder for the players, who instantly would be viewed as villains by a public that has yet to cast blame upon either side.
Still, while it most likely will never happen, the talk is out there. And the talk needs to go away as quickly as it bubbled to the surface.