An agreement in principle will be the first step toward a new CBA

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As the NFL and the NFLPA* continue to negotiate with the goal of finally striking a deal (and keep in mind there’s no deal until there’s a deal), several of you have asked for more information on how an agreement would translate to a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Several of you who apparently are suffering from insomnia.

Here’s a step-by-step look at everything that would need to happen, which unfortunately does not include the cutting of any holes in any boxes.

First, the league and the players would reach an agreement in principle, most likely in the form of a written document that outlines the major terms of the deal and any changes to the minor terms of the expired CBA.

Second, the agreement in principle would be converted into a proposed settlement agreement of the Tom Brady antitrust action.

Third, the parties would work with Judge Susan Nelson to determine a fair and appropriate procedure for giving notice of the proposed settlement to every member of the class, and for providing each of them a chance to obtain information about the proposed deal and to object to the settlement.

Fourth, Judge Nelson would schedule a fairness hearing, at which time any players with objections to the proposed settlement may present their concerns.  Ultimately, Judge Nelson would have to decide whether to approve the settlement.

Fifth, assuming that the settlement requires the union to be resurrected, the NFLPA* would be required at some point to take the steps necessary to make that happen.  Presumably, this would entail the players having a chance to vote on the return of the union, and thus on the proposed settlement.  If at least 50 percent of the players agree to reconstitute the union, the NFLPA* would lost its asterisk, and the CBA would dictate the terms of the relationship between the league and its players.

The challenge will be to devise a strategy for allowing the NFL to lift the lockout, with appropriate assurances that the agreement will be approved.  There’s no way that all i’s can be dotted and t’s can be crossed before the season starts.  Thus, the NFL will be required to make the leap of faith regarding the ultimate approval of the settlement — and regarding the players’ willingness to vote to bring back the union.

These are the very issues that the lawyers will be required to work out, if a deal is finalized.  Here’s hoping that the lawyers are focusing on these issues, and not instead trying to justify their existence by undoing any progress that the parties have made without their involvement.

26 responses to “An agreement in principle will be the first step toward a new CBA

  1. I wonder at what point in the agreement lifting the lockout would be an option. Hopefully as soon as an agreement in principal is reached. It would be a great show of good faith by the NFL.

    I’m not sure what sort of counter-gesture from the NFLPA* would be appropriate.

  2. This website gives me the serious heartattacks out of any other. I come from a long day of work hoping for some good news on the labor front and what do I see:

    “An Agreement in principle” Yes! (scroll down) “will be the first step toward a new CBA” son of a

    “Both sides agree that a new labor deal” Sweet! (scroll down) “is possible in the near future”

    “A New Deal should be signed” Wait for it….(scroll down) “as soon as possible”

    Not to mention the stories with “Report:” or “Sources Say:”


  3. In a general sense I agree that lawyers have complicated the relationship between the league and its players, but as an attorney, Mike, wouldn’t you say we are quickly approaching the time where the attorneys are 100% necessary?

    Like them or not, this thing cannot cross the finish line without the assistance of attorneys.

  4. Heard a rumor that a deal could be announced on Friday, depending on the progress made Wednesday.

    Here’s hoping Wednesday is a productive day. Let’s go!

  5. Forget it. Here’s a much simpler way. The NFL and the union come to an agreement in principle. The player reps meet with their respective teammates. The players vote on whether or not to accept. Assume they accept. They drop the lawsuit and reconstitue the union. Judge Susan Nelson should have nothing to do with this. If the players insist on going your described route, the NFL should not lift the lockout.

  6. Why can’t the NFLPA* vote to be a union after an agreement in principle is reached? Once that happens there is no basis for the anti-trust lawsuit.

  7. “An agreement in principle will be the first step toward a new CBA”

    Where do I sign?

  8. Do it! If a deal is done soon, then I will forget all about this lockout. All I know is that I want my football Sundays. My optimism grows!

  9. Lawyers justifying their existence….doesn’t that describe the reason behind the existence of the vast majority of our legal system and why it so poorly resembles a justice system?

  10. ball20hawk says,

    I don’t trust Tom Brady. Yeah, I could see your view since he has been a very vocal leader banging the drum against the owners unlike the moron that plays for the city down by the bayou.

  11. Yada, yada, yada and the band played on…this story reminds me of the energizer bunny keeps going and going and going…

    Enough of the if’s and’s and but’s, woulda, coulda, shoulda! AGAIN all I want to see and or read is a deal has been reached…

  12. Sounds like a bunch of mumbo-jumbo to me. Not-so-minor little details that have little to do with getting the players back on the field. Just agree on something and it will all come together.

  13. It all sounds great…now just go ahead and give us the post we all want.

    “NFL & NFLPA* agree in principle to new CBA”

    I just got goosebumps writing that. Hope to read that very soon.

  14. Why does it have to go through the courts? Couldn’t a agreement be struck between the two sides with one of the finalizing provisions being that all Player lawsuits pertaining to the CBA must be dropped by such and such date for the deal to become finalized? I mean really, why does the slow as molasses courts have to be involved in the deal timetable? With them involved, the thing could drag on forever.

  15. I believe both sides always knew that no matter what NO FOOTBALL would be missed this year. That even if they had to go back to last years rules for another year, that would be better than the alternative.

    For those who say only the players had something to lose, that is silly. Players do NOT get paid for preseason, yet owners receive money for Tickets, concessions, parking, etc. reports of 1 Billion dollars would be lost if there were no preseason games.

    I believe without the lawyers in the way, the two sides got over the major stuff, and now simply need to iron out the small stuff. Once they agree, they can end the lockout while the paperwork gets filled out, just like you drive the car home on Saturday and fill out the paperwork on Monday.

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