Lockout Continues Into Weekend

Enjoy the weekend dear NFL fans – nothing in the owners’ lockout of the players will change before Monday.

On Friday afternoon, the players association executive committee e-mailed its membership and telling them that there will be no votes on approving a deal with the NFL until Monday at the earliest.

If true – and in this labor fight change happens all the time – that means that NFL teams will not be opening their facilities as planned on Saturday for their players. It also means they will not be negotiating contracts with their free agents, draft choices or other free agents around the league.

And, it makes a league established July 27 start for training camps improbable. It sounds more like it will be July 30-31 or August 1 before the 32 teams can open their training camp doors and start the season.

The players, their negotiators and lawyers continue to go over the paperwork that was sent to them by the owners on Thursday evening. They will work the weekend, possibly negotiating with the league, in hopes of bridging the gaps that remain in the agreement.

The biggest factor is the recertification process of the NFL Players Association. There are important elements of an agreement between players and owners that can’t be negotiated without the NFLPA regaining union status, items like drug testing, league discipline, etc. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday that the owners’ support of the agreement depends on the recertification. Goodell and NFL lawyers have said without that, the league will not re-open its doors.

So enjoy what everyone an involved hope is the final weekend of no football for the next six months.

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