NFL Lockout: CBA Negotiations Have Reached Hammer Time

Rise and shine everybody! We're back for another day of fun and games with the NFL owners and players. Early yesterday when things were starting to get a little weird I tweeted that other NFL fans was getting a better idea of what we as 49ers fans went through during the Harbaugh-colypse. What's crazy is I sent that tweet at around 11am, before things really started to go haywire.

You could argue we've approached the level of insanity we saw during the Harbaugh watch. Maybe it's not as fun as that was, but it's certainly a bizarre experience. The 49ers have gone through bizarre experiences like this a couple time. The most recent was when the team was trying to land Jim Harbaugh. Before that we went through the will he, won't he soap opera that was Michael Crabtree's rookie holdout.

Given the eventual resolution of the Michael Crabtree contract saga, I really felt it was fitting to suggest the current dispute be settled by MC Hammer. He worked his magic in getting Crabtree signed, maybe he could do the same for the players and owners in the current labor dispute.

But in all seriousness, we enter a critical stage of what have become particularly delicate labor negotiations. So delicate that I'll be up bright and early between 5 and 6am pacific tuned into NFL Network for what will likely be another day of round the clock coverage (no paid endorsement there!).

As was the case throughout Thursday, we have numerous conflicting reports about what the players will be doing today. Chris Mortensen was reporting late yesterday that DeMaurice Smith and the NFLPA Executive committee had reviewed the details of what the owners approved and expected to have a player vote on Friday. This was promptly countered by a Gregg Rosenthal tweet stating an NFLPA representative said there was no timetable for a vote. Then Jay Feely tweeted "Dont believe everything you hear" when tweeted about the Sportscenter report.

I think much of that can be reconciled in terms of the semantics of language. Expect to vote, might vote, could vote could mean a lot of things to a lot of different people. Does this mean a vote will happen on Friday? Maybe, maybe not. I'm praying some kind of vote happens just so we can consider the next step in this process.

As many have said, closing out a labor agreement can be the toughest work of the entire process. When you mix in multiple lawsuits the difficult increases, arguably exponentially. This is a complex process and at this point it seems like we don't know exactly where the players are at in their step of the process. At the very least they seem to have a copy of what the owners voted on. If they already started reviewing it Thursday night, maybe we'll get some action before lunch time pacific today.

We'll be back in a little bit with a look at the terms and conditions of what the owners voted on. We can look over that in part because the issues at hand deal more with things like reforming the union and settling the lawsuits, as opposed to the 2011 salary cap and other items like that. We don't have things like drug testing figured out, but most of the other economics would seem to be in place.

In the bout some Hammer!

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