The NFL labor negotiations appear to finally be settling into the paperwork phase that will lead to an eventual vote. As it currently stands, the ideal plan today is to have a draft of the settlement completed as soon as possible, which would allow the players' executive committee to vote to approve it by the end of the day today. The owners would then fly off to Atlanta for their meetings tomorrow and vote their side then.
All of this is of course assuming final demands and requests are figured out. One of the big issues that seemed to pop up Monday and Tuesday was the belief that some of the named plaintiffs in the Brady lawsuit were hoping to get some kind of settlement perks of their own. There were reports Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Logan Mankins and Vincent Jackson wanted free agency or some other kind of deal. One report about Jackson actually said he wanted free agency or $10 million. This actually led to Vikings punter Chris Kluwe sending out a fairly specific tweet about the plaintiffs.
Naturally this raises eyebrows given the chance to get a deal done for the entire union. If these reports were true, the named players have backed off fairly quickly in the face of the blacklash. Drew Brees indicated he never wanted any special perks, and Vincent Jackson reportedly is fine signing the one year franchise tender. Reports indicate the NFLPA is going to recommend no special treatment for any of the named plaintiffs. Of course, as Florio indicated, they're supposedly a trade association that can only make recommendations and not requirements. Whatever the case, the issue seems to be coming to a close.
As things currently stand, the executive committee will meet starting at 6am pacific today with the player representatives, including our very own Takeo Spikes. There apparently has been no recommendation to approve any draft at this point and I'd imagine there will be plenty of discussions with the NFLPA reps throughout the morning. The player representatives will be looking to approve the optimal deal at this point so it could make for contentious discussions.
However today plays out, we will have a much better idea of where we stand by the close of business today. If the player representatives approve a deal, it would seem like we'd be on the fast track to closing this thing out. If the players do not approve the deal by the end of the day today, we would face an altered and unknown timetable. The owners are schedule to meet tomorrow in Atlanta at which point they would also vote on the drafted CBA. Let's hope that plan continues.