Fooch's Note: Update added after the jump.
The NFL labor negotiations took a rather bizarre and confusing turn Wednesday afternoon but did not fall apart. The NFL executive committee and the 32 player representatives and alternates met to discuss the potential CBA with a possible vote coming before the end of the day.
Initially reports via the AP indicated there would be no vote. That was followed by a set of Jim Trotter tweets in which he indicated a conditional vote took place. The conditional vote would forward the settlement agreement on to the class plaintiffs (Brady, Brees, Manning, etc) if certain issues were resolved. One such issue is believed to be the $320 million in benefits the players did not get last season as part of the tradeoff for an uncapped season.
Chris Mortensen followed up on Trotter's tweets by stating that DeMaurice Smith and the executive committee were given the go-ahead by the player representatives to hammer out the final deal points with the owners. The executive committee is still meeting but there isn't word yet whether these final points will be hammered out tonight or tomorrow morning. The players are in DC while the owners are in Atlanta for their planned meeting. It sounds like all of this is at a stage where it can be done by phone, including the eventual final non-conditional vote.
It is probably fitting that this is all coming down to a mad dash to the finish line. This morning I indicated we might have a better idea of where we're at by close of business. We've got the conditional vote which could be construed as a better idea, but if this $320 million issue is still on the table one has to wonder how long the players will hold out for it. When you're talking about the players losing somewhere on the order of $90 million each week of missed preseason (if NFL claim of $200M per preseason week is accurate), that $320 million could change in importance real quick.
Albert Breer tweeted the following:
Bottom line: The structure of the league going forward has been negotiated and set, but this one's not over til those lawsuits die.
So basically, the $320 million of benefits would qualify as separate from the structure of the league. The lawsuits would qualify as separate from the structure of the league. So, the rules moving forward would appear to be determined, but the issue remains this global settlement of all the accompanying lawsuits that brought us to this point.