NFL Lockout: Is NFLPA Recertification Delay Protecting Future Legal Options?

Over the past 24 hours there has been some concern that the players are not prepared to vote on a global settlement. This concern has generated a good deal of speculation as to the reasons for the delay. Some people think Vincent Jackson and Logan Mankins still want $10 million apiece. Some think it could have to do with franchise tag issues. And even others think it relates to the $320 million in lost 2010 benefits.

Gabe Feldman just spoke on NFL Network's Total Access show about a possible underlying reason for this delay. Feldman spoke to the idea that the players don't want to rapidly recertify because it could give credence to the owners original claim that the decertification was a sham. For the purposes of this particular collective bargaining agreement that's really not of much significance because the underlying lawsuits and NLRB unfair labor practices would all be part of a global settlement.

The issue is for future collective bargaining. The antitrust lawsuit has proven to be an incredibly effective weapon for the players and they do not want to undercut that option in the future. While we are limited in what we know about the specific details of the current negotiations, it is possible the players want some assurances that a quick return to their union status now would not be used as evidence in the future if they were to chose to decertify down the road. Naturally the owners might have their own opposition to this, thus creating the current logjam. It is simply one more possibility in this seemingly endless process.

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