NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith called a press conference just before 3:00 p.m. (ET) on Thursday in front of the NFLPA headquarters. He didn't provide much of an update but did note that the decision to re-form as a union would be a decision each player has to make and it would be a serious one.
As it stands now, the owners are expected to vote on the deal at some point early Thursday evening. If they approve, the pressure will be on the players. Smith has reportedly called an 8:00 p.m. (ET) conference call with the player reps. It's possible they vote right there and the process of ending the NFL lockout continues but it's also possible no vote is taken pending the resolution of other issues.
Here are a few highlights of Smith's press conference:
We continue to talk. There are some issues that are outstanding that are left to resolve.
I know there's a lot of questions swirling around ... let me tell you: every individual person has to make a decision about whether they want to be a part of the union ... The individual decisions are something our players take extremely serious.
The decision to decertify was important because at the time we were a real union. And the decision for the players, as men, to come back as a union, is going to be a equally serious and very sober one they have to make.