NFL Lockout Expected To End On Monday After Players' Vote

The NFL lockout is almost over. No, really, we mean it this time. The two sides have agreed to a deal and we're only waiting on the players to vote to approve.

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NFL Lockout: Retired NFL Players File Antitrust Complaint

As of late Monday afternoon, a new hand has stepped into the already tenuous NFL labor negotiations. According to reports, a collection of NFL retirees has filed an isolated complaint against both the current players and the owners, claiming that their interests and representatives are being excluded from the table by both sides. The abrupt insertion of this third party may further dissolve the already shaky nature of the league talks.

The class-action complaint was filed in Federal District Court in Minneapolis against the teams, the league, the players named in the Brady v. N.F.L. lawsuit and DeMaurice Smith, the head of the N.F.L. Players Association.

The complaint says that the current players and the association, with the N.F.L., "are conspiring to depress the amounts of pension and disability benefits to be paid to former N.F.L. players in order to maximize the salaries and benefits to current N.F.L. players."

Reportedly, the collection of retired players felt compelled to officially file the complaint after being repeatedly rebuffed at the notion of organizations setting aside money within the salary cap for NFL retirees. The league has offered a 10 year deal worth $640 million -- $64 million a year -- to cover the benefits. However, the group claims that it would take a minimum of $200-$300 million a year to cover the various benefits programs necessary to maintain the retiree community.

As of Monday night the NFL has declined to comment on the situation. James Quinn, a lawyer for the players union, commented that he was unaware on the newest development. 

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NFL Lockout Ruling Goes In Favor Of Players

The NFL lockout ruling is in and it's a good one for the players. ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports Judge Susan Nelson has ruled in favor of the players lifting the NFL lockout.

Unfortunately, this doesn't mean this mess is over. The owners will appeal and seek a stay. NFL Network's Albert Breer reports Judge Nelson declined to grant a stay for the owners so the league will now seek that from the 8th Circuit Appellate Court.  

In English, the league wants to keep the lockout in place while they go through the appeals process. The NFLPA wants the NFL to open for business throughout the appeals process. 

If the NFL does get their stay, then the lockout will remain in place while the appeals process is going on. That process could take several weeks to several months so this is an important part of the immediate future of football.

If the NFL does not get their stay, then the league will open and things like free agency will begin. The NFL will have to decide what set of rules will be in place but many people expect them to simply implement the 2010 set of rules.

The bottom line is that Judge Susan Nelson has ruled in favor of the players so the burden is now on the league to prove to the 8th Circuit Appellate Court that the lockout is legal.

Stay with our NFL lockout StoryStream for more as it becomes available. The NFL and NFLPA are both expected to make statements shortly and we'll have reaction to the news throughout the day.

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NFL Lockout Commences After Owners Make It Official On Friday Night, According To Report

As of 12 a.m. on Saturday morning, the NFL is officially in a lockout state. Earlier in the day, the NFL Players' Association voted to decertify, allowing the players to individually file antitrust lawsuits against the league. The owners were expected to officially vote on a work stoppage ahead of the midnight deadline for a new collective bargaining agreement and reportedly did just that, choosing to lock the players out.

The report comes from the NFL Network, which is owned and operated by the league. The move is expected, but still disappointing for fans hoping to avoid a work stoppage. With a lockout in place, normal operations are suspended, with team activities in a holding pattern and free agent at a standstill.

The lockout could last days, weeks or, perhaps, into the season, depending on how far the legal battle between the two sides goes. The NFLPA had been asking for full financial disclosure from the league, but was unable to obtain sufficient transparency, forcing the union's to decertify in an effort to protect their own interests.

The 2011 NFL Draft will still go on, but teams will only be able to trade picks, with personnel moves prohibited. Other than the draft, teams will be unable to make roster moves, or have any contact with the players themselves.

For the latest on the negotiations, check out the rest of our NFL lockout StoryStream.

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NFL Lockout: NFLPA Officially Decertifies, Releases Statement

On Friday afternoon, the NFL Players Association has officially decertified, effectively dissolving itself as a union and making a lockout all but certain. The NFLPA has released a statement:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The NFL Players Association announced today it has informed the NFL, NFL clubs and other necessary parties that it has renounced its status as the exclusive collective bargaining representative of the players of the National Football League.

The NFLPA will move forward as a professional trade association with the mission of supporting the interests and rights of current and former professional football players.

As Friday's 5 p.m. Eastern deadline loomed, decertification appeared more and more likely. This move will send the dispute between the league and the players to the court system. When the collective bargaining agreement expires at 11:59 p.m. Friday night, the NFL is expected to lock out the players.

For the latest on the pending NFL lockout, stay tuned to this StoryStream.

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