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.