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.