While no deal was agreed up Wednesday before the 32 team representatives departed the NFLPA headquarters, they gave NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith and the NFLPA’s executive committee a “vote of confidence” to resolve the issues that remain before an agreement can be endorsed to the ten plaintiffs in the Brady v NFL antitrust lawsuit.
Part of the holdup was the lack of a final document to review, and legal teams for the NFL and NFLPA were planning to work through the night to provide a final document ready for ratification on Thursday.
In addition to settling the antitrust and television revenue/lockout insurance case, key issues remain. The players are seeking $320 million in lost benefits from the 2010 season, and there is still the matter of worker’s compensation to sort out.
The league had hoped to have a final agreement in place that could be voted on during their meeting in Atlanta today. The lack of a vote by the players was downplayed by NFL Executive Vice-President and chief negotiator Jeff Pash on Wednesday night.
“It doesn’t impact it at all,” Pash said of the league’s plans. “We’re going to continue to work with the players. We’ll find out if there are issues that still need to be negotiated and we’re going to work cooperatively with them through the evening and try to have something in place that both sides can vote on tomorrow morning.”
Owners are set to meet at 10 a.m, and Pash said that ratification of the CBA is not necessarily something that the players have to do first.
“Ratification is an independent process by each side, just as they could ratify something if we haven’t voted. So, I assume we could do so,” said Pash, who added that he’s not sure if a deal can be ratified on Thursday.
“I think it’s probably aggressive to think that it can be done tomorrow, but it could be done in a relatively short period of time, we think.”