|Latest news on NFL labor situation as of Friday afternoon||07.22.11 at 3:07 pm ET|
Here’s the latest when it comes to the NFL labor situation, as of Friday afternoon:
•There is still no word on whether or not the players will hold a vote on the proposed deal that was ratified by the owners on Thursday afternoon, with the NFLPA going into shutdown mode early Friday morning shortly after the following announcement was made: “Player leadership is discussing the most recent written proposal with the NFL, which includes a settlement agreement, deal terms and the right process for addressing recertification. There will not be any further NFLPA statements today out of respect for the Kraft family while they mourn the loss of Myra Kraft.” (NFLPA chief DeMaurice Smith was in New England for the service.)
One player rep who was talking was George Wilson of the Buffalo Bills, who told NFL Network shortly after noon that there was no upcoming conference call scheduled with the NFLPA members. He also sounded a far more optimistic note than many of the players did Thursday night when the owners first agreed to the deal. “We’ve come too far to let personal differences or emotions to come into play to stop the process,” Wilson said. “We’re just asking for a sufficient amount of time.”
•As of Friday afternoon, the players haven’t agreed to the proposal, but it’s clear that many of the Patriots have started to return to New England, presumably for the start of training camp. Several Twitter feeds from the players — including rookies — have shown that they are in the process of returning or have already gotten back to New England and have started to settle in anticipation of the season ahead. It certainly appears that once things do get going, whether it’s next week or the week after, the Patriots will be able to hit the ground running.
•Representatives from all 32 teams underwent a tutorial Friday in Atlanta, preparing them for the intricacies of the new system, a session that hit on everything from the new salary cap rules (including the new rookie wage scale) to free agency to the signing of players. Several changes to the system have reportedly been proposed as part of the new agreement, including limiting the offseason workouts to nine weeks and holding only 14 padded practices over the course of the entire regular season (and one padded practice per week in the postseason), none of which can exceed three hours in length.
•According to Michael Lombardi of the NFL Network, the players are still pushing for what he calls a “seat at the table” when it comes to the disciplinary process on the players. Lombardi says players don’t want Roger Goodell to be “judge and jury” on disciplinary issues. However, many of those issues cannot be tackle until the players’ union recertifies, which is becoming a greater issue than either side first anticipated.
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