UPDATE 10:33PM ET - Chris Mortensen just stated on ESPN that De Smith and the NFLPA's lawyers are currently looking over the documents sent over by ownership and expect to be able to conduct a vote on approving the deal as soon as tomorrow. Mortensen says one of the potential hangups is the lack of an opt-out from the 10-year agreement perhaps seven or eight years into the deal, and that items like player discipline and drug testing cannot be negotiated until the NFLPA recertifies.
UPDATE 10:15PM ET - The NFLPA has reportedly concluded its conference call and did not vote on the owners' proposal. Of issue at this point is the owners having placed a deadline on the players recertifying the union, which according to an email reportedly sent by NFLPA general counsel Richard Berthelsen would constitute a violation of federal labor laws. As Rich Eisen, Mike Lombardi and Gabe Feldman have been discussing on NFLN, the players may be concerned that observing such a deadline could result in the players getting stuck with the non-financial terms of the last CBA, including the controversial structure of the player discipline system as mentioned above.
Original Entry - NFL leadership and a group of owners held a presser claiming that the two sides had reached agreement on a new labor deal, pending the players' recertifying the NFLPA as a union. The Commish announced plans for teams to open their facilities to players on Saturday, for the new league year to begin next Wednesday, and stated that this year's HOF game will be canceled.
However, Goodell and NFL lead negotiator Jeff Pash made some surprising statements, including a claim that the player discipline process would remain exactly as it had, with Goodell acting as judge, jury, executioner and appeals judge. Another unexpected item was Pash's statement that the deal would stand for 10 years with no opt-out for either side, with another being their claims that salary cap rules would remain as in years past, including franchise and transition tags. As Mike Florio writes, the presser felt a bit like the owners were trying to pull a fast one on the players, giving them a small window in which to recertify as a union and to negotiate the remaining issues that have not yet been agreed upon.
Reaction to the night's confusion: