Voting on the NFL’s proposed collective bargaining agreement has been extended to 11:59 pm ET on Saturday, but it may already be too late for some players.
According to Dan Graziano and Cameron Wolfe of ESPN, the NFLPA’s player representatives voted down a proposal that would have allowed players who have already voted to change their vote. The reason the NFLPA voted on this is because so many players have reportedly asked if they could change their vote.
It’s impossible to know why a reported significant number of NFL players wanted to change their vote. The most you can deduce is they learned new information that made them want to change their vote. And there has been a lot of important CBA information released in the past 24 hours.
Eric Reid, Russell Okung make big moves against CBA
Eric Reid tweeted about the CBA proposal on Monday, giving players more information about the massive 456-page agreement before they vote. Reid asked his lawyers to look at the CBA from a player’s perspective, and he says they found bad news for players.
— Eric Reid (@E_Reid35) March 9, 2020
Reid’s lawyers believe that NFL players are getting a bad deal in the proposed CBA. Numerous players agree. Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, Todd Gurley, Richard Sherman, Stefon Diggs, Jarvis Landry, and others have come out against the proposed CBA. Meanwhile Russell Okung filed a lawsuit on Monday against the NFLPA.
Okung, a member of the NFLPA’s executive committee and a recent candidate to replace current NFLPA president Eric Winston, alleges that the NFLPA engaged in bad-faith negotiating. He accuses the NFLPA and executive director DeMaurice Smith of ignoring the executive committee’s wishes and forcing a vote on the CBA. The executive committee had already voted against the CBA twice, but it was passed on to a vote of the NFLPA player representatives anyway.
Is the NFLPA’s decision significant?
The NFLPA not allowing players to change their votes could be a big deal. If the CBA is passed, some players will argue that the NFLPA didn’t allow them to be heard. Add that to Okung’s lawsuit and Reid’s lawyers’ opinion, and confidence in the NFLPA could be low enough for players to vote to decertify their union so they can reform it.
If the CBA fails, players could still argue that they weren’t properly heard by their union, but CBA negotiations would be kicked down the road until 2021, when the current CBA runs out. That scenario would open a Pandora’s box of possibilities, including a strike or a lockout.
No matter what happens with the CBA, there will almost certainly be fireworks from the players, and a push for them to gain more representation in their union.
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