The decertification would allow the players to file class-action anti-trust lawsuits against the NFL and potentially reverse a lockout in which the owners have placed. Leading the approximate 10 known plaintiffs are star quarterbacks Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, all of whom have Super Bowl MVPs to their name.
The National Football League Players Association's (NFLPA) executive director spoke to the media shortly before yesterday's deadline, and he simply stated that he and the player representatives told the NFL and its owners that there "are still major differences (between the owners and players)."
Player representatives who also spoke out include Brees and Colts' veteran center Jeff Saturday. Both sides are obviously frustrated with the negotiations, and neither side really wants there to be a work stoppage.
At this point, money doesn't seem to be the issue here. The two sides simply need to agree on certain terms, and the players would like to see a 10-year business plan, rather than the five-year plan the owners originally offered the players.
Like Brees mentioned on his twitter account, it doesn't seem like the negotiations have anything to do with the players wanting more money:
"Not once have the players asked for more money during this negotiation. That is a FACT. I don't expect anyone to feel sorry for us ... Past players sacrificed a great deal to give us what we have now in the NFL, and we will not lay down for a second to give that up ... We have a responsibility and at some point you just have to stand up for what is right."
I agree fully with Brees, and as much as I hate to see all this happen, I think this is for the best. The negotiations shouldn't cut in to the season, or even training camp for that matter, so I'm not too worried about all of this. Both sides are working really hard on an agreement.
Note: If you would like to be fully updated on the labor negotiations I advise you create a twitter account. It's free and allows you to "follow" any celebrity/athlete/owner etc. that your little heart desires. This is where I've been getting quite a bit of my information, and it's an easy way to stay up to date.
DeMaurice Smith: Getty Images