Report: NFLPA will decertify before Thursday night

The NFL Players Association plans to decertify by Thursday before the expiration of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, according to ESPN.

Per the report, language in the current CBA says the union must wait to decertify six months after the CBA has expired. By decertifying before the CBA expires Thursday night, the players will try to get ahead of the owners’ expected plan to lock them out.

The owners have already made noise that a decertification would be nothing more than a publicity stunt. The NFLPA had players vote on decertification back during the season, something it worked on for months. Players believe this move is necessary to avoid losing part of the 2011 season.

The NFL and NFLPA met for seven days with a federal mediator, adjourning for the combine this weekend in Indianapolis. They are scheduled to meet again beginning Tuesday in Washington. It would take a remarkable amount of negotiating to reach an agreement before the expiration of the current CBA at midnight Thursday.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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