Report: Players won't meet until Monday
NFL team facilities aren’t going to swing their doors open for players on Saturday, and there are not going to be any contract negotiations of any type.
While the owners voted to ratify a new labor agreement on Thursday in Atlanta, the players have yet to take a vote and now word comes out that the players will take the weekend to consider the deal and their options. According to an email that ESPN’s Adam Schefter has a copy of, the 32 team player representatives will meet again Monday to consider their next course of action. Whether that includes a possible vote on Monday, who knows at this point?
Here is the text of the email Schefter reported:
“Guys, To keep you abreast of the latest developments, we are reviewing the latest proposal for a settlement. Because of the passing of Myra Kraft in Boston, the NFLPA will not be making any public statements in honor of the Kraft family. Our recommendation is for everyone to stay put and keep doing what you are doing where you are doing it. We will meet again on Monday to discuss our options and the direction we want to go. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us. Thanks for your patience. Your Player Reps.”
It doesn’t sound like hope is lost. It sounds like the players are going to carefully weigh their options knowing this is it. Once they sign off on a deal, it is expected to be a 10-year agreement. They don’t want to rush into anything as was reported Thursday night, it took some time before the players even saw what the owners had agreed to as the deal. NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith attended the funeral for Myra Kraft, the wife of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft earlier today.
The players reportedly would like an out from the deal after seven years, and there remains the unresolved legal situation involving the plaintiffs in the Tom Brady lawsuit. But these don’t seem like obstacles that will prevent a deal from happening. This does delay the timeline for the start of the league year. It is important for teams to be at training camp probably by next weekend in order to ensure all of the games in the first week of preseason are played.
The owners are waiting. Green Bay Packers president Mark Murphy said he expects the players to accept the deal and made it clear owners are finished negotiating.
“I would be surprised if they don’t ratify,” Murphy said. “That’s really our hope, that they do. If they don’t, we’ll deal with that when it comes. We certainly want to have a full preseason and not miss any preseason games.”
“We believe it turned into a very fair agreement for everyone,” Bears president Ted Phillips said. “We’re very hopeful that the players will ratify the deal in short order.”
It won’t happen as fast as the owners wanted. That is for sure.
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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune