All off-season, the fans played the waiting game as the lockout stretched over 100 days.
Now, its the owners turn to sweat it out.
“Our pens are down” said Green Bay Packers President Mark Murphy to the Green Bay Press-Gazette. “They know what we ratified and they’re voting to ratify the same thing.”
When the players will vote, however, is very much up in the air.
The NFL owners gave the players until Tuesday to re-ceritfy as a union, and approve the proposed CBA. That gives the players 4 days to mull over the reportedly 400 page document. Perhaps fueled by the euphoria of the NFL owners announcing their vote, many fans were discouraged by the players not voting last night.
However, many players reported that they did not get to see the document before the conference call with NFLPA President DeMaurice Smith. Some players said they still had not received the document as of 11:30 last night.
With Smith attending the funeral today for Myra Kraft in Massachusetts, he announced that no statements would be released today in honor of Kraft. While he did not say it, no announcements likely means no vote today. However, anything is possible in what has been a roller coaster the past 24 hours.
Would Smith put the proposal up for a vote despite not all players being happy? Remember, he only needs 51% of the players to vote in favor to have it pass. Given the majority of the players in the NFL do not make big money (by NFL standards), its hard to imagine their are enough players out their unhappy with this proposal that it would be shot down in a vote.
The feeling among NFL experts is that the deal passed by the owners is a “fair” deal, with the players getting a good deal in terms of revenue sharing. Many expect the CBA to be voted through, but believe the players are waiting to vote to show they will not be pushed around by the owners. NFL players did not take kindly to the owners passing a CBA that they believe was not agreed upon, and putting the players in a position where they would get immense public scrutiny if they do not sign.
Are things getting rocky between the two? Peter King of Sports Illustrated last night said he believes this deal is in major trouble. If a deal is not signed by Tuesday, the owners will start to take money away from the revenue pot, and things will get ugly.
Meaning that for the first time in this whole process, the most important days are now.