5:40 PM/ET Update: The NFLPA will go the litigation route. They have informed the league that they will decertify and the next step is to file an antitrust lawsuit.
This does not mean that there will be no future negotiations outside the courts, but it does mean that, for now, it will hit the legal system.
The union obviously feels they are better off in the hands of Judge David Doty, who has handed down all pro-uniondecisions over the course of his presiding of the collective bargaining agreement over almost two decades.
5:18 PM/ET Update: AP reports: NFL Players Decertify As Strike Seems Certain
4:50 PM/ET Update: NFL Union Executive Director DeMaurice Smith came out of the meeting and said that "significant financial differences remain" between the players and the owners and that the players want more detailed financial data and the owners have until 5PM/ET to make good on that.
The assumption is if that doesn't come, the union will go ahead with their plans to decertify.
4:10 PM/ET Update: Well, what do you know? Here we are. Supposedly 50 minutes before the union would have to decertify and they are still in the room. This is what negotiations are all about. Making the right move at the right time, calling a bluff could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars to either side.
2:35 PM/ET Update: We have gone from reporters having information to misinformation to absolutely no information.
Total and complete radio silence.
I have to think this is good for negotiations. If it were ugly in there, I assume there would be some leaks. Despite having no binding power, mediator George Cohen has done a masterful job. Guessing he got both sides to shut their traps after a day of bashing each other.
1:35 PM/ET Update: I have tried to stay positive and convince myself that negotiations are about last second deals.
I have to say I'm not getting a good vibe, but I'm also optimistic because they have been in the building — though not necessarily talking to each other —for more than three hours.
The further we get to the close of the business day, the more likely it is that this won't all end for the worse today.
12:30 PM/ET Update: Let's do a little math here.
As it currently stands, the owners want a $1.7 billion expense credit. Since $1 billion already exists in the current deal, how about dividing the difference with the players giving the owners a $1.35 billion annual expense credit. Taking away that expense credit from overall league revenues before a player/owner split occurs would likely mean that owners would get 55% of total league revenues and players would get 45%. Earlier this morning on a local radio show, union head DeMaurice Smith said he would do a deal if the players could get 50% of the total league revenues.
Is it really worth blowing this all up for 5% annual cut? And at what point does a destructive future minimize that extra 5% goal?
Is it possible that labor peace now gets the union less of a percentage but the same overall dollars?
12:10 PM/ET Update: Reporters have left the room and are now standing in front of the building where the negotiations are taking place.
There has been much speculation that not much has been accomplished today.
Remember, the players union said they would notify the players of the status by 2:00 PM/ET today. If this whole thing implodes many reporters around here feel that the owners and the players will have dueling press conferences - at the same time.