Two extensions in the CBA negotiating period have apparently not provided enough time to bridge the gap between what the players and the owners want. The two sides have no deal, and the union has filed to decertify.
"The parties have not achieved an overall agreement, nor have they been able to resolve the strongly held competing positions that separated them on core issues," mediator George Cohen said. "No useful purpose would be served by requesting the parties to continue the mediation process at this time."
By dissolving and announcing it no longer represents the players in collective bargaining, the NFL Players Association cleared the way for class-action lawsuits against the NFL, which opted out of the CBA in 2008.
Last week's extension provided room for a bit of hope. This news should have fans expecting this standoff to last a while. The two sides have had plenty of time to hammer out the differences. The fact they are still far apart does not bode well. Now the union is looking to file a suit against the league, and the owners might lock out the players. This appears headed to bitter court disputes, which will lead to animus between the sides. After this battle plays out, the bad will generated will become another obstacle.
It is not clear whether any games are threatened. We are still a long way from that. This situation could take a while to resolve, though.