“In a letter to the players that was seen by The Associated Press, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said the union had an ‘internal deadline’ for agreeing to a new collective bargaining agreement,” Jimmy Golen of The AP reported this afternoon.
“That deadline has now passed,” Smith wrote in the one-page letter. “It is important that you protect yourself and your family.”
Golen noted that “the letter was dated Wednesday, and copies were strewn across a table in the New England Patriots locker room during the media availability on Saturday.”
Said NFL spokesman Greg Aiello, “It is disappointing and inexplicable, especially for fans. What deadline is he talking about? We hope this does not mean the union has abandoned negotiating in favor of de-certifying and litigating. We are ready to meet and negotiate anytime and anywhere. But it takes sustained effort and shared commitment to reach an agreement. One side can’t do it alone.”
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