NFLPA undecided on proposed settlement of antitrust lawsuit
WASHINGTON -- The executive committee for the NFL Players Association broke Tuesday night without making a decision on whether to accept the proposed antitrust settlement negotiated by attorneys for the plaintiffs and owners.
Approval of the proposed deal is a key step on the road to lifting the owner-imposed lockout. Whether the delay is cause for concern is unclear.
It was hoped that the committee would OK the agreement by Tuesday night, then recommend its approval to the Board of Player Representatives that's scheduled to meet Wednesday in Washington. Whether the delay will throw off a timeline that some thought could result in a lifting of the lockout by the end of the week is unclear.
Meanwhile, SI.com has learned that Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson is the only player among the 10 plaintiffs who has yet to verbally sign off on the proposed settlement. His support is mandatory before a new collective bargaining agreement can be finalized.
Yahoo! Sports reported Tuesday that Jackson -- who was denied unrestricted free agency last year because of changes to the free-agency rules in the uncapped year -- is seeking either a $10 million payment or a guarantee of unrestricted free agency in 2011 before he'll give his consent.
Sources familiar with the situation believe a deal will be reached with Jackson. But even if that happens, the road to a new collective bargaining agreement remains bumpy.
Several of the 32 player reps told SI.com they have no plans of rubber stamping the agreement if it's presented to them on Wednesday. The players, who would be getting a look at the proposed deal for the first time, said they want a detailed outline of what their side will receive in exchange for giving back 3 percent to 4 percent a year in revenues over the life of the pact.