It was unanimous on Tuesday, May 20, when the owners of all 32 NFL franchises met in Atlanta and voted to opt out of the current collective bargaining contract with the NFL Players Association (NFLPA). The owners had until November to take a vote but wanted to make their decision early.

Negating the collective bargaining agreement opens the door to two things. First, there may be a non-salary cap year in 2010, and then there is the chance of a possible lockout in 2011.

The NFL owners felt that the current contract didn’t allow for all teams to be competitive nor did it help clubs invest in the future. Gene Upshaw, the NFLPA director, had met with owners a few weeks prior to the Atlanta meeting and was not surprised by the vote. Upshaw has asked to see the audited financial statements of each organization in order to document their fiscal problems.

The league has pledged to ensure that all games will be played and that there will be no interruption of play for the next three years, which includes the 2010 season.

Vetoing the current agreement will change the current bargaining landscape between owners and players, but in exactly what way is left to be seen.

Paul mroczka
Sports Pundit member

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