By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran ATLANTA - Dont tell me about the labor pains. Just show me the baby.Thats pretty much where we are now with this NFL lockout, agreed? Wednesday, the NFLPAs Executive Council met in Washington and reviewed the proposed CBA. A vote was expected. A vote never came. Too much information to digest all in one sitting, according to reports. Thursday, the leagues owners will meet at the Airport Marriott in Atlanta (169 room rate for me). Theyre expected to vote on the proposed CBA. But you never know. Sometimes theres too much information to digest. After the death of Myra Kraft on Wednesday morning, Robert Kraft will not be in Atlanta. Jonathan Kraft will represent the Patriots.Its expected (hoped), that the players will be able to hold their vote and agree to the new CBA before the owners hold their vote later Thursday. Each team was also asked to send a key football decision maker who will be briefed on the rules of engagement once the CBA is agreed to and the lockout ends. That person not sure yet who the Patriots are sending but Bill Belichick or Nick Caserio seem the likely suspects will get the new rules and the timeline for free agency, reporting dates, etc. One of the NFL's lead litigators, Jeff Pash, said the fact the players didn't vote is not a big deal. "It doesnt impact (the owners' plans) at all," he explained. "Were going to continue to work with the players. Well find out if there are issues that still need to be negotiated and were going to work cooperatively with them through the evening and try to have something in place that both sides can vote on tomorrow morning.Ratification is an independent process by each side, just as they could ratify something if we havent voted. So, I assume we could do so."At this point in the process, there is heightened interest and anticipation. Timelines calling for free agency to start within a few days and teams to begin reporting next week have people with a vested interest players, owners, team personnel, fans and media on edge. Any hint of a hangup is met with media concern which quickly devolves into a full-blown Twitter panic. The agitation then becomes a measure of news itself a kind of new media riptide. Example? Minnesota punter Chris Kluwe calling Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Vincent Jackson and Logan Mankins dbags after reports broke that those four were making individual demands for settling the Brady vs. The NFL litigation. Frankly, I still dont know what to believe in regards to what was requested.
And Wednesday night, after Brees and Manning had their agentmouthpiece Tom Condon say they never asked for anything, a source told CBS Sports' Mike Freeman that Mankins and Jackson still wanted 10 million. Despite Jackson saying Tuesday he wouldn't hold up the process. Despite a report that Mankins hadn't asked for money. There are a lot of sources out there right now and if you ask the right or wrong one the right or wrong thing at the right or wrong time the responses can run the gamut. Eventually, the rioting is quelled and the torches are stowed until the next agita-causing nugget drops. Ill be in Atlanta Thursday. I expect to see the baby.
Tom E. Curran can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran.
By Tom E. Curran