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Source: NFLPA* tells players that a deal isn’t close


WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 11: NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith addresses reporters after the league and the NFL Players Association failed to reach an agreement in labor talks at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service building March 11, 2011 in Washington, DC. The NFLPA has filed for decertification and will no longer be the exclusive collective bargaining representative for the players. Players will now be able to file antitrust lawsuits against the NFL. (Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** DeMaurice Smith

Jonathan Ernst

And just as all signs and momentum were pointing toward the looming resolution of the lockout via a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the weekly blast of ice water has arrived.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, NFLPA* executive director DeMaurice Smith told the players, “Don’t believe the hype.” Smith also said that a deal isn’t close.

Now, it’s possible that this is part of an effort to reduce the perception that an agreement soon will be reached. If enough players come to that conclusion, the NFL could choose to take a hard line on one or more of the remaining issues, forcing the NFLPA* to choose between conceding the point or killing a deal that the players think is done.

The fact that the news cuts against everything that has been reported, and everything that we’ve been hearing, makes us think/hope that Smith is simply trying to get the players not to believe that a deal is coming soon, even if it possibly is.

Either way, they need to keep working, every day and around the clock, if they plan to get a deal done in time to salvage all or part of the preseason. And if it’s true that a deal isn’t close, then the it’s even more important for the parties to continue meeting on a daily basis until the deal is done.