Blog Entry

Players 'doubt' CBA will be ratified by Thursday?

Posted on: August 3, 2011 12:59 pm
Edited on: August 3, 2011 1:12 pm
Posted by Will Brinson

Football's been back for more than a week now. Well, kind of -- there's still the whole pesky notion of an actual CBA getting ratified in time for the beginning of the league year on Thursday, August 4.

Per the language in the NFL's official 2011 NFL Calendar on August 4, "All 2011 contracts signed on or after July 26 become effective at 4:01 p.m. ET, assuming NFLPA has ratified the CBA." (Emphasis mine.)

Reached for comment on Wednesday, the NFL also added emphasis to the language above.

"The League Year would start after the CBA is ratified by the players," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told

It's been assumed by most folks that such a ratification is as good as done (though if you were smart and subscribed to the CBS Football Podcast, you'd already know it wasn't guaranteed after our convo with NFLPA spokesman George Atallah).

But Steelers player rep Ryan Clark, according to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, spun a different story at Steelers' training camp on Wednesday.

Bouchette notes on Twitter that Clark "doubts" the CBA will be "ratified in time for those vets not practicing to join teams" by the start of the league year on Thursday.

Clark, according to Bouchette, says the "major holdup" with the ratification of the CBA "is Roger Goodell's disciplinary power." Bouchette doesn't note whether Clark's concerned with Goodell disciplining players who broke the personal conduct policy or whether the players are concerned with the actual disciplinary process going forward, but both could be considered obstacles in negotiation.

Adding fuel to the fire? Steelers' cornerback William Gay, who signed a one-year deal with Pittsburgh this offseason after hitting free agency, tweeted on Wednesday that he "probably wont be able to practice to tomorrow as accepted."

He likely means expected, but spelling's not the issue here -- the problem is that right now the public thinks football's moving full steam towards starting the league year at 4:01 p.m. ET on Thursday and there is apparently still a speed bump or two to clear first.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: August 3, 2011 1:45 pm

Players 'doubt' CBA will be ratified by Thursday?

I agree, but I also fully expect veterans that despise practice to drag their feet as much as possible. The fact of the matter is that, at this stage of the game, after months of absurd and childish bickering, every step backwards hurts. Even ones that won't threaten games.

Since: Aug 31, 2006
Posted on: August 3, 2011 1:33 pm

Players 'doubt' CBA will be ratified by Thursday?

I don't think it's that so much as it is a concern that you have a guy in Gooddell who is clearly on the side of the owners and has pretty much unlimited power to discipline.  While I think this is actually a good thing, I can see where the NFLPA would want to have a little better process than this.  Remember this CBA goes 10 years with no opt out, so they are wise to make sure they can stomach it.

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: August 3, 2011 1:29 pm

Players 'doubt' CBA will be ratified by Thursday?

If you don't think players are going to fight over every last period and comma in the CBA, you're nuts. It's not like they want to practice. The Never-ending story continues.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or