[ESPN.com] The start-and-stop negotiations between the NFL’s owners and players came to a dramatic end Friday, when the Players Association filed paperwork to decertify as a union.
The move is expected to transfer the labor impasse from the bargaining room to the courtroom. The owners previously said they would lock out the players if the sides failed to come to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement before Friday’s midnight deadline.
Were a lockout to happen, the players would sue the league for restraint-of-trade antitrust violations. Star quarterbacks Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Drew Brees already have agreed to be the lead plaintiffs, although many more players could be involved.
NFL lead negotiator Jeff Pash said no decision has been made whether to lock out the players.