What was on and off throughout the last hour is now official: The NFLPA has filed for decertification ahead of the impending NFL Lockout. Union chief DeMaurice Smith implored the NFL to open its books as a caveat to any extension, but a deal never materialized, leaving Smith and the union no choice but to decertify. With the union dissolved, the battle leaves the bargaining table and heads to the courts, with both sides dug in for a long lockout.
Multiple sources have confirmed the reports, including Chris Mortensen and Albert Breer. Earlier reports indicating the NFLPA had decertified were debunked as the two sides worked at the last-minute to strike a deal, but to no avail.
After spending the last two years working at the bargaining table in an attempt to agree upon a new collective bargaining agreement, the fight is about to get nasty, with a lengthy legal battle on the table. The players are expected to file individual antitrust lawsuits, with Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning heading up one such lawsuit.
In addition, the players can also file injunctions to block a lockout when it occurs. The NFL must still hold a vote amongst its owners to formally stop work, creating a lockout situation. When a work stoppage commences, the players are expected to go back to Judge David Doty to stop a lockout.
For the latest, browse the rest of our NFL lockout StoryStream.