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NFL Lockout 2011: DeMaurice Smith Releases Lockout Letter Showing NFL Planned Work Stoppage

The NFL has maintained the players forced its hand by decertifying, making it necessary to institute a work stoppage and begin a lockout. If the statements of Robert Kraft and others are to be believed, the lockout was reactionary and unplanned — done as a result of the NFLPA’s decision to decertify. Every statement released by the NFL and its owners has pointed to the union, blaming the players for walking away from negotiations.

But in a letter released by NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith, it’s clear the NFL planned a lockout no matter what, should a new collective bargaining agreement not be reached. The letter, dated March 11, outlines what the lockout entails while making it clear the owners would begin a work stoppage if an agreement wasn’t reached by 11:59 p.m. on Friday.

The letter can be viewed at the NFLPA’s lockout website. Smith released a few of the major points of the letter, and what a lockout means for the players, in a statement accompanying the scanned documents.

On March 11, Dennis Curran, Senior VP of Labor Litigation and Policy, writes that if a new CBA is not reached by 11:59 p.m., the League will send a letter to teams to be forwarded to its players explaining the terms of the Lockout.

This was to be done regardless of decertification.

A lockout is in place for now, though players have filed an injunction in an effort to block the lockout. A decision on the injunction could be made as early as next week. If successful, the lockout would be put on hold, at least temporarily.

Be sure to visit our NFL lockout StoryStream for the latest updates.