The NFL lockout is not quite over, and there still remains at least one significant hurdle to clear. For a moment, the headlines were all optimistic, with the players set to ratify the owners proposal at 5 p.m. and the lockout set to be lifted by Saturday. All was well in the world and it appeared free agency was all but certain to begin in just two days.
But Sports Illustrated's Jim Trotter would like to remind us all to pump the brakes.
you can take it to the bank that the players are not going to ratify this proposal as currently presented.
And ESPN's Chris Mortensen came along to explain why. Put simply, the owners made a power play with their vote and the proposal, forcing the NFLPA into an awkward position.
"It puts onus on players to make a decision to agree; paints us into a corner with fans. We'll discuss tonight but the idea of reconstituting as a union as never been a slam dunk as the owners have already assumed."
Another high-ranking NFLPA official: "We are not happy here. We had to honor to not vote on an agreement that was not final (Wednesday). This is not over. This actually takes away incentives from players to vote yes tonight."
So it's not quite over yet. The NFLPA is still on the fence about the recertification issue and the owners pushing them into the corner was not well-received. The NFL side of the deal jumped the gun, voted to approve their own proposal and left the players in a less than ideal position just half an hour before they were set to vote.
It all means the players will likely head back to the negotiating table to hammer out a few more key issues, including the reformation of their union. It's not over, but it's close -- almost painfully so.
We'll be back with more as it becomes available. For the latest news and updates on the ongoing labor battle, stay with our NFL lockout StoryStream. Head over to Field Gulls for a breakdown of the lockout.