NFL players balking on recertifying union

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NFL players balking on recertifying union

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
ATLANTA -- And this is the part of the show where the players get painted into a corner. By late Thursday afternoon, the NFL owners will have shown beyond all reasonable doubt that they are all for the return of professional football. They will have either voted for the negotiated CBA or they will have declared an intention to vote in favor of it pending the players remove collective head from collective anus and vote. The players? Basically, their executive director DeMaurice Smith walked out on a Washington sidewalk and said, "Ohhhh, this is so harrrrrd to decide" back in the 3 o'clock hour. He then said he was going to take a walk "around the corner."The problem is this. The players don't want to re-form their union. Without it, they have greater latitude to bring litigation against the NFL and charge it with antitrust violations. With the union, that leverage vanishes. So now that the players know the owners' urgency is at an all-time, they are trying to drag their feet. Hence, Kevin Mawae saying on Wednesday the players would take their time. And Chester Pitts saying it may take two weeks. And Smith saying the decision to re-form is a difficult one. Meanwhile, the players are trying to make the actual process of voting to recertify their "trade association" seem like a Herculean chore. Again, their interest is in making the owners sweat the return of football. Maybe they can gain some concessions in the overall deal. Instead, the owners will blissfully cast their votes then cast the players as the villiains. "We're ready to go," will be their claim. "Not sure what the holdup with the players is."Public opinion will turn against the players. The owners -- who started the lockout to begin with -- will sit back and be seen as the sane ones. So that's where we are. On day 127 of the NFL Lockout. Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Giardi: It's only OTAs, pump the brakes on Martellus Bennett

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Giardi: It's only OTAs, pump the brakes on Martellus Bennett

Mike Giardi and Kyle Draper discuss the early impressions of Patriots OTAs and how fans shouldn't get carried away with the performance of new tight end Martellus Bennett so far.