Is the NFL headed for its first lockout since 2011?
It’s certainly possible after the league announced its intention to file a grievance against the NFL Players Association on Monday.
NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero first reported the news, which comes from an NFL memo to the Management Council Executive Committee.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) September 18, 2023
The memo alleges that NFLPA president and former Cleveland Browns center JC Tretter advised players to fake and exaggerate injuries in instances where they are unhappy with their contract situation.
“Beginning this past summer and continuing through training camp, NFL Players Association leadership, including President JC Tretter, have become increasingly vocal in advising NFL players dissatisfied with their current contracts to consider feigning or exaggerating injuries to withhold service as a way to increase their leverage in contract negotiations,” the memo reads.
NFL Grievance Addresses Zoom Meeting Held By Running Backs
The memo also refereed referred to a zoom meeting held by running backs in the offseason to discussing the declining financial value and leverage of the position..
“We have become aware of a formal Zoom hosted by the NFLPA with certain NFL running backs in which this advice was conveyed,” the memo states. “This conduct is a clear violation of the union’s agreement to use ‘best efforts to faithfully carry out the terms and conditions of the [CBA]’ and ‘to see that the terms and conditions of all NFL player contracts are carried out in full by players.’
“The union’s conduct is also reckless as any player that chooses to follow this advice and improperly withhold services under his player contract will be subject to discipline and financial liability under the CBA, club rules and/or the player’s contract.”
The NFL has not had a lockout since 2011. But the current CBA runs through 2030 and it’s becoming increasingly evident that players are not happy about it.
What happens from here, however, is anyone’s guess.