NFL labor talks broke down Friday, just hours before the collective bargaining agreement was set to expire, as the union rejected a proposal from the league, then decertified, and 10 players, including MVP quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, sued the owners in federal court.
In response, the NFL imposed a lockout of players, starting at midnight ET, after the CBA officially expired. The league confirmed the lockout in a statement Saturday morning. The players then went to court to request an injunction to block such a move by the league.
By dissolving and announcing it no longer represents the players in collective bargaining, the union became a trade association and cleared the way for class-action lawsuits against the NFL, which opted out of the labor deal in 2008. The antitrust suit -- officially known as Brady et al vs. National Football League et al -- attacked the league's policies on the draft, salary cap and free-agent restrictions such as franchise-player tags.
There will be football this year, but for now the off-season is up in the air. We'll learn more as the situation unfolds next week.