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REPORT: NFL Says It Has Right to Use Replacement Players

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It's been a bunch of gum flapping at the NFL Owners meetings which kick off today until Calvin Watkins of ESPN Dallas dropped this nugget on twitter a few minutes ago:

NFL officials say they have the right to use replacement players.

So, it seems the NFL has locked out the current crop of players and has now decided that they can use replacement players if they wish. The real interesting point in all of this, is the rumor that former NFLPA president Troy Vincent(who now works for the NFL) was potentially contemplating forming an entirely new union, since the NFLPA decertified any union could sweep in and collectively bargain for the players if they had their backing. I'm not sure this will actually happen with an incoming crop of new players in the draft, but it's something to think about.

Also noteworthy from the owners meetings, is the fact that the NFL has said that it will not negotiate with class council for the NFLPA and that they'd have to reform a union in order to negotiate. The NFL has also requested that the court stay the injunction hearing set for April 6th, which could lift the lockout and force the league to operate under 2010 rules while litigation goes to process. Previously, the NFL filed a claim with the NLRB stating the NFLPA was using decertification as a sham. If the NLRB rules in favor of the NFL, it will nullify the NFLPA's decertification, and I believe also nullify the injunction currently scheduled (BUT I COULD BE WRONG).

UPDATE: @AskAnNFLAgent on Twitter answered my question about the NLRB ruling for me:

NLRB ruling could possibly mean the last, best offer from the NFL is the de-facto new CBA unless negotiations commence again.