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NFL Lockout Moving Closer

New York Jets owner Woody Johnson says he is “still optimistic” that an agreement can be reached between the NFL and NFLPA by Thursday night’s deadline to avoid a work stoppage/ He might be the only one who feels that way.

The current collective bargaining agreement expires Thursday night. Mediated sessions will resume Thursday morning, with little real chance that an agreement will be reached in time to avoid a lockout.

Owners reportedly met for three hours Wednesday without voting on a lockout. called the chance of an agreement being reached Thursday “an extreme long shot.”

Here is a summary of the situation as it stands right now, from Sports Illustrated:

The next steps look like all but a fait accompli: The NFLPA is expected to announce plans to decertify as a union on Thursday, which puts it on the path to challenge the league on antitrust grounds, and the league will likely then put in place the lockout of players that has seemed almost inevitable since owners opted out of the current CBA in May 2008.