ATLANTA -- Don't tell me there isn't precedent for what NFL owners did Thursday, because there is. In fact, the last time the two sides couldn't reach an agreement on a new CBA, a similar squeeze play was pulled.
And it was then-NFLPA executive director Gene Upshaw who pulled it.
That was 2006, when a frustrated and impatient Upshaw presented owners a take-it-or-leave-it offer before flying off to meetings with his executive board in Hawaii. Owners were given two days to ratify the offer after Upshaw and then-NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue agreed there would be no further negotiations, and, after much debate, they signed off on a long-term deal.
Of course, two years later, the owners opted out of it -- one reason they're where they are now -- and there's a lesson there for players today. If there's a hang-up with the owners' plan, it's not in how it was presented. Heck, players pulled the same move five years ago. Nope, it's in the time players have to react. There's not much of it before they're asked for their approval.