From what is being reported, Kessler, one of the players’ attorneys, has been dragging his heels on getting the union cards to all the players. The owners won’t sign off on a new CBA without the NFLPA recertifying itself. If there is no union in place, the owners could face anti-trust action from future players.
Like Stanford’s Andrew Luck in 2012, who could sue the league for being denied the right to earn a fair salary based, for example, on what Sam Bradford made. A new CBA could cut Luck’s first round money by at least half.
From everything that’s being published the lockout won’t end until the union recertifies. The owners have been told the players would recertify during training camp. The owners have stiffened. They want the assurance, no loose ends.
Which gets us back to Kessler. Smith is his boss. If this becomes a major sticking point as it seems to be, Smith should tell Kessler to shut his piehole, FedEx all the union cards now. Enough already.