The Bills became the seventh NFL team to vote to decertify the union with a unanimous vote on Wednesday. S George Wilson, the team's union representative, said the vote occurred after the team met with NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith. The Colts, Cowboys, Saints, Eagles, Redskins and Giants also have voted to decertify the union.
Decertification gives the players the opportunity to sue the league if the owners attempt to lock them out. NFL owners are exempt from being sued by unions that are negotiating collective bargaining agreements because of antitrust laws. Decertification gives the players potential leverage.
During their season opener, Bills players held their index fingers in the air as they stepped onto the field prior to the opening kickoff in a show of support for the union.
Earlier Wednesday, in an interview on Buffalo's WGR radio, Smith reiterated he is "100 percent" certain a lockout will take place in March.
The way we see it
Any step in the direction of avoiding a lockout is a step in the right direction. Smith has been active in talking to teams and explaining to them the situation. Asking players to vote when the season concludes would be difficult, so the NFLPA is getting a head start on decertification. Expect more teams to decertify in the coming weeks.