Read what I said again...
I never said the draftees weren't affected... I said they don't get a vote!
When are the draftees invited to the union meetings to vote? Are the draftees invited to join the anti-trust suit now that the union has disbanded?
The fact is... while a LOT of the negotiations will ultimately affect the draftees once they sign with the NFL... until they sign with the NFL, the draftees have no part in the negotiations. I am just as much a participant in the labor negotiations as the draftees at this point!
That was one of my points... the players "union" is suggesting and asking draftees to sacrifice something when they may never even get drafted anyway! Or may not get a contract... or may get a rookie scale that cuts their salary... and the draftees get ZERO input on any of these negotiations.
True... The NFL wants to first content the anti-trust suit on the basis that the union "disbanding" is fiction.
IF, however, the NFL loses that... then given the players' actions to suggest participation of non-NFL employees/players (the draftees)... IF things get nasty, I would not put it past the NFL to suggest to draftees and current players that do not like all the moves of the "union"... the NFL could suggest that they would be interested in negotiating with anyone, and IF a new union with different leadership was formed, perhaps they would negotiate with them first.
The point being... this "disbanding" can backfire IF all the players are not on the same page. It is a dangerous thing to disband your union unless you know all your players are on the same page. I'm not clear on whether they are or not.
True... but it does become more difficult to present a unified front.
Consider, for example, the anti-trust suit... Most of the named players you hear on TV are the big players like Manning or Brees or Brady... so... what if someone nudged all those players who are making "scale" by saying... hey, aren't you an NFL player too? Why isn't your name on that suit? Did anyone ask you what you wanted from the negotiations? Now that the union has disbanded, who is making decisions for your future?
It could get nasty if the fires are stoked.
There is no union, so the draftees have the same say as any other player. "You want me, then pay me... But wait, you've locked me out."
And you put it they wouldn't be in the union until they sign, which is technically true but the contract they sign is very much affected by the union. They don't have to sign until the contract is right. They have say, after all they are the product just as much as any player.
As for decertifying, they had to now. If they waited until after the CBA was done, they had to wait 6 months to pull that trigger. That is their key leverage. (And by doing this now, there is a chance this will get settled before the season would start. If they had to wait 6 months, there is very little chance it gets settled.
See I think the owners don't have a clue: (all in my opinion)
1) They did not expect three very big names on the lawsuits.
2) They did not expect they would actually decertify.
3) They thought this would be quicker and easier.
4) They completely underestimated how D. Smith's transparency would work for the players. The players are much better prepared than anyone expected. (Even the agents were caught off guard at how well the players understand the whole situation.)
5) They thought they could get the players to break apart now. But see players don't get any money now anyway. They are already prepared for a few months of no pay. They have no need to break yet. (Yeah, some big players might get a bonus--but they don't need the money immediately. and the little guys don't get anything so they are prepared too.)
So the owners keep acting like they can control things and bamboozle the players. But the players have hired some very, very good help. An investment bank, good lawyers, etc.
One last point. Class action lawsuits (which is part of what's going on) does not start immediately with all 1500 members of the class. The first 5 or more members file the lawsuit, then the judge certifies that this is a class lawsuit rather than individual lawsuits. So having 3 big names plus 6 other key names it all the players need right now. Then the rest join in. So don't be fooled that the players ain't in it on paper right now.