After the NFL and NFL Players Association agreed to push the deadline for 24 hours and then seven days, the Collective Bargaining Agreement is now set to expire at 11:59 p.m. EST tonight.
In the wake of that deadline, the players union announced Friday that it has renounced its status as the collective bargaining representative of the players after failing to reach a new labor deal with the league.
"We had 17 days of mediation here," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said. "We worked hard. We didn't reach an agreement, obviously. As you know, the union walked away from the mediation process today to decertify. We do believe that mediation is the fairest and fastest way to reach an agreement that works for the players and for the clubs. And we believe that ultimately this is going to be negotiated at the negotiating table. They've decided to pursue another strategy and that is their choice. But we will be prepared to negotiate an agreement and get something done that is fair to the players and fair to the clubs."
The NFLPA said in a statement that it will become a professional trade association with the mission of supporting the interests and rights of current and former professional football players.
The NFL released a statement, which you can read on DenverBroncos.com here.
In addition, Broncos President Joe Ellis has released a statement on Friday's events:
"(Owner and CEO) Pat Bowlen is extremely disappointed that a new Collective Bargaining Agreement has yet to be reached. He shares our fans' frustrations, disappointment and sense of urgency for a quick resolution.
"This is part of the process and not the end of the process. The owners are looking forward to getting back to the negotiating table and working toward a new deal that benefits our teams, players and fans. Everyone is committed to growing the game that we love.
"The Broncos are continuing with preparations for the NFL Draft and the 2011 season. We're all hopeful that a deal is reached as soon as possible."
You can stay up-to-date on information about the process at NFLLabor.com.