(The Spread) – The deadline for a new CBA deal isn’t until 11:59PM ET tonight but an agreement needs to be made much sooner than that.

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The NFL Players Association is prepared to decertify at 5:00PM ET on Friday after what some believe was a testy round of negations on Thursday evening. What that means that the union would no long represent the players, who would then take their labor disputes against the league in front of a judge.

Nobody wants that. Not the union or the fans. If the NFLPA decertifies, then the players will go in front of District Judge David S. Doty, who has already sided with the players more than the owners in previous labor issues over the last two decades. The owners obviously don’t want a judge who is on the players’ side to enter the mix and the fans don’t want the NFLPA to decertify because then a lockout would come into play.

The most likely scenario is that there will be another CBA extension. The two sides agreed to a 24-hour extension last Thursday and then a seven-day extension last Friday. But now here we are, a week later and the pressing issues are yet to be resolved. As the clock ticks closer to the decertify deadline, the closer everyone gets to a very long lockout.

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