DeMaurice Smith, the Executive Director of the National Football League Players' Association, met with reporters today but failed to offer any new news regarding the status of the players negotiations in Washington D.C.

Smith simply stated that there are still some issues still outstanding that are left to resolve.

While the owners look to be on their way to vote in favor of the new settlement, the players appear to be the ones holding up this deal.

In order for the lockout to end, the players must take the following steps:

  • Settle the Brady versus the NFL and television money deals.
  • Vote to re-certify the NFLPA as a union.
    [*]Vote to ratify the new CBA settlement.

The players have a conference call tonight at 5 pm Pacific. The purpose of this meeting is not yet known.

UPDATE - 1:40 PM

Limos and other vehicles are lining up in Atlanta at the owners meeting, meaning that the meetings themselves are very near an end. Luggage is being placed into the vehicles which would indicate that the owners are preparing to depart. The vote for the settlement may be taking place now, or may be taking place soon.

UPDATE - 2:00 PM

NFL Network is reporting that the owners are 20 to 30 minutes away from a vote on the settlement in Atlanta. If approved, which is likely, the lockout would be in the players' hands.

UPDATE - 3:20 PM

Adam Schefter is reporting that DeMaurice Smith and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell have been on the phone for the past hour trying to find a way to lift the lockout if both sides agree to a deal tonight.

NFL teams could open their facilities as early as tomorrow so players can go to discuss issues and sign the union cards needed for recertification of the NFLPA.

The players, apparently shocked by what has taken place today in Atlanta, do not yet feel that they have enough information to vote.