Players on the Kansas City Chiefs likely realize they have plenty of union resources available to them with two players -- G Brian Waters and LB Mike Vrabel -- on the NFLPA executive committee, as well as three player reps. That's a good thing in times like this when the league and the union are in the midst of serious CBA negotiations to avoid a work a stoppage.
One of the union's weapons right now is the threat of decertification which would potentially result in compromising the league's antitrust status.
Jim Trotter of SI.com has an interesting insider look at just how close we were to seeing decertification last Thursday. According to Trotter, only minutes remained in the union's deadline to file for decertification last Thursday before the two sides agreed on an extension.
In the week leading up to that moment Trotter reports three Chiefs player reps -- presumably rep Rudy Niswanger and co-alternates Jon McGraw and Andy Studebaker -- emailed teammates asking if they were still comfortable with decertification, which Chiefs players, like every other team, had unanimously authorized last summer.
Within 24 hours, the reps received 35 responses. Each of them supported the move. By Thursday morning, eight more players reaffirmed their votes. Forty-three players, all with the same response.
I think this gives us a good glimpse of the players' mindset as things came down to the wire last week. One player told Trotter that they're "not at all nervous" about pulling the trigger on decertification (though the report also comes via union sources who are only going to be saying things that are in the best interests of the union and that reflect them in the best possible light, like the idea that they're unified).
Check out the full story because it has some interesting stuff in there, including passages with quotes from Waters.