Two major changes approved by NFL owners won’t be going into effect this season because of ongoing squabbling between the league and NFL Players Association.
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The league voted in May to push the in-season trade deadline from Week 6 to Week 8 in hopes of giving teams more flexibility to make personnel moves. Clubs also would have been allowed to bring back one player who entered the regular season on injured reserve at some point during the year.
However, both changes required approval of the NFLPA according to rules of the collective bargaining agreement. That didn’t happen, according to NFL spokesman Greg Aiello.
“There was no agreement on it with the union,” Aiello told FOXSports.com in an email. “The old rules apply.”
A source told FOXSports.com the league office has sent notification to NFL executives that the rules proposals weren’t approved. The source also said the NFLPA unsuccessfully tried to get concessions from the NFL related to other negotiations in exchange for accepting the new trade and IR rules.
Another source told FOXSports.com that the proposed NFL rules changes were tied to a league proposal trying to amend in-season rules for practices. The NFLPA wasn’t going to accept the changes under those terms, the source said.
“The changes would have meant one step forward and one step back,” NFL executive George Atallah told FOXSports.com in an email.
The NFL’s 2012 trade deadline is Oct. 16, the day after Week 6 ends. Players placed on injured reserve cannot return to that team during the 2012 season.
The failure to strike agreement on the trade and IR amendments are two more examples of the dysfunctional relationship between the players union and NFL. Even though a 10-year CBA was agreed upon in July 2011 after a four-month player lockout, the two sides continue to lock horns on a variety of football issues. They also remain engaged in litigation on matters such as the suspension of New Orleans linebacker Jon Vilma for his alleged role in the Saints’ bounty scandal.
Testing for human growth hormone is another area where little progress has occurred since the CBA was finalized. The NFL and NFLPA had agreed that a protocol would be adapted. Instead, the NFL is set to enter a second season without one as both sides continue to haggle about HGH testing details.