NEW YORK, N.Y. – The NFL players' union extended the deadline by two days for its members to vote on a new labor agreement with the league.
Ballots from some 2,500 members now are due at 11:59 p.m. EDT on Saturday. The NFL Players Association gave no reason for the extension, though reaching so many players to meet the previous deadline of one week certainly can present logistical problems.
The union said on Twitter the extension came after a vote by player representatives.
"Every vote matters and we encourage all players to review the materials sent via email in order to make an informed decision," the union wrote.
Tackle Russell Okung, recently traded from the Chargers to the Panthers and who is running for union president as Eric Winston steps aside, wonders about the process — enough so that he filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board claiming the NFLPA negotiated the agreement with the league in bad faith.
Okung accused NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith of rushing to a vote on the new deal after objections from the union's executive board, which voted 6-5 against it.
The unusual move by Okung comes one day before the 32 player reps vote for a new president. The other candidates are Buccaneers linebacker Sam Acho, Giants safety Michael Thomas and Browns center JC Tretter.
The New York Times first reported Okung's action with the NLRB.