Let us be clear, this is mostly the players’ fault
The NFLPA is no more, the NFL players no longer have a union and in theory that means the NFL owners have no Union to lock out. What remains are players that have legally enforceable contracts, and the thought that the NFL will try to make rules to maintain a competitive balance between its 32 member teams, and of course the players will sue over anti trust violations. They will claim the NFL is 32 separate businesses and that they cannot make uniform rules on player movement and what not.
Now the players left a pretty good offer on the table. We don’t know the exact break down in term of percentages of dollars, but it was an offer so good many NFL owners are glad the players took a pass on it. The players seem to think that the ruling the NFL may have violated the old CBA by getting lockout insurance clauses from the networks will get them something from the courts.
I am not a lawyer and most of this stuff is way over my head, but I have a very hard time believing that the players negotiated in good faith during the 17 days of mediation. At some point hat looks to be an issue, since the Union has been talking about decertification for several months now. On top of that several players including Von Miller have filed an anti trust suit against the league to stay off a lockout by the league.
For me, having a guy who was not a member of the former union, contracted to any NFL team, or even drafted into the league has no business in any of this. If I were the NFL I would seek to have that lawsuit dismissed on those grounds. For now NFL football will remain in some vague legal limbo.