The better to sue, it seems [Marcia McCormick/Workplace Prof]:
The NFL Players Association is seeking player approval to decertify in advance of a potential lockout by owners in March when the current collective bargaining agreement expires, according to the SportsBusiness Journal. Decertifying would allow players to sue the owners under antitrust laws if the owners did lock the players out. And any effort to impose a labor agreement on the players could provide the players with treble damages.
This was the tactic the players resorted to in 1989, and it eventually gave them enough leverage to establish free agency in 1993, when the players recertified the association as their exclusive representative.