I put up a quick post last night after I saw a ray of sunshine beaming through my twitter feed. Albert Breer provided a few quick words that should give fans hope regarding the NFL’s currently labor situation. He also promised that a larger story would be up on NFL.com this morning.
It has arrived.
The first bit of good news I can gleam from the article is that actual football activities are starting to become the motivating factor for negotiations rather than litigation:
According to sources on each side of the talks, the NFL and players have come to an understanding that the time to bargain seriously is now. And as much as the ongoing litigation has set the calendar thus far, the calendar itself — and the looming mid-summer start of training camps — is starting to overtake the litigation as a motivator to move the talks along.
For a while it looked like this entire battle would hinge on leverage gained in the courts with one side willing the other into submission. Given the chilly response from the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, it now appears both sides are bargaining in earnest to avoid missing regularly scheduled events such as the preseason. Getting on with the preseason as scheduled has tremendous financial implications as well:
League sources indicate that the cancellation of the preseason would cost the NFL approximately $1 billion, while a lack of resolution by August 1 would come at a price of $350 million.
While these negotiations are about more than just this year, there is no sense in haggling over money when a portion of it may be lost. Sharing to any extent is better than no one getting it at all. Both sides seem willing to end the PR battle to get a deal done, even the commissioner’s tone has changed:
Additionally, a league source pointed out on Tuesday that Commissioner Roger Goodell said last Friday that “both sides are committed,” whereas in the past, he’s only said that the parties need to be committed to reaching an agreement.
Breer’s article is full of information and I suggest giving the full article a read. Positive news is a lot easier to take than what has mostly been out there since the lockout took effect. Come on owners and players, keep the good news coming!
Click the thumbnail below to read the entire article: