News has been slow on the NFL lockout lately. Last time we checked in, the NFL and NFLPA were still arguing about revenue streams and what counted where. The progress they had allegedly made was going away quickly and it wasn’t clear how things would progress.
Fast forward a week and we’re on much more certain terms. After a week of bargaining, it appears owners and players have agreed on many of the big issues. For instance, it no longer appears that revenue is on the table, having already been decided.
No, the stumbling blocks now are the rookie wage scale and free agency. To accept the cuts that owners want in imposing a rookie wage scale, the players are asking for shorter deals, which the owners are obviously balking at. They’re also asking for players to take longer to reach free agency, which players also don’t like.
But, these are pretty easy issues to overcome. If the money has been decided upon, these things can be bargained out in plenty of time. For the first time in this whole protracted thing, the end might just be in sight.
Of course, all progress comes with a caveat. Players and owners were supposed to meet Tuesday, but the lawyers are meeting instead for a second straight day. This is to hammer out language of the deal and define certain terms.
The reason I said the lockout could end by July 21 is that’s the date of the owner’s next meeting, where a deal could be ratified. If they can get it done by then, teams have a realistic shot to start training camp on time and for the Hall of Fame Game on August 7 not to be cancelled.