According to Albert Breer on NFL.com a deal between the players and owners on a new CBA still remains very close.
There’s plenty of ground left to cover, of course, with the league and players in their fourth week of hush-hush negotiations, but plenty of progress is being made. Perhaps the biggest bridge to cross was the divide created by a healthy mistrust, and the splitting of the “all revenue” model could now clear the way.
Then, there’s this: According to league sources, NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith has earned the owners’ trust and respect in a very big way over the last month. In fact, that part of the equation, coinciding with the legal aspects of the dispute slowing and the lawyers taking much smaller roles, has been integral in getting the owners to move off hard-line stances and listen to players’ demands.
One NFC team executive said, after this week’s owners meetings, the owners and players are “within striking distance” of a deal. The two sides have spent the last month negotiating the revenue split — by far the biggest issue on the table. On Thursday, the meetings will reach another critical juncture, as the sides go in depth into the rookie system for the first time since starting the “secret” meetings in Chicago on May 31.
The biggest hurdle does seem like it has been cleared; with the players getting 48% of revenue. This solution would appear to make both sides true partners in the growth and expansion of the league.
The rumored start date for the new league year is July 15th. Granted, there is a lot of work to be done before then so that might be the best case scenario. It doesn’t leave a lot of time to get players signed and get everyone to training camp. So stay tuned Jet Nation, looks like football may finally be back!