Well, this is a kick in the groin. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen is reporting that today’s round of negotiations between the NFL owners and players did not go very well today and that both sides are a bit discouraged.
Player sources are claiming that the owners have backed off a proposal that would have given the players 48 percent of revenue, with no “off the top” money for owners. Management sources dispute that claim that the owners have reneged on any offers, maintaining that everything is up for negotiation.
In any case, this is really, really depressing. It seemed like optimism was so high for a new deal at the start of the week. I can only hope that this is one last power play by the owners, hoping to seize a little bit more from the players’ side at the last second. Frankly, it’s not a bad strategy. For all the players’ talk about “not accepting a bad deal just to get a deal done,” there are a TON of players who are most likely not prepared to miss any paychecks. Are the players willing to give up a whole season of paychecks over a few percentage points of revenue? I’m not so sure they’ll have the backbone and solidarity for it.
We’ll have to see how it plays out. If there’s any hope for the season to proceed normally, a deal would basically need to be done in the next few weeks.
The first preseason game is scheduled for August 7. That’s just 37 days away. Is there any chance at all we’ll see it happen?
A few months ago, I was extremely confident the season would happen normally. But now…I’m offically worried.