At first, the news looked too good to be true. The NFL owners voted 31-0 (Raiders abstained) to approve the new CBA, and it was noted that players could return to team facilities Saturday if they too voted to approve the new deal. If this were to occur, the only game that would be cancelled (and is cancelled no matter what) is the Hall of Fame game between the Chicago Bears and the St. Louis Rams. One would think that after months of negotiations, the players would simply have to be informed of the new deal, cross the t’s and dot the lowercase j’s, approve the new labor deal and we’re ready for some football.
An email obtained by Jim Trotter of SI.com and ESPN’s Chris Mortensen from NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith threw an Olympic-pool-sized bucket of cold water on the excitement that football was back.
Here is the text of the email:
“As you know the Owners have ratified their proposal to settle our differences. It is my understanding they are forwarding it to us. As you may have heard, they apparently approved a supplemental revenue sharing proposal. Obviously, we have not been a part of those discussions. As you know from yesterday, issues that need to be collectively bargained remain open other issues such as workers compensation, economic issues and end of deal terms remain unresolved. There is no agreement between the NFL and the Players at this time. I look forward to our call tonight.”
That call would be a conference call with the players about the NFL owner-approved labor deal. It is highly possible that this deal, with the alleged non-negotiated supplemental revenue sharing proposal, does not get approved by the players and we’re in for more weeks of negotiations between the players and the owners, and it could get uglier. Let’s hope that this can get resolved sooner rather than later. I, for one, am pretty much done with this ridiculousness.
For those curious, click HERE for many of the big points in the owner-approved labor deal, along with the dates of the key events, such as free agency.
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