Despite Some Progress, Zero Hour Approaching as NFL Lockout Seems Certain

I’m back from my winter hiatus, folks.  But like every other football fan, I have no idea when or if football will be back.  Despite a little bit of progress and positive signs here and there, we are less than a week away from a lockout.

So where do we stand?

Last Thursday concluded a string of seven consecutive days meeting in the prescence of a federal mediator with both sides agreeing to resume talks on Tuesday, three days before the league’s collective bargaining agreement (CBA) expires.   After the 45 hours worth of meetings over the six day span, federal mediator George Cohen  released a statement saying:

“At the bottom, some progress was made, but very strong differences reamin on the all-important core issues that seperate the parties”

Now all of you, like me, are free to gather and discuss as many opinions and scenarios as you please but this situation boils down to being a lot more pessimistic than optimistic.  I’ve thought all along the longer this standoff between the NFL and the NFLPA goes and the closer we get to the CBA expiring, the messy and the worse this is going to be for everyone.

Cohen didn’t specify the “issues” seperating both sides, but they’re not hard to figure out: revenue, an 18-game vs. the current 16-game format, rookie wages and benefits for retired players.  The biggie seems to be about how exactly about $9 billion in annual revenues will be divided up.  It appears that the owners are asking for a much larger piece of the revenue pie over the last CBA agreement.  Shocking no one, that has been met with staunch resistance by the NFLPA.

Perhaps the most confusing disagreement is the push from the owners for an 18-game schedule instead of the regular 16-game season we currently have.

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