The LA Times reports that there is a scenerio in place that once the players lose that all important game check, or come close to losing it, they are going to crack and the lockout that has been going on since March is finally going to be over.
If the owners win in the 8th Circuit, the players could cave in late August or early September, when they either have lost that first game check or are in danger of losing it. It’s important to watch what happens in the so-called lockout-insurance case, which the players won at the district level and should bar the owners from using any money paid by networks in the event of game cancellations. Still, it could take years to sort through that, and who knows if those damages (still being decided) will actually be paid or will be handled in the eventual collective-bargaining talks. Regardless, if it gets to September and no leverage-shifting court decisions are in the offing, players might choose to settle closer to Week 1 than Week 4.
If the lockout does go that long (late August or early September), the league is going to have to cancel all preseason games, quickly put together a couple weeks of training camp (figure 2-3), and probably the first two weeks of the season would have to be scrapped. The league could also push the Super Bowl back a week, which has been talked about, and then you could move the regular season back a week and you’d only lose one week.
Bottom line, the players are going to lose.