An unidentified NFL player tells Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com that positive reports in the media about a labor deal are incorrect, and that a deal is not close.
“That’s not true,” the player said. “All that is hype coming from the owners side to try and put pressure on us to do a deal. They want to make us look bad. It’s simply not true. There is a lot of work to be done. They are not close.
“Consider where that information is coming from, it’s the owners,” the player said. “Their reason is to try and create all this false hope to put more pressure on us.”
What the player tells Prisco about a deal not being close is consistent with what I had heard from a source on the players’ side late last week. Hearing that there were still several issues to hammer out, which was combined with New York Giants owner John Mara pulling the plug on training camp in Albany and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s absence for Friday’s sessions, the optimism from this morning’s report on ESPN was a bit of a surprise.
Prisco’s player doubts that a deal could be done by July 21. I remain hopeful that one is possible by the end of this week, but I’m not buying the reports that there is only one main issue, the “rookie wage scale” no less, holding up an agreement. My take is that there are several issues that need to worked out, and that the two sides need several days of productive face-to-face talks to get this deal completed.