Yesterday was a roller-coaster of a day for all NFL Fans. First, ESPN reported that the two sides were progressing in their court mandated mediation sessions. It seemed that the sides were starting to find some middle ground in the CBA talks. Then, the Eight Circuit Court finally made their ruling on the Owners’ request for a stay through the Appeal Process. The Court ruled that the Lockout could continue until a ruling is made on the Appeal….essentially saying that unless a new CBA is negotiated between the two sides, the Lockout will continue until at least mid-late June. DeMaurice Smith, head of the NFLPA, suggested that players could withstand a Lockout of up to two years. We’re not buying it. There’s no way the players will go that long without receiving a paycheck.
As bad as that all sounds, there is some hope. The Players now know that the Court has sided with the Owners by a 2-1 vote. The Court also said in their ruling:
And it also states that the NFL’s appeal has a likelihood of succeeding, saying, “Our present view is that Judge Nelson’s interpretation is unlikely to prevail.”
This means the Players and Owners both know that the court is likely to rule in favor of the Owners, reversing Judge Nelson’s ruling, and reinstating the Lockout. This is a major blow to the Players and could mean that they will be willing to accept a less than ideal deal from the Owners. We’re not saying the Owners should go for the kill, but if the agreement is deemed fair by the Players, they will be more likely to accept it today, than they were yesterday.
This morning we learned that the Owners made a proposal to the Players. The Players will not agree to the proposal, as it currently stands, but it’s said to be a good ‘starting point’. Very encouraging news if you ask us. The mediation continues today and we can only hope that the NFL and NFLPA close the gap and come to a new agreement soon. We’re starting to get into late May/June, when many important OTAs/Mini Camps take place. Maybe, just maybe the NFL Fan Strike will come to an end sometime soon and we can all get back to talking about what we love…..FOOTBALL!