It has been in the back of every one’s mind throughout the entire football season, and now it is the main story, instead of combine talk. While even the most optimistic fan would say that a deal would be done, with every new story that is written, it is looking like there will be a lock out. While there is still plenty of time to get a deal done, the clock is starting to tick faster and faster.In what is looking like a very desperate attempt to open the lines of communication, both sides agreed to bring in a federal mediator to help with negotiations. While it seems like a surprising and desperate move, could it be the right one? That can only be answered over the next few weeks.
If the stories in the media are to be taken as the truth, then it is hard to believe that anything will be agreed and or resolved before the March 4th deadline. Usually in these labor disputes, they will extend the deadline once or twice to hopefully save a lock out. But at this point, I don’t know if the owners are going to want to agree to an extension. Both sides are sitting steady at their requests. The owners want more money out of the pie, and two more regular season games, while the players want better insurance and benefits for retired players and a roster increase in the event of the 18 game season is going to be a reality.
Most people will say that this is Billionaires and Millionaires fighting over petty differences and yes there is going to be some truth to that statement. But after reading both sides requests, I am leaning more towards the players in this argument. These are the guys who punish their bodies on a weekly basis and then are left to fend for themselves after they leave the game. I think the owners need to come down on their demands and in turn the players can compromise on everything else but the health care benefits.
While I hate the thought of no football next season, I am preparing myself for the thought of an NFL less 2011. Hopefully I am wrong, and there will be an agreement in place for training camp to start on time, but it doesn’t look pretty right now. We will just have to sit and wait to find out what the final verdict is going to be for a season this year.