The NFL and the NFLPA are in day 3 of a what they hope will be a 7 day marathon of CBA talks. Supposedly, both sides hope to come out of this with a new agreement that will keep football flowing and free agency ready to start on time. I don’t buy it. I can’t help thinking that the presence of a national mediator from the US Government is suddenly going to get these two bull headed groups from coming to an agreement. I just think they will be a lot more polite in getting nothing done.
One thing that has happened however is that the NFL has found a way to shut the yap of Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson. At least publicly.
There is an accepted media black0ut as talks continue and that means no knowledge of what is going on behind those closed doors in Washington. So if Jerry R. is making more people on the side of the players feel like little children we won’t know about it.
Richardson is serving on the leagues board of negotiators and is considered to be a stubborn SOB who will not give in to what the NFLPA wants. As ProFootballTalk mentioned last week, he got screwed when he was a player, he’ll be damned if he will get screwed as an owner.
With the talks continuing now for more than 20 hours, everyone from the players, to the media, to the team employees, coaches, and fans all await the emergence of anyone associated with these talks to come out and say something outside of “we have agreed to not talk about it” or the announcement of a new CBA. The latter of which will spell out the season ahead.
If the owners and the NFLPA can not agree to a new CBA this week, then the season itself may come into question as neither side will likely head back to the bargaining table until June or possibly July. Some speculate that barring an agreement here, that the sides may stay apart until Labor Day. Litigation may be the only leg that the players will have to stand on as the owners fully are expected to lockout the players on March 4th.