Pro Football Talk have just posted their version 2.0 of Ten things to know, right now, about the labor situation. This basic overview of the labor situations spells out what could happen once the current CBA expires.
It's an excellent and in-depth, though lengthy, look at all of the factors surrounding the current labor situation and what could unfold this year. An excellent read if you've got a few minutes to spare on a lazy Saturday or Sunday morning. If you can't be bothered, here's the Reader's Digest version:
A lockout is virtually certain at this point according to PFT. While the union still has the ability to try to block a lockout by decertifying, the owners could counter that move by declaring an impasse in the negotiations. But both sides are wary of losing the PR battle though, and the league's recent bungling of the PR war has them slightly behind by points on the public's scorecard.
More after the break...
Revenue sharing is the core issue. An 18-game schedule, a rookie wage scale and other things are just minor skirmishes in a bigger war that may not be so much about the players vs. the owners, but much more about a substantial and growing rift between the high and low revenue teams, with the small-market owners wanting a bigger piece of the NFL pie. PFT points out that it only takes nine owners to kill any type of deal.
It is therefore highly unlikely a CBA will get done anytime soon. And Adam Shefter tweeted this little piece of bad news:
Text from plugged-in NFL person: "This CBA has no chance. The owners don't a deal. Take a break - a month off. You won't miss anything."
The owners believe they have the better hand in the negotiations because they are convinced the players will cave in once they start missing game-day paychecks. At the same time, this means that the union is in no hurry to get a deal done before the threat of missed game-day paychecks becomes a near certainty in late summer.
All this spells trouble for us fans: there's unlikely to be anything close to a normal offseason, no free agency, no OTAs, no minicamps, no nothing after the draft.
Feel free to share your thoughts on the matter, and your thoughts on what you'll be doing in the offseason after the draft, in the comments section.