Mike Freeman at CBS Sports is reporting that the two sides are getting close together. The News at Bloggintheboys shows that Jerry and Mr. Kraft are at secret talks with the players. So much for the secret! But there was two interesting quotes from that story that stand out.
"Owners like Jones, who have billion-dollar stadiums, can't afford to miss games, because missed games could potentially lead to missed payments on stadium debt. Kraft and Jones in particular have been very vocal in wanting to get a deal done sooner than later."
IMO, Jerry will wait as long as necessary to get the best deal for the owners. He has too many events in the Mothership and enough money in the bank to last quite awhile. He wants to get the deal done because he believes, like many of us, that last year was an aberration that will be corrected this year for a Super Bowl run. To paraphrase Faith Hill, 'He is ready for some football.'
Looking at the owner and player talks after the jump.
According to Freeman "One high-ranking member of the former union estimated to me a new deal could be reached within two to three weeks. 'This is the most optimistic I've been in many months,' he said."
Apparently, the lawyers have been locked out of these talks so there is a lot of optimism. Even Goose said on the radio this morning that he could see something happening in a few weeks. He also believes it will take a couple of weeks to get the finer points how the NFL will operate when everything starts back up. Since the owners are on a winning streak in the court, the players look ready to deal. Don't forget, the sides were pretty close together in the court ordered mediation but the lawyers were there for those talks.
Several issues remain, including this quote from the same source as above, "There's a great deal of animosity to work through." But everyone wants this resolved, and you can see this with dwindling attendance in Player-led workouts.
One last optimistic note from Goose, these talks were initiated without a court order by some of the hardliners like Jerry and Kraft who wanted to get out the CBA. Let the talks continue. Go, Jerry, Go.