Good or bad, we are seeing some movement on the collective bargaining front. We are now in Day 6 of mediation sessions that the NFL and the Player's Association agreed to have, and a new report has just arisen. Adam Schefter of espn.com is reporting that the NFL brass is requiring each team to have three members of their front offices meet on Thursday, the first day of the combine drills, at 5:30pm ET.
At the meeting, the NFL is expected to debrief teams on any number of issues pertaining to labor uncertainty and football operations, including what to expect in the days leading up to the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement, the manner of league business that will be allowed this offseason, and the type of contact that teams will be permitted to have with agents.
Schefter reports that the NFLPA has pushed back their scheduled meeting with the team's individual union reps from Thursday to Friday, so that the mediation sessions can continue through Thursday, Day 7.
Now, we are all hopeful that the two sides snap to reality and don't postpone anything on the league calendar, but this isn't an indication of that just yet. The league could still be ready to lock the players out as early as March 4th, the day after the CBA officially expires. BTB has been keeping you up to date on not only the daily proceedings, but also the issues at the root of the disagreement.
As has also been previously reported, the scouting combine is normally the league's giant company picnic. Every team has multiple executives in Indianapolis and takes the time to meet with the representatives for free agents and disgruntled stars alike. It normally is the NFL's job fair, not only for incoming collegiate players but those with some tenure as well.
Here's hoping that the scheduling of the "executives" meeting and the union rep meetings are signs of good news coming down the pipe and not each side saying to their constituents "Well, we tried- it's time to settle into the bunkers."