Oh man, like 'The Jerk,' Navin R. Johnson, once his name hit the phone book, things are happening in the NFL lockout now. Mark Maske of the Washington Post tweeted that, "It seems more progress is being made on the key division-of-revenues issue." Apparently that progress was enough to warrant a conference call this evening with the plaintiffs in the Tom Brady v NFL suit. ESPN was told by a source that:
All of the details of the agreement have not been worked out, but the call is designed to give the plaintiffs a clear idea of where the agreement is headed so that they can make an informed decision about the anti-trust lawsuit which must be settled in federal court prior to the CBA taking effect.
There is still enough of a divide that a source told Chris Mortenson, from the above linked ESPN article, that a deal be completed on Thursday was next to impossible, and that the negotiations are still expected to carry into next week. Jump over if you are so inclined....
If the talks do go into next week they will do so without the mediating services of U.S. District Judge Arthur Boylan. Boylan is scheduled for vacation. While this shouldn't be a problem, Boylan was noted as helping the talks get back on track last week, and if things start to go wrong this time, he won't be around to dish out time outs and make sure the kiddies calm down and play nice.
As close as the sides are though it seems unlikely that they would let this extend past next week. Profootballtalk.com sums this up well:
But as agent Peter Schaffer pointed out during Wednesday’s PFT Live, if the parties are essentially fighting over $300 million and if money will be lost at the rate of $200 million per week in the preseason, it’s beyond stupid to not work out a new labor deal before the meaningless games start kicking out very meaningful cash.
So, keep you fingers crossed because, while it would be beyond stupid for them to continue haggling over less money than they are going to lose, we went far beyond stupid a while ago in this process.
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