Count Pittsburgh Steelers backup quarterback and union representative Charlie Batch as one who believes the owners will lock out the players in nine months.
“As we speak today, I think it would occur in March,” Batch said, per Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Batch said he tells fellow players all the time that they should be ready not to play football (and not to collect paychecks) next year.
“I’ve been telling people for over [a year], warning our players of a lockout, and there are no signs that say we’re closer, and we’re not,” he said. “You can see by the comments from our executive director where he thinks the labor negotiations are. One thing DeMaurice [Smith] has done, he’s gotten the message out to the players so they’re not hearing it through the media. He’s trying to do everything in his power to get a deal done.”
Batch said he hopes he’s wrong, but he doesn’t see a lot of progress being made.
“I would like to think not because nobody wins in that situation,” Batch said. “Everybody should be trying to put a fair deal on the table. Both sides have to be honest as possible. It’s not happening.”