In a move that may or may not be connected to the news that Thursday’s bargaining session between the NFL and the players’ union has been canceled, we’re told that a league ownership meeting scheduled for next week has been canceled, too.
The source who informed us of the cancellation surmises that the move was made because NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has nothing to report on the labor front.
The current labor deal expires three weeks from tonight at midnight. Though the league won’t admit it, all signs point to a lockout on March 4 at 12:01 a.m. The strongest piece of evidence in this regard is the league’s ongoing insistence that 490 players won’t become free agents on that day.
Absent an agreed short-term extension of the current labor deal for the purposes of working out a new agreement, there’s only one way they won’t become free agents — if there’s a lockout.
UPDATE: NFL spokesman Greg Aiello has confirmed the cancellation of next week’s ownership meeting in Philadelphia. “The Commissioner did not see a need for it right now,” Aiello said.