And just when it appeared that the NFL and the players’ union were going through the motions regarding a mediation process that resumed less than 60 hours after the labor deal expires, Seahawks guard Chester Pitts emerged from the meeting and told the media that the two sides are trying hard to reach an accord.
Pitts said, per Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal, “Fans should know both parties are hammering away at it and really trying to get a deal done.”
He lost us at “fans should know,” because we think both sides at this point are trying to avoid incurring the wrath of the fans, since there’s no hard evidence that a deal is coming.
It could be that the union isn’t willing to play the decertification card given the potentially strong argument that it would be a sham aimed at conjuring leverage (because, you know, it is) and the league isn’t willing to lock the doors due to fears of a customer revolt (perhaps they’ll call it a “Tee Party”). The safest course will be to extend the deadline, not because they’re making any progress but because neither side wants to use their respective nuclear options now, if ever.
At some point, the only way to avoid the worst-case scenarios will be to get a deal done. Time will tell whether the time has come for the two sides to get serious.