As we said earlier today, we just want this lockout to end. Our first preference for ending it entails the negotiation of a long-term deal with which both sides are equally happy, or equally unhappy (the latter is usually the best sign of a good resolution). Our second preference is for the lockout to be lifted, so that we can get back to football.
Here’s an idea for getting a deal done. We can’t take credit for it, but we also can’t disclose the source who shared the idea with us on condition of anonymity.
Starting next week, the league and the players will resume mediation in Minneapolis. So what if the two sides negotiate for a week or two, with the NFL eventually putting a firm offer on the table, pre-approved by at least 24 of the 32 owners? Then, the offer would be submitted to all players, including rookie draft picks, for a vote.
If a simple majority of all players approves the offer, it becomes the new CBA. If the offer fails to get more than 50 percent of the vote, the two sides continue their impasse.
It would give the owners a strong incentive to put an attractive deal on the table, and it would give all of the players a voice in the process, instead of the handful who currently are calling the shots.
It may not be a perfect solution, but it’s better than the current state of affairs, which features one side that doesn’t seem to want to do a deal and another side that wants only to complain about that reality.