Clark Judge of CBSSports.com reports that NFL coaches have been put on alert for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement to be reached in mid to late July.
Judge’s report cites two sources. Both of them, however, believe a late-July agreement is most likely.
“As long as we get six weeks to prepare for the season opener, we’ll be fine,” one unnamed NFL coach told Judge. “But I don’t think you’ll see anything happen before the end of July.”
Another source presented two scenarios to Judge. One involved coaches holding roughly five days of conditioning-based workouts before training camp, with free agency occurring during that period.
The other scenario would involve a “looser schedule,” with two weeks prior to training camp allowed for signings and OTA-like gatherings. For this scenario to happen, the source speculated that a new CBA would likely need to be struck by as soon as July 11.
The most recent CBA reports, which point to discord in negotiating issues among owners, would seem to indicate that the first scenario is more likely, with talks continuing deeper into summer.
One of Judge’s sources noted a key factor to consider:
“Coaches and players are concerned about the number of reps and practices. But owners are not.”
Owners, however, are very concerned about preseason games, and are not yet considering eliminating any portion of the exhibition schedule:
“I can’t see it happening,” the source told Judge. “There’s too much money that would be lost by sacrificing games.”