Despite more than two weeks of real progress being made on talks regarding a new labor deal, it’s still too early to believe it’s a done deal that a deal will be done. On the players’ side, the lawyers have been kicked out of the room but not quite to the Isle of Elba, allowing them to possibly try to undo the progress that has been made. (More on that later today.) On the league’s side, some owners reportedly are resisting the direction in which the talks are going.
Per Adam Schefter of ESPN, a “handful” of owners don’t believe that the talks adequately address the concerns that prompted the decision to opt out early of the 2006 Collective Bargaining Agreement. Schefter says that the potential conversion of Tuesday’s one-day ownership meeting into a two-day affair arises from a desire to address these concerns and establish a clear consensus as talks continue.
The reality is that, in the end, a handful of owners have no power to derail a deal. A new agreement still can be approved with 24 of 32 votes. (Apparently, there’s a belief in some circles that the committee negotiating the CBA already has the authority to do a deal without further approval. Multiple sources have advised us that any proposal still must be approved by 75 percent of the owners, which meshes with Commissioner Roger Goodell’s comments during a May 11 visit to PFT Live.)
So if the “handful” of owners is fewer than nine, and if that “handful” isn’t able to establish a voting bloc of at least nine, it won’t matter whether they like the deal or not.
That said, the fact that some owners are concerned with the emerging deal suggests that a truly fair deal for both sides is being pursued. If every owner were happy, it would mean that the owners were getting too good of a bargain. In any successful mediation, each side should emerge from the room at least a little bit pissed off.