After a fairly quiet Wednesday, labor news is breaking like a brittle-boned boxer. First, Sal Paolantonio of ESPN reported that Wednesday’s talks were “very fruitful.” Next, Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com reports that the players would be receiving an update on the CBA discussions.
Now, Albert Breer of NFL Network reports that the talks will turn on Thursday to the rookie wage scale, given that trust has been restored via a revenue system that requires no trust or guesswork or anything other than the total revenue figures and a calculator.
An unnamed NFC executive told Breer that a deal with “within striking distance.” But an unnamed AFC executive cautioned that “[t]here are enough legitimate issues to where it could all fall down still.” Breer also reports that NFLPA* executive director DeMaurice Smith has won the trust and respect of the owners over the past month, which has helped persuade the owners to soften their positions.
Here’s our view. If (as it appears) an agreement has been reached regarding the manner in which the money gets divided, then a deal is for all intents and purposes (or, as the case may be, “intensive purposes”) done. For months, it widely has been believed that, if an agreement is reached as to the manner in which the financial pie will be carved up, everything else will fall into place.
Are there other important issues that need to be worked out? Sure. But with both sides showing the reason and good sense necessary to reach a compromise on the biggest issue, there’s no reason to think they’ll be unable to work out a deal on the other issues — unless one side develops remorse over the biggest issue and uses one of the smaller issues as a way for throwing a wrench into the gears.