We’ve arrived at an undisclosed location on the East Coast for a one-week vacation, in honor of U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan, who bailed out on the labor talks just as the two sides arguably needed him most.
Coupled with Boylan’s inability to get the Eighth Circuit to hold off on issuing a ruling that by all appearances has bogged down the discussions, a settlement in the near future won’t come because of Boylan but in spite of him.
And with the parties opting not to keep meeting over the weekend, the lawyers only due to reconvene on Monday, and Boylan not returning to the process until July 19, Sal Paolantonio of ESPN reported moments ago on SportsCenter that free agents are making known their desire that the horseshoes-and-hand-grenades negotiations be concluded ASAFP.
The problem for the free agents is that, with each passing day, teams will be less likely to splurge on strangers to their organization, given that the time for preparing for the 2011 season will be shorter and shorter.
Unfortunately, the NFL and the NFLPA* seem to be motivated only by the looming loss of $200 million per week once preseason games are scuttled. Limiting the ability of the teams to prepare for the season and/or restricting the attractiveness of free agents simply isn’t a priority.
It should be. Whether it will be remains to be seen.