Now other leading voices of the NFLPA* take issue with Brees’ brazen use of the “C” word.
“Are we close? I wouldn’t say that at all,” one NFLPA* executive committee member told Michael Silver of Yahoo! Sports. “Drew is the eternal optimist, and yeah, it’s closer than it was a week ago. Could it happen quickly? Yes. But I’d be extremely surprised.”
Another NFLPA* source tried to throw cold water on all the optimism: “Don’t read too much into that. We’re not there yet, and there are still a lot of issues in play.”
(Things always seem to be positive during the labor negotiations except when they actually negotiate.)
So what’s going on here?
Clearly, following the labor play-by-play is not good for the average football fan’s health. Just remember every message is coded.
This message from the players appears to be: We won’t agree to the hanging deal points just because we’re approaching the finish line. Silver’s sources insist that other issues besides the rookie wage scale need to be worked out including where the “legacy fund” for retired players will come from, in addition to health care and player safety concerns. Some details of the “all revenue” pie model reportedly remain up in the air.
Silver writes that player negotiators are convinced owners have leaked to the press that things are “close” in an effort to create a sense of inevitability. That, in turn, is supposed to lead to public pressure for a deal. (Brees and friends apparently tried to turn the tables Wednesday.)
In response to what the players believe are owner leaks, the NFLPA* chose to leak their own concerns to Silver in a possible effort to get the owners to compromise on a deal.
This is all part of the game. A tiring and confusing game that has one clear loser: the fans.