We’re gonna need more ice for all of this champagne.
At a time when it has been widely believed that the NFLPA* and the NFL will approve the proposed labor deal and open the doors for free agency and training camps next week, Seahawks guard Chester Pitts told Tony Bruno of FOX Sports Radio that it will take “two full weeks” to get the situation resolved.
Pitts is the Seahawks’ player representative, and he attended Wednesday’s meetings in Washington, D.C. So he’s privy to what’s going on behind closed doors.
Frankly, we don’t know what to make of any of it. Our gut feeling is that the players are dragging their feet in order to get something else from the owners, even if both the players and the owners will lose roughly $100 million each for every week of the preseason that is lost.
Jim Trotter of SI.com reported on Wednesday that the players’ request for $320 million in lost benefits during the uncapped year of 2010 remains an issue, even though that was a wrinkle of the prior CBA, which when viewed from start to finish was favorable to the players. And as Mike Freeman of CBSSports.com reported on Wednesday night, Chargers receiver Vincent Jackson and Patriots guard Logan Mankins still want $10 million each to put their signatures on the settlement papers of the Brady antitrust class action.
We think everything can get wrapped up quickly if/when the two sides decide to wrap it all up. For now, it looks like the players will be deliberately dragging their feet in the hopes of extracting a few final concessions from the owners.
Again, the two sides have resolved much thornier issues. It should be easy to resolve these remaining matters, if NFLPA* executive director DeMaurce Smith can display true leadership to his players — and if Smith can continue to keep a leash on NFLPA* lawyer Jeffrey Kessler, who possibly is stirring the “let’s get paid more money” pot.
UPDATE: A reader has reminded us that Pitts is represented by Andrew Kessler, the son of Jeffrey Kessler. So it all makes sense now.