Negotiations “at the 5-yard line,” but will they fumble?

AP

As negotiations to end the NFL lockout continue to progress, all signs are that things are getting close.

But “close” isn’t the same thing as “done,” and there are concerns around the league that something could still go wrong as NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFLPA* Executive Director DeMaurice Smith and the key figures for both sides meet again today.

“It does feel like we’re at the 5-yard line, and we’re right there,” one NFL general manager told Don Banks of Sports Illustrated. “But it’s like Jerome Bettis has the ball, and I’ve seen him fumble on the 1-yard line before. If there’s a fumble now, hopefully either Goodell or Smith plays Ben Roethlisberger and stops the whole thing from falling apart.”

Attorneys for both sides met Tuesday and Wednesday to put together the framework for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, and indications are that they made progress but still have plenty of work to do. Over the next two days, Goodell, Smith, five owners and five players will meet.

And we’ll wait and see whether those meetings get the ball into the end zone, or whether they fumble.

67 responses to “Negotiations “at the 5-yard line,” but will they fumble?

  1. If the ball is at the 5 yard line at the end of the game. Forget big Ben, bring in Josh Freeman!!!!!!

  2. If they are on the 5 yard line they should give the ball to Barry Sanders.

  3. Ironically Jerome Bettis gets thrown under the proverbial bus here. I would have gone with a Sammie Smith reference.

  4. There was never any real danger of a deal not getting done. Way too much money at stake. It’s always been a question of how long the sides could posture before hammering out something they can both live with.

  5. A better analogy would have been ‘If there’s a fumble, hopefully Roethlisberger romps on the ball and holds it against it’s will’.

    HA!

  6. Can they not be the Big Ben that fumbled against the Dolphins oh wait that counted

  7. Well the deal could get done…but the concern I had was not how long it would take to hammer out a deal both can live with… Its would them hammer out a deal both could live with. That is why we are here today, the last deal was bad for one side and before the ink was dry the general opinion was the owners are going to need to opt out.
    So we either need no opt out on a long deal or something both sides can work with.
    We do not need an NBA type deal that is so bad its a certainty a season will be missed because the “correction” needs to be drastic.

    Otherwise…What’s the volume of people involved worrying about a “fumble?” Truly worried? What about a post about the people involved who see it as Earl Campbell is at the 5 after a long difficult run and there is only a 180 pound cornerback between he and the goal line?

    Surely they exist too!

  8. “But it’s like Jerome Bettis has the ball, and I’ve seen him fumble on the 1-yard line before. If there’s a fumble now, hopefully either Goodell or Smith plays Ben Roethlisberger and stops the whole thing from falling apart.”

    Do you think that GM meant that, if the negotiaitions are fumbled, Goodell or Smith will get it almost to the goal line, but the judge will call it a TD anyway?

  9. Can that not be the Big Ben that fumbled against the Dolphins oh wait that counted

  10. hopefully they fumble at the 1 yard line, the defense returns it 99 yards the other way and they all go off into the sunset forever, then we don’t see all this crap about rich people arguing over fans money anymore.

  11. Ball at the 5 yard line? Put Donovan McNabb in there, so he can throw it at Goodell’s feet while he’s standing all alone in the back of the end zone.

  12. Of course Goodell could pull a Roethlisberger and date rape a coed. That’d be about the same as a fumble on the 1.

  13. give the ball to the lions 3rd pick-Mikel LeShoure.

    0 fumbles thru college. 0 not 1

  14. Funny that Big Ben was used as an example when I clearly remember the Dolphins being cheated out of a victory because Ben fumbled going into the end zone. I hope the officiating improves or at least find a way to hide the green bills hanging out their pockets.

  15. I am soooooooooo ready for this crap to be done with … so we can get back to TALKING FOOTBALL on PRO FOOTBALL TALK (pun intended)…. you have no clue how much this ‘ish’ irritates me man!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. “If Big Ben is involved in this in some way, you can bet that somebody is going to get screwed.”

    … against their will.

  17. 5 yard line or goal line and inches… just like in a game…it means nothing to me unless we score…GET THE DEAL DONE!

  18. Headline: Negotiations “at the 5-yard line,” but will they fumble?
    ————————————

    A better headline is:

    “Negotiations at the 5-yard line, but will Lucy (De Smith) pull the ball away before (Goodell) Charlie Brown can kick it.”

    I still say De Smith flips the bird again, just like he did during the extension period in March.

  19. Here’s what I get out of this article….NFL careers can be easily summed up in one sentence. And Jerome Bettis’s can be summed as a guy who fumbles at the goal line. I’m sure that makes him proud.

    Tangent here….but Brett Favre should have known this before he unretired the first time- eventually ruining his one sentence career summary. (I apologize for the tangent and the Favre reference)

  20. Who’s got the ball and on whose 5-yard-line? … August … Day of the All-Star game would be priceless.

  21. Good thing Tony Sporano is not negotiating, cause he’d settle for a field goal, then fist pump from the 5 yard line with the game on the line, instead of punching it in *FIST PUMP FOR FIELD GOALS*

  22. Don’t give the ball to desean jackson. He may just throw the ball on the ground right before he dances into the end zone.

  23. I dub De Maurice De Grimace Smith now. With his mouth agape, he looks like Ronald McDonald’s purple friend that epitomizes what your stomach looks like after visiting the golden arches.

    Give the ball to Barry Sanders on the goal line as others have said or bring in ex-Bronco Steve Sewell.

    The Broncos’ trickeration game was awesome inside the Red Zone when Elway faked a sweep and put it in Steve’s hands!

  24. Gotta love all the thumbs down for any comments expressing hope that a deal gets done.

    When NFL football is back and I’m watching the Draft next year and griping about Jerry Jones latest boneheaded selection….

    I won’t miss the ideologues who wanted it all to disappear.

  25. Fourth and goal at the five and they’re going for the field goal. Here comes Nate Kaeding onto the field for a 22 yarder. The Jets line up on defense. The snap, the kick, oh no, he missed it right. For the love of God you have to feel for the young man.

  26. Using this analogy there could be a fumble at the 1 yard line and a deal will still get done.

    If I remeber correctly, Bettis’ fumble didn’t end up being a factor and the Steelers won the game with Bettis raising the Lombardi a couple weeks later.

  27. Brings to mind my favorite poem:

    Roses are red
    Violets are blue
    Byner’s in the end zone,
    but the ball is on the two.

    Sorry Browns fans.

  28. The problem isn’t who to give the ball to, it is what down is it and how much time is on the clock.
    Gentleman – It’s 4th down and there is one second on the clock – snap the damn ball…and punch the f’er in.

  29. Not only is this deal not going to fall apart, but I would go so far as to bet that the owners have already been told what the new rules will be, what the cap will be, and what the rookie wage scale will be.

    And that the owners are using this info to put together free agent offers and rookie contract offers.

    You’ll know this is true if FA’s start signing contracts within 12 hours of the signing period opening. There is no way owners could have gotten their heads around the new rules that fast without having known the parameters well ahead of time.

  30. I’m not buying it. I can already see the next headline ball down to the 1 yard line. The stage is set 4th and goal and we all know what happens next FUMBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  31. Minnesota vikings at the Saints 5. About to put away the Saints at halftime and move onto their 5th Super Bowl. Brett Favre under center, takes the snap, hands off to Adrian Peterson…. FUMBLE! Saints recover. Oh, what a shame. A wasted opportunity there for the vikes.

  32. “…The ball is on the 5 yard line, Smith wearing a green Eagles number 5 jersey looks confused out there… he looks at the sidelines, and sees nothing from Andy, who looks just as confused… Smith sticks his head back in the huddle with 10 seconds on the play clock… Smith gets the players to the line… but the whistles blow with a delay of game penalty before Smith can call a timeout, moving the ball back 5 yards…Hold on, there seems to be an offsetting penalty… the Referee is signaling a five-yard penalty on the Owner’s defense for excessive crowd noise… looks like the ball is back on the five yard line, but the game clock is down to just 3 seconds… this is gonna be close.”

  33. “all at the 5 yard line? Put Donovan McNabb in there, so he can throw it at Goodell’s feet while he’s standing all alone in the back of the end zone.”

    And then, while the field goal team comes on the field yet again, McNabb is shown laughing and joking around on the sidelines camera.

  34. @august1969

    I was thinking that, too. My predicition is that the NFL and NFLPA* will maximize the slowest sports days of the year to announce their agreement. A full-on media blitz, why not?

    If negotiations are that close, maybe the two sides should dig into the Boise State playbook, and pull out the hook and lateral. Whatever it takes.
    If/when the deal does come to fruition, I’m hopeful it puts the league, as a whole, on stable footing for years to come. Since they’re actually negotiating, now, I’m sure both parties will come out not full happy, but having met a compromise.

  35. Zero chance of a settlement before Mid Sept.

    Not nealry as close as the optimists claim.

    Sorry.

    Just telling the truth here.

  36. If the the ball is on the 5 yd line and getting it into the end zone means a deal has been made- and Ben keeps the ball- than I guess the ball will be a foot short of the goal line but they ‘ll say the deal has been made anyway.

    Works that way often when Ben and the Steelers are involved.

  37. Bettis was going in to Ice the game while Ernest Byner cost the Browns a Super Bowl appearance!
    As for Give it to Barry Sanders, the Lions gave the ball to Cory Schlesinger inside the 5 after Baryy did all the work!
    No deal will get done until Sept 27th! MARK IT DOWN!!!

  38. nudeman says:
    Jul 7, 2011 12:20 PM
    Zero chance of a settlement before Mid Sept.

    Not nealry as close as the optimists claim.

    Sorry.

    Just telling the truth here.
    ______________

    You post the same thing on every lockout story. Couldn’t you fix the typo sometime?

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