Question of the day: Will the NFL and the players association get a deal done by March 3? [Updated]
Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times
No, they won’t get a deal done by the March 3 deadline. Both sides are too entrenched, and now that they’re canceling bargaining sessions, that’s not a good sign. The deadline will pass, the owners will lock out the players, and there’s a very good chance there won’t be a meeting of the minds until a regular-season game or two are missed. That’s when the pressure to work out a deal will be the highest, because players will be missing paychecks. The owners, meanwhile, have something of a bomb shelter because they will receive $5 billion in TV money whether there’s a season or not (money they have to repay with interest.) But, as is the case with real bomb shelters, you can’t stay down there forever. At some point you have to come up and face the fallout.
[Updated at 1:24 p.m.
Omar Kelly, South Florida Sun Sentinel
This impending NFL lockout is a battle of billionaires versus millionaires. With $9 billion annually at stake, and so much ground to make up on so many issues, there’s no chance that the NFL and the NFLPA get a deal done before March 3. That’s merely the end of the first quarter of an expensive game these two parties will be playing all spring and summer.
Training camp's start will likely be the time these two sides get serious and finally start negotiating to find common ground on important issues such as revenue sharing, an 18-game schedule, a rookie wage scale and improved health benefits for active and retired players.
Why? Because that’s when both sides will start to feel the financial pressure of missed paychecks and unhappy season-ticket holders and sponsors threatening not to renew.
The winner will likely be the side that doesn't blink first. It’s obvious that the loser will be the NFL’s fan base.]
Photo: NFL Players Assn. Executive Director DeMaurice Smith stands on the field before Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium. Credit: Mark J. Rebilas / U.S. Presswire.