Granted, that’s a truly awful headline, but the sad thing is that it’s factually correct. When Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen first reported that an agreement could be reached on July 21st it was huge news, but if you actually read between the lines of what they wrote, there is no reason to think that the two sides are any further along than they were last week.
First of all there was this little tidbit, only four paragraphs into the story:
However, one member of the players’ negotiating team who has been a constant presence at the table said that players feel they have made significant concessions and overtures “that have not been reciprocated.”
He stated that negotiations Wednesday and Thursday will be the most telling days on whether an agreement indeed will be finalized within the July 21 time frame because “we’ve basically reached the limits of compromise.”
The same source added that the players have agreed to cut rookie compensation in half but won’t agree to a deal that does not allow for the rookie class to become free agents at the end of four years.
It should come as no surprise that some of the most qualified businessmen on the planet — NFL Owners — are coming out on the winning end of things. Not to say that De Smith is unqualified, but I’d imagine that the likes of Robert Kraft, Jerra, and that Mara guy with the Giants are exceedingly difficult to deal with in these situations. However, from the sound of things, it’s the owners that are holding the deal up and that’s the most frustrating part. It’s sickening to hear a bunch of billionaires gripe about paying rookies too much money and losing their players to free agency.
Here’s the truth about the NFL. It is now the go to sport for most Americans. And when I say Americans, I don’t mean out of touch millionaires and billionaires. The true driving force behind the success of the National Football League is the working class people of this great nation. Football is a game that is uniquely ours and fandom is a central part of so many lives. This is what the owners and NFLPA seem to forget. Unfortunately, boycotting the game is a fan bluff that would never work. It’s similar to my miniature schnauzer growling at a rottweiler.
I wish I had a more positive spin on this bit of news, but it doesn’t seem like they’ve really made any progress. They’ve been saying for a week that a deal was imminent, but now we know it will be a minimum of ten days before that happens and the players are feeling like they aren’t getting a fair shake. Why do I get the sense that this won’t be settled on July 21st?