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NFL Labor Update: 18-Game Season Off The Table, Deal Very Close


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Last night in NYC, the major parties involved in the NFL's labor dispute met for 12.5 hours, working feverishly to iron out an agreement in principle for a new NFL labor collective bargaining agreement. The people involved in last night's negotiations included Giants owner John Mara, Cowboysoverlord Jerry Jones, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, union president DeMaurice Smith, and players rep (andColts center) Jeff Saturday, just to name a few.

Things aren't finalized yet, but a new CBA seems very close to getting completed.

From the looks of things, the key issue of splitting the revenues has been, mostly, agreed upon with the players getting somewhere between 46-48 percent (which is what they wanted).

Last night on ESPN's SportsCenter, Sal Paolantonio was reporting that the key issue holding up an agreement was free agency.

The owners are requesting some sort of 'right of first refusal' with several unsigned free agents, or players who will become free agents when the new CBA is signed.

The push to get the framework of a deal down by the end of the day today is motivated by the fact that Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan, the man mediating these negotiations, is going on vacation this Saturday. Boylan has been instrumental in getting both sides to sit down and talk out issues. If a deal isn't reached before he leaves the country, this stupid lockout could drag out into the preseason.

Today, John Clayton is reporting that the 18-game proposal is off the table. The owners are no longer demanding for it. So much for 'fait accompli', huh Bill?

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So what this all boils down to is the players will get a bit more money, rookies will have some kind of wage scale, and the years for free agency will be a bit changed. I know this is the "Reader's Digest" version but it seems to me this could have been figured out in 2-3 weeks, not all of these months and all of this arguing. If that IS how it ends up, it will be 98% posturing and 2% results.

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I never liked the idea of an 18 game season, that was one of Goodell's many many terrible ideas. Glad to see things will be back and running soon.

Disagree. We fester for 7 months without football. Two more real games, and the roster management intricacies that would bring would be fabulous. We'd also need much better coaching and game management, which would drop us to the bottom of the AFC South pretty darn quickly...so maybe not such a bad idea to drop it after all......

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