If you took a shot for every time we’ve written the date March 4 over the last few weeks, you’re probably regretting that decision. Please accept our apologies for the alcohol poisoning.
After talking about it and fearing it for quite some time, the day the league potentially places the padlock on its doors and throws away the key is nearly here. It’s now less than 12 hours until March 3 becomes March 4.
So of course several trucks worth of food rations were brought in to the mediation room in Washington while the NFL and NFLPA take every possible measure to hammer out an agreement, right? We can’t confirm that, but the NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora can confirm another vital and encouraging piece of information.
La Canfora writes that when meetings began today just after 9:30 a.m. ET, the league came prepared to share more financial data.
The NFLPA has been asking for the owners to open their books and reveal more economic data about expenses and revenue. After meeting with mediator George Cohen on Wednesday night, Commissioner Roger Goodell and his negotiating team were in a position where they would be inclined to reveal more financials at Thursday’s session.
Increased transparency and a willingness to cooperate sprinkles some hope on a highly anticipated day that’s been filled with plenty of negativity. The widespread belief is that the NFLPA will decertify at some point this afternoon. The union would then move to file an injunction that would block a lockout.
However, with the league now reportedly meeting the union’s request for more financial information, the issue of revenue sharing could become clearer, and the option of pressing pause on the CBA clock and moving back the negotiating deadline could be more favourable. Maybe.
Let’s not get too carried away with our new-found optimism though. David Kaplan of the Sports Business Journal is reporting that a press release is expected from the NFL later this afternoon, a release likely announcing a lockout. The union would then rush to decertify, further escalating the knife fight.
Let’s just hope nobody gets stabbed with a trident, and that the media stays safe.