And so we’re nearing the end of a long week filled with uncertainty, piled on top of vague statements, with a healthy helping of player movement. But first we have one more day of reporting labour longshots to go before we all pack it in for the week and try to remember what it was like to have a sense of normalcy to the football calendar. Happy Friday!
But look, there’s hope already on two fronts today. Late Thursday night and long after the announcement of a 24-hour deadline extension was made, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported that mediator George Cohen convinced the union to agree on a 7-to-10 day extension to the CBA, a move that now needs the consent of the league. The second half of that equation will be the focus of Friday’s meetings, which will feature Cohen sitting down separately with both sides. Mortensen and Adam Schefter also report that progress was made Thursday, with the gap in revenue sharing narrowed by $5 million per team. While that’s clearly positive, a massive overall gap of between up to $800 million still exists.
Secondly, Yahoo’s Michael Silver provides easily the best insider’s view of what happened yesterday and the potential scenarios that will play out in these next critical hours. Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith had their finest hours as leaders on Thursday, and Silver writes that the basic structure of a new CBA was in its infancy and began to form during yesterday’s conversations.
Don’t take your positive words and talk of progress to Vonnie Holliday though. The Redskins player representative expanded on his pessimistic thoughts, saying he doesn’t see how a deal will get done before midnight, and that as a board the NFLPA hasn’t “received any type of proposal or anything we can discuss and take back to the players.”
Surely you’re staggered and shocked to hear reports on both sides of the vast wasteland separating optimism and pessimism. The advice NFL players are receiving from their financial advisers isn’t too shocking either.