While they still won’t use scary words like “imminent,” even the smallest sign of positive news emanating from today’s owners meetings in Chicago is enough to inspire kart-wheels, handstands, and streaking through office buildings.
Yes, my superiors just told me to put my clothes back on, and it’s all over the seemingly tiny detail that the league’s decision-makers will only be meeting for one day, according to ESPN. Previously it was reported that those in attendance at today’s meetings were told to pack a bag in case there was intense debate and areas of contention that kept discussion of the new CBA going until Wednesday.
Meetings that are contained within the originally planned time slot of one day hints at minimal dissension, and concern over an internal conflict arose last week when Adam Schefter reported that a “handful of owners” didn’t agree with the parameters of the new labor deal. We should be cautious and avoid reading too deeply into the length of these meetings, but forgive us for getting a little giddy. It’s been a long 98 days.
The purpose of today’s meetings was for commissioner Roger Goodell to give the league’s owners an update on the framework for the new CBA. The owners would then be given a chance to respond and offer input. A source told ESPN that the meetings are “strictly informational,” and there will be no vote held today.
Another round of negotiations between the league and the organization formerly known as the NFLPA is scheduled for this Thursday and Friday at an undisclosed location. Fueling speculation of progress and a deal in the very near future are reports of multiple representatives at today’s meetings for each of the 32 NFL teams. Albert Breer of the NFL Network said the number of bodies present indicates that a portion of the day will be spent planning the logistics behind the new league year–primarily free agency–once a deal is finalized.