It’s become customary that as soon as we hit what appears to be a new apex in labor optimism, we take a solid kick to the face to derail the enthusiasm that has built.
Late Wednesday night, a Facebook post from agent J.R. Rickert caused quite the frenzy. A source apparently told Rickert that the two sides were “no where near settling this and the owners are slowing down the progress.”
Meanwhile, Jay Glazer of Fox Sports reports that DeMaurice Smith has told a select group of players that “they still haven’t gotten a good enough offer from the owners to bring to them just yet.”
So while multiple media reports continue to state that we’re on the verge of a deal, the few details that are escaping the soundproof walls of the negotiation room continue to indicate that we’re further than it feels.
Still, De Smith is football’s version of Gary Bettman. He’ll throw water on a warm fire just because he can. If he feels like he’s lost control of the situation, he’ll send a message by leaking information that will help boost his own image and/or screw with everyone else. This could be strategy.
I suppose the major point is that we have no clue how close the two parties are. Frankly, with two major issues — the revenue split and the rookie salary system — still reportedly on the table, I’m not sure either side really knows exactly how close or how far they are from getting a deal done.
What does that mean? Should we ignore any news until things are final or should we continue to relay every peak and valley? Unfortunately, there isn’t much else going on, so overreacting to fluctuating reports regarding the short- and long-term future of the world’s best professional sport is what we’ll continue to do until we finally reach a point at which these stubborn sons of bitches are ready to shake hands and return to their billions of dollars.