Earlier today we unfortunately discovered four things that could stand in the way of a new CBA in the NFL being finalized over the next two days. Well, they’re not really things. They’re people, and they’re being quite greedy.

But now we’re learning about another group of people who have no desire to stand in the way of an agreement: retired players.

Hall of Fame defensive end Carl Eller leads a group of retired players with a lawsuit against the league aiming to having retiree benefits properly addressed in the forthcoming agreement. Eller told the NFL Network’s Albert Breer that there’s “clearly more work to be done” on retiree benefits, but it’s work that can be completed after a settlement is reached. He added that his group will not impede the progress of a labor settlement.

Meanwhile, somewhere deep in a Manhattan law office important voices talked about important matters, and they reportedly took their collective irons to some labor wrinkles. Breer reported that these items dealt primarily with player safety, which was known be one of the last remaining areas of discussion. Proposals banning two-a-days and limiting practice time in the offseason progressed smoothly, and an item to mandate injury guarantees in contracts that include both the year a player is injured and the following year also moved forward.

In another legal office with important voices in Washington, members of the players’ executive committee began their meeting, a gathering that will hopefully be highlighted tomorrow with the player reps voting to approve a settlement agreement. Lawyers and staff for both sides are working into the night, aiming to have a completed draft of the CBA ready for the player reps tomorrow.

It’s been speculated that when the executive committee recommends an approval of the settlement, the 32 player reps will simply dust off their handy rubber stamps, and we’ll all just simply wait for the next major vote on Thursday at the owners meetings in Atlanta.

Silly NFL fans, nothing is ever that easy.


Interesting is good at bachelor parties. It plays well in Vegas, and if you just arrived home to a surprise lasagna, well that’s pretty damn interesting too.

Interesting means different things to different people at different times, and at this point spirited debate tomorrow would be much more annoying than interesting, although Trotter’s report is likely just a minor scare in an offseason that’s seen plenty of major ones. Still, we’ll easily take predictable over interesting tomorrow and Thursday, and that will entail a flurry of positive activity around the two votes, and a decision regarding the players’ reported requests in the Brady v. NFL case.

There’s plenty of the standard optimism that we’ve been hearing about for the past few days bouncing around, so hopefully that conclusion is well within reach.

UPDATE: During an appearance on XX Sports Radio, Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union Tribune said that no one will be fooled by Vincent Jackson’s settlement request of either unrestricted free agency, or an additional $10 million on top of his regular salary. Acee said Jackson won’t stall a settlement.

“Ain’t going to happen,” he said. “Everybody knows it, and I think Neil Schwartz (Jackson’s agent) knows it. Vincent Jackson will be a Charger, and that’s the bottom line.”

“He’s going to make $11 million this year, and that’s what he’s going to make. They’re not going to allow any of these guys to hold this up.”