The toughest part about looking tough is doing it while maintaining a straight face. This is because appearing tough and steadfast often means saying things that you’re required to say. When these words come out of the speaker’s mouth he’s being genuine and speaking with sincerity, but everyone knows they carry little weight.
Kevin Mawae, the president of the NFLPA, demonstrated this art of public relations bravado earlier this morning when he said that the players aren’t tied to a deadline of July 21 during their meetings today. That date–which also happens to be tomorrow’s date–is the day that the owners will meet in Atlanta, and they could vote on the terms of the new CBA.
Mawae spoke to reporters today before walking into the players meeting in Washington, and he said the goal of today’s talks is quite simple and direct.
From USA Today:
“Our goal today is to see what’s on the table, discuss outlying issues that may or may not be there.”
“We’re not tied to a deadline of July 21. Our timeline is getting the best deal for our players. So whether it’s today or tomorrow or whatever it may be, we want to play football, we want to go back to work. But we’re not going to agree to a deal unless it’s the best deal for our players.”
The NFLPA–or at least the organization formerly known as the NFLPA–would be doing a pretty pathetic job of representing the players if they didn’t achieve what they believed was the best deal possible.
But what Mawae fails to mention during his chest thumping session is that if the players don’t support the terms of the new CBA today, and the agreement isn’t subsequently finalized with support from the owners tomorrow, there’s serious danger of the plug being pulled on the preseason revenue stream.
The moment a preseason game is cancelled, the shared revenue from those games will begin to trickle away. So if Mawae wasn’t just speaking in macho language (highly unlikely), and if he really does intend to stall past today to reach a deal that’s best for the players (also highly unlikely), then money could be extracted from the players’ pockets in the very near future.