For the past week, there has been growing speculation each day that the NFL Lockout will come to an end. The question is: WHEN? Major issues dividing the Owners association from the Players Association are being resloved left and right, yet there still has not been a tentative agreement, or final resolution. When the lockout began, there were 5 main issues the the two sides could not agree upon: Season Length, Player Salaries, Revenue Sharing, Financial Information, and Rookie Salaries.
Over the past 128 days, the owners essentially gave up on their coveted 18 game season, and the two sides agreed on a Salary Cap and a Rookie Wage Scale. That leaves two things, arguably the two main issues: Revenue Sharing and Financial information. In an event at the NFLPA headquarters, I personally asked Dee Smith what needs to be done to end the lockout. He simply told me that they have to see the NFL team revenue books, or they can't agree to anything regarding revenue sharing. The NFL owners are claiming that they were losing money(link) in the previous Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), and need to take a larger percentage of the NFL revenue.
Although they have publicly stated this, they are yet to show any evidence that this is the truth. As a result, the negotiations have been intense, with no love on either side. Carolina Panther's Owner Jerry RichardsoninsultedPeyton Manning and Drew Brees during earlier negotiations Roger Goodell was booed horribly at the NFL draft. James Harrison said this about Rodger Goodell last week. The list goes on and on. The only way to solve these problems is for both sides to make concessions. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and with the deadline to preserve the 2011 Hall of Fame Game approaching rapidly, the everyone is desperate.
Owners are desperate, because every week the NFL misses out of the preseason is another $ 250 million less revenue. Players are desperate, because many of them will not have the means to support themselves or their families without football. Fans are desperate, because no NFL means no going to games, no cheering on their favorite team, no Superbowl, and worst of all, no Fantasy Football. The end-goal here is just to make sure we have professional football this year. Most believe its simply a matter of time before that happens. The question is: How much time?