Michael Silver of Yahoo! wrote a really good piece about the CBA talks last night. Basically he says that it is a good sign that the sides agreed to the 24-hour extension, but that if an agreement or another extension doesn't happen to day it is a really bad sign:
If enough progress is made that another short-term CBA extension – perhaps a week, perhaps two – is announced by Friday night, the players and owners will almost certainly be headed for a settlement that will result in a multi-year deal before the end of this month.
If not, as one person familiar with the negotiations put it, "It will be Armageddon."....
Deadlines always make things happen. It is just funny to me that this March 4th deadline has been sitting there for a long time, and it took until the 11th hour for the two sides to actually believe it. It sounds like there has actually been some negotiations, a novel idea, going on this week.
Silver highlights some of the things that he expects in the new CBA:
- The owners would be able to take more than $1 billion off the top before the pot is split, but less than the $2 billion they were asking for in the beginning.
- There probably will be an 18-game regular season, which the NFLPA didn't want, but the owners will agree to less offseason workouts, shorter training camp practices and a new formula that allows players to qualify for benefits in fewer seasons.
- Some type of rookie wage scale
- Judge Doty will be removed as the arbiter
Doty might be the man that gets credited for getting this deal done if it does get done because his ruling that the owners wouldn't have access to the $4
million billion in TV money in the case of a lockout made the owners willing to negotiate.
Again, it is funny that it took them this long to agree to things that have seemed so obvious from the beginning. It appears there is a light at the end of the tunnel. As the old saying goes, let's just hope it isn't an oncoming train.