With another extension being afforded to all parties involved, and talks taking a much needed breather this weekend, NFL fans will have to continue waiting on baited breath for the final outcome of the NFL Labor talks and a possible new collective bargaining agreement.
That wait—so you know—could extend as far as Friday of next week.
But the situation isn’t all doom and gloom despite many thinking so.
The two sides have basically found common ground on some significant issues such as health care; the rookie wage scale; the 18-game season and the proposed cutbacks in physical contact during off-season workouts and practice.
So with some significant issues basically out of the way what’s the problem, you ask?
The current road block is how to deal and divide the $9 billion annual revenue—yeah, that’s right, 9 billion dollars—which is, as you might imagine, a sensitive subject.
Thank god the current negotiations aren’t anything like this:
But even with a large, heaping pile of money standing in the way of the 2011/12 NFL season, both sides feel ‘optimistic’ that a resolution is fast approaching. This comes as welcome news for not only die-hard NFL fans, but also the droves and droves of fantasy owners nervously hoping for some resolve.
But the recent stagnation of the NFL labor talks have also caused some mild concern around the league, and around the fantasy landscape.
Simply put, in the event of a lockout players would not be allowed to participate in offseason training at practice facilities nor attend offseason practices and mini-camps. The league’s approximately 500 free agents could not sign with any teams, and those who have bonus payments due under existing contracts or salary advances against the 2011 season would not receive them.
And even though the NFL draft will be held as scheduled April 28-30, teams would not be able to contact their draftees or sign undrafted rookies and even teams will not even be allowed to trade.
For fantasy football owners, this causes a serious layer of unwanted muck around their initial team building strategy, especially if they can’t even get a read on who’s going where, and who’s even showing up for camp.
Let alone if camp even happens.
So, the safe road is—for now anyway— to keep a sharp eye on players you know will be around such in the recent case of Packers’ linebacker A.J. Hawk
The Green Bay Packers made some early headline news this past week releasing, and then re-signing LB A.J. Hawk to what is believed to be a 5 year deal worth as much as $35 million dollars—details were not available at the time of this article.
But again, that’s just a “what if” type of scenario.
The bottom line is there’s just too much at stake for a total stoppage of work, and that alone will be the reason why something will give.
The merchandising, advertising, local influx of revenue from weekly games, negotiated monies from television contracts—and yes—even the growing indelible presence of fantasy football is too much too gamble with, period.
Too much liability to assume if a work stoppage occurs; ain’t gonna happen.
Whether or not you’re a NFL fan, or a fantasy football owner, the wait may be a little bit longer. But the threat of a lockout—and a subsequent loss of the 2011 fantasy football season—is now less of a reality, than once thought.
And that’s good, considering what other outlets we would’ve been forced to use in search of a football game.