The lockout has been on for over 100 days in the NFL, but as the two sides reconvened from the holiday weekend, the clock is officially ticking to get a deal done. The first NFL training camp is set for July 23rd, meaning that a deal needs to written and signed by July 15th in order for everything to remain semi-on schedule. That would leave a little over a week for free-agents to find a new home.
It will be a busy week of negotiations between the two sides, and they kicked off this morning as the lawyers for both sides are currently meeting, working out what some describe as “nuts and bolts.” While many see that as them working out the final details on a deal, it more likely means just working out how a potential deal would look, or working out the details on smaller aspects that were already agreed on. No one in the circle of reporters who have covered this from day one sees this as a deal being finished.
The NFLPA lawyers have a stigma around them by many that they are trying to pro-long getting a deal done so that the lockout can go to court. During negotiations two weeks ago, DeMaurice Smith had to yell at them to “stand down’ in front of both sides, as the lawyers almost blew up the talks.
Rodger Goodell, DeMaurice Smith and the respective representatives from each side are not believed to enter the negotiation room until Thursday. This does not meet they will not be talking, as it is reported that the two sides talked over the holiday weekend. Ideally, the two sides would come together on Thursday with the intention of locking the door, and not coming out until a deal is done.
Going on a schedule where July 15th is a deadline to get a deal done, that means the two sides now have 10 days to work out a way to spilt over 9 billion dollars.