Let’s just say the NFL owners and the players are on the clock.
A new collective bargaining proposal was expected to be presented to the players Wednesday, but the gathered representatives from the 32 teams did not see a complete enough version to vote on by late that evening, according to several reports.
Now it’s the owners turn. They plan to convene in Atlanta for a special labor meeting Thursday with hopes of ratifying the new agreement in order to end the four-month-old lockout so that the preseason and regular season can begin on time.
Today is very likely the deadline day to get an agreement in principle signed and have the season started on time. Even at that, it will be pushing it. The first preseason game is scheduled for Aug. 7—The Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio—between the Chicago Bears and St. Louis Rams.
The Associated Press gave an ambiguous account of the occurrences Wednesday with the gathered players in Washington D.C. One source told the wire service that there was an agreement by the players on what items needed to be resolved before an overall offer would be approved.
Then another source said there had been a “conditional approval” of the proposal.
There seems to be great motivation on both sides to end the NFL’s first work stoppage since 1987 and the longest such occurrence ever. But both sides say they will not be forced into a deal just to meet the deadline of Thursday to have an agreement.
(Photo: Harry How/Getty Images)