Osi Umenyiora of the New York Giants addresses the media outside the Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Federal Courthouse after a NFL lockout hearing on June 3 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo: Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
It appears the labor strife between the NFL owners and NFL Players Association could be close to reaching a resolution.
If a resolution can reached in the next couple weeks, it’s conceivable the NFL season could begin on time or close to the scheduled start with camps opening in July.
But that being said, it also appears both sides have some considerable work to do before a deal is reached. The owners want the players to accept a smaller share of the $9 billion empire. The players want to keep their share at 50 percent, but according to ESPN.com, they might be willing to accept 48.5 percent of the revenue.
The problem is that could still be high for the billionaire NFL owners, who are crying broke but aren't willing to turn over their books.
All the same, this could be a positive sign, as it would trump the court battle that is sure to be lengthy and will interrupt the 2011 season. The legality of the owner’s lockout has been challenged by the players and is currently in the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. An Aug. 29 hearing—just nine days before the season is scheduled to start—has been set to hear owners' request that the players’ antitrust suit be dismissed.
Settling this outside of the courtroom is obviously beneficial for both sides. The ruling of a judge or panel of judges could cause one side or even both to make major concessions.