There has been a lot of speculation about the possibility the NFL lockout is close to ending, but finally Wednesday we heard from three of the principles in the players’ antitrust lawsuit against the league.
Star quarterbacks Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and Tom Brady all said Wednesday that it’s time for a deal to get done. Brees then went on XX Radio 1090 in San Diego and confirmed that a deal is “very close” and that a “few details” remain in a new collective bargaining agreement, the Associated Press reported.
“We believe the overall proposal made by the players is fair for both sides and it is time to get this deal done,” the three quarterbacks said in a joint joint statement. “This is the time of year we as players turn our attention to the game on the field. We hope the owners feel the same way.”
The owners responded: “We share the view that now is the time to reach an agreement so we can all get back to football and a full 2011 season. We are working hard with the players’ negotiating team every day to complete an agreement as soon as possible.”
This is in line with what has been believed since late last week when expectations were high that the four-month old NFL work stoppage was coming to an end. According to recent reports, a deal is scheduled to be struck July 21 which allow for training camps to open on time or very close.
Both sides have obviously reached a critical point in the negotiations as the start of the preseason and regular season depends on a deal getting done soon.
"We've taken a significant setback in overall revenue in terms of what we've offered them compared to what we were making," Brees said in a ESPN.com story. "I feel like there's a fair deal there—we all do—and we think it's time to step up and make a deal."
Brees, Brady and Manning also expressed a belief that the latest offer on the table is fair. It’s unclear how the rest of the players, the NFLPA representatives and the retired players feel about the offer.
But the general belief is the major parts of the deal are done. It’s just now a matter of minor disagreements that should be worked out soon.
"Yesterday we felt like there's a fair deal on the table and we need to make sure everybody knows this and make sure the owners know this because the season is just around the corner," Brees said about the statement the players issued.
(Photos: AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi; AP Photo/Darron Cummings; AP Photo/Steven Senne)