Do you think the NFL will miss any games?

July 03, 2011

Nothing will be missed

Sam Farmer

Los Angeles Times

The ongoing talks have suggested to me the sides will reach a labor agreement around the middle of July, keeping both training camps and regular-season games intact. Once the league starts scrubbing exhibition games — maybe the most absurdly worthless moneymakers in sports — there will be less cash in the system and it therefore will get harder to make a deal.

There was a reliable report last week that DeMaurice Smith called some top players and told them the sides are not close to resolving the crisis. As discouraging as that sounded, it didn't dampen my optimism that something will get done soon. After all, if players start believing they're on the verge of a deal, that momentum could be counterproductive.

Why? If owners believe the players won't walk away from the table, the owners will feel bolder about trying to crush them on the unresolved points.

sfarmer@tribune.com

Money matters; play on

Brad Biggs

Chicago Tribune

While it doesn't matter how close a deal is to being done until it's actually finalized, it still seems likely the entire regular season will be played and quite possibly the entire preseason.

There's simply too much money to be lost for both sides if any time is missed, and they haven't hit a deadline yet that would prevent the entire schedule from being played on time.

A new collective bargaining agreement by mid-month could make it all happen.

bbiggs@tribune.com

Expect deal in mid-July

Omar Kelly

Sun Sentinel

The only games the NFL might miss in 2011 would be exhibition games, and even those are priorities considering industry insiders believe the league's owners pocket roughly $4 million every time a contest is kicked off.

That's why what's taking place right now is nothing more than posturing.

The owners puffed out their chest and tried to bully the players all summer because they were each saving approximately $1 million in workout bonuses and OTA pay during the lockout.

But now that games and a 16-game season are at stake, they've become a bit more reasonable, slightly more cooperative.

Expect a deal to be done by mid-July, which gives teams roughly two weeks to sign free agents and their rookies. That timetable allows training camp to open on time in August, when all of this will be forgotten.

okelly@tribune.com

Regular season safe

Ron Fritz

Baltimore Sun

I don't think the NFL will miss any regular-season games. An exhibition game might be sacrificed, but the NFL will find a way to play 16 regular-season games.

But both sides will have to sit across from each other at the table this week and compromise. Nobody is getting everything they want. When it becomes clear that somebody could miss a paycheck or have to flush millions down the drain because they can't start the season on time, they'll get a deal done.

It seems like they are getting close and at some point they are just going to have meet halfway on the remaining issues. Let's hope this week or next they figure this thing out.

rtfritz@tribune.com

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