Legal teams for NFL players and owners will meet once again tomorrow morning, setting off yet another week of undisclosed, closed-door negotiations in the league’s ongoing labor dispute. On Tuesday, players and owners will rejoin the talks, which are expected to continue through Friday.
The difference, this time, is that court-appointed mediator Arthur Boylan will not be in the room, as he will be relaxing on a beach sipping watered-down mojitos until July 19. No one even remotely connected to the labor talks believes any real progress will happen without Boylan, and fans should hold off any hope for a deal until at least next week. Personally, I’m sticking with my August 2nd prediction. This CBA could prove to be worth nearly $100 billion when all is said and done, and deals like that don’t just come together in a couple of days. It’s not like they’re buying a used car here.
Look for a lot of speculation and little in terms of specifics this week – most likely a lot of media analysis breaking down the rookie wage scale – followed by a more productive string of talks beginning next Monday. Should anything pop up before then, however, rest assured you’ll hear it here first.