The Big Number -- 18
In the sticky labor negotiations going on between the owners and the NFL players' association, the number 18 is being thrown around often.
As we discussed earlier this week, the owners want the players to agree to an 18-game season, increasing the regular season by two games but taking out two of the pre-season games.
The other time you'll hear 18 thrown about is that the owners are asking the players to take an 18 percent pay cut.
In deciding the salary cap, the NFL owners want the players to take into account the economic realities of the current times. The players are skeptical of the owners' reported financial issues because the owners haven't opened their books to them.
This drama will play out over the next few weeks and possibly months, but movement was slowed when the owners canceled meetings scheduled for this week and next.
The current collective bargaining agreement runs out on Mar. 4, so get ready for more labor talk than football discussion in the next few weeks.