WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 08: NFL Commissioner Roger (C) leaves negotiations at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service building March 8, 2011 in Washington, DC. Representatives from the National Football League (NFL) and National Football League Players' Association (NFLPA) continue to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement between players and owners. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Roger Goodell
The good news is that progress is being made. The bad news is that you shouldn't expect that the NFL will avoid a lockout until the collective bargaining agreement is signed.
The biggest sign of movement came from the owners, who offered to share their audited profitability data with the players. This is the first time the owners have come anywhere near sharing their financial data.
Unfortunately, it's not enough for the players, who want to see the teams full financial statements. The players have hired an investment bank to review the statements if or when they do get them.
No matter how many items the owners and players agree on, the sticking point will always come down to money. The players want to continue under the same profit-sharing agreement while the owners want more.
What isn't clear is how long this can drag on. The money problem isn't going anywhere, and even they keep extending the deadline, the NFL season still draws nearer every day. Someone needs to make a move towards compromise, or we are in for a long, drawn out drama.