It appears a new deadline has emerged in the ongoing discussions between NFL owners and the Players Association to end this year’s lockout, with ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen reporting this week that “there is a growing belief inside league circles that the NFL and NFL Players Association will have an agreement in place” to approve by July 21. While others, such as NFL Network’s Albert Breer, continue to emphasize that if a new CBA isn’t completed around July 15, hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue would be lost as a result of the preseason being affected, there’s no clear end date to what’s been a lengthy labor mess.
As SB Nation Philly‘s own Jason Brewer recently pointed out at Bleeding Green Nation, it’s becoming difficult for fans to accept reports of an upcoming resolution simply because of the continuous flow of contradicting information and weeks of reported progress, but no deal completed.
Either way, Schefter and Mortensen seem to think the negotiating sides are eyeballing the possibility of approving a new CBA at owners’ meetings shortly after the July 21 date. “If and when the final issues are resolved, the two sides will have closed enough ground in other key areas to have an agreement in principle that the courts, players and owners must ratify. But those steps are expected to occur in the days leading up to, and during, the July 21 owners meetings in Atlanta.”