The optimism that has existed for the last week or so about a new CBA being ratified on Thursday has subsided a bit thanks to the events of Wednesday. Player reps met yesterday in Washington D.C. and were expected to approve the proposed deal, but an actual vote never happened, according to some reports. SI's Jim Trotter is reporting that the players have agreed to approve the settlement only on a conditional basis, as there are apparently still some issues that need to be resolved.
Despite the lack of an official vote with the players, the NFL owners meeting in Atlanta is proceeding as planned. Roger Goodell is still in communication with DeMaurice Smith, and the hope is that whatever unresolved issues still exist can be put to rest sometime today, allowing the players to approve the proposed deal and the owners to ratify it.
According to CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman, one of the possible stumbling blocks is that the lawyers representing Logan Mankins and Vincent Jackson are still requesting $10 million each to sign off on the Brady v. NFL settlement. If that is true then some of their peers need to put Mankins and Jackson in their place and tell them to stop being so selfish. Kevin Mawae said yesterday that this is about getting the best deal for all players, and it's a pretty big slap in the face by Mankins and Jackson to be holding out for extra money because of the lawsuit.
Although signs of optimism have decreased greatly in the last 24 hours, I'm not ready to panic yet. As last week taught us, a lot of progress can be made when the pressure is on, and to say the least, there is more pressure to get a deal done now than ever before. It would be silly to prolong this over issues that are considered minor in the grand scheme of things. Hopefully both sides realize that and are able to work something out today.