With July 15 only a week away, time is running out on the NFL owners and players to agree to a new collective bargaining agreement before actual games are threatened to be canceled. Nobody that was thinking realistically was expecting a deal to be completed by the end of today, but there was some hope that significant progress would be made.
Unfortunately it doesn't sound like that happened, but there's no need to panic just yet. The two sides will get back together next week for face-to-face negotiations and attempt to work out a deal before this time on July 15. If one isn't agreed to we could have a problem, but a lot can change pretty quickly, so let's just hope by mid-next week the two sides are on track to get something done.
Aside from the news of not much progress being made, the other big news from Friday dealt with a ruling handed down by the Eighth Circuit Court that said the NFL lockout is legal. On the surface it looked like the ruling could suddenly change the negotiations, but the two sides say the ruling won't alter things. Normally I would be skeptical of a claim like that, but with time running out the two sides don't have time to change their strategy in the negotiations based on the ruling.
All I can say at this point is it's almost mid-July and we should be worried about football, not the collective bargaining agreement. I understand this is a difficult process, but the consequences of not getting a deal done soon could be quite large. Not only could actual football be affected, but the loss of revenues could make negotiations even more difficult going forward, which could potentially prolong this mess even longer.
For the sake of everyone involved, let's hope by this time next week we're talking about free agency rather than the lockout.