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Time Is Of The Essence For New Collective Bargaining Agreement

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The month of June is almost over, and that means negotiations between NFL owners and the NFLPA are entering an especially critical time. All of the negotiations that have taken place in recent weeks have been critical since so much progress has been made, but now they are critical because time is starting to run out. Training camp for the Bears and Rams begins three weeks from Friday, and if the two sides don't want to worry about the possibility of missing any preseason games, a deal needs to be wrapped up in the next couple of weeks.

It seems that much of the new collective bargaining agreement has been worked out, but there are still key issues like a rookie wage scale that only recently have started to be discussed.

The parties broached the rookie pay system Thursday for the first time during these clandestine sessions, and it proved to be a difficult area to navigate. Last year's No. 1 overall draft pick, Rams quarterback Sam Bradford, received about $50 million guaranteed in his rookie deal, and the owners have long looked to drastically mark down those type of price tags.

According to Albert Breer, a team executive said last week that although nothing immediate was expected, a deal was within "striking distance." At the same time, another executive said that this situation "could all fall down still" with there being some important issues that need to be resolved.

To say the least, let's hope things continue to move smoothly and this chapter of the offseason is brought to a close shortly.