From Adam Schefter this morning:
An internal battle is percolating at some of the highest NFL circles in which some owners are resisting the labor deal they’ve been trying to negotiate with the players, according to multiple sources.
A handful of NFL owners — at least two of whom are from AFC teams — believes the parameters of the deal being discussed don’t adequately address the original issues the league wanted corrected from the 2006 collective bargaining agreement, according to sources.
Schefter goes on to explain that this pushback is the reason why teams were told to plan on an extra day in Chicago next week. Many analysts, including myself, had hoped this was a sign that a deal would be close when the owners met and that the extra time would be needed to go over it in detail before owners cast a vote on it.
Instead, as Schefter lays out, the Chicago meeting will be used to go over the details of the deal to try and get ahead of any potential pushback from the disgruntled faction.
I’ve been told by more than one person with knowledge of the talks that the owners are very concerned about not repeating the mistake they made last time. They don’t want to ram this down anybody’s throats like they seemingly did in 2006. The plan is to very carefully and meticulously lay out the various points of the deal and to be able to address any concerns that are raised by what is described as a very small group of owners who are pushing back.
In the end, I wouldn’t worry too much about dissent in the ranks here. It sure doesn’t sound like this group is anywhere near nine or more strong, which would be the number of owners needed to vote against the proposal to kill it.
With that said, I also heard today that, while the desire was strong to have an agreement in principle leading up to the July 4th weekend, it looks much more likely that a deal will be in place by the week of July 11th – which is cutting things close on the July 14th date that some inside the NFL have circled as the drop-dead date for training camps to open close to on-time and for a full preseason schedule to be played.