It’s hard to say that there is looming labor peace on the horizon and saying that a deal is almost in place is ridiculous, but that seems to be the growing feeling from those close to the situation. After two weeks of quiet moderated negotiations, optimism is on the rise.
In fact, according to an article yesterday on ProFootballTalk.com, the framework for a deal could be in place within the next two weeks. If that does in fact happen, the boring off-season month of July will suddenly be a fired up free agent period with mini-camps.
While the Drew Brees’ of the NFL will be the visible talking heads on ESPN and NFL Network, it will be the guys like Miami Dolphins rookie FB Charles Clay that will be real players rejoicing.
In a recent article on the Sun-Sentinel, Charles Clay has been working odd jobs just to stay afloat while the lockout continues heading towards triple digits. Clay, like most of the late drafted and undrafted rookies, have not been paid one dime from the NFL.
While the veterans and “millionaires” of the NFL have plenty of money to survive a long lockout, the guys that make minimum salaries have either started taking out loans or are watching every penny spent after having an opportunity to save over the course of the last year or two. Something the NFLPA has said they were preparing for.
Those that have yet to sign contracts are the ones like Clay who are waiting for an opportunity to get a deal done. It goes without saying that many of the day 2 and day 3 draft picks will likely sign their first deals sooner rather than later so they can start getting back to the business of playing football.
With both sides negotiating without attorneys and a season deadline of July 15th fast approaching (July 15th is the date singled out by Commissioner Roger Goodell as the date to which the NFL may have to start cancelling games), it’s imperative that the two sides reach a fair deal as soon as possible.