Given that we last left our tumultuous labor talks when a handful of owners were threatening to seize the wheel and take the whole damn thing off the road, I think it's safe to say I have some good news.
CBS Sports writer Mike Freeman has been as on top of the labor talks as anybody, so his analysis of the profound impact that Bob Kraft and John Mara are having on the process is invaluable. Kraft, who owns the Patriots, and Mara, who owns the Giants, are proving to be the steady hands in crafting a new deal.
Steadiness is key right now, because there are bound to be challenges from owners and players alike who are disgruntled with the framework of any agreement that comes out of the latest round of talks. That will happen, inevitably, because these guys are human beings who can't see the big picture because of their own narrow interests. When it does, it's going to take the smartest guys in the room to push a deal through.
With a little luck, they'll succeed.
One more little note, because I can't possibly resist. The biggest hardass in this process has been none other than Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, according to Freeman's sources. Do with that information what you will.