It's generally agreed that getting in a full season in 2011 means reaching a labor accord by the end of the day on July 15. That leaves them...oh, two more days. And change.
That may seem impossible, given the fecal storm of epic proportions that's swirled and smeared its way through our lives over the last few months. Doubly so when you consider that every time a player or owner opens their mouth for a reporter, they sound as dour as possible.
Yet the incentives for finally getting this done before the end of the week are huge.
What are they? A full season, a reduced but still passable off-season and training camp. You have to remember just how much money everyone involved in the NFL makes off the games, and how loath they will be to lose the revenue.The posturing allows each side to try to wring a couple of additional concessions out of the other, but they do not mean everyone's going to dig in their heels.
Moreover, any loss of games during the regular season is going to engender significant ill will toward the league. Yes, most of us will get over it and balance beers on our collective bellies come gameday while watching the games. But there's going to be a small but perhaps sizeable minority who boycott a game or two or three, or don't pick up that jersey they normally would. That, again, is revenue.
It would behoove the two sides to be done with this by Friday, and I think everyone's aware of that. It would behoove them even more to be able to present it next week, and I think everyone is doubly aware of that. I do expect a deal to finally get done.
Does that match your assumptions?