Late negotiations, threats, lockout, decertification, litigation, mediation, rhetoric and spin. This has been the saga of the labor situation in the NFL. Now everything is in a holding pattern until court hearings at the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, including mediation sessions. For those of us anxious to get a deal done so football normalcy can emerge from this chaos once again, this is also known as torture.
However, one player agent is thinking proactively and has an idea that could eventually lead to a new deal.
Joe Linta, who represents 45 NFL players has expressed an interest in obtaining a copy of the owners' latest offer to DeMaurice Smith and the NFL players.
Why? To discuss the merits of the offer to his clients. The players union decertified, so there is no real entity that has to negotiate on behalf of the players. Linta says this:
"I represent two percent of the union, I'm not insignificant. Let me ask you something, who has the players' back more, the players union or the player's agent? Why can't I get copy of this and disseminate it to my players?"
I think this is genius. Now that there is no union, the league should be all over this. The agents make their living on negotiating what is in the best interests of their clients. That is how contract talks go. With no real union, the league should disseminate their offer to all the players and their agents.
The fear that Linta (and all of us, for that matter) is that any further litigation is likely going to cost part or all of the season. This is why Linta says both the owners and the players in the lawsuit "are driving these players right off a cliff right now."
Maybe he is on to something. Get the owners and the agents together in negotiating. Come up with a deal, put it out for all the players to vote on. If a majority agrees, that is the new CBA.
New CBA means the league year begins and that means free agency and trades, which means the Cardinals should be getting a new quarterback. Then team workouts, training camp, the preseason and then meaningful games.
And that is what we all want in the end.