Today is when all the NFL owners and also another team executive will be in Chicago meeting together trying to "get on the same page" about labor negotiations. These meetings may go into a second day and it is expected to make sure that all the owners are in the know as there is another set of "secret meetings" with the players and Judge Boylan set to happen soon.
While there has been some speculation that there could be a possible offer be drafted to present to the players, no one should expect that, according to NFL.com writer Albert Breer.
These meetings essentially will provide the direction of negotiations going forward. There have been seven owners in on the "secret" meetings, so this is the opportunity for the other owners to voice their thoughts and concerns. Reportedly there are a handful that are concerned about the national economy and ways to protect themselves from a continued decline nationwide. It was believed that the owners with the concerns were the typical culprits -- Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson and Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown.
However, Albert Breer reveals that two of the owners were a surprise -- New England's Robert Kraft (who is one of the seven owners in on the player negotiations) and Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross. Hopefully these are just concerns meant to be brought up and not real deal-breakers.
At this point, any deal-breaker that arises is a failure. At this point, real discussion should be happening. These meetings with all the owners are the first steps to presenting an offer that can be accepted by both parties.
I am hoping for meetings that go well past the typical length of a few hours. I want them to know what is going moving forward so that the negotiations that will be taking place will be meaningful and productive. With projections saying that losing the preseason alone would be a loss of a billion dollars in revenue, there just is little time left for anything less than productive.