With labor negotiations continuing Thursday and Friday during the continuing NFL lockout, it looks like these sets of meetings could make or break whether football starts on time this season. The lawyers and staffs for both the owners and players met for about 11 hours on Wednesday, dealing with once again the details and language that will go into a new CBA if and when it is approved. It was reported that it could take 10-14 days to go from an agreement to an actual document, so the more they get hammered out in agreed language, the better.
What makes these two days very important are a couple of things. First, the actual negotiating parties will be present. The owners, players, Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith will be together. They are the decision makers and the ones who can make an agreement happen.
Another thing is that Magistrate Judge Boylan is leaving on vacation on Saturday, so if talks have to go into next week, they will be without his guidance. He has been seen as a big factor for talks moving in a positive manner. With an estimated deadline of July 15 a week away before the start of the preseason is in jeopardy, ideally the two parties can keep the momentum going and get the agreement done before Boylan takes off, so that next week is cranking out paperwork.
Will it happen? I am hopeful, but am not naive in thinking that things could fall apart. We have come so far. Let's make it happen.