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CBA talks won’t quickly lead to a deal

The NFL's all-time best unicorns and the new rule that will allow pass interference to be reviewable headline PFT's best of Thursday.

During the recently-completed league meetings, Giants co-owner John Mara declared that CBA talks will start soon. But the real question is when they’ll finish.

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, there are plenty of issues that will need to be resolved before a new labor deal can be finalized. One question, for example, relates to the extent to which the NFL wants to expand stadium credits under the current league-union revenue split, with the new Rams’ stadium expected to be a sticking point.

There will surely be other issues. Even though the NFL has never complained about the current labor deal, the NFL will use the subtle (or otherwise) threat of a lockout to try to get an even better deal. The players will have to be prepared to push back and, to get the best possible deal for them, miss game checks if necessary.

In 2011, the players weren’t ready to lose money. That kept them from doing a better deal than the deal they did. Of course, the NFL would say that the deal works well for both sides. Which underscores the fact that, last time around, the party that was willing to go without football ended up feeling better about the final terms that were negotiated.

For now, the point is this: A quick deal is highly unlikely. In few negotiations will either side move toward a bottom line before a real deadline, and any real deadlines regarding the current CBA are months away.