As all eyes and ears watch and listen for evidence emanating from the ownership meeting in Chicago, the first bit of good news has arrived.
Told to pack a bag in the event that two days will be required to sift through the status of the labor talks, multiple reporters are reporting via Twitter that it’s expected a second day won’t be needed. This likely means that the powers-that-be don’t anticipate the kind of debate that could force the owners to stick around for another day.
Colts owner Jim Irsay, who has been a recent proponent of getting a deal done (he said on Twitter over the weekend that he hopes the owners and players “really hate” the new CBA, which would be proof of a true win-win accord), spoke to reports assembled in Chicago and expressed optimism that a deal will be reached with the players. “It’s the season to make a deal,” Irsay said, via Don Banks of SI.com. “This is the time, in the next couple weeks.”
Also, Albert Breer of NFL Network has pointed out via Twitter that a significant number of football people are present for the “two-per-club” affair, which suggests that part of the time will be spent working out the logistics for taking the process from agreement in principle to players in the building to asses in the seats. Along the way, free agency will need to happen, and as we pointed out last week there’s a belief that the teams will need a week or so to digest the new rules and to set their spending budgets.
That’s why the ideal timeline entails announcing a deal on June 30, starting free agency on July 8, and then launching camp for the Rams and Bears on July 23, giving them two weeks to prepare for the Hall of Fame Game, which will be played on August 7.