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Report: “Hard work” remains to get a deal done


When league and NFLPA* sources aren’t saying that a labor deal is or isn’t close, they’re talking about the “hard work” that remains.

One such source played the “hard work” card tonight with ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio, saying that “there is a lot of hard work to be done.”

As to whether a deal will be presented to the owners for approval on July 21, the source said, “I just don’t know.”

Either way, the parties have 200 million reasons to make it happen. As one owner told Paolantonio,"Everybody is trying to figure out how to open training camps within the next two weeks so we don’t lose a week of preseason. Nobody wants to lose $200 million.”

And therein lies the current problem, in our assessment. With each side assuming that the other side doesn’t want to blow its cut of $200 million, each side is assuming that the other side will blink on the remaining issues. It’s therefore now more important than ever that the respective leaders, Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith, provide real leadership.

Everyone loses if a week of the preseason is lost; at this point, neither side should be trying to secure a win.