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Stunning momentum puts settlement on fast track


With a deal in place on the rookie wage scale, the NFL and the players apparently are moving quickly toward a full and complete CBA.

Sal Paolantonio of ESPN (via Chris Mortensen’s Twitter page) reports that a settlement is now on the fast track. Chris Mortensen of ESPN (via Chris Mortensen’s Twitter page) reports that, at the current pace, a deal could come within the next 24-to-48 hours.

Per Mort,"[e]ven skeptical participants among negotiating teams are almost stunned at momentum resolving remaining issues.”

The remaining issues include the question of whether free agency with fewer than six years of service will be subject to a “right of first refusal,” whether judicial oversight will apply to the labor deal, and whether and to what extent league-imposed discipline will be reviewed by someone other than the Commissioner or his designee. As to the last two issues, Mort reports that a panel of three retired judges is being considered for the purposes of overseeing all discipline and disputes, which would address the league’s desire to keep the courts out of the process of interpreting the CBA -- and which would address the players’ desire to keep the Commish from having final say over any discipline he imposes.

Regardless of how it all works out, it now appears that a deal is within striking distance. Just in time to save the preseason and all the money that goes along with it.