Major strides save NFL CBA discussions?

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell speaks at his annual Super Bowl news conference in Dallas, Texas, February 4, 2011. The Super Bowl XLV NFL football game will be played in nearby Arlington, Texas on February 6. REUTERS/Pierre Ducharme (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

After talks nearly broke down during the day, NFL Network’s Albert Breer reports that the owners and players made major strides on the revenue split late into Thursday night and early Friday morning.


Talks didn’t wrap up until after midnight after they came close to breaking down earlier in the day. Mediator Arthur Boylan has “optimism building a bit,” and it now looks like the revenue split “might not be a major stumbling block” when talks resume next week. Boylan orchestrated a “huge rebound,” writes Breer. That sentiment coincides with a cryptic tweet from’s Mike Freeman, who suggested football fans should be thanking Boylan as the July 4 holiday weekend begins.

CBS’ Mike Freeman reported Friday morning that the owners had “suddenly reversed course” and were offering “models that had been previously rejected by the players” in terms of the all-important revenue split. But it sounds like Boylan has saved the day and maybe more heartache (I use that term very loosely) for the fans.

As John Paulsen wrote this morning, now isn’t the time for the owners to be reneging on compromises that have already been made. Now isn’t the time to be greedy when so much progress has been made over the last couple of weeks (and so much time has been wasted fighting in court).

While the situation remains as fluid as ever, it still appears as though they’re getting close to signing a new CBA. This is just a hunch on my part, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a deal is completed within the next 2-3 weeks and free agency begins sometime this month. Then things will really get interesting as general managers scramble to fill roster holes and coaches try to get rookies and new players up to speed. Teams with new coaching staffs will certainly have their work cut out for them.

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